Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
[Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti] Error: ((Lang)): text has italic markup (help)
Anthem: İstiklal Marşı
Independence March
File:Istiklal Marsi-TSK.ogg
Location of Northern Cyprus
and largest city
North Nicosia
Official languagesTurkish
Demonym(s)Turkish Cypriot
GovernmentUnitary semi-presidential republic
• President
Derviş Eroğlu
Özkan Yorgancıoğlu
LegislatureAssembly of the Republic
Independence from Cyprus
• Proclaimed
15 November 1983
• Recognition
by Turkey only
• Total
3,355 km2 (1,295 sq mi) (174th if ranked)
• Water (%)
• 2014 estimate
• 2011 census
294,906 (disputed)
• Density
86/km2 (222.7/sq mi) (116th)
GDP (nominal)2008 estimate
• Total
$3.9 billion[1]
• Per capita
CurrencyTurkish lira () (TRY)
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
• Summer (DST)
Driving sideleft
Calling code+90 392
Internet TLD.nc.tr or .ct.tr;
wide use of .cc

Northern Cyprus (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs), officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC; Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti), is a self-declared state that comprises the northeastern portion of the island of Cyprus. Recognised only by Turkey, Northern Cyprus is considered by the international community as part of the Republic of Cyprus.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

Northern Cyprus extends from the tip of the Karpass Peninsula in the north east, westward to Morphou Bay and Cape Kormakitis (the Kokkina/Erenköy exclave marks the westernmost extent of the area), and southward to the village of Louroujina. A buffer zone under the control of the United Nations stretches between Northern Cyprus and the rest of the island and divides Nicosia, the island's largest city and capital of both states.

The 1974 coup d'état, an attempt to annex the island to Greece, was followed by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. This resulted in the eviction of much of the north's Greek Cypriot population, the flight of Turkish Cypriots from the south, and the partitioning of the island, leading to a unilateral declaration of independence by the North in 1983. Due to its lack of recognition, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkey for economic, political and military support.[16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]

Attempts to reach a solution to the Cyprus dispute have been unsuccessful. Recognising the need for a resolution, in May 2008 the two sides began another round of negotiations after committing themselves to working towards "a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as defined by relevant Security Council resolutions."[24] The Turkish Army maintains a large force in Northern Cyprus. While its presence is supported and approved by the TRNC government, the Republic of Cyprus regards it as an illegal occupation force, and its presence has been denounced in several United Nations Security Council resolutions.[25]



Main article: Modern history of Cyprus

A united Cyprus gained independence from British rule in August 1960, after both Greek and Turkish Cypriots agreed to respectively abandon plans for enosis (union with Greece) and taksim (Turkish for 'partition'). The agreement involved Cyprus being governed under a constitution which apportioned Cabinet posts, parliamentary seats and civil service jobs on an agreed ratio between the two communities. Within three years, tensions between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in administrative affairs began to show.

Fazıl Küçük former Turkish Cypriot leader and former Vice President of Cyprus.

