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Nicosia, Cyprus



Selimiye Sk Nicosia Cyprus

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  • How Muslim-Friendly is Cyprus?

    Located in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea is the beautiful island country of Cyprus. Divided into Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, the country has a fascinating, rich history and culture and is thus packed to the brim with attractions of all kinds, making it the ideal place for a holiday. But is Cyprus a Muslim country? What is the pre-dominant religion in Cyprus? Will it be a great destination for Muslim travelers? Read on to discover how Muslim-friendly Cyprus is! . Islam in Cyprus Islam in Cyprus has been present since 649; when the island was conquered by Uthman - the third Caliph of the Arab Rashidun Empire, but settlers from Turkey, during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus strengthened the presence of the religion. Although most of the country is Christian, today, Muslims make up a large percentage of Cyprus’s population. Turkish Cypriots, Greek reverts, and settlers from Turkey and other countries now make up the population of Muslims in Cyprus. Northern Cyprus is home to a significant part of this Muslim population, and is therefore very Muslim-friendly and is frequented by Muslims from across the globe. . Mosques in Cyprus There are quite a number of mosques in Cyprus, many of which were once Byzantine Churches and converted during Ottoman rule. Muslims visiting Cyprus will therefore be able to find mosques in Northern Cyprus, and a few in its Southern part. The city of Nicosia is home to a large Muslim community. Mosques in Nicosia include the Selimiye Mosque; which is the city’s main mosque, and also a top tourist attraction. Arabahmet Mosque, Bayraktar Mosque, Arablar Mosque, Omerie Mosque and Taht-el-Kaleh Mosque are some of the other main mosques in Nicosia. Also on the northern coast of Cyprus is the city of Kyrenia, which is predominantly Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot. Muslim visitors will therefore be able to find a mosque in Kyrenia, namely the beautiful Agha Cafer Pasha Mosque. Muslims in search of mosques in Larnaka; on the southern coast of Cyprus, will also be able to find a couple. The Hala Sultan Tekke, situated on the shores of the Larnaka Salt Lake is one of the most well-known mosques in Larnaka and is also a popular tourist site. Other mosques in Larnaka include the Djámi Kebír, Zouhouri Mosque and Tousla Mosque. Limassol, a city on Cyprus’s southern coast also houses a sizeable number of Muslims. The main mosque in Limassol is the Grand Mosque, which is located in its Old Town. Muslims visiting Limassol will also be able to offer their Friday prayers at Cami Cedid Masjid. Also on the southern coast of Cyprus is the resort town of Ayia Napa, which is home to one mosque; Masjid Syedna Ibrahim. Muslim tourists will also be able to find a few mosques in the Paphos district. Although there are quite a few more than those mentioned above, many mosques in Cyprus are quite old, and are therefore closed or being used for other purposes. . Halal Food in Cyprus Muslims in search of Halal food in Cyprus will be able to locate some in the areas mentioned above. While there are not many Halal restaurants in Cyprus, it is possible to locate some eateries that serve Halal dishes. Northern Cyprus is the best place for Muslims to find Halal food. Delicious Turkish dishes as well as Cypriot specialties are served at most restaurants. Must-tries include Halloumi cheese, kebabs and the famous Turkish Delight. The best way to try out the diverse local cuisine would be to order a ‘mezze’, which consists of a variety of small dishes containing a selection of delicious items ranging from salads, to creamy hummus and grilled meats. While Halal food in Northern Cyprus will be easy to find, Muslim tourists will find it more difficult locating Halal food in Southern Cyprus. If unable to find any Halal restaurants in Southern Cyprus, Muslim visitors are sure to find numerous restaurants serving suitable vegetarian and seafood dishes, as both make up a huge part of Cypriot cuisine. There are also a few shops that sell Halal meat, throughout the island. Muslim visitors able to prepare their own meals can therefore buy meats from these butchers. ....

  • Finding Halal Food in Cyprus

    Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean Sea, lies at the crossroads of three continents. While the island is geographically a part of Asia, politically it is a European country and is where east meets west. Since Cyprus is a divided country, with a Greek Cypriot side and a Turkish Cypriot side, travelers will find visiting either side a completely different experience. With seven access points linking both sides, including two pedestrian crossings in Nicosia, tourists must make it a point to cross the line and experiencing the two different cultures within Cyprus if possible. Home to breathtaking beaches, spectacular mountain trails and many historical sites, tourists visiting Cyprus will have plenty of sites to see and activities to enjoy, along with great flavors to sample. The cuisine in Cyprus is essentially Mediterranean, mainly Greek with heavy Middle Eastern and Asian influences. The best way to acquaint yourself with the local cuisine is to order a mezz - a medley of up to 20 small dishes ranging from appetizers to main. This popular platter will tantalize your taste buds and is a definite must-try when in Cyprus. Haloumi or Helimi - a local cheese that is usually grilled or fried, is another must try dish, while the Cypriot desserts flavored with rose water, almonds and pistachios are quite irresistible and should not be missed. Tourists in Cyprus must make it a point to try out as many of its popular local dishes as possible and discover the flavors of the island. Muslims in Cyprus are also sure to want to indulge in the country’s cuisine, as it is a big part of the travel experience. They will however have to find suitable restaurants in order to enjoy these dishes. Although finding Halal food in Cyprus is possible, not all cities have many Halal options. Muslim visitors will find that some cities in Cyprus have more Muslim-friendly facilities than others. In fact, Northern Cyprus; the Turkish Cypriot side, is known to have more Muslim-friendly facilities, including better prayer facilities and more Halal restaurants. Kyrenia and Famagusta, located in Northern Cyprus are home to some great sites and locating mosques and Halal food is not a problem at all. The cities in Southern Cyprus have less Muslim-friendly facilities than its Turkish Cypriot north, and thus locating prayer facilities and Halal food might not be as easy. Muslim tourists visiting Nicosia, the divided capital city of Cyprus, will find that locating Halal food is not too hard in this city as it is home to a sizeable Muslim population. While Green Pepper Indian Style, Alladin Cafeteria and Sham Food are some of the better known Halal outlets, Muslim tourists in Nicosia will also be able to find more Halal dining options from the local Muslims in Cyprus or while at the mosque. Limassol also has a small Muslim population and a few Halal outlets that are Muslim owned. The Syrian Arab Friendship Club and Al-Zahra Lebanese Restaurant are two Halal restaurants in Limassol that Muslim tourists could dine at. For more Halal options Muslim tourists could make inquiries at the mosque. While locating Halal eateries in Limassol and Nicosia in the southern part of Cyprus is possible, locating Halal restaurants in cities like Paphos and Larnaca are much more difficult. The best options for those looking to find Halal restaurants in these cities are to make inquiries at the local mosque or ask the Muslim residents. Muslim tourists visiting Cyprus should however be aware that although there are Halal restaurants in most of the cities, these outlets do serve alcohol as well. ....

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