‘Do you get many tourists in the north?’, I quiz the local guide Houssem Belloum as our minivan approaches the efficient UN Buffer Zone (aka Green Line) checkpoint. After the obligatory brief passport check, we continue our late-night drive from Larnaka airport in the south of the partitioned island to the old harbour town of Kyrenia (Girne) in the north. ‘Thank God, no’, he fires back, only half-joking. I know I have come to the right place.
Turkey and Israel expelled each other’s senior diplomats on Tuesday in a dispute over the killing by Israeli forces of 60 Palestinians a day earlier during protests on the Gaza border.