For almost four decades, the island of Cyprus has been home to two separate refugee communities. Charting the displacement experience of the Greek Cypriot community in the south, and that of the Turkish Cypriot community in the north, this book provides a moving and detailed ethnography of the refugee experience in Cyprus. In her groundbreaking study, made possible by the opening of the dividing Green Line during fieldwork, Lisa Dikomitis demonstrates how both groups are linked by their histories of displacement to a single 'place of desire', a small mountainous village located in the north of Cyprus. Through a focus on the nature of the attachment to this particular village, and how this attachment has been shaped by questions of home, identity, justice and suffering, the author identifies the specific social and cultural meanings that citizenship and belonging have come to have for both communities. The original name of the village is Larnakas tis Lapithou and for its former Greek Cypriot inhabitants, who fled during the Turkish invasion of 1974 and are scattered across the south ofCyprus, it will always remain so. But the village has changed drastically. It was renamed after 1974 to Kozan by the Turkish Cypriot authorities, and became home to Turkish Cypriot refugees from the south. Throughout this work, Lisa Dikomitis emphasizes the importance of place as a constructed network of social relationships. For Greek Cypriots the desire is to return to the village and recreate the network of relationships that was shattered by the war. For Turkish Cypriots the desire is to remain in the village and maintain the network of relationships that was constructed since the war. And for both this process is a question of justice and recognition of their suffering. The opening of the checkpoints on the border in 2003 provided a unique opportunity to conduct long-term fieldwork among Turkish Cypriots, something never done before by a Greek Cypriot anthropologist. Using anthropological methods, Dikomitis observed and participated in daily experiences over this period of dramatic change in the lives of these Cypriot refugees - recording a collection of multi-sited narratives, hopes and memories along the way.
Cyprus and Its Places of Desire
Cultures of Displacement Among Greek and Turkish Cypriot Refugees