North Cyprus

Type of Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Established on: 15.11.1983
President of the Republic: Ersin Tatar
Language: Turkish
Population Density: 62 persons/km2
Currency: Turkish Lira, Us Dollar, Uk Gbp, Euro
Religion: 95% Moslem, 5% Others
Urbanisation Rate: 51.15%
Life Expectancy: Women:76, Men:72
Defence ? Internal Security: Turkish Cypriot Security Forces: Brigade Force consisting of some 5,000
Colours of the Flag: White and Red
Capital: Nicosia
Type of Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Military troops Police Force: 1853
Neighbouring Countries: South Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt


A merchant ship dating from c.300 B.C., raised from the sea bed of the Mediterranean near Kyrenia Castle. Recovered by marine archeologists between 1967-69, the ship is probably the earliest trading vessel yet discovered. The museum also contains the original cargo and equipment from the ancient ship. The ship is 15m in length and made of Aleppo pine. The wooden surface of the ship is coated with a strong lacquer to protect it against Mediterranean wood-boring maggot. The number of kitchen utensils, wooden spoons, olive oil bottles, glasses and saltcellars show that the ship's crew was only four persons.

The ship exhibited in the castle of Girne was built in 389 B.C. and was about 80 years old when it sunk. Four hundred amphoras, 29 basalt millstones and 9000 almonds were found in the wreck. About 300 lead weights show that the ship was also used for fishing. The wreck was found by a sponge fisherman in 1965 about 1.5 km off Kyrenia, at depth of 18 m. It was salvaged by marine archaeologists from Pennsylvania University.


Welcome to the fascinating and unique underwater world of North Cyprus, where you can enjoy one of the longest diving seasons in the Mediterranean. You will find crystal-clear, unpolluted water where the marine life is still undisturbed. Underwater visibility can be more than 30 meters. Down in deep and warm blue you will meet stringrays, amber jacks, scorpions, bream, grouper, cockoo, wrasse and now and then a sea turtle. The underwater terrain is futhermore an ideal place for octopus and moray eel, colorful sponges, soft corals, as well as treasures from ancient times.

  • The deep blue hides a wide mix of fish, corals, wrecks and history.
  • You can choose from about twenty diving sites east and west of Kyrenia as well as many other diving safaris.
  • You can experience wreck diving including the site where in 1960's one of the worlds oldest shipwrecks found, dating from the time of Alexander the Great.
  • You will be accompanied by prefessionel divers who will do everything to give you an unforgettable diving holiday.

" We dive slowly along the reef and what we find so remarkable compared with diving sites we have visited in the Med is the marine life. Fish, coral and marine life... 28 meter below the surface the light is striking, we can still see the surface buoy clearly through the simmering clear water. The sites here are neither ruined by too many divers nor out fished. The Dive Centers tell us that they have an agreement with the fishermen in Kyrenia to live the waters around the diving sites in peaces. Summing up our week we are convinced that North Cyprus will be a new eldorado for experienced divers as well as beginners, with a diving season from April to December. Kyrenia town and the island's long history is another asset making the trip interesting also for non-diving companions. "

Caretta caretta & Chelonia mydas. For about one hundred million years, our waters have been visited by the green (Chelonia mydas) and the logger-head (Caretta carettas) turtles. The green turtle only nests in Cyprus and southest Turkey and sometimes in Israel. These fascinating creatures comes ashore on the deserted beaches of North Cyprus between May and August no nest and Alagadi Beach is classified as a special protected area. After sunset, when it is dark, the adult females, sometimes with a carapace of more than 00 cm long, make their way up the beach to find a suitable nesting place. There, they lay between 65 and 10 eggs, depending on the species. This can be repeated three to five times for each, 10-15 days apart. When the nesting is done, the exhausted female returns to the sea. She will perhaps reappear on the same beach again a couple of years later.Up to thirty per cent of all Green Turtles nest on the coastline of North Cyprus. Group of Ecologists and students have been abserving and helping to protect these rare animals from extinction for a number of years. Visitors are welcome to observe this exciting experience.


