Since the British colonial era, there has been a model
for the teaching system that applies to both Greek and
Turkish Cypriots, but both groups have completely separate
schools. Basic education is free of charge and compulsory
for ages 6-15. The school consists of six-year primary
school and six-year secondary school where the first three
years are compulsory. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Cyprus.
The proportion of highly educated people has since been
higher in Greek than in Turkish Cypriots. There is a larger
state university in Nicosia and a number of private and
state universities and colleges on the island.
Due to developments in the tourism sector, with
international assistance and through the fact that Cyprus,
due to the civil war in Lebanon, took over Beirut's role as
an international financial center, the island from 1983
experienced a period of economic growth. First of all, it
benefited the Greek-Cypriot citizenship.
In the northern part of the island a strong influx of
Turkish immigrants was recorded; the number of newcomers is
estimated at 40,000. Adding to this the presence of 35,000
Turkish soldiers and the emigration of about 20,000 Turkish
Cypriots, it can be seen that the island's "population
profile" has changed radically; In the early 1990s, the
ratio of «continental» Turks to Turkish Cypriots was 1 to 1.
In May 1985, a referendum was held to introduce a
constitution for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
65% of voters voted in favor of the new constitution, while
30% abstained. It was interpreted as a lack of confidence in
the legitimacy of the new state.
In February 1987, the Greek Prime Minister canceled his
visit to the United States, because of his approaches to
Turkey and in protest against the installation of North
American weapons in the Turkish-controlled area of Cyprus.
Cyprus's economy grew by 6.9% in 1988 and by 6% in 1989.
In April 1990, Denktash was re-elected president of Northern
Cyprus. With the support of US President George Bush, in
1991 Turkey proposed a meeting of representatives from
Ankara, Athens and from both Cypriot communities. The Greeks
and Greek-Cypriot leaders considered Washington's support of
the proposal to be a compensation to Turkey for its
involvement in the Gulf War.
Nicosia demanded assistance from the UN and the EU, while
rejecting the presence of Turkish Cypriots. In April 1992,
the United Nations declared Cyprus to be a binary and
religious community, with political equality between the two
groups. At the presidential elections in early 1993, Glafkos
Klerides won over President Giorgis Vassiliu.
In Northern Cyprus, Denktash formed a new coalition
government in December 1993, while in 1994 the Cypriot
judiciary recognized the presence of British military bases
on the island. At the same time, the European Court ordered
the imposition of a trade embargo on the export of Turkish
Cypriot goods; Despite the Turkish aid, the embargo
seriously hurt the economy.
In 1995, the question asked whether Cyprus's entry into
the EU could help solve the problem of sharing the island,
which received more than 2 million tourists annually, and
whose economy was growing. Massive Eastern European
investment gave rise to charges of money laundering.
In May 1996, the Labor Party gained one-third of the
vote, removing President Kleride's parliamentary base. A
series of demonstrations in August at the internal borders
led to the loss of several lives. The human rights
organization Amnesty International accused the Turkish
Cypriot government of being directly or indirectly
responsible for at least two of the deaths.
In trying to get Cyprus admitted into the EU, Klerides
and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash met repeatedly in
1997. These meetings, with UN participation, aimed to
reunite the island in the short term as a prelude to the
accession in the EU. But direct talks between the EU and the
Greek Cypriot leaders slowed down internal dialogue in
Cyprus and the reunion dragged on. The disagreement between
Greece and Turkey on this point also made the negotiations