In particular, disputes over separate municipalities and taxation created a deadlock in government. In 1963 President Makarios proposed unilateral changes to the constitution, via 13 amendments. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots rejected the proposed amendments, claiming that this was an attempt to settle constitutional disputes in favour of the Greek Cypriots[26] and as a means of demoting Turkish status from co-founders of the state to one of minority status removing their constitutional safeguards in the process. Turkish Cypriots filed a lawsuit against the 13 amendments in the Supreme Constitutional Court of Cyprus (SCCC). Makarios announced that he would not comply with whatever the decision of the SCCC would be,[27] and defended his amendments as being necessary "to resolve constitutional deadlocks" as opposed to the stance of the SCCC.[28] On 25 April 1963, the SCCC decided that Makarios' 13 amendments were illegal. The Cyprus Supreme Court's ruling found that Makarios had violated the constitution by failing to fully implement its measures and that Turkish Cypriots had not been allowed to return to their positions in government without first accepting the proposed constitutional amendments.[29] On 21 May, the president of the SCCC resigned due to the Makarios' stance. On 15 July, Makarios ignored the decision of the SCCC.[30] After the resignation of the president of the SCCC, the SCCC ceased to exist. The Supreme Court of Cyprus (SCC) was formed by merging the SCCC and the High Court of Cyprus and undertook the jurisdiction and powers of the SCCC and HCC.[31] On 30 November, Makarios legalized the 13 proposals. In 1963, the Greek Cypriot wing of the government created the Akritas plan which outlined a policy that would remove Turkish Cypriots from the government and ultimately lead to union with Greece. The plan stated that if the Turkish Cypriots objected then they should be "violently subjugated before foreign powers could intervene".[32] On 21 December 1963, a Turkish Cypriot crowd clashed with the plainclothes special constables of Yorgadjis. Almost immediately, intercommunal violence broke out with a major Greek Cypriot paramilitary attack upon Turkish Cypriots in Nicosia and Larnaca. Though the TMT — a Turkish resistance group created in 1959 to promote a policy of taksim (division or partition of Cyprus), in opposition to the Greek Cypriot nationalist group EOKA and its advocacy of enosis (union of Cyprus with Greece) — committed a number of acts of retaliation, historian of the Cyprus conflict Keith Kyle noted that "there is no doubt that the main victims of the numerous incidents that took place during the next few months were Turks."[26] Seven hundred Turkish hostages, including women and children, were taken from the northern suburbs of Nicosia. Nikos Sampson, a nationalist and future coup leader, led a group of Greek Cypriot irregulars into the mixed suburb of Omorphita and attacked the Turkish Cypriot population.[33] By 1964, 193 Turkish Cypriots and 133 Greek Cypriots had been killed, with a further 209 Turks and 41 Greeks missing and presumed dead.

File:Turkish Cypriot woman fleeing conflict (1963-64).JPG
Turkish Cypriot women fleeing their homes during the 1963-64 conflict.
Rauf Denktaş founder and former President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Turkish Cypriot members of the government had by now withdrawn, creating an essentially Greek Cypriot administration in control of all institutions of the state. After the partnership government collapsed, the Greek Cypriot led administration was recognized as the legitimate government of the Republic of Cyprus at the stage of the debates in New York in February 1964.[34] In September 1964, then–United Nations Secretary General, U Thant reported "UNFICYP carried out a detailed survey of all damage to properties throughout the island during the disturbances; it shows that in 109 villages, most of them Turkish-Cypriot or mixed villages, 527 houses have been destroyed while 2,000 others have suffered damage from looting".[35] Widespread looting of Turkish Cypriot villages prompted 20,000 refugees to retreat into armed enclaves, where they remained for the next 11 years,[36] relying on food and medical supplies from Turkey to survive. Turkish Cypriots formed paramilitary groups to defend the enclaves, leading to a gradual division of the island's communities into two hostile camps. The violence had also seen thousands of Turkish Cypriots attempt to escape the violence by emigrating to Britain, Australia and Turkey.[37] On 28 December 1967, the Turkish Cypriot Provisional Administration was founded.[38]

On 15 July 1974, the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 and the Cypriot National Guard backed a Greek Cypriot military coup d'état in Cyprus. Pro-Enosis Nikos Sampson replaced President Makarios as the new dictator.[39] The Greek Cypriot coupists proclaimed the establishment of the "Hellenic Republic of Cyprus".[40][41] Turkey claimed that under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, the coup was sufficient reason for military action to protect the Turkish Cypriot populace, and thus Turkey invaded Cyprus on 20 July. Turkish forces proceeded to take over the northern four-elevenths of the island (about 37% of Cyprus's total area). The coup caused a civil war filled with ethnic violence, after which it collapsed and Makarios returned to power.[citation needed]. During the Turkish invasion of the island, the Turkish conquerors led to many atrocities. Result of the invasion were missing persons, refugees and the division of island.

