Elwood 5566

A Forgotten Division – Cyprus (키프로스)

Posted in Comparative, Diary notes by 노강호 on December 3, 2010


Monday 3rd of December, 1973.  Polemedia Camp, Berengaria, Limassol, Cyprus. Aged 17 in a country about to be divided

A little indulgence into my past as 37 years ago today I was on Guard Duty, aged 17, in Polemedia Camp, Berengaria, Cyprus. A country shortly destined to be divided and which as remained so ever since, Without doubt the most fantastic potential holiday island I have ever been too was Cyprus. I spent six months on this Mediterranean island in 1974 as part of the United Nations peace keeping force. Cyprus was amazing and I remember Christmas 1973 because in the same day we went skiing up Mount Troodos we drove 60 minutes to the coast where on the most beautiful of beaches, Lady’s Mile, nestled below the ancient temple of Apollo Hylattes (Apollo of the Woodlands), we went swimming. Lady’s Mile, out favourite beach, was always deserted as there was very little tourism. Today it is as crowded as any beach on the Costa del Sol.

The Island of Aphrodite, Cyprus

Overlooking Aphrodite’s Rock, 1973

New Year’s Day, 1974 between the Temple of Apollo Hyllattes and Lady’s Mile beach

Lady’s Mile after the tourist invasion

I left the Island in 1974, shortly after my 18th birthday and three months later, a coup d’etat  by Greek  nationalists Cypriots led to a Turkish invasion which resulted in the island being divided into Greek and Turkish halves. The northern half, approximately 36% of the island, known as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is only recognised, by Turkey.

Temple of Apollo Hylattes – in 1973 an abandoned, over-grown piles of rocks which had few visitors and which we stumbled across

Ist of January 1974. Temple of Apollo Hylattes. The one advantage of the tourist industry is that this important site is now tended

Mount Troodos

To most of the world, it would seem that only Korea is divided but so too is Cyprus and it is perhaps understandable why; Cyprus isn’t strategically important in terms of global domination as is testified by its absence of US military bases, so prolific around the globe. Lesson? Korea isn’t the only divided country in the world!

I served with the Regimental Band of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards from September 1973-February 1988. (Polemedia Camp, Berengaria, Limassol, c. October 1973-March 1974).

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