“Together in pain” – Divided Cyprus, a ghost town and a lot of realities (February 2023)

Before considering going to Cyprus for a warm winter and to potentially extend my visa and customs days in Turkey for myself and Rosinante, I had never given much thought to the political situation on this beautiful island.

However, there is a great deal happening there, with many realities to uncover. Honestly, I don’t feel inclined to try and comprehend and describe all the stories surrounding Cyprus, the north, the south, the Cypriots, the Turkish-Cypriots, the Turkish-Turkish of Cyprus, the Greek-Cypriots, the British, the UN, Greece, Turkey, the US, Cyprus as a strategic base, the occupied areas, military bases, abandoned villages, a ghost town, the children of Turkish-Turkish people living in Cyprus who are born with fewer rights, stolen land, compensations for those who lost their land, escapes, rapes, deaths, assassinations, power, and much more.

During my nearly four months on Cyprus, I spoke to various individuals about their perspectives on these issues. Although I have great respect for their lives, at a certain point, I became weary of it all.

Ultimately, the best description I encountered of the situation is: “Together in pain.” I came across this phrase several times in graffiti in Nicosia, and it truly resonated with me.

From my perspective, there exists an unresolved and dishonest situation that causes suffering for some, if not most, of the people involved.

One of the many things that makes this quite evident is Varosha/Maraş (location in Google Maps), a large city area that remains completely abandoned and guarded by UN troops.

Nonetheless, I guess, being human allows us to cope with situations like this, albeit in different ways. Some tend to blame, while others approach it with compassion.

Although this post might give the impression that being or living in Cyprus is synonymous with pain, that is not the case. From my experience, it was a wonderful place with lovely people and what I truly appreciate is that most of the people I spoke to, expressed a desire to somehow reunite in a peaceful way with everybody on the island.

And that’s what is all about, right? Love, compassion and helping each other.