North Nicosia (Lefkoşa)

North Nicosia or Northern Nicosia (Turkish: [Kuzey] Lefkoşa [kuˈzej lefˈkoʃa]) is the capital and largest city of Northern Cyprus. It is the northern part of the divided city of Nicosia and is governed by the Nicosia Turkish Municipality. As of 2011, North Nicosia had a population of 61,378 and a metropolitan area with a population of 82,539.

Following the intercommunal violence of the 1960s, the capital of Republic of Cyprus was divided between the island’s Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in the south and north respectively in 1963.[4][5] A coup by the Greek military junta in an attempt to unite the island with Greece in 1974 led to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, and the international community considers North Nicosia to have been under Turkish occupation since then.

The city is the economic, political and cultural centre of Northern Cyprus, with many shops, restaurants and shopping malls. It is home to a historic walled city, centred on the Sarayönü Square, and a modern metropolitan area, with the Dereboyu region as its centre of business and entertainment. Described as a city with high levels of welfare, it has seen great urban growth and development in the 21st century, including the construction of new highways and high-rises. It hosts a significant number of tourists and a variety of cultural activities, including its international festivals of theatre and music. With a student population over 34,000, North Nicosia is an important centre of education and research and is home to three universities, of which the Near East University is the biggest.