In 1974 the Greek government supported a coup against arc bishop Makarios who was the President of Cyprus at that time. The Turkish army responded by occupying the northern part of the Mediterranean Island. Cyprus became a de-facto divided country. Until 2003 it was not possible to cross the controversial border. “In Conflict” gives people a voice who have an inside view on the problems. This time, in Cyprus, we spoke with Marios Kaminarides (33), a freelance journalist for the BBC, and Costa Constanti who works, besides his job at the Australian embassy in Nicosia, for the Cyprus Adademic Dialogue. The topic: about how to deal with the division nowadays. It has to mentioned that both are Greek-Cypriots.
Marios Kaminarides about his “lost home” and his refusal to cross sides
“I acknowledge that there is a Turkish-Cypriot community. Of course, I have nothing against them, I do have friends on the Turkish-Cypriot side. We are brothers, we both love our island. It is for all of us. It is one Republic of Cyprus where we all could live together. However, I refuse to accept that Cyprus is divided. I refuse to accept that I have to show my passport at the checkpoint and I refuse to accept the division between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots.
The green line has impacts on your very personal life: Would you like it if one day you open your front door and you want to go in your room. But you can’t! Even today I don’t have the right to go back to live in the northern part. Me and many others would go back if they had the opportunity. My father is originally from the northern, occupied part of Cyprus. Due to the invasion in 1974 he had to give up his home to save his life.
The buffer zone separates the communities. Regardless of how long it takes, up to the time of our grandchildren, there are still the facts: We lost our home because Turkey decided to invade our country. How can you forgive that? The Turkish settlers and troops have to leave the island in order to get rid of the green line.”
Costa Constanti about people who are not afraid of themselves any more
I love the view because from the top of my office Nicosia looks united. It is just the flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the mountains that give away that something is not right.
There is so much room for improvement. Your political activism should focus on re-unification, not blaming each other. Why is your concern more important and why is their concern less important? Empathy is the key, the understanding for each other. You have to talk about it with and learn.
The Turkish-Cypriot are still under Turkish occupation. Of course, 5 to 10% will see it differently, but most Turkish-Cypriot that I know say: ‘I don’t care if we are unified or become our own country or not, whatever the case is, it’s going to be joyful.’ I just read about something that is very true: the green line separates people who are not afraid of themselves any more.”