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CYPRUS GEOGRAPHY

The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its neighbouring lands at the nearest coastal points are Turkey 40 miles north, Syria 60 miles east, Lebanon 108 miles south-east, Israel 180 miles south-east and Egypt 230 miles south. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. It is smaller than Sicily and Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete .The area of the whole island is 3584 sq. miles. (9250 sq. kilometers)

Cyprus has been divided into two autonomous states since 1974. This came about by virtue of the linguistic and cultural differences , and as a result of communal friction which lasted for 11 years. Greek Cypriots occupy the southern and the Turkish Cypriots occupy the northern part of Cyprus. A boundary known as the`Green Line` which runs through Nicosia , the capital of both South and North Cyprus separates the two states.

North Cyprus is some 100 miles long , 40 miles across at its widest point and has a total area of 1357 sq. miles or nearly one third of the whole of the island.

The geography of North Cyprus is characterized by a unique blend of mountains , plains and beaches. The Kyrenia Range, with its magnificent jagged limestone peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at 3357 ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a startling backdrop. To the east of the island the mountain range loses height as it extends along the narrow peninsula known as Karpas or `The Panhandle`. Along it one finds the best beaches in Cyprus. Miles of empty bays with pure white sand. To the south of the Kyrenia range lie the plains of Mesaoria. Here, is situated the divided Capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Other major centers are Guzelyurt in the west of North Cyprus where most of the citrus produce comes from , The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne) is on the northern coast, and the second resort town of Famagusta (Gazimagosa) in the east.

Population
The population of North Cyprus is, Appx. 264.169 (2006 census)
55% of the population live in urban areas. The urban population is distributed as follows:

Nicosia: 84.893
Famagusta: 64.426
Kyrenia: 61.192
Guzelyurt: 31.568
Iskele: 22.090

Coastline
The coastline consists of enchanting coves, rocky coast and long golden sandy beaches. The beaches of Northern Cyprus are among the cleanest and safest in the Mediterranean. The average water temperature is 24C between May and October. The summer season sees the Hotel Beaches offering an excellent service to its customers in terms of eating and drinking facilities, not failing to mention the provision of beach umbrellas and beach loungers. Some of the beaches of Norhern Cyprus will also offer activities such as water skiing, banana rides, jet-ski, wind surfing and scuba diving.

Mountains

The most prominent feature of Norht Cyprus is the northern range of mountains, known as the Kyrenia Mountains, or Five Finger Mountains. It is a narrow range, approximately 130 km long, running parallel to the coastline. Occupying an area of about 260 sq km, it is composed predominately of limestone, dolomite, and marble. The highest point is Mount Selvili, near village of Lapta, at 1,023 m.
The largest spring in the North Cyprus is in this range near Five Finger Mountains. The fertile north coast is chiefly covered with olive and carob trees.

Plains and Lowlands
The Mesaoria plain, which lies in the centre of the island, between the Kyrenia Mountains and the Troodos Mountains in the south, is used for the production of central crops such as wheat, barley and oats. It is known as the breadbasket of Cyprus.

 
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