Posted by: travelrat | November 19, 2008

Cyprus

wild-cyclamen-avgas-gorge

Today, I’m going to bend a rule. I’m going to write about somewhere I haven’t been, but may visit in the coming year. Actually, that’s not quite true. I have been there, but it was nearly 40 years ago, and, as they say … ‘The past is another country. They do things differently there’.I speak of northern Cyprus, under Turkish jurisdiction since 1974. Up until recently, people didn’t really see it as a tourist destination. But, it’s a tempting proposition. Although, of course, politically, things have changed dramatically, physically, I was told, things have changed very little.

When I called at the Northern Cyprus stand at the World Travel Market last week, I was told they are trying to keep it that way, and see it as one of their main selling points. And, having seen the tawdry, tacky resort of Ayia Napa, in Southern Cyprus, I can’t say I blame them.

Do you want to interview the Tourism Minister? I was asked. Unfortunately, this rather caught me on my hind foot, because I didn’t have any questions prepared, and the Minister spoke through an interpreter, because he didn’t speak much English. Which was a pity, because, otherwise, I could have made a nice podcast from it.

But, nevertheless, he managed to convey that there was much more there than bars and beaches. If you’re interested in history, there’s 9000 years of it here … the Romans, the Ottomans and the British have all left their mark. If you like nature, wildlife and landscape, they have it in plenty.

If the trip comes off, there are a few things I must learn, though … the town I knew as Kyrenia is called Girne in Turkish, and Famagusta Gazimagosa. I only hope it’s as good as they led me to believe.

I realise that the very existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is controversial in some circles. However, I believe the issue must be looked at from both sides, and have tried to be as objective as possible. If I do visit, and write more about it, I will continue to do so.
There is an up-to-date, very balanced account of the Cyprus ‘situation’ at http://www.nubricks.com/archives/1243/positive-cyprus-peace-talks-continue/

 

 


Responses

  1. It certainly would be an interesting place to visit. I look forward to hearing about it sometime in the future.

  2. […] Cyprus « Travelrat’s TravelsI speak of northern Cyprus, under Turkish jurisdiction since 1974. Up until recently, people didn’t really see it as a tourist destination. But, it’s a tempting proposition. Although, of course, politically, things have changed … […]

  3. I’ve been doing a bit more research, and am slowly getting the view that, whatever your views on the situation, you can’t take away the fact there’s a lot of fascinating stuff to see and do here.


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