North Cyprus Title Deeds
Explanation of North Cyprus Title Deeds and Types of lands in Northern Cyprus
The Turkish word for title deed is Kocan and is usually a single A4 sheet of paper containing a lot of useful information and of course all in Turkish. The deeds can be placed into one of four categories; Foreign title (pre 1974), Turkish title, Esdeger and TMD.
Foreign title (pre 1974 land)
This is land that was owned by a foreigner (non Cypriot) prior to the partition of Cyprus in 1974. This type of deed was not affected by the partition and the ownership of this type of land is not disputed.
This is land that has always been Turkish land and of course still is. It belonged to Turkish Cypriots before the partition in 1974. This is also sometimes incorrectly called pre 1974 land.
It is important to realise that there is land on the Greek side that was Turkish land and that the Turkish Cypriot owners no longer have use of this land (the same applies to the Greek Cypriots who owned land on what is now the Turkish side of the partition). Please remember that part of Larnaca airport in South Cyprus has been built on Turkish land.
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Title (TRNC title)
After the partition in 1974 the Turkish Cypriots were isolated and not recognised internationally.
So the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government started an administrative process and issued Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus title deeds on Greek land on the Turkish side of the division. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus issued a number of different types of deeds but the two most important types are “Esdeger Land” (exchange land) and TMD also known as “Tahsis Land” (land that has been assigned).
Is Greek Cypriot land that was transferred to Turkish Cypriot people that lost an equivalent amount of land on the Greek Cyprus side. This was done by a points system and is known simply as exchange land. Deeds on this land have been issued and guaranteed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government. This is the type of land that most purchasers from the UK have bought.
Tahsis land (TMD land)
This is Greek Cypriot land that was given to Turkish settlers, or given as a reward for military service. Deeds on this land have been issued and guaranteed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government.
Advice on what to buy and what not to buy in North Cyprus
When there is a solution the land issue will have to be dealt with. Both the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots already agree that the final solution will bring into existence a Turkish Cypriot state and a Greek Cypriot state. The Turkish Cypriot state will have its own police force, its own tax system and in schools the lessons will be in Turkish (and in many schools in English). For a Turkish Cypriot state to exist it means that only a very limited amount of former Greek Cypriot land can be returned. Also you have to ask yourself how many Greek Cypriots are going to ask to live in a Turkish Cypriot State.
So the next question is what land will be returned? The whole ghost town of Varosha which is next to the Turkish walled city of Famagusta and has been deserted since 1974 will quite properly be returned (no one has been able to buy or sell property there since 1974). This means 70,000 Greek Cypriots will get property back. Also a section on what is now on the Turkish side of the present Green Line will come under Greek Cypriot authority. The Homebuyers Estate Agency would recommend that you do not buy a house or land in these areas.
The next on the list for return will be old Greek Cypriot houses if the former owners want to return to live in them, so the advice of The Homebuyers Estate Agency is do not buy an old Greek Cypriot house.
"The Homebuyers Estate Agency does not sell or have on its books former Greek Cypriot houses, or any properties on land that may be given back to Greek Cypriots due to changes in the position of the present Green Line between North and South Cyprus"
It is important to remember that only 2.5% of former Greek Cypriot land has been built on so what may be returned will be some of the previous Greek Cypriot land that still remains empty. Once you have a house built on the land then the house is registered with the deeds by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government whom have guaranteed the title.
So what not to do, do not buy an old Greek Cypriot house, do not buy in an area close to the Green line that may be given back to the Greek Cypriots when the Green Line is moved and if you do have land make sure there is a house on it.