/Journey To Karpaz

Journey To Karpaz

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Monastery of Apostolos Andhreas

We spent our last two days in Cyprus on the Karpaz Peninsula, the long stip of land that stretches northeast towards Syria. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say we spent most of the penultimate day driving to Karpaz from our base in Girne (aka Kyrenia), trimming the island’s northern coast to the very end. Upon leaving Girne we received some questionable travel info from patrons at the gas station. One told us the trip would take 45 minutes (off by 4 hours) the other told us to bear left when the road forked (this led to some mildly terrifying off-roading through a construction site; In hindsight, that “Do Not Enter” sign wasn’t a suggestion after all).

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Hummus at Alevkayalı

After a few hours in the car, we stopped at Alevkayalı, a reastaurant just east of Yenierenköy, for mezes, şeftali kebabı, and grilled fish. The place was perfectly pleasant, perched above the sea, with views across the bay to the Ayios Thyrsos church complex. After lunch we drove for another hour or so until we reached the park at the end of Karpaz.

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Move your ass

When you enter the park gates, go easy on the gas, as you are sure to encounter donkeys in the road. They just sort of stand there until they are good and ready to move. There are around 500 wild donkeys on the Karpaz peninsula, apparently the offspring of Greek donkeys that were let loose when their owners were relocated to southern Cyprus in 1974.

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Zafer Burnu, Cyprus’ northeastern tip

Donkeys permitting, you can drive all the way to the end of the peninsula, where a rock carries the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags.

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Zafer Burnu

When we got to the end of the Karpaz Peninsula, we hopped out of the car and peered down at the turquoise water. Upon closer inspection we saw the surf was quite polluted with trash, so we held off on a swim until we backtracked to Golden Beach, over 5km of sand that forms a gently sloping crescent along the southern coast of Karpaz. We took a dip and enjoyed the nearly deserted beach. If there were 25 people spaced out over those 5km I’d be surprised.

Karpaz Peninsula, N Cyprus
Golden Beach

Backing the beach are sand dunes and rolling hills, among which there are wooden beach huts for rent. We chose the new beach bungalows at Burhan’s, €55 for a double, a small price to pay for a night near what must be one of the world’s most spectacular beaches.

2017-02-17T15:27:14+00:00 June 10th, 2011|Categories: Culture, North Cyprus|23 Comments


  1. Alexandros Ellinas June 18, 2011 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    Turkey’s military invasion of Cyprus was illegal and has been condemned by many rulings of the United Nations and international courts of law.

    The so called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not a recognised state, no country in the world recognises it other than Turkey.

    Innocent Greeks were killed by the invading Turkish army and forced to move to the south, not ” relocated” as you say.

    If you don’t know what you are talking about, just don’t say anything, otherwise you just sound ignorant and misinformed.

  2. Serdar Ferit June 19, 2011 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Firstly, I would like to say sorry, if you lost any of your family or friends during 1974. I do feel great sorrow about the division of the island – and I wonder if it can ever be mended. I hope so, but I know that this will require a lot of effort from both Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    I would like to point out, dear Alex, that many innocent Turkish Cypriots were also killed, by Greek Cypriots. Particularly between 1960 and 1974, which is why Turkey intervened after pressure from Turkish Cypriots who felt like they were under severe threat – as I am sure you would know if you were around back then. Perhaps you were and you are unaware, or in denial. A number of our extended family and friends were victims.

    My father was held hostage for three months by the Greek Cypriot army, along with thousands of others, in various POW camps. He watched a number of people suffer brutal beatings and several of his compatriots died too. But despite this, he has always encouraged my brothers and I to actively make friends with Greek Cypriots (in England, where we live), in order to pave the way for some hope in the future. I am glad he did this. I’d hate to feel the way I imagine you do.

    The TRNC may not be a recognised state, but it does exist. It has a flag (which you can see from the Republic of Cyprus), a secular population (much more so than the Republic of Cyprus), a democratic government, a tax system, universities etc. This is despite all of the sanctions and embargoes that have been placed upon it while the neighbouring Republic of Cyprus have been enjoying the fruits of mainstream tourism, export and international recognition.

    The EC said that it would only allow a united Cyprus to join the EU, as I’m sure you are aware… so many efforts were made to make this a possibility. It was a difficult job to persuade the Turkish Cypriot public to vote for unification in the referendum of 2004 (where both sides of Cyprus were encouraged to vote yes or no to peace) – after all, they were aware that many of their Greek Cypriot neighbours harboured hostility towards them. I am led to believe that this is the case in much of the young generation too, i.e. people who were not even born in 1974.

    Sadly, Greek Cypriots (with a lot of pressure from the church and right wing politicians) voted NO to the UN-proposed agreement, which nullified the YES vote from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. But yet they were still allowed to join the EU.