Lefkoşa Nicosia

The establishment of the Nicosia dates back around 2200 years and it is the capital of the Cyprus now with a population of about 112.000 and was developed particularly during the Lusignan rule. The region is divided into two sides as Turkish and Greek sectors by a frontier known as the green line which follows in east - west direction. The city walls, which were built by the Venetians in 1570 as a protection from the Turk attacks, are thick and high.

They covered the city and are 4.5 km in length with 11 towers. Inside the city walls there are original examples of Gothic and Ottoman architectural styles, including the Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia Cathedral), Bedesten (covered bazaar - St. George Cathedral), a Lapidary Museum set in an old Venetian house and an obelisk, while belonging to the Ottoman period are the Arabahmet Mosque, the Buyuk Han (Grand Inn), the Kumarcilar Han (Gambler's Inn), the Sultan Mahmut II Library, and countless various structures. Like the other towns of Cyprus which remained under Ottoman rule for more than 300 years Lefkosa too is typically Turkish in character.


Girne Kyrenia

This beautiful city was founded in the 11 Century B.C., by Greece settlers and was for many years one of the 12 Kingdoms of Island. In the 8th Century Kyrenia was conquered by Byzantine who built the original stronghold before extended first by the Lusignans and then by the Venetians. Under Ottoman rule the city had remained a stretegic port. The British built a quay and a harbour on the shore. Under British rule, Kyrenia was a resting and maintenance place for trade and royal ships because of its fascinating harbour and calm and spacious atmosphere. Kyrenia still keeps its attractiveness with many restaurants and bars at the Harbour and good hotels throughout the city, along, the coastline. The town now a popular holiday spot includes many historic places worth visiting. Also Kyrenia Castle at the Harbour and the Shipwreck Museum, The St. Hilarion Castle, The Bellapais Abbey, The Kantara Castle and Buffavento Castle are the most attractive.

Pure Romance

Vivacious, joyous, energetic and romantic at all times... Kyrenia is a fascinating Mediterranean port town. In Latin-origin languages cities are "female" (she) Like women, some of them attract you at first sight, while some posses an air of mystery in addition to their beauty. Some of them have sensual beauty, while others are cute, childish or charming... Some of them may not be so attractive at first sight, but you discover other virtues deep inside, as you know them closely. Some are not so beautiful but are attractive. Some others give away signs that they were once very beautiful but were exhausted by the touch of coarse hands. As the writer once wrote, "Five Fingers Mountains on the one side, Blue Mediterranean on the other, continue in their age-old harmony, bestowing upon you the incomparable beauty, ever your blessing, ever your curse, little, so little, Kyrenia". Women with uniqe beauty are worshipped and damned at the same time. Kyrenia is the little girl of the Mediterranean, sometimes cute, sometimes mysterious, but always very beautiful. She is lucky because she is both at first and last sight. At the first encounter on the Five-Fingers Mountains, you take a deep sigh. She burns your heart, as you get closer. Her love is not one that glows like a flame and is then extinguished; her face is one that is never erased from the memory.


Gazimagosa Famagusta

Famagusta was founded by Egyptian settlers in 3rd Century B.C.. Originally a fishing and trade village Famagusta was grown by the influx of refugees first from Salamis in 648 then by the Christian settlers after the invasion of the Holy Lands (1291 A.D.). It soon became one of the most important and wealthy cities in the island. At one time (early 14th Century) about 350 churches and many trading posts were built within the area later strengthen with impressive defensive walls by the Venetians. In 1372 The Genoese occupied the island and the City sacking most of its wealth. In 1571 under the long siege by the Turks many buildings were destroyed by the catapults. The British used the stones to build the Suez Canal and the Quays of Port Said. In 1974 the City was again under siege by Greek Cypriots, with 11.000 Turkish Cypriots defending the City until it was ended by the arrival of the Turkish Troops. The important Historical structures worth visiting are; Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque (St. Nicholas Cathedral), Othello Tower, Remains of Countless Mediaeval Churches, Salamis, Kings Tombs, St. Barnabas Monastery, The Ruins of Enkomi.



