If you’re living in North Cyprus as a foreign resident then it’s useful to know that there are expat residents’ groups around to offer a helping hand in times of need, or if you require some specific information about something.
There are a few groups that are particularly worth making a note of just in case you should ever need their support. They all do sterling work to help and provide information to the community, and they have pots of knowledge on all matters relating to living in North Cyprus.
British Residents Society (BRS)
The BRS as it’s known, has been in existence for over 30 years, it was established in 1975. With over 750 members as of 2008, it is the largest expat organisation in North Cyprus. As you can imagine with this organisation having been around for such a long time, there are some very wise members, and very proud they are of their knowledge and the society too! The BRS’ standing in the community also allows it to now deal with government departments as well as having relations with the British High Commission.
The BRS is active in the community in various ways, having its own Environmental Liaison Group to inform members of current issues and initiatives for example, as well as a Welfare Liaison Officer who is able to deal with a range of issues such as blood donation days and organising care for those unable to support themselves, meeting the costs of volunteer helpers and generally being a support mechanism for the expatriate community.
British residents are welcome to join the BRS, which by the way is strictly non-partisan and non-profit making, for a small fee, giving them access to a wide range of events, activities and benefits, including trips abroad, and a broad selection of discounts at various restaurants and shops, as well as membership to medical schemes available at the Life Hospital in Lefkoşa.
For full information on requirements for membership and for up to date events and initiatives, please visit their website www.brstrnc.com or alternatively you can visit them at the ‘Hut’ (which is an office!), behind the Post Office in Kyrenia every Saturday between 10am and 12.
The Foreign Residents (TFR)
This organisation has been running for over 10 years, and welcomes all nationalities to its ranks. Many of its activities are similar to the BRS’s, and in addition they have made some valuable contributions to the community by organising schemes to manage the foreign cemeteries in North Cyprus.
They have also provided invaluable support to residents who have experienced the stressful situation of having to organise funerals in North Cyprus, as well as the repatriation of loved ones who have passed away.
There are around 35 full time members at the time of writing, and if you would like to become a member or you require more information you can contact them via Heinz Nauroth on +90 (0)533 677 3076 or John Winning on +90 (0)533 8340930.
Again this organisation is very prominent in the community and holds regular activities that are open to members and non-members alike. Some of the things that they can provide and organise are Turkish language courses, trips and cultural events, talks and discussions with presentations on various topics of interest such as North Cyprus birds and flowers, and local art exhibitions and so on.
They are represented by the local Turkish Cypriot community as well as having expat liaison personnel who can provide detailed information should you require. If you would like to know more about the organisation, how you can get involved or to find out what’s on you can call Ann Iverson on +90 (0)533 8400357 or Tulen Saner on +90 (0)533 848 2000.