3 June 2012

Varosha - Abandoned Ghost Town in Cyprus

Varosha was the subject of a previous post along with Nicosia Airport in Cyprus however this video goes right inside the abandoned suburb of Famagusta and shows how eerie it is. Abandoned after the invasion of 1974 and blocked off by the Turkish forces, Varosha serves as a chilling reminder to the people of Cyprus of what happened back then. After nearly 40 years, the buildings are beginning to crumble and nature has reclaimed the area.

The following is a personal account of the evacuation of Varosha from The Varosha Blog -

Finally, sensing that the moment had arrived, we took a last look around our home, my mother was in tears and so was my father. We had only a small bag each of clothes and a few keepsakes and left our house just as we heard Turkish voices shouting in the distance. We headed away from the noise as fast as we could down towards Paralimni and Agia Napa, trucks and cars formed a long convoy out of Varosha and towards Derynia.

We were noticed by friends who offered us a lift on the back of their truck and sat amongst their belongings we all sobbed. In Agia Napa we saw hundreds, if not thousands, of people not knowing what to do. The police were trying to restore order amidst the chaos but with little success. The friends who had given us a ride said that they were going to continue on to Dhekelia to see if the British Army would help them.

Again, when we arrived at Dhekelia, there was a huge crowd trying to get into the base. The British feared that they would be overrun if everyone was let in at once so they were checking each lorry, car and pedestrian carefully. Inside, we felt safe but it seemed like we were in a prison camp. There were British soldiers guarding us like we were the criminals and we sat, in whatever shade we could find, resigned to our fate.

We stayed there for weeks being looked after by the British. No amount of international persuasion would get Turkey to withdraw and our homes, like the rest of the north of the island, were cut off from us and the world as though it never existed.

Location: Famagusta, Cyprus

Category: Ghost Town

Abandoned: 1974

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