Cyprus - Media

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CTA) operates the internal communications system. The telephone network is nearly wholly automatic, and the CTA connects Cyprus with more than 67 other countries; in 1980, its first telecommunications satellite, Makarios, was placed in earth orbit. In 1998, there were an estimated 405,000 mainline telephones in use in the Greek Cypriot sector and 83,162 in the Turkish Cypriot area. The same year there were about 68,000 cellular phones in use in the Greek Cypriot area and, by 1999, 70,000 cellular phones in the Turkish area.

The Cyprus Broadcasting Corp. maintains regular service. Commercial spot announcements and a few sponsored programs are permitted on both radio and television. Radio programming in both AM and FM is transmitted by the CBC on two channels in Greek, Turkish, Arabic, and English. Private radio stations have been allowed since 1990, and there were 30 licenses issued by the end of 1992. The CBC has two channels, and licenses have been granted to four private stations (one of them cable) since April 1993. The main television transmitting station is located on Mt. Olympus. Since 1980, the television service has been linked via satellite with the Eurovision network for live transmission of major events in Europe. As of 1998, the Greek sector had 7 AM and 60 FM radio stations; the Turkish sector had 3 AM and 11 FM stations. In 1995, each area had four television stations. In 1997, the Greek Cypriots had about 310,000 radios and 248,000 television sets in use throughout their area. In 1994, the Turkish Cypriots had about 56,540 radios and 52,300 television sets in use. Nationwide, there were about 120,000 Internet subscribers served by six service providers in 2001.

Nicosia has traditionally been the publishing center for the island and the editorial headquarters of nearly all the daily newspapers and weeklies. There is no censorship in the south, and newspapers are outspoken on political matters. The following are the major daily newspapers (with estimated 2002 circulations):


O Phileleftheros (Greek) Independent liberal 26,000
Kibris (Turkish) NA 13,000
Althia (Greek) NA 11,000
Haravghi (Greek) Communist 9,000
I Simerini (Greek) Conservative 9,000
Apogevmatini (Greek Independent moderate 8,000
Halkin Sesi (Turkish) Independent nationalist 6,000
Agon (Greek) Independent right-wing 5,000
Cyprus Mail (English) Independent conservative 4,000

Freedom of speech and the press are mandated by law and are said to be in full support by the government. Private television and radio stations and university-run stations compete successfully with the government-controlled stations.

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