Its neighbouring 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.
Northern Cyprus has four major towns, the capital
being Lefkosa (Nicosia), which serves as the main
administration and business centre. The other
main towns Magosa (Famagusta), the country's principal
port; Girne (Kyrenia), the main tourist centre
well known for its ancient harbour, and Guzelyurt
the centre of the citrus fruit industry.
The British interest in the island dates back
to the 12th century and has remained until present
day with many British ways being adopted by the
government of the Northern Cyprus. Therefore,
the British are genuinely welcomed and the transition
could not be easier, as English is widely spoken
and driving being on the left hand side of the
The climate of the island is an eastern Mediterranean
type with long, hot summers and relatively cool,
short winters. There are over 320 days of sunshine
a year, the sea temperature is rarely below 16°C
and rises to 28-30°C during summer months, making
Northern Cyprus one of the healthiest places in
the world in which to live.
Turkish is the official. Language and English
is the second language, and is widely used and
understood in official and commercial circles.
There are several first-class Turkish language
teachers available, and some British residents
avail themselves of their services.
Local time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean
There is an extensive range of consumer goods
and services available throughout the island.
Many of the popular imported brand names are readily
available and can be found in local supermarkets.
Fresh local produce can be purchased from a wide
variety of markets and small stores and there
is wide range of wines and spirits at very low
costs: retailing at approximately. VAT (KDV) is
levied on most goods and services with rates ranging
from 20% down to 2%.
The Turkish Lira (TL), which has been in circulation
since 1974, is the legal tender. The official
rates for the TL are adjusted daily according
to changes in international monetary markets.
Generally speaking, all foreign currencies are
acceptable at trading/tourist outlets.
Northern Cyprus offers a well organised banking
system, with all banking facilities catered for.
Some banks operate their own branches in London
and others have arrangements with major UK banks
HSBC has a full service presence here. A deposit
account can be opened with ease in Sterling or
any other major currency and funds can be drawn
in that denomination or in Turkish Lira (TL),
which is the local currency.
Foreign investment is actively encouraged, and
those willing to invest in North Cyprus can be
sure of a positive Government attitude.
1. Leasing of land for extended periods
at favourable rates.
2. Import duty exemptions for goods concerning
3. Government contribution to charter risk.
4. Contribution to brochure/advertisement
expenditure up to 75%.
5. Exemption from income tax and corporation
tax for a period of ten years in the case of investment
in tourist accommodation units.
6. For public companies which have shareholders
in excess of 50, tax exemption can be extended.
7. Annual interest and principal instalments
of foreign loans enjoy a transfer guarantee.
8. Tourism establishments or hotels may
deduct each year 20% of their annual foreign exchange
gross earnings from taxable income.
9. Free transfer of proceeds in case of
liquidity of investments.
10. Repatriation of profits without restriction
11. Employment of foreign personnel who
are not available locally.
12. Transfer of net income earned by foreign
personnel is free.
13. Exemption of constriction licence fee.
14. Also deductible when calculating annual
taxable profit are all travel expenses related
to promotion and marketing, plus all kinds of
advertisement, promotion and marketing expenses.
With reference to the registration of a company,
the legal form widely used for business undertakings
in the TRNC, both by foreign investors and by
local businessmen, is the private limited company.
The provisions concerning the limited company
are set out in the Company's Law, Cap 113, which
is almost identical with the UK's Company Act
Permission is obtained from the Council of Ministers
for foreign ownership of TRNC registered companies,
usually within two or three months of application.
The foreign ownership can be from 49% to 100%.
A business permit is also required, which may
be obtained from the Immigration Office.
The TRNC is encouraging a policy of attracting
foreigners to come and live and work in N Cyprus
- in particular, to invest in businesses, especially
within the tourism sector. This, of course, opens
up a multitude of trades and businesses, from
travel agencies, transport companies (whether
land, sea or air), hotels, bars, restaurants,
holiday villages, touristic related services such
as water sports, recreational land sports such
as tennis, golf, horse riding etc.
A foreigner coming to N. Cyprus to live and/or
work must apply for the following permits; firstly,
a temporary visitors permit from Nicosia, which
involves the completion of a form and the supply
of three or four passport size photographs. A
full permanent residents permit is not usually
issued until the recipient has been in residence
in the TRNC for five years.
If you wish to operate a business in TRNC, the
following procedure must be adhered to:
If you are to form a limited company, then you
instruct an accountant to make the necessary applications
on your behalf to the Council of Ministers, outlining
the trading intentions of the company, share capital,
directors etc. The formation of the company is
obviously viewed more favourably if it has some
Turkish Cypriot involvement, but it is quite possible
to form a company with 100% British or foreign
A further application has to be made to the Immigration
Department for an annually renewable business
or employment permit, which is given once the
Council of Ministers has given their approval.
You must also have a medical examination for
clearance of TB and AIDS.
Finally, you register yourself and your company
with Social Security for health insurance payments,
the tax authorities, and the provident fund.
Once all this has been done, you may commence
For retired persons, the residents permit is all
that is required. Retired persons may bring into
the country a full household of furniture. These
are virtually tax-free - a nominal 2 - 3% tax
General education standards in the TRNC are of
a very high standard and are borne out by the
fact that there are four universities based in
Northern Cyprus. The majority of schools offer
bilingual education starting with kindergarten
through secondary school and finally university.
The cost of medical treatment in the local hospitals
is lower than comparative care in the UK depending
of course on the type of treatment required. Accident
and emergency facilities are available at local
hospitals. It is recommended that you seek a local
GP, many of whom have had UK experience, for many
minor ailments. Private health care is also available
through a number of international medical insurance
companies if required. Dental treatment is of
a high standard and charges are moderate.
As in the UK, traffic circulation is on the left.
Road signs are international. There is a large
selection of car hire companies with a variety
of vehicles at favourable rates, from £10 per
day in the winter to £15+ in the peak season.
There is no acute unemployment problem in the
TRNC, and the number of registered unemployed
has declined steadily since 1978. The official
working week is 40 hours in the winter and 36
in the summer.
The TRNC is a secular state with a predominantly
Muslim population which welcomes Christian communities.
The Anglican Church of St. Andrew's, Kyrenia is
conveniently located near the town centre and
services are held on Sundays and Thursdays. All
Christian communities are welcome. The Roman Catholic
Church of Terra Santa is also based in the centre
of Kyrenia with mass being celebrated on the 1st
and 3rd Sundays of each month. Other Christian
churches are located in Famagusta and Nicosia.
Other Useful Information:
The supply is 220/240v AC 50HZ, with a standard
UK 3-pin plug. Water: By mains supply and in some
cases supplemented by wells. There has been a
shortage of water in the past; however, the government
has taken major steps to rectify the situation.
International telecommunication facilities are
a rapidly growing sector of the economy. The company
responsible for all telecommunication also provides
telex, fax, telegram transmission and ISDN/e-mail
facilities. When making international calls the
cheap rates are from 20:00 to 08:00 hrs. Monday
-Friday and all hours over the weekend. To dial
from TRNC to UK dial 00 44 and omit the first
0 of the UK code. To dial from UK to TRNC dial
00 90 392 then the area code, followed by the