19 Haunting Photos Of Cyprus’s Frozen-In-Time Contested Zone

United Nations Buffer Zone

On July 20, 1974, Turkish soldiers invaded the island of Cyprus. The invasion, which the Turks claimed was aimed at protecting Turkish Cypriots from persecution, ended up splitting the island almost exactly in half.

For the past 40 years Cyprus has remained divided between the southern Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which has only been recognised by Turkey. The rest of the international community considers Northern Cyprus to be a Turkish-occupied territory, and the Turkish Army maintains a large force on the island.

The dividing line is the United Nations Buffer Zone, which cuts straight through the capital Nicosia and across the rest of the island.

Ranging from 11 feet at its narrowest to 4.6 miles at its widest, the zone was hastily evacuated during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. It has remained uninhabited, effectively frozen in time.

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[slide
permalink=”the-united-nations-buffer-zone-cuts-through-the-entirety-of-cyprus-1″
title=”The United Nations Buffer Zone cuts through the entirety of Cyprus.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-nicosia-international-airport-was-contained-within-the-zone-and-has-since-been-unused-2″
title=”The Nicosia International Airport was contained within the zone and has since been unused.”
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[slide
permalink=”even-the-airports-planes-were-left-behind-to-rot-3″
title=”Even the airport’s planes were left behind to rot.”
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[slide
permalink=”a-cafe-within-the-airport-stands-abandoned-4″
title=”A cafe within the airport stands abandoned.”
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[slide
permalink=”as-does-the-airports-departure-lounge-which-is-covered-in-thick-layers-of-dust-5″
title=”As does the airport’s departure lounge, which is covered in thick layers of dust.”
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[slide
permalink=”billboards-and-signs-throughout-the-zone-still-display-ads-for-products-from-over-40-years-ago-6″
title=”Billboards and signs throughout the zone still display ads for products from over 40 years ago.”
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[slide
permalink=”residential-and-shopping-districts-of-nicosia-that-fell-within-the-buffer-were-evacuated–7″
title=”Residential and shopping districts of Nicosia that fell within the buffer were evacuated …”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5346c67f6bb3f7ef3988cdeb”
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[slide
permalink=”and-the-old-residential-neighborhoods-had-fallen-completely-into-disrepair-8″
title=”And the old residential neighborhoods had fallen completely into disrepair.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5346c697ecad04855e55604a”
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[slide
permalink=”multiple-blocks-now-stand-completely-empty-9″
title=”Multiple blocks now stand completely empty.”
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[slide
permalink=”in-some-cases-people-fled-the-zone-so-quickly-that-they-didnt-even-clear-tables-10″
title=”In some cases, people fled the zone so quickly that they didn’t even clear tables.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5346c6ad6da811956af67291″
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permalink=”car-dealerships-also-fell-within-the-buffer-zone-inside-central-nicosia-11″
title=”Car dealerships also fell within the buffer zone inside central Nicosia.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-vintage-toyotas-can-be-found-still-bearing-their-import-stickers-12″
title=”Now vintage Toyotas can be found still bearing their import stickers.”
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permalink=”former-homes-also-stand-empty-surrounded-by-barbed-wire-13″
title=”Former homes also stand empty, surrounded by barbed wire.”
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[slide
permalink=”in-some-cases-the-doors-of-former-houses-were-filled-with-sand-bags-and-turned-into-firing-positions-14″
title=”In some cases, the doors of former houses were filled with sand bags and turned into firing positions.”
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[slide
permalink=”watch-towers-dot-the-landscape-providing-surveillance-opportunities-along-the-entire-length-of-the-divide-15″
title=”Watch towers dot the landscape, providing surveillance opportunities along the entire length of the divide.”
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[slide
permalink=”over-the-course-of-40-years-cypriots-of-both-republics-have-grown-accustomed-to-the-un-outposts-16″
title=”Over the course of 40 years, Cypriots of both republics have grown accustomed to the UN outposts.”
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[slide
permalink=”both-turkish-and-greek-cypriots-are-barred-from-entering-the-buffer-zone-so-their-experience-is-limited-to-seeing-it-from-outside-17″
title=”Both Turkish and Greek Cypriots are barred from entering the buffer zone, so their experience is limited to seeing it from outside.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5346c7e969bedd1d53c62d82″
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[slide
permalink=”within-nicosia-fortified-walls-run-throughout-the-city-prohibiting-access-18″
title=”Within Nicosia, fortified walls run throughout the city prohibiting access.”
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[slide
permalink=”however-there-are-signs-that-the-situation-in-cyprus-is-slowly-approaching-rapprochement-in-2008-ledra-street-a-thoroughfare-linking-north-and-south-nicosia-was-opened-allowing-cypriots-to-mingle-and-cross-through-the-buffer-zone-19″
title=”However, there are signs that the situation in Cyprus is slowly approaching rapprochement. In 2008 Ledra Street, a thoroughfare linking North and South Nicosia, was opened allowing Cypriots to mingle and cross through the buffer zone.”
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[slide
permalink=”youve-seen-the-un-buffer-zone-in-cyprus-20″
title=”You’ve seen the UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus…”
content=”(image url=’http://static.businessinsider.com/image/512f771269bedd7466000017-900-600/panmunjeom2.jpg’ alt=’South korean soldiers look into North korea at DMZ’ link=’http://www.businessinsider.com.au/north-and-south-korea-dmz-border-is-a-warzone-2013-2#the-korean-war-may-seem-like-its-over-but-the-armistice-of-1953-only-brought-on-a-stalemate-and-both-north-and-south-are-still-at-war-1′ size=’secondary’ align=’right’ clear=’true’)Now check out why the border between North and South Korea might be the tensest place on Earth»
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/512f771269bedd7466000017-900-600/panmunjeom2.jpg”
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