North Cyprus
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North Cyprus General Information

North Cyprus Flag

Flag of North Cyprus
North Cyprus Flag

Population

The population of the North Cyprus is 200,587 inhabitants. 50% of thepopulation lives in the cities and 50 % in the countryside. 99% of the adult population is literate.

Language in Northern Cyprus

Turkish is the predominant language of Northern Cyprus, however Cypriots have their own version. Just as parts of England have adapted the English language so the Turkish Cypriots have their own words. Napiyorsunuz (What are you doing?) becomes ‘Napan’ amongst friends as they greet each other.

English is widely spoken and understood with many Cypriots having lived in England or with relatives residing there.

Time

North Cyprus is normally two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT/UTC), and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). For summer time clocks go forward one hour at 3 am on the last Sunday in March and back again at 3 am on the last Sunday in October.

North Cyprus Currency

New Turkish Lira

The new Turkish lira is the current currency of Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, issued on January 1 2005. It is equivalent to 1 million old Turkish lira (which will remain valid until the end of 2005) and divisible into 100 new kurus.

Symbol:YTL (Yeni Türk Lirasi)
Banknotes:100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 1 YTL
Coins: 1 YTL and 50, 25, 10, 5, 1 new kurus

Sterling, US Dollars and other major currencies may be used in large stores or exchanged. Sterling is the best form of currency to bring. If you feel uncomfortable carrying large amounts of cash then Eurocheques, Travellers Cheques are accepted and easily exchanged in banks, exchange bureaux and hotels. Do not bring Turkish Lira as the exchange rates are much better in Northern Cyprus.

While no restrictions are placed on imports of foreign exchange, large amounts should be declared to customs upon entry. Up to $10,000 may be exported.

Postage

The outgoing postal system is reliable. Incoming mail must be suffixed “Mersin-10, Turkey” and not “Northern Cyprus”. The history of the postal service in Northern Cyprus will definitely be of interest to all philatelists.

Stamps can be bought from post offices, many small shops and hotel receptions. Mail sent to Europe should arrive in seven days. You can take mail to the post office or alternatively there are small yellow post boxes, but these are not frequently emptied. Many hotels will also post your mail if you leave it at reception.

Post Office, North Cyprus

Electricity

In North Cyprus, voltage is 220/240 volts AC, supplied at 50 Hz. Standard British rectangular 3-pinned plugs at 5 amp or 13 amp are used, but also exist some 2-pinned plugs. In particular most anti-mosquito machines are continental 2-pinned, so an adaptor is required. There are widely available in the stores, supermarkets, grocery shops and electricians, or provided by holiday hotel itself. In Northern Cyprus power cuts occur quite often. Larger hotels, companies and holiday villages operate with their own generators. A torch is therefore useful to bring, as there is little or no street lighting in the villages and along the minor roads. Not many accommodations have a shaver point, so it is better to take wet razors. Batteries (including alkaline and Ni-Cad) are manufactured locally or imported, and are available in all popular sizes.

Opening Hours

Shops are open with some variations but generally:
  summer winter
Shops 8:00-13:00, 16:00-19:00 9:00-13:00, 14:00-18:00
Banks 8:00-12:00 8:00-12:00, 14:00-16:00
Public services Monday:
07:30-14:00, 15:30-18:00
Tuesday-Friday: 07:30-14:00
Monday-Friday:
08:00-13:00, 14:00-17:00

Water

Water remains a precious resource and water supplied by the water authority is metered. Drinking tap water is not recommended in North Cyprus, even if you boil it, it may still contain harmful toxic contaminants. Most people drink bottled water. Water costs 20 New Turkish Lira + %13 VAT for 0-20 Tons of water per month which is the equivalent of £8 for 0-20 tons of water per month.

Public Holidays

January 1 New Year's Day
February 1 - 4* Kurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice)
April 23 Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day
May 1 Labour Day
May 19 Atatürk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day
July 20 Turkish Intervention, Peace and Freedom Day
August 1 date of T.M.T (Social Resistance Day)
August 30 Zafer Bayram (Victory Day)
October 29 Turkish Republic Day
November 15 Republic Day of T. R. N. C.
November 3* Ramazan (End of Ramadan) or Seker Bayram

The calendar of public holidays in North Cyprus is a mixture of official patriotic commemorations, many imported from Turkey, and religious festival holidays.

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