Located in the west of North Cyprus, this city is one of the fruitful agricultural areas in the island, famous especially for the Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit) and strawberries from the area which thrive in its fertile red soil. Guzelyurt is an ideal resort for those who want to escape from the noise and rush of the city life and spend the day in the peace and calm of nature.

A big amount of citrus fruits are exported, and the remaining are used to make fruit juice and canned for local consumption and export. Monastery of St. Mamas is worthy of visit which was originally built by Byzantine administration with Gothic establishments. Some of the structures date from c. 1500. The Ruins of Soli (600 B.C.) and the Palace of Vouni, from 5th century B.C., are a necessary for archaeologists or those interested in antiquities.


Nature becomes incredible in October when the fields adopt a coat of green as the whole of the island becomes covered with latest growth, following the advent of the first rains. Anemones cyclamens, narcissi, hyacinths, irrises, wild orhicds, wild tulips and almonds all bloom until the end of March. There is no other country in the Mediterranean, which can boast over thirty species of wild orchids. It is a well-known fact that North Cyprus is a wonderful place in every season. Every season is different on our island. You don't wake up to the day, so much as wake up into a dream world. The dream world that is made up of the colors of rainbow.



O n the road from Karpaz to Famagusta you see the town Yeni Iskele. The old name of the town is Trikomo. This town is special with relocation of Turks from the Turkish district Iskele in Larnaca on the sout coast of island. The Turks who lived there before the war in 1974. They moved in 1975 to Trikomo, which was renamed as Yeni (new) Iskele. At the center of the town there is the 17th century of St. Jacob (Avios Iakovos). There is an odd coincidence in the fact that the town was the birthplace of the EOKA - colonel George Grivas. He was a leading spokesman of Cyprus reunion with Greece.

Golden Beaches

North Cyprus is proud to offer crystal clear beaches that one can hardly find anywhere else in the Mediterranean; it has a varied coastline and amenities for swimmers, luxurious beaches of large hotels or remote ones lost behind wild dunes. On the east coast between Famagusta and Bogaz, a golden beach stretches for about 15 miles. By contrast on the north coast on either side of Kyrenia, there are cosy beaches with bars and sports facilities. Futhermore, isolated creeks decorate the landscape for nearly 20 miles. On the two sides of the Karpaz Peninsula, a large expanse of immaculate dunes bordered with tamarisk and wild olive groves await the courageous and well equipped hiker. As there are no asphalt roads to these dream places, a reliable, off-road vehicle is essential. At Güzelyurt Bay to the west, a long sandy beach stretches out beautifully but is accessible only for the adventurous. Ideal climatic conditions make it possible for water lovers to enjoy swimming for about eight months in a year. In fact, most European visitors take the advantage of the wonderful climatic conditions of our island and not only swimm all year round bot also enjoy various water sports activities including sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, water skiing etc.



Tourist Information Offices In North Cyprus
Nicosia: 0392 228 96 29-31
Kyrenia Gate (Nicosia): 03922272994
Ledra Palace (Nicosia): 0392 228 87
Famagusta: 0392 366 28 64
Kyrenia: 0392 815 21 45
Yeni Erenkoy: 0392 374 49 84
Ercan Airport: 0392 231 40 03
Gecitkale Airport: 0392 393 2O 84

First Aid / Ambulance For all districts Tel: 112
Forest Fires For all districts Tel: 177
Police Nicosia Tel: 228 33 11
Police Kyrenia Tel: 815 2014
Police Famagusta Tel: 366 53 10
Police Guzelyurt Tel: 714 21 40
Police Karpaz Tel: 381 2325

Medical Services and Hospitals
The Central State Hospitals is in Nicosia and there are other smaller hospitals in Kyrenia, Famagusta, Guzelyurt and Lefke. There are also clinics in smaller towns and some villages.

Metric Conversion
The conversion to metric measurements took place some years ago. However it is still possible to talk in terms of inches, miles etc. The traditional Cypriot measurements of oke can still be used to buy meat and vegetables. One oke is equal to 1.23 kg.

Due to a narrow pipe system in Cypriot plumbing, many sewerage systems cannot cope with toilet paper being flushed down the toilet, as this may cause blockages. You will find a bin provided next to the toilet, provided for the disposal of toilet paper, which is emptied daily.

