The island of Cyprus is well known for its history and for being steeped in myths and legends. There are often several different versions of a tale claiming to be the real story but the one thing they all have in common is that they are all fascinating to hear about! There are several well known legends which we will give you an insight into, but there are plenty more than this so try and pick up as many as you can on your travels. [Read more...]
As the month of May is usually the time of year such things to come out of their hibernation slumber, we thought we would give you a run down of the various species of snake that you may come across in North Cyprus! Those of us who live here are fairly familiar with the varieties that we may all come across and, as most of them are pretty harmless, we would advise you not to panic should you come across one! Most of us treat snakes with a kind of scared disgust, imagining them to be slippery reptiles that will leap out of bushes and bite us, when in all honesty all they want is to be left alone to live quiet lives! [Read more...]
Formed in March 2008 the North Cyprus CESV (Civil Emergency Service Volunteers) is made up of both Turkish Cypriot and Expatriate citizens and operates in conjunction with the national Civil Defence Organisation.
The aim of the organisation is to recruit and train individuals who are able to volunteer their time to assist in the event of an emergency, whether it is manmade or natural. The CESV are held in reserve and used when there is a [Read more...]
The International Federation of the Red Crescent and the Red Cross Societies (IFRC) were originally formed in 1919 and now have around 186 national societies worldwide. The IFRC is overseen by the International Federation of the Red Cross (ICRC) which has authority under international humanitarian law to protect the life and dignity of the victims of international and internal armed conflicts.
Most of us would recognise the Red Cross symbol as the international humanitarian organisation, but the Red Crescent became a symbol used by the Ottoman Empire during the Turkish-Prussian war from 1876 to 1878 as it did not want to offend its Muslim soldiers. It became an officially recognised symbol in 1929 and now 33 of the 186 national societies use this symbol due to their mainly Muslim populations. [Read more...]
No, not an incorrect spelling of Ramadan which is the term most of us will recognise! Unfortunately we have not really been given an explanation of why it’s called Ramazan in North Cyprus – it just is! The month of fasting for all practising Muslims who choose to follow this religious event will culminate in family gatherings, visiting the graves of love ones past and generally having a few days holiday to get the body and mind back to its previous state. [Read more...]
Launched in late February 2009 the Cyprus Airport Services run KIBHAS airport shuttle service is now in full operation serving customers with transfers to Ercan Airport. It has been quite a while coming but now has a fleet of twelve buses and coaches departing from all the major towns and ports in North Cyprus. [Read more...]
Since 2003, the north and south of Cyprus have been accessible to each other via several checkpoints along the Green Line, all of which were opened as part of efforts aimed at reuniting the two Cypriot communities.
Today Europeans and Cypriots are able to use several border crossings in Cyprus, whether it’s to shop, trade or work. Currently there are 6 checkpoints open to pedestrians and/or traffic and below we will detail these for you. It’s worth noting that another checkpoint in Yeşilirmak on the far north-western tip of Cyprus could be set to open shortly and we will keep you up to date on that!
The yearly arrival in North Cyprus of the turtle population brings about hectic activity by marine groups, volunteers and the general public! Beaches all over the island are cleared and made ready for female turtles which come to nest all across the shores of North Cyprus.
There are two types of turtles which come to nest in North Cyprus and these are the loggerhead (Caretta Caretta) and green sea (Chelonia Mydas) turtles; they make the yearly journey to nest and then return to the sea, leaving their eggs deep in the sand to hatch. Environmental groups have been active since 1992 in helping to protect these precious and endangered creatures, monitoring the hatchlings to ensure that their survival is as guaranteed as much as possible.
North Cyprus is a must-visit for bird lovers because it’s a major migration route for many species, and it’s also a permanent home for many others. The majority of migration is from March through to May when you will see northward migration, and then again between August and October when you can see the migration heading southwards. However, it is entirely possible to see birds migrating beyond these months.
There are many places to bird watch, and a visit to any of the mountain castles in North Cyprus will give you a great view from which to watch for these birds – as well as providing you with a great day out walking in history.
North Cyprus is host to an eclectic mix of unusual wildlife, and some fascinating species can be seen at any time of year. North Cyprus is also home to common and recognisable species such as hedgehogs, foxes and tortoises, although the latter is not native to the island but was probably brought from Turkey and left free to roam the countryside!
There are an abundance of butterflies and also mammal, reptile and sea species, and you can find examples of wildlife anywhere in the mountains and along the unpopulated coastal areas. North Cyprus is also famous for its wild flowers, especially the rare orchids that attract travellers from all over the world.