These are historic times for the Cypriot people.
Cyprus has taken its place as a full member of the European family,
though sadly part of the island remains estranged, its current
Cypriot occupants isolated, its displaced former occupants
unable to return and Turkey’s army still intervening.
But all true Cypriots continue to have faith that the Green Line of envy and hate, which has disfigured and divided our island for so long, will be removed. Consigned to the dustbin of history by the will of the people – like the barriers which once isolated eastern Europe.
Then the people of Cyprus, after a 9,000-year history characterised by serial invasion, occupation and outside interference, will be free at last. Free to build a peaceful, unified Cypriot nation founded on the enduring character of all the island’s people.
For the Cypriot people have endured long: through century upon century of foreign domination. It is an experience that has served to strengthen and enrich us. Invaders may have contributed to our culture, our language, our genes. But they could not supplant us. Nor could they crush our indomitable spirit.
Many Cypriots trace part of their heritage to past colonists. Some converted to Islam during Ottoman rule. Most retained the Orthodox Christian faith brought to the island by Saint Paul. And still more speak the distinctive Cypriot vernacular introduced before the time of Christ, a language related to that of Homer.
But does a connection with Islam or an Ottoman ancestor make us Turkish? Do the rest of us need to be Greek? When our common home is none other than our beloved island?
It is time to declare who we are. To demand to be called who we are. To object to being labelled by divisive and belittling identifiers that are ethnically, historically and politically incorrect.
We must remind ourselves, and the world, who we are.
We are Cypriots – without qualification or equivocation.
Yes, we are Cypriots. Nothing less. A united people from an indivisible island.
Back to the top
© Cypriot Academy