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CYPRUS
Society

Cities in CYPRUS

Nicosia (lefkosia)Paphos

Society

State structure

Cyprus has been an independent republic since 1960, headed by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice-president. Both have the right of veto. Since 1974, Cyprus has been divided into a Greek-speaking southern part and a Turkish-speaking northern part. Both communities are autonomous in the areas of religion, education, culture and personal law. On 15 November 1983, Denktash unilaterally declared the Turkish zone sovereign and independent. The new state was only recognised by Turkey. Every five years, the Greek Cypriot part of the population elects the president. The President also serves as Head of State and chairs the Council of Ministers, which consists of 11 ministers. The Vice-President is elected every five years by the Turkish Cypriot part of the population. However, this has not happened since 1974. Rauf Denktash has been Vice-President since 1973 and calls himself "President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". According to the constitution, the parliament consists of 80 members. Every five years, Greek Cypriots elect 56 members of parliament, Turkish Cypriots 24. However, the Turkish Cypriots have been boycotting the parliament since 1964, and since 1985 the Turkish part of Cyprus has had its own 50-member parliament.

Administratively, Cyprus is divided into six districts, three of which are separated by the dividing line between northern and southern Cyprus. For the current political situation, see chapter history.

Education

The Cypriot school system is very similar to the English one. There is a compulsory six-year primary school and six-year secondary school. The first three years are similar to our grammar school. The next three years consist of vocational training. In 1992, the University of Cyprus opened in Nicosia with a number of faculties. However, for many university studies one still has to go abroad (Athens, London, and the United States). There is also a higher technical school, a college for forestry, tourism and commerce, as well as education and health care facilities. In the Turkish part of Cyprus, Famagusta has had a university, the Mediterranean University, since 1986. The illiteracy rate in Cyprus is around 6%.

Sources

Bulmer, R. / Cyprus Kosmos-Z&K

Cyprus
Het Spectrum

Haan-van de Wiel, W.H. de / Cyprus Gottmer

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated December 2022
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