Cyprus: Divided island

  • An island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean.
  • It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel and Palestine, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
  • The UN-patrolled Green Line that cuts through Cyprus has witnessed over 4 decades of conflict on its two sides.
  • Ever since 1974, when Turkey invaded this island in the eastern Mediterranean and occupied 37% of it, Cyprus has been a nation divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots — and on a mission to reunify its northern and southern parts.
  • The buffer zone passes right through the capital, Nicosia. From the Cyprus side, Turkish flags can be seen atop buildings, and prayers from mosques can be heard.
  • Two large Turkish flags painted on the Pentadaktylos mountain and lit up at night, are visible from many parts of the island.

The Green Line

  • The line, representing the demilitarised buffer zone controlled by the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), cuts across the island like a scar.
  • The 180-km-long stretch — several kilometres wide in places — has seen no development over the last 40 years.
  • There are abandoned ghost towns such as Varosha in Famagusta; checkpoints and watchtowers; houses displaying bullet holes, firing slots and sandbag fortifications; dusty cars rusting in garages.
  • And there’s the Nicosia International Airport, built prior to the Turkish invasion — it is said to have seen some of the worst wartime attacks.

Source: Wiki & IE

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