1 Earlier versions of this article were presented at the meeting of the Bicommunal Group of Cypriot Academics, University of Tel Aviv in July 1999 and at an international seminar on Cyprus organised by the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute in December 1999. We would like to thank Fulbright in Cyprus for sponsoring the former and Thomas Diez for organising the latter. For their comments and suggestions we would like to thank the participants in the two seminars, as well as Vasos Argyrou, Necati Polat, Oliver Richmond, Yannis Stivachtis, Ole Waever and the two anonymous reviewers of this journal.
2. Kurt Waldheim, In the Eye of the Storm (London: Weidenfield and
Nicolson, 1985), pp. 193-194.
3. Stephan Xydis, Cyprus: Reluctant Republic (The Hague: Mouton, 1973).
4. Both enosis and taksim as well as secession are explicitly prohibited by the Cyprus Constitution, Article 185.
5. Metin Tamkoc, The Turkish Cypriot State: The Embodiment of the Right of Self-determination (London: Rustem, 1988), pp. 68-71. Tamkoc here follows the analysis by James Crawford, The Creation of States in International Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1979) pp. 166, 169..128
6. We examine the historicised relationship between the politics of
recognition and political practice in the next section, i.e. tracing the issue
of recognition back to official historiographies and factional-party politics.
Another interesting line of exploration, which we cannot pursue here directly
and in detail due to space limitations, is how the politics of recognition
relates to the construction of the subject of politics, the construct of
sovereignty, and the complex dynamic of practice.
7. For a review of these accounts and for the politics of Security Council Resolution 186 authorising the peacekeeping force in Cyprus see Oliver Richmond, Mediating in Cyprus: The Cypriot Communities and the United Nations (London: Frank Cass, 1998), pp. 90-99; and Farid Mirbagheri, Cyprus and International Peacemaking (London: Hurst, 1998), pp. 36-38.
8. See Turkish Daily News (Turkish daily), 5-20 July 2000, on the debate. For an overview of these and other developments related to the campaign see Alithia (Greek Cypriot daily), 6 August 2000, ‘O Xesikomos sta Katehomena’, p. 20.
9. For the Turkish Cypriot side see, for example, the cover of TRNC Public Relations Department, KKTC 14 Yashinda (n.p., n.d.) This official leaflet commemorates the 14th anniversary of TRNC with the title ‘Our Republic is the Symbol of Our Sovereignty’. On the front cover it employs in equal sizes a flag of the TRNC and that of Turkey, along with the state logo of the TRNC. This logo is remarkable in itself as it is in fact that of the Republic of Cyprus (a wreath surrounding a pigeon holding an olive branch in a shield) with the addition of a tiny crescent moon, star and the date 1983. For a suggestive discussion of symbols of statehood and independence on the Greek Cypriot side see Fileleftheros (Greek Cypriot daily), 21 November 1996, "I Kratiki mas Ontotita" , p. 7.
10. Such confidence-building measures are described in more detail in the
Report to the Security Council S/26026, 1 July 1993. The confidence-building package has not been accepted in toto by either side.
11. Similarly, in his report to the Security Council S/26777 on 22 November 1993 the Secretary-General criticises the Turkish Cypriot authorities for actions that "discourage and frequently prevent members of their community from having contacts with Greek Cypriots".
12. See Lellos Demetriades, "The Nicosia Master Plan", Journal
of Mediterranean Studies, Vol. 8, No. 2 (1998). In this article note also
the discussion on the issue of recognition.
13. Regarding the role of the press, the UN Secretary-General in his report to the Security Council S/26777, 22 November 1993, criticised "a campaign of questioning and vilification in the Greek Cypriot press, a campaign that can only be described as paranoid . . ." against some Greek Cypriots who took part in a bicommunal initiative. For a graphic example illustrating the above points, the problematic discourse of the Greek Cypriot authorities and the role of press, see Fileleftheros, 22 May 2000, "Den Tha Pane Sta Katehomena", p. 1. The article describes the confusion resulting from the decision of the (Greek Cypriot) Dentists’ Association of Cyprus to participate in a conference organised in the north by the Cyprus Turkish Medical Association. After pressure from the authorities, the Bishop of Kyrenia, the media, and others they declined the invitation. The Dentists’Association noted, however, that they had notified in good time both the Foreign Ministry and the Pancyprian Medical Association which had previously consented, only to retract or claim ignorance after the news broke out in the press. For another example see Fileleftheros, 2 March 2000, ``Omilia Hill sta Katehomena me ‘Evlogies’ tis Kivernisis", p. 28. In this case the Greek Cypriot authorities (despite negative press reactions) gave their consent for a talk by a foreign diplomat to a Turkish Cypriot university. They explained that since the university was a private one and given that it would have the beneficial results of explaining to the Turkish Cypriots the advantages of joining the European Union, the talk was welcomed. See alsoCharavgi (Greek Cypriot daily), 1 June 2000, ``Anisihitikes oi Sinergasies me ta `Panepistimia’ ton Katehomenon’’, p. 10, for a discussion of the issue of recognition with regard to academics’ and students’ meetings. In this case, the Head of the Council of the University of Cyprus and ex-Attorney-General of the Republic stated ``there is no official and clear government policy on the issue’’ (our translation).
