January 29, 2023

Members and guests of the Anglo Turkish Association of Northern Cyprus (ATA) put their walking boots on and took to the back streets of Lefkosa for an informative and enjoyable amble along the divided city’s ‘Green Line’.

Known locally as the ‘Green Line’ or Buffer Zone within Lefkoşa’s medieval city walls. Unlike many fortified cities, this capital city isn’t defined by its surrounding walls, Venetian bastions still enclose the old part of the city, but a much newer barrier holds sway. The so-called Green Line – a demilitarised buffer zone patrolled by United Nations peacekeepers – scythes through the middle of this city, slicing it in two. This is Europe’s last divided capital, but its entwined history straddles both sides of the green line.

In the capable hands of Gülter Kuran, ATA members and guests were spell bindingly transferred back in time to the 1950’, 60’s 70’s before being transported back to the 2020’s as she told from personal experience story after story about life in Lefkosa during these times, whilst also intermingling her stories with informative information about the various fascinating places visited along the walk, the Lapidary Museum, Eaved House, Bandabuliya, Büyük Han, Lokmacı Gate and Yiğitler Bastion to name but a few places. 

With a break for coffee at an oasis that is a restored boutique hotel that backs on to the buffer zone, and one for a tradition Turkish Cypriot lunch at the Büyük Han, so visually engrossing was everything seen on the walk that the day passed by in the blink of an eye. From being in places where you could see the whites in the eyes of soldiers on both sides of the divide to walls covered in modern street art whilst nestling next to bullet-ridden houses still standing (how is anyone’s guess), to within a touching distance of Greek Cypriot cars, and flags of both nationalities fluttering in the breeze, not to mention UN observation posts. This was a walk for the curious.

Enthralled with the day, a large number of guests on the walk joined the ATA there and then, with one new Member Fiona Harris saying “l am so glad to have been on this walk with the ATA today, it has been a brilliant way to learn something about the island’s history that affects us all, and all in the company of such friendly people. I can’t wait to go on the next activity of theirs, which is why my husband and myself became members”.

ATA Event organiser Debbie Bird thanked Gülter for being the perfect guide for the day and said that so popular was this walk that another would be organised for all those who unfortunately couldn’t go on this one!

Information about the ATA’s green Line Walk including photographs taken during the walk can be viewed on the 2022 Events Page of the ATA website: – www.angloturkishassociation.com     Facebook Group or Facebook Page.

Anglo Turkish Association

The friendly listening association with a heart supporting good causes in Northern Cyprus for the benefit of everyone

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