The TRNC currently, has 42 night clubs employing 370 women.
These numbers are very high even though the Ministry of the Interior has not issued any new operating licences since 2009.
The main reason they exist is because the state makes some TL 22 million per year just from fees related to passports, visas and medical check-ups. On top of this there is income tax on club earnings.
Women come here from Moldavia, Russia, Turkmenistan, South Africa and many other countries. There are a maximum of 12 ‘dancers’ in each club allowed according to the Nightclubs Act.
There are 21 clubs in Nicosia, 8 in Famagusta, 8 in Kyrenia and 5 in Guzelyurt.
Now the club owners are complaining. They say that the state charges too much in fees and that it demands 6 months of health and national insurance payments for each dancer to be made up-front. However, if any of these women do fall ill, the state hospitals still charge them for services.
The increases in fees are felt to be the main factor in the erosion of profits for the owners, to the extent that a few have actually closed down. The remaining owners are finding it harder to hire new women because they cannot afford the same wages as before. They are now asking for government help.
The owners also point out the Ministry of the Interior has turned down all applications for new night clubs. In fact the UBP government has not issued a single licence.