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Cyprus’s Dherynia seeks expansion opportunities in island’s buffer zone

As they seek to attract more young people to live in the municipality, officials want to make use of the buffer zone dividing them from the Turkish part of the island

  • 26 september 2020 17:00
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
Medium cyprus 3743068 1280

Dherynia is one of the many municipalities across Cyprus suffering greatly from the Greco-Turkish divide on the island. Located on its east side, some 75% of the town lies in the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, while the rest is part of the Republic of Cyprus. Ever since the invasion of 1974 the town has faced many difficulties both in terms of economic growth as well as general development. Yet local officials have been doing their best to turn that around and have no plans of stopping.

Making the best out of a bad situation

Between the two parts of the town lies a deserted buffer zone – unused and left alone for the most part. Yet the local government of Dherynia municipality wants to change that and transform it into something better that can attract young families and convince them to make their home in the city.

With more than 2/3 of its land occupied by Turkey, the town has been looking for different ways to expand – thus landing on the option of considering and applying for the use of the buffer zone. In that vein, local authorities worked alongside the Italian embassy and Italian artist Rosa Barba and came up with a project proposal that can bring back life to the currently deserted part of the city.

The project, which has already received positive reactions from the Cypriot and Italian governments, envisions the creation of an open-air theatre and cinema that can be used for the carrying out of bicommunal projects, connecting the two parts of the cities currently separated by the buffer zone.

By applying such creativity to their problems, local officials also hope to attract more and more young people to the municipality, thus giving it improved development prospects as well as hope for a better future.



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