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Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti
Flag Coat of arms
Anthemİstiklâl Marşı  (Turkish)
Independence March

Capital Nicosia
(Lefkoşa in Turkish)
35°11′N 33°22′E / 35.183°N 33.367°E / 35.183; 33.367
Official language(s) Turkish
Demonym Turkish Cypriot
Government Representative democratic republic[1]
 -  President Mehmet Ali Talat
 -  Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu
Independence (de facto) from Cyprus 
 -  Proclaimed November 15, 1983 
 -  Recognition By Turkey only 
 -  Total 3,355 km2 (167th ranked together with Cyprus)
1,295 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 2.7
 -  2006 census 265,100 (de facto)[2] 
 -  Density 78/km2 (89th)
203/sq mi
GDP (nominal) 2007 estimate
 -  Total $3.6 billion[3] 
 -  Per capita $14,765[3] 
Currency Turkish lira (TRY)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Internet TLD or .tr, wide use of .cc
Calling code +90 (+90-392 for TRNC)

Northern Cyprus or North Cyprus (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs), known officially as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti, KKTC) [4], is a de facto independent republic[5][6][7] located in the north of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus declared its independence in 1983, nine years after a Greek Cypriot coup attempting to annex the island to Greece led to an military intervention by Turkey. It has received diplomatic recognition only from Turkey, on which it has become dependent for economic, political and military support. The rest of the international community, including the United Nations and European Union, recognises the de jure sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island.

The Turkish Army maintains a large force in Northern Cyprus. Its presence is supported and approved by the Northern Cyprus government. The Republic of Cyprus and the international community regard it as an illegal occupation force and its presence has also been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions.[8] Attempts to reach a solution to the dispute have so far been unsuccessful. In 2004 a fifth revision of the UN Annan Plan to settle the Cyprus dispute was accepted by a majority of Turkish Cypriots in a referendum, but rejected by a majority of Greek Cypriots.

Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula (Cape Apostolos Andreas) in the northeast, westward to Morphou Bay and Cape Kormakitis (the Kokkina/Erenköy exclave marks the westernmost extent of the area), and southward to the village of Louroujina/Akıncılar. The buffer zone stretching between the two areas — dividing the island's capital city Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkoşa) — is under the control of the United Nations.



The history of Northern Cyprus begins with the gaining of independence of a united Cyprus from British rule in August 1960. Independence was only achieved after both Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed to respectively abandon plans for enosis (union with Greece) and taksim (Turkish for 'partition'). The agreement involved Cyprus being governed under a constitution which apportioned Cabinet posts, parliamentary seats and civil service jobs on an agreed ratio between the two communities. However the Constitution of Cyprus, while establishing an independent and sovereign republic was, in the words of Stanley Alexander de Smith (an authority on constitutional law) "unique in its tortuous complexity and in the multiplicity of the safeguards that it provides for the principal minority; the Constitution of Cyprus stands alone among the constitutions of the world."[5] Within three years, tensions between the two communities in administrative affairs began to show. In particular disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. In 1963 President Makarios proposed unilateral changes to the constitution, via thirteen amendments, which some observers viewed as an unconstitutional attempt to tilt the balance of power in the Republic towards the Greek Cypriot community.[9] Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots rejected the proposed amendments as an attempt to settle constitutional disputes in favor of the Greek Cypriots[10] and as a means of demoting Turkish status from co-founders of the state to one of minority status removing their constitutional safeguards in the process. The President defended his amendments as being necessary "to resolve constitutional deadlocks."[5]

In 1963, the Greek Cypriot wing of the government created the Akritas plan which outlined a policy that would remove Turkish Cypriots from the government and ultimately lead to union with Greece. The plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected then they should be "violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene".[11] On December 21, 1963, a Turkish Cypriot crowd clashed with the plainclothes special constables of Yorgadjis. Almost immediately, intercommunal violence broke out with a major Greek Cypriot paramilitary attack upon Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia and Larnaca. Though the TMT — a Turkish resistance group created in 1959 to promote a policy of taksim (division or partition of Cyprus), in opposition to the Greek Cypriot nationalist group EOKA and its advocacy of enosis (union of Cyprus with Greece) — committed a number of acts of retaliation, historian of the Cyprus conflict Keith Kyle noted that "there is no doubt that the main victims of the numerous incidents that took place during the next few months were Turks."[10] Seven hundred Turkish hostages, including women and children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia. Nikos Sampson, a nationalist and future coup leader, led a group of Greek Cypriot irregulars into the mixed suburb of Omorphita and attacked the Turkish Cypriot population.[12] By 1964, 193 Turkish Cypriots and 133 Greek Cypriots had been killed, with a further 209 Turks and 41 Greeks missing and presumed dead.

