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Cyprus Cyprus Talks

Turkish Cypriots view Greek Cypriots “as negatively as political parties”

By Evie Andreou

A STUDY by the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) and the Advanced Media Institute found that Turkish Cypriots view Greek Cypriots negatively, it was revealed on Friday.

The study, conducted by Iacovos Tsangaris under the scientific guidance of Athanassios Samaras, was based on more than 1,100 news articles published in July 2014 by Turkish Cypriot newspapers Kıbrıs, Yeni Duzen, Afrika and Volkan.

The findings suggest that the prevailing image of Greek Cypriots in the Turkish Cypriot press is that of the “enemy”, which is strong and dominant in the vast majority of publications, followed in frequency by the image of “ally”, which is weaker and appears mostly in newspapers placed on the left of the ideological and political spectrum (Yeni Duzen and Afrika).

According to the survey, ordinary Greek Cypriots are evaluated as negatively as political parties, more positively than the Republic of Cyprus and its former presidents, and more negatively than state officials and institutions of the Republic.

The assessment and the image of the Greek Cypriots is influenced by news topics, the survey said. Thus, issues that involve the negotiations for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, and relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots with the EU, affect more negatively the image of the Greek Cypriots “and as a result, the enemy image occurs at higher rates”.

The only subject with positive evaluations was that of ‘bicommunal contacts and technical committees on the Cyprus problem’, where the image of the “ally” prevails. The same is true as regards the ‘missing persons’ category “where there is some degree of cooperation between the two communities”.

OUC associate professor and head of the Advanced Media Institute Sofia Iordanidou, told the Cyprus News Agency that the study “is methodologically innovative”.

She added that they have utilised the analytical tools they developed at the institute to analyse the image of collective subjects (states, communities, groups) and simultaneously, “we applied the analytical tools of the image theory on international relations in a quantitative media analysis”.

This methodology, Iordanidou said, “can and must be used by the Republic of Cyprus to control and manage its image over time”.

The survey results will be presented on Wednesday, January 13, during a workshop called “How do Turkish Cypriots see us”, at the CyTA headquarters in Nicosia.

Among the issues discussed will be how the image of the Republic of Cyprus is being managed in the negotiation talks, how rapprochement between the two communities is evaluated as intercultural communication and what is the role of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot media as regards “the genesis and maintenance of the Cyprus problem”.

Speakers will include government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides, the head of Citizens’ Alliance George Lillikas, civil society representatives, former government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, and Professor Niyazi Kizilyurek of the Department of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Cyprus. The workshop begins at 6pm.


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