People of North Cyprus: Turkish Cypriots
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Turkish Cypriot People

Turkish Cypriot Village Coffee Shop
Village Coffee Shop
photo by: Anonymous
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Turkish Cypriots: the best hosts in the Mediterranean?

In today’s fast-moving world, it’s refreshing to visit North Cyprus, where a shopkeeper will offer you a coffee while you shop, or a hotel bus that stops to pick up kids on their way home from school. Indeed, if you once get invited into a Turkish Cypriot's home, you’ll find it difficult to leave, as he or she will ply you with coffee and food until the cupboard is bare!

Turkish Cypriots: a special people

The events of 1974 may have split the island of Cyprus into two, but it’s as well to remember that whilst the Turkish Cypriots fled north, Greek Cypriots headed south as well. In other words, the two sides have grown and developed their own traditions side by side, even if they didn’t always agree! This tolerance and laid-back attitude of the original Turkish Cypriot still exists today in North Cyprus, where Orthodox churches have been preserved despite the ongoing division, and the feast of Ramadan still finds restaurants open, happy to serve tourists.

Turkish Cypriots: an ancient people

Turkish Cypriots are descended from a long line of island invaders, from the Phoenicians to the Ottomans who gave the island its Turkish flavours and buildings. The original Turkish Cypriots maintain their separate identity from mainland Turks, who emigrated to the island under government encouragement after 1974. They are proud of their island home, proud of their history and eager to embrace the future. Indeed, 65% of them voted for the Annan Plan for reunification of Cyprus, a plan defeated by a disappointingly large "no" vote from the south.

Furthermore, it was the Turkish Cypriot side that opened the border between north and south in a historic move in April 2003, a change of policy that allowed family and old friends from both to see each other for the first time in thirty years. Hopefully this trend will continue, allowing North Cyprus to take its place in Europe once more.