Cyprus, Nicosia

Are There Bomb Shelters in Northern Cyprus?

Updated: 4 weeks ago
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Lately, this question has been appearing both humorously and quite seriously on forums and across the internet.

People have become curious about this in light of statements made by the leader of Hezbollah. He believes that Cyprus's aid to Israel and the presence of military bases on the island could be seen as involvement in conflicts in the Middle East.

And it's not unimportant that we're talking about the southern part of the island — Cyprus isn't that big, and many still recall how a rocket from Syria fell near the village of Tashkent in the TRNC in 2019.

бомбоубежища на Северном Кипре

So, are there bomb shelters or not?

Despite Northern Cyprus being dotted with Turkish military bases, bomb shelters for civilians in case of military actions or missile attacks are not provided. However, some places could be considered similar to air-raid shelters.

Where Can You Seek Shelter from Shelling in Northern Cyprus?

  1. Coastal Bunkers During the military actions in 1974, numerous fortified defensive points were erected along the coastline to protect against attacks from the sea. They can be found extensively along the northern coast of the island.

  2. Turkish Military Bases You're unlikely to be allowed there, but if you seek protection during potential shelling, it wouldn't hurt to familiarize yourself with the deployment of the Turkish Republic's military contingent on the island. Surely, you've seen signs saying "No entry, military zone" with a black rifle on a red background — perhaps passage will be allowed during an emergency situation.

  3. Fortified Structures Buildings created for defense in past centuries retain their relevance and defensive functions. Here are some of them:

  4. Largest Cave in Cyprus We're talking about the gypsum cave İncirli Mağarası, which translates to Fig Cave. The tunnels stretch for over 300 meters, but only 70 meters are equipped and illuminated. Nevertheless, this is sufficient to accommodate many people. Here are the details about İncirli Cave.

  5. Underground Church in Kyrenia Near the square surrounding Ramadan Cemil Square, there is an inconspicuous entrance to an underground chamber. Today, it houses a parish of one of the Christian churches with musical accompaniment and songs in praise of Jesus. Regardless of your religion, this certainly fits the definition of a bunker. Here is the location.

  6. Mosque Toilet in Kyrenia The city seems to have indeed prepared for such events. For example, the washing facilities of the Ağa Cafer Pasha Mosque are located in a semi-basement space. Location of the mosque.

  7. Bars in Basements Of course, drinking establishments in basements may not resemble full-fledged bomb shelters, but for many, weathering tough times is better where they serve something delicious!

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