Cyprus is an island divided by a border that runs west to east across the middle of the land mass with approximately two thirds of the total area to the south and the remaining third in the north. It has been thus since 1974 when the Turkish armed forces intervened to stop the internal conflict between the ethnic Turkish and Greek Cypriot people.
Until 1983 the northern part was a federated state of Turkey under the control of the Turkish Government in Ankara. In 1983 a democratically elected Government of Turkish Cypriots took the reins of power and the (TRNC) Turkish Republic of North Cyprus was born. In the Turkish language this becomes (KKTC) Kuzey Kibris Turk Cumhurriyet, with TRNC and KKTC being fully interchangeable in publicity, advertising and promotional material. Over the period of twenty eight years since independence the TRNC continues to be unrecognised by all countries of the world with the exception of Turkey and therefore it relies very much on funding from the Government of Turkey for the financial assistance necessary to maintain and improve the infrastructure that is so important for a people whose livelihood depends almost entirely on agriculture and tourism.
The lack of recognition of the northern part of the island for the last thirty seven years has resulted in a country that is still in many ways stuck in a time warp which in the early stages of its development was a benefit. Tourists who came soon after the military intervention, were charmed by the lack of sophistication and made repeat visits. They brought their friends with them and encouraged others to do the same. Then they saw the emergence of a newly created state that remained an area of unspoilt and undeveloped beauty to be discovered by those who wanted to get away from the more usual sun and sand holiday.
The TRNC continued to improve its tourism facilities, building small family run hotels and holiday villages and over the last fifteen years there has been a steady increase in tourist numbers and permanent population. North Cyprus has proved to be an extremely popular destination for retirees who benefit from a warm winter climate and the domestic infrastructure has improved to keep pace with the increased number of inhabitants. Town amenities and major roads have all been given a make-over that has put them into the 21st Century, and though there is now an air of prosperity in all the towns and villages the Cypriot people remain the same, warmly welcoming to all.