Northern Cyprus, which is officially known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is located on the northern end of the island of Cyprus. It is bordered to the south by the Republic of Cyprus, which is recognized by most countries as the only legitimate government of the entire island. Northern Cyprus is only recognized as a country by Turkey.
Map of the island of Cyprus divided into the Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus.
The de facto state was proclaimed in 1983, nine years after Turkey invaded the northern part of Cyprus. Northern Cyprus now maintains its own administration, separate from the Republic of Cyprus, amid ongoing efforts to reunite the island.
About Northern Cyprus
Aerial view of the Famagusta Palm Beach, Northern Cyprus.
N. Cyprus consists of approximately one-third of the island in the north. This includes the northern part of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. It is speculated that up to 500,000 people may now live in Northern Cyprus, with the population of N. Cyprus thought to be around 300,000. Many of the residents are people from Turkey who settled in N. Cyprus after the Turkish invasion, as well as their offspring. The population of Cyprus is overwhelmingly Turkish. The only remaining population centers with a mixed Greek and Turkish population in the de facto state are the two villages of Pyla and Potamia. There are also small communities of Arabs, Armenians, and Romans.
The flag of Northern Cyprus is etched into the Five Finger Mountains of Cyprus.
Although not recognized by any other country except Turkey, Northern Cyprus has all the trappings of a modern democratic state, including a parliament and a president. The parliament of N. Cyprus is known as the Assembly of the Republic and has 50 members. The president and his cabinet represent the executive branch of Northern Cyprus
A Divided Island
Aerial view of Famagusta ruins in Salamis (Salamis Harabeleri), Northern Cyprus.
Cyprus became an independent country in 1960, after decades of British rule. The Greek and Turkish communities on the island agreed on a constitution that allowed for power-sharing between the two communities. According to the constitution, the Greek Cypriots were required to have the president of the republic, while the Turkish Cypriots had to have the vice president. The cabinet, or Council of Ministers, was to be equally divided between members of the island’s Greek community and those of the Turkish community. The Cypriot parliament was divided into seats designated for the Greeks and those designated for the Turks. Even the public service and armed forces had to have a specific ratio of Greeks to Turks.
For all the power-sharing arrangements in the constitution, however, tensions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots continued. Three years after independence, Turkish leaders withdrew from the government. One year later, United Nations peacekeepers were sent to the island as Turkish Cypriots withdrew into defensive enclaves.
The peacekeepers monitored the ceasefire line between the Greek and Turkish communities, known as the Green Line. In 1974, a coup d’etat against the Cypriot government took place. It was supported by the military junta that ruled Greece. Fearing the unification of Cyprus with Greece, Turkey sent troops into the northern part of the island, supposedly to protect the interests of Turkish Cypriots. The coup against the Cypriot government was unsuccessful, but Turkey had already occupied a third of the island, and proceeded to enforce the partition of the island roughly along the Green Line. In the wake of the Turkish invasion, about 165,000 Greeks living in Northern Cyprus lost their homes, as did 45,000 Turkish Cypriots who lived in the southern part of the island.
The flags of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Cyprus fly side by side at Bellapais Abbey in N.Cyprus.
In 1975, Turkey established a separate regime for the Turkish Cypriots in the north. Eight years later, the establishment of the Turkish Republic of N. Though no other country except Turkey was willing to recognize it, Cyprus formally proclaimed its independence. Since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, a series of negotiations under the auspices of the UN have taken place in an attempt to establish a workable peace agreement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, with the ultimate goal of reunifying the island.
s’ government. Turkey exercises significant power over Northern Cyprus on defense and foreign policy matters. Northern Cyprus is also economically dependent on Turkey.
some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Northern Cyprus:
Q. Is Northern Cyprus a recognized country?
Answer:- No, Northern Cyprus is not recognized as a separate country by the international community, except for Turkey. Most countries consider the Republic of Cyprus as the legitimate government of the entire island.
Q. How did Northern Cyprus come into existence?
Answer:- Northern Cyprus was established in 1983, nine years after Turkey invaded the northern part of Cyprus. It declared itself as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, maintaining its own administration separate from the Republic of Cyprus.
Q. What is the population of Northern Cyprus?
Answer:- The population of Northern Cyprus is estimated to be around 300,000, with a significant number of Turkish settlers and their descendants who migrated after the Turkish invasion in 1974. Some speculate that the population may now reach up to 500,000.
Q. What is the political structure of Northern Cyprus?
Answer:- Northern Cyprus has a parliamentary system of government. The Assembly of the Republic, with 50 members, serves as the parliament. The President, elected by popular vote for a five-year term, represents the executive branch.
Q. Is Northern Cyprus a democratic state?
Answer:- Northern Cyprus operates with the trappings of a modern democratic state, including a parliament and a president. However, due to its lack of international recognition, it faces challenges in terms of economic and political isolation.
Q. How did the division of Cyprus occur?
Answer:- Cyprus became an independent country in 1960 after British rule. The Greek and Turkish communities agreed on power-sharing arrangements. However, tensions between the communities persisted, leading to Turkish Cypriot withdrawal from the government. In 1974, a coup against the Cypriot government occurred, and Turkey sent troops to protect Turkish Cypriot interests. This resulted in the partition of the island.
Q. Is there any ongoing effort to reunify Cyprus?
Answer:- Yes, there have been numerous negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations to find a peaceful solution and reunify the island of Cyprus. The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities have not achieved a resolution to establish a workable peace agreement, despite ongoing efforts.
Q. How is Northern Cyprus economically dependent on Turkey?
Answer:- Turkey exercises significant power over Northern Cyprus, particularly in matters related to defense, foreign policy, and the economy. The Turkish lira is the official currency in Northern Cyprus, and the region relies on economic support from Turkey.