Heidi Trautmann

89 - The Famagusta Ecocity Project

The idea of a Varosha revival has developed roots –


By Heidi Trautmann


The net of rumours gets tighter knit every week that passes, the rumours of opening Varosha, of developing it, of construction companies moving in and making the plan without thinking of the people concerned, or considering their feelings, that is the people that came from the South and settled here and people that had to leave from here and settled in the South. It is a very tender subject.

People around Famagusta are concerned, people that have been living with the dead zone in their daily vicinity, people that had houses just a stone’s throw away from the wire fence, some can even see their house.

One of such persons is Ceren Boğaç, Turkish-Cypriot Famagusta native and current resident. Architect (Bachelors) & Environmetal Pychologists ( Master of Science and PHD). Professor and vice chair of the Department of Architecture Eastern Mediterranean University, northern part of Cyprus. She is the Vice director (currently acting director) of ‘EMU Urban Research and Development Center’, board member of Housing Education, Research & Advisory Center of Faculty of Architecture EMU and board member of The International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture and Urbanism, INTBAU Cyprus Chapter. http://cerenbogac.com.


I spoke to Ceren about this new project; she is the daughter of our famous sculptor and learnt architect Baki Boğaç, whom I have known as a very sensitive citizen and consultant of the City of Famagusta,…. and refugee from Larnaca; he and his family have become good friends to me.

“I act as consultant in this project because I know the place best and I have made it my academic concern ever since. I know of the sensitivity that has to be applied when the probability of opening Varosha becomes true and for this event we want to take countermeasures now to sharpen the awareness of people. We don’t want this so far forlorn, desolated, neglected, ghost area to become a touristic development adventure . We want it to be a sample Ecocity, a development in coordination with its environment and its past.”  (Please read about the project in detail under ‘Famagusta Ecocity Project’ on the internet.)

Ceren explained that the facts of the past destiny of her family has had a great influence on her decision to study the psychological aspects of architecture. Ceren did a field study to this effect.


“In our team we have brought together experts on various fields including the master architect Jan Wampler who has successfully finalized similar international projects.  In theory we are ready to start but have to find ways to get the project funded. Our intention is to start an environmental peace (eco-peace) movement in Cyprus to turn an occupied ghost city (and its surrounding region) into Europe's model ecocity, while in the process attempting to heal the rift between the Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots. Vasia Markides, artist and filmmaker, who has roots here in Cyprus and her husband are willing to document these efforts.


An exciting call for our interest and involvement; things are changing, and these things also concern us, us the expats.


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