North Cyprus Blog: Safe and sound in North Cyprus
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16 June 2007

Safe and sound in North Cyprus

Oklana’s forum posting about the abduction of Madeleine McCann does raise the important issue of child safety abroad, and how we here in the TRNC are so lucky to live in a child-friendly society. Indeed we are lucky, and as a result, perhaps we can be a little complacent.

Let’s put this into perspective, however, for a moment. I lived in London for years, and there are certain basic safety precautions that are totally second-nature. I always park in a well-lit spot at night if I’m on my own, lock doors even if just popping out for a moment, make sure I have my mobile phone with me when going out, never leave a drink unattended in a bar, that kind of thing. Nothing drastic, just a basic, built-in awareness that stays with me wherever I go.

And the sad thing is that some holidaymakers leave that second sense for security at home with the cat. I’m not talking about youngsters, I mean the respectable parents and professions who suddenly think they are indestructible and untouchable the moment they step onto foreign soil. They’ll do the daftest things, from not wearing crash helmets on motorbikes to getting so damn drunk they can’t tell friend from lamp post by 9pm. Why should a foreign country be any safer than home? On the other hand, why should it be more dangerous? (Unless it’s been invaded by the US recently, of course…) A little common sense will get you a long way, whether in North Cyprus or anywhere else. Just make sure you teach your kids that common sense, and don’t leave them vulnerable in situations they cannot control, wherever you are in the world.

Armed with common sense and that built-in security awareness, you can do what everyone should do in North Cyprus – relax, enjoy the sunshine, and welcome the unexpected joys of a society where 99% of the people are genuinely pleased to see you, from a proffered cup of Turkish coffee to a bunch of flowers sold at the roadside.


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