Northern Cyprus Practical Information Guide
North Cyprus from elsewhere 0090 followed by either the code for landline numbers: 392 or for mobiles 542 or 533. There are two mobile service providers in North Cyprus; KKTC Telsim which uses the 542 prefix and Turkcell which uses 533. Mobile numbers are usually supplied with the necessary code to facilitate access.
When dialling from North Cyprus to the UK enter 0044 followed by the number required with the deletion of the initial zero.
The religious holidays of Islam are observed and like the religious holidays in the Christian Church they are moveable feasts.
Ramadan is the equivalent of Lent and is a period of fasting followed by the three day Kurban Bayram (feast of the Sacrifice).
Other major holidays are:
New Years Day, January 1st.
Children's Day, April 23rd.
Labour Day, May 1st.
Youth and Sports Day, May 19th.
Peace and Freedom Day, July 20th.
Communal Resistance Day, 1st August.
Victory Day 30th August.
Turkish National Day, 29th October.
Independence Day 15th November, (proclamation of TRNC in 1983).
Cyprus is an island with weather largely controlled by its geographic position and the two mountain masses of the Troodos and the Kyrenia or Beshparmak mountains. In general, winters are wet and mild with the first rains usually falling in October and hopefully continuing into April. The day time temperatures range between 6C on a cloudy day to 18C when the sun shines and it does almost every day. April May and June are the greenest months with bright displays of wild flowers. July, August are hot and humid with high temperatures of 40C plus and little relief at night. The humidity starts to drop in September and the days are still hot. October brings cool breezes and clouds start to settle on the horizon with terrific lightning displays over the sea. Visitors still swim in the sea right up until Christmas with the water temperature being pleasantly invigorating.
The currency is the Turkish Lira, with a constantly fluctuating exchange rate. For this reason, shopkeepers and restaurant owners are fully conversant with all major currencies and bills can be paid in UK Sterling, Euros, Dollars as well as local currency. There are many exchange bureaux in all the major towns and money is changed with little problem. Major UK Credit and Debit cards are widely accepted, and can be used in cash machines, however you should inform your bank before you travel so that they do not block your card. You should also enquire about charges to use your card abroad. Travellers Cheques as well as Scottish banknotes are not widely accepted in North Cyprus and changing them can be difficult.
Unless you are planning on taking up residency in North Cyprus, it is unlikely you will need a bank unless it is to make a money transfer. Be aware that this will take quite a long time and attract a stiff commission charge.
The supply is 220/240 volts and is provided via three pin plugs as in the UK.
In the case of accidents and emergencies all the hospitals will provide medical care. Minor cuts and bruises will be treated usually free of charge. However major medical treatment can incur a hefty bill and it is essential that comprehensive insurance cover is taken out to cover the holiday period, and that your insurance covers you for Turkey as well as Europe. Also make sure that any pre-existing health concerns are notified to the insurance company prior to travel. Failure to notify them may well render the insurance cover null and void. Please note that the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is NOT accepted in North Cyprus.
As with any other country, the TRNC has rules and laws that are there to be obeyed. Drugs are absolutely not tolerated in North Cyprus and possession of even a minute amount will result in a hefty prison sentence. Although North Cyprus is a safe country, care should always be taken with personal belongings, and important items should be kept in a safety deposit box.
As in the UK, you drive on the left hand side of the road in North Cyprus. You must bring both parts of your full UK licence with you to be able to hire a car, and you must be over the age of 25 to hire and/or drive a rented vehicle. When you are driving a hired vehicle you must be in possession of your valid documents (driving licence, insurance, rental agreement) at all times. Visitors if stopped by the police will be treated kindly but driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs, as well as dangerous driving is an offence and will not be tolerated, and heavy fines are imposed. Parking restrictions are evident by the painting of black and white on the kerb stones, or double yellow lines and should not be infringed. There are plenty of car parks and the fee is not expensive.
The language spoken in North Cyprus is Turkish, however many of the older Cypriots will speak English and are proud of the fact that they can. Hotel staff will usually speak a certain amount of English, and are always happy to improve it. Visitors that attempt some Turkish, even if only to say ?Please?, (Lutfen) ?Thank you? (Tessurker Ederiz) and ?Hello? (Merhaba) will be rewarded with a beaming smile.
Business Opening Hours
Due to the oppressive heat of summer most of the civil service offices will work from 0800 to 1400. Winter opening hours, can and do, vary from department to department but usually they are operational from 0900 to 1230 and 1400 to 1730. These hours will apply to most of the retail outlets with supermarkets staying open until quite late.
North Cyprus is TWO hours ahead of GMT in winter and THREE hours ahead in summer. Simply put, there is always a TWO hour difference between UK time and TRNC time as clocks are altered on the same days of the year.
Passport and Visas
Visitors to North Cyprus must be in possession of a current ten year passport, which is not due to expire whilst you are on holiday. No visa application is necessary before entry for British Passport holders. A 90 day visitor?s visa prohibiting work will be given at passport control/immigration on arrival in North Cyprus. The visa stamp that will be put in your passport will not prevent you entering Greece or South Cyprus. However you may request a visa slip to be stamped which is then placed in your passport. It is important you do not mislay this during your stay. Holders of Non UK passports need to apply for a visa before travelling to North Cyprus, from the TRNC Embassy in London. If you are unsure, please check whether you require an entry visa before booking your holiday.
Airports and border crossing points
The two airports of Ercan and Gecitkale, and all crossing points on the border that divides the island, are legitimate points of entry.They are subject to passport control regulations and whatever restrictions are in place regarding the importation of goods. It is always advisable to check before travelling the duty free allowances for alcohol, perfume, and tobacco and the monetary value of goods for personal use. These restrictions apply equally to crossing the border from north to south and vice versa.
As with any country, care should be taken at all times whilst on holiday, if you are going out on your own, let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back. Ensure that your important belongings are kept in the safe, and do not carry large amounts of money or your passport with you unless necessary. Always keep a small amount of money in case of emergencies and ensure you have the contact numbers for police/ambulance/embassy etc if you need them. It is advisable not to drink the tap water, bottled water is best and is very inexpensive.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Forest Fires: 177
Ambulance Emergencies: 112
Nicosia/Lefkosa 0392 2285441
Kyrenia/Girne 0392 815 2226/8152254
Famagusta/Magusa 0392 3662876/3665328
Guzelyurt 0392 7142125 Dialling Codes