Cyprus is located in the north eastern of the east Mediterranean Basin and is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. It is 71 kilometres south of Turkey, 98 kilometres west of Syria and 384 kilometres north of Egypt.
The island's strategic location of North Cyprus has shaped its history and civilization throughout the centuries. For centuries Cyprus has been influenced by the cultures of many different nations, which has led to an island with a richly diverse historical and architectural heritage.
As the third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus has been occupied by a succession of civilizations over the past 2000 years, all of whom have left their mark. History abounds everywhere; from the three great Crusader castles built in the time of Richard the Lionheart, to the Roman ruins at Salamis, each conquering empire has contributed to the beauty and culture of this remarkable island. In the 8th Century BC the island was part of the Assyrian empire, then the Babylonian, Egyptian and Persian. In 58BC the Cyprus Island was seized by the Romans. Richard Lionheart settled on the island in 1191 during the third crusade. Cyprus remained in Lusignan possession until captured by the Venetians in 1489. From 1571 to 1878 the island was ruled by the Ottomans until they leased its administration to Britain.
Cyprus independence was granted in 1960. The Greek Cypriots and the Greek mainland military created a coup in 1974 and Turkey was forced to intervene to safeguard the interest of the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was subsequently proclaimed in 1983.
The main income in North Cyprus is from tourism although Citrus fruits, olives and other crops are widely exported.
Population of North Cyprus
The population of North Cyprus is 264,172 according to the 2006 census. 98% of the population in North Cyprus is Muslim. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a democratic, secular government. As of 1974 there are two separate governments on the North Cyprus Island. Cyprus is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the British Commonwealth and also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
North Cyprus Language
The official and predominant language in North Cyprus is Turkish. The Turkish Cypriots have a regional dialect that differs from that spoken in mainland Turkey, though the basic language is the same and there are rarely communication difficulties between the two. English is widely spoken in Northern Cyprus as many Cypriots have relatives who reside in the U.K. and English is also taught in Cypriot schools.
North Cyprus Currency
The local currency in North Cyprus is the New Turkish Lira or YTL, however every outlet accepts Sterling, US Dollars and Cyprus Pounds. Credit Cards are widely acceptable, practical, and can be used in most stores, restaurants, supermarkets and petrol stations in Northern Cyprus.
The banking system in North Cyprus closely follows the British pattern and is well developed and organized whilst being equipped with the latest technology in modern surroundings. There are many Turkish Mainland Banks to choose from in Northern Cyprus. There is also branch of the UKs HSBC located in both North Cyprus Nicosia and Kyrenia. Most of the North Cyprus banks are supplied with English speaking employees, the best chance to master language obstacle is in the foreign exchange section of the bank.
North Cyprus climate and weather
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sardinia and Sicily, Cyprus lies on the frontier between Europe and Asia, only 44 miles (70 km) from Turkey, 64 miles (100 km) from Syria and 211 miles (320 km) from Egypt. The weather of North Cyprus is typically Mediterranean with long dry summers and short, rainy winters. The average annual temperature is 19ºC (66ºF).