Autumn 2002


AGM, Prizes & Party
All that Jazz
Annual Dinner
AQSC - the Business
Aquarius Domain Name
Bewl August 2002
Bewl Water Day
Club Books

Commodore’s Bit

Farewell to Mabel
Food in Fridge

For Sale

Members News
Next Generation
Over Easy Holiday
Quiz Nite
Sailing Report
SigneTs at Littleton SC
SigneT Nationals
Social Calendar
Things to Remember
Voices from the Past

What Goes In

Over Easy Takes a Holiday

In 1974 Turkey invaded Cypress and, a while later, established the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypress, which is a country only recognised by Turkey. To get to Northern Cypress you have to fly via the Turkish mainland where the aircraft makes a 'courtesy stopover'. Once on the island you cannot travel over the border into Southern Cypress, because of course its Greek. Greek maps simple show the north of the island as a blank, marked 'illegally occupied territory'.

Basically the Republic is somewhere Lyn & I had never been, so we decided to check it out. We had expected to land at Ercan but instead we ended up at the military air base at Gecitkale. We were told that Ercan was being refurbished and would be finished in three months. The courier then admitted that this was almost certainly going to be a year.

Lyn had booked us into 'The Dome' hotel in Kyrenia. It's an old colonial pile built in the thirties but, like an old slipper, it was comfortable. One of the attractions of Kyrenia is its castle and the tiny, horse-shoe shaped harbour which is

packed with yachts and, off the water, restaurants and bars. After a day or so we hired a car and drove east to the walled city of Famagusta.

One of the things you notice about Northern Cypress is the heavy military presence. The Turkish army has bases everywhere, together with lots of signs warning you not to take photographs, they are paranoid about cameras.

Nicosia was hot, interesting and divided, in much the same way Berlin once was. The best of the north was up on the Karpas Peninsular, known locally as 'The Panhandle'. This area is very rural and still has a few Turkish & Greek families living together in villages and farming the land. At the furthest point on the Karpas we found a very small, very basic hotel located beside a small fishing harbour were we spent a night. There wasn't a menu, you ate what they had. There was no hot water and the night was black, and I do mean black. It was great!

I liked Northern Cypress. Despite the military presence it has some unique historic treasures and a natural beauty. It is covered with pine, carob and olive-clad mountains and lush valleys growing every kind of vegetable and citrus fruit. Its beaches, especially on the peninsular, are spectacular and surprisingly empty. There are a lot of villa's being built in the Kyrenia area at some very attractive prices. £27k buys nice, £50k buys a bloody mansion! There's lots of British estate agents around to help relieve you of your money. Talking of money Turkish Lira is a nightmare (£1 equals 2,399,690.00 Lira). That means that 42p equals 1,000,000 Lira.

Both Turkey and Greece want to join the EEC. I understand that one of the prior conditions for Turkish entry, in addition to improving its human rights record, could be that the Northern Cypress situation is resolved. This means that many current land and property issues with Greece have to be settled. Add into that land and property that has been sold to foreigners since 1974 and you've got yourself a bag of worms. I guess the only worry is that after they sort that lot out, if you had bought something in Northern Cypress, it might be possible to wake up one morning to find you don't own your little bit of paradise anymore!

The only problem I had in Northern Cypress was that I couldn't find a single dinghy for hire anywhere. Considering the coast accounts for two thirds of the Republics borders I find that a classic oversight, or a business opportunity just waiting for someone to spot it!

Mike (Over Really Easy after a few Raki's) Baker