Turkey has granted the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus $9 billion since 2006 and the foreign trade volume between the two went up 60 percent in the same period, reaching $1.3 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

Turkey has granted the island the money in the past decade to facilitate budget balance and help pay for a large portion of public expenditures, including salaries of civil servants, according to the figures released by TurkStat.

The largest grant was made in 2013, with $1.7 billion distributed to the Turkish Cypriot government in the form of investments, credits and economic stimulus.

Foreign trade volume between the two countries also grew 60 percent from 2005-2014, hitting $1.3 billion.

Last year's biggest export item from Turkey was mineral fuels and oils valued at $402 million, followed by machinery and mechanical equipment at $71 million and plastic and plastic products at $57.2 million, while the biggest import item was $27 million worth of animal products including milk, eggs and honey.

Fruit was the second most imported item from the island at $15 million, while iron and steel came third at $8.8 million.

- Rise in student numbers 

The increasing popularity of the universities on the island is another factor contributing to economic and social development despite the global economic crisis and various embargoes imposed on the country.

The number of students enrolled in the 2013-2014 academic year grew 13 percent compared to the previous year, amounting to 62,726, with more than half of these students coming from Turkey.

- 50-year water supply project

The Northern Cyprus Water Supply Project, announced in January, is another major step taken toward the economic development of the island, providing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with water for the next 50 years.

Once completed, the project will supply annually around 75 million cubic meters of water to the island, according to the Turkish State Hydraulic Works.

The investment cost of the Alakopru and Gecitkoy dams to be built for this purpose is close to 80 million Turkish lira ($36.6 million), Turkey's Forestry and Water Affairs Minister Veysel Eroglu said in January.

The project will also be a first in terms of design, as water will be supplied from the southernmost point of Turkey to the northern part of the island through a 80 km (49.7 mile) pipeline under the Mediterranean Sea.

Cyprus has been divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup to unite the island with Greece was thwarted by a Turkish military intervention and peace operation in 1974, in accordance with an earlier treaty in 1960.

Consequently, Turkish Cypriots set up their own republic in 1983 while maintaining the search for reconciliation.

The European Union recognizes the Greek-Cypriot administration in the island, but Turkey recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus diplomatically.

Negotiations between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot administration resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013 but the Greek Cypriot administration suspended negotiations after Turkey sent a gas exploration vessel to waters off southern Cyprus in October last year. Turkey later called back the ship.

Anadolu Agency