Famagusta (/ˌfæməˈɡʊstə, ˌfɑː-/; Greek: Αμμόχωστος, romanized: Ammochostos locally [aˈmːoxostos]; Turkish: Mağusa [maˈusa], or Gazimağusa [ɡaːzimaˈusa]) is a city on the east coast of Cyprus. It is located east of Nicosia and possesses the deepest harbour of the island. During the medieval period (especially under the maritime republics of Genoa and Venice), Famagusta was the island's most important port city and a gateway to trade with the ports of the Levant, from where the Silk Road merchants carried their goods to Western Europe. The old walled city and parts of the modern city presently fall within the de facto Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in Gazimağusa District, of which it is the capital.
|Country (de jure)||Cyprus|
|• District||Famagusta District|
|Country (de facto)||Northern Cyprus|
|• District||Gazimağusa District|
|• Mayor||İsmail Arter|
|• Mayor-in-exile||Simos Ioannou|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (EET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (EEST)|
|Website||Turkish Cypriot municipality|
Greek Cypriot municipality
In antiquity, the town was known as Arsinoe (Ancient Greek: Ἀρσινόη), after the Greek queen Arsinoe II of Egypt, and was mentioned by that name by Strabo. In Greek it is called Ammochostos (Αμμόχωστος), meaning "hidden in [the] sand". This name developed into Famagusta (originally Famagouste in French and Famagosta in Italian), used in Western European languages, and to its Turkish name, Mağusa. In Turkish, the city is also called Gazimağusa; Gazi means veteran in Turkish, and the city has been officially awarded with the title after 1974 (compare Gaziantep). The old town is nicknamed "the city of 365 churches" owing to a legend that at its peak, Famagusta boasted one church for each day of the year.
The city was founded around 274 BC, after the serious damage to Salamis by an earthquake, by Ptolemy II Philadelphus and named "Arsinoe" after his sister. Arsinoe was described as a "fishing town" by Strabo in his Geographica in the first century BC. It remained a small fishing village for a long time. Later, as a result of the gradual evacuation of Salamis due to the Arab invasion led by Muawiyah I, it developed into a small port.
The turning point for Famagusta was 1192 with the onset of Lusignan rule. It was during this period that Famagusta developed as a fully-fledged town. It increased in importance to the Eastern Mediterranean due to its natural harbour and the walls that protected its inner town. Its population began to increase. This development accelerated in the 13th century as the town became a centre of commerce for both the East and West. An influx of Christian refugees fleeing the downfall of Acre (1291) in Palestine transformed it from a tiny village into one of the richest cities in Christendom.
In 1372 the port was seized by Genoa and in 1489 by Venice. This commercial activity turned Famagusta into a place where merchants and ship owners led lives of luxury. The belief that people's wealth could be measured by the churches they built inspired these merchants to have churches built in varying styles. These churches, which still exist, were the reason Famagusta came to be known as "the district of churches". The development of the town focused on the social lives of the wealthy people and was centred upon the Lusignan palace, the Cathedral, the Square and the harbour.
In 1570–1571, Famagusta was the last stronghold in Venetian Cyprus to hold out against the Turks under Mustafa Pasha. It resisted a siege of thirteen months and a terrible bombardment, until at last the garrison surrendered. The Ottoman forces had lost 50,000 men, including Mustafa Pasha's son. Although the surrender terms had stipulated that the Venetian forces be allowed to return home, the Venetian commander, Marco Antonio Bragadin, was flayed alive, his lieutenant Tiepolo was hanged, and many other Christians were killed.
With the advent of the Ottoman rule, Latins lost their privileged status in Famagusta and were expelled from the city. Greek Cypriots were at first allowed to own and buy property in the city, but were banished from the walled city in 1573-74 and had to settle outside in the area that later developed into Varosha. Turkish families from Anatolia were resettled in the walled city but could not fill the buildings that previously hosted a population of 10,000. This caused a drastic decrease in the population of Famagusta. Merchants from Famagusta, who mostly consisted of Latins that had been expelled, resettled in Larnaca and as Larnaca flourished, Famagusta lost its importance as a trade centre. Over time, Varosha developed into a prosperous agricultural town thanks to its location away from the marshes, whilst the walled city remained dilapidated.
