The World Factbook (1990)/Cyprus



World Factbook (1990) Cyprus.jpg

 See regional map VI


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 meters 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: 40% arable land; 7% permanent crops; 10% meadows and pastures; 18% forest and woodland; 25% other; includes 10% irrigated (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: 707,776 (July 1990), growth rate 1.0% (1990)

Birth rate: 19 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 8 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 0 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 10 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 73 years male, 78 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 2.4 children born/woman (1990)

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

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

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

Language: Greek, Turkish, English

Literacy: 99% (est.)

Labor force: Greek area—251,406; 42% services, 33% industry, 22% agriculture; Turkish area—NA (1986)

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, 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

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 Antiprosópon); 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

Leaders: Chief of State and Head of Government—President George VASSILIOU (since February 1988); note—Rauf R. DENKTAṢ was proclaimed President of the Turkish area on 13 February 1975

Political parties and leaders: Greek Cypriot—Progressive Party of the Working People (AKEL; Communist Party), Dimitrios Christotias, Democratic Rally (DESY), Glafkos Clerides; Democratic Party (DEKO), Spyros Kyprianou; United Democratic Union of the Center (EDEK), Vassos Lyssarides;

Turkish area—National Unity Party (NUP), Dervis Eroglu; Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Ismail Bozkurt; Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Ozker Ozgur; New Birth Party (NBP), Aytac Besheshler; New Cyprus savey (NCP), Alpay Durduran

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: President—last held 14 February and 21 February 1988 (next to be held February 1993); results—George Vassiliou 52%, Glafkos Clerides 48%;

House of Representatives—last held 8 December 1985 (next to be held December 1990); results—Democratic Rally 33.56%, Democratic Party 27.65%, AKEL 27.43%, EDEK 11.07%; seats—(56 total) Democratic Rally 19, Democratic Party 16, AKEL (Communist) 15, EDEK 6;

Turkish Area: President—last held 9 June 1985 (next to be held June 1990); results—Rauf Denktash 70%;

Turkish Area: Legislative Assembly—last held 23 June 1985 (next to be held June 1990); results—percent of vote by party NA; seats—(50 total) National Unity Party (conservative) 24, Republican Turkish Party (Communist) 12, Communal Liberation Party (center-right) 10, New Birth Party 4

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: CCC, Commonwealth, Council of Europe, FAO, G-77, GATT, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICO, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, INTELSAT, INTERPOL, ITU, NAM, UN, UNESCO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WMO, WTO; Turkish Federated State of Cyprus—OIC (observer)

Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Michael E. SHERIFIS; Chancery at 2211 R Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 462-5772; there is a Cypriot Consulate General in New York; US—(vacant); Embassy at the corner of Therissos Street and Dositheos Street, Nicosia (mailing address is FPO New York 09530); telephone [357](2) 465151

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


Overview: These data are for the area controlled by the Republic of Cyprus (information on the northern Turkish-Cypriot area is sparse). The economy is small, diversified, and prosperous. Industry contributes about 28% to GDP and employs 35% of the labor force, while the service sector contributes about 55% to GDP and employs 40% of the labor force. Rapid growth in exports of agricultural and manufactured products and in tourism have played important roles in the average 6% rise in GDP in recent years. While this growth put considerable pressure on prices and the balance of payments, the inflation rate has remained low and the balance-of-payments deficit manageable.

GDP: $4.2 billion, per capita $6,100; real growth rate 6.9% (1988 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.9% (1989 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2.8% (1988)

Budget: revenues $1.2 billion; expenditures $1.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $178 million (1989 est.)

Exports: $767 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—citrus, potatoes, grapes, wine, cement, clothing and shoes; partners—Middle East and North Africa 37%, UK 27%, other EC 11%, US 2%

Imports: $1.9 billion (c.i.f., 1988); commodities—consumer goods 23%, petroleum and lubricants 12%, food and feed grains, machinery; partners—EC 60%, Middle East and North Africa 7%, US 4%

External debt: $2.8 billion (1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 6.5% (1988)

Electricity: 620,000 kW capacity; 1,770 million kWh produced, 2,530 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: mining (iron pyrites, gypsum, asbestos); manufactured products—beverages, footwear, clothing, and cement—are principally for local consumption

Agriculture: accounts for 8% of GDP and employs 22% of labor force; major crops—potatoes, vegetables, barley, grapes, olives, and citrus fruits; vegetables and fruit provide 25% of export revenues

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $272 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $223 million; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $62 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $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 kuruṣ

Exchange rates: Cypriot pounds (C) per US$1—0.4854 (January 1990), 0.4933 (1989), 0.4663 (1988), 0.4807 (1987), 0.5167 (1986), 0.6095 (1985); in Turkish area, Turkish liras (TL) per US$1—2,314.7 (November 1989), 1,422.3 (1988), 857.2 (1987), 674.5 (1986), 522.0 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


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

Ports: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos

Merchant marine: 1,100 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 18,093,340 GRT/32,148,550 DWT; includes 1 passenger, 12 short-sea passenger, 2 passenger-cargo, 434 cargo, 61 refrigerated cargo, 18 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 40 container, 94 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 1 specialized cargo, 3 liquefied gas, 13 chemical tanker, 29 combination ore/oil, 341 bulk, 3 vehicle carrier, 48 combination bulk carrier; note—a flag of convenience registry; Cuba owns at least 20 of these ships and Yugoslavia owns 1

Civil air: 8 major transport aircraft

Airports: 13 total, 13 usable; 10 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 7 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 2 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: excellent in the area controlled by the Cypriot Government (Greek area), moderately good in the Turkish-Cypriot administered area; 210,000 telephones; stations—13 AM, 7 (7 repeaters) FM, 2 (40 repeaters) TV; tropospheric scatter circuits to Greece and Turkey; 3 submarine coaxial cables; satellite earth stations—INTELSAT, 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, and EUTELSAT systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Cyprus National Guard; Turkish area—Turkish Cypriot Security Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 180,946; 125,044 fit for military service; 5,083 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: 2% of GDP, or $84 million (1990 est.)