Nicosia is the last divided city in Europe - a title inherited when Berlin was unified over 20 years ago. You can step across the Green Line dividing the city without much fuss these days. The authorities on the south side minimise the perception that this is a de facto border. Those on the north side make every attempt to convince you that you have stepped into another jurisdiction. Most of what first hits you in the narrow lanes there are street vendors selling cheap goods of all sorts to attract the southern and tourist euro. But there are some interesting sights to see that have been left over from previous occupations.
Selimye mosque is one such venue. Built by the Lusignans in the 12th century it was subsequently taken over by the Ottomans in the Middle Ages when it became a mosque. Continue reading here [...]
This is one of the abiding images of Cyprus. It is the representation of the flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (recognised only by Turkey). It is etched into the Pentactylos mountain range in the occupied area across the Green Line that divides the two communities on this beautiful island. Inhabitants of Nicosia come face to face with this image daily as it is visible from almost every part of the city. It is, perhaps, meant to be a provocative reminder to those on the south side of the line of everything they have lost as a result of the Turkish invasion of 1974. One hesitates to ask older residents what they feel about this for fear of stoking up hurt or anger. But maybe that's my issue because although I focus on this image, Cypriots seem to ignore it.
This is mostly true Continue reading here [...]
The main conference room is pretty full with about 350 people expected to attend. Obviously it is an issue touching the hearts of academics. There are also a number of breakout sessions. First [...] Continue reading here [...]