Cyprus – geography
Geographically Cyprus belongs to Asia; an underwater ridge connects the island with Asia Minor. However, with its colonial connection to Britain and close historical and cultural ties to Greece, Cyprus is often included in Europe.
The most recent census for the whole of Cyprus was conducted in 1973. Here the population was 631,778, of which 77% were Greeks and 18% Turks. The rest were of British, Armenian and Maronite descent. Since the Turkish occupation in 1974, the Turkish population has been concentrated in the northern, Turkish-occupied third, while the Greeks live in the southern part. A 2001 census counted 689,565 in the Greek part. The growth since then and the population on the Turkish part of the island means that a probable estimate for the whole island for 2014 is approximately 1.17 million people.
- Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Cyprus? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.
Nature conditions and agriculture
The climate is typically Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters. Precipitation and temperature vary; most precipitation is received by the Troodos Mountains with over 1000 mm. In the winter, a lot of snow falls, and you can ski on Mt. Olympos (1951 m) in January-March. Frost is never experienced on the rain-poor Mesaoriaslette and in the coastal areas.
The relatively heavy rainfall and favorable soil make Cyprus a fertile agricultural land, and until the mid-1980’s, agriculture was the island’s main occupation. In the mild winter, large areas of barley are cultivated, and typical Mediterranean crops such as wine, citrus fruits and olives are harvested in addition to potatoes, vegetables, tobacco and carob bread. About one-fifth of the area is under plowing, and a large part is irrigated; this applies Mesaoriasletten, “Cyprus’ granary”. Only a few of the island’s numerous watercourses are aquifers in the summer, but in the mountain areas the winter precipitation is dammed for use in irrigation.
At the beginning of our era, Cyprus was covered by forest and supplied timber to the Eastern Mediterranean fleets. Widespread forests are now found only in the Troodos Mountains and to a limited extent in the otherwise scrub-covered Kyrenia Mountains. It is especially coniferous forest with cedar trees. Since the 1980’s, attempts have been made to expand the forest area through extensive new plantings.
After the Turkish invasion, the tourism industry, which was especially associated with the northern part of the island, moved south, and since 1986, tourism has made the most important contribution to the Greek-Cypriot economy. In 1994, 2.1 million visited. tourists this part of the island, most on one or two weeks charter vacation. Over 10% of the workforce is directly linked to tourism. The shipping, finance and industrial sectors have also overtaken agriculture in economic terms. Cyprus’ so-called open ship register (“flag of convenience”) houses 5% of the world’s merchant fleet and was the fastest growing fleet in the early 1990’s. Greek, German and other European shipowners in particular benefit from favorable registration and taxation rules as well as lenient security controls. Also in other offshore business Cyprus is growing in importance with a large number of international banks, insurance and trading companies. Cyprus has good relations with the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia.
Trade with the EU was growing following a 1988 customs agreement, and Cyprus applied for accession to the EU from 1990. The official recording took place on May 1, 2004.
The main products of the Cypriot industry are food (including preserves and juices), clothing and footwear, much of which is exported, as well as cement.
In the 2000’s. Cyprus experienced significant economic growth, not least thanks to the financial sector. In 2012, the country was hit by a serious banking crisis and had to be saved with an injection of 10 billion. euros from the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
is concentrated on asbestos and raw materials for the cement industry. Former copper mining was discontinued in the 1970’s when the mines were emptied. A few years later, salt extraction from salt lakes near Larnaca and Limassol also ceased, as production was no longer profitable.
is quite well developed. The island has no railways, but the road network is close and on the main routes expanded as motorways. Famagusta was Cyprus’s most important port until 1974, but after the Turkish occupation it is no longer navigable by international traffic, which instead uses Limassol and Larnaca. Larnaca also has the island’s largest functioning airport. Nicosia International Airport is located in the UN-monitored north-south no-man’s land (Attila Line) and has been closed since 1974.
Cyprus has two British military bases, Dekelia and Episkopi. The latter is located on the Akrotiri Peninsula and has a military airport and a listening station from which the entire Middle East is monitored. Also a British radar on top of Mt. Olympos is used to monitor the region.
Cyprus – Geology
Cyprus consists of three areas, the so-called terranes, each with its own geological history. The southwestern part, the Mamonia Terranet, is made up of sea deposits and poodle lava from the period Triassic to Cretaceous; the northern part, the Kyrenia Terranet, consists of limestone and marl, greywacke and breccie from the Triassic to the Paleocene. In between lies the Troodos terranet, which consists of ofiolite, i.e. a piece of lithosphere plate, built at the bottom of material from the Earth’s mantle (peridotite), on which lie layers of gangue rocks (diabase), and at the top with poodle lava and ocean deposits. Troodos are formed under the sea in a local dispersal zone in the crust of the Cretaceous. During the volcanic activity of the dispersal process, hot water with dissolved metal compounds flowed onto the seabed. These compounds were deposited as sulfide minerals, especially pyrite and chalcopyrite, on top of the poodle lavas, where they formed massive ore bodies around the outflow sites, so-called black smokers. The ore bodies are the basis for Cyprus’ production of copper since antiquity.
In the Late Cretaceous (about 80 million years before now), the terranes were brought together by the northward movement of the African plate (see plate tectonics). Mamonia and Kyrenia were deformed by the collisions and lay until the Miocene (approximately 23-5.2 million) below sea level and were covered by limestone deposits. From the Late Cretaceous to the Early Eocene (approximately 80-55 million before now), Troodos was rotated 90 °Counterclockwise after being pushed from a protruding part of the African plate. In connection with the plate’s submergence, Cyprus was then raised from a depth of 2000 m to sea level. Coral reefs were formed, and during the drying up of the Mediterranean in the Late Miocene, gypsum was deposited. Since the Pliocene, Cyprus has been further elevated so that the central part of the island reaches almost 2000 m. At the same time, the Kyrenia Mountains have been pushed up like steep flakes.
Cyprus – language
According to the Constitution, Greek and Turkish are the official languages; many also speak English. Gradually, Greek has become the dominant language in the Greek part and Turkish in the Turkish part of Cyprus, but there are still many in the slightly older part of the population who speak both languages. Both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot are dialects that differ from the language in resp. Greece and Turkey in terms of both pronunciation and vocabulary. Among other things, based on teaching materials from the mother countries, however, there has been an approximation to the national languages since 1974; in the Turkish part also due to the large influx of Turks from Anatolia, in the Greek part mainly due to the cultural cohesion of the Greek Cypriots with Greece. For culture and traditions of Cyprus, please check animalerts.