Cyprus: Political System
The Republic of Cyprus is a parliamentary democracy. Executive power lies
with the President, who is both head of state and head of government and is
elected by direct election for a five-year term. The parliament is a unicameral
system (House of Representatives) with 80 seats, of which (in proportion to the
population) 56 for Greek and 24 for Turkish Cypriots (the latter are currently
not occupied). The party system is shaped by five major parties: The Building
Party of the Working People (AKEL; Socialists), Democratic Party (DIKO;
Conservatives), Democratic Collection (DISY; Right-Wing Conservatives), Social
Democratic Movement (KYSOS; Social Democrats) United Democrats (EDI; Liberals
). There are also several smaller parties.
According to Digopaul.com,
the official name of the country is:
The national anthem of the Republic of Cyprus is identical to that of
Greece. It is based on a poem written by Dionysios Solomós in
1823, set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros in 1828 and is
considered the longest national anthem in the world (153 verses, of which only
the first is sung on official occasions) became the official anthem of Cyprus in
1960. In the English translation the title is "Ode to Freedom".
The national flag (national flag) of Cyprus was introduced after independence
from Great Britain (UK) in 1960.
Based on flag descriptions by
Countryaah.com, the copper-colored silhouette of the island (Cyprus = copper) is on a white
background. The two green crossed olive branches symbolize the hope for peace
between the Greek and Turkish parts of the island.
The Turkish occupied north of Cyprus
This part of the island covers about 3,355 km² of the island area, with
currently about 200,000 residents. This number also includes an estimated
70,000 mainland Turks and Kurds who were settled in Cyprus after the 1974
invasion, as well as approximately 40,000 soldiers from Turkey. The capital
is Nicosia. Since the unilateral declaration of independence on November 15,
1983, the occupied north has been called the "Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus" (Kuzey Kibris Türk Cumhuriyeti). At the head of the presidential
republic is a president who is elected directly by the people every five
years. The parliament has 50 seats.
A passport or identity card that is valid for at least three months is
sufficient to enter this part of Cyprus. (max. stay: three months). A visa is
issued free of charge upon entry. The currency is the Turkish Lira. Regardless
of the point of entry, EU citizens can move freely around the island, but must
use certain border crossings.
Cyprus: Known People
Aphrodite is the goddess of love in the Greek legend. According to legend, she
was born from the foam of the sea near Petra tou Romiou near Paphos.
Nikos Anastasiadis (born 1946)
Nikos Anastasiadis was born on September 27, 1946 in Pera Pedi in the Limassol
The Greek Cypriot politician became chairman of the Christian
Democratic-Conservative Party Dimokratikos Synagermos (DISY) in 1997 and
President of the Republic of Cyprus on February 28, 2013.
Dimitris Christofias (born 1946)
Dimitris Christofias was born on August 29, 1946 in Kato Dikomo. He was
President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2008 to February 27, 2013.
And from 1989 to 2009 he was general secretary of the former Marxist-Leninist
and now Eurocommunist Progress Party of the Working People (AKEL).
Rauf Denktaş (1924-2012)
Rauf Raif Denktaş (Denktasch) was born on January 27, 1924 in Paphos **. He was
Vice President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1973 to 1974, but after the
partition of the island in 1974 he proclaimed the Turkish Federal State of
Cyprus in 1975, of which he was President until 1983.
In that year he declared the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus and was its president from 1983 to 2005.
He died on January 13, 2012 in Lefkoşa in the Turkish Republic of Northern
** Paphos is a port city in the southwest of the Republic of Cyprus. In 2017 it
is - together with the Danish city of Aarhus - European Capital of Culture.
Glafkos Clerides (1919-2013)
Glafkos Klerides was born in Nicosia on April 24, 1919.
During the Second World War he had served in the Royal Air Force and was shot
down by Germans in 1942 and was then taken into captivity, which lasted until
the end of the war.
In 1960 he became the first Speaker of Parliament of the Republic of Cyprus
after independence from Great Britain (UK). In 1974 he became head of state for
the first time during the Turkish military offensive.