A map of the Turkish Cypriot Enclaves before 1974 military operations

Turkish Cypriot members of the government had by now withdrawn, creating an essentially Greek Cypriot administration in control of all institutions of the state. Widespread looting of Turkish Cypriot villages prompted 20,000 refugees to retreat into armed enclaves, where they remained for the next 11 years,[5] relying on food and medical supplies from Turkey to survive. Turkish Cypriots formed paramilitary groups to defend the enclaves, leading to a gradual division of the island's communities into two hostile camps. The violence had also seen thousands of Turkish Cypriots attempt to escape the violence by emigrating to Britain, Australia and Turkey.[13]

The Republic of Cyprus has argued that the Turkish Cypriots' withdrawal from the government and their retreat into enclaves was a voluntary action, prompted by their desire to form a state of their own. In support of this view, a 1965 statement has been cited in which the then–United Nations Secretary General, U Thant, stated that Turkish Cypriots had furthered a policy of "self-segregation" and taken a "rigid stand" against policies which might have involved recognizing the government's authority.[14] Turkish Cypriots, for their part, point to a ruling of Cyprus's Supreme Court which found that Makarios had violated the constitution by failing to fully implement its measures and that Turkish Cypriots had not been allowed to return to their positions in government without first accepting the proposed constitutional amendments.[15]

Founder, and former President, Rauf Denktaş

On July 15, 1974, the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 backed a Greek Cypriot military coup d'état in Cyprus. President Makarios was removed from office and Nikos Sampson took his place. Turkey claimed that, under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, the coup was sufficient reason for military action to protect the Turkish Cypriot populace, and thus Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. Following Turkey's military intervention, the coup failed and Makarios returned to Cyprus. Turkish forces proceeded to take over the northern third of the island (about 37% of Cyprus's total area), causing large numbers of Greek Cypriots to abandon their homes. Approximately 160,000 Greek Cypriots fled to the south of the island, while 50,000 Turkish Cypriots fled north. Approximately 1,500 Greek Cypriot and 500 Turkish Cypriots remain missing.[16]

In 1975 the "Turkish Federative State of Cyprus" (Kıbrıs Türk Federe Devleti) was declared as a first step towards a future federated Cypriot state, but was rejected by the Republic of Cyprus, the UN, and the international community. After eight years of failed negotiations with the leadership of the Greek Cypriot community, the north declared its independence on November 15, 1983 under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This unilateral declaration of independence was rejected by the UN and the Republic of Cyprus. In recent years the politics of reunification has dominated the island's affairs. It was hoped that Cyprus's planned accession into the European Union would act as a catalyst towards a settlement, and in 2004 a United Nations–brokered peace settlement was presented in a referendum to both sides. The proposed settlement was opposed by both the president of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, and Turkish Cypriot president Rauf Denktaş; in the referendum, a majority of Turkish Cypriots accepted the proposal, but Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly rejected it. As a result, Cyprus entered the European Union as a divided island, with Northern Cyprus effectively excluded. Denktaş resigned in the wake of the vote, ushering in the pro-solutionist Mehmet Ali Talat as his successor.

Government and politics

Politics of Northern Cyprus takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the Prime Minister head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of the Republic. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

The president is elected for a five-year term. The current president is Mehmet Ali Talat who won the presidential elections on April 17, 2005. The legislature is the Assembly of the Republic, which has 50 members elected by proportional representation from five electoral districts. In the elections of April 2009, the right-leaning pro-independence National Unity Party defeated incumbent Republican Turkish Party and won an overall majority.[17]

Freedom House has classified Northern Cyprus as free in its annual reports for the last several years.[18]

International status and foreign relations

London office of Northern Cyprus, Bedford Square.

The international community, with the exception of Turkey, does not recognise Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state, but recognises the de jure sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island. The United Nations considers the declaration of independence by Northern Cyprus as legally invalid in several of its resolutions.[19][20]

In wake of the April 2004 referendum on the United Nations Annan Plan, and the support of the Turkish Cypriot community for the plan, the European Union made pledges towards ending the isolation of northern Cyprus. These included measures for trade and 259 million euro in aid.

