First, in this country there was a coup, and the president was ousted. Then another state introduced on part of its territory, its troops, annexing it and called it a "peace operation." We are not aware of any current events, and about what happened exactly 40 years ago, in July 1974, Cyprus. One result of the division of the island into Turkish and Greek half was the appearance on his map ghost town. Dozens of high-rise hotels, resorts, homes and private villas overnight were abandoned by their owners and residents, surrounded by barbed wire and for many decades given over to the looters and nature.
About Solar history and ghostly present Varosha, luxurious Mediterranean resort, repeat the fate of Ukrainian Pripyat.
57 photos and text.
Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but the United Kingdom has kept on the island, two large military bases, still having the status of a British overseas territory. The first years of the long-awaited construction of a strong, independent and prosperous state accompanied by regular clashes between members of the Greek Orthodox majority and Muslim Turks, first appeared in Cyprus at the end of the XVI century, when the island was captured by the Ottoman Empire.
Ethnic clashes, however, did not prevent the locals except cultivation of olives, and begin to develop tourism, which became the basis for the island as a result of the economy. In one of its centers have transformed Famagusta, a port city in the south-east of Cyprus. From grandparents he got Venetian fortress, several beautiful Gothic churches (some, however, in the form of ruins) and the remains of ancient Salamis, the largest ancient Greek city on Cyprus. All this, together with the climate, sandy beaches and the Mediterranean Sea was enough to transform into an international health resort of Famagusta.
In the 1960's - early 1970's to the south of the city grew, dozens of new high-rise hotels and apartment houses and apartments that sold or rented wishing to soak in the hot Mediterranean sun. The new district called Varosha, and for a while it even seemed that he had in front of a bright and cloudless future.
Golden Sands, Grecian, Argo, King George, Asterias - these and many other hotels of Varosha, lined up along the front avenue John F. Kennedy, formed the new modernistic face Famagusta, attract wealthy vacationers and even the world's top stars. Coastal restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques, luxury women with cocktails on the beaches, snow-white yachts - from all that now remained only bright old postcards that tourists, catching golden decade of the city, managed to buy a souvenir or to send to relatives who do not appear in Varosha lucky.
All this came to an end at the height of the tourist season in 1974, with chicken, carrying golden eggs for the city, beheaded Cypriots themselves with the help of aggressive militarism of two states - members of NATO, who managed in the manner of friendship of peoples to war with each other. In July, with the support of the infamous Greek "black colonels" that the Soviet Union used to frighten children, local radicals who wanted immediate and ruthless reunification with Greece-mother, was removed from power of President of Cyprus and part of his main Orthodox Archbishop Makarios. In response to this outrageous coup Turkish authorities under the pretext of protecting the Turkish Cypriots, which the Greeks in the act of reunification Vicious allegedly set out to carve their polls, entered the north of the island "limited contingent" of their own troops.
In the course of "peacekeeping operation in Cyprus" on both sides, killing about 1,000 people were killed and several dozen tanks sunk by a Turkish destroyer (and that he were drowned in error Turks themselves). The main result of religious and ethnic conflict was the formation of the Turkish army on the controlled half of the island Republic of Northern Cyprus, officially recognized to date only by Turkey.
Famagusta was precisely in this sector of the Turkish and Varosha, its resort area, closely joined the so-called Green Line, the buffer demilitarized zone controlled by UN troops and dividing the island into Greek and Turkish parts. Resided in Varosha and owned most of the hotels here mainly Greeks - for them the war for Cyprus ended virtually overnight rapid evacuation, and in fact, on the flight of "their" half of the island. 109 hotels and residential complexes in the area that can accommodate about 11 thousand. Guests instantly deserted.
To the credit of the new Turkish government, they did not confiscate the property of others, passing it to new owners, and prefer to enclose block fence with barbed wire and limit access there. Probably the first time they (as, indeed, and run by the locals) believed that the conflict as something normal and all somehow return to its former, normal. This, however, has not occurred, and after 40 years.