Postal Services
The postal service in Northern Cyprus is reasonably fast and efficient. Please remember that to receive mail from abroad letters must be addressed ? Mersin 10-Turkey?

Public Holidays
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
There are also several religious holidays or ?Bayrams? which, like the Christian festival of Easter, change every year.

The code for England is 00 44 followed by the local number but omitting the first number (0). From abroad the code is 00 90 392 followed by the local Cypriot number. Public telephone booths are available and telephone cards can be purchased from the Telecommunications Office.

Crime levels are relatively low in Northern Cyprus and police are always willing to assist if you need them.

It is illegal to import narcotics into Northern Cyprus.

Passports and Visas
A valid passsport is necessary for entering and a visa is granted on entrance to Northern Cyprus. Since 1993 Turkish citizens can visit Northern Cyprus by identity card.

Foreign Missions in northern Cyprus
Australian Representative
Tel: 2277332
French Cultural Assosiation
Tel: 2283328
German Representative
Tel: 2275161
Turkish Embassy
Tel: 2272314
Fax: 2282209
UK Representative
Tel: 2283861
Fax 2287054
USA Representative
Tel: 2252440
Fax 2252442

How to go

There are three airlines which fly to Northern Cyprus. These airlines provide regular daily flights, via Turkey to Ercan. For information about time tables, prices and reservations, please contact the numbers below:
Bedreddin Demirel Cad. Yenisehir Lefkosa/Cyprus
Phone: +90 392 228 3901
Fax: +90 392 227 4304

Boats (Ferries)
There are regular ferry services from Kyrenia and Famagusta to towns on the Southern coast of Turkey, namely Mersin, Antalya and Tasucu. From Mersin, it is possible to sail to Syria, Lebanon and Israel.
Yeni Liman Yolu GIRNE
Phone: +90 392 815 1770 -815 1870
Fax: +90 392 815 1989
Mustafa Cagatay Cad. 6/2C GIRNE
Phone: +90 392 81 52344 - 81 53377
Fax: +90 392 815 3866
Ataturk Cad Vakiflar Ishani No. 76
Phone: +90 324 74 12323 - 741 3711
Fax: +90 324 741 2802

There are yacht mooring facilities in Kyrenia and Famagusta. The main industrial port in Northern Cyprus is in Famagusta and Kyrenia.

Bus Tours
Some hotels organize their own tours of the island.If your hotel does not do so and you wish to join a tour you may contact with your hotel reception who will put you in touch with a tour company.

Car rental
This service is available in all major towns and some hotels. A British or international drivers licence is required. Rental cars have red number plates.

Public transport
A good inexpensive network of buses and mini-buses operates between all the main towns, in addition there are Dolmush (shared taxis) operating on the same routes. Taxis are widely available but do not carry a meter. However, there are standard journey charges.

Traffic information
Please drive on the left. Traffic and road signs are international. Maximum speed is 100 km/hr. Vehicles entering Northern Cyprus must be insured upon arrival. Seat belts must be worn. Drivers are prohibited to drive under the influence of alcohol The limit is 50mgr.

Car Driving in northern Cyprus
Driving in Northern Cyprus is the most advisable form of transport as there are infrequent bus services to many of the more remote areas of the country; and bus services cease to operate after 5:00 p.m. Road surfaces between major towns and villages are reasonably good, but some mountain and village roads are still unsurfaced, so care should be taken especially in wet weather. Visitors wishing to bring their own car from abroad may do so for a period of up to 3 months provided the vehicle has a valid registration license from its country of origin. Visitors in Cyprus can drive using a valid international driving license or a valid driving license from their country of origin. Visitors bringing their own cars from abroad will need to purchase insurance upon entry to Northern Cyprus. Most petrol stations are open from 7:00 a.m. and close around 8:00 a.m. Some however, stay open later and there is an increasing number of stations which operate 24 hours a day. Free municipal parking is available in all major towns.

