Card from T.R.N.C


T.R.N.C. is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Yesterday I was in North Nicosia (Lefkosa) and I met this lovely lady when buying postcards. I decided to draw an address for postcrossing.

One problem: I couldnt use Cyprus code and Nicosia, according to PC I was in Turkey.
But I still couldnt choose Nicosia/Lefkosa as the city, has to pick the closest city to Cyprus in the Turkey land.

What are your thoughts about this? It’s impossible for Northern Cypriots to send poscrossing cards, because they don’t “exist”. I thought it was very sad and a tricky situation. We had an interesting conversation about this with the lady.

I eventually sent it with TR id code, but made sure in the card that where it’s actually from. But this made me question what qualifies as a country or region to postcrossing and how it limits this hobby to some people.
Now the card will look like it’s sent from a whole different land when the place was under 1km away from a real country and city with a poscrossing code.

I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.


I just tried to set Nicosia in Cyprus for my travel mode and had no problem picking it:

I suspect the issue is not being able to log into a local Cyprus WLAN rather than the settings of Postcrossing.


I don’t know if I am correct, but I suspect that internet is provided to Northern Cyprus by Turkey, so Postcrossing can’t recognise you are in Cyprus if you are using Travel mode but you are connected to a server in Turkey.
I have found at least one user located in the Famagusta district who sent official postcards with the CY- ID in the past.
I am not sure why TRNC is not listed as a special territory on Postcrossing, but I think an option would be to choose a TRNC location but draw your addresses while you are in the officially recognised Republic of Cyprus.

I’m sure @paulo or @meiadeleite can give you a more precise explanation.

I assume you have used your mobile phone and did you have a local sim-card.
I was recently in Italy, when I use my mobile phone from Germany, which works fine in Italy with my german sim card, it says I’m in Germany. I have to use a local wifi to get local ip-address and then I could send with italian-ID.
Of course this was a problem in Vatican, because I don’t know any wifi place in Vatican. That’s the reason I sent no postcard with official Vatican-ID.
Similar problem occure sometimes with wifi, for example is the youth hostel in Liechtenstein part of the Swiss hostel union and therfore in the wifi you get an Swiss IP-address and you can not send with Liechtenstein ID. Luckily, in the center of Vaduz they have free wifi which provides you with IP of Liechtenstein and you can send with Liechtenstein-ID.

There is actually a Vatican wifi network and I have heard that at least one postcrosser managed to connect to it and draw VA- addresses. Otherwise, most postcrossers visiting the Vatican contact Postcrossing in advance to have the VA- ID enabled during their stay in Rome. Maybe the same can be done for Northern Cyprus if there is no way to prove you are actually there…


Hello Emma. I hope at least you have enjoyed your stay in Cyprus in both sides. The whole Cyprus problem has different aspects: politics, social, economic etc. I understand absolutely that you wanted to send a postcard from the so called Turkish Republic of North Cyprus a “state” only in (Turkish) papers not recognized by other countries and United Nations. When you enter North Cyprus is like entering a Turkish district. They are using turkish lira, they have the same companies, supermarkets, telecommunications with Turkey and many other… Is a long story difficult to be understood after reading a simple postcrossing post. Believe me Cyprus is my country. I was born here and raised. I still live here and our everyday life when we talk about the problem of two countries in our little 9251 km2 island is just a big mess.


Country code CY is used in two countries: Cyprus and North Cyprus.
If you visit you can use Travel Mode by selecting CY and choose your place (places of Cyprus and North Cyprus are in one list).
For both countries you must use Cyprus wifi, ending at dotcy .
In Cyprus easy to find, in North Cyprus you can pick-up near the Green-Line border in Lefkosa Nicosia.

If you stay in Cyprus you can request addresses there after selecting a North Cyprus place.
Most tourists staying in North Cyprus do an excursion to Lefkosa Nicosia and can search .cy wifi. If you are not going to Lefkosa Nicosia contact Postcrossing Team for a solution to the correct country code.
Or sent your cards with your home ID without Travel Mode ~ not a good suggestion, but always possible.

I have been to both countries but never crossed the border. In Lefkosa postoffice building you find on the 2nd or 3rd floor the philatelatic museum and philatelatic shop. If you stand in front of the postoffice take the left door and climb the stairs. I bought there a lot of stamps as I usualy want at least two stamps on a card. And was therefore sent upstairs. This was back in 2015 or so. 2013.
Stamps from North Cyprus did not stick well, on the desk of postal clerks I saw gluejars.
Enjoy your stay on both sides.

Postcard CY-2354

Postcard CY-2412

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As with any region that is disputed, things are… complicated. And there’a few different aspects playing here. So, without going into very lengthy details, some thoughts on it.

  • First, the travel mode does complicate things. It’s super useful for the majority of the uses, but it needs to have a verification method and that’s primarily from the IP addresses used which is not always reliable, and sometimes the network access is simply provided by a company in a different country (IP addresses “in” Antartica are wild!). This alone complicates matters — even when it’s not used in disputed regions, which brings us to the other issue.

  • We try to not take sides in disputed regions in Postcrossing, but it’s impossible to stay fully impartial. Unless we start calling places by their latitude and longitude, or some other abstract concept, we are bound to, sometimes, for some places, to displease some people. Unfortunately, we can’t please everyone at the same time.
    To avoid having to take sides, we follow the ISO 3166 standard that assigns 2-letter codes to “names of countries, dependent territories, special areas of geographical interest”. One can argue that that list is not fully impartial, but then again, I doubt that there’s one that can be 100% impartial. I think it’s at least one that gathers the most consensus.

  • To further complicate things a bit, our location database comes from another service (GeoNames). They follow the ISO standard too, but are not imune to the problem of disputed regions. What to do if two sides claim “ownership” of the same place? It can’t be under a “disputed” country either.

Now, back to North Nicosia. People in disputed regions can participate in Postcrossing. Our location database is pretty complete and has worldwide coverage, so virtually all locations are in there — just not always under the country every person agrees/expects. There’s no way to fix this without causing a problem for someone else who disagrees on the same thing.

Lastly, just to be clear, the issue with IP addresses not matching only happens in travel mode and does not happen for accounts under that location — the IP address verification is only with travel mode.