Monday, 31 August 2009

North Cyprus

I have been doing some further research about where to go after the Escape.

Cyprus has always been a possibility for an extended stay. I have been there before, fantastic food, climate and people. I should say that I have been to the southern part of the island, i.e. the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cypriot part). English is widely spoken, and the outdoors are beautiful, calming and resting. Moving away from the tourist beach spots of the south part of the island the mountains (particularly the Troodos area) are magical. The cost of living is lower than the UK although, it is not mega cheap. You have to know where to go.

However, I had not seriously considered North Cyprus aka the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. The area is illegally occupied by the Turks both the Republic of Cyprus and the United Nations consider it as an illegal occupation. Having been to the island a few times the Greek Cypriots appear to tolerate the situation and there is no obvious on going warfare. One can pass freely back and fourth over the border from the south part of the island to the North.

Naturally TRNC is not in the EU and so it is outside the expensive eurozone. The currency is Turkish Lira, the pound is extremely strong against the Turkish Lira.

It appears as though it is possible to rent a decent apartment or cottage from £300 - £450 per month equivalent. Utilities are very low. I read that a loaf of bread is the equivalent of £0.13p and a litre and a half of Cypriot brandy is £1.50! By my calculations I think that we could live a pretty decent standard of living for about £700 per month. I have read some forums where there are British expats declaring that they live for the equivalent of £100 per week but I am a bit skeptical.

North Cyprus boasts the Kyrenia mountain range so we would be fine for our outdoor activities.

However I would NOT buy land in the TRNC far too risky in view of the history and illegal occupation of the turks.

This idea really does sound appealing. It is certainly worth an visit to see whether we could live there for an extended period.


Alice said...

Hey there, thanks for stopping by my place :-) I think this sounds like a fab idea! and the best way really, in my opinion, is to just go - investigate, stay for a while etc etc. If there is one thing I have found out from our experiences, it's that until you 'live' it you won't know how you will truly feel about a place or what it is like in reality. And the trying out of 'many' different options is certainly a lot of fun :-)

Embargoed said...

Great blog. As someone who was born in London but of Turkish Cypriot heritage I would certainly recommend going to spend some quality time on our beautiful island, particularly up in Northern Cyprus. Price of living is not as cheap as you would make. You are right that some basic comodoties are very cheap but other stuff like chicken, meat and petrol are as expensive if not more than here in the UK. Lifestyle is great though and there are unbelieveable beaches. There is a very strong British presence, particularly in the Kyrenia area. The buying property thing applies to the whole island, as there are thousands of Turkish Cypriot refugees who who had to flee their proprty in the South and the Republic of Cyprus government are yet to give property deeds to some 100,000 people [of these 30,000 are reported to be Brits]. You are right. It is much safer to rent. If you wanted to buy the safest thing to buy is to get land that is Turkish title deed from pre-1974. Hope this helps.

Dreamer said...

Alice - thats good advice thanks.

Embargoed - hi thanks for your comment and its great to receive feedback from a turkish cypriot. I am aiming for a more simplier and frugal life than the UK, If I can do without eating much meat (I dont like it much anyway)and using too much petrol and other things that are expensive, do you think I could still life more cheaply there than here in the UK? If I can cover food and accomodation for less than here then I might have it cracked?