Once a jewel in Cyprus’s east coast, today Varosha is nothing more than a vast area of ruined buildings, symbol of the division of the island since the Turkish invasion of 1974, and the geopolitical object of the recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, an entity recognized only by Turkey.
Surrounded by barbed wire, watched by soldiers, it was placed under the direct control of the Turkish army and abandoned. In October 2020, the Turkish Cypriot authorities reopened a small part of the city to tourists. Tourist activity is developing there, with bike rental points, cafes, playgrounds and beach volleyball courts in the shadow of empty buildings that threaten to collapse.
According to Ankara, more than 500,000 visitors have been registered since the reopening, even as the question of the return of former inhabitants, despite a UN resolution, remains unresolved, used as a means of pressure on the Cyprus question by both stakeholders.