Saturday, March 29, 2008

Departure - and Return to UK

I sleep long in the morning, to get a rest. Have breakfast at 9:30. Then a brief walk along the Ledra, to see if the crossing from the Greek south into the Turkish north has already opened. No, it has not. Behind the fence screen there are workers busy with demining and fixing the crumbling house walls. Activity, but no opening yet. In the newspaper I read that the crossing will open in the next week. I also read that this crossing has been closed since 1963... that is strange. I thought the war was in 1974, when Turkey annexed the northern part of Cyprus. What was in 1963? Nobody in the newspaper mentions that... seems that everyone here knows it anyway, and does not really want to bring it up. I will have to do some search on this. It seems that the island had some divisions already before the invasion, and that the tensions are really within Cyprus and not necessarily a consequence of the external invasion by Turkey (some info on this is on Wikipedia. But this seems not really a politically correct attitude – all the officials from the Greek side (tour guides, representatives) stress how bad and savage the Ottomans were, and how much Cyprus is Greek orientated. Well, it is not me to judge – but there seems to be something artificially inflated in those assertions... I had noticed this already during my last visit here 18 months ago, when one of the speakers constantly mentioned how important human rights were, but only in the narrow context of the Cypriote conflict.

There is a severe water shortage in Cyprus, due to draught and mismanagement. Starting yesterday (Friday), water was rationed: In Larnaca and Limassol water is supplied only during a few times of the day. This includes hotels too, only the airport and hospitals are excluded. Paphos and Nicosia are currently spared, but the rationing is looming in the next few weeks. I asked at the hotel info desk, and they assured me that they have their own tank and could bridge those outage times. Would be quite annoying if one could not take a shower, or not flush the toilets for a whole day... I am beginning to reconsider my plan to come to Cyprus again this summer...

The taxi for my pickup arrives at the hotel 10 minutes before the scheduled time, at 11:30. This time there is a lot of space – I am alone in the Mercedes. Arrive at the Airport at 12:00. Long line at the check-in for Monarch Airlines, 1/2 hour waiting. Long gone are the good times of "Platinum Elite Priority check-in" at Northwest airlines... I still have the labels dangling from my luggage. The plane takes off in time, back on the way to London Gatwick.


grhomeboy said...

Hi and greetings from Athens, Greece!

First of all let me thank you for linking to my article. Secondly, if you really would like to know what happened back in 1963 in Cyprus, feel free to browse through my blog, under Cyprus News or Cyprus Occupied categories. If still no luck, just drop me an email and I shall let you know in depth.

Just for plain facts, I'm sure that if you google Cyprus 1963 would give you some results (or check BBC's website under Cyprus country profile) at the News section.

In December 1963, Cyprus experienced its first inter-communal fightings (see also Mansoura or Kokkina Turks throwing bombs). This happened after the then President Makarios wanted to amend the constitution (13 articles) and Turks withdrawn from the government and all civil works. And the story continues!

Best regards,

Reinhold Behringer said...

thanks for your comment!

I found out in the meantime more about the story - is a very complex issue, and seems not yet to be resolved. I am just an outsider in this topic, and I hope that the future will heal this conflict, with benefits for all the participants!