Northern Cyprus, or officially The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus, is a partially-recognized country in the northeast of the island of Cyprus.
Northern Cyprus, or officially The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus, is a partially-recognized country in the northeast of the island of Cyprus. In 1974, after years of civil unrest between the island’s Turkish and Greek populations, the Greek Army attempted to annex Cyprus to Greece. Turkey responded with an invasion of the northern part of the island, resulting in the eventual establishment of the Green Line which divides the island between North and South to this day.
Like many of our locales, Northern Cyprus is a popular tourist destination as the country’s precarious political situation has resulted in less commercial development than its southern counterpart; Northern Cyprus boasts beautiful, sunny weather, a picturesque coastline, high mountains, rich history, and undisturbed nature.
Though the country’s partially recognized status has made getting investment into the country somewhat hard, it has not stopped our local film partners from making the best of the situation. Not only have several movies filmed in Northern Cyprus, but Bollywood productions for budgetary reasons like to utilize the country’s incredible island and ocean scenery for music videos.
In addition to beautiful beaches, scenic mountains and nature preserves, Northern Cyprus is home to many unique shooting locations with architecture spanning the Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and British Empires.
Kyrenia Harbor, originally founded in 10 BC, is accessible via a winding, cobblestone streets which are lined with remnants of the old city as well as quant shops and restaurants. Dominating the harbor is the Byzentine-era Kyrenia Castle, which was remodeled and fortified during Lusignan and Venetian rule.
Looming atop the nearby Kyrenia mountain range is Saint Haliarion Castle. Dating back to 11 AD, the castle was built to defend the island from Arab pirates. Like Kyrenia castle, it features Byzantine, Lusignan and Venetian architecture.
A short drive from Kyrenia is the cinematic ruin of Kantera Castle. It is situated on a cliff with a stunning view of the Karpass Peninsula. Karpass not only offers beautiful, deserted coastline, but is also home to the 18th-century Apostolos Andreas Monastery, and the ruins of the ancient cities of Karpasia and Aphendrika.
Famagusta is a ghost town with deserted, ominous beach-side resorts, abandoned following the division of the island. Though technically off-limits, Pioneer Media can arrange some limited access for filmmakers. The old quarter of Famagusta features a walled-city dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, known for its photogenic, gothic architectural ruins.
By far, one of Northern Cyprus’ most incredible locations are the ruins of the Greek city-state of Salamis. Its earliest elements date back to 11 BC, but its most impressive ruins are from the Roman-era which include headless statues, a gymnasium, theatre, amphitheater, and stadium which have been renovated and preserved. With archaeological finds spanning the centuries, Salamis tells the story of the rise and fall of all the island’s occupiers.
FILM PERMITS & PERMISSIONS:
As the film industry in Northern Cyprus is emerging, filming permits and permissions are easy and inexpensive for Pioneer Media to arrange through our local partners. Very few locales offer easy, inexpensive access to the kinds of historical and natural wonders found in Northern Cyprus.
FILM TALENT, CREWS & EQUIPMENT:
Pioneer Media’s local partners keep a database of talent for background actors and minor roles. Visiting productions may consider bringing their lead actors to Northern Cyprus.
English-speaking fixers and coordinators in Northern Cyprus are easy to arrange. For any production not bringing their crew and equipment to Northern Cyprus, it is easy and inexpensive to bring skilled crew members, along with a wide variety of modern film equipment, from nearby Turkey.
FILM COST, TAX INCENTIVES & CO-PRODUCTION OPPORTUNITIES:
There are currently no film tax incentives yet in Northern Cyprus, but goods and services are on average 30% cheaper than in Southern Cyprus, which makes it an attractive destination for filmmakers looking for great production value and locations without blowing their budget.
ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORTATION FOR FILMMAKERS
Kyrenia is regarded as the tourist capital of Northern Cyprus. The area is home to numerous 3 and 4 star hotels, resorts and shopping plazas. Hotels range in price from $30 to $100-and up per night. Group rates can be negotiated for visiting film crews.
Road conditions in Northern Cyprus are good and easy to navigate for anyone wishing to rent and operate a vehicle on their own, and drivers can be hired at affordable rates. A range of vehicles are available which can accommodate a production of any size. Though there are public buses in Northern Cyprus, they run irregularly and we advise against using public transportation. Vehicles rented in the South can also now be driven between North and South.
VISAS & TRAVEL ADVISORY FOR FILMMAKERS:
Northern Cyprus has one of the world’s most relaxed visa policies:
-Visitors from all nations may enter Northern Cyprus visa free for up to 90 days with the exception of citizens from Syria, Nigeria and Armenia.
-Visitors from Turkey and the European Union can enter with an ID card instead of using a passport.
Though Northern Cyprus has a relaxed visa policy, complications resulting from the country’s political situation will require visitors to put extra thought as to the best way to get in and out of Northern Cyprus. That said, the rules have relaxed considerably in recent years as tensions have eased between the North and South.
Direct flights to Northern Cyprus are not available due to an embargo imposed on Northern Cypriot ports. The only non-stop flights available to Northern Cyprus are from Turkey. However, flights to Southern Cyprus are much easier to arrange and there are now seven border crossings between the two sides.
Please be advised that those wishing to cross between Southern and Northern Cyprus, or exit Cyprus via a Southern port, will also need to enter and exit Cyprus from a Southern port. While it is easy to visit Northern Cyprus from the South, and return to the South from the North, complications can arise while trying to enter the South if your original port of entry was in the North via Turkey. Visiting filmmakers looking to access Northern Cyprus via Turkey are advised to remain in the North.
Last, Cyprus is safe; it is ranked as a Level 1, the safest ranking given by U.S. Department of State. While the U.S. Department of State acknowledges that it does not officially recognize Northern Cyprus, it does not warn of any danger for those wishing to visit the North.
Pioneer Media can advise on the best way to access Northern Cyprus so as to avoid any complications.