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Lefkoşa (North Nicosia)


Up until 1963, North Nicosia, not surprisingly, shared much of the same history as its dismembered southern sector.

The capital was effectively divided into Greek and Turkish sectors in 1963, when violence against Turkish Cypriots by Ethniki Organosi tou Kypriakou Agona (EOKA; National Organisation for the Cypriot Struggle) insurgents forced them to retreat into safe enclaves or ghettos. The Green Line, as it has become known, was established when a British military commander divided up the city on a map with a green pen. The name has remained ever since. The Turkish military invasion of 1974, which most Turkish Cypriots saw as a rescue operation, formalised the division between the two halves of the city. A wary truce was brokered by the blue-bereted members of the UN peacekeeping forces, who had been guarding the Green Line since sectarian troubles broke out in 1963. It is now easy for visitors (and Cypriots) to cross over the border, but despite this, the city is still divided and its reunification looks far off.