About Famagusta

Where is Cyprus? - The Republic of Cyprus is the 3rd biggest island in the Mediterranean basin and a Member of the European Union since 2004. It gained its Independence from British rule in 1960. However, following the Turkish invasion of the Island in 1974 and the occupation of the northern 36% of the its territory, the Internationally recognised government of the Republic exercises its sovereignty only in the south. At the time of the Turkish invasion the 800000 strong population of the Island was 80% Greek Cypriot, 18% Turkish Cypriot and 2% Armenian, Latin, or Maronite.

Where is Famagusta? Famagusta is also known as Ammochostos and Varosia and is a town on the east coast of Cyprus

The 1974 Events

Following the Turkish invasion in 1974, Famagustians fled their homes after the relentless air attacks by the Turkish air force and the advancement of the Turkish army into the town. The inhabitants of Famagusta together with 250,000 other Greek Cypriots from the occupied area were forced by the advancing Turkish army to abandon their belongings and homes in the northern part of Cyprus, fleeing to the south. With the help of the British bases in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots in the south were moved to Turkey and from there to Cyprus, in an attempt to create two ethnically separated regions on the Island. These people together with an estimated 200,000 ethnic Turks who were brought over were settled in the looted Greek Cypriot properties of the North. The Turkish colonisation was aimed at changing the demographic characteristics of the island.

The fate of Famagusta?

The once vibrant and beautiful town of Famagusta was looted relentlessly of all that was movable and has been left empty, decaying with the passage of time, cordoned off and inaccessible to visitors by a 6 foot barbed wire fence. The "Ghost Town of Famagusta" as it has become known signifies the inactivity of the international community to force Turkey to return the town for humanitarian reasons, but at the same time is a beacon that fires our hope and wish to return one day to our town.

The people of Famagusta?

The lawful inhabitants of Famagusta have been denied the right to return to their homes for many years now. Since 1974, all they have been able to do is to try and catch a glimpse through binoculars and more recently through gaps in the perimeter fence. They have been left with their precious memories of the past, but their desire and passion to return is as strong as the day they fled from their homes.

The 40,000 Famagustians together with the other Greek Cypriot refugees resettled in the free areas of the Republic. From those who sought refuge abroad some migrated to the UK, and others to Greece, America, France, Australia and other countries of the world.

What are Famagustians looking for?

First and foremost they want to be able to walk freely through the streets of Famagusta once again. They are yearning for a political solution that would enable them to return to their home town. All are longing to catch a glimpse of Famagusta or find a long lost friend. Most would have no family photos and would love the opportunity to see a photo which might have captured a moment of their life in Famagusta in the past, which they can now show their children. We hope that through the website we would be able to post photos of the people and the town of Famagusta, and bring back happy and carefree memories.