The population of Cyprus loves water sports. Along the beaches of Cyprus a tourist can be guaranteed discovery of a place to enjoy pedaloes, flat-bottomed boats with pedals, water skiing, wet biking and windsurfing. At some locations, a tourist can even have a chance to ride an inflatable, yellow banana boat.
Although none of the information about Cyprus mentions parasailing, it is probably only a matter of time before the population of Cyprus develops a fondness for that sport as well. The gentle breezes of Cyprus would seem to make the Island a perfect place to do some parasailing.
Love for water sports is one thing that unites all residents of Cyprus. Unfortunately, events of history have failed to encourage the union of cultures on Cyprus. The population thus remains quite divided, with 87.5% of the 730,000 inhabitants being of Greek descent and 12.5% of the same population claiming Turkish ancestry.
The largest percent of the population of Cyprus lives in villages or cities along the coast. Much of the inland area has been devoted to farms and orchards. The capital city of Nicosia is the Island’s only large city not on the coast. Three different languages can be heard in Cyprus—Greek, Turkish and English.
In 1974, the lives of 200,000 Cypriot citizens changed dramatically. At that time, a coup against the government of Cyprus was used by some Turks as an excuse. They invaded the island and took control of an eastern section. They forced 200,000 Greek citizens of Cyprus to leave their homes. Those people became refugees within their own country.
The Turkish invaders destroyed churches, monuments and antiquities. Following that invasion 1,619 Cypriots of Greek descent were reported missing. They were never found. Following that invasion, the Turks established a military presence on about a third of the Island.
Not all of the Cypriots with ancestors from Turkey welcomed the invaders with open arms. Cyprus had been a free society. Cypriot citizens did not like to see men in uniform walking around on their Island. Some of the Turkish Cypriots left the Island. Another group of Turks, 115,000 to be exact, settled into the residences abandoned by the Greeks, who had been forced to become refugees.
The 1974 invasion was an attempt by the Turkish government to set-up a Turkish state on Cyprus. Fortunately for the population of Cyprus, the UN, indeed all the countries in the world refused to acknowledge that new “state.” The world continues to deal chiefly with the established government of Cyprus, a democracy that reflects the majority opinion.
In fact, the United Nations has flatly condemned the actions taken by the Turkish invaders. Support from the United Nations has allowed Cyprus to become a member of the European Union (EU). It joined the EU on May 1, 2004.
The nature of the population in Cyprus has become clear to the entire world. The entire world has seen how Cyprus has helped with the evacuation of those trapped in Lebanon, both during the wars of the 1980s and the brief battle of 2006. When the war forced the closing of the airport in Lebanon, many fled by boat and sailed to Cyprus. From there they sailed home to other spots in Europe or to the United States.
Some Christians might attribute the kindness of the population on Cyprus to the earlier presence on the Island of the apostle Paul. In fact Saint Paul became a convert to Christianity while living on Cyprus. Following his conversion, Cyprus was the first country where the populace adhered to the laws set down by a Christian ruler.