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Gazimağusa (Municipality, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)


Last modified: 2017-10-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: gazimağusa | famagusta |
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Flag of Gazimağusa
Left, as seen in 2012 - Image by Jens Pattke, 14 October 2012
Right, as seen in 20001 - Image by Onur Özgün, 1 September 2001

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Presentation of Gazimağusa

Famagusta is one of the most important, greatly fortified ports on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. To the north of Famagusta lie the fabulous ruins of Salamis. This once great town is believed to have been founded in the 11th century BC and after the influences of the many conquering nations - notably the Romans- the city was finally abandoned in 648 AD following the combined catastrophes of earthquake and raids by Arab pirates, when the population moved to Famagusta.
The spectacular ruins give a fascinating insight into long-lost civilizations and include a magnificent amphitheatre, Roman baths, a gymnasium and royal tombs. The mosaics are particularly beautiful. Just inland from Famagusta are the church and monastery dedicated to St. Barnabas, the founder of the apostolic church on Cyprus in 45 AD. Barnabas a Cypriot from Salamis, visited the island accompanied by St. Paul and St. Mark and was later martyred in Salamis in 52 AD. The church of St. Barnabas is preserved exactly as it was since abandoned in 1976. There is a wonderful collection of 18th century icons and the monastery cloisters now houses an archaeological museum.

The name of the town in Turkish is Gazimağusa and in Greek Ammóchóstos. It lies on the east coast in a bay between Capes Greco and Eloea, east of Nicosia, and possesses the deepest harbour in Cyprus. Famagusta is a Frankish corruption of its Greek name, which means "buried in the sand", descriptive of the silted mouth of the Pedieos River north of the town. It was founded as Arsinoe by the Macedonian Egyptian King Ptolemy II (308-246 BC). An influx of Christian refugees fleeing the downfall of Acre (1291) in Palestine transformed it from a tiny village into one of the richest towns in Christendom. In 1372 the port was seized by Genoa and in 1489 by Venice, and in 1571 it fell to the Turks. Ravaged by war and earthquakes, the old walled town is now only partially inhabited, but it contains some of the finest examples of medieval military architecture extant and the 14th-century Gothic-style St. Nicholas cathedral, now a mosque.
Under the British administration (1878-1960) the modern section, called Varosha, was developed in large part as a tourist resort. After 1974, Varosha was sealed off to civilians and tourism ceased. Ferry service, begun in 1978 between Mersin, Turkey, and Latakia, Syria, includes Famagusta in its run.
[Municipal website]

Valentin Poposki, 7 December 2008

Flag of Gazimağusa

The flag of Gazimağusa (photo) is blue with the town's emblem in the middle. An older version of the flag, seen in 2001 on TV images, had a white field. "Belediyesi" means "Municipality".

The building shown on the emblem is the cathedral-mosque (photo) of Famagusta. Built as the St. Nicholas (Hagios Nikolaos) cathedral in the beginning of the 14th century on the model of the Gothic cathedral of Reims (France), the cathedral lost its two towers during the siege of the town by the Ottomans in 1571. After the conquest of the town, the Muslims transformed the cathedral into the Lala Mustapha Pacha Mosque, building a minaret on the side of the church and removing most Christian elements (statues, coloured windows).

Onur Özgün & Ivan Sache, 7 December 2008.

Mağusa Türk Gücü Spor Kulübü

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Flag of MTG, two versions - Images by Ivan Sache, 29 July 2017

Mağusa Türk Gücü Spor Kulübü (MTG) was established in 1945. The club won the national title in 1968, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1981, 1982 and 2006.

The flag of MTG exists (at least) in three versions (photo, photo):
- green with the club's emblem with a yellow background and green lettering, surmounted by two yellow stars;
- green with the club's emblem with a yellow background and green lettering;
- yellow with the club's emblem with a green background and yellow lettering - the source photo does not allow to see whether green stars are present or not above the shield.
The two stars represent the achievements of the club, following the Turkish system: football clubs are allowed to add a star over their emblem for every five national titles they won.

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MTG supporter's flags - Images by Ivan Sache, 29 July 2017

The club's supporters use flags horizontally divided green-yellow or yellow-green (photo, photo; video, video).

Ivan Sache, 29 July 2017