The Greek Question…

Earlier today I was informed about a group on ‘that big blue social network‘ whose name can be loosely translated to ‘We want Greek flags at our Government Buildings”… which got my thoughts flowing..

After a few conversations with some of the readers the whole conversation came down to the simple question of: are we Cypriots, Greek Cypriots or Cypriot Greeks?

What do YOU think? Please leave your comments.

[Please keep to English and any indecent remarks will be removed]

  • Natalie

    WE ARE CYPRIOTS MAN…we want to get rid of Turks..why suck Greek ppls ass? we should be independand and proud to by CYPRIOT not GREEK or any other form of nationality sugestion anything else than our actual one

  • dont forget that some Turkish societies were living here peacefully with and amongst us just 3 decades ago. but this discussion is about US, are we our own nationality? an evolution of the Greeks? or what?

  • G9_MPILIS

    A former British colony,which became independant in 1960, officially known as the republic of cyprus.Whoever says that we have traces of greeks,i answer to that honestly yes we do BUT many other countries have been here too,Egyptians,Persians,Romans,British,Venetians and so on the list goes.As far as i know we could have traces of Asians and Americans.what really matters though is that we have our own Goverment, citizenship. CYPRIOTS!

  • marinos_binqx

    Well, that’s a pretty good question to raise!

    Anyway, i personally believe that we are Greek-Cypriots. YES, i do believe that we should just forget the greek part and just call our selves Cypriots since we are an independent republic state, but who are really Cypriots?

    I agree with the above comment saying that Cypriots were being under the control of British, Egyptians and the Francs(French) and so on for many years and as we know obviously by the Turks too.

    Let’s not forget that on the other side of Cyprus the habitats who live there are called Turk-Cypriots or whatever just because their roots are from Turkey but they live here.

    After all of these people controlling Cyprus, i think we have the right to call ourselves Greek-Cypriots just because the dominant nation and race managed to stay alive within all these years by having the same language, customs, traditions and religion.

  • Personally I am the same GREEK whether I recall my Limassol family roots or the ones coming from Kalamata. So for me being a Cypriot is not exclusive of being Greek… In the same sense of being Peloponnesian, Cretan, Spartan, Athenian, Macedon, Thracian, Rhodian etc is not exclusive of being Greek neither.

    But sometimes I feel like there are some people who are struggling to prove that they are something different of what they are… they remind me the second and third generation of Indians and Pakistanis here in the United Kingdom; who turn to be offended when you ask them if they are Indians or Pakistanis and angrily reply with the quote: “NO I AM BRITISH!”… Of course the native British would quote that they are “English” or “Scottish” or “Welsh”… 🙂

    As for the argument that Cyprus has been governed by many different rulers through the timeline of history, I will only remind that most of the Greek islands and most parts of the mainland had similar fate… Persians, Romans, Slavs, Bulgarians, Arabs, Ottomans, Venetians, Franks, Italians etc… In fact the islands of Rhodes and Crete had identical fate as Cyprus. More over Crete use to be an Independent State before annexation with Greece. Specifically for the island of Crete, on the eve of the Greek War of Independence, as much as 45% of the population of the island may have been (most of them tuned into) Muslim. By 1900, 11% of the population was Muslim. Those remaining were forced to leave in 1924 in the Population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

    Anyway, for the non believers… they can still call themselves ethnic Cypriots and fall into the trap that the British foreign policy crafted back in the 50s and 60s… the same foreign policy that lead the two communities into confrontation in the name of the Crown and for the sake of the British Crown Colony of Cyprus… No worries mates; be proper ethnic-Cypriots… keep on being proper former colonials, in the way the British foreign policy wanted you to become.

    That was the game of the British, first prohibition of Greek national symbols, then their struggle to vanish the Greek surnames off the Cypriots and when all means failed they turned the two communities to fight each other, oh yeas and of course they also used the commies and finally they seek the vacillation of the Greek bonds that would lead the population dehellenization…

  • i would just like to remind everyone that this is NOT a political discussion, it is meant to deal more with the cultural differences and similarities between the Greek speaking Cypriots and the Greeks as a whole.

  • I’m afraid opinion is a de facto political action… As for the cultural differences and similarities between the Greeks of Cyprus and the mainland Greeks, those can not be interpreted in any way as valid arguments of ethnic segregation. You will be amazed if you have the chance to travel around Greece and realize the volume of different dialects and cultural diversity that exist even among the mainland Greeks.

