The Turkish invasion of Cyprus took place on the 20th of July 1974. This resulted in the illegal occupation of the North part of the country.
As a Cypriot citizen, I did not witness the events of the war. I did not see the orphan children, refugee camps, the killing of innocent individuals, young soldiers along with distraught mothers and fathers. Although, I do feel and live the consequences of the war I am forced to admit, along with the rest of today’s young generation, that I do not know what the occupied parts of my country look like.
I was determined to travel the occupied parts of Cyprus and visually document the aftermath of this war. Unlike others, I did not travel there as a photographer on assignment but as an individual who is involved, affected and reflecting on the past outcomes of the war. However during this process it made me feel like a tourist in my own country.
Crossing the border, all of a sudden it felt like I had just entered another country. The language had changed. I witnessed bullet scared buildings that unveil the damages of war, Turkish flags, Turkish military watchtowers one after the other, the conversion of Christian churches to mosques and stables, destroyed graveyards, illegal brothels, abandoned spaces and deserted landscapes. All this made me feel uncomfortable and generated a desire to visually document this ongoing situation.