In the Dead Zone, a Hope for Peace

By Smith, Helena | New Statesman (1996), October 8, 2001 | Go to article overview

In the Dead Zone, a Hope for Peace


Smith, Helena, New Statesman (1996)


Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have been foes for almost 30 years. But some of the islanders have decided to end the civil strife -- in defiance of their leaders.

At all hours they stand there, in the heart of Nicosia, atop the Venetian walls that separate Orthodox Greek from Muslim Turk in this, the world's last divided capital. To their left lies the United Nations-patrolled "dead zone" - the rotting, rusting ceasefire line that partitions Cyprus. To their right, the modern high-rises, the gaudy billboards, the glitzy Greek-owned cars of the unmistakably cosmopolitan and untouchable world beyond.

From their own lonely, time-warped world, the Turks longingly take in the view. This, they tell you, is the world that beckons, the world that calls with the island's possible accession to the European Union in 2003. And it is here on the Venetian walls, behind the barbed wire, in the tortuous midday heat, that they measure hope.

"There is not a moment in the day when we don't think about leaving this country," says Vedat Burcu, peering through the meshed wire. "Only Turkey recognises us. Why would we want to stay?"

Few places are as frequently disconsolate and despairing as the internationally isolated Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Few places are as angry. And no place is as gripped by a sense of impending doom at the prospect of missing out on membership to the EU.

Vedat Burcu's dilemma is not an easy one. The tantalising world that drifts before him might as well be as far away as the moon.

Even if he had the means, the shortest possible way for Burcu to cross the ceasefire line into the cosmopolitan world below would entail him going to Turkey, boarding a plane for Athens and then flying to Larnaca in the Greek-controlled Republic of Cyprus, a journey of approximately 1,000 miles. It is difficult to miss the air of fear that hovers over northern Cyprus. People feel harassed; they say their telephones are tapped; they do not look you in the eye.

But now, a blend of downright determination, exasperation and despair has motivated the former crown colony's two ancient communities to reach out across the ethnic divide.

Tired with the tortuous pace of peace negotiations--27 years after a Greek-engineered coup prompted Turkey to invade and seize the island's northern third -- unprecedented numbers are engaging in grass-roots diplomacy to breach the barrier in their own bid fo reunification.

Civic diplomacy is a brave man's business. It comes at a price while Greek Cypriots have been attacked as "traitors" and "spies" Turkish Cypriots pursuing cross-ethnic contacts risk death threats bomb blasts and social ostracism.

In 1997, in response to the Greek Cypriots' application to join the EU, RaufDenktash, the septuagenarian president of the breakaway north, started to enforce a severe crackdown on all bicommunal events. "What's the point of such contacts?" Denktash retorted when I put the question to him in his colonial-era sandstone office. "I've heard the only thing people do at these meetings is have sex."

Denktash is now widely seen as the man who could hold up the entire EU enlargement process. If he continues to resist reunification talks and a divided Cyprus is rejected by the EU, Athens has promised to veto the access of the other candidates: Poland, Malta, Hungary and Estonia. But there are hints that the Turkish Cypriot leader, who is supported by Anatolian immigrants, is finding his own people increasingly hard to control.

Cyprus is now the most heavily militarised slice of land on the face of the earth. It is the west's longest-running diplomatic dispute; it has elicited more UN security resolutions than most trouble spots put together. In the new Europe of border-free openness, it looks and feels distinctly antique. …

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

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

In the Dead Zone, a Hope for Peace
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.