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. Miles. (9250kilometers)
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 road.
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 Time (GMT).
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
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 the project.
3. Government contribution to charter risk.
4. Contribution to brochure/advertisement expenditure up
5. Exemption from income tax and corporation tax for a period
of ten years in the case of investment in tourist accommodation
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
9. Free transfer of proceeds in case of liquidity of investments.
10. Repatriation of profits without restriction or limitations.
11. Employment of foreign personnel who are not available
12. Transfer of net income earned by foreign personnel is
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 of 1948.
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
A business permit is also required, which may be obtained from
the Immigration Office.
Visas, Permits and Licences:
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
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
Finally, you register yourself and your company with Social Security
for health insurance payments, the tax authorities, and the provident
Once all this has been done, you may commence trading.
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 is levied.
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
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 number required.