Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

It is a self declared state of 300,000 people on the north half of the island of Cyprus with a U.N. enforced DMZ (the green line).

The Turkish Republic controls some of the best farm land, beaches and archeological sites on the island.  The business/financial/industrial sector of Nicosia belongs to Greek Cyprus, but Turkish got the old, walled city, a real gem replete with numerous churches and cathedrals converted to mosques by replacing steeples and bell towers with minarets.

The island is steeped in history – perhaps evidence of civilization from 10,000 BC. It has been owned by multiple parties.  Richard the 1st invaded out of spite and sold it tho the Knights Templar, where it served as an R & R spot and hospital for crusaders and pilgrims.

Virtually every European and Middle Eastern civilization has felt it’s stamp on the island.

We explored Nicosia the capital of Turkish Cyprus. Charming despite the ruins. Walking down narrow streets and getting lost was unavoidable.  The gal we met at the tourist office was from Washington State but moved to Cyprus to embrace her father’s Turkish roots 20 years ago. The gal we met at the Greek Cyprus tourist office was born in Northern Cyprus and since the invasion by Turkey they are unable to live in their ancestral home.

We contemplated all of the above at a Spanish tapas lunch in the shadow of the current Selimiye Mosques (historically known as Cathedral of Saint Sophia).

 

 

 

 

 

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