Homes in the sun attract MPs: Politicians have bought villas in a republic not recognised by Britain, writes Esther Oxford

THE ADVERTISEMENT in the Sunday tabloid described the two-bedroom cottage in Ozankoy, northern Cyprus, as 'Arabic and Moorish'. When Terry and Sheila Carter, both chiropodists, telephoned to book, they were surprised to learn that the cottage belonged to the Ulster Unionist MP John Taylor.

On arrival they were even more surprised to learn that Mr Taylor has three holiday homes in Ozankoy, which is within walking distance of Lapta, Asil Nadir's home village. 'He has a large family,' explained the locals.

The Carters are paying pounds 300 a fortnight to stay at Vine Cottage. They do not appear perplexed by the attention. 'We heard about these MPs buying up houses this morning,' Mrs Carter said, as she gave a tour of the whitewashed villa, its garden bursting with flowers. 'I can't say I'm surprised. Northern Cyprus is a lovely place.'

As yet, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not recognised by the British government. This has not stopped Tory MPs from choosing the region for a holiday home. Sir Keith Speed and Sir Dudley Smith as well as Mr Taylor have homes on the island. More come out every year to look for properties, have a holiday or offer their support. Many stay at Mr Nadir's luxury complex, the Jasmine Court Hotel.

Ian Smith, an architect, renovator and builder, said that MPs from all parties are brought over by members of Friends of Northern Cyprus to 'boost morale for the north'. 'They go round, pledge support for northern Cyprus and say 'you have a good case',' said Mr Smith, who sold a pounds 135,000 holiday home to Mr Nadir's lawyer, Anthony Scrivener QC. It was not difficult to buy a property, he said. They cost about pounds 30,000 for a respectable villa. 'Just be careful not to buy a property owned by the Greeks pre-1975, otherwise you could be in danger of losing the house,' he said.

This explains the abundance of old ruins. Circle the dry, bristling countryside of northern Cyprus and the hills are peppered with empty properties: in 1974 120,000 Greeks were forced to leave their homes in the north, after the Turks invaded, to be resettled in the south.

The present rule is that Greek property in northern Cyprus may be occupied, but unless a title deed is granted by the Denktash government, the property cannot be officially owned. 'As a rule of thumb, people prefer property owned by the British or the Germans pre-1974,' Mr Smith said. 'When I sold John Taylor a house he would not even look at Greek-owned property'.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent