Istanbul, Turkey — The Cypriot ghost town in Northern Cyprus is set to reopen for the first time since 1970s.
The derelict direct of Varosha, which was once a popular tourist resort, remained as a ghost town after the Turkish military invaded the island decades ago.
In 1974, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided into two, when a coup backed by the Greek government was met with a Turkish military invasion. This partitioned the country between the Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south.
The resort of Varosha was once known as a popular destination for years, however, it is currently an abandoned district of the ancient city of Famagusta. This district now acts as a no-man’s land between the north and the south. The area, which was once attracted guests from around the world has remained forbidden to the public for years now.
However, the prime minister of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ersin Tatar announced that he has plans to reopen the town again. It once boasted over 12,000 hotel rooms, and was home to 25,000 residents.
“At this point we are close to the point of starting the reopening process,” Tatar said on Friday, according to Turkish state broadcaster TRT.
He also mentioned that there is a possibility of the plans being postponed, as there are regulations that need to be passed and since the elections are approaching as well.
Despite all this, Tatar remains optimistic about the plab and says that, “It’s all ready in my opinion.” He added that, “The tide has changed and a new page has been turned.”
“Maraş is within the territory of the TRNC. Nobody can take it from us. We are continuing on our successful path,” Tatar says while referring to the district by its Turkish name.
Tatar did not give a date for the reopening of the town.