    The Cretan dialect and culture for example, is totally different of what is happening in mainland Greece, identical to the Cypriot case; the Rhodian idiom is 90% identical to the Cypriot dialect, in northern Greece they use a totally different idiom influenced by the Pontiac dialect; In Epirus there is a dialect influenced by “Arvanitika”, and at the Ionian Islands there is another dialect highly influenced by the Italian language.

    I guess, the reason that we -as Cypriots- do not call the Greeks as “Ellines” but as “Elladites” is because we consider ourselves as much “Ellines” as the ones from Greece.

  • Chris

    Well, I had a brief look at the discussion and it looks quite interesting. It is a pity though to see people trying to create a new cyriot identity which does not exist. On the Island of Cyprus there have been and have always been two dominant nationalities, and other insignigicant (in numbers). It is not by chance that the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus refers to Greeks and Turks, and not Cypriots, or the British introduced bastardised ‘Greek Cypriot’ and ‘Turkish Cypriot’ terms. Just look at the official British records during the British rule on the island. There should be no question about this. As someone already said, romans, arabs, venetians, franks etc etc who have been in cyprus occasionaly they have been assimilated and now they belong to one of the two categories mainly. As for Natalie’s comments I dont know how she came to this conclusion but unfortunately (for her) it is far from reality, for many reasons such as there has never been a cypriot nation in history there for we cannot say we are cypriots and not greeks or turks, and especially when this is clearly stated in the 1960 constitution of the Republic, amongs millions of other reasons which unfortunately cannot be further discussed here.

  • Can you add more info on these big blue group? i want to understand why they specifically want greek flags on the buildings. whats wrong with the Cyprus flag? doesnt represent them?

    The presidential elections just came to my mind. The rallies of Xristofkias in the closed arena in polemidia. So many people. So many flags of Cyprus. Only flags of Cyprus. I felt pride, even though i am not cypriot by blood, i was born and raised here. Its for this exact reason that the Cyprus problem doesnt get solved. People argue over stupid things, like the Greek and Turkish flags, instead of finding a peaceful way to resolve this. At the end of the day id wipe my ass with ANY flag if it was to bring peace to our communities. They lived peacefully before the war, we can do so now.

    I also remember traveling to Athens this summer for the FIRST time. I was there for a sporting event. Greeks were passing by our hotel shouting and calling us dirty f’ing cypriots etc. Even the police treated us extremely bad. I dont think they would have treated us that bad if we were in turkey.

    Im not saying Greeks are bad. Im just saying were two different people. So no, my flag is the flag of Cyprus. Not the blue and white flag that has the Holy Cross of Jesus on it, and at the same time shouts, hidden in its lines, ELEUTHERIA I THANATOS, FREEDOM OR DEATH.

    ***edited to remove the calling of the Greek flag a tool of propaganda.

  • *Please delete previous post

    Just a reminder for those who forget where in the world they live…

    CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS
    PART I. GENERAL PROVISIONS
    ARTICLE 1
    “The State of Cyprus is an independent and sovereign Republic with a presidential regime, the President being Greek and the VicePresident being Turk elected by the Greek and the Turkish Communities of Cyprus respectively as hereinafter in this Constitution provided”.

    Whether you like it or not there is a provision in the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (APPENDIX D – PART I, Article 4, Paragraph 3) stating: “The Communal authorities and institutions shall have the right to fly on holidays together with the flag of the Republic either the Greek or the Turkish flag at the same time”.

    This “holiday provision” has become a de facto everyday practice after the Turkish invasion. That is why we, the Greeks of Cyprus, demand the reuse of both flags on the public buildings and schools of the Republic. We want this not in disrespect of the flag of the Republic, but as our rightful claim to simultaneously fly our National flag on the side of the State flag of the Republic which according the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (APPENDIX D – PART I, Article 4, Paragraph 1) has a “neutral design and colour” in order to represent both the Greek and the Turkish communities.

    If you really think that the problem keeps on because “People argue over stupid things, like the Greek and Turkish flags”, ask a Turkish Cypriot to raise the flag of the Republic, will he do it? Also ask the relatives of Solomos Solomou and Tasos Isaak what for did those two young patriots died… for the flag of the Republic? Try to find out which flag was on their coffins…

    The simplicity in which you try to degrade the Cyprus Problem as “a problem of flags” is a clear proof of your foolishness along with great lack of both historical and geopolitical awareness. I do not give a shit if you are Cypriot by blood or not, as far as you respect the community in which you have been raised and living. Your sayings are disregarding the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus posing a clear blasphemy by cursing the National symbols and the National identity of the Greek Community. You seam to forget that you are benefiting from the efforts and struggles of the Greek Community of Cyprus.

