5.5
THE WALLS OF NICOSIA AND ENTRANCES IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE PERIOD

“Louis Palma di Cesnola, who served as an American Consul in
Cyprus between 1865 and 1875, noted that the main entrance doors of Nicosia
were closed after the sun had set and no one was allowed to enter or exit the
city without the special permission of the governor.” “Esma Scott-Stevenson,
who is also the author of the book “Our Home in Cyprus”, stated that
in 1878, with his wife, Captain Andrew, they found the Paphos door closed on
the night of their dinner, and that they were shouting and killing the door
until they woke up the door guard.” “Residents, foreign merchants and visitors
were allowed to remain in the city walls.” “For everyday work, the people from
the villages had to leave Nicosia in safety before sunset.” “There is also
information about the main entrance doors being kept closed for two hours in
order to allow the door waiters to perform Friday prayers.” “In the Ottoman
period, only Muslims could enter the city as riders.” “Non-Muslims descended
from their horses before entering the city, and they could go back to their
horses after entering the city.” 1

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5.6
THE GATE OF KYRENIA –PORTO DEL PROVEDITORE-

“When the Nicosia city walls were built in 1567 and the
architect Giulio Savorgnano was given the most supportive Cypriot military
governor, Francesco Barbaro, the first building to be constructed was called
“Porta de Provaditore” (the “Governor’s Gate” Barbaro).” “The
journey between Nicosia and Kyrenia began at this gate and ended at this gate.”
In the following years it was known as “Kyrenia Gate”. “As a
precaution against the rebellions initiated by the Romans in 1821, the gate was
repaired and a guard room with a domed per capita was built.” “The newly built
room carries the same history as the southern ceiling II.” “A marble slab with
the brick wall of Sultan Mahmud was installed. On the northern ceiling, the
inscription of Hattat Sheikh Feyzullah (Feyzi) Dede of Mevlevi dervishes dated
H.1236 (1820/21) was installed.” The first line of the Celi-Sülüs and Reyhan
style inscription is taken from verse 13 of the Qur’an (Surat al-Qur’an) verse
13 and reads in Turkish: “O Muhammad, give thanks to the believers and
give glad tidings of a victory soon.” The reading of the second line,
which is not in the Pure Surat, is as follows: “Open a door that is right
to open every door, also good for us”

In order to facilitate the passage of the motorized
vehicles, the gate of the Amenity Committee of Nicosia decided in 1931 to break
down the step ramps on both sides and opened a passage for them. However,
during the Ottoman period, the walls of the domed room made of stone and mud on
the top of the Venetian tunnel were weak, the vault on the bottom had excessive
pressure, and there was a danger of collapse due to the lack of support of the
two walls. For this reason, a renovation work was carried out at the door
rather than a restoration. During the course of the work, the vault-covered
tunnel, which was about 15 meters long, was shortened to 5 meters and was
rebuilt to the floor of the back gate of the back gate which was supported by
thick walls built around the dome of the upper and lower dome, stair treads
were made to provide access to the room. The southern ceiling of the door is
the II. In addition to the marble signatures of Sultan Mahmut (1808-1839), a
Latin reprint book of 1562 found here during the arrangement was also installed
in the center of the arch. In addition, since the work of opening the passages
on both sides of the door was carried out during the reign of King George V
(George Frederick Ernest Albert), who reigned between 3.6.1865 and 20.1.1936,
“VGRI” letters on the left side of the southern ceiling of the door
and “VGRI” letters on the right side of the door arch (1931). During
the Ottoman era, the Kyrenia Gate and around the King of England III. There
were Englishmen of the George period (1760-1821). These bows were taken to Akka
by sea from Sidney Smith from England to support the Ottoman units in the city
while protecting the Akka city against Napoleon, and they were brought to
Cyprus and placed around the door in 1821, when the domed guard room was built.
Probably the British were moved to Nicosia they came to them in 1878 by Horoz
Ali (Ali Osman Horoz Ali A?a), who served as guard here. It is recorded that
Horoz Ali who lived between 1826 – 6.1.1946 passed away at the age of 121. The
animal market in Samanbahçe after 30.6.1917, the bottom of the walls outside
the Kyrenia gate, the salty place where the current Highway Department known as
‘Larda’ It has moved. The slaughtered and sealed slaughtered animals were
passed to the long poles of the butchers’ apprentices and were only taken to
the Municipal Market of the time after being supervised by watchmen at the gate
of the Kyrenia. 1

 

 

 

 

