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.


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About ktrenerry

I am inspired by human-powered, intentional travel and borderlands of all types: international, neighborhood boundaries, and especially the heavily disputed. My work often seeks to combine these two themes, resulting in projects that have taken me more than 1,000 miles down the Iron Curtain Trail by bike, and around and through some of today’s most notorious walls in Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland on foot. The latter journey was undertaken as part of my current independent project, Walking Walls. I am creating a book as the culmination of the project, forthcoming 2014.   I am currently living in Boston.

2 responses to “Self-identification and the Cyprus Problem”

  1. Abby Wills says :


    On a more serious note, your blog is very impressive, and quite shocking at times. It’s really opening my eyes to something that I must admit I was pretty ignorant about. I’m truly appreciating it.

    • ktrenerry says :

      Thanks Abby! Glad you are enjoying the blog. Tell other people, too! Not enough folks know about this stuff…Hope your winter term is wrapping up ok.

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