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|
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.