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POST-WAR RE-SETTLEMENTS IN VAROSHA: PARADISE TO GHETTO

Abstract
By : Aysu Arsoy, Hacer Basarir

 
Varosha (Famagusta) was one of the richest districts, and best known holiday destination of the region during the 1970’s. However, due to the war in 1974, half of Varosha was closed to residents and the other half became a bordered city. The demographic structure, in addition to the physical and cultural structures of the city was therefore completely altered. Postwar displacement and re-settlement in Varosha is the focus of this paper.

The main aim is to discuss the lifestyle in Varosha from a cultural perspective using memories from former and current inhabitants. To achieve this, a set of semi-structured interviews were conducted in which two main questions were posed during the interviews: 1) What was the lifestyle in Varosha before 1974? and 2) What was the lifestyle in Varosha after 1974? These questions were intended to shed some light on the post-war landscape of Varosha.

For this purpose, researchers followed a chronological order: Life before 1974; Interview group A, six Greek Cypriots who were former inhabitants of Varosha. Life after 1974: Interview group B, six Turkish Cypriots who were displaced and settled in Varosha; and Interview group C, six immigrant/settlers Turks from Turkey, who volunteered to move to Cyprus and settle in Varosha. The snowball method has been used to identify former and current residents of Varosha. The findings are based on interviews with the former, displaced and re-settled Varoshian residents.

The interviews revealed how displacement affected the city and the former and current inhabitants. Analysis of the findings were categorized under three headings: 1) displacement from/to Varosha; 2) belonging and identity; 3) life style and culture of each group. The categorization is used to describe how displacement affected the city and its citizens. In other words, this research targets to describe pre- and post-war life(styles) in Varosha.

Keywords: Displacement; Spoils System; Post-War Settlements, Famagusta, Varosha.

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