    Regarding your ‘relocation’ claim. You’re right – they were forced to move to the South – as Turkish Cypriots were forced to move to the North. But please note that when I went to visit my parents old homes (where they lived pre-74), in Limassol and Apiscopi, both of them had Greek Cypriot families living in them – so there was relocation – it did happen.

    I guess it’s up to the living Cypriots of today, Turkish and Greek Cypriots, to decide how we move forward.

    The common Greek Cypriot approach of dehumanising Turkish Cypriots and denying their existence is probably not going to get us anywhere very quickly. But sadly, as you have proven, this approach is alive and well.

    I don’t want to sound patronising when I say this, but I realised a while back that hatered is too easy. It requires very little thought, effort or challenging of oneself, therefore it is the easiest position to adopt when you find yourself in a conflict. From my perspective, 37 years on, many Greek Cypriots are still taking the easy approach to the problem. Hate thy neighbour. It may feel right, to the passionate, but I must tell you, I think it is very counterproductive and is one of the main factors that will draw this problem out for a long time to come.

    I sincerely hope things will change, but sobering little incidents like this make me doubt that I will see a significant change anytime soon.

    I kindly ask you to try to hate less, if you can.

    Take care.

  3. Michael June 19, 2011 at 2:13 am - Reply

    Dear Alexandros,

    I admire you for choosing the best and clearly the most effective platform to discuss politics: a culinary blog.
    I loved your closing statement “if you don’t know what you are saying don’t say anything otherwise you just sound ignorant and misinformed”. Can one really know when one doesn’t know? Facts i hear you say. Unfortunately there seems to be two sides to the story where both parties sincerely believe in conflicting accounts and both sincerely believe that their argument is based on facts. I make no claim whether one is right or the other wrong. Every point of view formulates it’s own history which only ensures that there’s never a chance for reconciliation or peace.
    So moral of my message is that just because you call someone else ignorant doesn’t make you right. More importantly humous, sand and politics never go well together.

  4. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 4:10 am - Reply

    Even if it is a culinary blog there are pictures of Turkish flags and mentions of Greeks being “relocated”.

    Believe me if it is was not a culinary blog i could have been writing for hours…

    And YES THOSE ARE FACTS!! do your research, no black and white here, the so called “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” is only recognised by Turkey…

    I could go on forever.

    Just be careful about what is written, it does not matter if it is a blog about politics, about fashion or bread.
    Facts are facts, history is history. You can’t say whatever you want

  5. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 4:15 am - Reply

    only takes 2 seconds on the Internet

    “….Northern Cyprus has received diplomatic recognition only from Turkey, upon which it is dependent for economic, political and military support. The rest of the international community, including the United Nations and the European Union, recognises the de jure sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over the entire island.”

  6. Michael June 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Dear Alexandros,

    If you merely repeat what you said in your first message, this time with the more amicable capital letters, it doesn’t make it any different/better/meaningful. I’ll just have to refer to you to my previous comment. No doubt you’re sincere but when you shout it is hard to tell the difference between between blind propaganda and argument.
    I thank you for not writing for hours. That would only benefit whoever you buy your keyboard or laptop from.
    You could pick and choose facts. Quote the ones that suit you and ignore the ones that don’t. Serdar above lays down others facts and factors that contributed to the event that you should maybe enlighten us before pasting quotes from the internet.
    As for relying the internet for instant knowledge gratification I recently found a page proving the relationship between the aliens, illuminati and atlantis who are conspiring against our beautiful planet. If you don’t hear from me from in the future it is because they abducted me.

    So long earthlings

  7. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    This is clearly a Turkish-friendly and biased blog

    What do you expect from a food site you enter and see Turkish flags, Karpasia called Karpaz, Kerynia called Girne and read about relocated Greeks…

    Serdar’s comments are typical Turkish-Cypriot “neutral” positions and the typical excuses for the unexcusable. We heard these 10000000 times before. They dont’t hold, they have been proven false and of no substance many times before.
    Just the fact that a big percentage (maybe even the majority) of the “Turkish-cypriots” are settlers from Anatolia brought to Cyprus after 1974 to take the homes of the “relocated” Greeks, against all international rules, something that constitutes a war crime says a lot. I could go on with a 10000 more points. But if there is one thing i agree with is that this is not the place.

    However you try to sell it and make it appear it doesn’t change. WE KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE FACTS.

    Don’t blame me for the discussiion, you made a food blog a Turkish propaganda website. A website i don’t plan on visiting again.

    Michael (or should i say Katie) cut the irony and the sarcasm. You cant hide between the grey areas, there arent any. You showed lack of objectivity and was caught (without knowing) I would like to think in a situation of you promoting Turkish propaganda and Turkish imperialism. But from your reaction it doesn;t seem so.

