Cyprus is located at the heart of Eastern Mediterranean Sea, neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and many others; it is where Asian, European and African worlds intersect. Being one of the 3 biggest islands in the Mediterranean Sea with Sicily and Sardinia, the total area of the island covers 9,251 kms. As the island is divided between Greek and Turkish regions, the area of the Turkish side is as large as 3,242 kms.
The capital of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is Nicosia, the other biggest cities follow as Kyrenia and Famagusta. The population of Northern Cyprus is estimated in 2017 as 326,000. Each city having their own unique attractions, Nicosia is just 30 minutes to Kyrenia and 45 minutes to Famagusta. The countryside cities Morphou and Lefka are full of beauties with their olive trees and citrus orchard yards. Carpasia region on the far edge of the North is declared a national park to preserve its beautiful nature.
For the ones who love sun-bathing, Cyprus would be their heaven. From April until November and up to 300 days, Cypriot weather is sunny and warm. The spring and summer months are enjoyed between 21°C and 35°C. In the winter months, temperatures vary between 6°C and 16°C.
For this reason, Cypriots love to spend their time outdoors. Going to the beach, to the pools, breakfast gardens and barbecuing with their families are just some of the activities Cypriots enjoy the most. In the colder months, the weather becomes little chillier without going down below 2-3°C degrees maximum.
North Cyprus offers the most diverse geography for their residents. Covered in the fertile Mediterranean soil, it is home for many unique species of plants and animals. You can find mountains, plains, and the world-famous beaches in close distance from each other. Mt. Selvili is the highest peak of Kyrenia mountains where Its cascading five peaks reaches along the north shore until Carpasia and you can enjoy the beautiful sea view and the green plains covering the distance between south of Kyrenia and Nicosia.
In the East of North Cyprus, Morphou, “beautiful land” lies in a small gulf famous for its agriculture and cultural heritage. In the ruins of Soli and Vouni, you will discover the remnants of thousands year old Greek antiquity architecture. The capital Nicosia lies in the heart of Mesaria plains, where its boundaries touch every other major city in the North Cyprus and Nicosia is surrounded by a star-bastion, the famous Venetian architecture from renaissance era. In the walled Nicosia, you will come across to many different cultural architectures; Ottoman baths, Greek agora, Venetian inns and many other types of historical places that are renovated for the modern era and kept its functions at the same time.
In the south coast, Famagusta offers the kilometres-long pure beaches and hiking trails alongside welcomes thousands of tourists and locals every year. Famagusta is also surrounded by Venetian walls and buildings. Othello Tower is one of the famous landmarks where it was once home for Christoforo Moro, whom Shakespeare based his classic, Othello about. If you want to experience the untouched nature of the island, you will surely fall in love with Carpasia Peninsula.
The passage for the many bird species migrating up the peninsula and the free roaming donkeys will greet you along the way to the Golden Beach; listed one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. The golden shining sand will make you think you are in a Greek epic where you can also enjoy eco-friendly bungalows to spend few days whole with nature. These sands are also important for carefully protected caretta caretta’s (a sea turtle species) for laying their eggs on their breeding season.
The nature in North Cyprus is very friendly and enjoyable and very easy to travel anywhere. The summer days are long perfect for scheduling your leasure time, virtually no natural hazard risk or dangerous animal or plant species living in the wilderness to beware of.
Culture and History
Cyprus has hosted more than 14 great civilizations during its history and in every part of the island you will find a heritage, a tradition, a dish, a landmark, and hundreds of other aspects of these past civilizations which are all cherished and kept alive by modern Turkish Cypriots today.
Having such a rich history that had seen the greatest cultures of the past all left a mark on the habits of the Cypriots. Egyptians, the Byzantines, Mamluks, the French Lusignan and Italian Venetians to name a few but the Ottoman rule for 4 centuries and the British colonial era heavily influenced today’s modern living in North Cyprus.
After the island took their independence from Britain, a unified government with the Greek population was established in 1960. In the following years, there were movements against Turkish existence in the island and these movements eventually led up to a war in 1974.