The Organization of the Islamic Conference gave Northern Cyprus the status of a constituent state, making the "Turkish Cypriot State" an observer member of the organization.[21] A number of high profile formal meetings have also taken place between President Mehmet Ali Talat and various foreign leaders and politicians including the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the then British foreign minister, Jack Straw and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

The Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan (Azerbaijan) has issued a resolution recognizing Northern Cyprus' independence, but Azerbaijan has yet refrained to officially support this decision due to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.[22]

The European Union considers the area not under effective control of the Republic of Cyprus as EU territory under Turkish military occupation and thus indefinitely exempt from EU legislation until a settlement has been found. The status of Northern Cyprus has become a recurrent issue especially during the recent talks for Turkey's membership of the EU where the division of the island is seen as a major stumbling block in Turkey's long road to membership.[23][24]

On February 18, 2008, Northern Cyprus became one of the first nations to acknowledge the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Kosovo, in direct opposition to the stance of the Republic of Cyprus, which rejects the Kosovo UDI. It is argued by the Turkish and Northern Cyprus media that the independence of Kosovo could be a good model for the recognition of Northern Cyprus. It is to be stressed however that the government of Northern Cyprus has not yet formally recognized the government of Kosovo, despite President Talat's message of congratulations to Kosovo.[2]


Northern Cyprus has an indigenous 5,000-man Turkish Cypriot Security Force (TCSF), which is primarily made up of conscripted Turkish Cypriot males between the ages of 18 and 40. There is also an additional reserve force consisting of about 11,000 first-line, 10,000 second-line and 5,000 third-line troops conscripted up to the age of 50. The TCSF is lightly armed and heavily dependent on its mainland Turkish allies, from which it draws much of its officer corps. It is led by a Brigadier General drawn from the Turkish Army. It acts essentially as a gendarmerie charged with protection of the border of Northern Cyprus from Greek Cypriot incursions and maintaining internal security within Northern Cyprus.[25]

In addition, the mainland Turkish Armed Forces maintain a Cyprus Turkish Peace Force (CTPF) consisting of around 30-40,000 troops drawn from the 9th Turkish Army Corps and comprising two divisions, the 28th and 39th. It is equipped with a substantial number of United States-made M48 Patton main battle tanks and artillery weapons. The Turkish Air Force, Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard also have a presence in Northern Cyprus. Although formally part of Turkish 4th Army, headquartered in İzmir, the sensitivities of the Cyprus situation means that the commander of the CTPF also reports directly to the Turkish General Staff in Ankara. The CTPF is deployed principally along the Green Line and in locations where hostile amphibious landings might take place.[25]

The presence of the mainland Turkish military in Cyprus is highly controversial, having been denounced as an illegal occupation force by the Republic of Cyprus government. Several United Nations Security Council resolutions have called on the Turkish forces to withdraw,[8] though failed Annan Plan of 2004 allowed for some troops to remain.

Administrative divisions

Administrative regions of Cyprus.

Northern Cyprus is divided into five districts.

Geography and climate

Coastline in Northern Cyprus.

The winter in Northern Cyprus is cold and rainy, particularly between December and February, with 60% of annual rainfall.[26] These rains produce winter torrents that fill most of the rivers, which typically dry up as the year progresses. Snow may fall on the Kyrenia Range, but seldom elsewhere in spite of low night temperatures. The short spring is characterized by unstable weather, occasional heavy storms and the "meltem", or westerly wind. Summer is hot and dry enough to turn low-lying lands on the island brown. Parts of the island experience the "Poyraz", a north-westerly wind, or the sirocco, a wind from Africa, which is dry and dusty. Summer is followed by a short, turbulent autumn.

Climate conditions on the island vary by geographical factors. The Mesaoria Plain, cut off from the summer breezes and from much of the humidity of the sea, may reach temperature peaks of 60 °C. Humidity rises at the Karpaz Peninsula. Humidity and water temperature (16 °C–28 °C) combine to stabilize coastal weather, which does not experience inland extremes. The Southern Range blocks air currents that bring rain and atmospheric humidity from the south-west, diminishing both on its eastern side.


The education system in Northern Cyprus consists of pre-school education, primary education, secondary education and higher education. Five years of primary education is mandatory.

There are more than 40,000 university students in six universities in Northern Cyprus: Near East University, Girne American University, Middle East Technical University, European University of Lefke, Cyprus International University, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU). EMU is an internationally recognised institution of higher learning with more than 1000 faculty members from 35 countries. There are 15,000 students in EMU representing 68 nationalities. The 6 universities have been approved by the Higher Education Council of Turkey. Eastern Mediterranean University and Near East University are full individual members of the European University Association [27]. EMU is full member of Community of Mediterranean Universities, Federation Universities of Islamic World and International Association of Universities. Three universities (Istanbul Technical University, Cukurova University, Gazi University) will open campuses in North Cyprus in 2010. Girne American University of North Cyprus opened a campus in Cantenbury, United Kingdom in 2009.


The Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Famagusta (Gazimağusa). Formerly Τhe Saint Nicolas Cathedral before its conversion in 1571. Tourism remains an important source of revenue for Northern Cyprus.

The economy of Northern Cyprus is dominated by the services sector (69% of GDP in 2007) which includes the public sector, trade, tourism and education. Industry (light manufacturing) contributes 22% of GDP and agriculture 9%.[28] The economy operates on a free-market basis, with a great portion funding of the administration costs offered by Turkey.

Because of its status and the embargo by the Republic of Cyprus, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkish economic support.[29] It uses the New Turkish Lira as its currency which links its economic status to the Turkish economy. Since the Republic of Cyprus joined the Euro zone and the relaxed movement of peoples between north and south, the Euro is also in wide circulation. Most exports and imports have to take place via Turkey unless they are produced locally from materials sourced in Cyprus (or imported via one of the island's recognised ports) when they may be exported via one of the legal ports.

The continuing Cyprus problem adversely affects the economic development of Northern Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus, as the internationally recognised authority, has declared airports and ports in the area not under its effective control closed. All U.N. Member countries and E.U. member countries respect the closure of those ports and airports according to the declaration of the Republic of Cyprus. The Turkish community[citation needed] argues that the Republic of Cyprus has used its international standing to handicap economic relations between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the world.

Despite the constraints imposed by the lack of international recognition, the economy of Northern Cyprus turned in an impressive performance in the last few years. The nominal GDP growth rates of the economy in 2001-2005 were 5.4%, 6.9%, 11.4%, 15.4% and 10.6%, respectively.[30][31] The real GDP growth rate in 2007 is estimated at 2%.[28] This growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish Lira and a boom in the education and construction sectors.

Between 2002 and 2007, Gross National Product per capita more than tripled (in current US dollars):[3]

  • US$4,409 (2002)
  • US$5,949 (2003)
  • US$8,095 (2004)
  • US$10,567 (2005)
  • US$11,837 (2006)
  • US$14,047 (2007, provisional)

Studies by the World Bank show that the per capita GDP in Northern Cyprus grew to 76% of the per capita GDP in the Republic of Cyprus in PPP-adjusted terms in 2004 (US$22,300 for the Republic of Cyprus and US$16,900 for Northern Cyprus).[30][31] Official estimates for the GDP per capita in current US dollars are US$8,095 in 2004 and US$11,837 in 2006.[3]

Although the economy has developed in recent years, it is still dependent on monetary transfers from the Turkish government. Under a July 2006 agreement, Ankara is to provide Northern Cyprus with an economic aid in the amount of $1.3 billion over three years (2006–2008).[28] This is a continuation of ongoing policy under which Turkish government allocates around $400 million annually from its budget to help raise the living standards of the Turkish Cypriots.[32]

The number of tourists visiting Northern Cyprus during January-August 2006 was 380,000,[31] up from 286,901 during January-August 2003.[33]

Communications and transport

International telephone calls are routed via a Turkish dialling code (+90 392) as Northern Cyprus has neither its own country code nor official ITU prefix. Similarly with the internet Northern Cyprus has no top level domain of its own and is under the Turkish second-level domain Postal mail must be addressed 'via Mersin 10, TURKEY' as the Universal Postal Union does not recognise Northern Cyprus as a separate entity. Amateur radio operators sometimes use callsigns beginning with "1B", but these have no standing for awards or other operating credit.

Direct flights to Northern Cyprus and the trade traffic through the Turkish Cypriot ports are restricted as part of the embargo on Turkish Cypriot ports.[34] The airports of Geçitkale and Ercan are only recognised as legal ports of entry by Turkey and Azerbaijan.[35]. The seaports in Famagusta and Kyrenia have been declared closed to all shipping by the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.[36] By agreement between Northern Cyprus and Syria, there is a ship tour between Famagusta and Latakia, Syria. Since the opening of the Green Line Turkish Cypriot residents are allowed to trade through Greek Cypriot ports.[37]

Naturalised citizens of Northern Cyprus or foreigners carrying a passport stamped by Northern Cyprus authorities may be refused entry by the Republic of Cyprus or Greece,[38] although after the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU such restrictions have been eased following confidence-building measures between Athens and Ankara and the partial opening of the UN controlled line by Northern Cyprus authorities. The Republic of Cyprus also allows passage across the Green Line from the part of Nicosia that it controls, as well as a few other selected crossing points, since Northern Cyprus does not leave entry stamps in the passport for such visits. Since May 2004 some tourists have taken to flying to the Republic of Cyprus directly then crossing the green line to holiday in Northern Cyprus.[39]