5.7 THE GATE OF BAF –PORTA DOMENICO-

“The “Porta di San Domenico” gate, known by the
name of Pafos Gate, it is from the Dominic monastery.” “Since the access to the
Paphos villages is provided from this gate, it is known as ‘Paphos Gate’.” “During
the Ottoman period, there was a military barracks with the residence of the
Governor at the top of the door.” “The door went up to the top of the ramparts
with a ramp on both sides of the crossing.” “At that time the Paphos door was
locked after the sun had set, the locks were delivered to the commander of the
barracks and the doors opened only the next day.” “Later, the barracks and the
district governor’s house were demolished and the current building, which was
used as the Cyprus General Police Center until 1958, was built.” “On July 17,
1878, Lord John Hay, the British Admiral who completed the Cyprus transfer
process to the Governor’s House, sent a British flag to the ceremony at this
gate.” “In 1879, a passage was opened to the northern end of the original door
and VR 1879 was installed with a relief look on the northern wall of this
passage.” 1

 

5.8 THE GATE OF FAMAGUSTA –PORTA GIULIANA-

“The door was called Porta Giuliano when it was built by
Count Giulio (Giuliano) Savargnano.” “It is a replica of the Zorzi gate built
by Savargnano in Kandia in Heraclion, Crete.” “The Kyrenia and Paphos gates,
similar to each other, were used by the public, while the larger and longer
ones (149 feet / 45.4 meters) were used for military purposes.” “It was closed
to traffic during the British Colonial period.” “There was a fountain that ran
water 24 hours a day to meet the water needs of passengers and animals, on the
city front overlooking the door.” “It was restored by the Municipality of
Nicosia and started to be used for cultural purposes.” “The restoration works
were awarded with Europa Nostra medal on 14.4.1984.” 1

 

 

 

 

 

5.9 THE ENTRANCE GATES OF NICOSIA WHICH HAVE BEEN OPENED TO THE GATES

“In 1881, in the Nicosia plan of Lord Kitchener, although
the houses were only in the city walls, the houses were built outside the city
walls after this date.” “For this reason, it was necessary to get access
between the city walls and the outside, as well as camel ties, buses and
pedestrians to Nicosia.” “The first bus services to Nicosia were carried out by
Asphalia Motor Car Co Company of Michalakis Efthyvoulou (Lakis) in 1929, and
the flights were first carried out at the train station outside the city walls
but these buses had to be cut off because they could not pass through the Kyrenia
gate tunnel.” “In 1879, a passage was opened to the north side of the Pafos
Gate. Robert Biddulph served as the High Commissioner of Cyprus (1897-1886).” “In
1882, the Triptiotis gate was opened at the end of the Long Road, and in 1931,
another gate was opened at both sides of the Gate Gate.” “The “Amenity
Committee”, which was created for the planning and development of Nicosia.”
1

Six more passes to the city walls opened in 1931 to enter
and exit to Nicosia;

Ø 
Pafos Gate and Passage

Ø 
Aghalma Solomou Passage

Ø 
Eleftheria (former Metaksas / Triptiotis) Passage

Ø 
Gefira Dorou Loizou (Eleftheriou Venizelou Square) Passage

Ø 
Makariou II Gate (Gologasi / Andonios) Passage

Ø 
The gate of Famagusta

Ø 
King George II (Georgou II) Passage

Ø 
New Gate Passage

Ø 
Waterfall Passage

Ø 
The gate of Kyrenia and Passage

Ø 
Kö?klüçiftlik Passage. 1

 

 

6. The Rehabilitation Programme of
the Walled City Nicosia Old Town, Cyprus

There is a programme that has been executed for preserving
the Walled city. It has been completed in 1996. There is a on site review
report about this programme by Mohammad al-Asad.

“Initial funding was provided by the United States Agency
for International Development (USAID). Implementation was carried out through
the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), United National
Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Office for Project Services
(UNOPS).” “More recently, funding also has been provided by the European Union.”

In 1974 the city was divided into two sectors, with a buffer
zone running right through the middle. “The buffer zone turned what had been a
central and commercially vibrant part of the city into an uninhabited
no-man’s-land patrolled by United Nations peace-keepers.” “It also caused a
deterioration of the areas bordering it to both north and south, as it abruptly
severed the organic links between neighbourhoods.”

“In 1979, the mayors of the northern and southern sectors of
Nicosia, Mustafa Akinci and Lellos Demetrades, held a historic meeting under
United Nations auspices and agreed to work together on urban issues affecting
Nicosia.” “The first issue they addressed was the completion of a unified
sewage system for the city.”

“A year later, they launched the comprehensive Nicosia
Master Plan (NMP) project, of which the rehabilitation of the walled city has
been an important component.” “Surveys, studies and plans for the walled city
were drawn up over the next few years, and the first phase of implementation
was initiated in 1986.”

