Location

The geography of Cyprus is comprised of both physical and human geography. Cyprus is an island country situated in the Eastern Basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean (after the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia) and the world's 81st largest island by area. It is located south of Asia Minor, the Anatolian peninsula of the Asian (or Eurasian) mainland (now part of modern-day Turkey). At a confluence of Western Asia, Southern Europe, and Northern Africa, Cyprus has had lengthy periods of mainly Greek and intermittent Anatolian, Levantine, Byzantine, and Western European influences.

Cyprus measures 240 kilometres latitudinally and 100 km longitudinally, with Turkey 75 km to the north. Other neighbouring territories include Syria and Lebanon to the east (105 km and 108 km respectively), Israel 200 km to the southeast, Egypt 380 km to the south, and Greece to the west-northwest: 280 km to the small Dodecanesian island of Kastellórizo (Meyísti), 400 km (249 mi) to Rhodes, and 800 km (497 mi) to the Greek mainland.

Topography

The island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Mountains, and the central plain, the Mesaoria, which is between them. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The narrow Kyrenia Range, extends along the northern coastline. It is not as high as the Troodos Mountains, and it occupies substantially less area. The two mountain ranges run generally parallel to the Taurus Mountains on the Turkish mainland, the outlines of which are visible from northern Cyprus. Coastal lowlands, varying in width, surround the island.

Geopolitically, the island is divided into four main segments. The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized government, occupies the southern two-thirds of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, occupies the northern one-third of the island. The United Nations-controlled Green Line is a buffer zone that separates the two. Lastly, two bases under British sovereignty, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, are located on the island.

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