On 2 August 1975, in the negotiations in Vienna, a population exchange agreement was signed between community leaders Rauf Denktaş and Glafcos Clerides under the auspices of United Nations.[42][6] On the basis of the Agreement, 196,000 Greek Cypriots living in the north were exchanged for 42,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the south[43] (the number of settlers was disputed[22]). The Orthodox Greek Cypriots in Rizokarpaso, Agios Andronikos and Agia Triada chose to stay in their villages,[44] as did also Catholic Maronites in Asomatos, Karpasia and Kormakitis. Approximately 1,500 Greek Cypriots and 500 Turkish Cypriots remain missing.[45]

In 1975, the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus (Kıbrıs Türk Federe Devleti) was declared as a first step towards a future federated Cypriot state, but was rejected by the Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations.

After eight years of failed negotiations with the leadership of the Greek Cypriot community,[citation needed] the north unilaterally declared its independence on 15 November 1983 under the name of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.[46] This was rejected by the UN and the Republic of Cyprus. In 2010, the International Court of Justice ruled, in an opinion regarding Kosovo, that "International law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence".[47]

In recent years, the politics of reunification has dominated the island's affairs. The European Union decided in 2000 to accept Cyprus as a member, even if it was divided. This was due to their view of Rauf Denktaş, the pro-independence Turkish Cypriot President, as the main stumbling block, but also due to Greece threatening to block eastern EU expansion. It was hoped that Cyprus's planned accession into the European Union would act as a catalyst towards a settlement. In the time leading up to Cyprus becoming a member, a new government was elected in Turkey and Rauf Denktaş lost political power in Cyprus. In 2004, a United Nations–brokered peace settlement was presented in a referendum to both sides.[48] The proposed settlement was opposed by both the president of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, and Turkish Cypriot president Rauf Denktaş; in the referendum, while 65% of Turkish Cypriots accepted the proposal, 76% of Greek Cypriots rejected it.[citation needed] As a result, Cyprus entered the European Union divided, with the effects of membership suspended for Northern Cyprus.[48]

Denktaş resigned in the wake of the vote, ushering in the pro-solutionist Mehmet Ali Talat as his successor. However, the pro-solutionist side and Mehmet Ali Talat lost momentum due to the ongoing embargo[citation needed] and isolation, despite promises[clarification needed] from the European Union that these would be eased. As a result, the Turkish Cypriot electorate became frustrated. This led ultimately to the pro-independence side winning the general elections in 2009 and its candidate, former Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu, winning the presidential elections in 2010. Although Eroğlu and his National Unity Party favours the independence of Northern Cyprus rather than reunification with the Republic of Cyprus, he is negotiating with the Greek Cypriot side towards a settlement for reunification.[citation needed]

In 2011, Turkish Cypriots protested against economic reforms made by the Northern Cyprus and Turkish governments.

On 13 October 2014, United States Federal Court ruled that "..Greek Cypriots cannot claim that the government in control of Northern Cyprus gave their homes to Turkish Cypriots....Although the United States does not recognize it as a state, the TRNC purportedly operates as a democratic republic with a president, prime minister, legislature and judiciary...TRNC is not vulnerable to a lawsuit in Washington".[49]

Government and politics

Main article: Politics of Northern Cyprus

Derviş Eroğlu has been President of Northern Cyprus since 2010.

The politics of Northern Cyprus takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the Prime Minister head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Assembly of the Republic. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature.

The president is elected for a five-year term. The current president is Derviş Eroğlu and the current Prime Minister is Özkan Yorgancıoğlu. The legislature is the Assembly of the Republic, which has 50 members elected by proportional representation from five electoral districts. In the elections of July 2013, the left-leaning pro-unification Republican Turkish Party won an overall majority.

Due to Northern Cyprus' isolation and heavy reliance on Turkish support, Turkey has a high level of influence over the country's politics. This has led to some experts characterising it as an effective puppet state of Turkey.[50][51][52] Few political decisions in Northern Cyprus are taken without the approval of the Turkish National Security council in Ankara.[18]

International status and foreign relations

Main article: Foreign relations of Northern Cyprus

London office of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Bedford Square.

No nation other than Turkey[53] has officially recognised Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state. The United Nations recognises it as territory of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.[54] Pakistan and Bangladesh had initially declared their recognition of Northern Cyprus as a sovereign state shortly after its declaration of independence,[55] however they withdrew their recognition as a result of US pressure after the UN having deemed the North Cypriot declaration illegal.[56] The United Nations considers the declaration of independence by Northern Cyprus as legally invalid, as enunciated in several of its resolutions.[54][57]

In the wake of the April 2004 referendum on the United Nations Annan Plan, and in view of the support of the Turkish Cypriot community for the plan, the European Union made pledges towards ending the isolation of Northern Cyprus. These included measures for trade and 259 million euro in aid.[citation needed] A pledge by the EU to lift the embargo on Northern Cyprus in the wake of the Annan Plan referendums has been blocked by the Greek Cypriot government.[48]

In 2004, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation upgraded the delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Muslim community from "observer community" (1979) to that of a constituent state with the designation "Turkish Cypriot State", making Northern Cyprus an observer member of the organization.[58] A number of high profile formal meetings have also taken place between former President Mehmet Ali Talat and various foreign leaders and politicians including the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the then British foreign minister, Jack Straw and former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, and between President Dervis Eroglu and Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.

In 2004, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe gave observer status to the representatives of Turkish Cypriot community.[59] Since then, Northern Cyprus's representatives have actively participated in all PACE activities without voting rights.

The European Union considers the area not under effective control of the Republic of Cyprus as EU territory under Turkish military occupation and thus indefinitely exempt from EU legislation until a settlement has been found. The status of Northern Cyprus has become a recurrent issue especially during the recent talks for Turkey's membership of the EU where the division of the island is seen as a major stumbling block in Turkey's road to membership.[60][61]

The Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan in Azerbaijan has issued a resolution recognizing the independence of Northern Cyprus. As a result of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, however, Azerbaijan itself has not recognised North Cyprus.[62]

Naturalised citizens of Northern Cyprus or foreigners carrying a passport stamped by Northern Cyprus authorities may be refused entry by the Republic of Cyprus or Greece,[63] although after the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU such restrictions have been eased following confidence-building measures between Athens and Ankara[citation needed] and the partial opening of the UN controlled line by Northern Cyprus authorities.[citation needed] The Republic of Cyprus also allows passage across the Green Line from the south of Nicosia, as well as a few other selected crossing points, since Northern Cyprus does not leave entry stamps in the passport for such visits. There are seven border crossings between Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus.[64] Since May 2004 some tourists have taken to flying to the Republic of Cyprus directly then crossing the green line to holiday in Northern Cyprus.[65]

On 18 February 2008, the Northern Cyprus government sent a message to the Republic of Kosovo congratulating it on its unilateral declaration of independence. A government spokesman clarified that this statement did not constitute, or signal an imminent move toward, formal diplomatic recognition of Kosovo.[66] In contrast, the Republic of Cyprus has rejected Kosovo's declaration of independence and, given the ICJ ruling that Kosovo's declaration of independence was not illegal, stated that Kosovo and Northern Cyprus were not analogous situations.[67] Some analysts have argued that the independence of Kosovo could provide support for the recognition of Northern Cyprus.[68]

On 21.09.2011, Turkey and Northern Cyprus signed an EEZ border agreement in New York.[69][70]

In October 2011, Libya signed cooperation treaties with TRNC government.[71]

In October 2012, Northern Cyprus became an observer member of the Economic Cooperation Organisation under the name "Turkish Cypriot State".


Main article: Military of Northern Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot soldiers of the Security Forces Command perform during a Republic Day parade.

