A quick search on the internet for property in North Cyprus will yield over three million pages of results many linking to developers selling houses and villas in Northern Cyprus. There is no shortage of property being offered for sale and it would appear that there are also plenty of eager buyers lining up to part with their cash too. Many of these buyers are totally unaware of the fact that ownership of the land these house are being built on is still under dispute. In fact they could technically be buying an apartment or villa in Northern Cyprus built on land that is part of this ongoing dispute. To gain a little more understanding of this complexed matter here follows a bit of a history lesson.
In 1974 the Turkish army invaded Northern Cyprus and drove out the Greek Cypriots living there. They were encouraged to leave in somewhat of a hurry and were only able to leave with what they could carry. Everything else was left behind including land and houses displacing thousands of Greek Cypriot residents from their own homes. Most of these displaced persons and even their descendants still consider themselves to be refugees from Northern Cyprus. Even now (2007) there are still official refugee settlements on the South of the Island housing many of these families who lost everything they owned when they fled Northern Cyprus. To this day they still lay claim to the land they own in the North of the Island and the Cyprus government shares the same view.
The problem is this. The only people who actually recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or T.R.N.C. as it is also called are in fact the Turks! The rest of the civilized world operates trade and travel embargoes against this pseudo state even to this day. The boarder is patrolled by the U.N. who have been there since the invasion halted and they don’t look set to leave for home any time soon. This would seem to indicate that despite renewed political pressure from other countries the Cyprus issue looks like being a long way from solved. Furthermore when a solution is hopefully agreed upon one might ask what will become of all this contested property? Who will it be awarded too? maybe those who are still laying claim to it.
So if you really feel comfortable living in what is technically someone elses house in a country that no one acknowledges the existence of then North Cyprus could be just what you are looking for. Don’t misunderstand the situation however because despite the high level of feeling no one can tell what the end result will be. In fact there are those who are in full possession of all the facts and still go ahead with property purchase in North Cyprus. They have been led to believe that once the situation is resolved they will be allowed to keep the properties they are buying. Certain “guarantees” have been given that they will be compensated by the Turks should this in fact not be the case at the end of the day.
Whilst the author does not express any opinion (here at least) on the North Cyprus issue it seems only fair that readers should know the situation as it stands. Property is indeed a great investment opportunity and speculators are always eager to climb onto a rising market like North Cyprus property. Yes, the prices are a lot lower than those in the South but what will the final cost be at the end of the day. Life has enough problems of it’s own without going out and buying some more in the shape of North Cyprus property.