Geography Now! Cyprus

One country, two sides, three exclaves, four people groups and alot of confusing lines that can give even the most seasoned Uber-driver a level 5 seizure ♫ It’s time to learn geography ♫ NOW! Hey everybody I’m your host Barby If you don’t know anything about Cyprus, all you really have to know is that it’s an island with alot of fine wine and landmines, alot of barbeque and barbed wire, spa resorts and … spies resorting … to … spying … on … Let’s move on Hohohoho! The more complex a country is divided administratively the more I love doing these episodes I imagine this is how a doctor feels when they go into surgery, removing tumors and transplanting organs and stuff Alright, uh, let’s take out this exclave, and uh here’s an autonomous republic Doctor! Remember the border blockades and checkpoint stations! Oh, right, uh, we’ll need 50 CC’s of legislative tension, stat! Let’s jump in! Cyprus, an island nation, is located in the eastern Mediterranean sea, just off the coast of Turkey and Syria and Lebanon in the Middle East If you look at a satellite image of Cyprus, you’ll see this nice, little, beige-y, semi-arid island with a uniquely pointed tail at the east end But if you look at a political map, you’ll see this One thing you’ll immediately notice about Cyprus is that the entire country is split by a huge, demilitarized line known as the U.N. Buffer Zone This line spans 180 km, or 112 miles, from Paralimni to Kato Pyrgos The country is divided into six districts, however two of these districts overlap the Buffer Zone so it’s kind of, like, eight districts but not really but kind of If you ask a Northern Cypriot they’ll tell you that their side contains five districts split like this Now why is there a U.N. Buffer Zone? Because, since the 70’s, Cyprus has been divided into two separate main entities, the Greek Cypriot area in the south that makes up about 60% of the island and the Turkish Cypriot side that takes about 36% The remaining 4% belong to the U.K. and the U.N. The U.K. operates the two Overseas Territories of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the southern coast of the country These places are operated by the British military forces, although Greek Cypriots are totally allowed to enter and pass through the domain, just not enter the actual bases without permission Dhekelia is even more confusing, as it’s the only part of the country that effectively cuts off the U.N. Buffer Zone from itself and holds three Cypriot exclaves pronounced … this … way … On top of that, you have the Achna road that acts like a single artery that connects Dhekelia to its inland Ayios Nikolaos station Now when it comes to the U.N. Buffer Zone, most maps typically don’t do a good job explaining exactly how it works It’s more like a quadruple border with four lines that are only a few meters wide that run along each other instead of two These big areas still have fully operating towns and communities that lie within the parallel buffer parameters, like the town of Athienu or Troulloi but they do have double checkpoints when going north or south It’s really confusing, it’s like a part of Cyprus, but surrounded by the U.N. Where it does get weird, though, is the capital city, Nicosia, which acts as a capital for both the north and south parts of the country This is where the most notable division can be found and it’s kinda weird Walls and gates slice right through the city which have left certain buildings and streets untouched and abandoned for over four decades The biggest casualty of the division, though, would have to be the old airport, Nicosia International which is all but abandoned and empty today If you want to fly to Cyprus today, you’ll either have to arrive at Larnaca or Paphos airport in the south part or Ercan airport for Northern Cyprus Finally you have the strange Kokkina exclave that operates under the Turkish Northern Cypriot area as a military base cut off by the rest of the rest of the entity from another separate U.N. Buffer Zone. Now, regardless of all these barriers and walls you can still cross over the sides Today there are 7 check points and it’s not that hard. All you do is you show your passport to both the Greek and Turkish police, and then head through. If you go by car, you will need to purchase new insurance on the side that you’re entering and you’ll only be allowed to stay for up to 30 days. So that’s about it! Simple, right? Alright, let’s move on. (jingle) Cyprus is said to be the legendary birth place of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. And despite all the barbed wire and abandoned buildings, this country still holds its ground in its aesthetics. First of all, the country has a dry, relatively warm Mediterranean climate with rainfall in the winter months. Cpyrus is made up of 2 main mountain chains – the Troodos chain in the south west, which contains the highest point of the country, Mount Olympus. Yeah, they kinda copied Greece on that one. And the smaller Kyrenia Mountains that are parallel to the north coast. The country has only seasonal rivers that flow from the mountain’s snow melt after winter time, otherwise most rivers dry out by summertime, leaving empty riverbeds. The government has really tried to combat the irrigation problem by building dams and reservoirs to supplement the crop fields during the drier months. After this split, the north side took most of the grain and citrus and all the tabaco fields. However, the south took most of the fruit orchards, livestock, and vegetable fields and nearly all of the grape vineyards. Beautiful beaches line the coasts of all