The Security Forces Command consists of a 9,000 strong force primarily made up of conscripted Turkish Cypriot males between the ages of 18 and 40.[citation needed] There is also an additional reserve force which consists of about 10,000 first-line and 16,000 second-line troops conscripted up to the age of 50. The Security Forces Command is lightly armed and heavily dependent on its mainland Turkish allies, from which it draws much of its officer corps.[citation needed] It is led by a Brigadier General drawn from the Turkish Army. It acts essentially as a gendarmerie charged with protection of the border of Northern Cyprus from Greek Cypriot incursions and maintaining internal security within Northern Cyprus.[72]

In addition, the mainland Turkish Armed Forces maintains the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force which consists of around 30–40,000 troops drawn from the 9th Turkish Army Corps and comprising two divisions, the 28th and 39th. It is equipped with a substantial number of US-made M48 Patton main battle tanks and artillery weapons. The Turkish Air Force, Turkish Navy and Turkish Coast Guard also have a presence in Northern Cyprus. Although formally part of Turkish 4th Army, headquartered in İzmir, the sensitivities of the Cyprus situation means that the commander of the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force also reports directly to the Turkish General Staff in Ankara. The Cyprus Turkish Peace Force is deployed principally along the Green Line and in locations where hostile amphibious landings might take place.[72]

The presence of the mainland Turkish military in Cyprus is highly controversial, having been denounced as an illegal occupation force by the Republic of Cyprus and the international community. Several United Nations Security Council resolutions have called on the Turkish forces to withdraw.[25]

Administrative divisions

Main article: Districts of Northern Cyprus

Northern Cyprus is divided into five districts. Lefkoşa, Gazimağusa, Girne, Güzelyurt and İskele. In addition there are further 28 sub-districts divided between the 5 larger districts.

Blank district map of Northern Cyprus

Human rights

Main article: Human rights in Northern Cyprus

The law courts building in North Nicosia.

In January 2011, The Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the question of Human Rights in Cyprus noted that the ongoing division of Cyprus continues to affect human rights throughout the island "... including freedom of movement, human rights pertaining to the question of missing persons, discrimination, the right to life, freedom of religion, and economic, social and cultural rights."[73]

Freedom House has classified the perceived level of democratic and political freedom in Northern Cyprus as "free" since 2000 in its Freedom in the World report.[74][75] The United States Department of State reported in 2001 that human rights were generally respected, although problems existed in terms of police activities and the restriction of movement.[76] A 2009 report reported that religious freedom was generally respected, although isolated incidents of discrimination have existed.[77] The US Department of State report in 2002 stated that freedom of speech and press was generally respected in Northern Cyprus,[78] and the World Press Freedom Index 2010 ranked Northern Cyprus 61st in terms of freedom of the media.[79]

In 2001, the US Department of State said that Greek Cypriot and Maronite minorities are not treated as well as they should be.[76] However, another US Department of State report in 2002 reported that the government of Northern Cyprus was easing restrictions on minorities and it respected the rights of travelling abroad and emigrating,[78] although they still cannot vote in elections.[80] In April 1998, the United Kingdom-based National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns asserted that the Turkish army had carried out a forced migration policy where Kurds were forced to move to Northern Cyprus from the Republic of Turkey, and The Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the United Kingdom in 1999 said that Kurds were not being discriminated against and enjoyed equal political and religious rights to others.[76]


See also: Geography of Cyprus and Climate of Cyprus

Panoramic view of the Güzelyurt District, and the Morphou Bay.
Topographic map of Northern Cyprus with the Kyrenia Mountains to the North and the Karpaz Peninsula to the east.


Beach near Mehmetcik, İskele District.

Flora and fauna

Medoş Tulip (Tulipa cypria) are endemics species native to Northern Cyprus.
Wild Donkeys inhabit the mainly remote northern region of the İskele District.


Main article: Economy of Northern Cyprus

Kyrenia (Girne) is one of the main tourist resorts in Northern Cyprus. Tourism is one of the dominant sectors of the Northern Cyprus' economy.