In 1976 he founded the Overall Democratic Movement (DISY), the ruling party in
the Republic of Cyprus.
From 1993 to 2003 he was the fourth President of the Republic of Cyprus.
He died on November 15, 2013 in Nicosia, the city of his birth.
Spýros Kyprianoú (1932-2002)
Spýros Kyprianoú was born in Limassol on October 28, 1932.
His mentor Archbishop Makarios made him Defense Minister of the country in 1950
and from August 1960 to June 1972 he was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus.
Thereafter he was President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1977 to 1988.
The largest sports arena in Cyprus, the Spyros Kyprianou Athletic Center, was
named in his honor.
He died on March 12, 2002 in Nicosia.
Makarios III. (1913-1977)
Makarios III. was born Michalis Mouskos and was an Orthodox Archbishop and the
first President of the independent Republic of Cyprus.
He ruled Cyprus from 1960 to 1977. Makarios was a legend even during his
lifetime, and his photo is still hanging on the walls of many Cypriot families'
Tassos Papadopoulos (1934-2008)
Tassos Papadopoulos was born on January 7, 1934 in Nicosia. From March 1, 2003
to February 28, 2008 he held the office of President of the Republic of Cyprus.
He has been politically active since the mid-1960s and was one of the
signatories to the Cyprus Constitution. From 1960 to 1970 he held various
In 2000 he became chairman of the Civic Democratic Party of Cyprus. On March 1,
2003 he succeeded Glafkos Klerides in the office of President and held the
office until 2008.
He died on December 12, 2008 in his native Nicosia of the consequences of his
lung cancer and on December 15, 2008 in Agia -Sophia Church in Nicosia.
Absurdly, early in the morning on December 11, 2009, his tomb was opened and his
body was stolen.
After a tip, she was found on March 8, 2010 in another grave in Nicosia and
Nikos Sampson (1935-2001)
Nikos Sampson (actually: Nikolaos Georgiades) was born on December 16, 1935 in
The politician had represented extreme Greek nationalist positions and was
President of the Republic of Cyprus for a few days from July 15 to 23, 1974 in
the course of the attempted coup that sparked the Cyprus conflict.
Following the events of the fall of the military junta in Greece, he was
arrested in 1976 and sentenced to twenty years' imprisonment for harming the
national interests of Cyprus. But because of his cancer he was able to leave
prison after about three years but had to go into exile.
After lengthy hospital stays abroad, he was allowed to return to Cyprus in 1990
and died there on May 9, 2001 in Nicosia.
Mehmet Ali Talât (born 1952)
Mehmet Ali Talât was born on July 6, 1952 in Girne (Kyrenia) in what is now the
Turkish part of the island. He was Prime Minister of the Turkish Republican
Party (CTP) from January 2004 to April 2005 and then President of the Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus from 2005 to 2010.
In the 2010 presidential election, however, he was defeated Derviş Eroğlu.
Georges Vassiliou (born 1931)
Georges Vassiliou was born in Nicosia on May 20, 1931.
He was President of the Republic of Cyprus from 1988 to 1993.
He then founded the liberal Enomeni Dimokrates (United Democrats) party in 1993,
which he chaired until 2005.
He is married to the former EU Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, with whom he
has three children.
Artists, athletes and others
Michael Cacoyannis (1922-2011)
Michael Cacoyannis was born on June 11, 1922 in Limassol. was a Cypriot-Greek
film director, screenwriter and producer.
He first studied law in Athens and London and then worked for a while as a
lawyer. After the war he started working as an actor and director at the Old Vic
Theater in London.
He achieved worldwide fame and recognition in 1964 with the film adaptation of
the novel Alexis Sorbas by Nikos Kazantzakis. The main role was played by
Anthony Quinn. With the music of Mikis Theodorakis, the sirtaki was also created
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and then won awards in three
Michael Cacoyannis died on July 25, 2011 in Athens.
