Northern Cyprus facts for kids
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti (Turkish)
Anthem: İstiklal Marşı
|Status||Recognised only by Turkey|
and largest city
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|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Legislature||Assembly of the Republic|
|Independence from the Republic of Cyprus|
|15 November 1983|
|3,355 km2 (1,295 sq mi) (unranked)|
• Water (%)
• 2017 estimate
• 2011 census
|93/km2 (240.9/sq mi) (117th)|
|GDP (nominal)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Turkish lira (
|Time zone||EET (UTC+2)|
• Summer (DST)
|Calling code||+90 392|
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (Turkish: Kuzey Kıbrıs Türk Cumhuriyeti) is a de facto state in the northern third of the island of Cyprus. Three hundred thousand people live in its 3,335 km². Turkey is the only country which recognizes the territory as an independent republic.
The present situation came about because Cyprus, historically Greek, was conquered and became part of the Ottoman Empire from 1570–1914. Many Turks became settlers. As the Ottoman Empire sided against the British empire in World War I, the British annexed Cyprus. In 1923 by the treaty of Lausanne Turkey gave up the island to the British Empire which in 1925 converted it to a crown colony. The British administered it from 1878 until 1960.
In 1974 some of the Greek Army supported a coup against the Archbishop and President Makarios. The Turkish army invaded Cyprus. This had the effect that over two hundred thousand Greek and Turkish Cypriots abandoned their homes and become refugees in the other part of their own country. Many settlers from mainland Turkey came from Turkey into the occupied part of the island. Some native Turkish Cypriots left the occupied part to find a better life in the U.K and other countries.
As the Turkish army stayed the possibility of a negotiated settlement became nearly impossible. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was formed in 1983. Negotiations for a unified island have been held several times without success. The standard of living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is lower than in the Republic of Cyprus. The European Union accepted the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, and does not accept the so-called " Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus".
Northern Cyprus has an area of 3,355 square kilometres (1,295 sq mi), which amounts to around a third of the island. 75 kilometres (47 mi) to the north of Northern Cyprus lies Turkey with Syria lying 97 kilometres (60.3 mi) to the east. It lies between latitudes 34° and 36° N, and longitudes 32° and 35° E.
The coastline of Northern Cyprus features two bays: the Morphou Bay and the Famagusta Bay, and there are four capes: Cape Apostolos Andreas, Cape Kormakitis, Cape Zeytin and Cape Kasa, with Cape Apostolos Andreas being the endpoint of the Karpaz Peninsula. The narrow Kyrenia mountain range lies along the northern coastline, and the highest point in Northern Cyprus, Mount Selvili, lies in this mountain range with an altitude of 1,024 metres (3,360 ft). The Mesaoria plain, extending from the Güzelyurt district to the eastern coastline is another defining landscape. The Mesaoria plains consist of plain fields and small hills, and is crossed by several seasonal streams. The eastern part of the plain is used for dry agriculture, such as the cultivation of wheat and barley, and are therefore predominantly green in the winter and spring, while it turns yellow and brown in the summer.
56.7% of the land in Northern Cyprus is agriculturally viable.
A relatively unspoilt part of the Mediterranean Basin biodiversity hotspot, Northern Cyprus has considerable ecological diversity, containing a variety of terrestrial habitats. Its flora includes around 1900 plant species, of which 19 are endemic to Northern Cyprus. Even in the urban areas, there is a lot of diversity: a study conducted on the banks of the Pedieos river around Nicosia found more than 750 different plant species. Among these species are 30 of the orchid species that are endemic to Cyprus. An endangered species that is the subject of folk tales and myths is the sea daffodil, found on the sandy beaches and endangered due to the disruption of their habitats.
The medoş tulip (Tulipa cypria) is a notable species that is endemic to Northern Cyprus; it is only found in the villages of Tepebaşı/Diorios and Avtepe/Ayios Simeon, and is celebrated with an annual festival.
In the national park in the Karpaz Peninsula around Cape Apostolos Andreas, there is a population of around 1000 wild Cyprus donkeys. These donkeys, under the protection of the Turkish Cypriot government, are free to wander in herds over an area of 300 square kilometres (120 square miles) The donkeys have earned a strong image for the peninsula, which is also home to a rich fauna and relatively big forests. The beaches of Northern Cyprus also include sites where hundreds of loggerhead turtles and green turtles lay eggs, which hatch at the end of the summer, followed by observers.
The winter in Northern Cyprus is cool and rainy, particularly between December and February, with 60% of annual rainfall. These rains produce winter torrents that fill most of the rivers, which typically dry up as the year progresses. Snow has been known to fall on the Kyrenia Range, but seldom elsewhere in spite of low night temperatures. The short spring is characterized by unstable weather, occasional heavy storms and the "meltem", or westerly wind. Summer is hot and dry enough to turn low-lying lands on the island brown. Parts of the island experience the "Poyraz", a north-westerly wind, or the sirocco, a wind from Africa, which is dry and dusty. Summer is followed by a short, turbulent autumn.
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 $400 million. Industry (light manufacturing) contributes 22% of GDP and agriculture 9%.
Northern Cyprus uses the Turkish Lira as its currency which links its economy to that of Turkey's.
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. The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, completed in 2015, is aimed at delivering water for drinking and irrigation from southern Turkey via a pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea.
Tourism is considered as one of the driving sectors of the Turkish Cypriot economy. The country received over 1.1 million tourists in 2012, when hotels and restaurants generated an income of $328 million and constituted 8.5% of the GDP. Accommodation and catering created more than 10,000 jobs in the same year.
Northern Cyprus has traditionally been an attraction for beach holidays, partly thanks to its reputation as an unspoiled area. Its mild climate, rich history and nature are seen as sources of attraction. A significant sector of eco-tourism has been developed in Northern Cyprus, as tourists visit it for birdwatching, cycling, walking and observing flowers in the wild.
Air transport is a major route of entry into Northern Cyprus. The country is home to two airports, the Ercan International Airport and the Geçitkale Airport, of which only Ercan is currently functioning.
With the lack of a railway system, the country's highways are used for transport between major cities.
The Government of Northern Cyprus estimates that the 1983 population of Northern Cyprus was 155,521. 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 are designated as Turkish settlers by the Republic of Cyprus. An island-wide census in 1960 indicated the number of Turkish Cypriots as 102,000 and Greek Cypriots as 450,000. As of 2005[update], the settlers constituted no more than 25% of the electorate in Northern Cyprus. The degree of the integration of mainland Turks to the Turkish Cypriot community varies; some identify as Turkish Cypriots and have culturally integrated, while some embrace a Turkish identity.
Northern Cyprus is almost entirely Turkish-speaking. English, however, is widely spoken as a second language.
There are 644 Greek Cypriots living in Rizokarpaso (Dipkarpaz) and 364 Maronites in Kormakitis. 162,000 Greek Cypriots were forcibly evicted from their homes in the North by the invading force of the Turkish army. 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.
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.
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