Where Greek, Turkish Cypriots live together

Village known as Dipkarpaz to Turks, Rizkarpaso to Greeks is long way from divided Cypriot capital of Nicosia

Photo by: TRT WORLD
Photo by: TRT WORLD

Updated Mar 6, 2016

It’s more than 120 kilometres from the border, and because of the winding roads, it can easily take more than two hours to get there.
But it’s one of the most beautiful parts of Northern Cyprus.
It’s on the Karpaz Peninsula, the home of the only national park in the Turkish Republic.
There are not many people – but there are plenty of donkeys.
About 2,000 are freely roaming the park – and most are descendants of animals let loose by farmers who fled in 1974.

The church and mosque in the centre of Dipkarpaz

There are not many Greek Cypriots either. All of those that we spoke to were elderly. We were told that there were some in their 30s and 40s, but we didn’t manage to meet any.
During the fighting in 1974, not everyone left their homes in this part of Cyprus.
Erato Koulia, who we spoke to in my report, said she stayed because she had just built a house with her husband and they owned some land – and she still has that land now.
Greek Cypriots like Erato still receive a regular delivery of supplies from the UN, a service that has been going on for years.
It brings extra food and pensions from the Greek Cypriot government – although they can quite easily buy provisions in the village.

Erato Koulia (right) during filming with her friend. [TRT World]

Not all Greek Cypriots were willing to speak on camera – but those that didn’t were still hopeful for a deal to end the divide on Cyprus.

They were also keen to talk about how Greek and Turkish Cypriots were getting on very well.

Erato said that there were problems in the in the 1970s – but now everyone was living in a completely different atmosphere.

“In the early years, both sides had their fears. Now I think we’re getting along fine with our neighbours."

“In the beginning, you couldn’t leave the house. You were scared. But now I lock the door and go and see my children. No one will break into your house.”

Author: Andrew Hopkins