The economy of Northern Cyprus is dominated by the services sector (69% of GDP in 2007) which includes the public sector, trade, tourism and education. The revenues gained by the education sector in 2011 was USD 400 million.[81] Industry (light manufacturing) contributes 22% of GDP and agriculture 9%.[82] In 2014, Northern Cyprus became the top country in Europe in entrepreneurial intent to start a new business.[83]

Economic development is adversely affected by the continuing Cyprus problem. The Republic of Cyprus, as the internationally recognised authority, has declared airports and ports in the area not under its effective control closed. All UN and EU member states respect the closure of those ports and airports.[84] Because of its disputed status and the embargo placed upon it, Northern Cyprus is heavily dependent on Turkish economic support.[85] Despite some economic development, the country is still dependent on monetary transfers from the Turkish government. Under a July 2006 agreement, Ankara is to provide Northern Cyprus with an economic aid in the amount of $1.3 billion over three years (2006–2008).[82] This is a continuation of ongoing policy under which Turkish government allocates around $400 million annually from its budget to help raise the living standards of the Turkish Cypriots.[86]

Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish Lira as its currency which links its economy to that of Turkey's. Since the Republic of Cyprus joined the Euro zone and the movement of peoples between the north and south has become more free, the Euro is also in wide circulation.[citation needed] Exports and imports have to go via Turkey unless they are produced locally from materials sourced in Cyprus (or imported via one of the island's recognised ports) and may thus be exported via one of the recognised ports.[citation needed]

Despite the constraints imposed by the lack of international recognition, the nominal GDP growth rates of the economy in 2001–2005 were 5.4%, 6.9%, 11.4%, 15.4% and 10.6%, respectively.[87][88] The real GDP growth rate in 2007 is estimated at 2%.[82] This growth has been buoyed by the relative stability of the Turkish Lira and a boom in the education and construction sectors.

Between 2002 and 2007, Gross National Product per capita more than tripled (in current US dollars):[1]

A quarry in the Lefkoşa District of Northern Cyprus.

Studies by the World Bank show that the per capita GDP in Northern Cyprus grew to 76% of the per capita GDP in the Republic of Cyprus in PPP-adjusted terms in 2004 (US$22,300 for the Republic of Cyprus and US$16,900 for Northern Cyprus).[87][88] Official estimates for the GDP per capita in current US dollars are US$8,095 in 2004 and US$11,837 in 2006.[1]

In 2011, North Cyprus sold electricity to the Republic of Cyprus following an explosion in the southern part of the island which affected a large power station.[89]

The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, due to be completed in early 2014, is aimed at delivering water for drinking and irrigation from southern Turkey via a pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea.[90]

Casino tourism is one of the major sectors of the North Cyprus economy.

International telephone calls are routed via a Turkish dialling code (+90 392) as Northern Cyprus has neither its own country code nor official ITU prefix. Similarly with the internet Northern Cyprus has no top level domain of its own and is under the Turkish second-level domain .nc.tr. Items of mail must be addressed 'via Mersin 10, TURKEY' as the Universal Postal Union does not recognise Northern Cyprus as a separate entity. Amateur radio operators sometimes use callsigns beginning with "1B", but these have no standing for awards or other operating credit.

Direct flights to Northern Cyprus and the trade traffic through the Northern Cypriot ports are restricted as part of the embargo on Northern Cypriot ports.[91] The airports of Geçitkale and Ercan are only recognised as legal ports of entry by Turkey and Azerbaijan.[92] Direct charter flights between Poland and North Cyprus started on 20 June 2011.[93] The seaports in Famagusta and Kyrenia have been declared closed to all shipping by the Republic of Cyprus since 1974.[94] By agreement between Northern Cyprus and Syria, there is a ship tour between Famagusta and Latakia, Syria. Since the opening of the Green Line Turkish Cypriot residents are allowed to trade through Greek Cypriot ports.[95]


Main article: Tourism in Northern Cyprus

Panoramic view of the Kyrenia Harbour, with the Venetian era Kyrenia Castle on the far left, and the Kyrenia Mountains in the background.


Cyprus Turkish Airlines served as the country's national carrier from 1974 up until 2010.
The Ercan International Airport serves as the main port of entry into Northern Cyprus.


See also: Demographics of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots

File:Turkish Cypriot elders playing backgammon.jpg
Turkish Cypriot elders playing backgammon.

