UNFICYP – Cyprus green line

In October 2005 the European Union officially started the negotiations to let Turkey join the EU. The 1974 invasion of the north of Cyprus by the turkish army is one of the issues that still has to be discussed. The turkish government gave life to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is still internationally recognized by no country except for the Republic of Turkey. UNFICYP (United Nation Forces in Cyprus) is since then in charge of mantaining the safety in the area and still guards the buffer zone between the two regions.

nannicipro006They also run a humanitarian convoy with food and goods for the basic needs of the greek population of Rizokarpaso, a small town on the tip of the Karpas peninsula, the most eastern end of the Turkish side of Cyprus where live a community of some 300 greek cypriots since the 1974 occupation who were then deprived of their houses, their businesses, their lands as well as the freedom to move around the country. In the Buffer Zone there’s also the civil airoprt of Nicosia which most likely has had the shortest life of all civil airports ever. Built in 1969 it was taken under control, and still is, by UNFICYP in 1974 to avoid any fighting over it. Nicosia is therefore the only European capital that doesn’t have a civil airport, forcing people entering the country to fly to Larnaka.