Mesaoria (Mesarya)

The Mesaoria Plain extending between the Northern Range and the Southern Range right across the island from Guzelyurt, through Nicosia to Famagusta is 20 km long, 20 to 40 km wide, covering an area of 962 sq. km. The Northern Range affects the Mesaoria Plain climatically, claiming most of the rain brought on by the northerly winds.

The Mesaoria Plain is an extensive alluvial area, mainly flat and potentially fertile. However, it has a semi-desert condition for much of the year, due to a low level of rainfall that it receives.

The Mesaoria Plain, is mainly devoted, especially in its central and eastern parts, to double- harvest crops of wheat and barely essential to the North Cyprus economy.

Vast sheets of yellow Mustard (Sinapis alba) and Crown Daisy, varied with lilac Erucaria make a cherrful landscape in spring on the limestone Kafkalla areas of the Mesaoria Plain.

The Northern Strip, covering the whole swath of lowland between the Northern Range and the Sea, short of coastal cliffs or dunes and the special environment at the two extremities of Cape Korucam and Cape Zafer, includes a series of two or three geological terraces at its broad strip, as well as many man-made terraces accompanying the Olive and Carob plantations often reaching high up into the hillsides; the fertile ravines and citrus orchards of Lapta and Alsancak and the red-soil vegatable-growing area around Yali. Like westward from Kayalar, the strip becomes at places extremely narrow with the limestone cliffs coming down almost to the sea.

The area south of Akdeniz with its singularly beautiful sandy beach and unique stone pine forest is a point of great attraction.
The areas of marsh land are steadily diminishing as a result of increased agricultural activity by a rapidly expanding population using up-to-date
mechanical equipment. However, marshes still occur on the costal parts of the Guzelyurt Bay area as well as near Famagusta. In certain of the river beds in the central Mesaoria Plain, localised marshy conditions are to be found.

The coastline is sandy, rocky or pebbly. On the south side of the Karpaz peninsula and all along the north coast there are my riads of small coves, most of which would provide safe anchorage for small ships of shallow sraught, and many of them show traces of ancient jetties or small harbour installations. Up to the 1930`s caiques used to call at small horthernbays to collect agricultural produce.

As the Mediterranean has a comparatively small daily tidal rise and fall the junction between land and sea appears to vary little throughout the year, with a coastline alternaring between rock and coarse sand beaches. The intertidal zone is only 30-40 cm wide, a habitat of sea slugs, other small molluses and of the small burrowing crabs whose holes are visible on the beaches. The waters around the island are the cleanest remaining in the Mediterranean. The presence of such rare animals as marine turtles, undeveloped pristine beaches also makes North Cyprus very suitable for ecotourism.

A very important portion of the past, present and future of the TRNC lies in its waters. The immense archaelogical, biological and economic potential hidden beneath the waters of the TRNC is waiting to be researched, utilized and preserved.