Land Use and Tenure
At the end of the 1980s, the total area of the "TRNC"
measured at 2,496,370 hectares. Of this area, 56.7 percent
agricultural land, 19.5 percent forest, 4.96 percent
10.68 percent occupied by towns, villages, and roads, and
percent unusable. In 1975, of the agricultural land, 50
cultivated; by 1987, some 68.7 percent was cultivated.
The "TRNC" recognized three categories of land
private, state, and communal. The greatest amount of land
privately owned. Unrestricted legal ownership of private
Cyprus dated only from 1946, when the British
enacted a new land law, the Immovable Property (Tenure,
Registration, and Valuation) Law, which superseded the
land code in
effect under the Ottomans. Under the Ottoman code, all
belonged to the state, and those who worked the land were
hereditary tenants whose right to the land was
could be transmitted from father to son, but could not
disposed of without official permission. The 1946 British
this tradition, stipulating that all state land properly
by individuals became their private property. Communal
remained as before, but all unoccupied and vacant land not
held became the property of the state. As a result,
forests become state property.
The Muslim religious foundation Evkaf Idaresi (Turkish
Religious Trust, usually known as Evkaf) was the largest
owner of property in the "TRNC." Before the events of
owned 1 to 2 percent of the island's total farmland. These
dated back to Ottoman times and were mainly donations in
from members of the Turkish Cypriot community. Much of
was located in parts of the island that remained under the
of the Republic of Cyprus.
Data as of January 1991