According to a census carried out in the beginning of 2006 by the Turkish Cypriot administration, Northern Cyprus has a population of 265,100,[2] of which majority is composed of indigenous Turkish Cypriots, with the rest including a large number of settlers from Turkey. Of the 178,000 Turkish Cypriot citizens, 82% are native Cypriots (145,000). Of the 45,000 people born to non-Cypriot parentage, nearly 40% (17,000) were born in Cyprus. The figure for non-citizens, including students, guest workers and temporary residents stood at 78,000 people.[2][40]

Estimates by the government of the Republic of Cyprus from 2001 place the population at 200,000, of which 80-89,000 are Turkish Cypriots and 109,000-117,000 Turkish settlers.[41]. An island-wide census in 1960 indicated the number of Turkish Cypriots as 102,000 and Greek Cypriots as 450,000[42]. Estimates state that 36,000 (about 1/3) Turkish Cypriots emigrated in the period 1975-1995, with the consequence that within Northern Cyprus the native Turkish Cypriots have been outnumbered by settlers from Turkey.[41]

Northern Cyprus is almost entirely Turkish speaking. English, however, is widely spoken as a second language. Many of the older Turkish Cypriots speak and understand Greek - some may even be considered native speakers of the Greek Cypriot dialect.

There are small populations of Greek Cypriots and Maronites (about 3,000) living in Rizokarpaso (Dipkarpaz) and Kormakitis regions. Before 1974, Rizokarpaso was predominantly inhabited by Greek-Cypriots. During the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the peninsula was cut off by Turkish troops, and this prevented the town's Greek-Cypriot inhabitants from fleeing to the South. As a result, Rizokarpaso is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking population in the North. The Greek-Cypriot inhabitants are still supplied by the UN, and Greek-Cypriot products are consequently available in some shops. Today, the town is also the home of a large Kurdish minority, closely monitored by the Turkish-Cypriot police. The town has both a Kafeneion and a Kahvehane and both seem to be used indiscriminately by both ethnic groups.[citation needed]

Human rights

Freedom House, a human rights organization, has classified Northern Cyprus as "free" since 2000. According to its rating the human rights situation in Northern Cyprus is somewhat worse than in the Republic of Cyprus but better than in Turkey.[18][43]

The constant focus on the division of the island sometimes masks other human rights issues.[44] Prostitution is rife in both the North and the South, and the island has been criticized for its role in the sex trade as one of the main routes of human trafficking from Eastern Europe.[45] [46] The regime in Northern Cyprus has been the focus of occasional freedom of speech criticisms[47] regarding heavy-handed treatment of newspaper editors. Domestic violence legislation has not yet been passed in Northern Cyprus.[48] A difference between Southern and Northern Cyprus in terms of human rights issues remains the criminalisation of male homosexuality in the latter.[49]

