North Nicosia

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For other Nicosia, see Nicosia (disambiguation).
North Nicosia
Turkish: Kuzey Lefkoşa
From upper left: The historical part of North Nicosia, the Büyük Han, high-rises in Bedrettin Demirel Avenue (the building on the right is the tallest building in North Nicosia), a view from the entertainment center of Mehmet Akif Avenue, Atatürk Square at the heart of the old city, North Nicosia city hall, Selimiye Mosque
From upper left: The historical part of North Nicosia, the Büyük Han, high-rises in Bedrettin Demirel Avenue (the building on the right is the tallest building in North Nicosia), a view from the entertainment center of Mehmet Akif Avenue, Atatürk Square at the heart of the old city, North Nicosia city hall, Selimiye Mosque
Official seal of North Nicosia
North Nicosia is located in Cyprus
North Nicosia
North Nicosia
Location in Cyprus
Coordinates: 35°10′37″N 33°21′48″E / 35.177011°N 33.36324°E / 35.177011; 33.36324Coordinates: 35°10′37″N 33°21′48″E / 35.177011°N 33.36324°E / 35.177011; 33.36324
Status Recognised by the international community as part of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus's claim is only recognised by Turkey.
Administered by Northern Cyprus
Cypriot District Nicosia
North Cypriot District Lefkoşa
 • Mayor Mehmet Harmancı (TDP)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 61,378
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Website Nicosia Turkish Municipality

North Nicosia or Northern Nicosia (Turkish: Kuzey Lefkoşa; Greek: Λευκωσία) is the capital and largest city of the de facto state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, recognised by only Turkey, and is widely considered by the international community and United Nations as occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. It is the northern half of the city of Nicosia and is governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality. Located on the River Pedieos and located almost at the center of the island, it is the host for the seat of the government as well as the main business center.

Following the intercommunal violence of the 1960s, the capital of Republic of Cyprus was divided between the island's Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in the south and north respectively in 1963.[2][3] An attempted coup by the Greek military junta to unite the island with Greece in 1974 led to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the international community considers North Nicosia to be under Turkish occupation since then.

According to the 2006 census, 49,868 people live in North Nicosia.[4] It is important commercially with many shops, two modern shopping malls, restaurants and entertainment. The city is a trade centre and manufactures textiles, leather, pottery, plastic, and other products. North Nicosia is the seat of two Turkish Cypriot Universities.


In 1963, in the aftermath of constitutional amendments by the Greek Cypriots which were rejected by the Turkish Cypriots, intercommunal violence broke out. Nicosia was divided into Greek and Turkish Cypriot quarters by the Green Line, named after the colour of the pen used by the United Nations officer to draw the line on a map of the city.[5] This resulted in the ceasing of Turkish Cypriot participation in the government, and following more intercommunal violence in 1964, a number of Turkish Cypriots moved to the Turkish quarter of Nicosia, causing serious overcrowding.[6]

On 15 July 1974, there was an attempted coup d'état led by the Greek military junta to unite the island with Greece. The coup ousted president Makarios III and replaced him with pro-enosis nationalist Nikos Sampson.[7] On 20 July 1974, the Turkish army invaded the island, fearing that the coup would result in enosis.[8] The invasion included two phases. The second phase was performed on 14 August 1974, where the Turkish army advanced their positions, eventually capturing a total of 37% of Cypriot territory, including the northern part of Nicosia and the cities of Kyrenia and Famagusta.

On 23 April 2003, the Ledra Palace crossing was opened through the Green Line, the first time that crossing was allowed since 1974.[9] This was followed by the opening of Ayios Dometios crossing point on 9 May 2003.[10] On 3 April 2008, the Ledra Street crossing was also reopened.[11]


As the capital, North Nicosia is Northern Cyprus's political, economic and cultural center. North Nicosia hosts the ministries of Northern Cyprus. The city is governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality, which is recognized by the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus.[12]

The Municipality of North Nicosia is now headed by the Mayor, who is Cemal Bulutoğulları. The Mayor and the Councillors exercise all the powers vested in them by the Municipal Corporation Law. Sub-committees consisting of members of the Municipal Council act only on an advisory level and according to the procedures and regulations issued by the Council.

