PERCHED on a hilltop a few miles from the sea, the Christian Maronite village of Kormakitis, in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, is running out of time. In 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island following a Greek Cypriot coup, the town was home to some 2,000 people. Today about 110 pensioners remain. They spend their time at the café joking in the indigenous dialect, a blend of Arabic, Aramaic and Greek. Their children, who have moved to the richer Greek part of the island, visit on holidays. A Lebanese priest leads prayers at the newly restored church. Every fortnight a UN convoy arrives from Nicosia, the capital, carrying supplies.

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