Turkey

On Citizenship and Donkeys in Cyprus

Nikos Skoutaris
'Who is a Cypriot'

The turbulent history of the Cyprus issue has influenced the understanding of the concept of Cypriot citizenship(s). In that sense, the fate of this concept is tied with the fate of the current bi-communal negotiations, at the end of which we should know whether the two communities agree on the answer to the question of who is a Cypriot, apart from the donkeys…

One of the most famous aphorisms attributed to Rauf Denktash, the historical leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, is that ‘the only real Cypriots residing on the island are the donkeys’. Despite its provocative manner, such a statement reveals how controversial it might be in the context of the Cyprus conflict to attempt to define ‘who is a Cypriot’.

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