Climate, Temperature, Wheater & Clothing
Cyprus enjoys an intense Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers from mid-May to mid-October and with mild winters from December to February, which are separated by short autumn and spring seasons. Summer is the season of high temperatures with cloudless skies, but the sea breezes create a pleasant atmosphere in the coastal areas. Winters are mild with some rain, but even in January(usually the coolest month) there are generally six hours of bright sunshine during the day. During the summer months very light clothing is all that you will need. In spring and autumn daytime temperatures are generally warm enough for light summer clothing, but in the evenings, one might feel the need for a lightjacket or pullover. In winter, you should be prepared for all kinds of weather that a European spring may bring. It is advisable to pack a lightjacket and pullovers, although you may not need them during the day.

Duty-free Regulations
Each adult is permitted to bring 400 cigarettes, 500gr tobacco or 50 cigars, 1 litre of wine or spirits and up to 100cI of perfume.Duty-free shops can be found at Ercan Airport and the ports at Kyrenia and Famagusta.

Electric Current Voltage
Power is supplied at 240 volts and wall fittings are generally the U.K. three-pin type.

Walking - Hiking - Trekking
Hiking tours for people from all ages and physical disposition are organised by a number of centres in the Girne area and are generally conducted in the Girne mountain range. One particular tour party, organised by Mountain Climbing Sport Association , meets every Sunday between October and the end of April, and twice a month (again on Sundays) between the summer months from May to the end of September. During the winter the tour programme is published at the beginning of every month, explaining the route and where to meet etc. All walks, as well as being good exercise, endeavour to show walkers interesting natural and historical features. The tours generally start at 7:30 a.m. and finish between 10:00 and 1 1:00 a.m. It is essential that you wear proper grooved walking shoes. You must also take your own water, and a hiking stick is advisable.
Tel: (+90 542) 851 18 00
(Mustafa Cemal-Chief of the association)

There are several beaches in Girne and Gazi Magusa, which offer a variety of water sports ranging from water skiing, parascending, wind-surfing and Jet skiing. And for diving;
Tel: (+90 392) 822 3430

Yachting/Boat Tours
Yacht and boat tours are available throughout the summer from Girne Harbour. There are many vendors, so take time to find a suitable service There are also tours which depart from the port in Gazi Magusa and sail along the Karpaz Peninsula.

Bird Watching
There are several areas where bird watching is particularly good. There is a Society for the Protection of Birds in Northern Cyprus called KUSKOR and they will advise you of where and when to go.
Tel: +90 392 815 7337

There are several offical camping sites in the Girne and Gazi Magusa areas which offer services such as washrooms, toilets, restaurants and bars. However the more intrepid visitor may wish to venture out into the wild, where there are no such facilities. There are no restrictions on such activities except that lighting fires in forest areas is an offence

There are several caves in Northern Cyprus that you are free to explore. One, known as the Hot Cave, north of Agirdag village on the southern slopes of the Five Finger mountains, is a partially collapsed natural formation. Warm air emanates from the cave, hence the name. Do not attempt to enter the cave. Another natural cave in Girne area is the Güvercinlik Cave near Alevkayasi. Access to the cave involves some fairly difficult climbing. Proceed with caution. There are three more caves in the Gazi Magusa area. Probably the most beautiful cave is Incirli Cave, a hundred mete long passage which contains an amaizing collection of stalatites and stalagmites. The cave is opened on Sundays (or by special arrangement with the village muhtar). There is a small entrance fee. Gastro Cave between Kuruova and Kaleburnu villages is a man made cave containing three rooms. Finally the omniously named Execution Cave, near Kaleburnu. There is set to be a golden earthenware jar hidden somewhere in the cave.

There is at present two go-karting tracks, one in the Girne area;
Tel: (+90 542) 851 0439
and another near Lefkosa;
Tel: (+90 533) 866 6173

Horse riding
There are several stables offering riding lessons in the Girne and Gazi Magusa areas. Some stables also allow customers to hire horses to take out.

Hunting is the greatest passion of many a Turkish Cypriot man. The season runs from October to February and is limited to Sundays only. Hunting areas are strictly controlled by the government and hunters must be licensed. The most popular prey for hunters are partridge, wood pigeon and hare.

