What’s happening in Cyprus?
The sun-drenched Mediterranean island of Cyprus may be a welcome destination to holiday on if you enjoy the character of Paphos or the sophistication of Greek Nicosia. Even on the Turkish side of the island, the north, foreign villas are relatively cheap—even if marred by occasional blackouts and power cuts. However, with recent attempts at reunification talks ending without a solution reached, and a rule that bans non-EU citizens from crossing from the south of the island to the north, British people may soon find the situation in Cyprus unappetising, to say the least.
Cyprus gained independence from British rule in 1960 and officially became an independent state; however, after the failure of this political agreement, and a coup d’etat as well as a military invasion, a de facto military partition of Cyprus descended with Turkish Cypriots in the north and Greek Cypriots in the south.
The northern part of Cyprus is considered by the international community to be illegally occupied by Turkish military forces, and 4%of the island is covered by a UN buffer zone. Only EU citizens can cross from the south to the north and back again.
How does this affect my property in Cyprus?
Once Britain leaves the European Union, we will no longer have the same assurances that we can pass freely between the two sides of the island. It may be possible that those with property in the north cannot get to it this way. Unfortunately, entering via any northern point of Cyprus—including flying to Turkey and then landing in a northern Cypriot airport—is considered illegal entry. Anyone who enters in this way and tries to cross to the southern side of the island may receive a fine.
Anyone with documents relating to buying a northern Cypriot property when crossing between the two sides of the island could be liable to face criminal proceedings.
Reunification talks recently collapsed, and it does not look as if they will be resumed any time soon. Memories of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 are still fresh for many Greek Cypriots, one in three of whom became refugees overnight. The situation is still tense in Cyprus on both sides, and has evolved into a political debate known as the ‘Cyprus dispute’.
Because the issue is so delicate and unstable, those with property in Cyprus—especially the northern part—may find it easier to sell up.
Those who may be suffering from problematic property in this instance, or dealing with outstanding mortgage debt on their Cypriot property, speak to our advisors today and get advice on what options you have. With our specialist teams, we have helped hundreds across Europe to break free from their problematic foreign property.
Read one of our latest success stories involving a Swiss Franc Mortgage and Cypriot Property: