Monday, October 01, 2007

Cover millennia in Kyrenia

By Daniel Bardsley,
You could travel to every town on earth but I doubt you would find any place more beautiful than Kyrenia in northern Cyprus. With an imposing castle, a picturesque harbor lined with street cafes and a sweeping mountainous backdrop, it will take your breath away.

While the Greek-controlled Republic of Cyprus — which covers the southern two-thirds of this Mediterranean island — has become over-developed in its quest for the tourist dollar, northern Cyprus retains a quaint charm
. For more.

Not many people know that much about northern Cyprus; it's politically isolated, traveling there is only possible through Istanbul (or through Larnaca, taking the bus to the Green Line and walking all the way to a bus or a cab) and it's recognized by Turkey only.

The beaches and everything else in the northern part of the divided island are untouched, although a boom of real estate developments have been seen over the past 3 years.

It's really a pity how the people are left alone, even though they wanted to be re-united with the rest of the island, through the Annan plan in 2004, but that didn't happen.

Is Turkey to blame?


Ardent said...


There is a good documentary you might want to watch on Cyprus. Its called, 'Cyprus - Hot Property'.

Watch the Video by clicking on the relevant video format you have on your computer.


mirdifderya said...

Dear Ardent,

Thank you for the documentary, which made me cry when I was watching it:(( because my fatherside is Turkish Cypriot. My grandfather move to Turkey, when he was middle age coz of the problems, my grandma was greekcypriot:)

It is very true what doc. says: But I have to agree that since 3 decades Turkish cypriots have been isolated and they do have right to live their own lives as much as Greek cypriots. If you lookin to it, Most of the developments happen after 2004 Annan Plan and T.Cypriots thinks thats what Greek Cypriots wanted. Turkish cypriots wanted to solve the problems Greeks didn't:((

Kindest Derya

Hans said...

You don't occupy land.
That's for sure.
Denktash already revealed = while hanging EOKA members in 1957/58 - in Ankara that he wanted partition.
The only winner is Denktash...nobody else.

john akritas said...

Yes, Turkey is to blame. Turkey should remove its 40,000 occupation troops, its 120,000 settlers and allow the 200,000 Greeks it ethnically cleansed from the north of Cyprus to return to their towns and villages – including to Kyrenia, which is a Greek town and has been for 3,100 years, since it was founded by the Spartan, Praxandros.

As for your anger, Hans, at the ‘difficulties’ you faced crossing from occupied Cyprus to the free areas, I find your emotions ridiculous if not revolting. Why don’t you think about the anger of the Greek refugees forcibly expelled from their homes in northern Cyprus by the Turkish army and who have been prevented from returning for 33 years? Now, they have real reason to feel anger and distress. Maybe you ought to show more self-control or, better still, more humility – given all the pain Cypriots over the years have had to endure.

The Greek Cypriots want the island reunited more than anybody, which is why they rejected the Annan plan because it was a terrible plan that would have legitimised partition and created apartheid

Anonymous said...

I say treat the people of the island not as Turks or Greeks, but as Cypriots. We want the Kurds and 'Turks' to be Turkish in Turkey, then why not the same in Cyprus. The people over there are already mixed anyway. And many 'real' Turks (this is really 'unreal' and unfortunate) with Turkishness as their agenda, feel that Cypriot Turks are not pure Turk enough anyway. Besides, Turkey would save so much money by dropping Cyprus, and I am sure Greece too has more important issues to concentrate on with their money. Disconnect Cyprus, let it go. Let them create a federated government. Allow the people to move back to where they belong. Remove the troops, and the protection, as well as the security. And then let the games begin!

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

you are living in dream world.
the tr military is still ruling....

Ardent said...


My parents are Turkish Cypriot. My father migrated to Australia in 1952 and my mother in 1955. They were both came from villages close to Larnaca.

What part of Cyprus was your Grandparents from?

Ardent said...


In reply to your comment about hanging EOKA members. It was the British that hung EOKA members, as they were the governing body at that time and EOKA wanted them out.

As for Denktas, Yes I think he is a crook that likes to line his own pockets. But having said that, I believe all politicians do the same.

A good article you may want to read is 'Why are some diaspora Cypriots living in a time warp.'

Ardent said...

When I first commenting on this topic I was merely indulging with cultural reminiscence with Derya, but it has since turned into a cultural/political put your boots in topic. I wish to address all of you.

