Cyprus - education
After independence in 1960, each of the two dominant population groups got
its own education system with resp. Greek and Turkish as languages of
instruction. However, the use of English is still widespread in trade and
administration. The Turkish invasion in 1974, which resulted in the relocation
of approximately 180,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots, created an acute
shortage of school buildings in the south.
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The public school system (1995) consists of a six-year primary school and a
six-year secondary school, which is divided into a three-year 1st part as well
as a three-year general upper secondary and technical superstructure
education. There is ten years of compulsory schooling.
In 1992, a Cypriot university for the humanities and social sciences, natural
sciences, as well as economics and administration was founded. However, a large
proportion of higher and higher education is still abroad, mainly in the United
Kingdom and the United States.
In addition to the public system, there are a limited number of private
institutions. 4% of the pupils at the primary school level and 10% at the
secondary level follow this teaching.
OFFICIAL NAME: Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti
CAPITAL CITY: Nicosia
POPULATION: 1,170,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 9240 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Greek, Turkish
RELIGION: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslims 18%, others 4%
COIN: euro (from 1.1.2008)
CURRENCY CODE: EUR
ENGLISH NAME: Cyprus
POPULATION COMPOSITION: Greek Cypriots 78%, Turkish Cypriots 18%, others 4%
GDP PER residents: $ 24,500 (2013)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 75.5 years, women 81 years (2013)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.845
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 32
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .cy
Cyprus, Gr. Cyprus, Turkey. Kıbrıs, island and republic
of the eastern Mediterranean, approximately 70 km south of Turkey and 400 km east of
the Greek island of Rhodes. Since a Turkish invasion in 1974, the island has
actually been divided into a Greek and a Turkish Cypriot part. For many years
there have been fruitless attempts to unite the island. In 2004, Cyprus joined
the EU; Officially, the whole island is now a member of the EU, but in reality
only the Greek part is occupied.
Cyprus - Constitution
The Constitution of the Internationally Recognized Republic of Cyprus is from
1960. The executive power is held by a President elected directly for five years
and appoints and heads the Government. Legislative power lies with a directly
elected House of Representatives with 80 seats, of which 24 are reserved for
Turkish Cypriots, who, however, have not turned up since 17.12.1964. The
election period is five years.
Cyprus - social conditions
Cyprus's social system was founded in the 1950's. It is mainly structured as a
social insurance and is financed by the state as well as by contributions from
the self-employed, workers and employers. The insurance partially covers
expenses for medical and hospital treatment. It also covers the payment of
unemployment benefits in the event of illness and birth, unemployment benefits,
compensation and benefits paid in connection with an occupational injury, as
well as old-age, disability and widow's pensions. The retirement age is 63 years
for women and 65 for men.
Families with children receive child family benefits, which consist of a
fixed amount as well as a supplement that depends on income and number of
children. Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 who are in education can
also receive family benefits.
Persons who do not have the means of subsistence can receive assistance,
which is financed and paid by the state.
Unemployment is 2% -3% (2006).
Cyprus - mass media
All approximately ten Greek-Cypriot dailies were founded after 1950 and represent a
broad political spectrum with Phileleftheros (Liberal) from 1955 as the largest
and most influential. The most popular of the Turkish Cypriot dailies is Kibris,
grdl. 1989. In addition, the English-language Cyprus Mail, founded in 1945, is
published. In the Greek-Cypriot part of the island, radio and television are
broadcast from the channels of the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, while Bayrak
Radio and Televizyon broadcasts in the Turkish-Cypriot part. There are several
private radio and television stations on the island, and the British forces have
their own radio and television service. The residents can also receive radio
and television from Greece and Turkey, and satellite TV is becoming more
and more widespread.
Cyprus - religion
Orthodox Christianity is the most widespread among the Greek people and Islam
among the Turkish; in addition, small Christian congregations, Maronite and
Armenian. The independence of the Cypriot Orthodox Church dates back to the
Synod of Ephesus in 431 and led in 488 to full autocephaly
(self-government); the church attributes its foundation to Paul and Barnabas
(Acts 13: 4-12). The Muslim population originated from Ottoman-Turkish rule
(1570/71-1878) and from later immigration. Under the Ottomans, Orthodox clergy
increasingly took on the role of both religious and political leaders; this
tradition was revived when Archbishop Makarios was the island's president
Cyprus - visual arts and architecture
Cyprus is exceptionally rich in churches and church art. One can see examples
of basilicas from the 300's. in Salamis, Paphos, Kourion and Soli and on mosaic
and frescoes from before the iconoclasm (726-843) in the churches Panagia
Kanakaria at Lythrangomi, Panagia Kyra at Livadia, Panagia Angeloktistos at Kiti
and Nicodemus' Chapel at Salamis.
The Troodos area in particular is rich in historic churches. They are small
with steep saddle roofs covered with wood shavings. Almost all the interiors of
the churches are painted with frescoes. They have mainly been created in two
periods: from the 1100's, when Cyprus was in Byzantine possession, the frescoes
of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis, Asinou, Lagoudera, Perachorio and the monk
Neophytos' hermit cave at Paphos, made in a style that is characteristic of the
so-called communist renaissance in Byzantine art. In the 1400's and 1500's, when
the island was in Venetian hands, the frescoes in Platanistasa, Pedoulas,
Louvaras and Palechori were executed in a post-Byzantine style with western
features, in the form of staple portraits.
Under Frankish rule was built in 1200-1400-t. Gothic-style churches,
monasteries and chapels, such as the Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia, the Nicholas
Cathedral in Famagusta, the Bellapais Monastery and the Royal Chapel in Pyrga.
Cyprus is rich in portable icons. According to legend, a Maria icon in the
Kykko monastery must have been painted by the evangelist Luke. Especially from
1100-t. and from the Frankish and Venetian periods there are numerous beautiful
icons. As in Crete, it was painted in both a strict Byzantine and in a more
Western influenced style. Not least the small pin portraits found on many of the
icons also testify to Western influence here. The icon painting decayed after
the Turkish conquest of the island in 1571. Examples of Islamic architecture and
art from the Turkish era can be found in Hala Sultan Tekke near Larnaca and the
Dragoman's House in Nicosia, both from the early 1800's.
An independent Cypriot art, inspired by Western Europe, emerged after
approximately 1900 and reached its full unfolding after independence in 1960. With the
march of the Turkish troops in 1974, there has been a significant
political-national profiling of much art in the Greek part of the island. Thus,
Archbishop Makario's 3rd motif is for numerous paintings, busts and statues,
including the colossal statue in front of the new Archbishop's Palace in
Nicosia. However, there is also a group of less politically engaged painters,
who has worked in the so-called Apophasi movement, named after a gallery
founded in the 1960's. The island's modern monumental architecture is largely
influenced by traditional forms of construction, such as the Archbishop's Palace
and the new Presidential Palace in Nicosia from 1978.