Country Profile

The Country


Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, located 40 miles (64 km) south of Turkey and 60 miles (97 km) west of Syria. The island consists of two east-west running mountain ranges the Kyrenia Mountains in the north and the Troödos Mountains in the south, separated by a wide fertile pain, the Mesaoria, which is open to the sea at both ends. The Troödos range includes Mount Olympus, which rises to 6,406 feet (1953m), the island’s highest point.

The island has a total area of 3,752 sq miles (9,251 sq km) and a population in 2000 of 766,000 – comprising 77% Greek, 18% Turkish and 5 % other ethnic origin. The Greek Cypriots are mostly Orthodox Christian – although Armenians and Maronites are also represented. The Turkish Cypriots are Moslems.

After the Turkish invasion of 1974, the island was partitioned into two separate states, with the border (‘Green Line’) running approximately between Lefke in the west and Famagusta in the east, straight through the capital city – Nicosia.

Republic of Cyprus (Kypriaki Dimokratia)
The Republic of Cyprus occupies the southern two thirds of the island, and is overwhelmingly Greek Cypriot. The capital is Nicosia. The land area is 2457 sq miles (5,896 sq km), with a population of 573,000 in 1991.

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (Kibris Cumhuriyeti)
The TRNC occupies the northern third of the island, with a mainly Turkish Cypriot population. After 1974 several thousand Turks from the mainland were also settled on the island The capital is Lefkosia (northern Nicosia). The land area is 1295 sq miles (3355 sq km), with a population of 175,000 in 1991.

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National History

Summary Narrative History

Timeline – Key Dates in Cypriot History

Further National Information

BBC News Profile: Cyprus
wikipedia: Cyprus
wikipedia: History of Cyprus
Country Study for Cyprus
Occupied Cyprus Project
Cyprus Timeline
The Cyprus Conflict
TRNC Public Information Office
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – Info & History
Britain’s Small Wars
The Official UNFICYP website


Text to be added on the development of aviation in Cyprus.


Civil Aircraft Registrations

Under British administration the registration sequence VQ-Cxx was used 1952-1960. Upon independence in 1960, the registration prefix 5B-xxx was adopted, eg: 5B-DBB.

All-time Cyprus – civil aircraft register (VQ-Caa 5B-aaa).
[Get involved with the Aeroflight Cloud.]

Aircraft Operators

Military Air Arms

Air Force (Cyprus Air Command)
Security Aviation (Turkish Cypriot Security Forces Command)

Central Government Agencies

Government Aviation (Cyprus Government Aviation Unit)
Forestry Aviation (
Department of Forests)

Public Service Aviation

Police Aviation (Cyprus Police)

Commercial Aviation

Cyprus Airways
Eurocypria Airlines
Cyprus Turkish Airways

wikipedia: Airlines of Cyprus
The World’s Airlines: Cyprus

Private Aviation

To be added


Aircraft Manufacturers

None at present.

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.

Aircraft Maintenance/Repair Depots

None known.


Civil Airports & Airfields

Southern Cyprus:
Episkopi (EPK)
Larnaca International (LCA) Spotting info
Pafos/Paphos International (PFO)

Northern Cyprus:
Ercan (ECN)
Gecitkale (GEC)
Airports in Cyprus

Military Air Bases & Airfields

Military Air Bases Listing

On Show

Aviation Museums

There is a small aviation museum at Paphos Airport.

More Information

Aviation-Related Magazines

See the magazine pages for Greece and Turkey

Aviation Bibliography

Cypriot Aviation Bibliography – to be added.

Web Links

La Fuerza Aérea Argentina en UNFICYP
* Argentine Air Force UNFICYP page

Cyprus Key Dates

c. 6000 BC    Neolithic settlers first arrive.
2500 BC    First evidence of copper mining.
1500 BC    Colonisation by the Greeks. Later ruled by the Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian, Roman and Byzantine Empires.
1191 AD    Conquered by Richard the Lionheart of England.
1192    Sold to the Frankish ruler of Jerusalem – becomes the independent Kingdom of Cyprus.
1489    Annexed by Venice.
1571    Occupied by the Ottoman Empire. Settled by ancestors of present day Turkish Cypriots.
1878    Leased to Britain by the Ottoman Sultan.
1900    Start of political campaign for Enosis (union with Greece).
2 Nov 1914    Annexed by Britain at start of war with Ottoman Empire.
1915    Cyprus offered to Greece in return for Greece entering WW1 on the side of the Allies. Offer declined.
1920    Increased public calls for Enosis after 1915 offer raises expectations.
1925    The island becomes a British Crown Colony.
1931    Riots in Nicosia by Enosis supporters.
1940    Cypriots firmly support the Allies in WW2.
1951    Referendum by Greek Orthodox church shows 97% of Greek Cypriots want Enosis. Turkish Cypriots prefer partition of the island and union with the respective mother countries (Taksim policy).
1955    EOKA (National Organisation for Cypriot Combatants) guerrilla group formed to achieve Enosis by force.
1955    Guerrilla warfare led by EOKA against Turks and Britons.
26 Nov 1955    State of Emergency declared in Cyprus.
1959    Greece and Turkey reach comprise over the future government of Cyprus.
16 Aug 1960    Cyprus becomes an independent republic within the Commonwealth – with Greek Archbishop Makarios as President and Turkish Fazil Kücük as Vice President.
1963    Turkish Cypriots abandon coalition government after President proposes constitutional changes giving more power to the Greek Cypriots.
Dec 1963    Inter-communal violence erupts.
1964    UN peacekeeping mission established to restore order.
1970    EOKA B terrorist group begins campaign of violence against moderate Greek Cypriots.
15 July 1974    President Makarios is deposed by pro-Enosis military coup.
20 July 1974    Turkey invades Cyprus to protect Turkish Cypriots.
August 1974    Cyprus effectively partitioned into Turkish and Greek areas of the island.
7 Dec 1974    Makarios is restored as President of the Greek speaking region of the island.
8 June 1975    Turkish Cypriots vote to form a separate Turkish Cypriot state.
1977    Turkish Federated State of Cyprus declared.
15 Nov 1983    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared as an independent state – only recognised by Turkey.
1998    Talks on EU membership for Cyprus start. Partition issue must be resolved before entry is accepted.
2002    United Nations plan to resolve partition issue proposed.
2003    Turkish Cypriot elections indecisive regarding UN plan.

