Information About North Cyprus

North Cyprus enjoys a typical Eastern Mediterranean climate of long hot summers and short winter seasons. There are over 320 days of sunshine a year, the sea temperature is rarely below 16°C and rises to 28-30°C during summer months and the north of the island is generally accepted to be the least unspoilt and has a wealth of natural features, including uncrowded beaches and spectacular mountain views. The renowned Karpaz peninsular to the north east of the island is an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Local Time is 2 hours ahead of GMT

Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. It is smaller than Sicily and Sardinia and larger than Corsica and Crete. The area of the whole island is 3584 sq mile (9250 kilometers)

North Cyprus has four major towns, Lefkosa (Nicosia) is the capital and the main administration and business centre, the other main towns are Girne (Kyrenia) the main tourist centre which is well known for its picturesque ancient harbour, Magosa (Famagusta) the country’s principal port, and Guzelyurt on the west of the Island the centre of the citrus fruit industry.

The British interest in the island dates back to the 12th century and has remained until present day with many British ways being adopted and the British are genuinely welcomed. Turkish is the official Language but English is widely spoken and is used and understood in official and commercial circles.


Currency

The Turkish Lira (TL), which has been in circulation since 1974, is the legal tender. The New Turkish Lira or YTL became effective as from 2005. The official rates for the YTL are adjusted daily according to changes in international monetary markets. Generally speaking, all foreign currencies are accepted at trading/tourist areas.


Flights

Ercan is the main airport and has recently undergone a major facelift and plans are underway for direct flights, at the moment all flights fly into Ercan via Turkey. Flights are available most days from the major British Airports. There are several airlines that currently fly regularly to Ercan from Stansted, Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester throughout the year, and from Glasgow in Summer.


Electricity

The supply is 220/240v AC 50HZ, with a standard UK 3-pin plug. Water: By mains supply and in some cases supplemented by wells. There has been a shortage of water in the past; however, the government has taken major steps to rectify the situation.


Telecommunication

There are main post offices in Kyrenia, Famagusta and the capital, Lefkosa. Most villages have their own post offices where you can have a PO Box or they will organise delivery to your door. Postage stamps (Pul) in Northern Cyprus are 50 pence for a postcard or normal letter.
Several companies now offer internet connection via satellite and all towns are well served with internet cafes. To dial from TRNC to UK dial 00 44 and omit the first 0 of the UK code. To dial from UK to TRNC dial 00 90 then the area code, followed by the number required. All major mobile networks work in North Cyprus.


Television, Radio and Newspapers

Bayrak television (BRT) which was the first television station of North Cyprus, provides English-language programmes, including news bulletins, on radio and TV. British TV, such as BBC and Sky, and other English-language stations, are easy to access via satellite.
Northern Cyprus has its own weekly English-language newspaper, Cyprus Today published every Saturday. It is essential reading for all local events and information.


Shopping

There is an extensive range of consumer goods and services available throughout the island. Many of the popular imported brand names are readily available and can be found in local supermarkets. Fresh local produce can be purchased from a wide variety of markets and small stores and there is wide range of wines and spirits at very low cost.


Traffic

As in the UK, traffic circulation is on the left. Road signs are international. A car is essential if you wish to explore the beauties the island has to offer. There is a large selection of car hire companies with a variety of vehicles at favourable rates.


Banking

North Cyprus offers a well organised banking system, with all banking facilities catered for. Some banks operate their own branches in London and others have arrangements with most major UK banks. HSBC has a full service presence here. A deposit account can be opened with ease in Sterling or any other major currency and funds can be drawn in that denomination or in Turkish Lira (TL).


Visas, Permits and Licences

A foreigner coming to North Cyprus to live and/or work must apply for the following permits; firstly, a temporary visitors permit from Nicosia, which involves the completion of a form and the supply of three or four passport size photographs. A full permanent resident’s permit is not usually issued until the recipient has been in residence in the TRNC for five years.
For retired persons, the residents permit is all that is required. Retired persons may bring into the country a full household of furniture. These are virtually tax free a nominal 2-3% tax is levied.


Education

General education standards in the TRNC are of a very high standard and are borne out by the fact that there are four universities based in North Cyprus. The majority of schools offer bilingual education starting with kindergarten through secondary school and finally university.


Medical

The cost of medical treatment in the local hospitals is lower than comparative care in the UK depending of course on the type of treatment required. Accident and emergency facilities are available at local hospitals. It is recommended that you seek a local GP, many of whom have had UK experience, for many minor ailments. Private health care is also available through a number of international medical insurance companies if required. Dental treatment is of a high standard and charges are moderate.


Churches

The TRNC is a secular state with a predominantly Muslim population which welcomes Christian communities. The Anglican Church of St. Andrew’s, Kyrenia is conveniently located near the town centre and services are held on Sundays and Thursdays. All Christian communities are welcome. The Roman Catholic Church of Terra Santa is also based in the centre of Kyrenia with mass being celebrated on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Other Christian churches are located in Famagusta and Nicosia.