Type of Government: Parliamentary Democracy
Established on: 15.11.1983
President of the Republic: Mustafa AKINCI
Colors of the Flag: White and Red
Capital city: Lefkosa (Nicosia)
Currency: Turkish Lira
Neighboring Countries: South Cyprus, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt.
Area: 3,355km2
Population: De-Facto: 320,000

The first inhabitants of  Cyprus are thought to have migrated to the island from the lands now called Anatolia, Syria and Palestine between the years 7000-6500 BC. The mountains of these countries can be seen from the island on clear days.

The name of Cyprus, which is the most important island in the Eastern Mediterranean, came from the rich cooper mines that were first used in the Bronze age. Its location and natural resources such as olives, cereals and grapes made Cyprus a very important trading center. Because of these, many ancient civilizations tried to capture it and those which managed, each left behind a piece of their own important cultural heritage and made the island a center of attraction. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines, Lusignans, Venetians and Ottomans were the most important ancient civilizations which ruled the island.

Cyprus, with its natural beauties and historical richness, remains a center of attraction for many people to this day.

B.C 1450 – 700 Old Egypt Domination
B.C  700 –  545   Assyrian Domination
B.C  545 –  345 Persian Domination
B.C  345 –  290 Old Greek (Helen) Domination
B.C  290 –   58 Ptolemik King Domination
B.C   58 – A.D 395 Roman Domination
395 -1190  Byzantine Domination
1190 – 1191 English Domination
1191 – 1489 Lusignan Domination
1489 – 1570  Venetian Domination
1570 – 1878   Ottoman Period
1878 – 1960 British Administration
1960 – 1963 Cyprus Republic
1963 – 1974  Autonomous Turkish Administration/Greek Administration
1974 Cyprus Peace Operation
1974 – 1983 Turkish Federated State of Cyprus
1983 Turkish Republic Of  Northern Cyprus


General Information

The island of Cyprus is located in the Eastern Mediterranean. Its neighboring lands at the nearest coastal points are Turkey 40 miles north, Syria 60 miles east, Lebanon 108 miles south-east, Israel 180 miles south-east and Egypt 230 miles south. 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. miles. (9250 sq. kilometers)

Cyprus has been divided into two autonomous states since 1974. This came about by virtue of the linguistic and cultural differences and as a result of communal friction which lasted for 11 years. (See history) Greek Cypriots occupy the southern and the Turkish Cypriots occupy the northern part of Cyprus. A boundary is known as the`Green Line` which runs through Nicosia, the capital of both South and North Cyprus separates the two states.


Although Turkish is the official language, English is also widely used and understood. Many hotels employ German speaking personnel. Some of the hotels have Arabic or French speaking personnel, too.

Local time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) however, from April to September; the local time is three hours ahead of GMT.
For the rest of the year, the time difference is for two hours.



North Cyprus is some 100 miles long, 40 miles across at its widest point and has a total area of 1357 sq. miles or nearly one third of the whole of the island. The geography of North Cyprus is characterized by a unique blend of mountains, plains and beaches. The Kyrenia Range, with its magnificent jagged limestone peaks, the highest of which is Mount Selvili at 3357 ft. runs along most of the north coastline to form a startling backdrop. To the east of the island the mountain range loses height as it extends along the narrow peninsula known as Karpas or `The Panhandle.`

Along with it, one finds the best beaches in Cyprus. Miles of empty bays with pure white sand. To the south of the Kyrenia range lie the plains of Mesaoria. Here, is situated the divided Capital Nicosia (Lefkosa). Other major centers are Guzelyurt in the west of North Cyprus where most of the citrus produce comes from, The resort town of Kyrenia (Girne) is on the northern coast, and the second resort town of Famagusta (Gazimagosa) in the east.

