Government and society Constitutional framework The constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, adopted inprovided that executive power be exercised by a Greek Cypriot president and a Turkish Cypriot vice president, elected to five-year terms by universal suffrage, and that there be a Council of Ministers cabinet comprising seven Greek Cypriot and three Turkish Cypriot members.
It also called for an elected House of Representatives with 50 seats, divided between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the proportion of 35 to 15 and elected for terms of five years.
The Greek Cypriots, whose struggle against the British had been for enosis union with Greece and not for independence, regretted the failure to achieve this national aspiration. As a result, it was not long after the establishment of the republic that the Greek Cypriot majority began to regard many of the provisions, particularly those relating to finance and to local government, as unworkable.
Proposals for amendments were rejected by the Turkish government, and, after the outbreak of fighting between the two Cypriot communities in latethe constitution was suspended.
On the Turkish side of the demarcation line, there have been, sincea popularly elected president, prime ministerand legislative assembly, all serving five-year terms of office. Local government in the Republic of Cyprus is at the district, municipal, rural municipality, and village levels.
District officers are appointed by the government; local councils are elected, as are the mayors of municipalities. Justice The legal code of Cyprus is based on Roman law. In the Greek Cypriot zone judges are appointed by the cicero speech writing awards for the army, but the judiciary is entirely independent of the executive power.
The Supreme Court is the highest court and also serves as the final appeals court in the republic. A Permanent Assize Court has criminal jurisdiction over the whole island, and district courts handle criminal, civil, and admiralty matters. The Turkish Cypriot zone has a similar system of justice.
A pro-Moscow communist party that controlled the principal trade union federation, it received about one-third of the vote in the first 25 years of the Republic of Cyprus.
Following the collapse of communism in Russia and eastern EuropeAKEL lost much of its support, with some reformists breaking away to form their own party.
Other parties have had varying success. Security The island of Cyprus is home to a complicated mixture of military forces. The Republic of Cyprus has a small national guard consisting of volunteers and conscripts, and men between the ages of 18 and 50 are required to serve up to 26 months in the military.
The army of the TRNC requires 24 months of military service from men within that same age-group.
In addition, because of the continued tensions between the two sides—which occasionally have flared into violence—the UN has maintained peacekeeping troops in Cyprus UNFICYP who police the demilitarized zone that divides the country; the United Kingdom also maintains two sovereign military bases in Cyprus.
Health Health standards in Cyprus are high because of a favourable climate and well-organized public and private health services. Since the eradication of malaria shortly after World War II and, later, that of echinococcosis hydatid diseasethe island has been free from major diseases.
Life expectancy is about 75 years for men and 80 years for women, and the infant mortality rate is low.
Housing Housing became a major preoccupation of the Republic of Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of and the subsequent displacement and relocation of Greek Cypriots to the south of the country.
The government engaged in a long-term program to stimulate the construction of low-cost housing, provided low-interest loans for home buyers, and temporarily housed refugees in homes abandoned by Turkish Cypriots who fled to the north during the war. The government has continued to provide rent subsidies for thousands of refugee families and has also provided housing assistance for other low-income families.
The last three years may be taken at a technical or vocational school or at a lyceum, the latter offering courses stressing such fields as classical studies, the sciences, or economics.
Postsecondary facilities include schools for teacher training, technical instruction, hospitality training, tourism guides, nursing, public healthand police work.
Greek Cypriots opened the University of Cyprus in ; many students, however, attend universities abroad, especially in Greece, Britainor the United States. The education system in the Turkish sector is administered separately, and the Turkish Cypriots maintain an excellent public-school system with facilities similar to those in the Greek sector and several institutions of specialized postsecondary education.
As in the Greek sector, many Turkish Cypriots travel abroad most to Turkey for postsecondary education. The fine educational opportunities provided by both the Greek and the Turkish administrations have not been without drawbacks, as many of the most qualified Cypriot graduates—both Greek and Turkish—seek employment abroad.
Cultural life Daily life and social customs The culture of Cyprus is divided between the northern Turkish and the southern Greek sections of the country. Since the Turkish community in northern Cyprus has promoted its own Turkish and Islamic culture, supporting its own newspapers and periodicals and changing many place-names to Turkish.
The anniversary of the proclamation of the TRNC November 15 is celebrated in the north, as are traditional Muslim holidays.
Greek Cypriots speak a dialect of Greek and maintain a somewhat ambivalent attitude about mainland Greeks. However, most Greek Cypriots who go abroad for their postsecondary education travel to Greece, and these young people share in the popular culture of Greece, which is itself increasingly cosmopolitan.
Even so, Greek Cypriots take care to preserve their traditional culture and to observe such important holidays as Easter and the pre-Easter Carnival and Anthestiria, a spring flower festival.
These trends were introduced not only by the mass media but also by a tremendous influx of young travelers, whose presence can be felt in the dance clubs and bars that now abound throughout the island. Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike enjoy a rich tradition of handicrafts and folk art.
Among the best-known expressions of this art internationally are Cypriot lacework—particularly that produced in the town of Lefkara near Nicosia—and silversmithing, which is practiced throughout the island.
Traditional terra-cotta pots and vessels, Cyprus. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a part of every meal, and Cyprus has long been famous for its wine, viticulture having been practiced on the island for thousands of years.CALL FOR PAPERS.
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