Some towns remain unreached until the symbols they keep in their deepest parts are discovered. Mağusa is a such a town. She seems to be hiding her most intimate parts beyond the high walls covering her as a long dress.

Those high walls once surrounded 365 churches, and defended the glamorous life of Venetian and Genoese nobility. However for Birgitta of Sweden they witnessed the most insolent life styles of the time. The tragedy of Desdemona and Othello took place here and Bragaddino whilst owed his fame to these impenetrable walls also gave his life within these walls. Namık Kemal the poet in exile although despised these walls nevertheless people of this walled city gave his name to its most eloquent symbol, the Namık Kemal square (formerly Palace Square)

Despite the protest raised by the religious authorities the Local Council removed the railings in front of the mosque and integrated it with the square. The cafe-bars, cosmetic and the souvenir shops around the pedestrianized square demonstrate the expectations and the importance of tourism for the town. Yet the square is still a living space for the local people. Whilst seating in one of the cafes at the square one could see the Mayor of the town discussing with the locals. In summary, whilst remaining as an attractive area for the tourists the square does not exclude or alienate the local people.
Mayor Oktay Kayalp
 
Perspectives of Social Life in Famagusta

Like other stately cities that had the influence of Frankish or Latin cultures, at the centre of Mağusa rises a cathedral (transformed into a mosque during Ottoman period) dominating the square.

With more than ten thousand students from diverse cultural backgrounds, EMU had an undeniable impact on Famagusta's social life. EMU's role in Famagusta's bid to become the "cultural capital" of the island is great.
Folk dancing is a popular activity amongst the youth of Famagusta. The folk group of the Town Council is the largest group in North Cyprus. The group which is the source of pride for the Town Council has won many awards in Europe.
Cafe bars have recently become indicators of modern urban life. Amongst many cafe bars in Famagusta. D&B,  La Fortuna and Affix Bistro are good examples.
There are many good quality restaurants in Famagusta which has always been famous for its kebabs and mezes. Sema and Yıltan having lived in Britain for many years, settled in Famagusta and opened up the place called El - Kaz which serves as cafe bar and a tavern.

Another restaurant in Famagusta that we can recommend is Cyprus House.

The shops around Namık Kemal Square (Palace Square) are ideal places for gifts and souvenirs from North Cyprus. We recommend Estetik and Spice & Herb Centre.
Amongs the tourist accommodation in Famagusta which has the most beautiful sandy beaches in North Cyprus we can indicate Bilfer Palm Beach, Salamis Bay, Mimoza, Sema and Portofino Hotel. Bilfer Palm Beach and Salamis Bay are five star hotels.
The pre-historic specifications of Famagusta above all stems from being a "sea-port town". Because of this at times she has been occupied and burnt down. Nevertheless she owes her magnificent history to being a "sea-port town".

(*) Holiday Times Magazine, November 2000, Photographs: Banu Demirci


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