North Cyprus shares with you its God-given gifts of beauty. The fertile soils, covered in the Mediterranean flora, are as unspoiled as they were on the day they were created. Basking and resting on the tranquil beaches to the sound of the cicadas and bathing in the cleanest waters of the Mediterranean are the most precious blessings that North Cyprus had to offer. When you give a break to your studying, the green Gulf of Guzelyurt in the east awaits you with the cultural heritage of Soli and Vouni looking on, and you can sip your coffee under the shadow of venerable ancient olive trees. You can get to know the cathedrals of kings decorated with Ottoman minarets and walk the historic, mystical Ottoman and Gothic cloisters of Lefkosa. You can walk in the footsteps of the Lusignans and the Venetians in Kyrenia’s ancient harbor, in the shadow of the Besparmak mountains. Heading south, the golden plain of Meserya will amaze you and you will be beckoned by the Venetian city walls of Famagusta and the Othello Tower, to the accompaniment of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Welcomed by the magic and mystery of Famagusta, you make for the untouched and undisccovered Karpas Peninsula, the virgin country of the island. The island donkeys of Karpas will greet your entry to this landscape, distinguished by its unique ornithology, the home of the Medos tulip.

North Cyprus beaches are not just popular with locals, students or tourists; the rare green and loggerhead sea turtles love them too. Every year, thousands come to the golden sands of North Cyprus to lay their eggs, and these rare creatures are heavily protected during the breeding season. You can watch baby turtles hatch and scurry to the foaming sea at night at a variety of protected sites along the North Cyprus coastline, before returning to your dorm room with amazing photos and wonderful memories.



The weather in North Cyprus is very nice if you like hot and warm weather; so, forget about grey skies, the rain and the cold, and start thinking of sunshine and beautiful beaches. Summer in North Cyprus is to be lived outdoors. Temperatures start rising to mid to late thirties (Celcius) by mid June-July. You will quickly find that Cypriots love nature and outdoors. Nature begins to stir during winter in North Cyprus, donning its most beautiful colors in spring to present a scene of unparalleled beauty, whilst the temperature very seldomly gets below 3-4 degrees (Celcius). In autumn and spring, the island enters a period of calm and repose and enjoy mild temperatures.



Turkish Cypriots are Turkish-speaking, regard themselves as secular Muslims, and take pride in their Ottoman heritage. The Turkish Cypriot identity and culture are heavily based on family ties linked to parents, siblings, and relatives; ones in the neighborhood are also considered important as the emphasis is given on helping those in need. Most of their lives revolve around social activities, and food is a central feature of gatherings. Folk dancing, music, and art are also integral parts of Turkish Cypriots’ culture.

For Turkish Cypriots, family life is of ultimate importance and therefore a great amount of their free time is spent at family gatherings. They are highly sociable and like to go out. All towns and some villages hold festivals, usually in the early summer. Festivals in North Cyprus have become extremely popular over the past few years, often featuring different cultural events. Most North Cyprus cultural events take place in historical locations such as Kyrenia Castle, Othello’s Tower, Bellapais Abbey, and the Salamis Amphitheatre. During your education in North Cyprus, you will come across many of these social events; make sure you book your tickets early and enjoy some excellent entertainment in magnificent surroundings.


The capital of TRNC is Lefkosa (Nicosia), which has a population of approximately 35,000 where the main administration and business centers are located. Other major towns include Gazimagusa (Famagusta) which is a flourishing tourist, industrial and commercial center, as well as being the country’s principle port, Girne (Kyrenia) a town of touristic importance with a wonderful yachts harbor and Guzelyurt (Morphou) and Lefke which are known for citrus trees.


Nicosia (Turkish: Lefkosa, Greek: Lefkosia) is the capital city of North Cyprus. Nicosia is the center of administrative district, and currently the only divided capital in the world, with the northern Turkish and southern Greek portions divided by a "Green line"; a demilitarized zone maintained by the United Nations.

