The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Its neighbouring lands at the nearest coastal points
are Turkey 40 miles north, Syria 60 miles east, Lebanon
108 miles south-east, Israel 180 miles south-east and
Egypt 230 miles south. Cyprus is the third largest island
in the Mediterranean. It is smaller than Sicily and
Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete .The area
of the whole island is 3584 sq. miles. (9250sq. kilometers).
Cyprus has been divided into two autonomous states since
1974. This came about by virtue of the linguistic and
cultural differences , and as a result of communal friction
which lasted for 11 years. (See history) Greek Cypriots
occupy the southern and the Turkish Cypriots occupy
the northern part of Cyprus. A boundary known as the`Green
Line` which runs through Nicosia , the capital of both
South and North Cyprus separates the two states. North
Cyprus is some 100 miles long , 40 miles across at its
widest point and has a total area of 1357 sq. miles
or nearly one third of the whole of the island.
The geography of North Cyprus is characterized by a
unique blend of mountains , plains and beaches. The
Kyrenia Range, with its magnificent jagged limestone
peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at 3357
ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a
startling backdrop. To the east of the island the mountain
range loses height as it extends along the narrow peninsula
known as Karpas or `The Panhandle`. Along it one finds
the best beaches in Cyprus. Miles of empty bays with
pure white sand. To the south of the Kyrenia range lie
the plains of Mesaoria. Here, is situated the divided
Capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Other major centers are Guzelyurt
in the west of North Cyprus where most of the citrus
produce comes from , The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne)
is on the northern coast, and the second resort town
of Famagusta (Gazimagosa) in the east.
| The population of North Cyprus is, Appx.
200,587 (1997 census)
55% of the population live in urban areas. The urban population
is distributed as follows:
(Rounded to the nearest 1000. Census
The urban population is employed mainly in the service
industry and light industries such as beverages, clothing,
construction and in other commercial establishments.
The rural population lives in villages. There are some
195 villages in North Cyprus. People in rural areas are
mainly engaged in agriculture and produce a variety of
crops. Wheat, barley, olives, carobs, melon, grapes, figs,
potatoes and basic vegetables are grown commercially on
a moderate scale. Citrus is the main export produce, however,
exports from North Cyprus have been restricted to a great
extent, due to the political status of the state.
The service industry has recently shown an increase mainly
in Tourism, Banking and Education. The slow development
in the economy has become an advantage for Tourism since
it has resulted in unspoiled countryside and thus very
low pollution. Education has recently developed to become
one of the major sources of revenue, with 5 private universities
being opened in the last 10 years, offering a good standard
of international education to the students attending from
neighbouring countries, mainly Turkey.
| The Climate of North Cyprus
is a typical Mediterranean Climate. Summers (June to September)
are hot and dry, winters (November to March) are usually
rainy with a mild temperature. Spring and autumn are warm
and pleasant. The average annual temperature is 20°C
Summer temperatures average 30°C (90F) with the coldest
months of January and February 10°C (50F).
|Flora and Fauna
| Quite apart from the huge
range of cultivated flowers, North Cyprus and especially
the Karpas peninsula is a rich botanical area with literally
hundreds of species of wild flowers from crown anemones
and pink rock roses to purple iris and yellow crowfoot.
From February to June many areas of Northern Cyprus are
carpeted with colourful wild flowers. The birds and the
butterflies also are glorious, lizards abound, and the
loggerhead and green turtle still come ashore to lay their
eggs in North Cyprus's unspoiled beaches.