Mayors of North Nicosia[edit]

1959 – present[edit]


Nicosia lies roughly at the center of the island, with a history that can be traced back to the Bronze Age. It became capital of the island in the 11th century AD. The Lousignians turned it into a magnificent city with a Royal Palace and over fifty churches. Today, it blends its historic past brilliantly with the bustle of a modern city. The heart of the city, enclosed by 16th-century Venetian walls, is dotted with museums, ancient churches and medieval buildings preserving the nostalgic atmosphere of years past. Yet this old heart is split in two, leaving Nicosia the only capital city in the world to remain divided by force.

Although the city has been destroyed more than once by conquerors, there are still enough vestiges to enjoy the past. History is most strikingly experienced at the Venetian city wall, which was built between 1567 and 1570 by Giulio Savorgnano. The 4.5 metres thick wall has three gates, but only the Kyrenia Gate is in North Nicosia. The Nicosia Walls served as the prototype for the Palmanova walls built afterwards by the Venetians. The historic heart of the city is clearly found inside the walls, but the modern city has grown beyond. The heart of the city is Atatürk Square, while the centre of entertainment is Mehmet Akif Avenue (Dereboyu).[13]


Ercan International Airport has been used for international flights. There is no train or metro system nor plans to develop one. But between 1905 and 1951, Nicosia was a prominent station of the Cyprus Government Railway.

The company of LETTAŞ provides bus services in North Nicosia.[14] There is a bus terminal in the region of Yenişehir.[15]


In northern Nicosia there are many primary, secondary and high schools, also English is the obligatory language, high schools are divided into 2 sections, first one is giving English education and the other one is giving Turkish education to students, there are four universities in northern Nicosia,

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

North Nicosia is twinned with:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ KKTC 2011 Nüfus ve Konut Sayımı [TRNC 2011 Population and Housing Census], TRNC State Planning Organization, 6 August 2013, p. 16 
  2. ^ "Cyprus". 1967-11-20. Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  3. ^ indley, Dan. Promoting peace with information: transparency as a tool of security regimes (2007) Princeton University Press, p.87
  4. ^ 2006 Census of the TRNC State Planning Organization - Table 2
  5. ^ "Nicosia Municipality". Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
  6. ^ Solsten, Eric. "Intercommunal Violence". US Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-06-18. 
  7. ^ "CYPRUS: Big Troubles over a Small Island". TIME. 29 July 1974. 
  8. ^ Alford, Jonathan. Adelphi papers, Issues 149-164 (1979), International Institute for Strategic Studies, p. 18.
  9. ^ Emotion as Cyprus border opens (BBC News) Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  10. ^ Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus
  11. ^ Symbolic Cyprus crossing reopens (BBC News) Retrieved on 2012-06-18.
  12. ^ The Constitution - Appendix D: Part 12 - Miscellaneous Provisions
  13. ^ Dereboyu’na yakışmadı (Kıbrıs) Retrieved on 2011-05-29.
  14. ^ "Kurban bayramı yarın başlıyor". Star Kıbrıs. 19 December 2007. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Nicosia Shopping & Travel Guide, Sü-Ha Tic., p. 80
  16. ^ "Kardeş Kentleri Listesi ve 5 Mayıs Avrupa Günü Kutlaması [via]" (in Turkish). Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  17. ^ "Ankara - Twin Towns". © Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  18. ^ "Kardeş Şehirler". Bursa Büyükşehir Belediyesi Basın Koordinasyon Merkez. Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  19. ^ "Gaziantep - Twin Towns". © Retrieved 2013-10-19. 

External links[edit]