Northern Cyprus is the Turkish part of the island of Cyprus and traveling to Northern Cyprus increases by the year. Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1960, then suffered from internal conflicts until 1974. As a result, Northern Cyprus became independent from Southern Cyprus integrating 36.7% of the island with the support of the Turkish government.
Northern Cyprus is recognized as an independent country only by Turkey, while the rest of governments and the United Nations recognize it as the Republic of Cyprus; as an entire island.
The United Nations operates a peacekeeping force and a narrow buffer zone (or “Green Line” as it is known) between the two republics. Attempts to find a solution to the Cyprus dispute have so far been unsuccessful.
Over 4 million tourists still traveling to Cyprus each year seeking hot, sunny weather, long stretches of sandy beaches, and sparkling, blue Mediterranean waters. Most of them find what they are looking for the south of the dividing line in the many resort towns on the Southern coast. Just 10% of them venture across the border and traveling to Northern Cyprus.
Despite political tensions, an often-noticeable military presence in proximity to troubled areas, traveling to Northern Cyprus is currently perfectly safe and a vast majority of visitors will experience no problems during their visit.
The political situation is somewhat tense, but not violent. Crime numbers are relatively low for a European destination and statistically lower than those in Southern Cyprus. Just exercise the same caution as you would during a trip to any other European destination and you’ll have nothing to worry about. All these factors influenced the occurrence of a special situation for Northern Cyprus.
The special situation leading to traveling to Northern Cyprus
• The Republic of Northern Cyprus is a federation of the Turkish Republic.
• Northern Cyprus does not impose entry visas for foreigners for a period of 90 days, with the exception of (Nigeria and Armenia).
• Travelling to Northern Cyprus must be by air, the passenger must pass through Turkish airports.
• There is no direct flight from any country in the world to Northern Cyprus without passing through Turkish airports.
• Holders of a (Schengen) visa can enter Cyprus without the need for a Turkish visa.
•The official language is Turkish, but English is also widely spoken as a second language.
The unusual political situation in North Cyprus means there is also an unusual monetary system in place. The currency in North Cyprus is the Turkish Lira, though Euros, US Dollars, and British Pound Sterling are also widely accepted. Card payments are accepted in larger shops and restaurants with smaller outlets accepting only cash. It is always wise to have cash on you, just in case.
Car rental when traveling to Northern Cyprus
As a result of former British colonial rule, drivers across Cyprus drive on the left. When hiring a car, expect the steering wheel to be on the right-hand side. Road signs are the same as those found across Europe with additional information written in Turkish and English.
While we recommend hiring a car if you can, getting to and from the main towns and cities of North Cyprus via public transport is pretty easy.
Students traveling to Northern Cyprus for education:
Northern Cyprus is distinguished by the fact that the percentage of foreign students in its universities is more than one-third of the total number of students. Also, the universities of Northern Cyprus are distinguished by their affordable tuition fees, and their medium living expenses, with an average of 450-600$ paid by foreign students per month; including accommodation costs. While maintaining high-quality education and world-class academic equipment.
It is also characterized by opportunities for cultural exchange, with the diversity of nationalities on the island which gives new students an opportunity to connect with different cultures from different backgrounds.
Universities offer many partial and total scholarships to students around the world.