About North Cyprus
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is located in the north of Cyprus and in the eastern Mediterranean. Established in 1960 as the common Cyprus Republic of Turkish and Greek Cypriots, this partnership came to an end only after three years when Greek Cypriots sought to make changes in the Constitution against Turkish Cypriots and when Greek Cypriots attacked Turkish Cypriots for the same cause. Intercommunal fighting began in 1963 and ended in 1974, after Turkey intervened and came to the island. After 1974 the Cyprus Turkish Federated State was established, followed by the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
The island, which possesses a strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean, has fallen under the reign of numerous cultures throughout its history. Egyptians, Hitites, Phoenicians, Asurians, Persians, Romans and afterwards the Byzantine Empire, Lusignans, Venetians and the Ottoman Empire had sovereignty on the island of Cyprus. In 1878 the Ottoman Empire rented the island to the British Empire, after which the island was governed by a British Commissioner. In 1925, the island was declared a Crown Colony of Britain. Greeks Cypriots, on the other hand, wished to be united to Greece and organized accordingly, protesting the British announcement and fighting against the British. In the meantime, the Greek Cypriot cause of uniting with Greece (Enosis) was not approved by the Turks and fighting between Turkish and Greeks Cypriots occurred until 1960, when the common Republic was announced.
As a result of this history, the term “Cyprus Problem” has entered international relations literature. In Cyprus, the third biggest island in the Mediterranean, the 1974 Turkish intervention created a new border line which places the Turks in the North and the Greeks in the South. At the buffer zone separating the two communities from each other, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force takes has carried out one of its longest duties. As agreed mutually by all the parties establishing the common Cyprus Republic in 1960, Britain continues to occupy two sovereign military bases in the south of Cyprus.
As a member of the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus is currently governed by Greek Cypriots and is recognised as the only republic on the island, while the Northern part of the island is governed Turkish Cypriots and covers a total area of 3.355 km2. Nicosia (Lefkoşa) is the capital city for both Turks and Greeks, and is also divided in two. In the north, Gazimağusa, Girne, Güzelyurt, İskele and Lefke are the towns with the largest populations.
The Mediterranean climate is convenient for agricultural activities in Cyprus and the Messaoria Plane is divided into two: the Eastern Messaoria and Western Messaoria. In the Eastern Messaoria, grain and garden agricultural activities are common, while in Western Messaoria citrus fruit agriculture is realized. At the lowlands of the Five Finger Mountains, olive trees are also the subject of agricultural activity. Within the scope of the country’s economy, the raising of small cattle plays a significant role. Nowadays, with numerous universities all over the island equipped with quality education and empowered with a secure and beautiful environment, education also counts towards the value to the country’s economy.
Even though it is known as an agricultural country, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus can be regarded more correctly as a tourism country, with its abundant sunny days throughout the year and its beautiful beaches. With elevated seawater temperature, long and clean beaches and quiet waters convenient for swimming, tourists especially prefer Girne and Gazimağusa. In addition to the beaches, the historical sites inherited over the centuries are equally important for tourism. The walls surrounding the city centres of Lefkoşa and Gazimağusa, three historical castles, monasteries, churches, cathedrals; in addition to the Ottoman Hans, mosques, shrines, baths and fountains are also places that deserve to be visited.
In addition to natural beauty, beaches and historical sites, the cuisine of Cyprus can be regarded as a perfect synthesis of Turkish, Greek and Arab styles and it plays a significant part in the culture of the island. Local delicacies include stuffed courgette blossoms, küp kebab, şeftali kebab, molohiya, kolokas, bullez, pirohu, hellimli, preserved fruit and vegetables (made from walnuts, watermelon, eggplants, bergamot and bitter orange) and gullirikya.