Cyprus Puzzle

Sahan Nuhoglu

2016 - Ongoing


The island of Cyprus: The third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia. Ruled during various periods by the Greeks, Romans, Ottoman Turks and British. It was politically and physically split in 1974, when tensions between Greek and Turkish Cypriots came to a head and Turkey intervened to stop a coup led by a Greek military junta. "Reality takes shape in memory alone", therefore a huge campaign of memory wars was exercised in Cypriot community through decades. Yet, there is a Cypriot way of time and space perception. Cyprus is a meaningful point where we can understand the limits of citizenship through reality, experiences and existence... We are heading towards days where cultures will meet in dialogue among peace talks. Cyprus can be the symbol of hope the world badly needs...

I have been to Cyprus last Autumn. I had witnessed the moods in Nicosia. It was an impressionistic study of the city and its inhabitants where you can have a feeling of the past, present and future of islanders. You will see attached images of people’s stories on two sides of the border, the daily routine and the atmosphere. My project, a humanitarian aspect of view, "Nicosia: the long tale of a short distance", is published in ATLAS magazine this February.

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  • A street view from south Nicosia, October 2016. Nicosia has the most dead end streets in the world. Barricades stand just before the Buffer Zone.

  • A dead end street view in the northern Nicosia, September 2016. Kuyumcular (Goldsmiths) Street is standing just behind the Buffer Zone and the neighbourhood is on the agenda of urban transformation. The shopkeepers in the picture are from Turkey, Cypriots are generally used to drink coffee, instead of drinking tea.

  • An old Greek Cypriot woman is reflected on a retro decoration shop window based in Nicosia, Cyprus.

  • An afternoon in one of the coffee shops on Ledra Street, Nicosia, October 2016. Barricade is not for decoration, that's the reality so far. The street is a major shopping thoroughfare in central Nicosia, which links North Nicosia, the part of the city under the control of the de facto Northern Cyprus, and south Nicosia.

  • A Greek Cypriot woman walks her dog among the borderline, where the old Venetian wall is separating two sides of the last divided capital of Europe, Nicosia, October 2016. Flags are - rather than fabric- made up of steel, is prefered to resist aging, while a graffiti "Hellas" is confronting them. Nicosia has a long history as a capital city, serving as the seat of power of the Lusignans, Venetians, Ottomans, and the British. This long history has been amplified as today it is concurrently the capital of two republics, the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) in the Greek Cypriot south, and the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (TRNC),which a self-declared state that comprises the northern part of the island.

  • A landscape of Turkish Republic of North Cyprus (rear) seen from Shacolas Tower of south Nicosia. The border lies just in front of the minarets standing on the right corner.

  • Abondoned Nicosia International Airport, October 2016. Remains of Cyprus Airways Hawker-Siddeley Trident on the airport site. All that is left is the shell of the airplane, as the rest of the plane's key features have been gutted out for years. It is a largely disused airport located 8.2 km west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia in the Lakatamia suburb. It was originally the main airport for the island, but commercial activity ceased following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The airport site is now mainly used as the headquarters of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

  • A playgroung is pictured in northern Nicosia of Cyprus. For years, Cyprus has been known as "the quiet crisis", but it is also like a warship in the east Mediterranean. The population in a ratio of four-to-one. A power-sharing government drawn from the two communities took over when British rule ended in 1960. But tension grew between the two sides, fuelled by a minority among Greek Cypriots who wanted enosis (Greek for "union") with the motherland and Turkish Cypriots who favoured taksim (Turkish for "partition").

  • A wish wall in the UN Buffer Zone, opposite of Ledra Palace Hotel, Nicosia, Cyprus.

  • Turkish Cypriot journalist-activist-poet Sener Levent (69) is in his office, Nicosia, September 2016. He is a writer and the publisher of the Turkish Cypriot daily “Afrika” (then called Avrupa). He was one of the candidates of presidential election in the year of 2000. His newspaper's printing house had been bombed twice and more than several hundreds complaints were filed by the Turkish-Cypriot authorities against Afrika and its journalists for "insulting the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" or for allegedly inciting people to break the law, insulting the army, and trying to spread hatred towards the army among Turkish Cypriots.

  • A Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Hasguler (52) is standing in front of the recently drawn wires after 42 years of division of the island, city of Nicosia, September 2016. Mr. Hasguler is "one and the only bicycled professor" of Cyprus and his insist on practice of sports activity in the Taksim Pitch, which takes part in Buffer Zone, was faced with UN principles. Mr. Hasguler's effort of 75 days resulted with newly wires, but a gained parkour for Turkish Nicosians.

  • Glafkos Cariolou (68), a major in exile, is working in his municipal office building, city of Nicosia, Cyprus, October 2016. Among the 39 Cypriot Municipalities, 9 are under Turkish occupation since 1974 as a result of the occupation of 37% of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey following the 1974 military intervention. Pictures of Greek Cypriots shot dead seen on the left.

  • A woman is holding the book of “Beneath the Carob Trees – The Lost Lives of Cyprus”, published by CMP. Picture on the book by Nick Danziger. The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) was established in 1981 by an agreement between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities with the backing of the United Nations (UN), to determine the fate of persons reported missing in inter-communal fighting in the 1960s, and as a result of the events of 1974. A total of 493 Turkish Cypriots and 1,508 Greek Cypriots were officially reported as missing by both communities to the CMP. Up to 31 October 2016, the total number of identified Greek Cypriots are 520 and still missing 988 persons, while the total number of identified Turkish Cypriots are 181 and 312 persons are still missing.

  • A horse race is performed at the Nicosia Racecourse in Ayios Dometios, a suburb of Nicosia the capital of Cyprus, October 2016. The fans are looking northward, to the Kyrenia Mountains where you can see the flag Turkey and Northern Cyprus, officially the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is a self-declared state that comprises the northern part of the island. Horse racing was revived in Cyprus from the end of the 19th century. However, the tradition of the sport in this country, as evidenced by archaeological findings existing in the Cyprus Museum, is lost in the depth of the Hellenistic period, where we come across horse racing descriptions by Homer and other ancient authors. Horse racing in those days was actually a "sport of kings" who participated in them. When Kings of ancient Salamis of Cyprus died, their horses were buried with them. Horse racing is for the first time entered in the Olympic Games in the 7th century b.c.

  • A Turkish Cypriot couple is pictured at a Halloween party held in front of Buyuk Khan, north Nicosia.

  • AC Omonoia supporters are getting prepared before a home game against Aris, another Nicosian football team.

  • An Oxi Day street scenery from Nicosia, Cyprus. Oxi Day is celebrated throughout Greece, Cyprus and the Greek communities around the world on 28 October each year. Oxi Day commemorates the rejection by Greek prime minister Ioannis Metaxas of the ultimatum made by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini on 28 October 1940. Oxi meaning as No.

  • Museum of Barbarism recalls Cyprus's bloody past, Kumluca district, Nicosia, September 2016. The Cyprus puzzle goes along with the mission of building own history via wars of memory. It is a very controversial issue that these lines of thick black tape still underline bullet holes on the walls of the small Nicosia house where militant Greek Cypriots killed a Turkish Cypriot colonel’s family, a mother and three children in December 1963 as ethnic violence ripped Cyprus apart. Pictures of their bodies were once everywhere, not just at the museum, but in all of Northern Cyprus. It is said that when the Turkish Cypriots moved into Greek Cypriot houses after 1974, they removed all the bathtubs.

  • The interior view of the lobby of abandoned Nicosia International Airport. It is a largely disused airport located 8.2 km west of the Cypriot capital city of Nicosia in the Lakatamia suburb. It was originally the main airport for the island, but commercial activity ceased following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The airport site is now mainly used as the headquarters of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

  • Two Cypriot youngsters are playing black gammon in front of a Mandela mural in the city of Nicosia, Cyprus.

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