14. Ian Brownlie, Principles of Public International Law (Oxford:
Clarendon Press, 1990), p. 88.
15. Ibid., p. 96. See also Michael Akehurst, A Modern Introduction to International Law (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987), p. 66, who qualifies this by saying that recognition may be implied more readily from conduct if a state is not in the habit of making express announcements. For recent developments, see Colin Warbrick, ``Recognition of States’’, International and Comparative Law Quarterly, No. 41 (1992), pp. 473-482..
16. See Stefan Talmon, Recognition of States in International Law
(Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).
17. Ibid., p. 8. For two interesting cases dealing with the status of the Turkish Cypriot regime, one before and the other after the TRNC declaration, as examined before British courts, see Hesperides Hotels Ltd v Aegean Turkish Holidays Ltd (1978) 1 Q.B. 205 and Caglar v H.M. Inspector of Taxes (1996) Simon’s Tax Cases 150. For a useful review see David Turns, ``Commentary on Caglar v H.M. Inspector of Taxes", American Journal of International Law, Vol. 92, No. 2 (1998), pp. 305-309.
18. Fileleftheros, 1 August 2000, ``Proseggiseon Afelies’’; our emphasis, our translation.
19. Herkul Millas, Tencere Dibin Kara: Turk-Yunan Illiskilerine Bir Onsoz
(Istanbul: Amac, 1989), pp. 24-25.
20. Sabahattin Ismail, 20th July Peace Operation (Istanbul: Kastash, 1989) pp. 12-15.
21. Ibid., p. 10. 22. Vehbi Serter, Kibris Tarihi (Nicosia: Kema Offset, 1990), p. 8, our translation. See also Ismail
op. cit., pp. 14-15.
23. See, for example, Kyriakos Hatziioannou, I Kataghoghi ton Tourkokyprion kai to Kypriako (Nicosia: n.p., 1976); Paraskevas Samaras, I Elliniki Kataghoghi ton Tourkokyprion (Athens: n.p., 1987).
24. For a more extended discussion of these issues and for other relevant sources see Yiannis
Papadakis, ``Perceptions of history and collective identity: a study of contemporary Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot nationalism", Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1993, pp. 25-51.
25. Michael Given, "Symbols, power and construction of identity in the city kingdoms of ancient
Cyprus", Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1991, pp. 18-21.
26. Ibid., pp. 6-9.
27. Michael Given, ``Star of the Parthenon, Cypriot Melange: Education and Representation in
Colonial Cyprus’’, Journal of Mediterranean Studies, Vol. 7, No. 1 (1997), pp. 59-82; Michael Given, ``Inventing the Eteocypriots: Imperialist Archaeology and the Manipulation of Ethnic Identity’’, Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, Vol. 11, No. 1 (1998), pp. 3-29.
28. Papadakis, op. cit., pp. 34-41.
29. However, it should be noted that the Left on both sides did not always or wholeheartedly
agree with the agendas of taksim and enosis advocated by right-wing nationalists.
30. Mahmut Islamoglu, ``Kibris Turklerin Kokeni, Kan Gruplari ve Komshulari Ile Kan Benzer-likleri", in M. Islamoglu (ed.), Kibris Turk Kultur ve Sanati (Nicosia: Yakin Dogu Universitesi
31. By right-wing parties we mean primarily the largest right-wing party DISI,
and to a lesser
extent the smaller centre-right party of DIKO. By left-wing party we mean the large communist
party AKEL, and the much smaller EDI. EDEK, though a socialist party, has been generally
unsympathetic to unofficial cross-ethnic contacts.