See also


  1. ^ Country Report on Northern Cyprus, 2006
  2. ^ a b c TRNC General Population and Housing Unit Census 2006, TRNC State Planning Organization, updated 7 October 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d Economic and Social Indicators 1977-2007, TRNC State Planning Organization, February 2008
  4. ^ "The social and economic impact of EU membership on northern Cyprus", Diez, Thomas (2002). The European Union and the Cyprus Conflict: Modern Conflict, Postmodern Union. Manchester University Press. p. 187. ISBN 0719060796. 
  5. ^ a b c d In Praise of 'Virtual States', Leon Hadar, November 16, 2005
  6. ^ Carter Johnson, University of Maryland. Sovereignty or Demography? Reconsidering the Evidence on Partition in Ethnic Civil Wars, 2005
  7. ^ Emerson, Michael (2004). The Wider Europe Matrix. CPSE. ISBN 9290794690. 
  8. ^ a b UN Security Council resolutions 353(1974), 357(1974), 358(1974), 359(1974), 360(1974), 365(1974)
  9. ^ David Hannay, 2005. Cyprus the search for a solution. I.B Tauris.
  10. ^ a b The Main Narrative, continued The Cyprus Conflict
  11. ^ Cyprus – The Republic of Cyprus (, U.S. Library of Congress
  12. ^ Andrew Borowiec, 2000. Cyprus: A troubled island. Praeger/Greenwood p.56
  13. ^ Quoted in Andrew Borowiec, 2000. Cyprus: A troubled island. Praeger/Greenwood p.58
  14. ^ (Report S/6426 10.6.65)
  15. ^ Stephen, Michael, (1987) Cyprus: Two Nations in One Island Bow Educational Briefing No.5. London, Pages 1-7
  16. ^ Bones of Cyprus missing unearthed BBC News
  17. ^ Hürriyet, Right-leaning party wins in northern Cyprus elections
  18. ^ a b Territory ratings and status, FIW 1973-2008, Freedom House
  19. ^ Ods Home Page
  20. ^ ODS - Sédoc Official Documents System of the United Nations
  21. ^ Islamic Conference's Parliaments to Call Northern Cyprus 'Cyprus Turkish State Zaman
  22. ^ REGNUM news agency press release
  23. ^ David Gow; Helena Smith (2004-10-07). "EU puts Turkey on a long road to accession". The Guardian.,12700,1321511,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  24. ^ "EU Sets Deadline for Turkey to Open Up Its Ports". Deutsche Welle. 2006-11-21.,2144,2243855,00.html. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  25. ^ a b "Cyprus." Jane's Sentinel: Eastern Mediterranean, issue 22, 2007.
  26. ^ Section source. Weather Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  27. ^ The official website of EUA: "In the select box "ALL COUNTRIES" select "OTHER", click to search"
  28. ^ a b c CIA - The World Factbook - Cyprus: scroll down to section entitled Economy of the area administered by Turkish Cypriots
  29. ^ Universities: Little accord on the island - Higher, Education - The Independent
  30. ^ a b Cyprus after Accession: Thinking Outside the Box – Background Documents, University of Oxford, European Studies Centre, Workshop on Cyprus 10–11 March 2006
  31. ^ a b c General information about North Cyprus: Economy, web site of Unistar Investments Ltd., Bellapais, North Cyprus
  32. ^ Turkey, N. Cyprus sign economic development deal, Hurriyet Turkish Daily News, 4 May 2007.
  33. ^ Tourism statistics for the period January-August 2003: North Cyprus Ministry of Economy and Tourism
  34. ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Turkey 'will open up to Cyprus'
  35. ^ North Cyprus Airport, Ercan, Larnaca, Cheap Flights Northern Cyprus
  36. ^ Merchant Shipping
  37. ^ HC 113 II 04.05.PDF
  38. ^ Visa requirements for Cyprus
  39. ^ On the case: non-existent flight; Northern Cyprus; children in the Algarve; Cannes - Telegraph
  40. ^ Simon Bahceli (2007-02-15). "Indigenous Turkish Cypriots just over half north’s population". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 2007-02-16. 
  41. ^ a b Quoted after the Euromosaic report, a study commissioned by the European Commission ([1]PDF (120 KiB)
  42. ^ Cyprus - SOCIETY
  43. ^ Country ratings and status, FIW 1973-2008, Freedom House
  44. ^ US Department of State Report on Human Rights in Cyprus
  45. ^ Jean Christou, US report raps Cyprus over battle on flesh trade,,, retrieved 2007-10-13 
  46. ^ Jacqueline Theodoulou, A shame on our society,,, retrieved 2007-10-13 
  47. ^ IPI deeply concerned over criminal defamation charges brought against daily newspaper in Northern Cyprus, international Press Institute, 9 January 2007,, retrieved 2007-10-13 
  48. ^
    U.S. Department of State (March 1996), Cyprus Human Rights Practices, 1995: Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, Disability, Language, or Social Status, Hellenic Resources network,, retrieved 2007-10-13 
  49. ^ Overview of the Human Rights Situation in North Cyprus by the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation

Further reading

  • North Cyprus – a Pocket-Guide. Rustem Bookshop, Nicosia. 2006. ISBN 994496803x. 

External links

Official links
Other links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Northern Cyprus article)

From Wikitravel

Europe : Northern Cyprus
Kyrenia Marina
Quick Facts
Capital Nicosia
Government republic
Currency New Turkish lira (YTL)
Area 3,355 sq km
Population 264,172 (2006 est.)
Language Turkish (official)
Religion Muslim
Electricity 240V/50Hz (UK plug)
Calling Code +90 392
Internet TLD
Time Zone UTC+2

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC, Turkish Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti) is a self-proclaimed republic on the northern and eastern side of the island of Cyprus. Turkey is currently the only state which recognizes the TRNC. Cyprus itself is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. After Sicily and Sardinia, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

As the two regions are nearly completely separate from a traveller's point of view, this article will concentrate on the northern territory governed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This is not a political endorsement of claims by either side in the dispute. For travel information regarding the remainder of Cyprus, visit the Cyprus article.


Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960. Despite a constitution which guaranteed a degree of power-sharing between the Greek Cypriot majority and the Turkish Cypriot minority, the two populations – with backing from the governments of Greece and Turkey, respectively – clashed vehemently in 1974, with the end result being the occupation of the northern and eastern 36.7% of the island by Turkey. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus". So far, only Turkey recognizes the TRNC, while all other governments and the United Nations recognize only the government of the Republic of Cyprus over the whole island. The UN operates a peacekeeping force and a narrow buffer zone between the two Cypriot ethnic groups. Fortunately, open hostilities have been absent for some time, as the two sides (now with the growing involvement of the European Union) gradually inch towards a reunification of some sort.


Temperate; Mediterranean with hot, dry summers and cool winters.


Central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast.


Cyprus is divided into 6 administrative regions, each named for its administrative capital. The southern districts of Larnaca, Limassol, and Paphos, the southern portion of Nicosia district, and a small part of Famagusta district are administered by the Republic of Cyprus. Since 1974, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus administers the following districts:

Famagusta district
Kyrenia district
Nicosia district (including a small portion of Larnaca district)


Note that Cypriot cities have a variety of historical spellings and writings, all in fairly common use, and which change according to the context, whether it be Greek Cypriot, Turkish or English tourist. The following list emphasizes traditional English spellings, that will most often be encountered by the traveller.

  • Nicosia (Lefkoşa / Lefkosia) - the divided capital
  • Famagusta (Mağusa / Ammochostos)
  • Kyrenia (Girne / Keryneia)
  • Morphou (Güzelyurt / Omorfo)
  • Trikomo (İskele / Τρίκωμο) ·

Get in

As northern Cyprus is not an internationally recognized state, the rules for entry are a little confusing, but far more relaxed than they were just a few years ago.

All visitors to Northern Cyprus will need to pass through TRNC immigration, which is fairly painless. Citizens of the European Union, the US, Japan and most other industrialized countries get a visitor visa issued free of charge at the border or green line crossing point. Others will need to apply at "representative offices" (the TRNC has no embassies outside Turkey) in London (29, Bedford Square, London WCIB 3EG, UK. Tel: +44-207-631-1920), Washington D.C. (1667 K. Street, Suite 690, Washington D.C. 20006, USA. Te3l: +1-202-887 6198), or New York (TRNC Office of the Representative, 821 United Nations Plaza, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA. Tel: +1-212-687 2350).

When passing a Green Line checkpoint between the Republic and TRNC, TRNC immigration will stamp a piece of paper instead of your passport. When arrving at an air or seaport, immigration official will do so on request, although TRNC stamps are no longer a major problem for later visits to Greece or Cyprus.

By plane

As the state is not recognised by any international organisation, its Ercan Airport is not recognised by the IATA. This means all flights (including charters) must touch down in Turkey before continuing to Ercan. Scheduled flights on Cyprus Turkish Airlines [1] connect to various destinations in Turkey, as do those on Turkish Airlines [2]. Charter flights are also available with the Turkish carriers Onur Air, Fly Air, Atlas Jet and World Focus Airlines.

It is also possible to fly to airports in southern Cyprus (Larnaca is the closest) and take a taxi to the north, crossing the Green Line near Nicosia. It is best to have a travel operator arrange for a taxi from the north to collect you, since Greek Cypriot taxi drivers may not be willing to take tourists to the north. See details on crossing the Green Line below.

By boat

Frequent ferry services operated by Fergün Shipping [3] connect Kyrenia to Alanya and Taşucu in Turkey. There are occasional ferries to other destinations in Turkey as well.

By car

You can enter TRNC with a rented car from the South at any one of the border crossing points. You will need to purchase insurance for the North at the border, as the companies in the South do not provide coverage in the North. See details on crossing the Green Line below.

On foot

You can cross by foot at Ledra Street in the old town, and at the Ledra Palace crossing point to the west of the old town. Both crossings are for pedestrians only, so if you are travelling by car, you will need to use one of the other crossing points. See below for details on crossing the Green Line.

Going to and from the Republic of Cyprus

After the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, the restrictions on travel to the north from the Republic have been lifted. From the EU's point of view, the entire island is a part of its territory and thus, there can be no restrictions on EU citizens (including Cypriots) traveling across the Green Line.

EU citizens may thus now cross the Green Line regardless of point of entry into Cyprus (that is, from both south to north and north to south). Other nationalities may sometimes still be turned back by Greek-Cypriot authorities if they entered the island via the north.