sides with shrubs and eroded rock cliffs like the Ayia Napa Beach. Trees are taken seriously now as deforestation has hit the country hard in the past half century. Only about 17% of the country is classified as woodland and logging is heavily monitored. It’s actually totally legal to take figs and olives of your neighbor’s tree, but illegal to cut down the tree, even if you own it. Speaking of neighborly interactions, let’s jump into the most controversial part of this episode! (jingle) Ugh…. controversy, controversy. We need a distraction. Here’s a Korean guy playing the bagpipes. (bagpipes) So as you can kinda gather from the previous 2 segments, Cyprus is kinda divided. Essentially the country is populated by 2 main ethnic groups that have quite an interesting history on the island. First of all: Cyprus has a population around 1.2 million. And it has the highest percentage in the EU of working adults with tertiary education. Although the numbers are a little hazy and debatable, the entire island is made of 77% Greek Cypriots and about 18% Turkish Cypriots. The remaining 5% come from a wide range of other nationalities, like Armenians, British, Russian and even a sizable Vietnamese community has settled in the country as well. Now here’s where we finally address the elephant in the room: How on earth did all this internal conflict arise on such a small island? And by small island, I mean the 3rd largest in the Medditeranean. Well, not getting too deep into history, Cyprus has gone through a lot of crazy times in the past few millennia. The earliest recorded documents show that it was first inhabited by the Messinian Greeks, and then the Assyrians, the Egyptians, Persians, and then the Greeks again, and then the Egyptians again, and then the Roman Empire, and then the Arab caliphates, the French, the Venetians and then the Ottomans for like 3 centuries, and then finally the British until they broke free and became annexed in 1914. And then idependent by 1960. And that’s when the real domestic conflict began! Long story short: 1974 was the year when all the fighting went down and THIS became a thing. To this day, Turkey is the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state. Whereas the republic of Cyprus kinda acts as the poster child for the entire island on the world stage. So, that’s why Cyprus looks the way it does and that’s all I’m gonna say. The funny thing is, most Cypriots today, North or South, want a reunification plan and think the whole division is just a “stubborn older generation problem” that shouldn’t be carried out today. Culture wise, of course, Greek Cypriots are incredibly influenced by Greece and Greek culture. However, they do speak with a “pretty interesting dialect” that sometimes even Greek people from the mainland have a little trouble understanding. Many of the words have a slight Turkish or Arabic undertone, and there’s a whole slew of Cypriot slang that isn’t even used in standard Greek. Northern Turkish Cypriots of course identify closest to Turkey. Both sides, although heavily identified with their respective cultural religions – Islam for the north and Greek Orthodox for the South – the countries are both run under secular governmental systems. Most women in Northern Cyprus don’t even wears headscarves, let a lone typical conservative Muslim dresses, and alcohol is sold and drunken everywhere. One thing that really sticks out, though, would be the profiency in English. Since Cyprus was under British rule for a while, English became the defacto language and around 80% of the country actually speaks it. Of course, Greek and Turkish are the official languages, but English signs and translations can be found everywhere, and typically, you can strike up a conversation in English with most people on the Island, especially the younger generation. This also helps out when the tourists start flocking in, which makes up a huge portion of Cyprus’ economy. Let’s talk about the interactions they have with outsiders. (jingle) Remember how in the Bosnia and Herzegovinia episode we’ve mentioned how the friend of your enemy can sometimes, by default, end up being your friend as well? Well, that’s kinda how it works with Cyprus. When asking who their friends are, you kinda have to address which side of Cyprus you’re referring to. If you’re asking the North, then of course they’ll say Turkey. And all the friends that come along with the package with Turkey, like Azerbaijan or Pakistan and Afghanistan and so on. If you ask the Greek Cypriot side of Cyprus, you’ll probably get a different response. As part of the EU, Cyprus is kinda like the new guy that walked into the party with a few scars that everyone is slightly intriqued by and keeps their eye on as he walk over to the punch bowl. Israel and Armenia have always been close, and many Armenians live in Cyprus. And Armenian is a recognized minority language. Israel shares the same western value of free market and trade as well free democracy. When it comes to their best friend, however, hands down, no doubt, the republic of Cyprus will tell you that Greece is their best friend. Cyprus is the only other fully sovereign state in which Greek is the official language and heritage of the residents. Cypriots and Greeks absolutely love each other and will always have each other’s backs. In conclusion, the island nation of Cyprus is a beautiful, well-educated, economically stable…. hot mess. Who know what it will look like in the future but let’s hope it involves fewer blockades and more block parties. Stay tuned. The Czech Republic, also known as Czechia, is coming up next. (upbeat music)