Sightseeing tours
Some tour companies and hotels organise their own bus tours of the island. If your company does not do so and you wish to join a tour, contact the Tourist Information Office.


The traditionstill continues.
The visitors to the Island are most impressed by the hospitality of the Turkish Cypriot people as they are not only warmhearted and welcoming but also very generous. This tradition of hospitality was noted by Charles C. Flankland in 827 as he recounts ... We were regaled with pipes and coffee, after which we were each presented with conserves ~Macun)... then followed by excellent sherebet... next we were sprinkled with rose-water and perfumed with incense in filagree silver censers." Please be our guest! Coffee houses are amongst the places where the visitors may experience traditional hospitality. It's not surprising that one of the most well known expressions is "A single cup of coffee is remembered with respect for forty years". In fact, the relationship between the coffee and the hospitality is rather an old one; the heart desires neither coffee nor coffee house, what the heart desires is friendship".

An island for all seasons
North Cyprus enjoys the benefits from the Mediterranean climate with long hot summers, short winters and little rain. The temperature in summer reaches 30/35 degrees centigrade, while winter is mild with an average rainfall of 500 mm. Fascinating multi-colored vegetation a very dominates autumn, winter and spring. Olive and carob trees thrive in the countryside, together with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit plus melons and vegetables. Mountains are covered sweet-smelling pines. While the costlines offer bushes of acacia and eucalyptus. The landscape is ideal for goats and sheep and tourists are often delighted to see flocks being shepherded along peaceful by-ways.
Mean monthly Temperature
Jan: 10.9 / Feb: 11.0 / Mar: 12.9 / Apr: 16.5 / May: 20.8 / Wun: 25.1 / July: 27.8 / Aug: 25.0 / Oct: 21.2 / Nov: 16.2 / Dec: 12.3

The Land of Festivals

International Spring Concerts
The International Spring Concerts, organized by The Friends of Music Association of North Cyprus is very popular amongst the classical music lovers. These concerts take place during April and May every year. Held at the historical settings of Bellapais Abbey, it is an occasion not to be missed.

Guzelyurt Orange Festival
Guzelyurt Orange Festival, organized by the Guzelyurt Municipality, is held since 1977. It takes place in May. As its name suggest, this festival provides the best opportunity to taste the world famous North Cyprus oranges During the festival week various concerts, competitions and art events are performed.

International Bellapais Music Festival
North Cyprus is home for very important festivals. One of these festivals is the North Cyprus International Bellapais Music Festival. This festival brings together world famous musicians and performers every year The North Cyprus International Bellapais Music Festival takes place between May and June.

Famagusta International Festival
Famagusta International Festival that in the past hosted groups like Aswad, Los Paraguayos and the Berlin Art Ensemble deservedly claims to be the best festival in the Mediterranean. The festival is held between June and July.

North Cyprus International Music Festival
North Cyprus International Music Festival takes place between September and October. During the festival the chamber music, symphonic rock, choir, flamenko, tango and recitals are performed in historical settings such as the Bellapais Monastery, Salamis Amphitheatre and the Kyrenia Castle.

Cuisine of North Cyprus
In most of the hotels in North Cyprus international cuisine is offered to guest. However smaller restaurants throughout the North Cyprus serve delicious local dishes. Although influenced by Mediterranean and oriental cuisine, North Cyprus fare is not heavy but extremely tasty. The traditional "Meze", which consists of a variety of cold and hot appetizers, salads, meats, vegetables, and fish dishes, is a very special attraction, while typical local dishes include "shish kebap", doner kebap", "sheftali kebap , "molehiya", "yalanci dolma", kolakas" and "bumbar". The famous cheese "hellim" is another delicacy not to be missed. Many local fruits including verigo grapes, oranges, tangerines and grapefruits can end a tasty meal before supping a beautiful Turkish coffee".

Shopping in North Cyprus
All tourists love to shop and in North Cyprus this is particularly pleasant. The friendly traders offering a buyer almost everything could want. There is a variety of copper, silver, bronze, oniyx and gold, together with traditional dolls, boards and embroidery. Most of the shops are open between 8 am to pm, and from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm.

North Cyprus