Nicosia, the Wounded City

THE COUNTRY THAT DOES NOT EXIST

 

The country that does not exist began to be created one morning in the summer of 1974 when the sky of Cyprus was covered with Turkish paratroopers ready to invade the island. Or perhaps ten years before when the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots engaged in a civil war after an ongoing conflict between the two ethnic groups. Finally, it was a month after the start of the invasion and after the UN resolution, when borders that divided the island were traced.

The Turkish Republic from the Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983 and recognized only by Turkey. The majority of its inhabitants are settlers arrived from Anatolia to balance the majority of Greek Cypriots of the island and they all live together with the Cypriots of Turkish descent (Turkish Cypriots). 

 

It could be defined as a phantom country where their border guards may not seal the passports, where its ports are considered illegal by the international community, where official unemployment, population and poverty data do not exist and where its inhabitants do not end up settling in new lives offered by the Government and return to their native Turkey abandoning the promised land.

 

The Turkish Cypriots they have grown with the British culture in times when Cyprus belonged to the Empire, but they all share their part of the island with the poor, uneducated, and Turkish settlers who set them apart from the dream of Turkish Cypriot paradise.

 

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus still considers them citizens of their country, even recognizes their properties, but the North depends on Turkey and they aren't Turks, as, in order to obtain the passport they must renounce the Cypriot and European nationality and this creates them a difficult-to-solve dilemma.

 The settlers are known to live borrowing some houses that belonged before to others and under the shade that their legal owners will, one day, recover their properties. Tourism does not solve the North economy because any property being now sold in the occupied zone will be considered illegal in an international tribunal.

All these stones reflect its weight in the inhabitants of this country, its peoples, its bars, living rooms, streets of their cities.

Forty years misplaced and rooted to some confusing roots sown by the Ottoman Empire and its historical disputes with Greece. The TRNC is an unknown place to the rest of the world, a delicate issue for politicians, a place frozen in time for its inhabitants.

A difficult situation to assimilate a place divided into an amputated island as the empty part of the Crescent that waves the flag of the country that does not exist.

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