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A map of CyprusA map of Cyprus The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been divided into two since 1974. The southern part, known as the Republic of Cyprus, is largely Greek-speaking, while northern part is known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The narrow, rugged Kyrenia Mountains hugs the northern coast, extending down the long, thin Karpas Peninsula, nicknamed the “pan handle”. Rising in the south are the peaks of the Troodos Mountains. Between these two ranges stretches a dry, scrubland plain called the Mesaoria. Cyprus has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are very hot and dry, while winters are milder and sometimes wet. 

A map of CyprusA map of Cyprus
Street in NicosiaStreet in Nicosia


People from Cyprus are called Cypriots. Since the division of the island in 1974, Cyprus’ population has been split between Greek Cypriots who live in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north. Tensions have existed between Greek and Turkish Cypriots for decades. As well as Greek and Turkish, most people speak English as a second language. The Cypriot form of Greek is closer to the language spoken by ancient Greeks.

In Greek legend, Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

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