The name of the city dates back to approximately 2,250 years when it was known as Ledra or Ledrae. This name was changed soon to Lefkotheon but was also referred to as Ledron. The name changed once again in the Byzantine era to Lefkon which means "popular grove". The city served as a seat of the kings of Cyprus from 1192, it remained the capital of Cyprus since the 17th century, except for a brief period starting from 1489 when it was taken over by Venetians. Cyprus was taken over by Turks in 1571 and Nicosia became Capital again. The city went through major development during the Venetian's rule as they built huge, thick ramparts around the city. Nicosia (Lefkosia) was fortified with imposing stone walls and massive gates. The walls are three and a half miles long and have eleven towers and three gates. The famous Famagusta Gate still stands today, proudly protecting the still-ancient town within from the modern city outside.

During the Ottomans era, the city saw prosperity which is still visible by the Gothic architecture of Selimiye Mosque, the Bedestan, the Arab Ahmat Mosque, and the Great Han Inn to name a few.

The modern divided capital is the result of the Turkish invasion, which resulted because of rebellion against the government of Cyprus. The present day capital of the island has a population of around 150,000 and it is divided into Turkish and Greek sectors by a boundary known as the `green line' which runs in an east-west direction.



Gazi Magusa is a major port in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It lies on the island's east coast in a bay between Capes Greco and Eloea and is about 37 miles (55 km) east of Nicosia. The port possesses the deepest harbour in Cyprus.

Famagusta is a Frankish corruption of its Greek name, which means "buried in the sand," descriptive of the silted mouth of the Pedieos.

Famagusta city lies south of the ancient city of Salamis (now Salamis ruins) and just north of the ancient ghost town of Varosha (Maras). Today Varosha is no more than an empty ghost town. It lies in a UN zone between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Famagusta is one of the finest examples of mediaeval architecture in the eastern Mediterranean. The oldest traces of settlements lie in an area near the modern town of Famagusta, then named "Enkomi", going back to 13th Century B.C., the Bronze Age. At the start of the Iron Age, the town was built near the sea and was known by the name "Salamis". The name "Ammochostos" is first recorded during the Byzantine period. In 1571 Famagusta was conquered by the Ottoman's.

Some historians declare that Famagusta was founded by King Ptolemy Philadelphus of Egypt in 285 B.C. By the year 300 A.D. the town was one of the principal markets of the Eastern Mediterranean, the rendezvous of rich merchants and the headquarters of many Christian religious orders as revealed by numerous churches of various denominations. These are still to be seen in the town today.

This was the time of the Crusades and when the rich Lusignan family ruled Cyprus. Therefore, the period I 200 to I 489 in Cyprus history is called the Lusignan dynasty. Famagusta was protected by ramparts which encircle the town and the citadel castle guarding the harbour, the best in Cyprus. This citadel or Othello's tower is the first main focus of attention for visitors.

The period I 300 to I 400 is known as the golden age of Famagusta and was regarded as such by visiting merchants who brought back tales of fabulous wealth. After I 400, rival groups of Genoese and Venetian merchants settled there. The Genoese caused many conflicts until finally, the Venetians took command of all Cyprus. In 1489 they transferred the capital from Nicosia to Famagusta. The Venetians were in command for 82 years and it was from Famagusta that the whole island was governed.

The invention of gun-powder and the use of cannons called for the Venetians to remodel the entire defense for the use of artillery, the new type of warfare. The medieval square towers were replaced with round ones and cannon portholes were inserted all along the walls.

The Turkish armada arrived outside the town in 1570 and put it under siege for a year. In 1571 not only Famagusta but all of Cyprus was under Turkish rule and remained so until 1878. The end of colonial rule in 1960 led to the intensification of intercommunal contention between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots which concluded in 1974 with Turkish Cypriot rule in North Cyprus.

The new town of Famagusta (also known as Maras or Varosha) lies just to the south of the walled old-city of Famagusta.

As a seaport, Famagusta is a center for the export of citrus fruits and other agricultural products and livestock; other major economic activities include cotton spinning, the distillation of brandy, and fishing.



