A state of Cyprus

On July 15, 1974, the military junta then ruling Greece organizes a coup in Cyprus to overthrow President Makarios, in order to unite Cyprus with Greece. Turkey, one of three nations that guarantee the independence of Cyprus, with Greece and Great Britain, and under the 1960 Constitution, should intervene "to protect the Turkish Cypriot community". Under mysterious circumstances, about 2000 Greek disappeared and a majority of two Turkish villages in the south was captured and killed. Since then, full of 30,000 men, the Turkish army occupied the northern part of the island.
Recent years have seen successive opening of the Green Line today with five crossing points, the refusal of the 6th Greek Annan plan for reunification, and finally to Turkey, the beginning of its integration process to European Union. In early 2007, the Turkish Foreign Minister Gul mr again proposing to open Turkish ports and airports to Greek Island, in return for the lifting of sanctions against North Cyprus. He then turned towards the EU, having suspended négociatios accession of Turkey to the EU in late 2006, approved course this gesture. Despite opposition to the controversial Greek lifting of sanctions, the government authorized the opening on March 9 of a breach by bulldozers, in response to the Turkish Cypriot authorities in January, were dismantling metal walkway used in the border area by the Turkish army, despite the opposition of the latter. This symbolic gesture reveals a real opening, but as a prerequisite for the withdrawal of Turkish soldiers and demining of the area ... which will still take another year.

In this context of "removal of a reasonable solution" (2), I tried to find or was this island of Aphrodite, with its old demons and now so dependent on tourism, where all real estate explodes?

In the South, orthodoxy still influences political decisions. With a GDP per capita the highest in Europe and a workforce of East Asian and often exploited, the Republic of Cyprus is now a business center and international shipping.
Among refugees in 1974, resentment persist (hundreds of records of complaints concerning their properties in the North are pending in Strasbourg) and the population still does not understand the pervasiveness of the Turkish army in the north.
In the middle, the UN remains engaged in an effort to find a solution. In Pyla, a mixed village "Potemkin" located south of the British base, and place of lightning passages of curious tourists, they are awake.
The northern part, recognized only by Turkey and chaired by the pro-European Mehmet Ali Talat, remains a major military area of interest for the U.S. and Britain. A grip of Turkish firms still exercised in that territory despite the recent proposal of the chief diplomat, Mr Gul to open Turkish ports and airports to Cyprus. This in return for the lifting of sanctions against the Turkish Republic Northern Cyprus.
Since 1974, many Turkish Cypriots left the island, replaced by Turks from Anatolia to whom the state has promised a better future by providing properties of ancient Greek. In case of reunification, they would be obliged to make these lands and leave the island. Many Greek complaints are now pending in Strasbourg for unlawful appropriation. This problem also applies to the south, here takes another dimension since the local property developers to offer foreign tourists eager for peaceful retirement villas turnkey prices unbeatable.

Yet both sides, some families have chosen, sometimes not without difficulty, to remain where they lived until 1974. In particular Dipkarpaz, north, 230 Greeks now live "peacefully" even if they are still monitored. South at the daily flood of Turkish workers plus the presence of many communities, particularly in Limassol.

Still, many believe that the Cyprus problem does not exist, or is rather political. Many bi-communal associations were created for 5 years (students, artists, intellectuals, journalists ...). For some it is a fad, for others, these associations are required to consider unification, even though the general atmosphere is quite pessimistic today.

? 1) Green line: border between North and South.
? 2) Dionisis Dionisiou columnist to Politis.

Emmanuel Blivet 2006.