CIA World Factbook 1992: Cyprus


Total area: 9,250 km2

Land area: 9,240 km2

Comparative area: about 0.7 times the size of Connecticut

Land boundaries: none

Coastline: 648 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 m (depth) or to depth of exploitation

Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: 1974 hostilities divided the island into two de facto autonomous areas - a Greek area controlled by the Cypriot Government (60% of the island's land area) and a Turkish-Cypriot area (35% of the island) that are separated by a narrow UN buffer zone; in addition, there are two UK sovereign base areas (about 5% of the island's land area)

Climate: temperate, Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters

Terrain: central plain with mountains to north and south

Natural resources: copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment

Land use: arable land 40%; permanent crops 7%; meadows and pastures 10%; forest and woodland 18%; other 25%; includes irrigated 10% (most irrigated lands are in the Turkish-Cypriot area of the island)

Environment: moderate earthquake activity; water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, and most potable resources concentrated in the Turkish-Cypriot area)


Population: 716,492 (July 1992), growth rate 1.0% (1992)

Birth rate: 18 births/1,000 population (1992)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (1992)

Net migration rate:0 migrants/1,000 population (1992)

Infant mortality rate: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (1992)

Life expectancy at birth: 74 years male, 78 years female (1992)

Total fertility rate: 2.4 children born/woman (1992)

Nationality: noun - Cypriot(s); adjective - Cypriot

Ethnic divisions: Greek 78%; Turkish 18%; other 4%

Religions: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, Maronite, Armenian, Apostolic, and other 4%

Languages: Greek, Turkish, English

Literacy: 90% (male 96%, female 85%) age 10 and over can read and write (1976)

Labor force: Greek area - 278,000; services 45%, industry 35%, agriculture 14%; Turkish area - 71,500 (1990); services 21%, industry 30%, agriculture 27%

Organized labor: 156,000 (1985 est.)


Long-form name: Republic of Cyprus

Type: republic; a disaggregation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began after the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified following the Turkish invasion of the island in July 1974, which gave the Turkish Cypriots de facto control in the north; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot President Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which has been recognized only by Turkey; both sides publicly call for the resolution of intercommunal differences and creation of a new federal system of government

Capital: Nicosia

Administrative divisions: 6 districts; Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, Paphos

Independence: 16 August 1960 (from UK)

Constitution: 16 August 1960; negotiations to create the basis for a new or revised constitution to govern the island and to better relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been held intermittently; in 1975 Turkish Cypriots created their own Constitution and governing bodies within the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, which was renamed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983; a new Constitution for the Turkish area passed by referendum in May 1985

Legal system: based on common law, with civil law modifications

National holiday: Independence Day, 1 October (15 November is celebrated as Independence Day in the Turkish area)

Executive branch: president, Council of Ministers (cabinet); note - there is a president, prime minister, and Council of Ministers (cabinet) in the Turkish area

Legislative branch: unicameral House of Representatives (Vouli Antiprosopon); note - there is a unicameral Assembly of the Republic (Cumhuriyet Meclisi) in the Turkish area

Judicial branch: Supreme Court; note - there is also a Supreme Court in the Turkish area


Chief of State and Head of Government: President George VASSILIOU (since February 1988); note - Rauf R. DENKTASHhas been president of the Turkish area since 13 February 1975

Political parties and leaders:
Greek Cypriot: Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL; Communist Party), Dimitrios CHRISTOFIAS; Democratic Rally (DESY), Glafkos KLERIDES; Democratic Party (DEKO), Spyros KYPRIANOU; United Democratic Union of the Center (EDEK), Vassos LYSSARIDES; Socialist Democratic Renewal Movement (ADESOK), Mikhalis PAPAPETROU; Liberal Party, Nikos ROLANDIS

Turkish area:
National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis EROGLU; Communal Liberation Party (TKP), Mustafa AKINCI; Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ozker OZGUR; New Cyprus Party (YKP), Alpay DURDURAN; Social Democratic Party (SDP), Ergun VEHBI; New Birth Party (YDP), Ali Ozkan ALTINISHIK; Free Democratic Party (HDP), Ismet KOTAK; note - CTP, TKP, and YDP joined in the coalition Democratic Struggle Party (DMP) for the 22 April 1990 legislative election; the CTP and TKP boycotted the byelection of 13 October 1991, which was for 12 seats; the DMP was dissolved after the 1990 election; National Justice Party (MAP), Zorlu TORE; United Sovereignty Party, Arif Salih KIRDAG

Suffrage: universal at age 18


President: last held 14 February and 21 February 1988 (next to be held February 1993);
results - George VASSILIOU 52%, Glafkos KLERIDES 48%

House of Representatives: last held 19 May 1991; results - DESY 35.8%, AKEL (Communist) 30.6, DEKO 19.5%, EDEK 10. 9%; others 3.2%

seats - (56 total) DESY 20, AKEL (Communist) 18, DEKO 11, EDEK 7

Turkish Area: President: last held 22 April 1990 (next to be held April 1995); results - Rauf R. DENKTASH 66%, Ismail BOZKURT 32.05%

Turkish Area: Assembly of the Republic: last held 6 May 1990 (next to be held May 1995);

results - UBP (conservative) 54.4%, DMP 44.4% YKP .9%; seats - (50 total) UBP (conservative) 45, SDP 1, HDP 2, YDP 2; note - by-election of 13 October 1991 was for 12 seats

Communists: about 12,000

Other political or pressure groups: United Democratic Youth Organization (EDON; Communist controlled); Union of Cyprus Farmers (EKA; Communist controlled); Cyprus Farmers Union (PEK; pro-West); Pan-Cyprian Labor Federation (PEO; Communist controlled) ; Confederation of Cypriot Workers (SEK; pro-West); Federation of Turkish Cypriot Labor Unions (Turk-Sen); Confederation of Revolutionary Labor Unions (Dev-Is)

