Inside crumbling airport stuck in Europe’s final ‘no-man’s land’

A once thriving transport airport now stands frozen in time, scarred by bullets and worn by the passage of half a century.

New haunting pictures tell the story of a once-state-of-the-art facility that has witnessed the ravages of conflict and was left to decay after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

Images capture the eerie decay of Nicosia Airport, with dusty seats, crumbling buildings, and the remnants of a Cyprus Airways Trident aircraft which has slowly been covered in overgrowth following its final flight nearly 50 years ago.

Nicosia Airport, located near Nicosia, was once a bustling terminal, predominantly used by the military because of its strategic location

By 1968, a new high-tech terminal was unveiled, capable of accommodating up to 800 travellers at a time.

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Cyprus was gaining traction as a sought-after holiday destination, attracting numerous visitors, including famous personalities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Brigitte Bardot.

However, the fate of the airport took a dark turn as it became a battlefield during the conflict between Cypriot and Turkish troops in 1974.

The Turkish invasion forced thousands of families to hastily flee, resulting in the partition of the island.

The once-bustling terminal was severely damaged in the ensuing bombings, prompting its closure.

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The UN Security Council designated the area a Protected Area, situated in the newly demarcated demilitarised zone in Nicosia, dividing the island into north and south.

The final commercial flight departed from Nicosia to London in 1977, authorised under special UN clearance.

In response to the closure, a new international airport was established in Larnaca, eventually becoming the primary airport for the island.

Even now, the scars of conflict are visible within the Cyprus buffer zone, a stark 118-mile stretch of land that stands as a haunting reminder of the turmoil that once gripped the nation.

Abandoned belongings, bullet-riddled buildings, and the remnants of lives once lived bear testimony to the tragic events of the past.

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