Girne city is situated along the north coast of Turkish Cyprus. It is a busy small town with a harbour appreciated for its natural beautym a perfect holiday destination. Founded by the Achaeans, ancient Greek colonists, and fortified by the Byzantines, Franks, and Venetians, the city was the administrative headquarters of the Kyrenia district of the Republic of Cyprus until 1974.

In its heyday, it was lined with warehouses, stored with fruits of the countryside whilst they awaited export. The buildings are now mostly all restaurants, all of which have tables and chairs lining the water. The castle at the east end of the harbour is a very spectacular site and within its walls, there is a 12 century chapel showing reused late Roman capitals.

Escape Beach Club and Club Acapulco are the top two beaches in Kyrenia. They both offer plenty of entertainment. They both have a bar, restaurant and night club. These two beaches are perfect for younger travelers.

You have an excellent opportunity to find pleasant places for walking in Northern Cyprus. The Besparmak Mountains are ideal walking areas. You can go to St. Hilarion Castle and park your car there. Head west to take in the amazing views of Kyrenia.

Turtle beach is situated on the new coast road East of Kyrenia driving towards Esentepe. The beach is protected during the summer months between the hours of 9 pm and 5 am. This is because turtles come to lay their eggs on the beach area under the watchful eye of conservationists. The beach by day is excellent and used a lot by the locals. At this location is a small building called the "Turtle Project." You can go there to learn about Turtles, see videos and book in to sleep on the beach at night and watch the turtles coming to shore to lay their eggs. They lay their eggs around June and August is the hatching time.

Just 10 minutes above Kyrenia is Bellapais Abbey. Set in this fabulous location, a visit to this 14th century Lusignan Bellapais Abbey in North Cyprus is a must.

Enclosed to the north by the sea and to the south by the greenery of the Besparmak (Five Finger) Mountain range, it offers the most magnificent scenery on the island. It's a charming and tiny harbour, full of yachts and fishing boats is framed by the colossal hulk of its Crusader castle. With the backdrop of the jagged mountains behind and the calm sparkling sea in front, the harbour has an intoxicatingly serene atmosphere.

Overlooking the entrance to the harbour is Kyrenia Castle. Dating from the time of the Byzantines, its massive defenses surround a complex mixture of building styles from centuries before and it is likely that there was a Roman fort here originally. Subsequently enlarged and strengthened by the Lusignans and then the Venetians, the castle is now home to many historical artifacts and is the current resting-place of the world's oldest shipwreck.

Kyrenia is an easy place to be at any time of the day. There are lots of charming shops to explore in the harbour and in the cobbled narrow alleys surrounding it. There are markets and numerous local cafés to visit also.

As the sun sets, Kyrenia harbour again becomes the focus of activity as the locals take their evening stroll and the cafés and bistros that face the sea prepare for their nightly trade. Crisp white linen and small vases of local flowers are lovingly arranged on tabletops to welcome the evening's guests to wine and dine in the cooling breeze.


Guzelyurt, which means `beautiful country' in Turkish, is aptly named. Guzelyurt is a market town located in the west of North Cyprus. One of its attractive features is that it is the home of one of the many churches in the country dedicated to St. Mamas, popularly known as the patron saint of tax avoiders. The name was bestowed on him because he was a hermit living in very poor circumstances and when the authorities tried to tax him, he avoided them. Soldiers were sent out and captured him but on the way back to town, he saw a lion attacking a lamb, escaped the soldiers, saved the lamb, jumped on the lion's back and in that way came to town. His bravery earned him exemption from tax, hence his name - the patron saint of tax avoiders.

