In the photo, well-known activist Tasoula Hadjitofi laying on the ground at theChurch of the Holy Cross near her home in Famagusta, hiding from Turkish military. She was, after all, caught by the soldiers. (photo by Julien Busch-Der Spiegel)

Turkish provocation in Famagusta (Varoshia) on 20 July 2021, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of 1974. Ms. Hadjitofi waiting for this illegal visit of the Turkish President Erdogan to the ghost city of Famagusta, a visit which did not ultimately take place. The flags of Turkey and of the illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” in front of a new mosque on Dimokratias Street. (photo by Julien Busch-Der Spiegel).

Tasoula Hadjitofi in front of the ruins of the famous Cinema Hatzihambi. Despite the sadness and pain on her face, her eyes express her determination to be able to return one day to her home in Famagusta. (photo by Julien Busch-Der Spiegel)

Katia Sardalou from Famagusta (Varoshia) walks in the streets of the ghost city holding the yellow dress she worein 1974 when she fled Famagusta. She also carries the photo of her deceased brother. (photo by Julien Busch-Der Spiegel).

20 July 2021. Tasoula Hadjitofi prays in front of the looted Church of Agios Nicolaos on Dimokratias Street. She prays with the icon of the Apostle Andreas, whilst the voice of Turkish President Erdogan, in Nicosia, is heard from the loudspeakers inaugurating the new mosque, just a few steps from where she kneels. 

In response to the opening of the “garden of peace”, Tasoula Hadjitofi writes a message, in Turkish, to Turkish President Erdogan in her book “The Icon Hunter”. She requests that they meet, anywhere in the world, so that she can explain to him what real peace and reconciliation means. She warns him that if he does not let the people of Famagusta rebuild their own city, the ghosts of Famagusta (Varoshia) will haunt him forever.

The occupied city of Famagusta is not a ghost town; it represents the souls of thousands of Famagustians waiting for the day that they can freely return to their homes.

Turkish flags and the flag of the illegal “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” cover the façade of Lyceum of Greek Women of Famagusta, a historic cultural center.

Tasoula Hadjitofi looks at the ruined, occupied city of Famagusta and wonders where the road is that will finally lead her to her home.