Inter-ethnic stereotypes, neighbourliness, separation: Paradoxes and challenges in Cyprus
SourceJournal of Mediterranean Studies
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This paper examines aspects of a pioneering research survey (the first of its kind since 1974), focusing on the issue of collective identity among Greek and Turkish Cypriots and the ethnic stereotypes each ethnic group uses to describe the Other. The research reveals that an overwhelming proportion of Turkish and Greek Cypriots proudly define themselves as Cypriots, thus departing from the so far prevailing ethnic self-definitions, that emphasised either Greekness or Turkishness. As to stereotypes, however, Greek Cypriots, being the majority (80% of the total population) tend to look at Turkish Cypriots (18% of the population) as being less cultured, less educated and less ambitious than themselves, that is, often in a degrading way. Turkish Cypriots, on the other hand, look at Greek Cypriots in a more complex way, and articulate both positive and negative attributes, thus belying any expectation of sharp mirror-imaging. These local realities need to be re-examined, particularly in view of the Cyprus Republic joining the European Union and its struggle for a political accommodation. Copyright © 2003 Mediterranean Institute.