National Geographic - Islands Cyprus (Nat Geo Wild HD) Subs: English, Ελληνικά, Türk
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Cyprus, known as The Republic of Cyprus, is a small island country that is located in the Mediterranean Sea. The capital of Cyprus is Nicosia, and also serves as the nation’s largest city. It is among the smallest countries in the world, with a population of only approximately 1 million people.
Though Cyprus shares no borders with any country, it certainly is not an isolated country by any sort. Turkey lies to the north at only 40 miles away and Syria 60 miles away to the west.
Though a small country, Cyprus is home to numerous mountains, with the Kyrenia Mountains and the Troodos Mountains combining for more than 100 miles of mountain ranges. The country’s highest peak, Mount Olympus, stands at more than 6,400 feet.
Though mountains are numerous, the major rivers of Cyprus usually are sourced from the Troodos Mountains. Unlike many other rivers in other countries, the rivers of Cyprus do not run year-round. Feeding exclusively from the melting snows of the mountain ranges rivers will run dry during the long, hot summers.
Aside from mountain ranges, Cyprus is also home to plains. The Mesaoria Plains not only house the vast majority of the country’s agriculture but is also where Nicosia, the country’s capital, can be found.
Being located in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus enjoys a Mediterranean climate, highlighted by a large dry summer, typically lasting between June to September, and cool, wet winters, lasting November to March. Whereas there is technically a spring and a fall separating these seasons, they are very short, quickly giving way to the next season after a short transition.
The population is relatively small, with only around 1 million people living on the island. That population is largely homogenous as well, with nearly 80% of the population identifying as Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots round out the majority of the remaining ethnic population at nearly 20% of the population.
Mirroring the ethnic layout of the population, majority languages follow. About 80% of the population identify Greek as their first language, whereas about 20% identify Turkish as their first language.
Though Cyprus is often known for its ancient culture and Greek gods, that paganism is no longer reflected in the vast majority of the population. Again, following similar splits mentioned above, the majority of the population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. The second-largest religion is Sunni Muslims, which can usually be found in Turkish ethnic circles.