  1. 7:43 Guys, you forgot to add the European part of Turkey. Shame on you. Youtube's best source for learning about your world! Tell that to the kids.

  2. Ec-cade i am chypriot i am 36 years old and i don't hate the other people in Turkey there are a lot of kind people in all the countries thete are and bad and good people it is not abour nationality😊

  3. 🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷


  4. you forgot to mention about when the Jews were going to israel but the brits didn't let them in so they put them in camps

  5. WoW I live in Cyprus! In fact I am Cypriot and I love this video!
    PS: Your pronunciation of Troulloi village made me laugh! It is pronounced the same way the word truly but with a heavy emphasis on L as if it is a double to triple L but not quite triple and no less than double…

  6. No South Cyprus don't want Unite.
    1970 Greek army killed Turks.

    1973 Turkish Army Takes Control of Northen Cyprus

    %50 Greek
    %40 Turkish
    %10 Other

    %77 Greek
    %18 Turkish
    %5 Other

  7. Kudos on the research and trying to stay as neutral as possible!

    Hopefully one day we'll be one island with no "states" and each resident will have the same say as the next one.
    Time to stripe off the rest and be Cypriots without having the ethnicity define our rights and without percentages and quotas!

  8. No one to thank for the Cyprus been divided other Than the British. As they did with Indian peninsula where they divided and started an ongoing dispute between Muslims (Pakistan) and Hindu (India) they did the same thing in Cyprus dividing the population in order to control the land more easily. It was there agenda as a colonial power to “rule by dividing”

  9. Εγώ πάντως καταλαβαίνω τα κυπριακά αυτά που λες είναι μαλακίες

  10. 8:19
    Why would North Cyprus love Greeks, North Cyprus and Turkey is like a brother
    Also South Cyprus and Greeks are like brother
    The thing I want to say is Dont talk in general there are 2 different nations living there…

  11. Jesus! Guys! Can we just get along? Cyprus is not Greek, it is not Turkish. It is Cyprus and it will remain as such. Stop making a fuss and get along with your lives! Maybe make some friends on the other side of the border!

  12. Turk Cypriots are colonisers and have no right to Cyprus. Greek Cypriots had lived in Cyrus for thousands of years when the ottoman turks arrived.

  13. Rumlarin kahpece saldirdigindan bahsetmemis Iste bu gavurlar Boyle isine geleni anliyorlar Bizde birbirimize sahip cikmaliyiz…

  14. I wrote a 1 page long comment but what is the point? This is the world we are living in they are 80mil Turks we are under 1mil Cypriots EU and other countries clearly don't care about the illegal occupation of half of Cyprus it's been 50 years enough for 2 generations to be born. They live and sell our properties and make a career out of a war ridden land that doesn't belong to them. And if all that wasn't enough now they want our gas and oil he have 20 km out of our shore. Clearly Turkey is NOT listening or respecting anyone anymore. I hope someone controls them really soon or I predict this is going to end up into a final Crusade until none is left.

  15. Η Ελλάδα δεν είναι φίλη αλλά κορόιδο της Κύπρου. Τόσα χρόνια η Κύπρος αρμεγει την Ελλάδα, της δίνουμε σχολικά βιβλία, χρησιμοποιουν τον εθνικό μας ύμνο, στέλνουμε στρατό και όλα αυτά σε ένα ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΤΟ κράτος που έχει δική του σημαία, δικό του σύνταγμα, είχε δικό του νόμισμα πριν το ευρώ, ήθελες διαβατήριο για να πας προ ΕΕ και οι Κύπριοι να χαρακτηρίζονται Κύπριοι που απλά μιλάνε ελληνικά, όπως και Κύπριοι που μιλάνε τούρκικα (υπάρχει βίντεο που πολλοί το λένε αυτό). Το μόνο που δίνει η Κύπρος στην Ελλάδα είναι 12ρια στην Eurovision, χεστε μας


  17. A must see short without getting too complicated, I'm glad you stayed away from politics and religion it's a minefield

  18. It's not a bad summary, the major issue is that to an uninformed viewer it appears that there are two states one North and one South. The reality is that it is one state, the Republic of Cyprus with its northern territory under the military occupation of Turkey since 1974. The military zone is an area of impunity and ripe with human trafficking and other illegalities.

  19. I recently discover that the family name of my sicilian granmother is cyprian translated into italian7latin alphabet over the centuries.

  20. North Cyprus Turkish Republic
    Damn! That's a long name!
    And many wars in the comments….

  21. 🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇬🇷🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾🇨🇾

  22. I’m Turkish Cypriot and you are giving wrong information!!! Actually our island isn’t like this. You’re wrong!!!

  23. I got a solution!
    Give Turkey Aeagen Sea and Greece takes Cyprus or the other way around
    Problem solved!
    not quite

  24. Turkish Cypriots should never unite with greeks again NEVER, the young don’t know what happened greeks will slaughter you again

  25. I hope in the future they can have reunification and find peace and happiness on that really beautiful island.

  26. I am from Cyprus and evrithing was good except the mounten is not olipia or olimpus its called trodos

  27. Thank you for mentioning the Armenians ! As an American, I have visited both sides and have saw the same abuse of Armenian churches in Northern Cyprus as I have on my pilgrimage to Anatolia.

  28. Barb, you were almost fully wrong about Greek Cypriot language, its very rich vocabulary is barely 50% relatable to Greek and rather much more Latin and shares 25% relatable with ancient Roman. I have identified this after asking many people in Nicosia (while visiting church) however culture is very similar.

  29. A great uncle from the part of my father use to have a mansion in Cyprus, then the line that separates Cyprus in two was draw, and he didn't never came back to the island

  30. I absolutely loved my Time in Cyprus.
    You didnt even mention the 1964 war.
    That was ok by Kissinger because of thr Turks not being held back from coming in and landing tanks and troops.

  31. L3t me pronunse it for you xylotymbou (my village)
    X like xylophone
    Y like [i]reland
    L like like
    O like p[o]kachoyntas
    T like travel
    Y like iceland
    Mb like bottle
    Ou like c[oo]l

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