Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in the 2nd millennium BC. Today Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. Europe represents the lion’s share of tourist arrivals. Over 80% of visitors come from Northern, Western and Eastern Europe, while British tourists remain the most traditional. Several factors contribute to this, including widely spoken English as well as the traditional links from British colonialism and the presence of British military bases at Akrotiri and Dhekelia.
The Cyprus Republic has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, and comprising about 59% of the island’s area; and the north, administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island’s area. Another nearly 4% of the island’s area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces.