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How Varosha in Cyprus became a ghost town

Amazing pictures of Varosha, the place that became a ghost town after the residents fled.
Varosha was once the most popular place to go on holiday in Cyprus. This beach attracted the rich and famous who enjoyed relaxing in the sun and taking dips in the sea, but in 1974 everything changed and Varosha became a ghost town.
Varosha beach
Signs warn people to keep out and tourists peering across the fence that photos and films are not allowed.
An old building and a warning sign in Varosha
The people living in Varosha, which is part of the city of Famagusta, hoped to return to their home when the situation calmed down. But, the resort was fenced off by the Turkish military and soldiers were ordered to shoot anyone who attempted to enter.
A ruined church in Varosha
Beautiful homes are left in ruins, with overgrown gardens and rotting walls. Anything valuable was taken.
A ruined home in Varosha
The beach that was once a paradise is now empty along with the hotels and homes behind it.
An empty beach in Varosha
The United Nations ordered for Varosha to be given to their control in 1984 and the organisation hoped to resettle the people who were forced out. But it remains one of the largest modern ruins today and entry is forbidden.
Ruined buildings in Varosha
Window boxes have overgrown and buildings are rotting away.
A rotting house in Varosha
Nature has taken over in Varosha. Here a cactus has grown against the fences put up by the Turkish military.
An overgrown cactus against a fence.
This shop on Ermou Street hasn't had customers or sold anything since the residents fled.
An old shop in Varosha
The residents who escaped tell stories of pots left cooking on stoves and children's toys forgotten in the rush to escape.
An abandoned toy in Varosha.
Other than Turkish soldiers, few people have been inside. Those that have describe incredible sights of car garages still full of old cars, window displays with models dressed in fashions from the 1970s, and sand dunes that have crept up over the seafront with rare sea turtles living in them. This is an old rusted bicycle that was left behind.
An old rusted bicycle.
Varosha was abandoned by its 35,000 residents when Cyprus was divided in 1974. This is Eskhyloo Street, nobody has lived here for 40 years.
Eskhyloo Street in Varosha
A man looks over the ghost beach and the place that was once loved by many. This month a project is being launched by local and international experts who hope to plan a future for Varosha.
A man looks over the ghost beach ion Varosha.