A Divided Capital in Europe: Cultural Anthropological Perspectives on the Cyprus Conflict
To this day, the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, is a divided city. Its historic core is dissected from West to East by a demarcation line, initially drawn by the British colonial authorities to curb hostilities between Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the 1950s. This so-called Green Line became completely impassable after the 1974 Turkish invasion and the de-facto partition of the entire island. Is the division of Cyprus evidence of long-standing enmity between ethnic groups? The popular reading of the Cyprus problem as an ethnic conflict is questioned and ultimately refuted in this article. Focusing on the old town of Nicosia, the author presents her research findings on art events, civil society projects of confidence building and conflict resolution, heritage preservation and urban renewal programs that seek to overcome the divide.