Cyprus is an island nation located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. With a population of over 1.2 million people, it is one of the smallest countries in the region. The Republic of Cyprus is a unitary presidential republic and its military consists of two branches: the National Guard and the Cypriot National Police Force. The National Guard is responsible for defending the country’s borders and sovereignty, as well as providing security to its citizens. In terms of defense spending, Cyprus spends approximately $500 million annually on its military, making it one of the highest defense spending nations in Europe. The country also participates in several NATO-led peacekeeping missions such as those in Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cyprus is also a member of both the European Union (EU) and Commonwealth of Nations (CoN), and has close ties with other EU members such as Greece and Turkey. See naturegnosis to learn more about the country of Cyprus.
The defense, which is based on general military duty with an initial service of 26 months, comprises (2007) 10,000 men and is organized in an army with two light divisions and 150 tanks, a marine division with 17 light combat vessels and an air division with 16 armed helicopters.. The reserves amount to about 60,000 people. Semi-military security forces amount to 750 men. The material is semi-modern and of mainly Western origin. Defense costs increased in 1985-96 from 3.6% to 5.2% of GDP, having fallen to 1.1% in 2006. In the northern part of the island there is an army force of 5,000 men that is not controlled by the state of Cyprus. The majority of conscripts (24 months of initial service) are organized in seven battalions and with 25,000 men in reserve. UN peacekeeping units in Cyprus (UNFICYP) have been reduced; there are still a few observers and crews from Argentina, Hungary, Slovakia and the UK. In addition, Britain has national combat forces in the form of an air defense unit, as well as Greece with an army force of three combat battalions, etc. Turkey has 36,000 men, two infantry divisions, etc., stationed in northern Cyprus. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that CYP stands for Cyprus.
Nicosia, gr. Lefkosia, Turk. Lefkosa, the capital of Cyprus and the archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Cypriot Church; 239,300 in the Greek part of the city (2011) and 61,400 in the Turkish. Nicosia is centrally located on the island by the river Pedeios in the middle of the Mesaoria plain. The city was divided in 1964 after clashes between the Greek and Turkish people, and a contingent of UN soldiers, including Danish, was deployed to maintain peace in the city. Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, the northern, oriental embassy has been located in Turkish-occupied territory, separated from the Greek by a UN-monitored no-man’s land. In 2003, border crossings were opened in Nicosia.
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Nicosia’s divided old town is surrounded by a city wall erected by the Venetians. The city’s most impressive building is the 1200-century Agia Sofia Cathedral, which was converted by the Ottomans into Cyprus’s largest mosque in 1571 and is now located in the Turkish district.
The city’s business community includes characterized by light industry aimed at the local market: textiles, footwear, juice and a Carlsberg brewery. Southern Nicosia is far more prosperous than the northern one and is more western-style in style and supply.
Nicosia, which in ancient times was called Ledra, belonged to the Byzantine Empire until 1191 and then the Lusignan kings until 1489, when the city came under Venice. From this period came the Venetian wall with 11 bastions and three gates, which were not strong enough to withstand the Ottoman invasion in 1570. Nicosia was under British rule 1878-1960.