The Republic of Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus is located in Western Asia and bordered to Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Greece. Cyprus has a total area of 3,572 square miles and a population of over 1 million. The capital city is Nicosia and the official languages are Greek and Turkish.

Cyprus was occupied by several major powers until 1914. Afterwards it was formally annexed by Britain. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. In 1963, the violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started, which displaced thousands. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983 with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: The part which the republic has the sovereignty over the entire island, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which remain under British control. and the north administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.

The Order of Makarios III is the highest order of merit awarded by Cyprus. Established in 1991, the order is named after the first President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III. It is conferred upon heads of state and other people of significant status in recognition of meritorious service to the nation.


“Orders and Distinctions.” Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus.

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