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Information about CYPRUS

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Kypriake Demokratia – Kibris Cumhuriyeti

Area: 5,896 sq. km. + 3,355 sq. km. (Turkish part)
Neighbouring countries: (none: Island country)
Capital City: Nicosia
Other Cities: Limasol, Larnaca
Ethnic groups: Cypriot (Greek and Turkish)
Languages: Greek and Turkish (official), English
Currency: Euro (Greek Cypriot); New Turkish Pound (Turkish Cypriot)
Member of: Commonwealth, Council of Europe, EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development), UN, OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe), WTO (World Trade Organisation), EU (excluding the Turkish Cypriot sector)
(De Agostini, Jan. 2008)

Historical outline
Cyprus became an independent Republic with the Anglo-Greco-Turkish Treaty of 19th February 1959 (putting an end to British sovereignty). The present form of government is that of Presidential Republic. The Turkish Cypriot Federal State was proclaimed on 13th February 1979, becoming the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus on 15th November 1983, but without international community recognition. Thus, only the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU (1st May 2004). The Constitution makes a clear division of the population into two distinct national, linguistic and religious communities: Greek and Turkish, all citizens belonging to one or the other.

The population is about 800 thousand (UN Statistics 2008). There are about 78% Orthodox, 18% Muslims and 4% Catholics of various rites. (Various sources, including Dossier of the French Episcopal Conference on the Synod for the Middle East)

Relations with the Holy See
Cyprus has diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The Apostolic Nuncio is Mgr. Antonio Franco, also Nuncio to Israel and Apostolic Delegate to Jerusalem and Palestina.


- BENEDICT XVI TO THE BISHOPS OF CELRA – CONFERENCE OF LATIN BISHOPS OF THE ARAB REGION: Nevertheless, it is essential to give firm support and encouragement to those who choose to remain faithful to their homeland in order to prevent it from becoming an archaeological site deprived of ecclesial life


- JOHN PAUL II TO THE AMBASSADOR OF CYPRUS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF HIS CREDENTIALS: There is a manifest need in our contemporary world for the legitimate aspirations, traditions and beliefs of people of different backgrounds to be accorded full respect.…

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