Welcome to Varosha, once the glitziest beach district of Famagusta, Cyprus (and indeed the world – Elizabeth Taylor and Brigitte Bardot were among the regular sunbathers); now a ghost town sealed off by the Turkish military. Since 1974. The story of Varosha is the story of the implications of escalating political conflict: sometimes it even ruins holiday plans.

This great website has got a lot of pictures of the abandoned and slowly disintegrating neighbourhood, and a detailed personal account of what happened in 1974 can be found here. And if you want to know more about the (rather complicated, really) Cyprus dispute Wikipedia’s 12,000-word article on the matter seems to be a good place to start.

(picture by Daniel Zolli)

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