Xpat Blog Hop - A bit of history

I'm enjoying the Expat Blog hop hosted by Tales from Windmill Fields  which I have taken part in the last couple of weeks. This week we are invited to...

Tell us about a bit of history from your Expat country that fascinates you, impacts your life there, means something to you.

I live in Derynia, a very well known village in Cyprus as it is right on the Green Line, the line that partitions the island of Cyprus into the southern area known as the Republic of Cyprus and the northern area controlled by the Turkish Army. The Green line came into being in 1964 originally drawn up as a ceasefire line but then became impassable after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.   

Derynia is home to the Cultural Centre of Occupied Famagusta, situated at the road block at to the occupied area. It is where the all the demonstrations against the occupation take place and attracts many visitors from all over the world as well as students from all over Cyprus. From here you can take binoculars to the roof and view the 'ghost town' of Varosha

Varosha was abandoned during the invasion and has been empty ever since. It's inhabitants fled as the two armies advanced, expecting to return once the trouble had passed but instead it was fenced off and ever since no-one except the Turkish army or the UN has been allowed back in. Supposedly, according to some sources there are still brand new 1974 cars still sitting in showrooms.

Image credit Michael Totten
In the 1970s Varosha was the top tourist destination in Cyprus, visited by the wealthy, rich and famous. Full of luxury hotels and with many shops, bars and restaurants.  We can see these hotels in the distance from our balcony...

Many Cypriots we meet have something to say about Derynia, most have said it's a lovely village but they couldn't live where we do as it is far to sad for them to see the town that they are not allowed into. Many have family or friends who have property there they can no longer access or lost people in the fighting.  It is recent history, an event that happened in many peoples lifetime so everyone has memories of it, if not first hand then from their parents.

Every day I look at the hotels and feel for the people who lost everything,  I would dearly love to be able to see inside the 'forbidden zone' but even more so would like to see it reopened for everyone to enjoy and the former residents to return.


  1. Great post, I find stories like this really interesting but very sad as well.   

  2. I never knew there were displaced people in Cyprus - you don't hear about them. Thanks for this history.

  3. Thank you for linking up and really interesting post. I also never knew about this forbidden area.

  4. Hi :) I am a new follower to your blog and really wanted to leave you a comment on your most recent entry about the baby led weaning but the comment tab for some reason won't work.

    I love reading stories about baby led weaning (and the photos are gorgeous too) I had never heard of it when my daughter was born 9 years ago so she had baby food blended to a runny paste and it was very hard to get her to eat any solid food at all, she was (and still is) very very fussy.

    Thankfully when my son was born last April I had heard about Baby Led Weaning and although scared at first I read everything I could about it and we decided that was the way to go.

    we are so glad, our 17 month old is a great eater, loves his food and loves to feed himself

  5. I've always been fascinated by stories like these, never thought I'd end up overlooking one from my home!

  6. Welcome to my blog and thanks for following!

    BLW is great isn't it, am so glad I found out about it.

  7. So many don't and it's such a shame. Glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. It's such a shame, Cyprus is in the EU, but such a small island that it seems to get forgotten!


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