Perhaps we should acknowledge politics right up front: this is an Orthodox Church in an Islamic state. In fact, not including de facto in front of the word state can cause some discomfort. But it gets even more interesting: there are Priests on hand and worshipers arrive by the bus loads. This is a working church.
Believers come up from the Republic of Cyprus on the weekends. They often ride in large tour busses and stop for lunch on their way: Boğaz Harbor being one such popular stop. Once pilgrims from the south arrive, they are met by rows of tables offering gifts of every description. These tables are manned by Turkish Cypriots. This is a place of peace for all man.
The Monastery itself is at the far end of the Karpaz Peninsula and will take a day to visit. The Peninsula is a narrow finger of land that runs eighty kilometers out into the Sea. Bring your camera. We have other articles on this trip including one on the wild donkeys.
The oldest building still standing is a small chapel built in the 15th century. Most of the building dates from the seventeen hundreds. This is a place of historic and religious import that was recently rebuilt (restored) with funding from the EU, US, UN, Church of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot EVKAF's religious foundation EVKA. Wikipedia Article Here
Besides the religious miracles, it is believed that this is where Richard the Lionheart found the hiding King of Cyprus, Isaac Comnenus and the latter was forced to negotiate his surrender.
Just up the hill from the Monastery building are several white, one story modern structures that appear to be housing for staff. These buildings are not open to visitors.
Across the street is an old, abandoned, one story motel. The donkeys are often found milling about there and in the parking lots. While the donkeys love to get treats, they don’t seem to like being petted. Exercise caution if you decide to pet one.
Perhaps only fifteen meters from the Monastery itself there is a long low open structure where vendors set up tables. There are perhaps twenty tables here with offerings from cold drinks, to tourists trinkets, to knives. They are not always open and their operating hours and days are a mystery.
The actual chapel was reopened about three years ago but the border between North & South has been closed for much of that time due to Covid-19. The situation is quickly changing and the busses should return shortly. I have not been to visit in a year and wonder if the Orthodox Priest have been up there this whole time.