Derynia and Varosha

By: | Post date: July 3, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

Famagusta is in Northern Cyprus. Outer Famagusta, Varosha, was left for decades as a ghost town after the invasion, with a vague notion that it might be returned to the Republic of Cyprus eventually. That prospect was abandoned in 2019. and people are starting to move in to Varosha from the north.
Greeks are not in Famagusta nor Varosha, but they are in a suburban sprawl of the tourist centre of Ayia Napa, through what used to be affluent villages, Paralimni and Derynia, leading up to the border crossing at Derynia, a few km from Varosha. 25 years ago, two Greek Cypriots attempted to break in during protest marches, and were shot dead: Tassos Isaac, Solomos Solomou.
There is now a Famagusta cultural centre on the Republic side of the border, a shrine with exhibits commemorating the lost town, and binoculars for former residents to peer into the abandoned high rises that they have left behind.
Much closer to the border crossing, there was an apartment block with a rooftop cafe, also set up for binoculars.
Cyprus is furious at the reopening of Varosha, and is mobilising the European Union against it as best it can, but the changes on the ground already tell you that things have normalised with the passage of time, just as they have in Nicosia.
The apartment block with a binocular cafe has been taken over by border control. You can’t drive up to the crossing to mourn anymore, and then turn your back. If you drive up to the border crossing, you’re expected to drive all the way through: people can’t veer off in refusal like they use to, and accordingly we ended up having to reverse out.
There is still a dead zone, such as the abandoned factory with smashed Windows, but this too is now no longer a killing zone, but a border crossing that people routinely go through.
And if you want to mourn the loss of Varosha, the expectation now seems to be that, with the borders open, you can good and do so inside of Varosha.

Leave a Reply

  • July 2023
    M T W T F S S
  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

%d bloggers like this: