Cyprus Mail

To all intents and purposes, northern Cyprus is Turkish

letters 1 grammata

Last Tuesday, February 20, the Greek Minister of Shipping, Christos Stylianides, who is of Cypriot extraction, told the Greek parliament that the time has come to seek the liberation and reunification of Cyprus, with deeds rather than words, because, over the past 50 years, northern Cyprus has systematically been turkified.

This bitter realisation annoyed the well-known deniers of the reunification of Cyprus, Nicolas Papadopoulos and Marinos Sizopoulos, as well as some Greek marginal politicians of the far right and the far left, who indulged in ethno-populist delirium, demanding the “withdrawal” of Christos Stylianides’ statement before the Greek parliament.

Possibly, no one of them has ever visited northern Cyprus, because, if they had done so, they would have found that entry into the territory of northern Cyprus, which is completely controlled by the Turkish army, requires the presentation of a passport or identity card and is entirely up to the discretion of the Turkish border guard.

They would have identified the turkification of place names in areas that have become unrecognisable by the prevailing building construction boom.

They would have noticed that northern Cyprus has been filled with huge new mosques, which dominate the horizon.

Most importantly, they would have realised that the Turkish Cypriots, along with the thousands of settlers who have settled permanently in Cyprus over the past 50 years, are completely dependent – both economically and socially – on Turkey.

Under these circumstances, the effective attempt to silence and cover up this deplorable situation from the people of Greece is, in my opinion, a national crime committed by populist politicians who – for their own reasons – seek to make the partition of Cyprus permanent.


Christos P Panayiotides, Athens


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