    The least you could do would be to apologize and remove your comments. You don’t. You answer about grey areas and throw sarcasm at the Greek’s comments, not the Turks. Clearly you are biased and willfully involved in Turkish propaganda. SHAME ON YOU.

    EVEN IF IT WAS a matter of two opinions, the blog shouldn;t have comments clearly being in favour of one of the two. As simple as that.

  8. Serdar Ferit June 19, 2011 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Alex, just wanted to confirm that there are probably more Turkish people in Northern Cyprus than Turkish Cypriots at the moment. This is sad and is largely due to an exodus of educated, skilled Turkish Cypriots because of the virtually non-existent economy (mainly due to the sanctions and embargoes – so something to be pleased about, from your perspective, I guess). 

    Also, regarding housing – the number of houses / buildings in The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has gone up at least tenfold in the last 40 years, so there are, proportionally, only very few people still living in Greek Cypriot homes. Land is another matter.

    Your tone and approach to this issue is case in point evidence about why any sort of progress in the near future is unlikely. I sincerely hope that your behaviour / approach is not a representation of the norm. I would luke to believe that it is not. Because if it is, who in their right mind would want to share a country with that? I think I might prefer the embargoes and sanctions to be honest…

    And finally, I can’t believe you’re accusing Katie of propaganda 🙂 that is hilarious. You are so far off the mark…

  9. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Abusive comment removed.

  10. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    Abusive comment removed.

  11. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Abusive comment removed.

  12. Katie June 19, 2011 at 5:17 pm - Reply

    @Alexandros i thought you were going away as per your 4th comment…Since you’ve read my about page, you must be aware that Parla Food has a strict “no trolls allowed” policy. I am currently on holiday and replying from my iPhone but as soon as I get back to my computer and Word Press control panel your incendiary comments will be deleted for their abusive and off topic nature. This is a culinary blog and unless you have something to contribute beyond conspiracy theories and propaganda, I will ask that you do me the courtesy of not returning. This blog is not my propoganda platoform and it is sure as hell not going to be yours. A wise person once wrote, “if you want to rant then get your own blog”.

  13. Alexandros Ellinas June 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Irrational and disproportionately angry comment without the slightest hint of logic removed.

  14. Michael June 20, 2011 at 2:04 am - Reply

    Dear Alexandros,

    How did you discover that I was Katie? You little IQ bucket. And seriously, did you think that such an accusation made anything better/ different/ meaningful?

    Please don’t feel bullied or feel that you’re subjected to a greater conspiracy which rule the world with pictures of donkeys and flags to an unimaginable effect. (However we are taking over the world one plate at a time).

    You now demand me to cut the irony and sarcasm. I am sorry that your management has not sent me the memo that when dealing with the mighty Alexandros I shouldn’t look him in the eye nor should use sarcasm, irony or metaphors. It really baffles me that you feel comfortable to order me one way or the other. Did you somehow think that it was unintentional?

    Again in a futile attempt i will ask you to read the previous comments with less venom. You still seem to think that I am arguing the facts that you present, disregarding the essence of my message which is something other (i am not specifying anymore because it clearly is pointless).

    No need to be hasty. Let’s take it all back. Let’s discuss without the bullying what did you expect was going to happen after your first comment? Did you think that once you wrote what you wrote that the whole internet community would strike down in fear and learn the truth (you probably would’ve capitalised that last word but i’ll resist)? Did you think that your comment would allow this situation in Cyprus resolve? I am truly curious what was your goal of your first message.

    Labelling someone as a war criminal because they know about turkish food is i think taking things slightly too far. Obviously I do not wish to correct you. You are free to jump to your conclusions and never land back.

    You keep finishing your messages with platitudes, the last one being, ‘as simple as that’. I can only accept that sentence if it came after “I am”. Because if so, we’ll treat you so.

  15. Alexandros Ellinas September 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm - Reply

    First of all let me clarify that It just happens to have the same name with the previous person that we share the same name and surname.

    It’s obvious that the initial presentation is what Turkey supports. This may be considering a culinary blog but the way its presented is certainly includes political issues with statement and pictures that are offensive to Greek Cypriots. For example, the statement under the picture “where a rock carries the Turkish and Cypriot flags”. Many more examples in the text and pictures.
    If all of you believe that a solution to the Cyprus problem can be achieved by making such statement/presentations it’s certainly not the case.
    The UN proposal Serdar, that has not taken into account the fears of Greek Cypriots, was 99% a Turkish solution. What did you expect? Say Yes… You can blame whoever you want but that’s my opinion.
    We were forced to move from Turkish troupes and you parent from Turkey politicians. The example of you parent does not support your ‘relocation’ claim.
    Unfortunately is not up to the living Cypriots of today, Turkish and Greek Cypriots, to decide how we move forward. Turkey politicians hold the key to the solution.
    Serdar is trying to present a story that it’s clearly political from the Turkish site. He provides statement based on Turkey political views.