The Government of Northern Cyprus estimates that the 1983 population of Northern Cyprus was 155,521.[96] Estimates by the government of the Republic of Cyprus from 2001 place the population at 200,000, of which 80–89,000 are Turkish Cypriots and 109,000–117,000 Turkish settlers.[97] An island-wide census in 1960 indicated the number of Turkish Cypriots as 102,000 and Greek Cypriots as 450,000.[98] Estimates state that 36,000 Turkish Cypriots (about one-third of the total) emigrated in the period 1975–1995, with the consequence that within Northern Cyprus the native Turkish Cypriots have been outnumbered by settlers from Turkey.[97]

Northern Cyprus's first official census was performed in 1996. The population recorded was 200,587.[99] The second census, carried out in 2006, revealed the population of Northern Cyprus to be 265,100,[100] of which majority is composed of indigenous Turkish Cypriots, with the rest including a large number of settlers from Turkey. Of the 178,000 Turkish Cypriot citizens, 82% are native Cypriots (145,000). Of the 45,000 people born to non- Cypriot parentage, nearly 40% (17,000) were born in Cyprus. The figure for non-citizens, including students, guest workers and temporary residents stood at 78,000 people.[100][101]

Turkish Cypriot children, dressed in traditional clothing, preparing for a folk-dance show.

One source claims that the population in the north has reached 500,000,[102] split between 50% Turkish Cypriots and 50% Turkish settlers or Cypriot-born children of such settlers.[103]

The third official census of Northern Cyprus was carried out in 2011, made under the auspices of UN observers. It returned a total population of 294,906.[104] These results were disputed by some political parties, labour unions and local newspapers. The government was accused of deliberately under-counting the population, after apparently giving an estimate of 700,000 before the census, in order to demand financial help from Turkey.[105][106][107] Northern Cyprus is almost entirely Turkish-speaking. English, however, is widely spoken as a second language.[citation needed]

There are 644 Greek Cypriots living in Rizokarpaso (Dipkarpaz) and 364 Maronites in Kormakitis.[108] Between 180,000 to 200,000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly evicted from their homes in the North by the invading force of the Turkish army.[109][110][111] Rizokarpaso is the home of the biggest Greek-speaking population in the north. The Greek-Cypriot inhabitants are still supplied by the UN, and Greek-Cypriot products are consequently available in some shops.[citation needed]


According to the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2001, 500,000 Turkish Cypriots were living in Turkey, 200,000 in the United Kingdom, 40,000 in Australia, some 10,000 in North America, and 5,000 in other countries.[112] A more recent estimate, in 2012, states that there is now 500,000 Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey, 300,000 in the United Kingdom, 120,000 in Australia, 5,000 in the United States, 2,000 in Germany, 1,800 in Canada, 1,600 in New Zealand, and a smaller community in South Africa.[113]


File:Sheij Nazim al Haqqani.jpg
Shaykh Nazim, was a Turkish Cypriot Sufi Sheikh and former leader of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Order.


Main article: Education in Northern Cyprus

Girne American University in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus.

The education system in Northern Cyprus consists of pre-school education, primary education, secondary education and higher education. Five years of primary education is mandatory. The higher-education sector constitutes 40% of the economy of Northern Cyprus.[114]

Higher Education Planning Evaluation Accreditation and Coordination Council (YÖDAK) of Northern Cyprus is a member of International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE).[115]

There are 63,765 university students from 114 countries in nine universities in Northern Cyprus (12,505 Turkish Cypriots; 34,206 from Turkey; 17,054 international students):[116][117][118] Near East University (NEU),[119][120] Girne American University, Middle East Technical University-TRNC, European University of Lefke, Cyprus International University, Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), Istanbul Technical University-TRNC, University of Mediterranean Karpasia, and University of Kyrenia, all established since 1974. EMU is an internationally recognised institution of higher learning with more than 1000 faculty members from 35 countries. There are 15,000 students in EMU representing 68 nationalities. The 8 universities have been approved by the Higher Education Council of Turkey. Eastern Mediterranean University and Near East University[119][120] are full individual members of the European University Association.[121] EMU is a full member of Community of Mediterranean Universities, Federation Universities of Islamic World, International Association of Universities and International Council of Graphic Design Associations.[122] Girne American University, in the northern coastal city of Kyrenia, opened a campus in Canterbury, United Kingdom in 2009,[123] and was accredited by the British Accreditation Council in 2010.[124]

Northern Cyprus regularly participates in international Robocup competition, and took 14th place out of 20 in 2013.[125][126] The country has supercomputers with which it participates in CERN experiments that led to the discovery of the Higgs boson.[127] Northern Cyprus is among participant countries of Solar Challenge of solar powered vehicles in South Africa in 2014.[128]



İsmet Güney designed the current flag of Cyprus in 1960.


