Cyprus: Powder Keg No More?

By Gani, Martin | The World and I, March 2004 | Go to article overview

Cyprus: Powder Keg No More?


Gani, Martin, The World and I


Martin Gani, a British freelance writer of Turkish Cypriot origin who is based in Italy, writes on culture, travel, and the arts.

In the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), life is no bed of roses--and the anguish there is creating a popular groundswell pressuring political leaders to consider some kind of "union" with Greek Cyprus on the eve of the Greek side's accession to European Union membership. Turkish Cyprus' standard of living, as measured by salaries, is but half to a third of that in the Greek-dominated, internationally recognized southern portion of Cyprus. The economy of Turkish Cyprus, barely surviving a three-decade UN trade embargo, grew by an infinitesimal 2.43 percent between 1995 and 2001.

In June 2003, inflation stood at 70 percent in the north against 2.74 percent in the south. The number of unemployed on the Turkish side of the island which has a third of the population of the southern area, rose by an alarming 21 percent between April 2002 and April 2003. This is but the latest installment in the economic and political strife tormenting the Turkish Cypriots, who, unsurprisingly, have been steadily emigrating from their beloved Mediterranean island for the last 40 years.

In February 2003, a singular photo exhibition, titled "No to the Emigration of Our Youth," was held in the Turkish part of Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, to highlight this painful phenomenon. The photos showed young Turkish Cypriots living abroad. As grandparents, parents, relatives, and friends paraded before them, many couldn't hold back their tears. In the last 30 years, 55,000 Turkish Cypriots, more than a quarter of the current northern population, left the island to get an education, find work, and secure a better life elsewhere. I was one of them and flew to England in 1975. I'd just turned 18.

The exhibition was organized by a women's association headed by Oya Talat, who opened the event with a heartfelt speech aimed at the Turkish politicians in Nicosia and Ankara and their policies, which keep the island split by an unnatural political divide. "We hope," she said, "that these photos will reach the eyes and ears of those responsible for our youth going to foreign lands. We all know the only way to reverse this tendency is a political solution and peace on our island."

The youth exodus was referred to by a local newspaper soon after. "In the last 10 years," it said, "38 percent of families 'lost' a member to emigration." In a society where family ties are strong as steel and last a lifetime, this was indeed bad news.

TURKS AND GREEKS IN TURMOIL

Ottoman Turks wrested Cyprus from Venice in 1571 and governed it till 1878, when it was leased to Britain. The Ottoman Empire was dissolved after World War I, and Cyprus became a full British colony.

Turkey and Greece clashed over Cyprus only in recent history. The Enosis (union) movement, founded in 1930s, fought the British, and in 1955 a violent Greek Cypriot terrorist organization, EOKA, led by Costas Grivas, began a guerrilla war against the British. Turkish Cypriots responded with a similar, opposing organization, TMT.

In 1956, Turkey declared Cyprus an extension of Turkey. In June 1958, civil disorders and violence surged on the island, and Turkey and Greece, both NATO allies, would have gone to war, had it not been for U.S. intervention. In 1964, at the height of the civil war provoked by Makarios' decision to change the constitution, Turkey sent in warplanes, and invasion was believed imminent. Again, thanks to U.S. diplomacy, war between Greece and Turkey was avoided. It was also in this year that the United Nations sent in a peacekeeping force that is still there.

In 1960, Britain granted the territory independence, and the Republic of Cyprus was born. A joint Turkish-Greek government was set up. Turkey, Greece, and Britain assumed responsibility to guarantee sovereignty and safeguard the constitution of the newborn republic.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cyprus: Powder Keg No More?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.