Inside crumbling abandoned airport in Europe's last 'no-man's land' with jet used in final flight left rusting on tarmac | The Sun

A ONCE bustling airport has been left to rot in a bullet-ridden no-man's land frozen in time for half-a-century.

Apocalyptic images show the former state-of-the-art Nicosia Airport littered with dusty seats and crumbling buildings after the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

The bullet-riddled airport used to be the island's main transport hub before conflict in the region turned it into a ghost building.

Eerie pictures show a decaying Cyprus Airways Trident that was used on the final flight – left rotting on the tarmac while vegetation has taken over the area.

The once buzzing main terminal is now a rusty shell with rows and rows of dusty seats while the baggage claim remains empty.

The airport, located near Nicosia, was built in the 1930s and used mainly by the military.

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A new high-tech terminal opened in 1968 that could host up to 800 travellers.

Even then, Cyprus was a popular holiday destination, with thousands of visitors flocking to the island – including celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and model Brigitte Bardot.

But the airport was turned into a battlefield between Cypriot and Turkish troops.

Thousands of families were forced to flee at a moment's notice after Turkish forces staged an invasion in 1974, leading to a partition of the island.

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The Nicosia airport was heavily damaged in a bombing, forcing its closure – and the UN Security Council declared it a Protected Area.

Cyprus was eventually divided into the north and south and a demilitarised zone was drawn in Nicosia – with the airport being right in the middle.

The last commercial flight departed Nicosia for London in 1977 under the special authorisation of the UN.

Local authorities later opened a new international airport at Larnaca, which has become the island's main airport.

In July, Prince Harry’s former regiment gave The Sun a rare tour of the Cypriot buffer zone.

Everything from new cars to dishes in the sink lie abandoned in an eerie 118 mile-stretch of land that divides the north and south of Cyprus.

Hotels and private schools featured hundreds of bullet holes – providing a chilling reminder of the hundreds of lives lost in the conflict.

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