The green line
Heinrich Voelkel / Ostkreuz
Officially, the Republic of Cyprus is still undivided: an island of 9251 square kilometers in the eastern Mediterranean. But since the invasion by Turkish troops in 1974, the government only controls two-thirds of the national territory. Along the old ceasefire line the United Nations has guarded a buffer zone for almost forty years. It separates the north from the south and runs right through the capital city. Concrete observation towers dot the landscape. Rusty barbed wire hems in the beach. An old airport is in a state of decay. The buffer zone was considered temporary, but over time, it has become a border. An international conference on re- unification was planned for 2012. Because no one believes that the island’s Greek and Turkish politicians will ever agree, it was canceled.