The Black Suits of Mayday: The Turkish Cypriot Opposition in a Period of Siege
SourceJournal of Cultural and Religious Studies
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The present article analyzes the emergence of the Turkish Cypriot state of exception in the period of intercommunal riots in Cyprus on two main levels. The first level identifies its structures and ideological aspects. The enclaves of the 1964-1974 period in Cyprus are treated as areas of exclusion and siege of the Turkish Cypriots. Therefore, they are studied as spaces that produce certain political activity against the “other” community, the Greek Cypriot community. The creation of the enclaves resulted from the armed violence of this decadeit was a direct response to an emergency situation which contributed, to a certain degree, and to the territorial and political partition of the two communities. Therefore, this article aims to describe the aspects of the nationalist hegemony and the efforts to reproduce its power through the activation of the threat. On a second level, the article studies the dynamics that led to the emergence of opposition forces and which eventually became an important aspect of the development of the Turkish Cypriot community. On this level, the paper examines the space where the Turkish Cypriots lived for a decade as areas where state power sovereignty, or the dominance of the nationalist elite, met with alternative forms of existence and with other notions of belonging that opposed the dominant ones.