Sunday, April 26, 2009

Can you see?

Divided city.  Can you see the Turkish flag marked into the Northern mountains that overlook the city? The Cypriot Greeks have to see that every day and too, at night when the flag is lit up like the stars.  On the right hand side of the picture below, you can see a 500 year old gothic cathedral on the Turkish side, now made into a mosque. None of this is new of course, important spiritual and powerful places have always been co-opted by new powers. The best example of this I've seen is in Mexico City, where Spanish cathedrals sit over Aztec temples.  The heart of that city is being excitingly excavated so that sacrificial alters are rising back up from the earth to claim a place among the living once again. 

I took the picture below illegally through a gap in the fence. I walked the passage through the thin strip of buffer zone that separates the two sides of the old town. I didn't have my passport on me so I couldn't cross.  Peering through the fence I saw deserted, decaying streets that were eerily still. Yes, even haunting.  The buildings are mostly ruined and barbed wire tracks a route over balconies and fence lines. I'm wondering if the Turkish side of the old town mirrors the Cypriot side.  Are there Turkish topshops and pizza places? Probably. Memorials to the dead and missing? I guess I'll find out when I cross in a few days time. 

1 comment:

  1. Shades of your mum's trip to Cyprus. I've heard about the flag on the hill and the amazing women still waiting by the Green Line for their men to come home. So sad.