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General Information About North Cyprus

There are lots of islands big and small in the Mediterranean. The total area of the north of Cyprus is 3.355 km². The nearest seashore neighbour of North Cyprus is Turkey (38 sea miles, or 70 km.) The other neighbours are Syria, Israel, Egypt and South Cyprus.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded on 15th November 1983 when nothing solid was emerging from the inter communal meetings which had been taking place since the 20th July 1974 Peace Operation. This state is multi party democracy, and it is based on social justice and the rule of law. It is secular and it is independent. Its estimated population as of 2006 is 264,000. The official language is Turkish. English and Greek are also widely spoken because of relations with Britain and South Cyprus. The locomotive sectors of the economy of the island are tourism with its well-preserved shores, unique natural beauties, its warm climate, its restaurants and its casinos and so on, and higher education. North Cyprus has become an island of universities. Cyprus International University and Near East University are in Nicosia. Eastern Mediterranean University is in Famagusta, Girne American University is in Kyrenia, Middle East Technical University North Cyprus Campus is in Kalkanlı, Güzelyurt and Lefke European University is located in Lefke in the west. These establishments provide high quality educational opportunities.

Geographically North Cyprus is divided into two parts by Pentadactylos (Five Fingers) Mountains. On the southern side of this magnificient mountain range, Mesaria Fields lay between Famagusta and Nicosia, and highly fertilized land of Güzelyurt (Morphou) Fields lay between Nicosia and Lefke. There are several little, nice coves on the naturally rich shores, one more beautiful than the other, and various types of gardens stand in the skirts of mountains.

Nicosia is the capital city of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Famagusta, İskele, Kyrenia and Morphou (Güzelyurt) are other important cities. 57% of the land of North Cyprus is agricultural land. Agricultural products such as citrus, cereal crops, olive, olive oil, potatoes, carrot, carob, water melon, melon, peach, strawberry, date and other sort of fruits and vegetables are produced in North Cyprus. Natural water reservoirs that are insufficient are used effectively with the help of contemporary watering systems.

Ovine and bovine breeding is also developed in the country. Products of meat, milk and cheese are the top quality. Especially, Helloumi (Hellim) Cheese is very famous for its unique taste. Also, afforestation facilities are carried out to keep the green texture of the country. As the country has a long lasting Spring, beekeeping is also popular and the honey produced is the top quality.

As for economic facilities, the small-scaled business sectors that are common in islands are also common in Cyprus. There are significant developments in food, construction and clothing sectors. Several small and mid-scaled business companies are in operation in the industrial zones of Nicosia, Kyrenia, Famagusta and in the free zone of Famagusta Harbour. Electric power production is carried out by power energy plants of Kalecik and Teknecik to meet the need of power of the country.

Mediterranean climate is dominant in Cyprus. Summers are long lasting and droughty, winters are rainy. The average annual temperature is 19ºC' (66ºF). The average temperature of summers is around 38-40ºC (105ºF). The average temperature of sea is 21ºC (75ºF), winters are usually mild and not that cold. The average rain level is around 500 mm. Spring time is the most beautiful and longer lasting time of Cyprus.

The flora of Cyprus is composed of by evergreen tress such as pine trees, citrus trees, carob trees, olive trees, and cypress trees as well as tarsiidae, and deciduous plants with various endemic flowers and plants.

Features of Mediterranean climate generated the natural richness of Cyprus. The most common types of trees are pine, cypress, oak and eucalyptus. There are several species of plants with flowers, orchids, and 19 endemic plants that are only found in Cyprus.

North Cyprus is rich also in fauna as there are several kinds of species of resident birds and migratory birds that call at the island especially in spring and autumn times. Thus, hunting is a popular sport in Cyprus. North Cyprus is a place of stopover and ovulation as it a location on migration routes between Africa and Europe. Sea gulls can also be seen, though rarely.

North Cyprus is also rich for its natural caves. Caves waiting to be discovered is already a mystery. It was so far discovered that there are 85 caves, either naturally formed or shaped by human hand, and various in shape and form. The most beautiful and interesting of all so far discovered is Incirli Cave with its amazing stalactites and dickites. The cave can be reached over through a decent road and the mukhtar of Incirli Village kindly guides the visitors inside the cave. Interior of the cave is enlightened and photos can be taken. The cave called ‘Cave with Pillars’ is also an interesting and beautiful cave that should be visited. ‘Ecinni Sinileri` (Trays of Evil Spirit) is also an interesting cave waiting to be explored around the Kalavac Village. Olive trees that are over a thousand years old are under protection and a tracking path is available around them. Bodies of some of the trees are such huge that eleven people circled around them hand to hand can hardly embrace them. This is an indication for how magnificent plants they are. The most interesting thing about these trees is that they are still producing olives.

If you drive along the shoreline of the north coast you can have nostalgic trip at the skirts of Pentadactylos (Five Fingers) Mountains that usually go down to the coastal line. The villages of Çatalköy, Esentepe, Küçükerenköy, Tatlısu, Kaplıca, Yedikonuk, Balalan, Esenköy, Yeşilköy, Yenierenköy, Dipkarpaz and the magnificent beach of Alagadi are places to be visited for their nice beaches, coves and historical monuments, one more beautiful than the other.
Some of the interesting and beautiful places of interest located on the southern coast of North Cyprus are Famagusta, Tuzla, Salamis ancient city, Yeniboğaziçi, İskele, Boğaz, Çayırova, Büyükkonuk, Bafra (the place of touristic sites and hotels), Pamuklu, Mehmetçik, Kumyalı, Ziyamet, Boltaşlı, Derince, Avtepe (the place of endemic tulips), Taşlıca (the place where one of the most beautiful beaches of the whole island can be seen), Kuruova, Kaleburnu and Dipkarpaz.

There are several villages in the fields of Mesaria where mostly agricultural and stock breeding facilities take place most commonly. This part of Cyprus is known as the granary of North Cyprus as cereal crops are mostly produced here.

Also, there are several nice villages from Nicosia down to Lefke which is one of the most beautiful towns of island. The villages in Lefke region must be visited as they are amongst the most beautiful ones not only in Cyprus but also in Eastern Mediterranean region. Lefke region is very rich in flora and fauna, and several species of endemic flowers and plants can be seen in this region in Spring time.

On the route to Kyrenia from Lefke, and between Lefke and Nicosia, the town of Güzelyurt takes place, a nice town surrounded with citrus gardens. The villages in the area of Güzelyurt are some of the most beautiful ones in extraordinarily natural beauties. Some of these villages are Tepebaşı, Kalkanlı, Akdeniz and Sadrazamköy.
Another important natural feature of North Cyprus is that the endangered species of Caretta Carettas and Chelonia Mydas live on the sandy coasts of North Cyprus and they are under protection by law and under observation by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Sources, and by civil societies dedicated to protection of nature. These endangered species spawn at the sandy beaches of North Cyprus such as the Alagadi Beaches and the Golden Sand in Carpasia. Mediterranean seals appear from time to time on the shores of North Cyprus, as well. Also, around 250 donkeys are freely live in the National Park of Carpasia.

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