Country of the World Cyprus

About the country Cyprus, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.



Size: 3,572 sq. mi. (9,251 sq. km.).

Population: 655,500.

Located 40 mi. south of Turkey and 60 mi. west of Syria in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has been occupied by successive waves of conquerors from earliest times. In 1960 Archbishop Makarios became the first president of the Republic of Cyprus under a constitution which provided for a 70%-30% division of political power between the Greek majority and the Turkish minority. The constitution soon proved untenable, and U.N. forces were brought in to keep peace. Sporadic fighting continued, however, and Makarios, who had renounced his former advocacy of enosis, union with Greece, in favor of an independent and nonaligned policy for a unified Cyprus, was overthrown in July, 1974. Four days after the coup, Turkish troops invaded Cyprus, eventually occupying the northern 40% of the island and forcing 200,000 ethnic Greeks from their homes. Makarios returned to power in December, 1974, but when he died in August, 1977, he left behind a shaky coalition government on the verge of disintegrating into open warfare between right and left. In the Turkish zone, still under military occupation, the Ankara puppet regime declared a "Federated State of Cyprus," the first step in the eventual incorporation of Turkish Cyprus as a province of mainland Turkey.

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