After a long war, Turkish Cypriots declared their own independence in 1983, forming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The peace and re-unification talks are still on the table and both sides organize bi-communal organizations, the people can pass freely from one side to another without much difficulty.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a secular nation, and they established a parliamentary republic. The people believe in Islam however rarely practices their beliefs publicly or out loud. The main cultural element in Turkish Cypriots values are family life and values surrounding it. The people spend their times with their families and friends.
You will find a lot of people going out to a coffeeshop or to have a dinner outdoors in the taverns in the evening. The town festivals in the springtime are a scene worth to take part of. Each town prepares their own delicacies and arrange celebrations in their historical locations yearly in the for their guests.
One of the perks of having a small population is that most people end up knowing each other or knowing somebody that knows each other. This results in more social order and lower crime levels. There are very few numbers of crime cases happening through a year in North Cyprus. Theft or smuggling is almost inexistence and police security is highly capable of dealing with the cases.
Cypriots are also very welcoming to strangers of different backgrounds. North Cyprus already hosts thousands of people from UK, Scandinavia, Russia, Turkey, and students coming from all around the world. There are virtually no cases reported on the bases of discrimination or such.
North Cyprus has attracted a significant number of internationals over the past decades. They mainly consist of Europeans looking for a summer resort on the seaside and the students coming around the world for the good standard of education North Cyprus offers. The government and the locals have acquired the habits of providing the needs for people from any background and assist to live their life.
When Britain took control of the island, they have changed many aspects and the effects can still be felt today on the subjects like traffic (cars drive on the left), law and property rights. Another aspect is that besides the most people knowing good level of English, even the elders can speak and understand because it was an official language in the island during their youth. By this extent, 80% of the foreign property buyers in North Cyprus are British and the rest are mainly from Scandinavia, Russia, Turkey, and Israel.
In the recent years, there has been a gradual increase in foreign interest in North Cyprus. The dependable environment, low-cost and delightful lifestyle has drawn attraction from Northern Europe who look for living standards and investment opportunities that North Cyprus offers.
It is good to mention that it is not exceedingly difficult to become a citizen of TRNC. Regardless of your nationality, after 5 years you will be eligible to claim full citizenship if you invest in the country and buy a property.
Among tourism, the largest sector in North Cyprus is education. There are more than 40 universities offering in North Cyprus hosting students from more than 100 countries for their higher education in English language. Over 70,000 students from Africa and Eurasia target Northern Cypriot universities to take their degree and develop their countries by benefitting the standards these universities offer.
After the increasing demand from European families, the education system is adapting to the needs and desires from these communities. In Kyrenia, there are nurseries that provides English education and there are also English-speaking primary schools. After that secondary schools who speak and teach in English are provided by a few privatized colleges in the country.
Northern Cyprus offers favourable advantages for foreign investment.
There is a competent infrastructure for allowing foreign investment. North Cyprus offers a quality business environment and provides incentives for their investors which made the economy is grow at a rapid pace by the past decade. Northern Cyprus is in close relations with Turkey as they are their closest neighbours and cultural allies and Turkey provides incentives and labour to grow the country’s economy.
The political atmosphere in the country indicates a positive and more European driven direction. This could have a positive outcome for already made investments. In addition, the government policy supports foreign investments to improve the economy.
Northern Cyprus is interested in industries that are export oriented. The development policy offers privileges for those kinds of economic sectors. Northern Cyprus is prioritising projects which transfer new technologies, advanced management techniques and can deliver the needed competence.
For foreign investors, there are many benefits in terms of property rights. The constitution of Northern Cyprus protects the private property rights and is against discrimination between citizens and foreign people.
Northern Cyprus generates 500 Million $ from tourism. The survey of 14/15 showed that over half a million tourists visited Northern Cyprus, whereof 80% came from Turkey and the rapid pace in which the economy grows has been steady for the last decade.
The Economy grows results mainly form two sources. The Turkish help and the liberal economic policy which means low taxes on real estate, low prices in retail, the involvement in international trading and free visas. These reasons allure foreign investors.
The investments from foreign industries are growing day by day. The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce calculated economic investments of about half a billion dollars in 2017. There are regions in Northern Cyprus where there are free-trade zones where locals as well as foreigners does not pay more than 25% taxes on profits.