Ziynet Sali is a Turkish Cypriot pop singer famous in Northern Cyprus.


Poetry is the most widely published form of literature in Northern Cyprus. Turkish Cypriot poetry is based on both the effects of Turkish literature and the culture of the island of Cyprus. Mehmet Yaşın, Hakkı Yücel, Nice Denizoğlu, Neşe Yaşın, Ayşen Dağlı and Canan Sümer are among the most prominent Turkish Cypriot poets. Earlier poets include Nazif Süleyman Ebeoğlu, Urkiye Mine Balman, Engin Gönül, Necla Salih Suphi and Pembe Marmara.[129]


Anahtar (Key), released in 2011, was the first full-length film entirely produced in Northern Cyprus.[130] Some other co-productions have also taken place. A co-production of Northern Cyprus, Turkey, Britain and the Netherlands, Kod Adı Venüs[131] (Code Name Venus) was shown in the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.[132] The film director and screenwriter Derviş Zaim achieved fame with his 2003 film Mud (Çamur) which won the UNESCO award at the Venice Film Festival.

The documentary film Kayıp Otobüs (The Missing Bus), directed by Turkish Cypriot journalist Fevzi Tașpınar, was aired on the TRT TV as well as participating in the Boston Film Festival in 2011. The film tells the story of eleven Turkish Cypriot workers who left their homes in a bus in 1964 that never came back. Their remains were found in a well in Cyprus in October 2006.[133][134]


Karagöz and Hacivat
An early Turkish Cypriot theatre group 1880s.


Northern Cyprus is also well known for several dishes; among them are kebabs made of skewered lamb Şiş Kebab or ground with herbs and spices and made into a Kofte or Şeftali Kebab. Other dishes are based on meat wrapped in flat bread such as Lahmacun. Vegetarians can find stuffed vegetables based dishes Yalancı Dolma or many other dishes made with a bean or pulse such as Börülce which consists of Swiss chard cooked with black-eyed peas. There are also plant based foods such as Molohiya or root based stews such as Kolokas.[135]


Main article: Sport in Northern Cyprus

Nicosia Atatürk Stadium is the largest stadium in Northern Cyprus.

There are five stadiums in Northern Cyprus, with each holding a capacity ranging anywhere from 7,000 to 30,000. The most popular sport in Northern Cyprus is soccer. There are over 29 sport federations in Northern Cyprus with a total registered membership of 13,838, 6,054 been registered practitioners for, taekwondo-karate-aikido-kurash, with shooting having (1,150 registered) and hunting having (1,017 registered) members.[136] Northern Cyprus' national football team currently ranks 109th in the Elo Ratings.[137] Several of sport clubs participate in leagues in Turkey. These include the Fast Break Sport Club in Turkey's Men's Basketball Regional League; the Beşparmak Sport Club in Turkey's Handball Premier League; and the Lefke European University Turkey Table-tennis Super League. Water sports such as windsurfing, jetskiing, waterskiing and sailing are also available at beaches throughout the coastline of Northern Cyprus. Sailing is especially found at Escape Beach Club, near Kyrenia.

See also


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  7. ^ Alina Kaczorowska (2013). European Union Law. Routledge. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-415-69597-8. The Republic of Cyprus has always been recognised by the international community as one State exercising ... is recognised only by Turkey as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, being under military control of Turkey, did not, in fact, join ...
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Further reading

For a detailed survey of the archaeology, art, and historical architecture of the region see Allan Langdale, 'In a Contested Realm: an Illustrated Guide to the Archaeology and Historical Architecture of Northern Cyprus' Grimsay Press, 2012.

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