Cyprus has two governments: an internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus government, controlled by Greek Cypriots; and a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, controlled by Turkish Cypriots and covering the northern third of the island. Initially, under the 1960 constitution, power was shared between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. However, in 1963 the Turks ceased participating and in 1964 set up a separate community in northern Cyprus, refusing to acknowledge the Greek government in the south. In 1974, Turkish troops invaded northern Cyprus and have since continued to occupy the area. The Greek Cypriot government claims to be the government of all Cyprus and is generally accepted as such, except by the Turkish community. Each of the two republics has its own president, council of ministers, legislature, and judicial system. The ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ has its own representatives overseas.
An island in the E Mediterranean: ceded to Britain by Turkey in 1878 and made a colony in 1925; became an independent republic in 1960 as a member of the Commonwealth; invaded by Turkey in 1974 following a Greek-supported military coup, leading to the virtual partition of the island. In 1983 the Turkish-controlled northern sector declared itself to be an independent state as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus but failed to receive international recognition. Attempts by the U.N. to broker a reunification agreement have failed. Languages: Greek and Turkish. Religions: Greek Orthodox and Muslim. Currency: pound and Turkish lira. Capital: Nicosia. Population (Greek): 657,000 (1996); (Turkish): 110 000 (1996). Area: 9251 sq. km (3571 sq. miles).
from Collins English Dictionary