Introduction of Northern Cyprus

EU citizens are free to cross and spend as much time as they wish on either side of the border by producing their ID cards or passports at crossing points any time of the day. At present, there are six crossing points which are, Ledra Palace, Lokmacı, Metehan (Kermia), Beyarmudu (Pile), Akyar (Dekelia) and Bostancı.

Visitors to North Cyprus can drive using a valid international driving license or a valid British driving license for an initial 12 month period. Car rental is relatively inexpensive and is widely available through tour operators, hotels or car hire companies across North Cyprus. Please note driving is on the left and all North Cyprus rental cars carry a distinctive red licence plate. Driving is on the left and traffic and road signs are international. Maximum speed is 100 km/hr.
An inexpensive network of buses and minibuses operates between all the main towns. There are no formal timetables in operation, but the services are frequent. In addition, there is a dolmuş service (Shared taxis) operating on the same routes.
The official language is Turkish, but English is also widely spoken as a second language.
Legally, you are permitted to import any right-hand drive car provided it is less than 5 years old with current road fund licence and valid MOT certificate. A car cannot be sold for 2 years following importation. The import duty is charged according to engine size and age and this can be quite expensive. It is advised to obtain a price for import duty in advance so that you are aware of the costs involved.
Mobile phone costs are reasonable. There are two main mobile suppliers Turkcell and Telsim. The international dialling code 00 90 392 should precede the seven digit local telephone numbers when calling landlines from abroad. Mobile numbers are simply preceded by 00 90 and then the mobile number with the code, taking off the first zero. Public telephone booths are available and telephone cards can be purchased from the Telecommunications Office.
Houses outside of the main cities have water delivery by tanker. Prices vary according to quantity. Swimming pools can only be filled with tanker water. Caution is generally advised when drinking mains water, with bottled water recommended. Bills are paid at the local water offices or by direct debit. You will receive a monthly bill which will include water, sewage, refuse and lighting. An underwater pipline is under construction that will bring water from Turkey. The local council will also send you a annual council tax bill which is dependant on your property size but approximately £80 a year.
Refuse collection is cheap with twice-weekly collections. Recycling has yet to reach North Cyprus.
You can bring your pets into the country from Europe with little hassle. It is advisable to contact the veterinary office as soon as you decide to bring your pet to North Cyprus. For more information about pets in North Cyprus contact the Kyrenia Animal Rescue Society (KARS) - KARS Helpline/Fax: (0) 392 815 3390, Website: http://www.kartrnc.org. Email: kar@kyreniaanimalrescue.org
The climate of the island is of an extreme hot dry summers and relatively cold winters. Most of the rainfall is concentrated between December and January. Spring and autumn are short, typified by changeable weather. From mid-May to mid-September the sun shines on a daily average of around 11 hours. Temperatures can reach 40º C. The skies are cloudless with a low humidity.
Either fly direct to South Cyprus and then cross over to North Cyprus, or fly to North Cyprus via Turkey.There are 2 airports in South which is Larnaca & Paphos and 1 in the Northern part of the island which is Ercan airport. You can hire a car or get a taxi across to the North.
No visa is required for British or EU (European Union) citizens wishing to visit North Cyprus. The only requirement is a valid passport at the time of travel to North Cyprus. If you prefer not to have your passport stamped on arrival, you can ask at passport control for a separate piece of paper, which will be stamped instead. The only nationalities which currently require visas for North Cyprus are Armenians and Nigerians.
For a standard family (four persons) the monthly utility bills (electricity, water, telephone, municipal) would be approximately £150 - £200. (Figures will vary depending on the property size and standard of living that the family has acquired.) Yearly property tax is around £80.
Banks are open from Monday to Friday, except public holidays, between 08.00-12.00 and 14.00-16.00. If you are visiting North Cyprus you can change your pounds to Turkish Lira before you go, or whilst you are there. The exchange rate is favourable so you will find that eating out; sightseeing and shopping all represent excellent value for money. If you want to withdraw money there are plenty of cash-point machines, and Credit cards are widely accepted throughout North Cyprus in hotels, shops and restaurants.
Supply and sockets are 3 pin European style (220/240v). Electricity is supplied by Kibtek, a nationalised company. Bills can be paid at the electricity office or by direct debit. Power cuts are not uncommon and many choose to have a back-up generator. It is advisable to use power surge protectors for your sensitive electrical goods like computers and TVs. New style electric meters have been introduced this year (2015). Connection and fees are arranged with Kibtek, you should consult the electricity board for connection charges and meter installation.
There is no piped gas in the TRNC, gas bottles are used for cooking. For central heating purposes gas will be delivered to a tank outside. Typically you will pay 100 to 200 sterling a month.
Useful contact numbers are:
Ambulance 112
Fire 199
Police 155
Kyrenia Hospital +90 392 815 2266
Nicosia Hospital +90 392 228 5441
Famagusta Hospital +90 392 366 2876
Güzelyurt Hospital +90 392 714 2125
If you are thinking of living in North Cyprus and have children, there are a number of options for schools here.
EMU (Eastern Mediterranean University) located in Famagusta (email: info@emu.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 365 4444)
NEU (Near East University) located in Nicosia (email: info@neu.edu.tr, tel: 0090 392 223 6464)
CIU (Cyprus International University) located in Nicosia (email: info@ciu.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 671 1111)
GAU (Girne American University) located in Kyrenia (email: info@gau.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 650 2000)
LEU (Lefke European University) located in Lefke (email: webmaster@lefke.edu.tr, tel: 0090392 660 2000)