Above Varosha: one of the most famous ghost cities

A flight over the ghost city of Varoshia/Famagusta, which has been sealed off to all but the invading Turkish Army for over 40 years.

Before the division of Cyprus in 1974, Varosha - a resort in Famagusta - was booming. The rich and famous were drawn by some of the best beaches on the island. Richard Burton and Brigitte Bardot all dropped by - the Argo Hotel on JFK Avenue was said to be Elizabeth Taylor's favourite.

"Anyone who comes from Varosha has a romanticised notion of it," says Vasia Markides, 34, an American Greek-Cypriot whose mother grew up there. "They talk about it being the hub of art and intellectual activity. They describe it as the French Riviera of Cyprus."

But 40 years ago, after years of inter-ethnic violence culminating in a coup inspired by Greece's ruling military junta, Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied the northern third of the island.

As its troops approached Varosha, a Greek-Cypriot community, the inhabitants fled, intending to return when the situation calmed down. However, the resort was fenced off by the Turkish military and has been a ghost town ever since. A UN resolution of 1984 calls for the handover of Varosha to UN control and prohibits any attempt to resettle it by anyone other than those who were forced out.

   LATEST ARTICLES

Brexit day, but no Brexit
'Today... should have been the day we left the EU': Geoffrey Cox tells MPs it is 'last chance' to deliver Read more.
Homelessness
Homelessness is devastating, dangerous and isolating. On average, homeless people die at just 47 years old. People sleeping on the Read more.
Symbolic Pics of the Month Feb 2019
  How many of you have had your kids come home pulling 'one eye poses' that seem to be a Read more.
The October Riots of 1931 in Cyprus
1931 Cyprus revolt The 1931 Cyprus revolt or October Events (Greek: Οκτωβριανά, Oktovriana) was an anti-colonial revolt that took place Read more.
One Billion Rising movement
The Cyprus Mail has reported: Why one billion? Well, that’s the figure of woman and girls across the planet who Read more.
Cypriot Tales – To Fishatiko
It’s 1973 and mum & dad (kyriacos & Ellou) decided to go in to business, was it Double Glazing? A Read more.
Cyprus loses Halloumi trademark
The Cyprus Mail reported: Cyprus may have definitively lost the trademark for halloumi cheese in the UK, after a British Read more.
Campaigner wants people prosecuted for fake profiles on Tinder
The Daily Mail reported: Teaching assistant, 44, reports online lover to police for hiding his marriage from her as new Read more.

Follow Me