North Cyprus  

POSTAL EMBARGO (6 January, 1964 - 14 October, 1970)

During this period, the Greek Cypriot postal administration forbade any post to and from Turkish-Cypriot areas, including their postal agencies. Philatelists often had their letters returned handstamped, noting that the agency was `not known'.

Turkish-Cypriot overseas mail went via Red Crescent, Red Cross, British Forces Air Mail, United Nations Forces Air Mail, or the diplomatic bags of friendly embassies. One exception was the enclave of Famagusta and its 33 villages. The Turkish town of Famagusta dominates the harbour; the Greeks needed the harbour and the Turks, the Postal Services. In spite of the trouble all over the island, Greeks and Turks carried on working together in the port and consequently post moved unrestricted in this area. Covers from this period especially with GR, ER, and VR cancellations are worth looking for. 

On 14 November 1964 a postal agreement was signed between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots with the aid of UNFICYP (United Nations Forces in Cyprus). According to this agreement all stocks of stamps and stationery held at Ataturk Square Post Office and all money received from these sales would be handed back to the Greek Cypriots. In return, the Greek Cypriots would allow ordinary and international mail to and from Turkish Cypriot areas and enclaves. In spite of this agreement, the service remained restricted and covers from this period are very rare.

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