Area: 9,250 km² (World Rank 162)
Inhabitants: 792,000 (World Rank 154)
Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus
Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, Kýpros; Turkish: Kıbrıs), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti) is a Eurasian island country situated in the eastern Mediterranean south of Turkey, west of the Levant, north of Egypt, and east-southeast of Greece.
Cyprus is the third-largest island and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a Commonwealth republic in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is a developed country and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004. It adopted the euro on 1 January 2008.
In 1974, following a period of violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and an attempted Greek Cypriot coup d'état aimed at annexing the island to Greece and sponsored by the Greek military junta of 1967-1974, Turkey invaded and occupied one-third of the island. This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation is a matter of ongoing dispute.
The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized state, claimed sovereignty over 97% of the island of Cyprus and all surrounding waters, with the United Kingdom controlling the remaining three percent. The island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:
the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus in the south of the island;
the Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognized only by Turkey);
the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two; and
two Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), over which the United Kingdom retained jurisdiction after Cypriot independence.