About ECI  .  Services  .  Jurisdictions  .  News  .  Careers  .  Contact


offshore company formation offshore residence offshore companies incorporations offshore trusts gaming licences offshore bank accounts






   Private Residence




   Real Estate


   Company Formation


     Offshore Companies


     European Companies


   Trusts & Foundations


   Virtual Office


   Offshore Payroll


   Gaming Licenses


   E-commerce & e-pay


   Trademarks & IP


   Tax Planning


   VAT & EU eCommerce


   Yachts & Aircraft








Contact us



Our reach  Jurisdictions . Cyprus


Geography . Economy . Politics . History . Demographics


The third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia), Cyprus is geographically situated in the eastern Mediterranean and just south of the Anatolian peninsula (or Asia Minor) of the Asian mainland; thus, it is commonly included in the Middle East (see also Western Asia and Near East). Turkey is 75 kilometres (47 miles) north; other neighbouring countries include Syria and Lebanon to the east, Israel to the southeast, Egypt to the south, and Greece to the west-north-west.

Historically, politically and culturally, however, it is closely aligned with Europe – the Greek Cypriots in the internationally recognised Government controlled area with Greece and the Turkish Cypriots in the occupied North with Turkey. Historically, Cyprus has been at the crossroads between Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa, with lengthy periods of mainly Greek and intermittent Anatolian, Levantine, and British influences. Thus, it is generally considered a transcontinental island.

The central plain (Mesaoria) with the Kyrenia and Pentadactylos mountains to the north and the Troodos mountain range to the south and west. There are also scattered, but significant, plains along the southern coast.

The climate is temperate and Mediterranean with dry summers and variably rainy winters. Summer temperatures range from warm at higher elevations in the Troodos mountains to hot in the lowlands. Winter temperatures are mild at lower elevations, where snow rarely occurs, but are significantly colder in the Troodos mountains, where there is sufficient snow for a seasonal ski facility.


Economic affairs in Cyprus are dominated by the division of the country.

The Cypriot economy is prosperous and has diversified in recent years. Cyprus has been sought as a basis for several offshore businesses, due to its highly developed infrastructure. Economic policy of the Cyprus government has focused on meeting the criteria for admission to the European Union.

Recently, oil has been discovered in the sea south of Cyprus (between Cyprus and Egypt) and talks are under way with Egypt to reach an agreement as to the exploitation of these resources. The level of the oil field in terms of production (barrels per day) that the two countries will be able to produce is still a matter of speculation.

The economy of the Turkish Cypriot North is dominated by the services sector including the public sector, trade, tourism and education, with smaller agriculture and light manufacturing sectors. The economy operates on a free-market basis, although it continues to be handicapped by the political isolation of Turkish Cypriots, the lack of private and governmental investment, high freight costs, and shortages of skilled labor. Despite these constraints, the Turkish Cypriot economy turned in an impressive performance in 2003 and 2004, with growth rates of 9.6% and 11.4%. Over the same period, per capita income almost doubled. This growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish Lira and by a boom in the education and construction sectors. The most vital reason for the sudden increase of the per capita income of the Turkish Cypriot economy was the conditional “opening” of the borders. This event gave the Greek Cypriots the chance to visit the northern part of Cyprus and see their homes and properties that they were forced to abandon 33 years ago. By visiting the “other” part the people were forced to pay entrance fees and car insurance, which contributed to a great degree in the improvement of the economy. The northern part of the island has also been undeveloped and as a result most goods and services remained relatively cheap. This was appealing to the Greek Cypriots that spend a lot of money buying products from the Northern part contributing greatly to the amazing increase of the per capita income by spending millions of pounds only in the first year.

Eventual adoption of the euro currency is required of all new countries joining the European Union, and the Cyprus government currently intends to adopt the currency on 1 January 2008.

The largest bank on the island is the Bank of Cyprus.


After independence Cyprus became a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement despite all three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) being North Atlantic Treaty Organization members. Cyprus left the Non-Aligned Movement in 2004 to join the European Union, though it retains special observer status.

The 1960 Cypriot Constitution provided for a presidential system of government with independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches, as well as a complex system of checks and balances, including a weighted power-sharing ratio designed to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. The executive, for example, was headed by a Greek Cypriot president, Archbishop Makarios III, and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, Dr Fazıl Küçük, elected by their respective communities for 5-year terms and each possessing a right of veto over certain types of legislation and executive decisions. This system was destined to fail as the power of veto meant that whether democratically desired certain legislation could not be passed. This of course also meant that a Turkish Cypriot could never be president and the government would, therefore, be Greek Cypriot dominant meaning that all laws passed would be in favor of the Greek Cypriots. To prevent Dr Fazıl Küçük from becoming provisional president Archbishop Makarios III never left the island.

The House of Representatives was elected on the basis of separate voters' rolls. Since 1964, following clashes between the two communities, the Turkish Cypriot seats in the House remained vacant, while the Greek Cypriot Communal Chamber was abolished. The responsibilities of the chamber were transferred to the newfounded Ministry of Education.

