Readers Mail

Isolation Challenge – The Govender family stuck in Qatar

We have been publishing many readers letters of ex-pats who want to return to the UK from Northern Cyprus, and also those who want to return to Northern Cyprus from around the world who have homes in the TRNC and are unable to return due to both flight and border restrictions because of COVID-19 prevention measure.

We have received a new letter from Cliff Govender who wants to return to the TRNC with his wife Nel, and children Leah, Joshua, and little Lily from Doha in Qatar via London but are currently stuck in Qatar.

For those people who are wanting to return from the UK to the TRNC or go from the TRNC to the UK please go to Facebook page “TRNC Residents trying to get home click here and register your details as directed.

For those readers who would also like to share their experiences please email  kyreniacommentator@cyprusscene.com and we will try to publish them on our website and in our weekly online e-newspaper. Let’s try to make the world happy again by sharing some good news where we can as well.

Readers mail…
Cliff Govender……

Hello Chris,

I’m writing to share our story and the challenges we have and are facing during the lockdown.

Myself, wife and 3 young children are British nationals and we currently live in the Middle East. We decided late in 2019 that after 5 years in the Middle East we wanted to settle elsewhere for various reasons. Having visited TRNC a couple of times and after purchasing an apartment in Iskele in October 2019,  we sold some of our existing furniture and shipped the rest of our possessions on 29 February. Our expectation was that the goods would arrive in TRNC when we would at approximately end of March / early April. We also had to move out of our Villa here in  Doha, Qatar, and into a serviced apartment for what we thought would be just a month… 

Due to COVID-19, understandably governments have shut their borders and all travel stopped. This has created some chaos for us and my wife had to request from her employer an extension of her resignation period. Thankfully they accepted and they have been very accommodating toward us. Myself, being self-employed I had to stop working. 

Our goods arrived in Famagusta during the 1st week in April. Our shipping agent has contacted us to advise that the shipping company and the local agent in TRNC will charge us an extra £3,500  as we cannot be physically present in TRNC to collect our goods. This is in addition to the £4,000 that we already paid to have the goods shipped out of the Middle East.

Despite many attempts to plead with them and explain that the costs were exorbitant they will not budge. They will not accept that we could not travel to TRNC due to the COVID-19 virus and the fact that the borders have been closed and that travel bans prevented us from travelling. They have effectively blackmailed us into paying these extortionately high fees! They have given us no other options nor have they shown any empathy or acknowledged the situation we face.

On a positive note, the private schools we’ve contacted have been very receptive and flexible and the TRNC government seem to be doing a great job controlling the pandemic.  Even the real estate agents have been very kind, accommodating, sharing information and generally easy to deal with. 

We hope that we will be able to travel in early July and we look forward to making TRNC our home for the future. 

Stay Safe!

Best regards

Cliff Govender