Young Cypriots seek reunion of divided island – the Guardian

Young Turkish and Greek Cypriots are looking for an end to the stalemate on the island's division, the Guardian reported.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a Greek Cypriot coup aiming to unite the island with Greece. Since then, the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus has controlled the southern two-thirds of the island, and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, only recognised by Turkey, the northern third.

“Our generation aren’t bound by the problems of the past, we think of the future. Our island is too small to be divided,” the newspaper quoted Hayriye Rüzgar as saying.

Rüzgar participates in peace-building efforts at the Home for Cooperation in Nicosia's demilitarised area. Opened in 2011, the Home for Cooperation is a place in the neutral zone where people from both sides can meet and foster reconciliation.

“We are Cypriots who happen to speak Greek or Turkish,” Marilena Spyrou told The Guardian.

United Nations troops patrol the demilitarised zone dividing the two parts and reunification talks have made little or no progress. But activists in Nicosia, a town divided by the U.N.-controlled neutral territory, seek to find a common ground for a united future.

Activist Esra Aygın said Home for Cooperation gave her hope for the future.

“Being here, where there is no ‘us’ and ‘them,’ keeps my hopes alive, my faith in people alive. It is a common space that we are not allowed to have in the north or south,” she said.