Cyprus National History

The island of Cyprus has for centuries been a rich source of Copper, with the first evidence for Copper mining dating back to 2500 BC. As such, it became highly valued by a succession of Empires in the region. The Greeks extensively colonised the island from 1500 BC, before control passed to the Egyptians, Romans and eventually to the Byzantine Empire.

In 1191 AD Cyprus was conquered by Richard the Lionheart of England, beginning 400 years of western rule. In 1489 Cyprus was annexed by the trading empire of Venice. In 1571 the Ottoman Turks took control and the ancestors of present-day Turkish Cypriots settled on the island.

The Ottoman Sultan ceded control of Cyprus to Britain in 1878. Subsequently, the strategic position of Cyprus – close to the Suez Canal and on the trade routes to India and the Middle East – made the island increasingly important to the British. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the Ottomans sided with German and Austro-Hungary and so the island was formally annexed by Britain.

In 1915 Cyprus was offered to Greece as an inducement to enter the war on the side of the Allies, but the offer was declined, as the Greeks believed the Allied would lose the war. The Greeks later entered the war, but the offer had been withdrawn. Since at least 1900 a movement for union with Greece, called Enosis, had been gaining popularity within the Greek Cypriot population. The offer of 1915 had raised expectations on Cyprus that Enosis was coming closer, but in 1925 the island was made a Crown Colony of Britain.
Cyprus remained under British control throughout World War Two. The Cypriots were staunch supporters of the Allies and some 30,000 served in the British forces during the war.

However, pressure for Enosis increased markedly after 1950, and in early 1955 EOKA was formed to bring this about by armed force. EOKA-led guerrilla warfare against Turks and Britons escalated rapidly and on 26 November 1955 a State of Emergency was declared. While military action to suppress the extremist attacks continued, negotiations were opened with Greece and Turkey on finding a political solution. In 1959 a compromise deal was agreed, and on 16 August 1960 Cyprus became an independent republic within the Commonwealth.
Attempts by the Greek Cypriots in 1963 to reduce the veto power of the Turkish Cypriots quickly led to the Turkish Cypriots withdrawing from the coalition government. In December 1963 inter-communal violence erupted and in the following year a United Nations peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) was established to restore order. In 2003 the peacekeeping force was still on the island.

In 1967 the government in Athens was deposed in a military coup. The new military government frequently interfered with the internal affairs of Cyprus and began plotting to overthrow the Greek Cypriot government. In 1970 Athens started supporting the EOKA B terrorist group, which was fighting for Enosis against moderate Greek Cypriots.

On 15 July 1974 President Makarios was deposed by the Cyprus National Guard in a coup organised in Athens. Within a week, Turkish armed forces invaded Cyprus to protect the safety of Turkish Cypriots. Fierce fighting took place, while Greek attempts to reinforce the Greek Cypriot forces met with failure. By 24 June 1974, the military government in Athens had been replaced by a civilian administration. A ceasefire was soon agreed, by which time Turkey had occupied abut 20% of the island. The peace talks subsequently broke down and on 14 August 1974 Turkish forces resumed their offensive – eventually occupying 37% of the land area of Cyprus. On 7 December 1974 Makarios was restored as President – but only for the Greek speaking region of the island. Turkish Cypriots voted on 8 June 1975 for the creation of a separate Turkish Cypriot state. Accordingly, in 1977 the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus was declared as an autonomous region of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot leadership later abandoned the idea of federation and opted for independence, proclaiming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 15 November 1983. Only Turkey recognised the new country.

Cyprus applied to join the EU in 1990 and formal negotiations opened in March 1998. The status of Northern Cyprus remains a significant obstacle to a successful EU agreement.

A UN-backed plan for a two-zoned federation for Cyrus has met with some opposition inside the country. Under the plan, each community would have it’s own territory, but share a number of government functions. Turkish Cypriots, mindful of the repression experienced before 1974, are unwilling to accept plans that do not ensure full sovereignty and equality for Turks. Greeks Cypriots fear that the Turkish minority would dominate their affairs and be able to veto important government decisions.

By late 2003 Greek Cypriots concerns had been largely allayed, but Turkish Cypriot elections which highlighted the issues involved had proved indecisive. Significant progress on re-unification looks unlikely in the near future.