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Politically, the island in the eastern Mediterranean forms the Republic of Cyprus, which under international law comprises the entire island of 9,251 km². De facto, however, it consists only of the larger southern part with 5,384 km², because the smaller north with 3,355 km² forms the regime (not recognised by many states) Turkish Republic of Cyprus. Two British military bases with 255 km² of land area are under the control of England as a remnant of colonial times. The distance to the south coast of Turkey is only about 70 km, to the east coast of the Greek island of Rhodes almost 400 km and to the mainland of Greece even more than 800 km. Viticulture dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. According to mythology, the Greek wine god Dionysus preferred wines from the island for his drinking parties. The foam-born Aphrodite emerged from the sea at the "Roman Rock" and went ashore near the Akamas peninsula. The Phoenicians and Greeks established the tradition of sweet wines in antiquity. Floor mosaics with wine motifs in the port city of Paphos on the southwest coast bear witness to this ancient wine-growing culture.

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