Efforts to stop the sale of the Dome Hotel in Kyrenia are being made by locals The hotel which was owned by a Greek Cypriot is leased by the EVKAF and is under Turkish Cypriot management and may be sold to a Turkish investor.
The lease is coming up for renewal, meanwhile the hotel is up for sale. The fear is that the new owner will be mainland Turkish and Turkish Cypriot staff will be replaced by mainland Turks. It is also thought that the character and even the name of the hotel will be changed.
The hotel is owned by Kostas Katselis, and is the only Greek-Cypriot property in the TRNC which has not been in the hands of Turkish investors. At least not yet. After his forced abandonment by his grandson Kostas Zambarloukos, in October 1975, the Dome came to be managed by the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers Association under a contract with the Evkaf, which expires in May.
The Dome hotel is part of the modern history of Cyprus. It was one of the first hotels in the area that attracted tourists from abroad, with modern facilities such as a swimming pool, central heating, but also a famous kitchen, which was chosen by the locals at their night outings.
During the Turkish military intervention in 1974, the Dome was a refuge for many Kyrenians, many of whom, after the war, chose to remain incarcerated there. After the dramatic days of the war, the Dome’s inmates had developed a small community within the hotel, where children attended school with books they received through the UN along with food and supplies, while political negotiations were ongoing to manage this peculiar situation.
The last Greek Cypriot who left the Dome was Kostas Zambarloukos in October 1975 after realizing after exhaustive efforts that there was no way in law, for the hotel to be owned by his family.
Trying to fight the sale of the hotel to a Turkish investor, is a significant pressure group, according to Turkish Cypriot journalists reporting on the topic. British tourists, older people, who chose the Dome every year for their summer holidays before 1974 are against the sale. “The hotel has a permanent clientele and they do not want anything to change its character, its history and everything that brings nostalgia and memories. These people will obviously react and most likely they will stop visiting the Dome in the event of a change of ownership,” they said.