Cyprus at a Crossroads:The challenge of the 21st century;Dr. Anthony A. Koyzis , Page 2

is plagued by its 'problem'. The division of the island for 21 years.

In the North were the Turkish-Cypriot minority lives there are calls for separation, integration with Turkey and a recognition which they don't have due to the on-going economic and political embargo maintained through the insistence of the Republic of Cyprus as the only legitimate state entity on the island. In the South were the Greek-Cypriot majority lives the economic prosperity and the relative calm the past 21 years has lead people to go about their lives without thinking of Turkish-Cypriots or the North, unless some Greek-Cypriot refugees bring the issue of 'returning home'. Needless to say in the place were ethnic-nationalism was played out in perfect text book manner Cypriots today are reacting to the 'end of modernity' in ways quite typical to other culturally contested parts of the world. Greek- Cypriots affinity to the Serbs, because they are Eastern Orthodox (so are Greek-Cypriots) and Turkish- Cypriot support of a Muslim lead Bosnia-Herzegovina proves that old habits die hard. But in the case ot Cyprus old habits don't die, they lie asleep and linger on.

Cypriot ehnonationalisms have become renewed forces in the contexts of Globalization. Some Cypriot Greeks and Turks are both calling for ethnically authentic state-societies. This is taking place ironically as it may be at a time when the Republic of Cyprus is pushing for full membership in a global- multiethnic-multilingual structure, the European Union. Or on the other hand members of the Turkish- Cypriot community call for further de-globalization via integration with Turkey. These ironies which obviously play a big role in the debates over Cyprus' future are dominating Cypriot discourse and political maneuvering. The question is are these nuances of ethnonationalism in Cyprus a passing fad or the adjustment mechanisms for the 21st century ?

The Crossroad.....

What's at stake in Cyprus is in essence what's at stake in the global system as well. Can nations at the end of this century able to adjust to the globalization effects in culture, economy, polity and visions of the good life ? Invariably Cyprus has proven that resilience pays. Cypriots through their long histories of dominated, colonized and manipulated experiences have been able to survive, not without wounds mind you. The melancholy of remembrance becomes Cyprus' version of 'nostalgia', but in the past it did not stop Cypriots from surviving and making the best of it. Even in the case of marginalized experiences among Turkish-Cypriots living in the North there is a hope for a better future, at least for the children. That is why perhaps both Greek and Turkish-Cypriot families go into debt in order to send their children to study at home or abroad and have an enormous faith in education. It is this spirit of seeking a better future which unites Cypriot Greeks and Turks. It is this that can lead both communities to move forward towards reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.

The crossroad though needs to only a crossing, it cannot be a detour though as many from both communities would like to be. It should not become an excuse for a prolonged 'nostalgia', illusionary glories of imagined pasts, for Cyprus this crossroad can be a passing fad in Cyprus' attempt to adjust to a new Globalized era.

STORM GOD, by Mel Melis

7-Dec-94 (from watching a storm in Limasoll Nov 94)

I watch from my dry room, 
The theatre that is the Storm, 
Driving rain batters the barren hills, 
With the indiscriminate ferocity that is nature, 
The claustraphobic darkness, 
Dashed only by flashes of lightning, 
That light all horizons, 
I count my hearbeats, 
Till the crash and drawn out rumble, 
Of thunder, 
The Pagan God speaks tonight, 
And Greeks and Turks seek shelter, 
The Storm needs no pass, 
And signs no papers, 
He drifts from North to South, South to North, 
And leaves floods and burning trees, 
The Storm has no religion, 
No race, 
No creed, 
No prejudice.... 
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