Member of: C, CCC, CE, CSCE, EBRD, ECE, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, NAM, OAS (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO; note - the Turkish-Cypriot administered area of Cyprus has observer status in the OIC

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Michael E. SHERIFIS; Chancery at 2211 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone (202) 462-5772

US: Ambassador Robert E. LAMB; Embassy at the corner of Therissos Street and< Dositheos Street, Nicosia (mailing address is APO AE 09836); telephone [357] (2) 465151; FAX [357] (2) 459-571

Flag: white with a copper-colored silhouette of the island (the name Cyprus is derived from the Greek word for copper) above two green crossed olive branches in the center of the flag; the branches symbolize the hope for peace and reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities; note - the Turkish cypriot flag has a horizontal red stripe at the top and bottom with a red crescent and red star on a white field


Overview: The Greek Cypriot economy is small, diversified, and prosperous. Industry contributes 24% to GDP and employs 35% of the labor force, while the service sector contributes 44% to GDP and employs 45% of the labor force. Rapid growth in exports of agricultural and manufactured products and in tourism have played important roles in the average 6.4% rise in GDP between 1985 and 1990. In mid-1991, the World Bank "graduated" Cyprus off its list of developing countries. In contrast to the bright picture in the south, the Turkish Cypriot economy has less than half the per capita GDP and suffered a series of reverses in 1991. Crippled by the effects of the Gulf war, the collapse of the fruit-to-electronics conglomerate, Polly Peck, Ltd., and a drought, the Turkish area in late 1991 asked for a multibillion-dollar grant from Turkey to help ease the burden of the economic crisis. Turkey normally underwrites a substantial portion of the TRNC economy.

GDP: purchasing power equivalent - Greek area: $5.5 billion, per capita $9,600; real growth rate 6.0%; Turkish area: $600 million, per capita $4,000; real
growth rate 5.9% (1990)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): Greek area: 4.5%; Turkish area: 69.4% (1990)

Unemployment rate: Greek area: 1.8%; Turkish area: 1.2% (1990)

Budget: revenues $1.2 billion; expenditures $2.0 billion, including capital expenditures of $250 million (1991)

Exports: $847 million (f.o.b., 1990)

commodities: citrus, potatoes, grapes, wine, cement, clothing and shoes

partners: UK 23%, Greece 10%, Lebanon 10%, Germany 5%

Imports: $2.3 billion (f.o.b., 1990)

commodities: consumer goods, petroleum and lubricants, food and feed grains, machinery

partners: UK 13%, Japan 12%, Italy 10%, Germany 9.1%

External debt: $2.8 billion (1990)

Industrial production: growth rate 5.6% (1990); accounts for 24% of GDP

Electricity: 620,000 kW capacity; 1,770 million kWh produced, 2,530 kWh per capita (1991)

Industries: food, beverages, textiles, chemicals, metal products, tourism, wood products

Agriculture: accounts for 7% of GDP and employs 14% of labor force in the south; major crops - potatoes, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, and citrus fruits; vegetables and fruit provide 25% of export revenues

Economic aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $292 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $250 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $62 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $24 million

Currency: Cypriot pound (plural - pounds) and in Turkish area, Turkish lira (plural - liras); 1 Cypriot pound (#C) = 100 cents and 1 Turkish lira (TL) = 100 kurus

Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds (#C) per US$1 - 0.4683 (March 1992), 0.4615 (1991), 0.4572 (1990), 0.4933 (1989), 0.4663 (1988), 0.4807 (1987); in Turkish area, Turkish liras (TL) per US$1 - 6,098.4 (March 1992), 4,173.9 (1991), 2,608.6 (1990), 2,121.7 (1989), 1,422.3 (1988), 857.2 (1987)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Highways: 10,780 km total; 5,170 km paved; 5,610 km gravel, crushed stone, and earth

Ports: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos

Merchant marine: 1,228 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 20,053,213 GRT/35,647,964 DWT; includes 8 short-sea passenger, 2 passenger-cargo, 440 cargo, 83 refrigerated cargo, 22 roll-on/roll-off, 52 container, 5 multifunction large load carrier, 107 petroleum tanker, 3 specialized tanker, 3 liquefied gas, 20 chemical tanker, 32 combination ore/oil, 394 bulk, 3 vehicle carrier, 49 combination bulk, 2 railcar carrier, 2 passenger, 1 passenger cargo; note - a flag of convenience registry; Cuba owns at least 30 of these ships, republics of the former USSR own 58, Latvia also has 5 ships, Yugoslavia owns 1, and Romania 3

Civil air: 11 major transport aircraft (Greek Cypriots); 2 (Turkish Cypriots)

Airports: 14 total, 14 usable; 12 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 3 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: excellent in both the area controlled by the Cypriot Government (Greek area), and in the Turkish-Cypriot administered area; 210,000 telephones; largely open-wire and radio relay; broadcast stations - 11 AM, 8 FM, 1 (34 repeaters) TV in Greek sector and 2 AM, 6 FM and 1 TV in Turkish sector; international service by tropospheric scatter, 3 submarine cables, and
satellite earth stations - 1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT, 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT and EUTELSAT earth stations

Defense Forces

Branches: Greek area - Greek Cypriot National Guard (GCNG; including air and naval elements), Greek Cypriot Police; Turkish area - Turkish Cypriot Security Force

Manpower availability: males 15-49, 183,899; 126,664 fit for military service; 5,030 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $209 million, 5% of GDP (1990 est.)