With the Turkish invasion in July 1974 more than 250,000 Greek Cypriots were forced to flee their homes abandoning all their property and possessions. Turkey, transferring all the Turkish Cypriots to the northern part of Cyprus, created an illegal "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" that it also settled illegally with Turkish citizens. Since then the two communities live separately with the United Nations responsible for the security of the islands "buffer zone", a dividing line also called "Green Line" that stretches the entire width of the island.
With the signing of the European Communities "Asuncion Treaty" on 16 April 2003, by the Cyprus Republic 29 years later, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash decided on 23 April 2003 to lift the measures of constraint that disallowed entry to the "North" all Greek Cypriots by allowing a one-day entry permit to be issued.
From the very first days thousands of Greek Cypriots gathered at the Ledra Palace roadblock, one of the checkpoints. Crossing over to the occupied territories they spread out in all directions, eager to visit their towns and villages. Arriving at their destination some found their houses in ruins, other abandoned, others occupied by Turkish Cypriots or Turkish settlers or even Europeans. Some occupants welcomed them, others closed their doors and refused to communicate. The churches, the cemeteries and every other part of their cultural heritage that the Greek Cypriots had been forced to leave behind in 1974 has been pillaged and plundered, left to the ravages of time and today in unkempt and in ruins.
These pictures are part of the collection of Anikitos' first personal photo album, called "VISITORS IN THEIR LAND" which consists of 62 b/w photos. You can see all the photos at www.anikitos.com
If anyone wants to obtain the album may contact email@example.com
Since the Turkish invasion in Cyprus in 1974 and the opening of the checkpoints along the "Green Line" in April 2003, the refugees are having a liturgy at their churches in the occupied side for the first time. Greek Cypriots have the Christian Orthodox faith deeply rooted in them, which characterizes them as people and society. Great bitterness is what they feel seeing their churches pillaged and ruined by the Turkish conqueror.
Feelings are mixed both for them and me as a Greek Cypriot. The photographic result could not be unaffected by the effect the very event had on myself.
The atmosphere is heavy; the pervasive indignation felt by the invaded, the intense emotion during the liturgy, along with fear by the presence of the regime’s secret police everywhere as well as many curious Turks. (Anikitos Hadjicharalampous)
The political and economic conditions prevailing in a country affect its citizens' groups and, in particular, the most vulnerable children. In Kenya, Kibera is the second largest slum in the world, but there are other smaller ones like Riruta. Most of Riruta slum residents live in extreme poverty, earning less than $ 1.00 a day with a 57-year life expectancy.
As a member of a humanitarian organization, I found myself in St. Clement Orthodox Primary school, which numbers around 150 orphan children and is located in the Riruta slum. They are financially supported and managed by the Archbishopric of Kenya and in certain fields by the humanitarian organization too. All children are taught, fed and dressed by the special programs of the Metropolis. Moreover, there is a special room with beds for the children who want to rest and sleep after school. Late in the afternoon they return to the houses in the surrounding area where they are taken care of by relatives or foster families. (Anikitos Hadjicharalampous)