Building a peaceful co-existince together

How can we empower the voice of the people for the unification of Cyprus? How can we show two communities that unlike the “deadlock”, something different, something sustainable can be done in this island? We talked about our inspirations, strategies and will to build a peaceful co-existince together in Cyprus with Raphaelle Vivent from news channel France 24. Thank you Raphaelle for including the initiatives in favor of the reunification in your review. All the initiatives’ efforts will one day bring peace in our island-


The ‘Journey’, International Summer School

Today we talked at the International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC about how to handle the challenges caused by ecological treats, climate changes and war/conflict in specific areas. We shared our experiences from the Famagusta Ecocity Project with those international postgraduates and young professionals to inspire them to tackle these grand scale problems. We would like to thank Dr. Stelios Yiatros for inviting us.

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC


International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

International Summer School, the ‘Journey’, organised by The Cyprus University of Technology with Climate-KIC

What is  Climate-KIC?

“The Largest EU public-private initative to tackle the consequences of Climate change  KIC stands for Knowledge Innovattion Community and is effectively a Europe-wide network comprising universities, corporates, SMEs and startups aiming to tackle the hardest challenge of all: mitigate or adapt to the consequences of Climate Change through education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Climate-KIC focuses on 4 (some-mes overlapping) themes: Urban Transi-ons (UT), Sustainable Land Use (SLU), Sustainable Produc-on Systems (SPS) and Decision Metrics & Finance (DMF).

Climate-KIC runs educa-onal ac-vi-es such for postgraduates and young professionals like the Journey as well as short masterclasses and week long courses for members of its community and other local and regional stakeholders. It also runs innovation programmes for R&D projects of different readiness levels to market (e.g. demonstrator, accelerator and scaler programmes) and idea-on and accelera-on programmes for green startups, such as ClimateLaunchpad which has been organised in Cyprus by Chrysalis LEAP.” »Source

Brief info for CKIC Journey CY6_Page_6.jpg


»More about the Journey summer school

Stories for Peace

Amelia and Me at Walledcity Famagusta

We shared two ‘peace’ stories with the editor in chief of Amelia and her partner Josh. This inspiring couple created an online platform for travel video/ bloggers to share their stories. There are many ways for peace making; art, architecture, storytelling, permaculture, economy and many more. Our first story came from art in which my father talked all about the “Risky Travels”.  Second story followed as “The Famagusta Ecocity Project” which displays great potential for a peaceful co-existence. Thanks to Amelia and Josh for making us part of their stories in Cyprus.

Me, Munise and Amelia, hanging out in Famagusta

Josh and Amelia, interview with Baki Bogac

Cyprus: The Trapped Treasures of a Divided Island

»Source: Euronews

euronews“Good morning everybody, welcome to this amazing walking and talking tour of the wonderful city of Famagusta,” says archaeologist and art historian guide Anna Marangou. As always, she and her fellow guide Orhan have words in Greek and Turkish to welcome their party.

Their bi-communal efforts was one of the examples recognized by the Stelios Foundation bi-communal initiative rewards.

Anna is Greek Cypriot, and co-guide Orhan is Turkish Cypriot. Together they take their fellow islanders around discovering Cyprus’s rich cultural heritage. The island has been divided since 1974, with Greek Cypriots in the south and Turkish Cypriots in the north.

Today they are taking a group of Greek Cypriots around the medieval city of Famagusta, in the north. It was once Cyprus’s biggest port, and a shared past is everywhere.

“We shared this cultural heritage from the very ancient times until today. We can live together and we have proved it, because the Greek and Turkish Cypriots have been working together,” says Anna.

Common prosperity is one of the driving hopes of those who strive for reunification.
Many sectors could benefit, not the least tourism.
But it is not what motivates Anna and Orhan the most.

“We are doing it, not for benefits, not to earn money, but to earn our future, and to make a good country for our future for our children and grand-children,” says Orhan Tolun.

The visit ends at one of the conflict’s most symbolic sites, Varosha, the former beachside district of Famagusta.

Under the watchful eye of the Turkish army the area has been abandoned since its Greek Cypriot inhabitants fled over 40 years ago.

“Filming is not allowed in the ghost town of Varosha, the symbol of divided Cyprus,” reports euronews’ Valerie Gauriat. “But if reunification took place, it could become a symbol of a new golden age for the island.”


Andreas and Ceren want to believe that.
He is Greek Cypriot, she is Turkish Cypriot. Both are architects, and are part of an ambitious reconstruction project. They imagine Famagusta as an eco-city, a possible model for sustainable development and also the flagship of reunification.

“It can become a hub of civilisations and commerce, with a Levantine coastline across. It can aim to sustain the existing buildings, preserving memories, and at the same time benefit from 21st century infrastructure and practices regarding ecological performance,” says Andreas Lordos.

For his Turkish Cypriot colleague, the project could be a model of reconciliation.

“I think this project is giving voice to many trapped souls. And we’re trying to pull them from behind this unreal curtain.These people once lived in here, and they want to live again. And half of their soul is there. And half of our soul is also empty. Because we cannot get integrated,” she says.

The Cypriot business world also strive for an integration which could boost the economy as a whole.
The president of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce north of Nicosia, believes a political solution would produce a great leap forward .

“The Turkish Cypriot community will be freed of sanctions. And we will be able to benefit from the entire Cypriot market. Not to mention other European markets.

The geopolitics in the eastern Mediterranean will benefit hugely, because it will enhance regional cooperation. The Greek Cypriot community will immediately enjoy the economic benefits of being able to trade with Turkey,” says Fikri Toros.

