Cyprus is a beautiful island but is also one that has been involved in a lot of political turmoil over the past few decades. Northern Cyprus has been the focus for much of the tension – we take a look at whether the area is worth visiting.

Cyprus gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 but in 1974 a section of northern Cyprus was invaded by Turkish forces. The resulting occupation has led to many Cypriots being displaced from their homes.

The aftermath of the invasion saw much debate as to the rights and wrongs of the situation, with there being considerable tension between Greeks and Turks.

For many decades, the southern section of the island (known as the Republic of Cyprus) has been attracting tourists. The northern part of the island has not been internationally recognized and travel to that area of the island has been severely restricted.

In recent years there has been much talk of a reunification of the two parts of the island but, for the time being, they operate under two distinct regimes.

More and more tourists have decided to visit the northern part of Cyprus, drawn by the dramatic scenery and excellent beaches. The coastline of northern Cyprus offers excellent bathing conditions, while the climate is perfect for sun-seekers.

The northern part of the island has, to a large extent, been cut off from the rest of the western world as a result of the invasion and sanctions that have followed.

The area is considerably quieter than the Republic of Cyprus, which undoubtedly appeals to many visitors, while the area retains a more unspoilt character according to some.

Travelling to the region can, however, still be difficult. Indeed, if you wish to travel to the region from the UK then you will need to take a flight via the Turkish mainland.

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