In the walled city, some buildings were repurposed to serve the interests of the Muslim population: the Cathedral of St. Nicholas was converted to a mosque (now known as Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque), a bazaar was developed, public baths, fountains and a theological school were built to accommodate the inhabitants' needs. Dead end streets, an Ottoman urban characteristic, was imported to the city and a communal spirit developed in which a small number of two-storey houses inhabited by the small upper class co-existed with the widespread one-storey houses.
With the British invasion and takeover, Famagusta regained its significance as a port and an economic centre and its development was specifically targeted in British plans. As soon as the British took over the island, a Famagusta Development Act was passed that aimed at the reconstruction and redevelopment of the city's streets and dilapidated buildings as well as better hygiene. The port was developed and expanded between 1903 and 1906 and Cyprus Government Railway, with its terminus in Famagusta, started construction in 1904. Whilst Larnaca continued to be used as the main port of the island for some time, after Famagusta's use as a military base in World War I trade significantly shifted to Famagusta. The city outside the walls grew at an accelerated rate, with development being centred around Varosha. Varosha became the administrative centre as the British moved their headquarters and residences there and tourism grew significantly in the last years of the British rule. Pottery and production of citrus and potatoes also significantly grew in the city outside the walls, whilst agriculture within the walled city declined to non-existence. New residential areas were built to accommodate the increasing population towards the end of the British rule, and by 1960, Famagusta was a modern port city extending far beyond Varosha and the walled city.
The British period also saw a significant demographic shift in the city. In 1881, Christians constituted 60% of the city's population whilst Muslims were at 40%. By 1960, Turkish Cypriot population had dropped to 17.5% of the overall population, whilst the Greek Cypriot population had risen to 70%. The city was also the site for one of the British internment camps for nearly 50,000 Jewish survivors of the Holocaust trying to emigrate to Palestine.
From independence in 1960 to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus of 1974, Famagusta developed toward the south west of Varosha as a tourist centre. In the late 1960s Famagusta became a well-known entertainment and tourist centre. The contribution of Famagusta to the country's economic activity by 1974 far exceeded its proportional dimensions within the country. Whilst its population was only about 7% of the total of the country, Famagusta by 1974 accounted for over 10% of the total industrial employment and production of Cyprus, concentrating mainly on light industry compatible with its activity as a tourist resort and turning out high-quality products ranging from food, beverages and tobacco to clothing, footwear, plastics, light machinery and transport equipment. It contributed 19.3% of the business units and employed 21.3% of the total number of persons engaged in commerce on the island. It acted as the main tourist destination of Cyprus, hosting 31.5% of the hotels and 45% of Cyprus' total bed capacity. Varosha acted as the main touristic and business quarters.
In this period, the urbanisation of Famagusta slowed down and the development of the rural areas accelerated. Therefore, economic growth was shared between the city of Famagusta and the district, which had a balanced agricultural economy, with citrus, potatoes, tobacco and wheat as main products. Famagusta maintained good communications with this hinterland. The city's port remained the island's main seaport and in 1961, it was expanded to double its capacity in order to accommodate the growing volume of exports and imports. The port handled 42.7% of Cypriot exports, 48.6% of imports and 49% of passenger traffic.
There has not been an official census since 1960 but the population of the town in 1974 was estimated to be around 39,000 not counting about 12,000–15,000 persons commuting daily from the surrounding villages and suburbs to work in Famagusta. The number of people staying in the city would swell to about 90,000–100,000 during the peak summer tourist period, with the influx of tourists from numerous European countries, mainly Britain, France, Germany and the Scandinavian countries. The majority of the city population were Greek Cypriots (26,500), with 8,500 Turkish Cypriots and 4,000 people from other ethnic groups.
