Northern Cyprus Heritage (6) Mavi Kösk – Blue House

    There are several sites describing the beauty of the Blue House / Mavi Kösk between Camlibell and Sadrazam Köy. Although it is recent heritage (built in 1956) and most probably some army propaganda (see:, worth a visit everybody said. Info sites mention large opening hours so what could go wrong? But when I arrived, I was not rewarded by an entrance ticket but by learning more about car diversity.

The Blue House lies in a military camp so you pass along a soldiers barrier before approaching it. I couldn’t pass, the guy said, because my car was a rental car from the South of Cyprus. First I thought he made a joke, but he was serious. Here I am, a Dutch person speaking quite some Turkish and visiting Northern Cyprus since many years and I was left out while others entered because I had the wrong car. Being discriminated because of your car only, I really never heard about that kind of ‘ayrimcilik’ before. Neither is it mentioned on any site about the Blue House, but the guy seriously told me ‘go change your car’, these were the rules. My offer to park the car and walk to the Blue House (only 500-1000 meters) was fiercely rejected because civilians can’t walk on a military site. Could have known that, Turks never walk anyway.
They didn’t offer me a hike to make the bridge between these few meters, they really sent me off. I think it was my first time in thirty years meeting with Turks that hospitality was denied. My experience so far was: they always find a solution, especially when you speak the language and know the culture. So they left me in shock.

It made me think of Germany some time ago. In the Netherlands, we used to drive the car we want. One could see a millionaire in a Fiat (a former Prime Minister was known for that) and a poor man in a BMW. In Germany this was not possible at that time. Every class had its car and everybody sticked with the rules and that made the world orderly and predictable. Germany changed, and so will hopefully one day the Turkish army. It is not the car that is the enemy, but the person inside it. The next spy might show up in a Turkish car….or in a car rented in the North of Cyprus. Hope Turkish soldiers will learn to see the difference 🙂

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