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   Undertoad  Tuesday Nov 8 06:19 PM

11/8/2005: Varosha, ghost city of Cyprus

Imagine a beautiful beachfront city on the shores of a European island in the Mediterranean. Imagine if, one day 30 years ago, everyone suddenly up and left and nobody returned.

Blogger Michael Totten is living in Lebanon for six months. For visa purposes he had to go to Cyprus for a short while. He took a few shots of the city above and tells us what happened there:

In 1974 the Turkish military invaded and carved up the island. Greek Cypriots in the north were forced to move south side of the line. Turkish Cypriots from the south were forced to move north. Greek Cypriot citizens in Varosha fled the Turkish invasion in terror. They expected to return to their homes within days. Instead, the Turks seized the empty city and wrapped it in fencing and wire. They forbid anyone from entering it to this day.

But Totten was taking a chance, taking that picture:

Photographing the dead city is not permitted. But if no one is watching there is nothing to physically stop you... just as I snapped a picture of the skyline of Varosha, a Turkish military patrol came around the corner on the other side of the fence and saw me with my camera. The driver of the jeep slammed on his brakes... I had to get out of there fast before they confiscated my camera.

gerstle  Tuesday Nov 8 06:51 PM

very applicable who said it game:

"What is he doing in there..."

limey  Tuesday Nov 8 06:52 PM

It's pretty wierd looking over the wall that splits Nicosia, too, from the prosperous Greek half, over no-man's land, to the poorer Turkish half ...

Troubleshooter  Tuesday Nov 8 07:36 PM

Stupid fuckers.

Griff  Tuesday Nov 8 08:50 PM

Hmmm... can't get it on google earth. Famagusta is there though.

Sun_Sparkz  Tuesday Nov 8 08:54 PM

What a waste

xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 8 11:23 PM

I don't understand why they didn't let the Turkish Cypriots move in since it's on their side of the line?. Fear of the Greek Cypriots getting pissed?

Elspode  Tuesday Nov 8 11:39 PM

Someone just hasn't offered someone else enough money. This place is crying for casinos, nude beaches and uber-expensive hotels. Its all about the money. Politics is secondary if there's enough money to be tossed around.

It does look like everything of value was removed, even from a distance. This is further evidence of my monetary solution.

Wormfood  Wednesday Nov 9 03:49 PM

And this country wants ,or almost demands it, to get into EU.

capnhowdy  Wednesday Nov 9 03:52 PM

I agree with TS.


I would suggest they use it to house their military people who are mentally challenged, but this little city prolly wouldn't hold them all.

Trilby  Wednesday Nov 9 04:28 PM


Troubleshooter  Wednesday Nov 9 07:17 PM

Let's not forget one of my favorite Turkish traditions, the debtor's brothels.

When I was in Turkey in '92 our bus driver made a pit stop at this place that looked like a small, low security jail. He walked up the the guard shack, gave the guard what amounted to $5 and got a blue chip. He walked down the stalls which housed the wives of men in debt, picked a girl, gave her the chip, took fucked her, came back to the bus and took us where we needed to go.

Just lovely people.

Ubergeek  Wednesday Nov 9 11:22 PM

Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
I don't understand why they didn't let the Turkish Cypriots move in since it's on their side of the line?. Fear of the Greek Cypriots getting pissed?

I did a peacekeeping tour in Cyprus. Places like this, and along the DMZ line between the two sides of Cyprus, were stuffed full of bobby traps so that when the "vermin" (what most of the Turk officer's called the Greek's) came back, some of them would be wiped out by the bobby traps. Nobody at the time seemed to think of fact that "they" might want to actually use these places someday.

We caught one Turkish "civilian" planting Teddy Bears rigged with incendiary grenades, AN-M14's. A nasty bit of work, filled with thermite's to get you burning, and nitrates to keep you burning... even total submergence in water won't put these fucking things out. Teddy Bear folks... think about who this waste of DNA was targeting.

Oh, btw, I completely agree with the sentiment about Turks being fuckers.

zippyt  Friday Nov 11 12:27 AM

I think i would take my chances with enough silly string ,

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