During the second phase of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 14 August 1974 the Mesaoria plain was overrun by Turkish tanks and 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. Most of these Greek Cypriots believed that once the initial violence calmed down they would be allowed to return.
As a result of the 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 remains fenced off today. The Greek Cypriots who had fled from Varosha were not allowed to return, and journalists are banned. The city has been frozen in time, with houses, department stores and hotels empty and looted, even to the tiles on bathroom walls.
Famagusta's historic city centre is surrounded by the fortifications of Famagusta, which have a roughly rectangular shape, built mainly by the Venetians in the 15th and 16th centuries, though some sections of the walls have been dated earlier times, as far as 1211. Some important landmarks and visitor attractions in the old city are:
In an October 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, Global Heritage Fund listed Famagusta, a "maritime ancient city of crusader kings", among the 12 sites most "On the Verge" of irreparable loss and destruction, citing insufficient management and development pressures.
Famagusta is an important commercial hub of Northern Cyprus. The main economic activities in the city are tourism, education, construction and industrial production. It has a 115-acre free port, which is the most important seaport of Northern Cyprus for travel and commerce. The port is an important source of income and employment for the city, though its volume of trade is restricted by the embargo against Northern Cyprus. Its historical sites, including the walled city, Salamis, the Othello Castle and the St Barnabas Church, as well as the sandy beaches surrounding it make it a tourist attraction; efforts are also underway to make the city more attractive for international congresses. The Eastern Mediterranean University is also an important employer and supplies significant income and activity, as well as opportunities for the construction sector. The university also raises a qualified workforce that stimulates the city's industry and makes communications industry viable. The city has two industrial zones: the Large Industrial Zone and the Little Industrial Zone. The city is also home to a fishing port, but inadequate infrastructure of the port restricts the growth of this sector. The industry in the city has traditionally been concentrated on processing agricultural products.
Historically, the port was the primary source of income and employment for the city, especially right after 1974. However, it gradually lost some of its importance is the economy as the share of its employees in the population of Famagusta diminished due to various reasons. However, it still is the primary port for commerce in Northern Cyprus, with more than half of ships that came to Northern Cyprus in 2013 coming to Famagusta. It is the second most popular seaport for passengers, after Kyrenia, with around 20,000 passengers using the port in 2013.
The mayor-in-exile of Famagusta is Simos Ioannou. İsmail Arter heads the Turkish Cypriot municipal administration of Famagusta, which remains legal as a communal-based body under the constitutional system of the Republic of Cyprus. Since 1974, Greek Cypriots submitted a number of proposals within the context of bicommunal discussions for the return of Varosha to UN administration, allowing the return of its previous inhabitants, requesting also the opening of Famagusta harbour for use by both communities. Varosha would have been returned under Greek Cypriot control as part of the 2004 Annan Plan if the plan had been accepted by the Greek Cypriot voters.
The walled city of Famagusta contains many unique buildings. Famagusta has a walled city popular with tourists. Every year, the International Famagusta Art and Culture Festival is organized in Famagusta. Concerts, dance shows and theater plays take place during the festival.
A growth in tourism and the city's university have fueled the development of Famagusta's vibrant nightlife. Nightlife in the city is especially active on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights and in the hotter months of the year, starting from April. Larger hotels in the city have casinos that cater to their customers. Salamis Road is an area of Famagusta where bars frequented by students and locals are concentrated and is very vibrant, especially in the summer.
Famagusta's Othello Castle is the setting for William Shakespeare's play Othello. The city is also the setting for Victoria Hislop's 2015 novel The Sunrise, and Michael Paraskos's 2016 novel In Search of Sixpence. The city is the birthplace of the eponymous hero of the Renaissance proto-novel Fortunatus.
Famagusta was home to many Greek Cypriot sport teams that left the city because of the Turkish invasion and still bear their original names. Most notable football clubs originally from the city are Anorthosis Famagusta FC and Nea Salamis Famagusta FC, both of the Cypriot First Division, which are now based in Larnaca.