Meanwhile, “You still need to go through checkpoints to get from one side of the island to the other. Trade is limited by the so-called green line regulations and, in the absence of a political solution, represents less than 10% of the potential commerce,” says Valérie Gauriat.

Some companies have been able to maintain an enduring cross-border dialogue, and are merely waiting for the restrictions to be lifted says the president of the Cypriot Republic’s Chamber of Commerce in southern Nicosia.
So are foreign investors.

“The business communities are already talking to each other, about possible partnerships, joint ventures, or cooperation. Talking to investors, I believe that there will be a renewed interest for large projects. Let’s not forget that Cyprus is on the route of transporting to Europe natural gas, a lot of which has been discovered in the eastern Mediterranean basin.” says Phidias K. Pilides.

Talking to CBC RADIO-Canada “As It Happens” with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas

Talking to CBC RADIO-Canada “As It Happens” with Carol Off and Jeff Douglas during the “Famagusta EcoCity Project Phase I” process.
cbc radio

PART THREE (@ “13:36) click to listen

Beautiful beaches, white sands and an array of hotels with Mediterranean views to die for: the resort town of Varosha in Cyprus has everything.

But there is one drawback. If you try to enter it, you stand a good chance of being arrested and detained by the Turkish military.

Cyprus’s inter-ethnic violence has turned the once thriving resort into a ghost town. But now a new project hopes to reverse Varosha’s fortunes — and turn it into a beacon of hope for the long-divided Mediterranean island.

Ceren Bogac is the co-founder of the Famagusta Ecocity Project. We reached her in Famagusta, Cyprus.

»Source link

Reviving Famagusta; From Ghost Town to Eco-city?

Dr. Ceren Bogac’s presentation at ’02:37:38

It was very emotional for me to meet with all those Famagusta refugees, tell them my personal narrative regarding our home town, sharing our experiences and hoping for a solution. I like to thank for all those beautiful people for their kind words who spend time with me after my presentation.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Date Friday, 21 February 2014
Venue Shaw Library, Old Building, LSE
Time 14.00-18.45
Chairs Professor  Kevin Featherstone, Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies & Professor of European Politics; Director, Hellenic Observatory, LSEDr Rebecca Bryant,   A.N. Hadjiyiannis Senior Research Fellow, Hellenic Observatory, LSE

A half-day conference organised by the Hellenic Observatory and Contemporary Turkish Studies, LSE


Reviving-Famagusta-Conference-PosterOn 21 February 2014 the Hellenic Observatory attracted much local interest in its half-day conference, ‘Reviving Famagusta: From Ghost Town to Eco-City?’ There was an overflow crowd eager to learn about recent projects and plans for the future of the ghost town of Varosha and the entire Famagusta area. With the island’s division in 1974, approximately 35,000 Greek Cypriots fled from the Famagusta area, and the town of Varosha was surrounded by barbed wire and occupied by Turkish troops. Recently, however, Turkish Cypriots living in Famagusta have joined with displaced Greek Cypriots to demand the opening of Varosha under UN supervision, the return of property to its legal owners, the opening of Famagusta port under EU supervision, and the listing of the walled city as a UNESCO heritage site. Moreover, numerous bi-communal projects have begun to plan for the revival of the city. The conference brought together Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots involved in these initiatives with academics working on eco-cities and divided cities to discuss how we might imagine a reunited and revitalised Famagusta.

Rebecca Bryant

Dr Rebecca Bryant,   A.N. Hadjiyiannis Senior Research Fellow, Hellenic Observatory

Session 1: Envisioning the Future


George C. Lordos, Economist and Businessman; Member of the Famagusta Initiative and the Famagusta Eco-city Project


Symeon Matsis, Economist; Member of the Famagusta Initiative


Glafkos Constantinides, Sociologist, Economist and Urban Planner, MRTPI


Layık Topcan Mesutoğlu, Town Planner


Robert Cowley, Visiting Lecturer, Department of Politics and International Relations, Westminster University

Panel 1

Panel 1 during the Q&A session


Audience during the Q&A session

Session 2: Planning for a Bi-Communal Famagusta


Dr Ceren Boğaç, Assistant Professor, Eastern Mediterranean University; Architect; Environmental Psychologist; Famagusta Ecocity Project


Mustafa Öngün, PhD Candidate, Centre for Contemporary Aristotelian Studies in Ethics and Politics (CASEP), London Metropolitan University


Nektarios Christodoulou, University of Cyprus PhD Grant Holder


Dr Wendy Pullan, Head of Research and Director, Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge

Audience 2

Audience during the Q&A session


Closing Remarks and Q&A session

» Source LSE European Institute

Click to Download Conference Booklet

Famagusta Conference Booklet Final

From the press

»Source: Cyprus News Agency

‘Reviving Famagusta’ at the LSE
CNA – UK/London 22/2/2014 19:16

Ideas and proposals on reviving Famagusta as well as an evaluation of the challenges and the social repercussions of such an endeavour were discussed during a conference organised at the London School of Economics on Friday afternoon by the university`s Hellenic Observatory and the Contemporary Turkish Studies department.

The conference, entitled ‘Reviving Famagusta: From Ghost Town to Eco-city?’ initially examined the technical aspect of the idea, in terms of planning and also with regard to the proposal to redevelop Famagusta as an eco-city. As the coordinator of the conference, Dr Rebecca Bryant of the Hellenic Observatory said in her introduction, the idea for the timely conference came from a recent poll among Turkish Cypriots conducted by the Famagusta Initiative which showed that 73% of them were supporting the return of the town to its lawful inhabitants.