Waking Famagusta

(formerly known as The Famagusta Ecocity Project)


A mother/daughter led urban reclamation effort aims at transforming a 43-year old ghost town in Cyprus into a model ecocity.  Greek and Turkish-Cypriots unite to turn the once thriving historic tourist resort of Famagusta, a city occupied by the Turkish military since 1974, into a model for peace, reconciliation and sustainability in the troubled Middle East region.

The district of Varosha, within the city of Famagusta, is located on the northeastern coast of Cyprus. Following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and subsequent evacuation of Famagusta by its Greek-Cypriot residents, the Turkish army surrounded six square kilometers of the seaside Varosha tourist district with barbed wire, holding it as a captive ghost town ever since.  As the inhabitants fled in haste, they left laundry hanging on the lines and half cooked rice on the stove.  Forty-three years later, Varosha remains a shell of a once vibrant and thriving community; a mere bargaining chip for Turkey's negotiations with the Cyprus Republic.  Its crumbling buildings are guarded by armed troops to this day, as its aging citizens await a return home. 

If the island is reunited, Famagustians will be given the right to return home.  When this happens, they will confront one of the largest reconstruction challenges Europe has seen since the end of World War II.  Their rare circumstances also bring with it tremendous opportunity to create a sustainable community post-occupation, and inspire other ailing municipalities to follow their lead.


Waking Famagusta has garnered international attention from news organizations worldwide, including a well-received feature in BBC Magazine along with write-ups on CNN and Al-Jazeera. From local Cypriot city councils to Ivy League classrooms in the U.S., Waking Famagusta has sparked conversation about the way we live and our ever-changing times. The film has shined a bright light on a nearly forgotten ghost-town, weaving its way into on and off peace talks involving Turkey and the UN, which have alluded to the possible return of the abandoned Cypriot district. 

As such, we aim to complete Waking Famagusta in 2018, in an effort to deliver our message of sustainability, opportunity, and hope in an increasingly grim global climate. 


Contact: Vasia Markides -- vasia@ecocityproject.com


To Donate visit: https://www.documentaries.org/waking-famagusta