Famagusta is represented by Mağusa Türk Gücü in the Turkish Cypriot First Division. Dr. Fazıl Küçük Stadium is the largest football stadium in Famagusta. Many Turkish Cypriot sport teams that left Southern Cyprus because of the Cypriot intercommunal violence are based in Famagusta.
Famagusta is represented by DAÜ Sports Club and Magem Sports Club in North Cyprus First Volleyball Division. Gazimağusa Türk Maarif Koleji represents Famagusta in the North Cyprus High School Volleyball League.
The Cyprus College of Art was founded in Famagusta by the Cypriot artist Stass Paraskos in 1969, before moving to Paphos in 1972 after protests from local hoteliers that the presence of art students in the city was putting off holidaymakers.
Famagusta has three general hospitals. Gazimağusa Devlet Hastahanesi, a state hospital, is the biggest hospital in city. Gazimağusa Tıp Merkezi and Gazimağusa Yaşam Hastahanesi are private hospitals.
Famagusta is twinned with:
The 2019–20 Cypriot First Division is the 81st season of the Cypriot top-level football league.Achna
Achna (Greek: Άχνα; Turkish: Düzce) is an abandoned village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus. It is just north of the Buffer Zone and it is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus. After the 1974 Turkish invasion, its displaced inhabitants built a new village nearby.
Achna is known for its football club, Ethnikos Achna FC. Ethnikos Achna won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006.Agios Georgios, Famagusta
Agios Georgios (Greek: Άγιος Γεώργιος "Saint George [of Spathariko]"; Turkish: Aygün, previously Ayyorgi) is a village in Cyprus, southwest of the town of Trikomo. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Agios Georgios was inhabited exclusively by Greek Cypriots. In 1973, it had an estimated population of 464. After 1974, it was reinhabited by displaced Turkish Cypriots from the south of Cyprus and Turkish settlers from Anatolia. The latter now constitute the majority. As of 2011, Agios Georgios had a population of 414.Agios Nikolaos, Famagusta
Agios Nikolaos (Greek: Αγιος Νικόλαος, Turkish: Yamaçköy) is a small village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, located 8 km north of Psyllatos and 1 km west of Melounta, on the south side of the Kyrenia mountain range. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.
Since 1974, it is chiefly inhabited by Turkish families from the Black Sea city of Trabzon. The former church of Ayios Nikolaos has been converted into a mosque.Ammochostos Stadium
Ammochostos Stadium (Greek: Γήπεδο 'Αμμόχωστος') is a multi-purpose stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the temporary home ground of the refugee team from the occupied city of Famagusta, Nea Salamis Famagusta.Anorthosis Famagusta FC
Αnorthosis Famagusta FC (Greek: Ανόρθωσις Αμμοχώστου, Anorthosis Ammochostou), known as Anorthosis, is a Cypriot football, futsal and volleyball club. Originally based in Famagusta, the club is now based in Larnaca.
Anorthosis was founded in 1911 in Famagusta and in 1934 became one of the founder clubs of the Cyprus Football Association. Their home ground is the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, the president of the club is Evgenios Hamboullas.
One of the most successful clubs in Cypriot football, Anorthosis has won 13 First Division titles, 10 Cypriot Cups and seven Super Cups. Anorthosis is one of three Cypriot clubs never to have played in the second division and the first one which had participated in the Champions League Group Stages.
The club was founded in Famagusta on 30 January 1911. After the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the occupation of Famagusta by the Turkish army, Anorthosis was relocated to Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca and because of the occupation of Famagusta Anorthosis is one of those clubs that are known as the "refugee" clubs. Anorthosis' original home stadium in Famagusta, G.S.E. (Gymnastic Club Evagoras), has been abandoned since 1974 and is in poor condition.Ammochostos, or better Varoshi, around 1910 was a small town of about 4,000 inhabitants: farmers, fishermen and a few shop-keepers. The only place of recreation was the coffee shop. At that time a few, spirited and enthusiastic men of that community set a goal and managed to create a "reading club" in hospitable rooms where they could gather and educate the youth in cultural and national matters.Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium
The Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium (Greek: Γήπεδο 'Αντώνης Παπαδόπουλος') is a football stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus. With a current seating capacity of 10,230, it has been the home stadium of Anorthosis Famagusta since its completion in 1986.Asha, Cyprus
Asha (Greek: Άσσια [locally [ˈaʃːa]]; Turkish: Paşaköy), also transliterated Assia, is a village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, located 6 km northwest of Vatili. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.