Güzelyurt is not a typical tourist destination but is interesting to those who want to see parts of Northern Cyprus not in the least affected by tourism. You can enjoy your holiday in the peace and quiet of its natural surroundings. Guzelyurt houses a history and archaeology museum. The museum houses a collection ranging from the prehistoric age of Cyprus to the Byzantine period. Primitive tools uncovered from different prehistoric settlements around Cyprus and samples of pottery from the Bronze Age are exhibited at the museum. Furthermore, there is a covered market and some rather beautiful Orthodox churches. Also within the Güzelyurt district is the picturesque town of Lefke (the site of Cyprus' now defunct copper mines), the Roman ruins at Soli, and the hilltop palace of Vouni.

The city of Guzelyurt is the regional capital of the Güzelyurt district and is known as the fruit-bowl of Northern Cyprus. It is one of the richest agricultural areas in Cyprus, famous particularly for the Citrus (Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit) and strawberries from the area which thrive in its fertile red soil. A large proportion of the citrus fruits are exported, and the remaining are made into fruit juice and canned for export and local consumption. The town, located in the west, is surrounded by extensive citrus groves, which makes this area the greenest on the island. The reason for this is the abundance of water running down from the Troodos Mountains, which lie, to the south.



On the roads on Nicosia – Karpaz and Famagusta – Karpaz main roads where Kantara Range meets forests and valleys you find the village Yeni Iskele. The Greek name of the village is Trikomo. The name Yeni Iskele is a reminder of the relocation of Turk Cypriots from the Turkish district Iskele in the city of Larnaca on the island’s south coast. The Turk Cypriots who lived there before had to go away after the war. They moved in 1975 to Trikomo, which was renamed to Yeni (new) Iskele. At the centre of the village, there’s the 15th century church of St. Jacob (Avios Iakovos). There’s and odd coincidence in the fact that the village was the birthplace of the EOKA-colonel George Grivas. He was leading spokesman of Cyprus reunion with Greece. Grivas died six months before the war in 1974.

Iskele is an important tourist centre where green meets blue on a 25-km-long coastline. The people of Iskele are hospitable folks, very interested in culture and art-related social activities. The Bogaz region of Iskele, which is known as an entertainment centre, is full of hotels and fish restaurants. In the small harbour of Bogaz, the fishing boats and others offer our visitors cruises along the eastern coast of North Cyprus. In the municipal park of Iskele, locals and tourists stay up until the break of dawn singing live music, enjoying the sweet times past in North Cyprus.

Iskele region is also famous for its icon museums and ancient churches. The ‘Cyprus Endemic Plats information Centre’, the turtle nesting beaches under the protection of Long Beach Tourism, the Iskele Fest (from 1 July to 10 July annually) are wonderful attractions of Iskele. One visit to Iskele and its Bogaz, and you will join those who lave fallen in love with our torn and region.


Nestling below the Troodos Mountains, 74 km away from Nicosia, Lefke (Lefka) is a small and friendly town in the north west of Cyprus.

Its inhabitants will tell you that its citrus fruits are the tastiest and the juiciest in the whole of the island. This is because of its rich soil, plentiful water and its reservoirs.

Its Turkish character reflects the domination of the area by the Ottoman Empire for more than three hundred years.

The town also houses one of North Cyprus' universities, European University of Lefke.

Lefke was once a prosperous mining town. It was once the center of mining in ancient times and a medieval barony. The town became predominantly Turkish after the Ottoman conquest and there are some interesting examples of Ottoman architecture to be seen here.


Helped by a mild climate, health conditions and medical facilities are good. Emergency medical treatment at State Hospitals in all towns is free for visitors.
The country is free from infectious diseases.

There are state hospitals in all major towns. There are also clinics in smaller towns and some villages. There are many private hospitals as well.


In TRNC, 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.

The Turkish lira is used as the local currency. There is no restriction for the import of foreign currency into Northern Cyprus; however, the export of currency is restricted to US-dollars 3000, or the equivalent in other currencies.

Exchanging all the currencies is possible in banks, exchange offices and in hotels.
Visa card, credit card, master and Euro cards, checks etc. can be used in place of cash.

