The island is dominated by two mountain ranges, the Troodos Mountains and the Kyrenia Mountains, and the central plain, the Mesaoria, which is between them. The Troodos Mountains cover most of the southern and western portions of the island and account for roughly half its area. The narrowKyrenia Range, extends along the northern coastline. It is not as high as the Troodos Mountains, and it occupies substantially less area. The two mountain ranges run generally parallel to the Taurus Mountains on the Turkish mainland, the outlines of which are visible from northern Cyprus. Coastal lowlands, varying in width, surround the island.
Geopolitically, the island is divided into four main segments. The Republic of Cyprus, the internationally recognized government, occupies the southern two-thirds of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey, occupies the northern one-third of the island. The United Nations-controlled Green Line is a buffer zone that separates the two. Lastly, two bases under British sovereignty, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, are located on the island.