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The Tragic Story of Famagusta Comes to Greek TV

Famagusta’s entire Greek Cypriot population fled after the Turkish invasion of 1974. Credit: Video screenshot/MEGA TV

The tragic events that unfolded in the city of Famagusta, Cyprus during the Turkish invasion of 1974 are the setting for a new ambitious production for MEGA TV in Greece.

On Thursday, the 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion, MEGA TV released a trailer of the series titled “Famagusta” which is expected to be shown at the beginning of next year.

The series was created by Andreas Georgiou and Vana Dimitriou.

It is expected to premiere in early 2024 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The first filming of the drama series, which is inspired by true events, took place in Nicosia.

Through 24 episodes, the series “Famagusta” will record from the beginning the tragic events from the time when the lives of the protagonists, almost children at the time, changed forever.

Famagusta’s Greek Cypriots fled

During the second phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 14 August 1974 Famagusta was bombed by Turkish aircraft. It took two days for the Turkish Army to occupy the city, prior to which Famagusta’s entire Greek Cypriot population had fled into surrounding fields.

As a result of Turkish airstrikes, dozens of civilians died, including tourists.

Unlike other parts of the Turkish-controlled areas of Cyprus, the Varosha suburb of Famagusta was fenced off by the Turkish army immediately after being captured and remained fenced off until October 2020, when the TRNC reopened some streets to visitors.

Busloads of tourists arrive just outside the fenced-off area, as a checkpoint has been opened next to the Dr. Fazil Kucuk Stadium. Tour guides across various apps and platforms offer guided day trips to the town.

Following the Turkish invasion, the entire Greek Cypriot population fled to Paralimni, Dherynia, and Larnaca, fearing a massacre. The evacuation was aided and orchestrated by the nearby British military base. Paralimni has since become the modern-day capital of the Famagusta province of Greek Cypriot-led Cyprus.

In 2021, the Security Council of the United Nations (UN) issued a strong statement against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot regime in regard to the announcements about Varosha in Cyprus.

UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Famagusta by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.

The UN’s Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

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