The Minorities of Cyprus: Development Patterns and the Identity of the Internal-exclusion
Andrekos Varnava, Nicholas Coureas, Marina Elia
Cambridge Scholars, 2009 - History - 423 pages
This book examines the various minorities living in the island of Cyprus from the early modern (late Venetian and early Ottoman) period down to the present day. It charts their history, with special emphasis on their relations with the powers ruling Cyprus and with the two dominant Christian-Greek and Muslim-Turkish communities. The theme running through the book is that despite being significant members of Cyprus' society, the three historical minorities (Maronites, Armenians and Latins) were only included in society to a certain extent by the two major communities. This was formalised in the post-independence (1960) period when they were compelled to become members of either dominant community and thus they suffered 'internal exclusion' by being regarded as religious sub-groups of one of the two dominant communities rather than national minorities in their own right.
Within this general context, the social, legal and political roles, customs, culture and language of the various minorities are examined as they evolved through time and in response to internal and external developments affecting Cyprus in the political, economic and global spheres. They are discussed not as static entities, but as evolving groups that have adapted with greater or lesser degrees of success to the radical and at times painful changes Cyprus has undergone, especially over the last 150 years, in all walks of life. Finally, the question of what the future holds for the minorities of the island in the light of Cyprus' EU membership and the prospect of reunification are also analysed.
This book is a product of the conference "Minorities of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future", which was held on 24 and 25 November 2007 at the European University Cyprus.
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