    By consulting the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus (APPENDIX D – PART I, Article 1) we can mark out some notable provisions:

    “(1)the Greek Community comprises all citizens of the Republic who are of Greek origin and whose mother tongue is Greek or who share the Greek cultural traditions or who are members of the Greek Orthodox Church;”

    “(3) citizens of the Republic who do not come within the provisions of paragraph (1) or (2) of this Article shall, within three months of the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution, opt to belong to either the Greek or the Turkish Community as individuals”

    “(4) a person who becomes a citizen of the Republic at any time after three months of the date of the coming into operation of this Constitution shall exercise the option provided in paragraph (3) of this Article within three months of the date of his so becoming a citizen”

    G Man: “I also remember traveling to Athens this summer for the FIRST time. I was there for a sporting event. Greeks were passing by our hotel shouting and calling us dirty f’ing cypriots etc. Even the police treated us extremely bad. I dont think they would have treated us that bad if we were in turkey.”

    You are so pathetic, the Greek rival teams call AEK funs “Turks”, PAOK funs “Bulgars” etc… Greek police always treats with an extremely bad manner the away funs WHOEVER they are… You are a filthy provocateur… And whoever doubts, can ask the thousands of Cypriots studding at the Greek Universities how do they feel and how they are treated whilst in Greece…

    PS: Inztinkt I demand all indecent remarks regarding the Greek flag and about the Greek revolution quotation to be removed asap.

  • Chris

    Ok then G man, according to you ppl from limassol for example should not be termed even as cypriots because when they play with a team in nicosia they are not treated as they would be in limassol. I think judging ppl from sporting events is plain stupid. Now if you dont feel Greek because as you say you are not and your parents are foreigners who moved to Cyprus or whatever fair enough and it is respected. But, this does not grand you the right to say that Cypriots are not Greeks because you dont feel like it. In my opinion the only thing that should be discussed is how the British tried to impose on the Cypriot ppl (Either Greek or Turkish) the Cyprus Nationality something which never existed until 1960. It is really important to study international History as well as nationalism and then compare it with Hellenism and Cyprus. You would be amazed by the things you will learn. One can realise why the Turks and all Middle Eastern people call us Rum (Romioi – which means Greek outside the Greek State’s borders). It is funny how everyone else considers us being Greek but yet we manage to create discussions on the subject ourself. Even if some people will be dissatisfied, unfortunately that is how the region has been formed through history and it cannot change. The only thing left now is how we will shape the future.

  • marinos_binqx

    Nick Bats and Chris u set it out nicely!! 🙂

    GMAN i dont know what u were thinking when u were writing the post and especially comparing the attitudes during sports between Greeks and Cypriots, it’s out of Point and when u said
    ” dont think they would have treated us that bad if we were in turkey. ” That’s so wrong man!
    Do you know that there is an embargo of Cypriots going there unless there is a reason to go?
    Do you know that Turks have been messing around with the Greeks for Centuries,obviously with Cyprus too and especially after the war u think that they wont treat us that bad?? pls man…

    I would also like to say that greeks were also called ”grekoi”which means slaves so this is why we have the word Greece, but if u noticed Greece in national events is called HELLAS
    Anwy, i would like to say that Cypriots are Greeks as well for the reasons that explained in the previous post…. after all we have the same customs, beliefs, traditions and NATIONAL ANTHEM!!

    As Chris said, u need to get ur facts right, but the fact that you are not a Cypriot it kinda excuses u a bit….

  • Lucas Psillakis

    An interesting article in the Cyprus Mail comments on the genetic link with ancient Phoenicians and also notes that:
    “Past genetic studies, though on a limited scale, have suggested that Greek and Turkish Cypriots are genetically closer to each other than they are with their respective “mother countries”. ”

    So, maybe we’re Cypriots above all. It doesn’t mean we need to forget our culture, language or religion, but perhaps we tend to focus too much on “Greekness” and not enough on developing a Cypriot identity. And perhaps we don’t need to feel Greek in order to be proud of who we are.

    Just a thought…

  • This sort of “scientifically proven” theory is something that I was expecting a long time now to happen. After the DNA research that “revealed” the FYROMians as the honorary genetic descendants of Ancient Macedons, it was certain that the time had come for us too… 🙂

    But let’s stay calm and enjoy the memorable article of Mr Elias Hazou, who as it seams has put up a pretty good show in order to justify his payroll(s). The author turns to make quite a lot of unjustifiable assumptions, leading to false verdicts over the topic.