Asha is located in the center of the Mesaoria valley. The village was recorded as early as the early 13th century in papal documents. Before 1974, the population of Asha was approximately 2,700. The village consisted of two parishes, St. John's and St. George's. The village had five churches: St. George, St. John Prodromos, St. Theodore, St. Spyridon and Virgin Mary. St. Spyridon was born in Asha and the church was built by Michael Kassialos, a folk artist from Asha. Asha was also well known for the craftsmanship of the embroidery made there. The main source of income in the area was farming and many agricultural products of Asha were sold to Nicosia's markets. Asha was also famous for its cucumbers.Cypriot First Division
The Cypriot First Division (Greek: Πρωτάθλημα Α΄ Κατηγορίας); is the top tier football league competition in Cyprus, run by the Cyprus Football Association. Since February 2016, it is sponsored by Cyta and thus officially known as Cyta Championship. The league is contested by 12 teams and runs from August to May, with the three lowest-placed teams relegated to the Cypriot Second Division and replaced by the top three teams in that division. At the seasons 2018–19 and 2019–20, the league will be contested by 12 teams and will also be run from August to May, with the two lowest-placed teams relegated to the Cypriot Second Division and replaced by the top two teams in that division.Cypriot Super Cup
The Cypriot Super Cup is a Cypriot association football trophy, contested in an annual match between the Cypriot First Division Champion and the Cypriot Cup winners. If a team wins The Double (both the Championship and the Cup), then the Double winner plays the Cypriot Cup finalist. The match is contested at the beginning of the football season, and for the last 20 years in Nicosia; also for the past few seasons, after the construction of the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, it has been played almost every year in that stadium. If the match is tied then the penalties shoot out follows.
The first match was played in 1951, under the name Pakkos Shield (Ασπίδα Πάκκου), and continued until 1967. Until then, no trophy was awarded, but according to the rule, the team that would have won the trophy most of the times, that it would have been awarded the trophy to that team. The first Shield was finally awarded to Çetinkaya, who were the first club to win the trophy three times. At that time if the winner was both Champion and Cup-winner, then it was automatically awarded as the Cypriot FA Shield winner.For ten years the competition wasn't held and began again in 1979 under the name Stylianakis Shield, for honor to a former president of Cyprus Football Association. It lasted for 10 years as Stylianakis Shield and was awarded to Omonia in 1988, with 7 times winner.The competition was renamed to Cyprus Football Association Shield in 1989. From 2008 to 2013, the competition was held under the name LTV Super Cup, taking the name of the competition's sponsor LTV. After LTV's withdrawal as the competition's sponsor in 2014, the competition is simply called the Super Cup.The most successful team in the competition are Omonia, winners on sixteen occasions.Famagusta District
Famagusta District is one of the six districts of Cyprus. Its main town is the island's most important port, Famagusta.
A district administration in "exile" exists on the Republic of Cyprus-controlled part of the island. This part of the district has a population of 46,900 inhabitants (2015).Most of the district has been under Turkish control since the 1974 invasion. Since then, the northeastern section, including the Karpaz Peninsula, has been administered separately as the İskele District, a division not recognized by the Republic of Cyprus and the UN.
Cape Greco (Italian: Capo Greco; Greek: Κάβο Γκρέκο, romanized: Kavo Greko; "Greek cape"), is a headland in the southeastern part of the district. It is at the southern end of Famagusta Bay. It is visited by tourists for its natural environment, and is a protected coastal nature park. From the high points on the cliff that rests at the cape one can view out to sea. According to local legend, it is also the home of the Ayia Napa sea monster.List of football clubs in Cyprus
The following list includes all the men's Association football clubs of Cyprus who are participating or have participated in the national championships of the country. A total of 197 clubs have played in the national championships of Cyprus from their inception in 1934 until the 2019–20 season.
