Safety in Northern Cyprus
Safety in Northern Cyprus
Cyprus was recognized as The Safest Small Country in 2015
Crime rates are even lower in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Things are so safe in Northern Cyprus that it is not uncommon to find people leisurely walking about in the wee hours of the morning without a care in the world. You are more likely to get sunburned than to get robbed in Northern Cyprus. A friend of mine forgot her wallet in a bus. She was worried sick because her bank cards, identification and other documents were in it. She was literally in a frenzy. We explained her situation to some local friends of ours and they casually told us not to worry. Somehow, they reached out to their networks and found the bus that we had been in earlier that day. Apparently, the driver had just put the wallet away while he waited for the owner to contact him. The wallet was returned without anything missing. My friend and I were astounded. In most other cities in the world, the most that she would have expected would have been the return of the wallet without any cash in it. This experience made us feel safe here.
In Northern Cyprus, the Cypriot lifestyle is the catalyst for improved safety on this side of the island. It isn’t really about the activities of the Northern Cyprus police force. The Cypriot ethos can be summed up by this phrase “yavas, yavas” – it can be roughly translated to mean “there is no hurry”. However, it does not mean that important tasks are needlessly delayed. For instance, if you were to buy property in North Cyprus, the purchase process would occur seamlessly. All of the involved parties would work to ensure that the process is not held up. Even police force in Northern Cyprus is generally honest, kind and understanding. A friend of mine and I were driving from Kyrenia to another city, when our car developed a problem. We were concerned because we didn’t know our exact location or anyone around. However, it didn’t even matter. Random drivers and the police came to our aid. They helped find out what was wrong with the car. They even fixed it and stayed behind us as we drove to our destination.
Open doors and open hearts
Things are so safe in Northern Cyprus that carjacking is unheard of here. It is not uncommon for car owners to leave their cars open with the keys in the ignition and bags on the back seat. When I first got here, I thought they were either careless of crazy. Doing something like that in most places around the world would result in losing your bag or the car. Quite clearly, this is not the case in Northern Cyprus. Another thing that I have noticed is that people tend to leave their belongings unattended in public places. And guess what? They are never stolen or even touched! Seems that people trust literally everyone here. Once, I had rented a car but I had to leave the country on short notice. I told the car rental company’s coordinator that I needed the car to get to the airport. I was surprised when he told me to take the car to the airport and leave it open with the keys in the ignition. He assured me that it was ok. Everything was handled as he recommended without any issues.
To my knowledge, there have been no cases of burglary or pick pocketing in Northern Cyprus. In fact, during the warm summer months, people tend to leave their windows open even if they are not at home. A quick walk through the old quarters of Kyrenia city will show you that Cypriots literally live with their hearts and doors open. You cannot help noticing the families watching television, eating a meal or playing backgammon as you walk by.
Cypriots are friendly to foreigners and migrants and generally curious about their home countries. They are always keen to talk about themselves and their love for Northern Cyprus. Northern Cypriots are generally emotional, easygoing and polite. Furthermore, they really love children. It is not strange for Northern Cypriots to smile at your child, reach out and pet them or smile at you and compliment you and your family. Also, it is normal to see children walking down the street unattended. This is because everyone generally looks out for the children. If anything is going wrong, even strangers will pitch in to resolve the issue. This is a source of comfort to families. It is certainly comforting to know that your children can just be children without having to worry about their physical and emotional safety. Raising children in Northern Cyprus is like raising them in a loving community where people look out for each other. Your children will be met with love and kindness everywhere they go.
Ultimately, living in Northern Cyprus is a life changing experience. There is truly no other place like it. There is kindness, respect and honesty is in the air. It changes you deeply and you begin to accept that perhaps you have found your true home.