İsmet Vehit Güney (1932-2009)
İsmet Vehit Güney was born in Limassol in 1932. He was a Turkish Cypriot artist
He is particularly known to this day for his design of the coat of arms of the
Republic of Cyprus and the modern flag of the Republic of Cyprus.
This made the Republic of Cyprus the first country in the world to have its map
displayed on the state flag.
He died on June 23, 2009 in the Turkish part of Nicosia.
Dakis Joannou (born 1939)
Dakis Joannou was born in Nicosia in 1939. He is a Cypriot industrialist and
entrepreneur, but mainly lives in Athens.
He was best known as an art collector, one of the most important collections of
contemporary art worldwide.
He is one of the most important patrons of the works of the American artist Jeff
Koons (born 1955)
Joannou is President of the International Council of Directors of the Solomon R.
Guggenheim Foundation, member of the asset management team of the New Museum of
Contemporary Art in New York
and member of the International Council of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los
Angeles and the Tate Gallery.
Nazım Kıbrısi (1922-2014)
Nazım Kıbrısi (Mehmet Nâzım Adil) was born on April 21, 1922 in Larnaka. He
worked as a Cyprus-Turkish Sufi teacher of the Naqschbandi tradition in Cyprus
and in London.
He died on May 7, 2014 in North Nicosia in the Turkish Republic of Northern
Christopher Pissarides (born 1948)
Christopher Antoniou Pissarides was born on February 20, 1948 in Nicosia. He is
an economist and was Professor of Economics and Politics at the prestigious
London School of Economics. In 2010 he received the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Pissaride's scientific work concerned the interaction between the labor market
and macroeconomics, in particular on unemployment, labor market policy, growth
and structural change.
George Michael (born 1963)
George Michael (real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou;) is a pop singer and has
a Greek-Cypriot father.
He was initially with the group WHAM! known and began a solo career in the late
80s. Various No. 1 hits followed, and in 1988 he received a Grammy Award.
St. Barnabas (1st century AD)
St. Barnabas was born to Jewish parents in Cyprus, he was a cousin of the
evangelist Mark, converted to Christianity and is said to have accompanied the
apostle Paul on the first missionary trip.
Barnabas was stoned and buried in Salamis near Famagusta.
Cat Stevens (born 1948)
Cat Stevens (real name Stavros Demitrios Georgiou, now known as Yousuf Islam) is
a very popular former pop singer. He has a Greek Cypriot father.
He sold more than 40 million records and gave one of his songs the title
In 2004 he received the "Man for Peace Award" in Rome for his work for peace, a
prize that is awarded annually at a meeting of Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Chrystalleni Trikomiti (born 1993)
Chrystalleni Trikomiti was born on November 30, 1993 in Larnaka. She is a
rhythmic gymnast who started doing rhythmic gymnastics at the age of three with
her sister Loukia, who was two years older.
Her first international experience was at the Mediterranean Games in 2009 when
she reached ninth place.
A year later she competed at the Kalamata Cup in Greece and made it to the
finals in three of five disciplines. In the same year she even won five medals
at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
She received a great honor when she was voted Sportswoman of the Year in Cyprus
in 2011. At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, however, it was only enough for a
Anna Vissi (born 1957)
Anna Vissi is one of the most successful Greek-speaking singers of the past two
One of her most important international appearances was at the closing event of
the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Neşe Yaşın (born 1959)
Neşe Yaşın was born in Nicosia on February 12, 1959. She is a Turkish Cypriot
poet and writer.
She has lived and worked in South Nicosia since the mid-1980s. She has been an
active peace activist and member of the Cyprus Conflict Resolution Trainers
Group since her youth.
Almost all of her works are in Turkish, with a number of her works having been
translated into Greek and English.
Yaşın often publishes treatises on peace and the reunification of Cyprus. Zenon (336-264
BC) Zenon was born in Kition (today Kiti) and was the founder of the philosophy
school of the Stoa (Stoics).
His doctrine had spread in the Hellenistic world and reached the Roman
Empire, where it found many followers, including Emperor Marcus Aurelius
Today around 26 species of amphibians and reptiles, 357 different bird
species and around 195 fish species live on and around Cyprus - in addition to a
number of mammals. We have presented a number of them here.
