In August 1974, the UN established a buffer dividing the island of Cyprus into two states: the southern Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey.* The demilitarized zone, established after the Greek military junta backed a coup against the Cypriot government and Turkey invaded Cyprus from the north, is still under UN administration.
When the buffer zone, colloquially known as the Green Line, was demarcated, some of the country’s infrastructure got caught in the middle. One such facility was Nicosia International Airport.
Once the main airport of Cyprus, Nicosia ceased operations in July 1974, shortly after Turkey invaded and the tarmac became a battlefield. Damage to the planes and buildings, combined with ongoing political instability, prevented the aviation hub from re-opening.
Four decades of disuse have resulted in a derelict terminal with broken windows, dust-buried floors, and seats encrusted with layers of pigeon droppings. Tumbleweeds skitter across the tarmac and collide with the sun-bleached shell of a Hawker Siddeley Trident jet, left idle since it was grounded by violence.
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Correction, Dec. 22, 2014: This post originally referred to the two states as "the Greek-controlled south and Turkish-controlled north." It has been updated to more accurately reflect the political division of Cyprus.