Nationalism and the Political Use of History in Cyprus: Recent Developments

Yılmaz Çolak


This study analyzes the relationship between nationalism and the political use of history in the two “small nation-states” in Cyprus. It also examines the relevant effects of Cyprus’s European Union (EU) membership and the emergence of alternative historiographies. The hostile historiographies of the two sides of Cyprus since 1974 have crystallized because of the de facto emergence of the two political units. It is argued that Greek and Turkish Cypriot historiographies have played a vital role in determining the fate of the Cyprus Problem as seen in the case of the April 2004 referendum. Recent revisionist attempts based on Cypriotism have promoted an exclusionary ideological perspective and are subject to political debate, too. The case of North Cyprus shows that new historiography produces new myths, projecting rightist groups and immigrants from Turkey as the main Others.


Cyprus Problem; nationalism; historiography; Greek Cypriot; Turkish Cypriot; Cypriotism

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