Varosha, Cyprus used to be a grand holiday resort that accommodated only the highest class of guests and stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot.
But what was once a luxurious heaven on earth today stands completely deserted.
Varosha was and remains an exclusive place, but for different reasons then and now. In the past, it was one of the most visited holiday destinations in the world. Crystal clear blue sea, sandy beaches and luxurious hotels attracted only the crème de la crème of the society. Celebrities could have a peace of mind relaxing at fancy resorts, new hotels seemed to have sprung from the ground and the place had a bright future. At least it looked that way. Now it’s exclusive because no one is allowed to enter the place. The fences are surrounding the whole city and Turkish troops are guarding them.
So what has happened that made the whole city turn into a post-apocalyptic crime scene?
Politics and war destroyed this picture perfect town. In 1974, Turks invaded Cyprus. They wanted to occupy the northern part of the island. Varosha was in their way, so when they approached the city, local residents fled, as a conflict between Turkish and Greek forces seemed imminent. They were terrified of the massacre that might ensue so, in order to save themselves, people left their lives, houses and jobs. They literally stopped their lives mid-frame, leaving the city frozen in time with houses full of clothes and furniture, some even left pots on the stove.
The whole population of 40,000 people abandoned the city in hours.
They intended to come back when the situation settled down but it never happened. The Turks fenced off the whole place, turning it into a ghost town that it remains today. Some international forces tried to make it possible for the locals to come back, but their efforts proved unsuccessful. Many plans have been proposed in order to resettle and revive the city but they all failed as the Turks are not willing to fall back.
Impossible as it may sound, the Turkish military located there is instructed to shoot on sight.
So nobody is permitted to enter the city, not locals, not tourists, not even photographs are allowed. But now and then, some photographs emerge online and they give us the astonishing picture of what the place has turned into. The nature has taken over, growing out of houses and buildings. Hotels are crumbling and the whole place is falling apart. The whole area looks like some kind of a dystopian nightmare.
If you want to visit Varosha and see these disturbing images with your own eyes, we suggest you think again. The only thing possible is to take a glance of it from the outside of the guarded fence. If you value your life, don’t try to breach the fence and admire from afar this once glorious resort that turned into a ruin.