“This included twin projects for the rehabilitation of two
areas located along the buffer zone: Arabahmet in the northern part of the
city, and Chrysaliniotissa in the south.” “Since then, dozens of projects have
been implemented on both sides of the walled city.” 9

Figure – A Sign of The Walled City

 

 

6.1 Aim of The Rehabilitation Programme

            “The aim of
the programme is to preserve the cultural and architectural legacy of the
now-divided Walled City, provide the impetus for new private investments,
enhance the quality of life, attract new residents, strengthen economic
activity and, ultimately, re-establish the role of the historic centre in the
contemporary city.” “The project is a European-funded initiative and executed
by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).” “Six main projects
have been implemented to date on both sides of the divided city.” 9

“The objectives were to: survey and diagnose existing
conditions; propose solutions; create an environment in which representatives
of both communities would be able to exchange views and work together; and
develop a master plan for Nicosia that would address the current and future
needs of the inhabitants of the city as a whole.” 9

 

 

 

 

6.2 Local Architectural Character

“The walled city has a tightly knit urban fabric.” “The
buildings are constructed of a soft yellowish stone and of plastered sun-dried
brick.” “They range in size according to function.” “Religious and other public
buildings are the largest and most dominant, while houses are generally one or
two storeys high.” “There is diversity of building styles, reflecting the
various periods of Nicosia’s history: Byzantine, Gothic and Ottoman, as well as
more recent vocabularies ranging from the neo-classical to the modernist.”

Figure – Example of a Building with Local
Architectural Character

 

6.3
Shape of Walled City

“The circular
walled city has a diameter of 1.6 kilometres and is the heart of Nicosia.” “The
surrounding areas include a number of historical structures from different
periods as well as modern extensions which form the city’s central business
district.” The two parts of the city, north and south, have a different
character, both inside and outside the walls. This is not surprising as they
have been separated from each other for over 30 years, and affected differently
by political, economic, demographic and also socio-cultural forces. The
southern or Greek side generally is more affluent and benefits from greater
resources and full access to the outside world; it became part of the European
Union in 2004. The northern side, on the other hand, has been relatively
isolated, with its only link to the outside world being via Turkey (on whom it
depends for financial aid). Its per-capita GDP income is also somewhat lower
than that of the south. However, conditions in the north began to change in
2003. “Members of the Turkish Cypriot community now enjoy wide-ranging access
to the Greek side and have full rights of citizenship in the Republic of
Cyprus.” “This is removing barriers between the two communities and bringing
them closer to each other.”

Figure – Aerial view of
Walled City of Nicosia

“It is circular in
shape, with eleven spearhead bastions located along its perimeter.” “There are
three historic gates, facing north, east and west (additional entry points for
motor vehicles were added during the modern period) “The city includes hundreds
of buildings of various uses: residential, religious, commercial, governmental,
cultural and educational.” “The southern side includes about 2,800 buildings, the northern side no
less than 2,000 and the buffer zone
about 230.” “The number of listed
buildings is about 1,100 in the
south and 630 in the north (all
numbers are approximate).”

 

 

 

“A joint team of
four architects from both sides also carried out a project surveying all the
buildings of the buffer zone, which was completed in 2003.”

 

Figure – Map of Buffer Zone* – Highlighted with yellow
area

 

(*This zone is neutral, which means it does not
belongs to a country, nor North Cyprus nor South Cyprus.) 9

 

6.4
Design Concepts of Buildings

“A very important
aspect of the project has been to preserve the historical heritage of Nicosia’s
buildings and the urban fabric.” “This of course limits the nature of
interventions that may be carried out.” A process of surveying buildings of
historical and architectural importance and placing them on a protection list
was initiated in 1986. “Before then, only the main monuments of the city were
listed.” “A legal framework was developed to ensure the protection process
could be sustained.” “For example, development transfer rights were put in
place.” “Height limits were set at two storeys.” “The existing street network
was respected and pedestrianisation introduced whenever possible.” “Vehicular
traffic was reorganised and dedicated parking spaces were provided in various
parts of the city.” “Internationally accepted restoration practices were
adopted with the aim of safeguarding the authenticity of the structures and
ensuring that all interventions were reversible.”

Figure – A building while renovation process has been
executing

Figure – Inside of a Renovated Building

Figure –
View of the restored sixteenth-century Omeriye Bath complex in the southern
part of the city.