On 11 December, 2009 an American tourist was told by Greek-Cypriot police at the Pergamos crossing that only EU citizens were allowed to cross at that point, and Americans entering North Cyprus via Ercan airport had to enter the South at a Nicosia crossing (either in a cab or on foot).

The main crossings between the south and north are:

  • Astromerits/Zodhia (by car only) - the westernmost crossing near the town of Morphou/Güzelyurt
  • Agios Dometios/Kermia/Metehan - major road and pedestrian crossing near Nicosia
  • Ledra Palace (pedestrians only) - the oldest crossing, just outside the walls of old Nicosia to the west of the city
  • Ledra Street (pedestrians only) - newest crossing opened on 3 April 2008 along Nicosia's old shopping street, making it the most central of all crossings.
  • Pergamos/Beyarmudu
  • Strovilia near Agios Nikolaos - located at the eastern part of the island near Famagusta

Get around

The most efficient way of travel throughout Northern Cyprus are taxis. For budget travelers who are not willing to pay for taxis everywhere, "dolmus" or "kombos" are excellent options. These are shared taxis that stop for people who wave them down. The price of travelling between major cities and towns via dolmus are much lower than taxis, however, there are no schedules. A taxi from Nicosia (Lefkosa) to Kyrenia (Girne) may cost 70-90 Turkish Lira, but a dolmus costs only 3-4 TL. Dolmus run often, and backpackers should be able to locate them in a few minutes. In city centers, there are usually plenty of dolmus options going to many cities. You can also hire a car at a reasonable cost and hiring a car will enable you to visit most of North Cyprus in one day.


The official language of Northern Cyprus is Turkish. English is also widely used, especially in the resort town of Kyrenia. However, the entire island is somewhat of a cultural melting pot and in villages off the beaten track, some elderly locals who lived among Greeks before 1974 still use Greek as their first language, even though they are ethnically "Turkish" Cypriots.



  • Scuba diving.


Although New Turkish Lira is the official currency in the North, Euros and UK pounds are widely accepted in the bigger cities. Credit cards are also accepted in larger shops and supermarkets.

North Cyprus property is low cost in comparison to property in the south of Cyprus. However, potential buyers should be wary of title disputes, as title insurance is not generally available. Accordingly, it is very important to understand the various types of title deeds available in North Cyprus. See North Cyprus Title Deeds.


Turkish-Cypriot cuisine is a fine blend of Turkish, Greek and Middle Eastern cuisines featuring mouth watering seafood to kebabs, numerous mezes to delicious home made fruit preserves called macun (pronounced ma-joon).

Some of the key foods featured in the Turkish-Cypriot cuisine include Molehiya, Enginar Dolmasi, Kolokas, Bullez, Daşşacık Kebabi, Cicek Dolmasi, Magarina-Bulli, Pilavuna, Bulgur Koftesi, Mucendra, Hummus Corbasi, Hellimli and Pirohu, etc..


Locally produced Raki (similar to Ouzo), and all internationally imported varieties.


Accommodation in Northern Cyprus is plentiful. Rooms are typically of lower standard than in Cyprus proper, and are correspondingly lower priced. The Northern Cyprus Hoteliers Association [4] maintains a list of virtually all accommodation. Whether visiting Northern Cyprus or Cyprus proper, it is customary (and recommended) to thoroughly inspect the room you are considering prior to renting it.


There are a number of Universities in the North.



The electricity is 240v and the UK style 3 rectangular pinned plugs and sockets are used.

Stay healthy

There are many Gymnasiums situated in in the main cities such as Nicosia, Famagusta and Kyrenia

Stay safe

Northern Cyprus is a relatively safe place, as tourists do not have to worry much about crime. In Kyrenia, British retirees often speak of how safe they feel there, and that they can walk down dark streets at any time of night and feel safe.


Openly denigrating or insulting symbols of the state, especially the flag or Kemal Ataturk are liable to cause deep offence and possibly result in charges. One should also show respect in approaching people of the opposite sex or be mindful of any gestures which can be taken as insult, such as staring. Homosexuality, long officially banned, was legalized in 2009.


Telephone code

International calls are routed to Northern Cyprus via the Turkish area code 392. So when dialing from Turkey, the usual domestic format of 0 + 392 + 7-digit local number is used, when calling from the other countries +90 + 392 + 7-digit local number is used. On the other hand, calls from (southern Greek part of) Cyprus can be made by dialing 0 + 139 + 7-digit local number format which charges at local rates as well as the international 00 + 90 + 392 + 7-digit local number format which charges at international rates.

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