32. For example, within DISI there are some members, even current or ex-MPs mostly belonging
to its liberal wings, who are actually in the forefront of bicommunal meetings, such as Constantinos Lordos and Kaiti Cleridou. For the views of Kaiti Cleridou and DISI’’s recent decision to set up a ``Rapprochement Secretariat" that was not without problems and internal debates, see Alithia, 7 November 1999, ``I Simfiliosi Stohos tis Gram. Epanaprosegisis tou DISI", p. 18. For opposing views in DISI see Fileleftheros, 21 May 2000, ``Aparadehtes oi Energeies tis Grammateias Epanaprosegisis", p. 15. For a statement by a DISI MP that cross-ethnic contacts of academics lends recognition see Simerini (Greek Cypriot daily) 5 June 2000 ``Psevdopanepistimia kai Anagnorisi’’, p. 2.
33. Fileleftheros, 13 October 1999, ``O Neos Oistros gia Epanaprosegisi EK kai TK’’, p. 7, our
34. For a general discussion of the idea of ``Turkish expansionism’’’’
and the Right’’s insistence on and employment of this notion see Yiannis
Papadakis, ``Enosis and Turkish Expansionism: Real Myths or Mythical
Realities?’’’’ , in V. Calotychos (ed.), Cyprus and its People
(Boulder, CO: Westeview Press, 1998), pp. 69-84.
35. AKEL alone thus organises a commemorative ritual for the joint killing in 1965 of a Greek
Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot (Mishaoulis and Kavazoglu) by right-wing Turkish Cypriot extremists, which is followed by 10 days of various ``Events for Rapprochement’’’’ where Turkish Cypriots are also invited. It should also be noted that AKEL as a party or some members occasionally oppose or voice doubts regarding bicommunal meetings which may receive funds or be organised by American institutions such as Fulbright. This is more indicative, however, of their anti-American stance rather than opposition to rapprochement itself. On this last point and AKEL’’s general role in cross-ethnic contacts see Peter Loizos, ``Bicommunal Initiatives and their Contribution to Improved Relations Between Turkish and Greek Cypriots’’’’ (forthcoming), in H. Brey (ed.), Cyprus and its Accession to the European Union: Positions and Expectations of the Cypriots and of the International Community (Munich: Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 2000).
36. Charavgi, 13 January 2000, ``I Kivernisi Diilizei Konopes kai
Katapinei Kamilous’’’’ , p. 1, our translation.
37. By Turkish Cypriot Right we mean the two larger parties UBP and DP, while by Left we refer
to CTP and the smaller TKP. It should be noted, however, that as with the Greek Cypriots these are not absolute distinctions. Individuals within the more liberal (rather than nationalist) wings of the Right may participate and support bicommunal initiatives, while the leader of TKP, Mustafa Akinci, traditionally a very strong supporter of such initiatives adopted a more ambivalent position after entering into a government coalition with UBP. For a general discussion of the similarities and differences in outlook between the Right and Left on the two sides see Yiannis Papadakis, `20 Chronia Meta apo ti? I Pollapli Noimatodotisi tou 1974’, in N. Peristianis and G. Tsaggaras (eds.), Anatomia mias Metamorphosis (Nicosia: Intercollege Press, 1995), pp. 360-365.
38. For an account of political developments and differences in the Turkish Cypriot side see
Clement Dodd (ed.), The Political, Social and Economic Development of Northern Cyprus (Huntingdon: Eothen Press, 1993).
39. See CTP’’s daily paper Yeni Duzen, 23 October 1999, `Yarin, Dikenli Telleri Aship Bulushuyoruz’, p. 1 for a front page report of an upcoming UN Open Day at Ledra Palace encouraging Turkish Cypriots to attend in order to meet with Greek Cypriots. See also Yeni Duzen, 25 October 1999, `Devlet Ishkencesi Yildirmadi’, p. 1 for a report on the obstacles placed by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and Yeni Duzen, 26 October 1999, ``Barishtan Korkuyorlar’, p. 1, for Talat’s angry reaction towards the Turkish Cypriot authorities that placed obstructions. See also Fileleftheros, 16 June 1999, ``Diakratiki Epanaprosegisi’’’’ , p. 12, for a report of a discussion in the Turkish Cypriot parliament on the issue of bicommunal meetings. Talat once again disagreed with the government policy that these should only take place as bi-state meetings, and protested against general efforts to obstruct them.. The issue of `bicommunal contacts’ was debated fiercely in the Turkish Cypriot parliament during February 2000. In the course of this open debate Talat criticised the Turkish Cypriot Ministers’ Council decision to prohibit such meetings and demanded their allowance. For details of this debate see Kibris (Turkish Cypriot daily), 19 February 2000, `Meclis’ te `Iki Toplumlu Temas’’ Tartishmasi’, pp. 6-7.