John, Cyprus is an Island that has been ruled by many empires including the Romans, Byzantine Empire, the Venetians and then the Ottomans. The Ottomans took over the island from the Venetians in 1571 and controlled the Island for over 300 years before the administration of the Island passed to the British in 1878. Cyprus was a British colony up until 1960. You cannot simply state that Cyprus belongs to the Greeks.

This divided Island is something that the British designed. Just like the British Government carved up the Middle East, divided India and Pakistan well they also divided Cyprus into North and South.

The Turkish Cypriots are not happy with the situation. Most Turks in Cyprus were forced to move to the North of the Island, leaving their property in the South of the Island and whilst embracing the idea of one day returning to their own property in the South.

The Turkish Cypriots are not happy about the Turkish Mainland Settlers coming into the Island. Turkish Cypriot have absolutely NO affinity with these people and do not like their presence. Cypriots refer to the Mainland Turkish settlers as, ‘Karasakals’. These settlers are rural and mostly uneducated.

Turkey is not the blame for the current situation. It is in fact Greece that created the problem by staging a bloody coup in an effort to overthrow President Makarios and achieve a union with Greece. This is what started the war. If Turkey did not arrive on the Island, all the Turkish-Cypriots would have been ethnically cleansed by the Greek Nationalists.

The Turkish-Cypriots are not happy just like the Greek-Cypriots.


“'real' Turks (this is really 'unreal' and unfortunate) with Turkishness as their agenda, feel that Cypriot Turks are not pure Turk enough anyway”

During the Ottoman rule of Cyprus, many Turks settled in to Cyprus. They were generally the families of soldiers and the Ottoman administration. The Turkish population then grew. This is why the Turks in Cyprus have a very different accent and dialect than Mainland Turks, as they still talk like Ottoman Turks. Being cut off from the mainland, their Turkish language was never refined. One can say that Cypriot Turks ARE pure Turk because they are true Ottoman inhabitants.

Cypriots are either Turkish or Greeks. One is NOT better that the other. It is simply a difference in Race and Religion. You are either Turkish Moslem or Greek Orthodox. Cyprus also has even smaller minority of Maronites and some Gypsies. These people are neither Greek nor Turkish.

To say that the people are already mixed is incorrect. It is like saying that all Australians have Aboriginal blood. That is incorrect.

There are so many political issues in Cyprus. Perhaps I may talk about them on my own blogsite one day.


john akritas said...

I never said Cyprus belongs to the Greek Cypriots only. It belongs to the Turkish Cypriots too – and to the Armenians and Maronites – and all Cypriots should be able to go back to their villages and towns, live wherever they like on the island – no restrictions, no quotas, no Greek zone, no Turkish zone, no apartheid.

I won't go into the details about the other things you say; except that yes the 1974 Turkish invasion was an inevitalbe response to the Greek junta's coup in Cyprus – but that was 33 years ago and the Turkish army is still in Cyprus. Also, I know the Turkish Cypriots don't like the settlers and, of course, the Greek Cypriots want them to go too – because they fear, if there is a settlement, the settlers will cause trouble. One of the reasons Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan was because it allowed 90 percent of the settlers to stay. This is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

My point is that Turkey (and Greece) need to let Cyprus go.

And the people of Cyprus (Turk, Greek, Turco-Greek, Greco-Turk, British-Turk, British-Greek, Armenian, Ottoman, pure an impure, etc.) need to live as citizens of Cyprus without any military control and guarantor(s).

They should also find a fair and equitable way to allow people to return to their 'original' locations before they were forcibly displaced.

And the settlers? What to do?

Maybe we should 'relocate' them back to Turkey. This way they can live as 'foreigners' in their own homeland, but at least as EU citizens!

mirdifderya said...

Dear Ardent,

I have nothing to add in your comments, thats what I think too.

My aunts still lives in Lefkosa and Girne:)) Mos of my cousens are in UK or Australia, I am from Mersin:)) if we will talk more we might be relatives:))

A the end I think we all think the same, let Cyprus GO and free!

Vassili said...

Wow, just looking into this, i see that both Ardent and Akritas made valid points, and recognised mistakes made on both sides. Am i too idealistic in thinking that youth can come to points of agreement and that the major problem are the old politicians on both sides who have remained fossilised in their positions? Who knows... lets hope for the best, Oh and just to throw a spanner in the works How about if land occupied by the UK be returned to Cyprus. Oh what a tangled web...