Saturday, January 14, 2017


Cyprus is an island located near Turkey but the major language, especially of the western part is Greek.  This island and Greece are the major speakers of Greek.

About the maps above.  In 1974 the Turks took over the maroon-colored area by force. They snatched the airports, hotels, resorts and peoples' homes 
and let them run down. 

A graphic video of photos from 1974.  DON'T WATCH IF YOU THINK YOU WILL BE SADDENED BY THIS VIDEO
This video was made in 2012 but nothing 
has changed in the last 5 years. 

Why did Turkey invade Cyprus?  LINK TO ARTICLE  Said it was to protect Turkish Cypriots when indeed the majority of the island was Greek and the northern part which Turkey took over was Greek not Turkish.  Many resources say that since Cyprus wanted to be merged with Greece that the Turks didn't like that!!


Red indicates Turkish areas and Blue Greek
 areas with mixtures in-between.

Red indicates Turkish areas.

I was there in July of 1975 in Nicosia (where I met a Nato guard who said he would take my camera and smash it if I took any photos over the barbed wire fence). Such a nice man!!  Was also in Larnaca. Stayed in Cyprus for three weeks in the smallest Hilton Hotel in the world at that time.  I learned that many Cypriots immigrated to Australia, especially Melbourne, 

Besides the northern Cypriots who fled to southern Cyprus there was an influx of Syrians who immigrated to Cyprus because of problems in their country.  I met and befriended a Syrian woman (can't remember her name) who was lovely and who was a great source on Syrian cuisine; she even gave me a Syrian cookbook.

Even though Cyprus proper is small 
it has many islets.

  • Ayios Georgios (Yeoryios), islet located in the Akamas peninsula
  • Aspro, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Dhemoniaris, island located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Galounia, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Glaros, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Glykiotissa, island located in Kyrenia region
  • Khamili, islet locatet in the Akamas peninsula
  • Jila, island located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Kalamoulia, islet located near Karavas
  • Kannoudhia, islet located in the Akamas peninsula
  • Kemathion, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Khoti, islet located next to Ayios Amvrosios
  • Kionos, islet located in the Akamas peninsula
  • Klidhes, archipelago located at the tip of the Karpasia peninsula
  • Koppo, islet located in the Akamas peninsula
  • Kordhylia, island located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Kormakitis, islet located in the cape Kormakitis
  • Koutisopetri, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Koutoulis, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Lefkonisos, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Mazaki, island located in the Akamas peninsula
  • Maniji, islets located near Peyia
  • Moulia, rocks located near Paphos
  • Nisarka, islet located near Paphos
  • Nisha, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Palloura, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Petra Tou Limniti, islet located next to Pyrgos
  • Petra Tou Romiou, islet located near Kouklia
  • Scales,islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Sernos,islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Skaloudhia, island located in the Karpasia peninsula[1]
  • Skamni, islet located in the Karpasia peninsula
  • Vatha, islet located south to Limassol
  • Yeronisos, island located near Peyia]



The best-known spices and herbs include pepper, parsley, arugula, celery, fresh coriander, pepper, parsley, pepper, parsley, arugula, celery, fresh coriander (cilantro), thyme and oregano. Traditionally, cumin and coriander seeds seeds make up the main cooking aromas of the island. Mint is a very important herb in Cyprus. It grows abundantly, and locals use it for everything, particularly in dishes containing ground meat.


Ayran is a traditional drink made of milk. Its recipe varies from region to region. Triantafyllo, a thick concentrated dark pink syrup (rose cordial) made from the extract of the Cyprus (Damascus) rose, has water or milk added to make a refreshing sweet cordial, especially in summer. It is distinct from rodostagma (literally "rose drops") (rose water) and anthonero (blossom water), which are used to sweeten mahallepi and other sweetmeats.

Among Cypriots traditional brandy and zivania are of the most popular drinks on the island. The second popular drink is beer. The local breweries of KEO and Carlsberg command the lion's share of the market. In Northern Cyprus, Efes is the most widely sold. Evidence of wine production on Cyprus goes back for millennia. Commandaria, the oldest wine in continuous production, is a popular dessert wine.
Cyprus also has a tradition of brandy production, with production by various Limassol-based distilleries since 1871. Cypriot brandy is commonly drunk with meze dishes, and forms the base for the distinctive brandy sour cocktail, developed on the island in the late 1930s. Zivania, a grape distillate similar to Cretan raki is another popular spirit.
The distinctive dishes created by Cypriots are influenced by Greece and other countries like Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, France, and Britain. Cypriots cook with less oil than their Mediterranean neighbors and their diet is healthy.

A popular food is halloumi, the traditional white cheese of Cyprus, which has been produced on the island for centuries.  It is a semi-hard cheese prepared from sheep's milk, with mint added to it. Halloumi is delicious when grilled or fried. 

Note:  If you can't find halloumi in your local store there are several varieties on and some Walmarts carry it also. 

Traditional Greek foods are favorites of Greek Cypriots, such as baklava which is made from phyllo pastry, nuts, honey and syrup.

Cypriots drink a lot of coffee, and the beverage is made individually in small, long handled pots, called mbrikia.  

One heaped teaspoon of finely ground fresh coffee is added to a demitasse of cold water. Sugar is added before heating the coffee. Cypriots order coffee glykos (sweet), metrios (medium sweet), orsketos (unsweetened). The mbrikiaare heated on the stove, and when the sugar has dissolved, the coffee is allowed to come to the boil, forming a creamy froth kaimaki 

on top. As the froth turns in from the sides and the coffee begins to rise in the pot, it is removed from the heat and a little is poured into each cup to distribute the froth. Cyprus coffee is strong and is always served with a glass of cold water. It contains no spices and leaves a little sediment in the bottom of the cup.
Greek and Cypriot cuisine owes its heritage to a mixture of Mediterranean, Southern European and Middle Eastern influences. Local dishes are delicious, particularly the meze or mezedes, 

a specialty of Cyprus that consists of a large number of cold and hot hors d'oeuvres such as salads, meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fish dishes. It is eaten either as an appetizer or as a main course. 
Other typical dishes include choban salatasi (peasant-style salad), one of the most popular salads in North Cyprus. 

Light, refreshing and easy to make, it makes a perfect lunch under an olive tree by the sea. Ingredients include tomatoes, onions, green peppers, olives, cucumber, halloumi cheese, oregano and olive oil.
Yalanci dolmais vine leaves stuffed with rice, onions, and sometimes tomatoes. 

Shish kebab is marinated lamb, skewered and grilled over charcoal. 

Musakka or moussaka is layers of mince, potatoes, and aubergines (eggplants) baked in the oven with cheese topping. 

Cacik is yogurt with cucumber and mint.

  Ahtapot salatasi is octopus salad.

Desserts and pastries from Turkish Cyprus include: ceviz macunu is walnut syrup or jam or paste  which is made from green walnuts in syrup;

Note:  You can buy this on Amazon

 lokum, known as Turkish Delight;

and turunch macunu, a delicacy made of bitter oranges in syrup;

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