Turkish & Greek Cypriots find ways to work together

The two main ethnic groups on the island live in partitioned communities. But even where history's scars are most visible, some are finding a common cause.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A man walks under a Turkish (L) and a Turkish Cypriot flag (R) at Paphos gate of the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus, February 1, 2017.

Turkish troops entered Cyprus in 1974 to protect the Turkish Cypriot community in the wake of a Greek-inspired coup that left the island divided by a UN-controlled buffer zone.

Current talks aimed at finding a resolution to the decades-old division are moving, albeit slowly.

Leaders of the two sides on Wednesday asked the UN for a new peace conference in early March with guarantor powers Britain, Turkey and Greece, a UN envoy said.

Disagreement over the presence of Turkish troops on the island has emerged as a key obstacle to the talks moving forward.

Some 30,000 troops are thought to be on the ground. Greek Cypriots want them to leave. Turkish Cypriots want them to stay.

Erenkoy is a military base on land controlled by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Nearby is the Greek Cypriot village of Pyrgos. The area is steeped in the history that divided the island.

But as TRT World’s Andrew Hopkins discovered when he went there, the locals are finding ways to work together, despite their differences.