The Caucasian Squirrel (Sciurus anomalus) reaches a head-trunk length of 19 to
25 cm. Their weight varies between 210 and 350 g depending on gender.
They have a tail with a length of 15 cm. Their fur is gray-brown to red-brown in
color, sometimes also yellowish. It is significantly lighter and mostly
yellowish to ocher in color. The animals live in forests with oak, beech,
hazelnut and walnut trees. The animals can also be found in Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Georgia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey
The mouse weasel (Mustela nivalis) is a predator in the genus Mustela, in the
subfamily Mustelinae in the family of the marten (Mustelidae). A detailed
description of the mouse weasel can be found here >>>
rabbits Wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are the only
species in the genus Oryctolagus in the rabbit family (Leporidae). The animals
reach a head-trunk length between 35 and 45 cm with a weight between 1.3 and 2.5
Their fur is gray-brown fur, which is colored brown to rusty red in the neck
area. In contrast to the brown hare, the animals have short ears with 6 to 8
cm. They are pure herbivores and feed mainly on grasses, herbs and leaves, but
occasionally they also eat bark and twigs
Cyprus has some populations of introduced fallow deer (Dama dama).
A detailed description of these deer can be found here >>>
The long-eared hedgehog (Hemiechinus auritus) is one of the smallest hedgehogs
in the Middle East.
Except for its size and ears, it differs little from the brown-breasted
The Egyptian bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) belongs to the fruit bat family
The animals feed on fruits. They have a wingspan of up to 60 cm and a weight of
80 to 150 g. The body length of the males is between 14 and 19 cm, while the
females are between 12 and 17 cm tall. The color of the back varies from dark
brown to grayish. The fur on the belly is ash gray and therefore a little
Red foxes Red
foxes (Vulpes vulpes) can also be found in Cyprus.
A detailed description of the red fox can be found here >>>
There are some wildcats (Felis silvestris) living in the island's forests.
You can find a detailed description of the wild cats here >>>
mouflons The Cyprus mouflons (Ovis gmelini ophion) are one of the subspecies of
the mouflons (wild sheep).
The animals live in the Páfosforst and are under nature protection. It is
believed that they came to Cyprus as pets as early as the Neolithic settlers and
later feral. Because of its tasty meat, the mouflon has always been a popular
hunting object - with the result that during the British rule only 20 animals
were left. Nowadays there are again over 1,000 animals on the island.
The male mouflon - the ram - has long, spiral-shaped and inwardly twisted horns,
the so-called snails and a black-brown, dense fur. The females have short horns
and are gray or dark brown in color. The mouflon feed consists of plants, herbs,
mushrooms, grasses and young shoots of trees and bushes.
Those who hunt a mouflon not only face a heavy fine, but also face imprisonment!
Cypriot spiny mouse
The Cypriot spiny mouse (Acomys nesiotes) has a head body length between 7 and
17 cm and a 6 to 12 cm long tail. On their back they are yellowish, brown or
gray in color and have coarse bristle hairs - the spines. They have noticeably
large and erect, funnel-shaped ears and an elongated face that tapers towards
the nose. The animals are endemic, so they only occur in Cyprus.
The Cyprus mouse (Mus cypriacus) was only discovered in 2004, a type of mouse
that has lived in Cyprus for a long time. It has a larger head, ears, eyes, and
teeth than any other known species of mouse
The local six different bat species are also worth mentioning.
Savigny's tree frog
The Savigny's tree frog (Hyla Savignyi), also known as lemon-yellow tree frog,
belongs to the amphibian group and prefers not too dense bushland, subtropical
or tropical dry bushland, Mediterranean shrubby vegetation, grassland,
subtropical or tropical dry flat land, rivers or freshwater lakes.
