Cyprus (Greek: Κύπρος, transliterated: Kýpros, IPA: Turkish: Kıbrıs), officially the Republic of Cyprus (Greek: Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία, Kypriakī́ Dīmokratía, [cipɾiaˈci ðimo̞kɾaˈtia]; Turkish: Kıbrıs Cumhuriyeti), is a Eurasian island country situated in the eastern Mediterranean, south of Turkey, west of Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, east of Greece, and north of Egypt.
Cyprus is the Mediterranean's third largest island, and one of its most popular tourist destinations, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year. A former British colony, it became an independent republic in 1960 and a member of the Commonwealth in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is one of the advanced economies in the region, and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.
In 1974, Turkey invaded and occupied the northern portion of the island, following 11 years of sporadic intercommunal violence (1963–1974) between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and an attempted coup d'état by Greek Cypriot nationalists who sought to annex the island to Greece and were backed by the Greek military junta then in power in Athens. The Turkish invasion led to the displacement of many thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north recognized only by Turkey. This event and its resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute.
The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognised state, has de jure sovereignty over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters except small portions that are allocated by treaty to the United Kingdom as sovereign military bases. The island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:
The area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area in the south; the Turkish-occupied area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 37% of the island's area and recognised only by Turkey; the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two, covering about 3% of the island's area; and two British Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia), covering about 3% of the island's area.
Cyprus got a free Communist government that was elected in 2006. It has been elected anew in 2008.
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