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NICOSIA:THE LAST DIVIDED CITY

Abstract
By : Naciye Doratli

 
The amalgam of cultures that shaped Cyprus’ unique identity has also contributed to its turbulent history, as reflected in its capital city. Nicosia, the capital city of the strategically located island in the Mediterranean Sea, is a unique settlement as being the only divided city in Europe. Although the blame is frequently put on the intervention of Turkey to the island as one of the guarantor countries in 1974, the physical separation of the city between two communities dates back to 1963. As the increasing tension and consequent inter-communal clashes resulted in the establishment of the ’Green Line’, which was then transformed into a ‘Buffer Zone’ in 1974. Unlike other cities, which have been touched by war, Nicosia has not been afflicted with overwhelming destruction or total devastation of infrastructure, but suffered from the break in its urban structure. After a brief overview of the evolution of the city as well as the physical, social and political situation of the city, the aim of this paper is to put forward problems that arose due to the physical separation; efforts of the two communities to work together on the future of their town under the auspices of the international community, and bi-communal projects that are being implemented. Considering the increasing possibility of reaching an acceptable solution to the Cyprus conflict, the possible impact of the solution will also be highlighted. It should be noted that the author who is a Turkish Cypriot herself, tried to be as objective as possible given her emotional and intellectual attachment to the issue beside her cultural perception and ethnic identity.

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