Crossing a Line in Nicosia, the Cypriot Capital

Crossing over to the Turkish-occupied side of Nicosia, dubbed “the world’s last divided capital,” is the only time I’ve had to go through passport control within the same country (or is it?). This is a city split by prominent walls and barbed wire, patrolled by military on both sides as well as neutral UN peacekeepers. Crossing over is an abrupt transition of language, currency, faces, music, and religion. Turkey regards it as a separate country, but thanks to its acquisition / “independence” by way of a Turkish invasion in the 1970s, the rest of the world considers it an illegally occupied territory.

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