Revered as the unspoiled jewel of the Mediterranean, Northern Cyprus has always exuded a lazy charm that draws the visitor to its shores without even trying. With its miles of golden sands on the endless beaches of Karpaz, the generosity of the Turkish Cypriot people and the abundant selection of fresh foods, this part of the island is a haven for those who want to enjoy a serene yet better, quality of life.
A typical Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers and relatively cool, short winters, the island can boast over 300 days of sunshine a year. The sea temperature is rarely below 16oC and rises to 28- 30oC during the summer months.
All banking facilities are catered for with some banks operating their own branches in London while others have arrangements with major UK banks. A deposit account can be opened with ease in Sterling or any other major currency including US Dollar or Euros subject to the banks’ terms and conditions and funds can be drawn in any currency as well as the local Turkish Lira.
Foreign investment is actively encouraged by the government and has led to numerous incentives to help foreign nationals. Some facilities available include exemptions on import duties, income tax and corporation tax up to 10 years in some cases. Tourism in all forms is actively rewarded by the government and in many cases, grants have been made available to assist in set-up costs.
The islands’ ownership has been passed on through the centuries with the Assyrian, Egyptian, Persian and Roman Empires all affecting the overall cultural status of the island. Although undefined by religion, 98% of the population is of the Muslim faith.
Ercan currently serves as the sole airport in Northern Cyprus. However, renovations of the old Gecitkale airport are underway to deal with the increase in tourism.
Established on 15.11.1983
Area 3.355 km2
The full name of North Cyprus is, "The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" or "T.R.N.C."
In Turkish Northern Cyprus is known as "K.K.T.C.", "Kuzey Kibris Türk Cumhuriyeti" The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a democratic, secular republic based on the principles of social justice and the rule of law. The Constitution provides for a parliamentar system system with a president as head of state, and a council of ministers composed of a prime minister and 10 ministers. Legislative power is vested in the Legislative Assembly, composed of 50 deputies elected by universal suffrage for a period of five years. Judicial power is exercised through independent courts.
The official language of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is Turkish. However, English is very widely used both by the Government and by the private sector. Communications with any Government Department may be made in English and is perfectly acceptable.
Local time in North Cyprus is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Summertime is used and the clocks change on the same day as in the UK. Time in terms of when things get done is a bit more relaxed then in most European countries. There is what has become known throughout the world as island time and the mañana (tomorrow) attitude is quite prevalent in North Cyprus. So expect things to get done at a more gradual pace. Appointments are generally kept but might be a bit delayed.
Public telephone booths are available and telephone cards can be purchased from the Telecommunications Office. Visitors will usually phone from their hotel, or from the Telecommunications Office, which in Kyrenia is opposite the Post Office. The telephone codes for North Cyprus are listed below: The telephone country code for North Cyprus is (00)90-392. For example, to call the Kyrenia number Kyrenia 815xxxx from England, dial 0090-392-815xxxx Most European countries may be dialed directly from North Cyprus. The code for England is 0044 followed by the local number but omitting the first number (0). Codes for other countries are listed in the telephone directory.
Currently there are two GSM operators with networks up and running in Northern Cyprus. These are Telsim and KKTC Cell which is in an extension of Turkcell. Both of these companies are based in Turkey and are Turkish companies. Visitors to the Island will be glad to know that these two companies have alliances with other companies world wide and thus as long as you have roaming service with your company in your country of residence you will most likely be able to use your Cell phone here. Please note that if you are a CDMA user there are currently no companies that operate CDMA networks in Northern Cyprus.
The outgoing postal system is reliable. Incoming mail must be suffixed "Mersin-10, Turkey" and not "Northern Cyprus". The history of the postal service in Northern Cyprus will definitely be of interest to all philatelists.Stamps can be bought from post offices, many small shops and hotel receptions. Mail sent to Europe should arrive in seven days. You can take mail to the post office or alternatively there are small yellow post boxes, but these are not frequently emptied. Many hotels will also post your mail if you leave it at reception.
In the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus traffic flows from the left. International road and traffic signs are used. Maximum traveling speed is 100 km/h.
Electric Current Voltage
Power is supplied at 240 volts and wall fittings are generally the U.K. three-pin type.
Banks and Currency
In Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, numerous Turkish and Turkish Cypriot Banks operate and they are open from Monday to Friday ( except public holidays ) between 08:00-12:00 / 14:00-16:00 hours. Turkish Lira is used as the local currency. Exchanging all the currencies in banks, exchange offices and in hotels is possible. Visa card, credit card, master and euro cards, checks etc... can be used in place of cash.
Shops are open with some variations but generally
Summer: 08:00-13:00 / 16:00-19:00
Winter: 09:00-13:00 / 14:00-18:00
Monday: 07:30-14:00 / 15:30-18:00
Tuesday to Friday : 07:30-14:00
Monday to Friday: 08:00-13:00 / 14:00-17:00
1 January - New Year's Day
23 April - Children's Day
1 May - Labour Day
19 May - Youth and Sports Day
20 July - Peace and Freedom Day
30 August - Victory Day
29 October - Turkish Republic Day
15 November - Northern Cyprus Republic Day