40. Papadakis, Perceptions of History and Collective Identity, op. cit., pp. 42-49
41. The issue of foreign residents and Cypriot Maronites would, in addition,
be very interesting
to examine in relation to how their special treatment and movements across the Green Line both
teases and challenges the official discourse of recognition. For an interesting article on how a Jewish couple living in a house situated on the Green Line daily negotiates questions of recognition, see Juliette Dickstein, `Portrait of a Jew’: Ethnic Identity and National Belonging in Cyprus’, The Cyprus Review, Vol. 11, No. 2 (1999), pp. 83-94. Nowadays, a new medium helping individuals to `cross’ the Green Line on a daily basis and greatly assisting cross-ethnic activities is the internet. The Web site www.peace-cyprus.org, featuring the logo of `using technology to build bridges of communication’, co-managed by Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, provides the most extensive links, lists, and news of bicommunal initiatives.
42. These took place until late in 1997, when most of these meetings were
prohibited by the
Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash. Later on many of these resumed in the borderline village
43. Demetriades, op. cit.
44. For a list of such groups and activities see Heinz-Jurgen Axt and Hansjorg Brey (eds.), Cyprus and the European Union (Munich: Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 1997), pp. 247-255; Loizos, op. cit.
45. Such exchanges of multiple narratives made the participants aware of the diversity of
experience even within each ethnic group. For a general account of the development of citizens’’
cross-ethnic contacts see Maria Hadjipavlou-Trigeorgi, ``Little Confidence in Confidence Building? Conflict Resolution in the Context of the United Nations’’’’ , in H. Axt and H. Brey (eds.), Cyprus and the European Union (Munich: Sudosteuropa-Gesellschaft, 1997), pp. 36-54.
46. For a more detailed account of the narratives expressed, concepts and
methodologies employed, see Maria Hadjipavlou-Trigeorgis, ``Different
Relationships to the Land: Personal Narratives, Political Implications and
Future Possibilities’, in V. Calotychos (ed.), Cyprus and its People
(Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1998); also Maria Hadjipavlou-Trigeorgis, `The
Role of Joint Narratives in Conflict Resolution: The Case of Cyprus’, in M.
Yashin (ed.), Step-mothertongue (London: Middlesex University Press,
47. On the wider impact of such groups see Loizos, op. cit.; Hadjipavlou-Trigeorgis, ``Different
Relationships to the Land’, op. cit., pp. 261-270.
48. Observations regarding Pyla are drawn from a year ’s fieldwork conducted by Papadakis
during 1994-1995. For a general account of various aspects of life in Pyla see Yiannis Papadakis,
``Pyla: A Mixed Borderline Village under U.N. Supervision in Cyprus’, International Journal on
Minority and Group Rights, Vol. 3/4 (1996/7), pp. 353-372.
49. Eventually, however, after 1989, the Greek Cypriot authorities launched a
surveillance campaign of intimidation of Greek Cypriots who visited Pyla, leading to hundreds of
highly publicised arrests, and to a large extent were successful in scaring people from visiting the
village and in stopping the exchange of goods through Pyla.
50. Interview (by Yiannis Papadakis) with UN Spokesperson Waldemar Rokoshewski on 29 May
51. See Ortam (Turkish Cypriot daily), 17 October 1996, `Futbol Sahasi’, p. 2; `Biz Rum Yonetimi Ile Sozleshme Imzalamadik’, p. 5.
52. For a variety of approaches dealing with this issue, see Christopher
Clapham, `Degrees of
Statehood’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 24, No. 2 (1998), pp. 143-157; Costas Constantinou, ``Before the Summit: Representations of Sovereignty on the Himalayas’’’’ , Millennium, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1998), pp. 23-53; Susan Strange, `The Westfailure System’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3 (1999), pp. 345-354; Joseph A. Camilleri and Jim Falk, The End of Sovereignty? The Politics of a Shrinking and Fragmenting World (Aldershot: Edward Elgar, 1992); R.B.J. Walker and Saul Mendlovitz (eds.), Contending Sovereignties: Redefining Political Community (Boulder: Lynne Rienner, 1990); Thomas J. Biersteker and Cynthia Weber (eds), State Sovereignty as Social Construct (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1996).
53. Emmanuel Levinas, Ethics and Infinity: Conversations with Philippe Nemo (Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press 1985), pp. 85-92.
54. S/1999/707, 22 June 1999.
55. Galen Cranz, The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design (New York: Norton, 1998), pp. 25, 51.