Varosha is an abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, it was the modern tourist area of the city, and one of the most important tourist destinations in the world. Its inhabitants fled during the invasion, when it came under Turkish control, and it has remained abandoned and under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces ever since. As of 2016, the quarter continues to be uninhabited and is described as a ghost town. Entry is forbidden to the public.
Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the city of Varosha had a population of 39,000. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July 1974, the Greek Cypriot army withdrew its forces to Larnaca. The Turkish army advanced as far as the Green Line, which is the present day border between the two communities. Just hours before the Greek Cypriot and Turkish armies met in military combat on the streets of Famagusta, the entire population fled, fearing a massacre. Many refugees fled south to Paralimni, Dherynia, and Larnaca. Paralimni has since become the modern day capital of the Famagusta province.
When the Turkish Army gained control of the area during the invasion, they fenced it off and have since barred admittance to anyone except Turkish military and United Nations personnel. The people living in Varosha hoped to return to their home when the situation calmed down, but the resort was fenced off by the Turkish military. As nobody has inhabited the area and no repairs have been carried out, all of the buildings continue to fall apart. Nature is reclaiming the area, as metal corrodes, windows break, and plants work their roots into the walls and pavement. Sea turtles have been seen nesting on the deserted beaches.
Other episodes from Urbanista:
Urbanista #1 Abandoned part of Corbera de Ebro-77 years after the “Battle of Ebro”