Reintegration in Cyprus: Nationalism and Citizenship in the RoC and the TRNC

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UNU Insitute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies
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UNU-CRIS Working Papers
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This study investigates dynamic processes of citizenship formation in the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the effects of Cyprus’ accession to the European Union (EU) on these processes. I will mainly focus on the use of the past by both Greek and Turkish Cypriot nationalisms after 1974 Turkish intervention to construct identity for their own citizenry. In doing so, I will show that since 1974 in the divided island there have been two different, but in content very similar, processes of history-writing that relies on images of eternal enemies and irreconcilable differences. This is related to the emergence of de facto two “small nation-states” coupled with the effort to redefine their ethnnocultural identity in a context of widespread political and ideological indoctrination. Thus, the main objective of this study is to seek to capture the nature of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot nationalist strategies in the formation of citizenry and collective memory and what kind of changes, if there are, occur in these strategies by EU accession process. Two developments in the island have challenged existing establishment of both sides: EU accession process and opening border. It is argued that these recent developments are paving the way for the re-formulation of new histories and collective memories for both communities of Cyprus and creation a suitable atmosphere for a dialogical integration and awareness to live together again.

nationalism; citizenship; history-writing; dialogical integration.