Cyprus - Local government



Elected municipal corporations function in the chief towns and larger villages. The smaller villages are managed by commissions comprising a headman ( mukhtar ) and elders ( azas ). Voluntary district committees are responsible for activities outside the scope of the major government development projects. There are six administrative districts for the island: Famagusta, Kyrenia, Larnaca, Limassol, Nicosia, and Paphos. The Turkish Cypriot area's administrative divisions include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Nicosia and Larnaca.

The 1960 constitution provided for two communal chambers, these bodies having wide authority within the two main ethnic groups, including the power to draft laws, impose taxes, and determine all religious, educational, and cultural questions. The Greek Communal Chamber, however, was abolished in 1965, and its functions reverted to the Ministry of Education (later renamed the Ministry of Education and Culture). The Turkish Communal Chamber embraces municipalities that are exclusively Turkish. Originally the duties of the Turkish Communal Chamber were to supervise Turkish cooperatives, sports organizations, and charitable institutions. But since the late 1960s, the Turkish communities have maintained strict administrative control of their own areas and have insisted on civil autonomy.

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