Cyprus is a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. Located east of Greece and south of Turkey it is only smaller than Sicily and Sardinia, making it the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus contains central plains as well as southern coastal plains. It also has mountains to the north and south. Cypriots suffer from hot, dry summers and it has cool, mild winters. The island itself is about 9,251 square km, this makes it about 0.6 of the State of Connecticut. Cyprus has a population of 1,120,489 with 97.6% of those people being literate. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia which has a population of around 240,000 people. It is made up of 77% Greek, 18% Turkish, and 5% other ("CIA - The World Factbook").
The country of Cyprus started out as a British colony in 1878 but gained its independence August 16, 1960 and they celebrate Independence Day on October 1st. The new independent country is known locally as Kypriaki Dimokratia or Kibris Cumhuriyeti meaning The Republic of Cyprus. Shortly after becoming its own country true Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots began to fight over country tensions and separation of the two ethnic groups. This quarrel was continuous and Turkey invaded in 1974. While the Turkish invaded, most of them Muslims, they persecuted Christians and killed many people. Later the Turkish retreated knowing that if they continued to invade other European nations would come to the aid of Cyprus and defeat Turkey as a whole ("CIA - The World Factbook").
Cyprus is under a Republic government and the Greek Cypriots head the only government that is internationally recognized. The flag for The Republic of Cyprus has a copper image of the island with two green olive branches crossing under it. The government has an English civil and common law as its legal system as well as religious influence from the Greek Orthodox Church. The northern portion of Cyprus, which is run by Turkish Cypriots, does not exactly follow laws under The Republic of Cyprus. They have formed their own constitution and call themselves the “Turkish Confederation of Northern Cyprus.” This sector of the island is only recognized as an independent nation by Turkey. Since the governments are separate they each have their own militias. They are the Greek Cypriot National Guard and the Turkish Cypriot Security Force ("CIA - The World Factbook").
The division between north and south in Cyprus alters the religious life in many ways. For example, the population is 78% Greek Orthodox and 18% Islamic. It may seem that the uneven percentages of religious denomination show a strong push towards the Orthodox Church which makes sense due to the vast number of Orthodox Churches and other sacred buildings. The ways of worshipping differ between urban and rural Cypriots. In rural areas there is a higher attendance in church, the majority of which are women and elderly who attend mass for the whole family. These church celebrations are very...