  16. Alexandros Ellinas September 18, 2011 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Dear Katie,
    The flag photo and the comments below are offensive to most Greek Cypriots, not to say to all. Some issues are sensitive to Greek Cypriots and even to rational Greek Cypriots, as you describe them. For example, consider a matter of great importance to you to be presented in photo in a deferent manner. Also comparing food proposal or advices and so on cannot be compared to the point I am trying to make here. My suggestion is to stay focus on the food proposals/ suggestions (as you say you are) and keep politics out. As I am a minority in this blog I am not expecting that you change some photos and statements made, although I wish you would. Hopefully one day we can all enjoy our main dishes in a united Cyprus for all Cypriots well being.

  17. Katie September 18, 2011 at 7:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks Alexandros for taking a decidedly more civil tone. The flag photo and caption is perhaps inadvertently hurtful to some Greek Cypriots; vegans and vegetarians are inadvertently offended by plenty i write here. Am I really supposed to be so politically correct as to not offend anyone? Does that seem a bit over the top to you? Id like to believe that rational Greek Cypriot people wouldn’t be so quick to get offended by a photo and a caption. To be clear, I am extremely pro-turkish food. I couldn’t possibly care less to support Turkish political and military policies. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to try seftali kebabi in Greek Cyprus sometime. I hear you make it with pork!!

  18. Serdar Ferit September 19, 2011 at 6:55 am - Reply

    Hi Alexandros,

    I am the same Serdar Ferit as last time.

    I sincerely hope that one day we can enjoy some lovely dishes in a united Cyprus, as you say.

    I just wanted to say that I know Katie personally and I can assure you that she had no intention of offending anyone when writing this blog.

    I have just noticed one of the reasons you may have been offended and actually now it makes a little more sense.

    Katie, I think one of the reasons is because you refer to the Turkish Cypriot flag as a “Cypriot flag.” Alexandros, is this correct?


  19. Katie September 19, 2011 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    fixed it!

  20. Alexandros Ellinas September 19, 2011 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Hello Serdar
    There are more points than the few mentioned in previous post that are offensive to Greek Cypriots. Not only the actual picture is offensive but also the reference to a “Turkish Cypriot” flag and also for the same flag as “Cypriot” flag.

  21. Serdar Ferit September 20, 2011 at 2:42 am - Reply

    Thanks Katie.

    Alexandros, I’m sorry about your feelings. It’s difficult for me to say anything else.

  22. Ser February 2, 2013 at 5:17 am - Reply

    I do NOT believe Greek Cypriots of today are ready to share the island with Turkish Cypriots yet, once was living together peacefully until wanted independence and to unite with Greece thus Great Britain n US diveded the island using Turkish Cypriots. Greek Cypriots see Turkish Cypriots as minority and think they own the island. Unless Greek Cypriots change their perspective and change their history books and propaganda of church it will never happen. Both sides did wrong its time to change them to move forward but you seem like you are stuck in the past unfortunately and yes until you accept to share the island Turkish and all 6 armies will stay in Cyprus unfortunately.. But i do believe Turkish Cypriots are much more ready to share the island and forget the past even though they are the most sufferers of all of this time… But unfortunately i won’t see peace happenning anytime soon, may be an agreement.. This is what i see.. From a guy who went to sing peace songs at Larnaca and was stabbed by fascists two years ago.. We are not ready for peace yet it will take generations and unless we wake up and see thats what great nations want us divided to control middle east… Enjoy you foods guys… Sorry Katie but i am sick of selfish Greek propaganda.. Share the island or let us live man it’s been 40 years, enough!

  23. Mark Morgan July 6, 2014 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    Just finished reading this. Its very sad. As a former UN soldier based in Nicosia in 1981, I am saddened to see that the old enmity continues. We visit TRNC every year, I fell in love with its old world style, which has not been significantly degraded by the lust for money. I believe that Cyprus, as a Cypriot state will never again be what it was. The Turkish intervention of 1974 is merely a convenient event for a lot of those in the south, who forget the events around 1964, with greek forces landing on the island, and the ensuing political unrest and terrorist action that came with it. the greatest shame is that whichever side of the green lie you find yourself, you will notice that the majority of people are warm, friendly and helpful. The food and hospitality is some of the best in the world. Its just a shame that both sides are more like each other than they care to admit. In the words of George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” Somebody needs to start thinking about what made this island so wonderful in the first place.

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