Besides Cyprus, the animals are also found in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt,
Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and
The green toad (Bufo viridis) belongs to the amphibians and - depending on
gender - reaches a size of 8 to 10 cm. Both sexes have numerous large green
island-like spots, which are missing on the belly. There are mostly reddish
warts on the sides of the females. Their name comes from the fact that they can
adapt their color to their surroundings lighter or darker
Cyprus water frog
The Cyprus water frog (Pelophylax cypriensis) belongs to the amphibians in the
family Ranidae. The animals are endemic to Cyprus, so they only occur here.
The following (Eid) lizard species or subspecies are found in Cyprus:
• European chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon recticrista)
• Aegean bare
finger (Mediodactylus kotschyi fitzingeri) • European half- fingered
gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus turcicus
• European snakes (Oaugantheeopschylenfingereide) (Oaugantheeops) schlueteri)
• Syrian lizard (Phoenicolacerta troodica)
• Locust lizard (Ablepharus budaki budaki)
• Spotted roller skink (Chalcides ocellatus ocellatus)
• Spotted skink (Eumeces schneideri schneideri)
• Striped skink (Trachylepis vittata)
Of the 58 lizard species from the genus Agamo, the Hardun (Agama stelio, also:
with a length of up to 38 cm, is the largest. When viewed up close, the animal's
head looks like a dinosaur.
The Greek Cypriots call it nosebiters and the Armenian Cypriots feared the
because it was considered a danger to their penis.
The Levant Otter (Macroektivena lebetina) is the only dangerous venomous snake
found in Cyprus. Your bite can have serious consequences. You can find a
detailed description of the Levant Otters here >>>
More snakes that are not poisonous or very little poisonous
The lizard snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) only has poison teeth in the back of
its snout, so it cannot normally transfer the poison to humans. In the case of
its prey, it transfers its poison with the help of a so-called clinging bite, in
which it literally chews its poison into the prey. In the extremely rare human
bite victims, paralysis and breathing problems were observed.
In addition to Cyprus, these snakes can also be found in Spain - including
Ibiza, Portugal, Gibraltar, southwest France, northwest Italy - including
Lampedusa, on the coasts and on some islands of Croatia, in Slovenia,
Herzegovina, Monte Negro, North Macedonia, in Greece - including Corfu, Lesbos,
Samos, Chios, Samothraki. Furthermore in Bulgaria, Lebanon, in the south of
Russia, in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, in the west of Iran, in Iraq, in the
west of Arabia, in Turkey, in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Israel,
Jordan as well in northern Sudan.
A detailed description of the lizard snake can be found here >>>
European cat snake
The European cat snake (Telescopus fallax) is divided into 10 subspecies, with
the Cyprus cat snake (Telescopus fallax cypriacus) being a subspecies that is
only found on Cyprus. The snake reaches a size between 60 to 80 cm. Their
coloring is gray, gray-brown or yellowish-brown with a back markings of dark
rectangular spots, between which there are lighter bars. The same applies to
this type of snake as to the lizard snake. She only has the fangs in the back of
her mouth. Thus, a bite with poison transmission to humans by a cat snake rarely
A detailed description of the European cat snake can be found here >>>
Headband dwarf snake
The headband dwarf snake (Eirenis modestus) only reaches a length between 50 to
60 cm. The color of their back is mostly light brown or gray-brown and the belly
is yellow or gray. The head, on the other hand, has a mostly black, very
conspicuous pattern, which, however, fades with age. In addition to Cyprus, the
snake is also found in Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. It is also found on some
Greek islands, such as Lesbos and Samos.
The coin snake (Hemorrhois nummifer) occurs all over the island and reaches a
length between 100 to 130 cm. It gets its name from the coin-like spots on its
gray or green-brown back. Apart from Cyprus, they can be found in southern
Turkey and on the Mediterranean coast of Asia and Egypt.
The arrow snake (Dolichophis jugularis) can be up to 2.50 m long. Their upper
side is usually black and more rarely gray, while the underside and throat are
colored a light to dark red. The snake is diurnal and hibernates in a protected
hiding place during the cooler months.
