Geography of North Cyprus

TRNC is located on the northern part of Cyprus which is the third largest island in the Mediterranean after Sicily and Sardinia. It is situated at the crosspoint of 35 degree north latitude and 33 degree east longitude, at a distance 75km south of Turkey. Total area of Cyprus is 9251 square kilometers. The area of the TRNC is 3,355 kilometers square.

Physical Features of Cyprus
Physical features of Cyprus consists of four regions.

The Besparmak (Kyrenia) Mountains and Karpaz Peninsula
This northern mountain range, is situated between Korucam Cape in the west and Zafer Cape in the east. Its length is approximately 160 km. And its width varies between 8 to 12 km. Besparmak mountains stretch from Kayalar village in the west to Yedikonuk in the east. The highest peak of these mountains is Selvili Tepe which is mainly of limestone and rises up to 1,024 metres. It is in this beautiful mountain range that the three famous castles of St. Hilarion, Buffavento and Kantara are found. A number of crevices have helped the development of a network of communications with the northern coastal valleys. Karpassia, the northeastern part of the range, is a continuation of Besparmak consisting of hills, slopes and valleys free of foldings and other tectonic features. The Besparmak Range is made of a succession of mostly allochthonous sedimentary formations ranging from the Permian to the Middle Miocene in age. The oldest rocks consist of a series of allochthonous recrystallized limestones and dolomites (Taskent, Güngör and St. Hilarion Formations) the age of which range from the Permian to the Middle Cretaceous. They are included in an allochthonous sequence of tightly folded pelagic calcareous and marly sediments, with minor pillow lavas and cherts, of the Maestrichtian to Middle Eocene age (Lapta Formation). The latter are overlaid in places by the Kalogrea-Ardhana flysch, part of which is an allochthonous sedimentary succession of coarsebreccia and flysch deposits that are Middle to Upper Eocene in age. It is succeeded, where present, by an autochthonous Lower Miocene turbiditic flysch deposit with a conglomerate at its base (Kythrea Formation).

Karpaz Peninsula
It is like a finger pointing to the Iskenderun Bay of Turkey. It extends from Iskele to Zafer Cape. In Iskele the peninsula is 18 km wide. At Mehmetcik it is 11 km, and at Dipkarpaz 7.5 km. It narrows down gradually and ends at Cape Zafer. Karpaz peninsula is about 80 km. long.

The Messarya Plain
The central plain is situated between the Troodos and Besparmak (Girne) mountain ranges and has a low relief, not exceeding 180 meters near Lefkosa. It stretches from Güzelyurt Bay to Magusa and is about 96 km. Long. It covers an area of 1884 sq. km and the mean altitude of the plain is 70. This plain is composed of flyschtype rocks carried by rivers from the Troodos and Besparmak ranges and was formed during a very recent chronological period (holocene).The Messarya plain is formed of a succession of Upper Cretaceous to Pleistocene sedimentary rocks. Its northern half is under-laid by highly folded Kythrea flysch and has a characteristic hummocky topography, while the southern part consists of a sequence of generally under-formed gently inclined sedimentary rocks.

The Coastlands
There are several plains on the coasts of the Island. These are divided into two groups.1. Alluvial coastal plains, 2. Eroded coastal Plains. The TRNC has 396 km of it. In the north is the Girne valley with its narrow dentelated coasts, in the west is the Güzelyurt valley; in the east is the Magusa valley. Coasts of Cyprus are 783 km. long. The most important gulf of the island are Hacisofu, Güzelyurt, Gazimagusa, Iskele, Limasol and Yalova. The capes are as follows: zafer, Poyraz, Pile, Dogan, Ikizler, Arnavut and Koruçam.