So the seasoned traveller I am, I am quite jaded about doing touristy things. However, it was quite interesting to cross the border and enter the Republic of Northern Cyprus from the Greek Cypriot side of Nicosia.
I never crossed check-point Charlie in East Berlin during the time of the Soviet East Bloc, but I was in the then communist Czechoslovakia. The UN Green Line seems like a throw back to the Cold War era. There are bombed-out buildings along each side of the corridor between the Greek and the Turkish border points. On each side is barbed wire and signs indicating that you should not stop, leave the main path or take any photographs.
At one end is the Greek Embassy and at the other end is the Turkish Embassy. The UN have their border check points along the path between. And, there is lot's of propaganda left-over from both sides of the Cypriot civil war. Banners hung by both sides highlighting the tensions that still bedevil peace negotiations.
It was a weird feeling, especially, crossing back over in the evening when you feel more alone and vulnerable or maybe your imagination is just more active at night? Essentially, it is safe, but just a strange feeling to be in a divided city and to have such reminders. However, now friends pass over daily and without incident. Perhaps a reminder as well that this too shall come to pass.
UNFICYP was set up in 1964 after fighting erupted between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots, which was a proxy for control of the island between Athens and Ankara.
After the further hostilities of 1974, the UNFICYP remained on the island to supervise a ceasefire and create a buffer zone. The buffer zone was named the Green Line due to the color of pencil used to draw it on the map of Nicosia.
Today, tourists and Cypriots can cross over the green line with little problem, however, the wide buffer zone which remains a no-go area for tourists in fully in place. Tourists are not allowed to take photographs of the area between Cyprus and the Republic of Northern Cyprus or trespass into UN controlled areas. However, one can view them from above in the number of tall buildings on either side of the green line.
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48 A Mamantos, Kakopetria, 2810, Cyprus
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