10 years after the events described above, in 1984, the UN Security Council at its next meeting on the situation in Cyprus, adopted a resolution in which it, inter alia, was about Varosha. According to the document, declared inadmissible "attempts settlement of any part of Varosha district by anyone other than its inhabitants." It thus was legally formalized the conversion of the former resort into a ghost town.
Local residents in his native region, of course, was not allowed to return, the extra Greeks Turks are not necessary, but they perceive themselves and the prospect of life under the new, not too friendly to them tuned power is ambiguous. Varosha is still under the control of the Turkish military exclusively, here are allowed only UN staff, visiting her quarters tourists smoking, although difficult to deny the obvious: "ghost area" even against the backdrop of ancient ruins, Venetian castle and Gothic churches (converted by the Turks in the mosque) Famagusta became its main attraction.
Admire (or horrified) to her, however, can only be due to the fence. Theoretically penetrate beyond its perimeter is not particularly difficult (for four decades in the fence appeared quite comfortable holes), but the presence on the territory of the district with the prospect of arrest entails unpredictable consequences.
Almost all the stories of Varosha accompanied heartbreaking quote Olaf Jan Bengtsson, who was able to visit her in 1977: "The asphalt on the streets from cracked heat of the sun, and in the middle of the road growing shrubs. Now, in September 1977, the dining tables are still covered in the laundry still hanging clothes and a lamp still burning. Famagusta - a ghost town. Quarter "frozen in time" - with shops filled with clothes, fashionable in the seventies, and empty, but fully-equipped hotel. " Immature imagination immediately draws exciting picture forever frozen in mid-1970s, the city, in which access to millions of eager to travel back in time tourists closed only because of tyranny and shortsightedness Turkish militarists.
The reality is actually far more prosaic. The key phrase in the passage-Lucky Swede - "September 1977". Then, it is possible Varosha really looked full city from which just one moment disappeared all residents. Since that visit 37 years the Turkish military, the administration and the evacuees themselves were taken from the area of almost everything that was of at least some value. So no dining tables covered with burning lamps or clothes in laundries now no longer there, but in abundance of rusty scrap metal, crumbling concrete, filled all the vegetation and, of course, the Turkish military. The latter, incidentally, is used only remaining intact building Varosha as a recreation center.
However, even in such a badly devastated in Varosha many interesting for fans of "zabroshki." Abandoned in the garage and on the street cars of the 1970s (including a fleet of Toyota in the area who had a dealership Japanese brand), furniture, household items and once valuable foodstuff company would have pleased fans of relics, if they have access to them. Alas, in the occupied radiation Pripyat now get incomparably easier than in those districts of Famagusta, which have become a victim of ethnic wars.
This is a classic, one might even say with irony, postcard view of the area of the ghost, which oversees most of the tourists from the beach located in the open part of Famagusta Hotel. From left to right - hotels Aspelia, Florida, a residential complex and hotel TWIGA Salaminia. So they look now, recalling their appearance on the smoldering, forgetfulness and political stupidity.
And as they looked 40 years ago.
But Varosha - is not only impressive coastal skyline skyscrapers. Area of the church, school, city hall, stadiums, even the cemetery (of course, Orthodox) also thrown.
But, of course, most importantly, that are thrown hundreds and hundreds of houses. Not factories to satisfy the whims of tourists and ordinary houses ordinary inhabitants of the city. They and their heirs do not lose hope to come back, but until the "French Riviera Cyprus" continues to be overgrown with trees and bushes.
And yet it continues to deteriorate. Alas, but, according to experts, many of the buildings of Varosha reconstruction and recovery is not amenable. Decades of neglect, the consequences of military action, the activities of looters, not left the city, it seems, none remaining windows, weather and nature area endure harsh sentence. Even in the case of the wonderful normalize the situation on the island and return home locals significant portion of the houses, especially the high-rise, there will have to be demolished.
All this, of course, will require money in an even greater amount of new construction cost in place "ghost." Who will finance the return of Varosha to life, to compensate residents losses, not to mention decades of moral suffering, completely incomprehensible.
In the foreseeable future, these same four kilometers of beaches and once the white hotels still doomed to remain another impressive monument of human intolerance.