The Cyprus Portal

Cyprus (/ˈsprəs/ (About this soundlisten)), officially called the Republic of Cyprus, is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and is located south of Turkey; west of Syria; northwest of Lebanon, Israel and Palestine; north of Egypt; and southeast of Greece. Nicosia is the country's capital and largest city.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914).

Cyprus was placed under the UK's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by the UK in 1914. The future of the island became a matter of disagreement between the two prominent ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots, who made up 77% of the population in 1960, and Turkish Cypriots, who made up 18% of the population. From the 19th century onwards, the Greek Cypriot population pursued enosis, union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. The Turkish Cypriot population initially advocated the continuation of the British rule, then demanded the annexation of the island to Turkey, and in the 1950s, together with Turkey, established a policy of taksim, the partition of Cyprus and the creation of a Turkish polity in the north. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. The crisis of 1963–64 brought further intercommunal violence between the two communities, displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognising the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. (Full article...)

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Aphrodite gas field is an offshore gas field off the southern coast of Cyprus located at the exploratory drilling block 12 in the country's maritime Exclusive Economic Zone. and bordering the Yishai gas field, located in Israeli territorial waters. Located 34 kilometres (21 mi) west of Israel's Leviathan gas field, block 12 is believed to hold 3.6 to 6 trillion cubic feet (100×10^9 to 170×10^9 m3) of natural gas. In 2014, the reserve estimate for the quantity of natural gas held by Aphrodite was raised by 12% due to new data received from the Yishai prospect as reported by Delek Drilling to the Israel Securities Authority. The cost of the field's development was estimated to range from $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion.

Noble Energy received the concession to explore block 12 in October 2008. In August 2011, Noble entered into a production-sharing agreement with the Cypriot government regarding the block's commercial development. Sources in Cyprus indicated in mid-September that Noble had commenced exploratory drilling of the block. The drilling, which took 116 days to complete, resulted in the finding of gas in high-quality Miocene sand intervals at the Aphrodite field. (Full article...)

Cyprus news

25 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus
Cyprus announces that it will allow high schools, gyms, and indoor sports facilities such as swimming pools to reopen on March 1 as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decrease. (France 24)
14 February 2021 – Cyprus-Israel relations, COVID-19 pandemic in Cyprus, COVID-19 pandemic in Israel
Cypriot PresidentNicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announce an agreement to allow vaccinated travelers to travel between the countries without the need to quarantine in order to restore their countries' tourism industries. (ABC News)
13 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Cyprus
Northern Cyprus extends their full-scale curfew until February 22 in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Anadolu Agency)
8 February 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Northern Cyprus, Variant of Concern 202012/01

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