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Cyprus – Mix of Greek and Turkish Cultures

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Republic of Cyprus is a Eurasian island nation situated in the Eastern Mediterranean.Turkey is located on its south while Syria and Lebanon make up the western borders.It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and is also one of the most sought after tourist destinations.

Cyprus has had a long history of consistent political turmoil and has been ruled over by different people, finally disintegrating from Greece.Till the 8th century BC, the country was prosperous and ably ruled.But after the various annexations, the scene changed.

Cyprus has been in the hands of the Assyrians, Persians, Romans and also the Arabs.But the most significant rule has been that of the Greeks.According to the Greek mythology, Greek Goddess Aphrodite and the Greek God Adonis were born here.This has made a great impact on the culture of the country and one can easily see a mix of all these.

The Greek and the Egyptian rule cam to an end when the country was annexed by the Roman Republic in 58 BC.

Even the Turks have had much of a say in the Cyprian politics.The island got its independence on August 16, 1960 but it did not merge with Greece nor did it have any partition.But there were constant conflicts between the south and northern parts of Cyprus.Time and again Turkey has tried to invade Cyprus and in 1982, the northern part of the country declared itself to be the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which is recognized only by Turkey.

The impact of the various rulers is still visible in the various facets of the country like the religion, customs and traditions followed by the local population.There is a significant demarcation between the two regions based on the religion and culture.The southern side is a staunch follower of the Greek culture whereas the northern side is inclined towards the Turkish mores and traditions.

Cyprus still believes in the family traditions and even though the family system has undergone change, yet it has retained the basic essence and the elders are given due respect and consulted in any important decisions.The children are expected to take care of their parents in the old age.

There are two major religions in the country i.e.Christianity and Islam.Most of the Turkish Cypriots follow Islam and follow certain rituals required of them.

The island country has been ruled over by different rulers over a period of nine millennia and this has resulted in the cuisine of the country too.There are traces of all the cultures in the culinary preparation amongst the people e of this country.But the most favored food is with the essence of Greek and Turkish flavor in it.Turkish food dominates the North and the Grecian recipes are more popular in the southern part of the country.

This diversity can much better be explained in the words of a French historian who says,” neither Greek, nor Latin; neither gothic nor renaissance; neither Arab nor Turkish”.

The island country is richly endowed with many natural resources.It has a long stretch of shoreline which is very beautiful and attracts a lot of visitors.There are plenty of activities which are enjoyed on the beach.

The main beaches in Cyprus are in:

• Kyrenia

• Lefke

• Famagusta

• Agia Napa

• Limmasol

• Larnaca

• Protaras

Due to the presence of such scenic surroundings and a conducive tourism industry, Cyprus remains one of the most visited tourist spots in the European Union and also the world.

Source by Nayan Kamalakar Choure

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