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Morphou Municipality Building

Morphou, Morfoy, Guzelyurt, Cyprus
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Morphou Municipal Hall

Imaginary and physical territorialities: Municipal Hall 3

The municipality of Morphou is located in the old city centre. The Greek Cypriot local authorities were renting a modernist two-floor tall apartment building. Surprisingly, the "Guzelyurt's" inhabitants, mostly Turkish settlers but also displaced Turkish Cypriots from Polis Chrysochous, have been using the same rented apartment building as municipal hall, for the last 44 years. The building is part of a construction boom of the 1960s when the Morphou economy was thriving thanks to its rich agriculture hinterland. Consequently, most of the traditional buildings of the historic centre had been replaced by two-floor tall modernist ones. They follow however, the infill building urban logic plus, the historic road structure. As a result, we have a unique modernist city following a traditional urban fabric.The actual municipal building has shop-like ground floor and a first floor with offices. It is situated between three roads following the geometry of the convergent streets. We were well received, when we had visited the building a few months ago, escorted by a Turkish Cypriot colleague. We were allowed to make a detail survey of the building in order to recreate its floor plans. We were rather surprised that the municipality was operating in a building for 44 years without any issued floor plans. I had the feeling that they were in a sort of perpetual appropriation of a building they found ready for use in 1974 and continued using.The exiled municipality of Morphou is located in another apartment building in Nicosia. Its interior walls are full of images about the lost territories. However, we see none from the building in Morphou, originally housing the municipality.
The Morphou area is supposed to be part of the South Region according to the failed United Nations plan of 2004. However, the on-going investments in construction and infrastructures by the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey are means to cancel out such potential.

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stratiss, February 7th, 2019
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