Besides Cyprus, it occurs in Turkey and in the Middle East, such as Iran, Iraq,
Syria and Jordan. The species in Cyprus is also called the black arrow snake.
The grass snake is also widespread in Germany. A detailed description of the
grass snake can be found here >>>
Worm snake The European worm snake (Xerotyphlops
vermicularis) - also known as dumb-eye - is a very small snake with a length
between 20 and 30 cm. It is reminiscent of a large earthworm. It lives mostly
underground and feeds mainly on ants. Apart from Cyprus, this snake can also be
found in Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece - including Corfu,
Lesbos, Chios, Limnos, Samos, Thassos - in Turkey, in the south of Russia
(Caucasus, Dagestan), in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, in the south of
Turkmenistan, in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan,
Egypt, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan.
The Cyprus snake (Dolichophis cypriensis) is found in forests, shrubby
Mediterranean vegetation, fresh water swamps and water storage areas. The snake
grows to over 2 m long and is quite aggressive. Up to the age of 4 to 5 years it
has a brick-like color with brown spots. Then it turns black. It is endemic, so
it only occurs in Cyprus.
The bird world is very species-rich, which is due to the numerous migratory
birds that come to the island every year. They are particularly common in the
forests of the Troodos mountain range. In addition to chaffinches and
crossbills, there are the Cypriot partridge, the nightingale and the silk
warbler. While lovebirds can be hunted, the collar francolin is under nature
protection. Other birds are chukar chickens, nightingales, silkworms, collared
francolin, jay cuckoo, eleanor's falcon, steppe harrier and pond water strider.
In the salt lake near Larnaka you can watch flamingos in winter. Scaled warblers
and Cyprus wheatear are endemic, i.e. only found here.
At the beginning of December you have the rare pleasure of observing flamingos
as guests. These form a family of their own and are
in Africa, Spain and southern Francespread. The up to 130 cm tall birds are
immediately recognizable by their long and thin neck, by their thin legs and by
their thick, downwardly curved pink beak with a black tip. This is used as a
sieve when searching for food. The menu includes worms, algae and, above all,
small crustaceans. They are also responsible for the pink plumage of the
flamingos. The red dye absorbed with the crabs is stored in the feathers. After
all, the more crabs the birds have eaten, the more pink they are. The famous
one-legged standing is used to store heat, as one leg is hidden in the warm
plumage and thus less heat loss occurs. This feat is not strenuous for the
flamingos (as well as for storks).
Other birds that can be found in Cyprus are cap and zip pods, blue alder,
shrike, wheatear as well as falcons, hooded crows and eagles. Eagles, falcons,
sparrowhawks and vultures can also be found in Cyprus. Rarely or not at all you
will see storks.
The sea turtles lay their eggs on the coasts of the Akamas and Karpas peninsulas
as well as of Varoscha near Famagusta. To protect the eggs, the Cypriot
government had issued a protection program, including the beaches for the
duration of the egg-laying. The following turtles are found in Cyprus:
Green turtle (Chelonia mydas) • Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) (Loggerhead
• Eastern Mediterranean brook turtle (Mauremys rivulata)
In addition to parrotfish and the yellowfin surgeon fish, sea bream, sea barb
and turbot live in the waters of Cyprus. On the seabed you can watch rays and
starfish while diving, further out on the sea there are also sharks.
However, squids have become quite rare here. However, numerous edible fish
are also very rare due to the severe overfishing of the waters around the island
and in large parts of the Mediterranean and have therefore usually become very
expensive in the restaurants.
In addition to the fish species common in the Mediterranean, the coastal
waters in the east of the island also have fish that came through the Suez Canal
from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, including flute fish (Fistulariidae) and
rabbit fish (Siganidae).
Cyprus is in the biodiversity hotspot of the Mediterranean region. Only about
18 to 19% of the island is covered by forest. The forest areas had decreased due
to clearing, grazing with goats and frequent forest fires. In addition, parts of
the forests used to be cleared for mining in order to obtain fuel for smelting
silver and copper. More wood was used for shipbuilding.