By 1967, when a military junta had seized power in Greece, the political impetus for enosis had faded, partly as a result of the non-aligned foreign policy of Cypriot President Makarios. Enosis remained an ideological goal, despite being pushed significantly further down the political agenda. Dissatisfaction in Greece with Makarios's perceived failure to deliver on earlier promises of enosis convinced the Greek colonels to sponsor the 1974 coup in Nicosia.

Turkey responded by launching a military operation on Cyprus, using as a pretext the protection of the Turkish minority from Greek militias. The invasion is called "Cyprus Peace Operation" by the Turkish side. Turkish forces captured the northern part of the island. Many thousands of others, from both sides, left the island entirely. In addition to many of the Greek Cypriot refugees (a third of the population), many Turkish Cypriots (on whose pretext Turkey invaded) also moved to the UK and other countries where for the past 30 years they have lived as neighbours with the Greek Cypriots. In the meantime Turkey illegally imported Turkish colonists to populate the occupied territories, thereby altering the ethnic make up of the occupied north. Under the Geneva Conventions of 1949, it is a war crime to transfer, directly or indirectly, the civilian population of a country power onto land under that country's military occupation.

Subsequently, the Turkish Cypriots established their own separatist institutions with a popularly elected de facto President and a Prime Minister responsible to the National Assembly exercising joint executive powers. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriots declared an independent state called the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), an action opposed by the United Nations Security Council. In 1985, the TRNC adopted a constitution and held its first elections.


Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Cyprus was annexed by Britain in 1925 and made a crown colony. Between 1955-59 EOKA was created by Greek Cypriots and led by George Grivas to perform enosis (union of the island with Greece). However the EOKA campaign did not result union with Greece but rather an independent republic, The Republic of Cyprus, in 1960.

In 1960 Turkish Cypriots were only the 18% of the Cypriot population. However, the 1960 constitution carried important safeguards for the participation of Turkish Cypriots to the state affairs, like vice-president being Turkish Cypriot, 30% of parliament being Turkish Cypriot, etc. Archbishop Makarios would be the President and Dr Fazil Kucuk would become Vice President. One of the articles in the constitution was the creation of separate local municipalities so that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could manage their own municipalities in the big towns. This article of the constitution has never been implemented by the Republic and president Archbishop Makarios. In response to the Greek-backed coup Turkey invaded the island in 1974 and seized the northern third of the island, Turkish Cypriots in the south would travel north and Greek Cypriots in the north would move south. The de facto state of Northern Cyprus was proclaimed in 1975 under the name "Turkish Federated State of Northern Cyprus". The name was changed to its present form on 15 November 1983. The only country to formally recognise The "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is Turkey. Turkey repeatedly violates numerous UN Resolutions "[1]" and refers to the Republic of Cyprus as the "Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus" and refuse formal recognition against the international and European law.


Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain separate ethnic identities based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective motherlands. Greeks comprise 77% of the island's population, Turks 18%, while the remaining 5% are of other ethnicities.

After the Turkish invasion of 1974, about 150,000 Turks from Anatolia were transferred or decided to settle in the north. This has changed the actual demographic structure of the island. Northern Cyprus now claims 265,100 inhabitants [9].

In the years since the census data was gathered in 2000, Cyprus has also seen a large influx of guest workers from countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as major increases in the numbers of permanent British residents. The island is also home to a significant Armenian minority, as well as a large refugee population consisting of people mainly from Serbia, Palestine and Lebanon.

Since the country joined the European Union, a significant Polish population has also grown up, joining sizeable communities from Russia and Ukraine (mostly Pontic Greeks, immigrating after the fall of the Eastern Bloc), Bulgaria, Romania and Eastern European states.

Most Greek Cypriots, and thus the majority of the population of Cyprus, belong to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Cyprus (Cypriot Orthodox Church), whereas most Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslims. Church attendance is relatively high and Cyprus is known, along with Malta and Greece, as one of the most religious countries in the European Union. In addition, there are also small Roman Catholic, Maronite and Armenian Apostolic communities in Cyprus.

Greek is the predominant language in the south, while Turkish is spoken in the north and by some Greek Cypriots, too. This delineation is only reflective of the post-1974 division of the island, which involved an expulsion of Greek Cypriots from the north and the analoguous move of Turkish Cypriots from the south. Historically, the Greek language was largely spoken by all Greek Cypriots and by many Turkish Cypriots too, given the fact that the Greek Cypriots formed the majority of the population. Turkish Cypriots use Turkish as VO language and as a rather distinctive dialect of Turkish.

English is widely understood, and is taught in schools from the primary age. Many official documents are published in English as well as the official languages of Greek and Turkish.

[Source: Wikipedia - Cyprus]





Contact us  |  Sitemap  |  Links  |  Top




offshore company formation | eu companies | offshore residence | offshore companies incorporations

offshore trusts | offshore bank accounts | Offshore e-commerce

Malta | Cyprus

gambling licenses | malta gaming licenses | isle of man gaming licences