CNN International on The Famagusta Ecocity Project

(CNN) -- In 1974 the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided in two. A coup backed by the Greek government was met with a Turkish military invasion, partitioning the country between the Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south. One of the most enduring symbols of the divide remains the resort of Varosha, an abandoned district of the ancient city of Famagusta that has come to act as a no-man's-land between north and south. Controlled by the Turkish military, the area's glistening beaches and apartment blocks remain off-limits to non-military personnel.  At its peak, Varosha had 25,000 residents and 12,000 hotel rooms, attracting guests from across Europe and the Middle East.  Today, all lie empty and in a state of disrepair.  "It was one of the centers of tourism of the Mediterranean Sea," laments Oktay Kaylap, the Turkish Cypriot mayor of Famagusta.  "It used to be very palatial but now it's not for neither Greek nor Turkish Cypriots."  A group of Famagusta residents and Varosha citizens in exile hope to change that.   New York based film-maker, Vasia Markides, whose Greek-Cypriot mother was forced to leave Varosha, has founded the Famagusta eco-city project -- a grass roots movement led by citizens from both communities. SEE FULL CNN ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO HERE:  http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/27/business/varosha-famagusta-one-square-meter/index.html

(CNN) -- In 1974 the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was divided in two.

A coup backed by the Greek government was met with a Turkish military invasion, partitioning the country between the Turkish-Cypriot north and Greek-Cypriot south. One of the most enduring symbols of the divide remains the resort of Varosha, an abandoned district of the ancient city of Famagusta that has come to act as a no-man's-land between north and south. Controlled by the Turkish military, the area's glistening beaches and apartment blocks remain off-limits to non-military personnel. 

At its peak, Varosha had 25,000 residents and 12,000 hotel rooms, attracting guests from across Europe and the Middle East.  Today, all lie empty and in a state of disrepair.  "It was one of the centers of tourism of the Mediterranean Sea," laments Oktay Kaylap, the Turkish Cypriot mayor of Famagusta.  "It used to be very palatial but now it's not for neither Greek nor Turkish Cypriots."  A group of Famagusta residents and Varosha citizens in exile hope to change that.  

New York based film-maker, Vasia Markides, whose Greek-Cypriot mother was forced to leave Varosha, has founded the Famagusta eco-city project -- a grass roots movement led by citizens from both communities.

SEE FULL CNN ARTICLE AND WATCH VIDEO HERE:  http://edition.cnn.com/2014/05/27/business/varosha-famagusta-one-square-meter/index.html