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Cyprus is the Mediterranean's third largest island, and one of its most popular tourist destinations, attracting over 2.4 million tourists per year.[7] A former British colony, it became an independent republic in 1960[3] and a member of the Commonwealth in 1961. The Republic of Cyprus is one of the advanced economies in the region,[8] and has been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004.

In 1974, following 11 years of intercommunal violence (1963–1974) between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots,[9] and an attempted coup d'ιtat by Greek Cypriot nationalists[9][10] who aimed at annexing the island to Greece and were backed by the Greek military junta then in power in Athens,[10][11] Turkey invaded and occupied 37% of the island. The Turkish military intervention was secretly backed by the United States[12][13] and NATO.[12] This led to the displacement of thousands of Cypriots and the establishment of a separate Turkish Cypriot political entity in the north. This event and its resulting political situation are matters of ongoing dispute.

The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognised state, has de jure sovereignty over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters except small portions that are allocated by treaty to the United Kingdom as sovereign military bases. The island is de facto partitioned into four main parts:

the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area in the south;
the Turkish-occupied area in the north,[14] calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 37% of the island's area and recognised only by Turkey;
the United Nations-controlled Green Line, separating the two, covering about 3% of the island's area; and
two British Sovereign Base Areas (Akrotiri and Dhekelia),[15] covering about 3% of the island's area.
**Wikipedia**

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Additional Photos by teodora ursuleanu (teutza) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 995 W: 227 N: 1994] (10590)
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