Kıbrıslı Türkler, also known as Turkish Cypriots, are a minority ethnic group that inhabits the northern part of the island of Cyprus. Over the last few decades, they have been forging a new identity through various forms of art, literature, and music.
The history of Kıbrıslı Türkler is complex, shaped by the island’s strategic location between Europe, Africa, and Asia. Cyprus was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1571 and remained under Ottoman rule until it was ceded to Britain in 1878. After the island gained independence from Britain in 1960, tensions between the Greek and Turkish communities erupted into violence, leading to the division of Cyprus into two separate states in 1974.
For many years, Kıbrıslı Türkler struggled to assert their identity in the face of discrimination and political isolation. However, in recent years, there has been a renewed sense of pride in being a Turkish Cypriot, and this has manifested in a variety of creative expressions.
One prominent example is literature. Turkish Cypriot authors such as Neşe Yaşın and Mehmet Yaşın have gained critical acclaim for their work, which explores themes such as identity, memory, and belonging. Their writing often reflects the challenges faced by Kıbrıslı Türkler and the search for a sense of cultural belonging.
Music is another way in which Kıbrıslı Türkler are exploring their identity. The traditional music of Cyprus, which combines elements of Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern music, has experienced a revival in recent years. Young musicians are incorporating these traditional sounds into new compositions, creating a unique sound that reflects their heritage.
Visual art is another area where Kıbrıslı Türkler are expressing their identity. The works of artists such as Ayşe Barın and Şenay Özdemir highlight the cultural richness of the Turkish Cypriot community and explore themes such as the relationship between tradition and modernity.
Overall, these creative expressions are helping to shape a new identity for Kıbrıslı Türkler – one that embraces their heritage while also looking ahead to the future. By exploring their history through art, literature, and music, Turkish Cypriots are reclaiming their cultural identity and asserting their place in the world. This renewed sense of pride and identity is an important step towards creating a more inclusive and tolerant society for all.