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Cyprus
Capital:
Nicosia
Population:
775,927 (July 2004 est.)
Flag
Background:
Independence from the UK was approved in 1960, with constitutional guarantees by the Greek Cypriot majority to the Turkish Cypriot minority. In 1974, a Greek-sponsored attempt to seize the government was met by military intervention from Turkey, which soon controlled almost 40% of the island. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," but it is recognized only by Turkey. The latest two-year round of UN-brokered direct talks - between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach an agreement to reunite the divided island - ended when the Greek Cypriots rejected the UN unity plan in an April 2004 referendum. Although only the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot-controlled "Republic of Cyprus" joined the EU on 1 May 2004, every Cypriot carrying a Cyprus passport will have the status of a European citizen. However, Nicosia continues to oppose EU efforts to establish direct trade and economic links to northern Cyprus as a way of rewarding the Turkish Cypriot community for voting in favor of the UN unity plan.
Government type:
republic
note: a disaggregation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974 after a Greek junta-based coup attempt 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), recognized only by Turkey; both sides publicly support a settlement based on a federation (Greek Cypriot position) or confederation (Turkish Cypriot position)
GDP:
Greek Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $14.82 billion (2003 est.); Turkish Cypriot area: purchasing power parity - $1.217 billion (2003 est.)
Internet users:
210,000 (2002)
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