A mere 15 minutes walk from the walled city of Famagusta past the shops and restaurants, the quarter of Varosha is a reminder of the Cypriot reality: the distinct division between the north and south. Prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974, it boasted of luxurious and sophisticated hotels overlooking the azure Mediterranean and was a major tourist attraction of the country as well as one of the best tourist destinations in the world. Now behind rusty razor wires, once high-end properties have been left to rot and decay without a care. The term “ghost town” is very apt for Varosha has been one since the arrival of the Turkish army back in 1974 which led to the Greek Cypriots, fearing for their lives, fleeing overnight with only the clothes on their backs, with the hope to return after the conflict ended. Except it never did.
Today, Varosha is heavily guarded by the Turkish military and remains sealed off, behind which only waste and decay lies. Turkish Cypriots can usually be found fishing by the military zone at a nearby beach on a good day and I can only imagine it’s the same at the other side of the ‘border’. Even amongst all this chaos, life goes on.