The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC), as it has called itself since 1983, is still in many ways a pariah state, and this lack of international recognition continues to starve it of investment. Global chains such as McDonald’s and Starbucks are conspicuous by their absence and its tourist industry is still dwarfed by that of the south. In part this is self-inflicted: the shabbiness of many of its museums and attractions contrast markedly with the magnificence of its totalitarian-style military monuments and the regular sight of Turkish troops and bases, often incongruously close to tourist attractions, can be a jolt to the senses. The empty shells of Orthodox churches and monasteries that dot some parts of the landscape are also an uncomfortable reminder of the wonton destruction that followed the invasion or “intervention” as the Turks put it. While the north remains in political limbo, its future seems to hang on demographics – with Turkish settlers now outnumbering Turkish Cypriots, north Cyprus increasingly feels like an offshore province of Turkey rather than the independent state that it claims to be.

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