Living and working Northern Cyprus

Living and working Northern Cyprus

Living and working Northern Cyprus
Living in Northern Cyprus sound idilic. An island paradise with plenty of sunshine, clean air and the easy going Mediterranean lifestyle.  Whether your move starts as long term stay overs 2,3 months and developers into a permanent move you’d be wise to do some research.  I hope this article will help.

Locating to Northern Cyprus.

Researching where you’d like to settle in Northern Cyprus depends on your personal criteria.  Maybe you just want the solitude of a mountain retreat? or prefer the city centre and access to shops, bars, beaches?  Maybe you’d like something in between like a traditional Cyprus home in a picturesque village located midway between mountains and sea?  Your Estate agent can show you the best of these choices  and help guide you with budget.  Your realtor will have good knowledge of these areas and help give you background information such as local facilities, bus services, places to go nearby and so forth.
Some areas of Northern Cyprus are better know for Citrus orchards like Guzelyurt and others for sheep and goat farmers Arapkoy for example, while others like the sleepy villages of Pasakoy, Vadilli and Dilekkaya are known for dairy produce (Hellim) and so certain regions have their own established institutions.
That said most of the “action” will be in and around the main towns of KyreniaNicosia and Famagusta (Girne, Lefkosa and Magusa-Turkish names).

What’s it like living in Northern Cyprus?

Living is Northern Cyprus is simply liberating.  Compared to UK and Europe there are far fewer life associated stress levels dealing with day to day issues and working environment that one often encounters with London, New York or Berlin.  People are genuine and friendly here so much so that’s its common place for a stranger you’ve just met in a shop or in the street to offer you tea or coffee.  People are open and willing to converse with each other here.  Passers by are happy to talk to people they’ve never met.  It’s safe to walk the streets at night and criminality is minimal.  Anywhere and everywhere in Northern Cyprus is peaceful calm and safe.  Striking up new friendships is as easy as falling off a log and people are very kind and helpful.  Shops go out of their way to help you and you can ask for any advice about bus route, bank opening times, the best restaurants or where to buy a new kitchen sink?  In fact, North Cyprus still retains that old almost lost and forgotten charm of an unspoiled island.  Unspoiled by commercialism or tourism, unspoiled by politics and unspoiled by pollution and the throw away lifestyles in UK and Europe.  Many of the old skills and traditional techniques still survive in Northern Cyprus like hand crafted goods and furniture.  Tailors make made to measure suites for a fraction of the cost with exceptional quality textiles from Turkey.  Workshops recondition and fabricate practically anything you can’t buy.
Everybody is your neighbour here, everybody is your friend and everybody is welcoming.  There is no racism or prejudice against people with different beliefs or of the Gay community but sex marriages are not allowed.  People are happy to get along and live and let live.  North Cyprus has become cosmopolitan with settlers from all corners of the globe living and working here from Thailand, The Philippines, Ukraine, Israel, Pakistan, Iraq, America and everywhere from Europe.
It’s easy to get around too, there are Dolmus’s (local busses) and registered taxi’s services everywhere. You can hire all manner of vehicles also.
Northern Cyprus covers an area of 1,295 square miles
(3,355 square kilometres) which is about the size of the county of Essex in England covers 1,339,39 sq miles or 3,469 sq kilometres).  Northern Cyprus has a population somewhere around 400,000 people that’s less than a quarter of the population of county of Essex (2 million).  This puts into some perspective how there is more freedom of movement between the hustle and bustle of a populated area and the tranquility of open spaces within short distances of each other.

Are there any negatives living here?

That really depends on what one describes as a negative?  Let’s say that if you like European and American shop brands there aren’t any.  Like MacDonnalds, Marks and Spencer, CostCo, Aldi, Barclays Bank (or any other foreign bank).  But we have similar substitutes for all of these. Outside of the major towns there is no common sewerage system or treatment plants and homes rely of Cesspits.  Life is laid back here often called “Cyprus Time” by the locals because if you have an appointment it’s not necessarily guaranteed that your slot will be precisely at that time.  It’s quite common too that if you need things done you may need to see two or three different people to achieve an outcome that one person could do.  For example a home renovation.  A kitchen fitter generally only fits the cupboards and work tops and leave the electrics, plumbing and tiling for other tradesmen.  A car MOT requires a garage emissions test certificate which must be paid for in advance then payment of an MOT inspection which must be produced at a police station test centre for the inspection to be done.  Things do get done but in a rather roundabout way.
Heat.  It gets very hot here in the summer, 45 Celsius or more especially inland (Nicosia).  Many goods, except groceries and fuel don’t have prices openly displayed on them.  This is because commodities like cars, Garden Shed, tools, white goods and furniture are calculated against foreign currency $, £ and Euro.  The Turkish lira used in the North is susceptible to currency exchange rates.  Common cars are very expensive but that said its incredible to see Lamborghini’s, Ferrari’s, Aston Martin, Bentley’s and high end cars being driven here in abundance.  To that end Northern Cyprus is like the Monte Carlo of the Eastern Mediterranean.

What does it cost for a family of four to live in Northern Cyprus?

Let’s assume you’re renting a property from a reputable Estate agent/Realtor who will also take care of the maintenance of the property for you in North Cyprus. North Cyprus Property Prices will vary according to location but for example  a 3-4 bedroom villa with a private pool could be between £700-£1200 per calendar month in a nice area.  Town centre properties could be higher and rural ones a bit lower.
Food shopping today would probably set you back around 800TL- 1000TL per week depending on how liberal or frugal your shopping habits that’s about £50.
Electricity may be in the region of 2000-3000TL per month on average (£100-£150/month).  This could be higher if you tend to run your pool pump for very extended periods, do lots of washing or use the air conditioning units everywhere around the home frequently.  There is no off peak electricity tariff but its set on a quota system.  Up to 250kW 25pence/unit but becomes more than double that amount after 250kW.  The more you use the more expensive it becomes.  On that note if you have a property with solar panels you can’t reduce your monthly electricity bills by 80% or more.  Worth having this installed or buying a property with solar panels.  Your estate agent may have properties on offer with solar panels which are well worth consideration as this makes it a wise buy property.
Water is cheap thanks to the major piped supply of fresh water in abundance from mainland Turkey.  Water bill average would be £5/month.
Then there’s fuel which is around £1.25/litre at the moment and an average car fill up is approximately £40.  There is no natural gas and it is sold in bottles  currently £12 for a large cooking bottle which lasts 3-4 months easily.
Property council tax if you own your home is just £35 per year.  That’s amazing!  Council tax in the UK is around £1800.
Assuming you don’t need regular medical assistance or carers and regular trips to a private hospital or have to pay for private schooling for children the average Grand Total of all of costs if you’re renting long term? £1500 and if you own your property £500.  But I f you wanted to live like a king or queen in your own 3-4 bedroom villa with a private pool and like to eat out once a week plus allow for a few other extras you could for around £800 per month, no debts, no credit.  That’s astonishing.

Working in Northern Cyprus.

Working in Northern Cyprus.
Every non Cypriot must apply for a work permit from the department of work and pensions  Usually the business place of employment will make the application for you unless you declare that you are self employed.  There are a few other hoops to jump through to attain self employment status here.  Finding paid employment in the North is easy.  There are many establishments seeking to hire all manner of professional, skilled and unskilled staff especially native English speakers.  There is a demand for anyone with a foreign language in fact Russian, Arabic, German, French or any Scandinavian language. Northern Cyprus has trade and commerce relations with the greater international community through a network of sub franchise schemes.  It’s estimated trade globally is about $5.5 billion GDP (Gross Domestic Product).  This is an expanding market and growing economy which make investment in Northern Cyprus very attractive.  Digital market place and digital currency is increasing also though online businesses and Crypto Currency and you may even purchase your property through Estate agents like Select Estates International with Bitcoin and similar products.
Some businesses pay staff in £ Sterling or Euro’s and this would be the better option with regard to a upwardly dynamic Turkish lira exchange rate.  Such business enterprises as UniversitiesEnglish Schools (British Necat College and the English School of Kyrenia for example) and medial establishments such as IVF clinics and Dental specialists too. Places of business who’s main source of trade is with the outside world mostly pay in Foreign currency and salary varies according to skill set, technical requirements etc.  A foreign language teacher from the UK with the correct qualifications could expect around £1200-£1500 per month, a digital car sales company operation in Northern Cyprus selling to UK market pays its staff with commission up to £7000/ month with no previous sales expertise required.  For those paid in Turkish lira the minimum wage is 7000TL/month (£350/month) so anything above that depends of a variety of factors.
Taking all of the above into consideration one can easily calculate that with the right circumstance and choices earning a comfortable living in Northern Cyprus is not difficult of challenging and the benefits of living here are very attractive too.  What’s more its totally possible to put in half an effort towards work and still be well off, by this I meat partial retirement which affords one with more quality time to live comfortably and enjoy life.
We hope to see you soon in Northern Cyprus.

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