Throughout the Cold War, a 15-45km wide strip of territory parallel to Greece’s northern land boundaries was a “surveillance zone”. This special exclusion area had been created by the Greek Army after WW2 to prevent a potential attack from the Soviet Bloc against Greece, which was the only country in Eastern Europe to belong to the NATO. As such, the Soviet Bloc saw Greece as a threat to the Southernmost borders of the Warsaw Pact. Because of this, the area was highly militarized. After 1991 and the fall of the Communist bloc, the military infrastructures in the area was progressively abandoned. Today, the area lives normally but still hosts a number of old military camps, buildings, artifacts, fences, watching towers and devoided Army warehouses - remnants of an era when this area was inexpugnable - and the Southernmost part of the Iron Curtain.
Some pictures I've taken while traveling
October 28 is a National holiday in Greece celebrating the Οxi (No) Day – the refusal of General Metaxas, prime minister of Greece in 1940, to accept the Italian ultimatum in WW2. It also celebrated the following successful military campaign of Greece, which eventually ended with the Greek victory over the invading Italian army. The Greek victory changed the course of World War II because it was first Allied victory in World War II and because it forced Hitler to divert some of his forces to aid Italy in April 1941 - delaying the German attack against Russia to wintertime.
The apparently peaceful Mediterranean island of Cyprus holds in a somewhat mysterious political entity that tourist agencies would rather avoid telling you about unless directly asked - the secluded Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). The TRNC is a country which declared independence in 1980, but its sovereignity has yet to be recognized by any country except Turkey, making it a ghost country. This is my photographic journey into a de facto state that defies all European logic.