Surrounded by Greece, Egypt, Turkey and Israel, The Republic of Cyprus is an island country located about 2000 miles northeast of Africa in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Although northern Cyprus is under Turkish control and calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Turkey is the only country that recognizes this entity. The international populace considers northern Cyprus an area that is simply occupied by forces working for the Turkish government and is actually a part of the Republic of Cyprus.
In 2004, Cyprus joined the European Union and later joined the Eurozone in 2008. It is one of the most popular destination spots in the Mediterranean due to its mild winters and subtropical climate and enjoys a high-income economy that consistently scores in the top 20 on the Human Development Index.
Useful Information about Cyprus
• The CIA World Factbook states that 77 percent of Cyprus residents are Greek Cypriots, with 18 percent of them designated at Turkish Cypriots. Over 10,000 Russians currently live in Cyprus as well.
• Greek Cypriots belong to the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus while Turkish Cypriots adhere to the Sunni Islam religion.
• Turkish and Greek are Cyprus' two official languages. Cypriot Maronite Arabic and Armenian are considered minority languages. However, English is spoken by many Cypriots and most public notices, road signs and advertisements are in English.
• Approximately 7% of the GDP is used to fund educational ventures, making Cyprus one of the EU's top spenders on primary and higher education (along with Sweden and Denmark).
• A member of the EU, Cyprus uses the euro as currency. However, the Turkish lira is used in the northern part of Cyprus, along with the euro.
• The capital and largest city in Cyprus is Nicosia. It is also considered the 5th richest city in the world. in terms of per capita income.
Legal System in Cyprus
Under British rule until 1960, Cyprus employs a legal system similar to the English system of law. Cyprus currently has a Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, Principles of Common Law and Equity and Laws enacted by members of their House of Representatives. After Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, its Constitution was amended to allow European legislature to supercede their national legislation.
The three branches of Cyprus law are the Common Law, Principles of Equity and Statute Law, which comprises the bulk of Cyprus legal system. District courts are divided into Civil, Family, Labor Law, Criminal and Military courts. All lawyers qualified to work in Cyprus have the right to appear in any District Court. However, a Cyprus lawyer must have five or more years experience practicing as a district court lawyer before they can be heard by the Supreme Court.