Transport and Communications

Nicosia-Kyrenia roadTransportation and communication sector forms one of the most important basic infrastructure of the economic and social development. This sector provides external economy to other sectors, especially to tourism sector.

The share of Transportation-Communication sector in GDP rose from a mere 6.8% in 1977 to 12.7% in 2002 with 7.4% annual average growth of the sector at constant prices of 1977.

Transportation and communication sector covers public highways, airways, maritime lines transportation and telecommunication services, mail services, radio-television services. 


Road Transport

There are no railways in North Cyprus and all inter-urban transport is by road. There are some 7,000 km of roads in the country, about two-thirds of them paved.

During the 1980s the Turkish Cypriot authorities have upgraded the road from Nicosia to Kyrenia with funds from Turkish and Saudi sources. 

a dual carriageway is built between Nicosia and the KyreniaDuring the recent years, with financial aid from Turkey a major upgrading of the roads began. During this period, a dual carriageway is built between Nicosia and the Ercan Airport, and the main Famagusta-Nicosia road enlarged and upgraded. Under the Western Roads programme, the Nicosia-Güzelyurt (Morphou) road upgraded, and currently the Ministry of Transport is upgrading the Famagusta-Karpas road, under the Eastern Roads programme.

Air Transport

Cyprus Turkish Airlines airbus plane
 Cyprus Turkish Airlines upgraded its fleet in recent years
In 1977 the Turkish-Cypriot authorities upgraded the former light aircraft strip at Ercan to international standards and built the country's main airport there to facilitate a better air transport link between North Cyprus and the overseas.

A second airport has been constructed at Geçitkale in 1986, used for commercial traffic when Ercan Airport had a major upgrading and extension in that year.

Sea Transport

There are four designated sea-ports in North Cyprus. Famagusta, the principal sea port of North Cyprus is also important for cargo transportation. The port has 1,280 metres of quays with drought ranging from 6.7 metres to 11 metres. Some 555,000 sq metres of the outer harbour have been turned into an industrial free trade zone.

Kyrenia port is important for tourist and passenger traffic into and outside the island. A new ferry port has been constructed in Kyrenia with a drought of 8 metres.

There are regular connections to the southern ports of Turkey, and less often services to Israel and Syria.

At Kalecik Port, in Morphou Bay in the west and at Teknecik there are facilities for conveyor-loaded or baggage cargoes plus petroleum unloading bays.

Passenger and cargo transportation during the period of 1998-2003 can be seen in table below.

  External Cargo and Passenger Transportation (1998-2003) 
  A B A B A B
1998 1,493,487 1,341,950 378,484 1,335,082 1,115,003 6,868
1999 1,197,166 1,248,274 380,497 1,241,689 816,669 6,585
2000 1,248,766 1,316,772 370,087 1,310,591 878,679 6,181
2001 1,125,782 1,149,624 367,042 1,145,334 758,740 4,290
2002 1,154,768 1,225,713 358,382 1,221,714 796,386 3,999
2003* 487,527 677,510 149,315 675,351 338,212 2,159
  * covers only Jan-June period.
A: passengers, number of persons.
B: cargo in tonnes.
Source: Department of Civil Aviation and Ports of TRNC 
  Telecommunication services in North Cyprus have been improving very fast in the recent years. The Telecommunication Authority provides public network, telex, fax and telegram transmission services.

There are also two private companies, which established GSM-Mobile telephone system in Northern Cyprus such as KKTCELL and KKTC-Telsim. Presently there are almost 90,000 telephones subscribes and 128,647 cellular phones subscribers.