When the sun is in my eyes
Will we still be dancing
On shaky groundShaky Ground- Freedom Fry
Hello all! Welcome back again! As the world mostly enjoy a normal week. These past few weeks have been mostly patriotic for most Cypriots. For all of my political science and history majors or anyone in between, this is your blog post! This week, I will be discussing the contemporary complex history of Cyprus.
Within these past two weeks, predominantly Greek Cypriots have been extremely patriotic. The reason stems from two federal holidays.
The first federal holiday occurred on March 25th. On March 25th, most Greek Cypriots celebrate Greek National Day.
As the name implies, this holiday celebrates the day when Greece starts its struggle for independence from the Ottomans in 1821. Usually, you will see school children and armed personal taking part in public parades
The other holiday that occurs during this time is Cyprus National Day also known as EOKA Day (named for the independence fighters).
Cyprus National Day occurs every April 1st. No, it’s not a April fool’s joke. This day is suppose to signified the start of Greek Cypriot insurgence against British rule in 1955. However, this insurgence was one sided on the basis that it wanted enosis with Greece. Enosis means union.
Within the island there is a sizable minority that was worried about a Greek Cypriot government. This group which has been relatively absent for most of the time are the Turkish Cypriots.
After a long struggle, Cypriots were granted independence in 1960 with a joint Greek/Turkish government. In addition, under the terms of independence, Cyprus was granted guarantor powers by the UK, Greece, and Turkey.
For about the same amount of time, both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots have inhabited Cyprus. This diversity stems back from Cyprus complex history where for most of its time, it has been a colony of someone. This ranges from the British, the Greeks, the Ottomans, the Venetians, the Templars, The Romans, the Byzantine, the Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Persian, and the Franks. I bet you can repeat that in one setting!
Anyways, with this Greek/ Turkish split, there is significant tension between them. This tension reach a climatic point when the democratic elected Cypriot government was overthrow in 1974 and a subsequent military government was installed which called for enosis with Greece. Freaked out, Turkey with Turkish Cypriots invaded Cyprus from the northern end. After a few months, a stalemate occurred and a UN resolution passed. In this UN resolution, Cyprus was divided along a green line. The northern portion will be under the control of the Turkish Cypriots, well the southern portion will be under the control of the Greek Cypriots. In the end, since 1974, Cyprus has been divided.
In recent years, there has been some improvements with the opening of borders crossing, more political dialogue, and more ethnic dialogue.
Yet, there are some improvements that can be made. Although not prominent, ethnic dissent is still visible with either one or the other blaming them for the whole division. Another one, is the lack of bridging the linguistic gap. When I was in the northern side, there was only Turkish and English. Likewise, in the southern side there was only Greek and English. Also, with recent events (e.g. COVID-19, The US Syria strike, Turkey’s “coup”, and recent breakdown in Cyprus talks) hasn’t help the situation
As a political science major, it’s very important to hear all views, even though it might not be the same view that you support. In a polarized world, we shouldn’t build division with one another, but we should built caring connections with one another.
Anyhow, I appreciate you guys for reading this! Until next time!