    It seams like the author is struggling to outflank the readers’ subconscious by repeating a “research says you’re not Greek” patent but without sufficient evidence. This patent can be found quite frequently in the “article”; here follows a list with quoted phrases that mach this patent:

    1) “Genetic detective work could snap the Greek link”

    2) “Conventional wisdom has it that we Cypriots are descended primarily from the ancient Greeks. That assumption, though still holding up, could now be challenged by DNA research into our genetic makeup.”

    3) “Depending on the outcome, this research could open a Pandora’s Box were it found that the Greek element is not as strong as once thought. No doubt certain circles would be embarrassed if the results were not the “right ones”.”

    Certainly this guy has a touch when it comes to provide his services… But what do the actual figures of the research prove? Let me quote the only phrase in the whole article that references to something actually measurable:

    “Recent genetic research carried out in Lebanon and other locations around the Mediterranean basin has shown that one in 17 people in Cyprus may have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor.”

    Oh my lord! What dose that “1 in 17 people” mean? By incorporating simple math, that means that approximately 5,8% of the sample have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor… What a joke! So that filthy 5,8% according Mr Elias Hazou justifies him to use phrases like “snap the Greek link” and “the Greek element is not as strong as once thought”!

    Anyway, I can keep on criticizing both the author and some aspects of the research, but my time is far more important. I just want to point out to Mr Elias Hazou and his fans that when you assume and try to adjust the actual facts to an artificial truth, you make an ass out of you and your payroll…

    PS: the foul article can be found here http://www.cyprus-mail.com/news/main.php?id=42666&cat_id=9

  • Lucas Psillakis

    We could argue about all this till the cows come home and it would get us nowhere. I’m not supporting Elias or his article, just pointing out the research (I am still trying to find citations in other, more scientific journals).

    I don’t quite understand what you mean by a “filthy 5.8%”, Nick Bats. In any case the research shows that 1 in 17 have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor, but who knows how many Cypriots have Phoenician blood coursing through their veins. This is neither a good thing nor a bad thing, nor is there anything filthy about it. It just is.

    To Marinos: true, we do have the same traditions and beliefs as Greeks. With all respect, I will ignore the fact that we have the same national anthem- that is something irrelevant, I believe, because all we did was swipe the Greek anthem.

    But also, don’t forget that we have many cultural similarities with Turkish Cypriots, we share many similar words and have a very similar cuisine.

    At the end of the day, we are definitely allowed to consider ourselves Greek and be proud of this. But I think we’re wasting our time if we keep focusing on this. Above all we are Cypriots and Cyprus will never be a part of Greece no matter how much some people might want it to. We should work on protecting and developing our national identity as Cypriots as well as preserving the cultural traditions we share with Greeks.

    Life might be a little easier once we get over our identity disorder…

  • I used the “filthy 5,8%” because its insane to entitle the article as “Genetic detective work could snap the Greek link” whilst the actual research has shown “that one in 17 people in Cyprus M-A-Y have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor”. In other words every individual on the island M-A-Y have a 5,8% chance to have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor. This is not surprising at all!

    More over regarding the phrase: “Past genetic studies, though on a limited scale, have suggested that Greek and Turkish Cypriots are genetically closer to each other than they are with their respective “mother countries”.” Of course this has to be a big truth, as a large number of the Turkish Cypriots turned into Muslims at some point of history which was a common practice in the Ottoman Empire with populations and individuals seeking a better life. And accounting the fact that we’ve been living together for so long, there is again no surprise for being “genetically closer”.

    By the way, no one argues on the cultural similarities that we have with the Turkish Cypriots, but do not forget that they have been -up until the Turkish invasion- an 18% minority, so it’s quite obvious considering also the facts of the previews paragraph what has happened. As for the use of Turkish words, it’s not proving much, as Turkish words have been assimilated to almost all the languages used within the Ottoman Empire.

    You can take it as an early form of globalization. I guess our far descendants, even though we’ve been adopting quite a lot of English words in our everyday life, won’t claim ethnological similarities neither with the British, nor with Americans, Canadians or Australians, right?

    As for the question if we will or won’t become part of Greece, this is not of my interest for the moment. There are other more important issues that I am concerned of; mainly those have to do with a systematic approach of some circles to question our roots and our history. So as far as I can unmask their malicious and cruel intentions, I will do so.

  • marinos_binqx

    To Lucas,

    Yeah i get what u saying, fair enough 🙂

  • xampos

    the point is not the genetic the DNA .its not the gins that makes us who we are.its what we believe!first what language do we speak & write(i don’t mean the dialect),our religion,our morals our customs.yes i am Cypriot but i am Greek-Cypriot