I am not here to contribute to the discussion that Nigerians are being killed in North Cyprus. I never saw any of that in the years I spent there. Let’s say Nigerians there have a reputation thanks to some Nigerians and it isn’t pretty. Many people foundit hard to believe I was a Nigerian. I enjoyed my time there, even during the covid lockdowns, provisions were made available.
My experience in Northern Cyprus is for another day, maybe or not.
Inflation is high all over the world. Turkiye has been named one of the top ten countries with the highest inflation worldwide. No surprise that the inflation is also high in North Cyprus. A lot of Turkish Cypriots from the news I have been watching these past months are fleeing the country.
In North Cyprus, the economy thrives on tourism; people come for the warm beautiful beaches etc. and also for educational tourism. A lot of people not just from Africa go to Cyprus both North and South to study.
Inflation is really high. Things that were 20 Lira in August 2021 are now as high as 90 - 120 Lira, that is how bad the inflation is. The accommodation rates, feeding, etc. everything has skyrocketed.
There are many Nigerians schooling and living in Northern Cyprus. As is the law in any land, Nigeria inclusive, you need a visa/permit to live in the country.
Recently, given the current inflation, the price of registering for a Muhaceret which is the name for the permit needed has gone up and every student or persons staying in the country as a foreigner needs one.
The price for that has hit an all time high of about 1,650 Lira which is about fifty thousand naira or more, give or take the exchange rate.
The money might seem little to some but coupled with your feeding, accommodation, etc., it is a lot to the students over there. Remember I said the Northern Cyprus economy thrives on tourism; educational etc. So as a small country, what you have are schools, hotels, real estate companies, boutiques and other fashion outlets, loads of restaurants, cafes etc. There are really no high paying jobs. Few students do find jobs and since you do not have a work visa, the pay won’t be great.
There are also students who have graduated and want to come home but the cost of flights from the Ercan Airport in Lefkosa have near quadrupled. In Naira, the current prices for flights are almost a million naira. Not for return flights but for a one-way ticket. Many Nigerians are stranded there. How many people even in present day Nigeria with our own small inflation can afford a million naira?
It was not this high before. Last time I left, last year, I paid shy of three hundred thousand naira from Ercan to the international airport in Lagos, Nigeria.
These Nigerians want to leave but they cannot afford a million naira. They still have to grapple with accommodation, feeding etc. Money comes in for most from Nigeria. Nigeria is also facing inflation and our currency has fallen drastically compared to the dollar. Which is now preferred in Cyprus compared to the Lira thanks to the inflation in their country too.
Many cannot pay this muhaceret (permit).
The video below is just from one night’s raid by the police in a part of Northern Cyprus to catch Illegal immigrants in their country. It is the right thing for the country’s government to do.
There are Nigerians amongst those boys. Now imagine many nights of these raids to capture illegal aliens and send them to prison?
A lot of times, the Nigerian government through a particular body makes press releases warning Nigerians not to go to North Cyprus that the Turkish Cypriots are killing Nigerians there. Lol!
Remember I said we have a reputation in North Cyprus? There are Nigerian gangs, cultists, prostitution rings and loads of Yahoo Gboys that spend thousands of dollars a night in the clubs of Northern Cyprus plus Nigerian agents that lie to Nigerians to make money from their fellow Nigerians promising them that the streets of North Cyprus are paved with high paying jobs etc. etc. These Nigerian agents also make money from the schools; educational tourism, remember? (I didn’t use agents; I did my research before going and got what I wanted.)
There is also the ordinary Nigerian’s deviant behavior to rules, things and other’s property etc. etc. etc.
I am not here to correct the Nigerian government. My experience and the things I saw are mine.
Well, Frances Okeke thinks this is the time for our government to actually act and help innocent Nigerians in North Cyprus who want to leave but can’t because they do not have the means to. They are trapped by money, a lack of it.
The country is doing the right and legal thing by taking illegal aliens off their streets.
Frances has no connections to anyone in power or who works in the Nigerian government. I am hoping that by releasing this post, hopefully, it will get to the right person or people and something will be done about it.
These young men and women will rather come home than be in prison or in hiding because they cannot afford the flight home or pay for their permits. They would also rather school in Nigeria, if only…
Please help save Nigerians in Northern Cyprus who are stranded or in prison because they cannot afford to leave anymore.
Thank you for reading.