North Cyprus

Trip Start Apr 23, 2005
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13
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Trip End Mar 31, 2006


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Sunday, May 1, 2005

North Cyprus is a bit of a contentious issue between Turkey and Greece. Following conflict between the Turkish and Greek population, a Greek military coup attempted to take the then Republic of Cyprus under Greek control. Turkey responded with military force and in 1974 the country was divided into two. The Northen part (North Cyprus) being under Turkish control and the Southern part Greek.

In between the two, a no-mans land called the Green Line was built which to this day still divides the countries under the supervision of the UN. Turkish-Greek relations have always been at least a little bit strained, but despite recent diplomatic progress, the Cyprus issue still remains a problem. In fact, no travellers of non-Cyprus origin can enter Greek Cyprus from North Cyprus and North Cyprus is not recognised as a state by the Greek.


The Green Line

Furthermore (and I only found this out after leaving North Cyprus), There have been reports of many Greek ports not allowing people into the country if they have a North Cyprus stamp on their passport. This seems to have calmed down a bit and I didn't have any problems, but the best practice is to get Cyprus immigration to stamp a separate piece of paper instead of your passport to avoid this.

Anyway, enough with the history lesson, we got to the island and headed straight to the ancient port which is now lined with cafes and restaurants, but is also quite pretty. We were taken to Genghis' mates restaurant (a 20 year old looking guy who owns 3 restaurants on the waterfront and seems to spend the day riding around the port on a scooter wearing designer clothes and doing not much else - Why would you?) where we were fed. Next stop was the castle, but nobody could be bothered except for one, so most of us just headed for a nice little resort where we stayed 3 nights and chilled before heading out to dinner.

Back in at another one of the 20 year olds restaurants we were treated to a traditional but mediocre Cypriot meal of mese (mixed dishes - hot and cold) and Kleftikos which we were told was a local beef dish, but turned out to be boiled lamb and vegetables. On questioning the nature of the meat, I was reassured it was beef. Despite looking, tasting and smelling like lamb and having growing up on a farm where we slaughtered our own meat (lamb and beef), my credentials proved insufficient to argue the point, so beef it was!

The next morning was a tour of some of the ancient sites - Othellos Tower which inspired shakespeares Othello, the monastary of St Barnabus. Chris and I needed some downtime, so we opted out for the morning and would join them at back at the port for a boat trip in the afternoon. We got ourselves into the port to re-join the group, but due to bad weather the boat trip had been postponed, so the 20 year old drove us into the main city in his brand new 4wd at 160kph where we joined the group and checked out the green line and had a bit of a look around. We visited an old church which had been turned into a Mosque - I've never seen such a confused building in my life. Half Christian, half Muslim, but not really pulling off either. It was fascinating to see the Green line as I've never been anywhere where there is any political unrest of any sort.

We then headed back for the boat trip where we swam in the med and had a fantastic meal of fish, chips and salad before heading back into the port while watching the sun set.



We were meant to head out the next day, but the water was too rough for the ferry and we had to spend another day on the island. We spent the entire day by the pool soaking up the sun and messing around in the water - nice and relaxing and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Next day we headed back to Turkey where we travelled to Cappadoccia to spend a quick day to make up for the day we lost.
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Comments

eadaoin
eadaoin on

Visitors to TRNC
Hi I've been living in North Cyprus for the last year and I love it :-)
The rules have now changed (again!!!) and non cypriots can now travel freely from Turkish Cyprus down into the Greek Southern Cyprus.
By the way you were right Kleftiko is Lamb but its not boiled, its slow roasted in a large outdoor oven that looks like a big concrete beehive!!!!!!
The harbour is nice to eat in, depending in which restaurant you use but there are nicer places to eat if you go slightly off the beaten track. There's a 24hr restaurant frequented mainly by locals called Beyti's. its at the top of Tin Pan Alley, just one turn off from the main road through Kyrenia. There is a bar across from it called Shakers which is run by Ron and Kez that also does food.
The best place in Kyrenia to go to however is a bar called The Villa Swallow. Just off the far end of the harbour near the Dome Hotel, this is a family bar which serves food till the evening and has themed entertainment nights. These include Karaoke, Quiz nights and sports nights courtesy of Sky and a Big Screen TV!!!!! Owned by Clare and Dave (and a third person who I havent met yet!!). Managers Kat and Ian have been working there for the last six years and are the main attraction for repeat visitors year in and year out!!!!!!!!
There is however one bad point about TRNC and I will agree with what you have said..... I have heard about people having their passports declared null and void, by the Greek staff at the borders and the airports, because of the TRNC visa stamp in them. So I would agree in strongly advising anyone to only have the visa slip of paper stamped and not your passport.....
Visit North Cyprus its beautiful.

ps next time you go check out the paragliding!!!!
www.highlineparagliding.com
The BEST way to view the island!!!! :-)

babs20007
babs20007 on

Re: Visitors to TRNC
Hello friend..
I am Babalola... and i would like to come to Northern Cyprus to live there but i dont know anybody to stay with.. i have been hearing the news about this great island but i dont know anybody or where i would stay when i get there..
so i want to know if we can be friends and also if i can stay with you if i tried to come overthere..
Hope to hear from you soonest.
Regards,
Babalola.

rabski
rabski on

North Cyprus Rules!
I've been visiting Northern Cyprus for about ten years now. I always prefer small Mediterranean hotels and can recommend The Hideaway (http://www.hideawayclub.com if anyone is interested), among many others! North Cyprus sure is changing, but is still a really relaxed and great place for a holiday.

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