The Foreign Residents in the TRNC
A helpful Organisation for Expats
in North Cyprus
By Ralph Kratzer
The association The Foreign Residents in the TRNC, or for short TFR, was established in 1998 from a rather sad occasion, namely funerals. Let me explain….. The more emigrants from different parts of Europe and the world settled in Northern Cyprus to enjoy their retirement years here, the more a very special problem became obvious. In the sad case that a foreigner passed away on this Muslim part of the island, it was from religious reasons not allowed to bury them in a Muslim cemetery. So, some expats came together to found an organisation that could help in this situation. After founding the TFR lots of discussions with the local administration followed with the result that International cemeteries were set up where people of non Muslim belief could be buried.
Since those days, 18 years ago, the TFR is still maintaining the International cemeteries in and around Kyrenia, helping the bereaved and organising funerals, but the association has more and more perceived another important task – to give foreigners a new social background in unfamiliar surroundings. Or as the long standing Chairman of the TFR, Heinz Nauroth, once said in a TV-talkshow: “In their home countries people have their families, their relatives, school friends, work colleagues, mates at the sports club or whatever as their social and cultural background. When these people, for whatever reason, decide to come to North Cyprus and stay here, either temporarily or permanently, they are faced with a foreign country, a foreign language and culture. Our society tries to give them a new social and cultural background abroad and help for individual problems as well.“
What is the TFR doing for its now nearly 400 members from 27 different nations?
First, there are the regular events such as an informal weekly get-together which became very popular within the past few years. Members come together in a relaxed atmosphere to exchange information, help each other with individual problems or just have a chat with like-minded people.
There is also a weekly meeting of the Canasta card playing group and a monthly bowling event called “Cup of the Nations”.
Lectures on a regular basis about different topics such as politics, health care and others are on the programme as well as different social events like picnics, group excursions and joint celebrations.
For the rest of this year the TFR-members are looking forward inter alia to a midsummer beachparty, a sunset boat-cruise, the traditional authentic Munich Oktoberfest, the annual festive year-end-dinner and last but not least a travel to the fascinating region of Cappadocia in central Turkey, which is already fully booked.
The members get all kinds of information by weekly newsletters and especially on the popular and widely read club-website (to visit the website – please click here!).
All in all, an important and useful organisation for all foreigners in Northern Cyprus.
All readers of this post, who are not yet members of the TFR, but interested in a membership, please contact the following email address tfrnorthcyprus@or just come to one of the weekly get-togethers every Friday afternoon from 4pm at the Sea Point restaurant in Lapta (directly at the seaside).