Self-identification and the Cyprus Problem
“I am a Greek-speaking Cypriot.”
This is statement is a surprising rarity in Cyprus. This man chooses to emphasize his Cypriot nationality, and keeps his language and background a separate part of his identity. Most people who live here integrate their language and background into their national identity, creating the labels Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot. It has always been this way. Lack of integration between these communities is the heart of the Cyprus Problem, exacerbated by the de facto division created by the Green Line, but existing more intensely in people’s minds. The militarized Buffer Zone is merely a physical manifestation of this deeper and more complicated psychological division.