Buffer Zone
Next ]


Cyprus - United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (Under construction)

Since 1974 North and South of Cyprus have been divided by a United Nations Buffer Zone under the control of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).  

We visited the Buffer Zone at the famous Ledra Street in December 2011 when it was "occupied" by Cypriot Youth 1) demanding "a unified republic and no more border".  The buffer zone is here 152 metres wide.  
The photo shows
the southern entrance to the Buffer Zone with Greek check-point and the famous Cypriot monument.

The sculpture 'Resolusion, Year: 1995' by the sculptor Theodoulos Gregoriou and Greek-Cypriot checkpoint in the background.

"The Last Divided Capital." (After the unification of Berlin.) On April 3, 2008 at 9 a.m. local time (06:00 UTC), the Ledra Street roadblock crossing through the UN buffer zone was reopened after 44 years. 2)

From Greek-Cypriot side and into the Buffer Zone. The former barricade is gone and the street is opened for pedestrians only.

Further in.

Cypriot youths run a unification campaign. The buffer zone starts about here.

We can see the Turkish side where the buffer zone ends.

Geosite's Jan S. Krogh in the Buffer Zone. The buffer zone ends approximately at the corner of the house to the left.

A typical Buffer Zone street (seen from the northern side).

Turkish checkpoint at Ledra Street. The buffer zone is behind the sign in left side of the photo.

The passport procedures are similar to those at any international border station.

Turkish-Cypriot has to present their ID card or passport and fill out a "visa" talon which is being stamped before they can pass over to the southern Greek-Cypriot side. The procedure is the same for Cypriots as for foreign visitors; relatively strict but slightly chaotic as the actual control takes place not inside a line, but on the street.

Information sign explain the procedures.

All signs on the northern side are in Turkish language.

Signs found inside the Buffer Zone.

"Not Greek, Not Turkish, Not Cypriot, No Nations."

International Ledra Street sign, erected by the United Nations.

Returning back to the Greek side.

Back to the Greek checkpoint. Only a small Turkish-languaged note at the window informs about the Greek side procedure. Even if this is a de facto Schengen border there were only random passport checks there when we visited it.

A Greek military control post in a side street from Ledra Street keeps us informed that the war still is not over...

1. Unified Cyprus Group in Facebook http://unifiedcyprus.info

2. Roadblock reopening after 44 years (English Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ledra_Street#Roadblock_reopening_after_44_years

This page was first time published 27.01.12. This page was last time updated 30.01.12 .