There is a wide selection of consumer goods and services in North Cyprus. Turkish Lira (TL) is the official currency of North Cyprus. Exchanging most of the currencies are possible in foreign exchange offices and banks. Credit card, visa card, master card and checks can be used in place of cash.

North Cyprus customs officials are relaxed about items for personal use such as laptops, iPods, musical instruments etc.

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

North Cyprus Controlled items:

The following items are controlled items and cannot be exported, nor imported

Controlled drugs (any kind)

Firearms and munitions (including fireworks)


Archaeological goods

Wild animals

Please take care not to attempt to export antiquities or archaeological goods from Northern Cyprus. There are heavy fines and the threat of jail for removing such items.

North Cyprus introduced the Tax Free system which is the return of taxes paid by foreign shoppers on the way out of the country at all points of exit from North Cyprus.

To benefit from tax free shopping in North Cyprus, ask for the Special Tax Invoice from stores where you see the “Tax Free Shopping” sign. Apply to customs and tax refund offices found at all North Cyprus departure points. Refunds are made in the form of cash or are made payable to credit card accounts. Please note; the number of special tax invoices submitted is irrelevant however, total invoice value must be at least 200 TL for a refund.

The Green Line Regulation (EC No 866/2004 of 29.4.2004) regulates the crossing of persons, goods and services from North Cyprus to South Cyprus. According to the Green Line Regulation, people can cross from North Cyprus to South Cyprus with
Goods purchased in North Cyprus for personal use of a total value of 135 EUR per person (they are exempt from turnover tax and excise duty),
Additionally, 1 liter of spirits purchased in North Cyprus for personal consumption (it is exempt from turnover tax and excise duty),
Additionally, 40 cigarettes purchased in North Cyprus for personal consumption (they are exempt from turnover tax and excise duty),

International subscriber dialing is possible. Telephone calls can be made from telecommunication offices, kiosks and at the hotels. Also, there are 2 GSM operators that have a roaming agreement with different GSM operators from different countries.


The code for the UK 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.

KKTC Telsim    0542
KKTC Turkcell 0533

The postal service in Northern Cyprus is reasonably fast and efficient. Please remember that because of the isolations, in order to receive mail from abroad, letters must be addressed ‘Mersin 10 – Turkey’.

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

Traffic flows on the left lane. Traffic signs are international. The conditions of the roads are very good.

Cars entering TRNC must have a valid insurance certificate. For a tourist driver, a valid national or international driving license is accepted.

Visitors can get to TRNC by air or by sea. International Ercan  Airport is 7 miles (12 km s) east of Lefkosa, which enables flights of Turkish Airlines etc.

There are several ferry-boats of different lines operating between ports of  Girne and Famagusta in Northern Cyprus and ports of Mersin and Antalya in Southern Turkey.

For local transportation apart from taxis and private hire cars, there are daily bus services between the towns.

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 light jacket 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 light jacket and pullovers, although you may not need them during the day.

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.

1 January – New Year Day, 23 April – Children’s Day, 1 May – Labor 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” dates of which, like the Christian festival of Easter, change every year.

Monday-Friday:  8.00-12.30/13.00-16.15

Thursday: 8.00-12.30/13.00-17.30


Monday -Friday: 7.30 -14:00
Thursday: 7.30 -12.30  /13.00-17.00

Town                                    Police Station                      Hospital
Lefkosa                             (+90 392 ) 2283311                   (+90 392 ) 2285441
Gazimagusa                    (+90 392 ) 3665310                   (+90 392 ) 3662876
Girne                                 (+90 392 ) 8152125                   (+90 392 ) 8152254
Güzelyurt                          (+90 392 ) 7142140                   (+90 392 ) 7142125
Lefke                                  (+90 392 ) 7287256                   (+90 392 ) 7287757
Ercan                                 (+90 392 ) 2314650                               ———-
Geçitkale                          (+90 392 ) 3733416                               ———-