Figure – The
courtyard of the restored sixteenth-century Buyuk Khan in the northern section
of the city

 

6.5
People Involved in The Rehabilitation Programme of The Walled City Nicosia Old
Town

“There is a tremendous
team spirit among the people involved in the project (both within the
individual teams, and in terms of cooperation between north and south).” A
dedicated group of architects and planners in each of the two municipalities
work for the NMP project. “On the Greek side, they include NMP team leader Agni
Petridou, Athina Papadopoulou, Eleni Petropoulou, Simos Droussiodes, Andri
Sofroniou, Costas Mavrokordatos, and Elena Sofianou.” “On the Turkish side,
they include NMP team leader Ali Guralp and Cemal Bensel.” Also, considerable
credit should go to the two mayors who initiated the process of cooperation in
1979: Mustafa Akinci and Lellos Demetrades. 9

7. Impact
of The Renovation Programme of The Walled City Nicosia Old Town on to the
Cyprus Cultural Tourism Industry

“The phenomenon of
urban regeneration has become increasingly prominent on government agendas in
recent years.” “Urban regeneration is a promising opportunity for the tourism
industry.” “In the majority of the cases urban regeneration strategies follow a
cultural approach.”

“Creative
industries are supposed to create new employment in the heart of the city by
avoiding any kind of pollution and at the same time attracting young,
well-established and highly educated professionals.” “The regeneration process
is meant to be driven by beautification and contribution to an iconic building
to encourage investment in the area.”

“Cyprus has been
an intersection of different cultures over the last millennia and each has left
its trace in the built environment.” The cultural heritage of the island is
therefore rich and varied, reflecting both its oriental and occidental
influences. “In spite of the rich cultural heritage Cyprus today is still
mainly a “sun & beach” destination due to the lack of utilizing and
promoting its heritage.”

“The capital Nicosia is a city whose image has been
especially characterized by the Greek, Venetian and the Ottoman periods.” “Nicosia
became a divided city after the intervention of Turkish troops in 1974.” “Thus
the political situation has resulted in the seldom valuation of the country’s
heritage as a potential for cultural
tourism.” Due to the intensive engagement of the United Nations (following
the Nicosia Master Plan) a lot of historic monuments have been rediscovered and
renovated in the last few years.

“This large scale
urban regeneration created a significant potential for cultural urban tourism
and therefore the opportunity to support the further destination development of
Cyprus.” 10

“Thus these influences
result in much more incoming tourist to these attractive city and this will
benefit local residents and workers in terms of income.”

“The Renovation
Programme of The Walled City, the Chrysaliniotissa
residential rehabilitation scheme has had positive results, meeting the challenge
of combining conservation objectives with socio-economic revitalisation and encouraging
private owners to invest in and re-use traditional buildings through favourable
conditions, such as funding, a better economic environment and strong political
support.” 11* “In Arabahmed, however,
despite the US$5 billion spent on rehabilitating this historic district, socio-economic
vitality has not been achieved due to the lack of diversity of uses which would
keep the area active round the clock, and the social profile of the residents,
who are low-income and under-educated immigrants from less developed regions of
Turkey.” “The Arabahmed district still need strong external support, but the
revised implementation strategy giving new public uses to old houses, such as a
cultural centre, a women’s library, restaurants serving local traditional food,
art centres, and so forth, is starting to bear fruit.” 11*

Figure – Overall view of Walled City and the touristic
areas Arabahmed and Chrysaliniotissa

“The project’s
impact has been very positive. The southern part of the walled city is
gradually evolving into a high-quality urban district with a diverse mix of
residential, commercial, religious, and cultural uses springing up everywhere
(even along the buffer zone).” “The area also seems to accommodate diverse
economic groups and activities.” “Though the planning team feels that much
still needs to be done, what has been achieved so far is very impressive.”10

“In the northern
part of the walled city, the changes are also positive, but are taking place at
a slower rate.” “The north lags somewhat behind, in terms of both quantity and
quality.” There are a number of reasons for this. “One is the uncertainty about
the future of relations between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the
Republic of Cyprus.” “More specifically, there is a problem with property
ownership in the walled city since it is expected that properties that were
expropriated in 1974 would have to be returned to their original Greek Cypriot
owners if and when a solution is reached that unifies the two sectors of the
city.” “A good number of these properties were taken over by residents of the
Turkish part, and some have even been sold to new owners since.” (This is not
such a serious problem in the Greek part, where the properties owned by Turkish
Cypriots before 1974 have been placed under the management of a special
committee run by the Ministry of Interior.) “Though the problem is not as
intractable as it may initially seem (some mechanisms for resolving it have
already been put forward), it has still dampened the inflow of investments to
the Turkish side, especially in areas close to the buffer zone.” 10

“The formulation
of the Nicosia Master Plan (NMP) have produced significant achievements, in
terms both of policies and projects on the ground, and enhancing both
communities capacity for bi-communal action for the future revitalization of
Nicosia as a whole.” “These bi communal projects, beyond seeking to increase
the capacity of the city’s services and to improve the existing and future
human settlement conditions of all the inhabitants of Nicosia, have acted as a
means of building confidence between the two communities although no solution
has yet been reached in the Cyprus problem and the divided status of the city
continues.” 11