Larger forest areas can only be found in the Troodos Mountains - with pines,
which are closely related to the Aleppo pine, as well as cypresses, cedars and
pines. However, efforts are being made to expand the forest stock by replanting
- not least in the course of the fight against climate change. The planted trees
are increasingly hampered by a lack of water. Cyprus is nevertheless the most
densely forested island in the Mediterranean. Already in ancient times it was
particularly known for its good wine and high quality olive oil and its grain.
As mentioned, there are even larger contiguous forest areas, especially in
the Troodos Mountains. Here pines, which are closely related to the Aleppo pine,
as well as cypress and pine trees, as well as the endemic alder-leaved oaks and
Cyprus cedars grow. The black pine and the Phoenician juniper helped with the
reforestation. On the edges of the Troodos, the natural flora has largely been
replaced by apple, pear, peach, almond and nut trees as well as by
vineyards. The Calabrian pine is the most common forest tree on the island. In
addition, the island is characterized by cypresses, olive groves and carob
trees. The Troodos pine, which is up to 30 m high, is one of the endemic
trees. In the past it was used intensively in boat building and therefore
largely cut down. The last specimens are still growing in Cedar Valley.
Orange and grapefruit trees grow near Lemesos, aubergines, onions and
tomatoes are grown in the southeast of Cyprus, while figs and pomegranates
dominate the scene in the northwest. Bananas grow in the southwest of Cyprus.
In earlier times, the sap of the 1-3 m high mastic bush was formed into small
spheres, which have now been replaced by commercially available chewing gum. The
plant is still used today, however, and not only is schnapps distilled from the
juice, but the bark and leaves are also used as a tanning agent. Furthermore,
the mastic bush is said to be useful in the manufacture of glass and porcelain.
The tanner sumac from the sumac family, which grows on the Akamas peninsula, has
received numerous other names, such as sumac or dye tree, depending on its
use. The plant grows both as a shrub and as a tree and is found in Cyprus as
well as in Sicily and Turkey. Even in ancient times, the leaves were used to
tan leather and dye hair, and the bark was used to dye wool. Today the ground
stone fruits are very popular as a spice and are used together with the roots to
color them black.
The resin of the mastic bush is used exclusively in folk medicine in his home
countries as a medicinal product. It is said to help with stomach pain and
ulcers in the digestive tract, as well as with diarrhea and applied externally
also with gout and rheumatism. Its mode of action has not yet been proven.
The root of the white affodil, which grows on the peaks around Machairas, was
used in ancient times to protect against pregnancy, as it has a strong abortion
effect. Internally it was used for gastrointestinal complaints and cramps and
externally as a paste for swelling, infections and dermatitis. Affodil was also
placed on graves because it was also considered the food of the spirits of the
dead and was a symbol of life after death.
The flowers of the poppy are said to have a calming and analgesic effect, which
is why they are also used for dry coughs, asthma, insomnia and hoarseness.
The poppy from the poppy family is only slightly toxic. The latex, which is
contained in all parts of the plant except for the seeds, is said to
occasionally cause nausea and stomach pain, especially in children. The plant,
which can grow up to 90 cm, grows on the edges of paths and fields as well as in
fields. The poppy can be recognized by its red flowers, which are often mixed
with tea blends when dry.
It is widespread in Europe and North Africa.
Around 1,800 flowering plants grow here and in spring you can see anemones,
daffodils, gladioli, iris, affodilla, tulips and poppies. A number of orchid
species also grow on the island. In autumn, grape hyacinths and the endemic
Cypriot cyclamen grow among others. Bougainvillea, imported from Brazil, blooms
all year round. On Cyprus you can find numerous maquis with the typical
turpentine acacias, gorse, strawberry trees or myrtle. The evergreen golden oak
is endemic. The yellow flowering stone herb is typical of Cyprus. Acacia and
eucalyptus were also introduced.
The Bougainvilleae, which blooms everywhere, comes from Central America. The
citrus tree from China is also not indigenous. In order to reforest the forest,
acacia, some spruce and fir species were introduced.