< ">Cyprus officially the Republic of Cyprus is a Eurasian island country located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea,east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria, Lebanon and Israel and north of Egypt. Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the Republic of Cyprus is a member state of the European Union. The earliest known human activity on the island dates back to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, which has been declared a World Heritage Site with an "enhanced protection" status in the event of armed conflict by UNESCO, along with the archaeological sites of Paphos and the Painted Churches of the Troodos Region. Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world, and is the site of the earliest known example of feline domestication.
The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters, except for the British military bases of Akrotiri and Dhekelia. The Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts; the area under the effective control of the Republic of Cyprus, comprising about 59% of the island's area, and the Turkish-controlled area in the north, calling itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognised only by Turkey, covering about 36% of the island's area.