Cyprus: An Overview
The island of Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea after Sicily and Sardinia with a total area of 9,251 sq. kms. It is situated at the north-eastern end of the East Mediterranean basin at a distance of 300 km north of Egypt, 90 km west of Syria and 60 km south of Turkey. The Greek mainland is some 800 km to the west. The island’s population is approximately 789,300 (2007 figures), of which the 77,8% are Greek Cypriots (including Maronites, Armenians and Latins), 10,5% are Turkish Cypriots and 11,7% are foreign citizens. About 35% of the Republic's territory is under Turkish army occupation since the summer of 1974, while a further 1.8% forms part of the buffer zone along the cease-fire line. The language of the Greek Cypriot community is Greek, whereas the language of the Turkish Cypriot community is Turkish. Cyprus is today a major tourist destination, a service centre and telecommunications node. Cyprus, a member of the European Union since May 1st 2004, adopted the Euro on January 1st 2008. At the same time, it became a member of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) which is based on the conduct of a single monetary policy primarily focused on maintaining price stability.
For more information you may visit the Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus for the publication “Cyprus at a Glance”.
The Official Portal of the Cyprus Tourism Organization: http://www.visitcyprus.com/wps/portal
The local currency is EURO (€).
Cyprus is two (2) hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and one (1) hour ahead of Central European Time (CET).