PAPHOS, Cyprus -- The government of the Republic of Cyprus is the
internationally recognized authority on the island but, in
practice, it controls 63% of it -- the Greek Cypriot, southern part
of the island, according to the U.S. State Department.
The northern 37% of the island operates under an autonomous
Turkish Cypriot administrative zone supported by Turkish troops. In
1983, this section declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.
Facilities for tourism in the southern sector are highly
developed. Those in the northern Turkish-controlled zone, although
adequate, tend to be smaller and less modern, according to the
Since 1974, the Cypriot government has designated Larnaca and
Paphos airports and the seaports of Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos as
the only legal points of entry into and exit from Cyprus. All are
in the southern part of the island.
Entry or exit via any other airport or seaport is not authorized
by the Cypriot government. It is possible for visitors to arrive at
nondesignated airports and seaports in the northern sector, but
they should not expect to cross the U.N.-patrolled "green line" to
the government-controlled areas in the south.
Such travel is not permitted by the government of Cyprus, even
for transit purposes.
Visitors arriving through designated ports of entry in the south
might be able to cross into the north for day trips and return by 5
p.m., according to the Cyprus Tourism Organization.
No hostilities with Turkey have occurred since 1974, when Turkey
invaded Cyprus, according to the tourism organization. Negotiations
have been held sporadically since that time to resolve Turkish
Cypriot/Greek Cypriot issues, but no tangible results have yet been
Tourism, particularly among Europeans, has thrived in Cyprus,
which boasts a low crime rate -- exemplified by islanders' habit of
parking their cars, unlocked, with keys in the ignition, tourism