The national championships of Cyprus are the Cypriot First Division, the Cypriot Second Division, the Cypriot Third Division and the Cypriot Fourth Division which has been dissolved after 2014–15 season. The championships are run and organized by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA). Since 2015, National Championship is also the STOK Elite Division which is run and organized by the Confederation of local federations of Cyprus (STOK).
The following table is a list of Cypriot football clubs. For a complete list see Category:Football clubs in Cyprus.List of foreign football players in Cypriot First Division
This is a list of foreign players that have played in the Cypriot First Division. The following players:
have played at least one Cypriot First Division game for the respective club.
have been born in Cyprus and were capped by a foreign national team. This includes players who have dual citizenship with Cyprus.The players written with bold text have at least one cap for their national team.Milia, Famagusta
Milia (Greek: Μηλιά, literally 'Apple tree', (Turkish: Yıldırım) is a village in the Famagusta District of Cyprus. It is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus.Nea Salamis Famagusta FC
Nea Salamis Famagusta FC or Nea Salamina Famagusta FC (Greek: Νέα Σαλαμίνα Αμμοχώστου) is a professional football club based in Ammochostos (also known by its romanized name, Famagusta), Cyprus. It has been a refugee club since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, when Turkey occupied the northern part of the island. The club is temporarily based in Larnaca.
Nea Salamina's most notable achievements were its victories in the Cypriot Cup and the Cypriot Super Cup in 1990. Its highest finish in the Cypriot First Division is third place. During its first five years (1948–1953), the team participated in the Cyprus Amateur Football Federation championships. In 1953 the club joined the Cyprus Football Association (CFA), participating regularly in association championships and cup competitions. It has played in more than 50 Cypriot First Division seasons, ranking seventh in that category.
The team participated for the first time in European competition in 1990 at the European Cup Winners' Cup, and played in the 1995, 1997 and 2000 UEFA Intertoto Cups. The team is part of the Nea Salamina Famagusta sports club, which was founded in 1948; the parent club also fields a men's volleyball team. The club is named after the ancient city of Cyprus, Salamis or Salamina, which is located nearby modern Famagusta ("Nea" means "new" in Greek language).Paralimni
Paralimni (Greek: Παραλίμνι) is a town within the Famagusta District of Cyprus, situated slightly inland from the island's east coast. Since the Turkish invasion in 1974, it has increased in size and status, due to the migration of many refugees fleeing from the north. Many of the people who work in the tourist industry of Protaras and Ayia Napa live in Paralimni, which is now the temporary administrative centre of the Famagusta District and the biggest municipality of the district under the control of the internationally recognised government of Cyprus.Sotira, Famagusta
Sotira (Greek: Σωτήρα) is a town in the Famagusta District of Cyprus, west of Paralimni. In 2011, it had a population of 5,474.Temur Ketsbaia
Temuri "Temur" Ketsbaia (Georgian: თემურ ქეცბაია; born 18 March 1968) is a Georgian retired footballer and a current manager. He is the manager of Anorthosis Famagusta.
As a player, he represented the Georgian national team and played for Dinamo Tbilisi, Anorthosis, AEK Athens, Newcastle United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Dundee.Varosha, Famagusta
Varosha (Greek: Βαρώσια [locally [vaˈɾoʃa]]; Turkish: Maraş [maˈɾaʃ] or Kapalı Maraş) is an abandoned southern quarter of the Cypriot city of Famagusta. Before 1974, it was the modern tourist area of the city. Its inhabitants fled during the invasion, when it came under Turkish control, and it has remained abandoned ever since. As of 2019, the quarter continues to be uninhabited, buildings have decayed and in some cases contents have been looted over the years, some streets have been overgrown with vegetation and is described as a ghost town. Entry is forbidden to the public.