I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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Sharing the Island

John Swift
The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. Paul Valéry The first compromise is between me and my dream. Only those capable of compromising with their dreams can sit together to forge a compromise on behalf of their nations. Avraham Burg The Cyprus problem arises from the failure over more than half a century of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to agree how the island should be governed in order to promote the welfare and development of all its inhabitants. This disagreement gives rise to significant regional complications in the eastern Mediterranean involving Greece and Turkey, the two motherlands. The Greek Cypriot community lives in the Republic of Cyprus (ROC), the internationally recognised state which controls about two-thirds of the island territory. The Turkish Cypriot community lives in the north, in what it has called since 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), recognised only by Turkey. The objective of the present series of inter-communal talks, ongoing since 2015, is to establish, in accordance with UN resolutions, a federated, bi-regional and bi-communal state; this state is also intended to be bi-zonal, that is, in its own region, each community will continue to have a majority of the inhabitants, owning more than fifty per cent of its territory. Cyprus has been a majority Greek culture for more than two thousand years. Its various conquerors, the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians and Romans, no less than the Franks, Venetians, Turks and British, left characteristic footprints but the matrix remained Greek. The Turks were its masters for more than three hundred years, the Venetians and the British for eighty-two years each. At best estimate, the Turkish Cypriot proportion of the total population at present is about twenty-six per cent, or 295,000 souls, compared to 840,000 Greek Cypriots. But at least two hundred thousand settlers from the Turkish mainland have taken up residence in the north of the island since the early 1980s, and perhaps a third of these have been granted Turkish Cypriot citizenship. Their numbers, their right to reside there, their status and their inclusion in official statistics are all disputed. Along with a painful history of occupation and division, politically motivated killings and displacement, the communities in Cyprus have also had to deal with certain stubborn facts of geography. The island is situated eight hundred kilometres from the Greek mainland and three hundred and eighty…



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