George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life
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Maronites

Τα δικαιώματα των Μαρωνιτών στην επανενωμένη Κύπρο

Σήμερα θα σας μιλήσω για αυτά που θεωρώ ότι πρέπει να διεκδικήσει η Μαρωνιτική κοινότητα στα πλαίσια των διαπραγματεύσεων για τη λύση του κυπριακού προβλήματος. Δε θα μπω στις λεπτομέρειες των διεκδικήσεων, αλλά στις βάσεις αρχής πάνω στις οποίες οι διεκδικήσεις αυτές πρέπει να τεθούν. Ας αρχίσουμε πρώτα με μια καταγραφή των πραγματικοτήτων στην Κύπρο. Στην Κύπρο έχουμε δυο κύριες εθνοτικές ομάδες[*], τους Ελληνοκύπριους και τους Τουρκοκύπριους. Οι δυο αυτές εξέχουσες ομάδες, έχουν ιστορική παρουσία στο νησί, δική τους γλώσσα, ήθη, έθιμα και θρησκεία. Βάση του συντάγματος του 1960 τα πολιτικά δικαιώματα των πολιτών της κυπριακής δημοκρατίας απορρέουν μέσα από τη συμμετοχή σε μια από τις δυο μεγάλες εθνοτικές ομάδες. Αυτό είναι που ονομάζουμε τον δικοινοτικό χαρακτήρα του συντάγματος του...

The UN and the EU should use their carrots to steer towards a multicultural solution

Published in the Cyprus-Mail under the title “Role upgrade needed for EU and UN,” May 21st, 2015. Greek- and Turkish-Cypriots have not been able to solve the Cyprus problem between them. Neither have they been able to solve it through the involvement of their respective motherlands. The Cyprus problem will only be solved through the United Nations and the European Union, who are already involved in the process, and who should use the carrots that they hold in order to steer the two sides towards a multicultural solution. Bear with me, this is not yet another oft-repeated Cyprob cliché. The aforementioned intergovernmental organisations must promote the respect of diversity and the rights of all people — including non-dominant national minorities (e.g. Maronites...

Should we reconsider the “Bi” in Bizonal Bicommunal Federation?

Published in the Cyprus-Mail under the title “Reconsidering the ‘bi’ in bizonal, bicommunal federation,” May 24th, 2015. Once the dual meaning of the term “Greek-Cypriot” is deciphered, then one must proceed to understand the process of misrecognition that took place during the crafting of the 1960s constitution. Non-dominant minorities have experienced their ethnic, religious and linguistic identities denied to them in the name of their membership to the Greek Cypriot culture. This is what I describe as the process of misrecognition, where the initial classification of a cultural group conditions the demands that the group is entitled to make. Such acts of misrecognition have been legitimised with the 1960 bicommunally-organised constitution, and perpetuated in...

What it means to be a Greek-Cypriot?

Published in the Cyprus-Mail, May 17th 2015. In the case of Cyprus one must distinguish between the dual-meaning and usage of the dominant cultural identity. The identity and label of the Greek Cypriot (GC) can have two completely different meanings: there is a constitutional (civic) definition and a cultural definition. The civic definition is that which is found in the 1960 constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, where a GC is a member of the Greek national group. Nevertheless, the civic definition of being a Greek Cypriot includes Armenians, Latins and Maronites, who “chose” to join the GC ethnic group back in 1959, only months before the introduction of the new constitution, as well as recently naturalised third country nationals. As such, to be a GC in the civic sense...

Multiculturalism in Cyprus: watching the Third Motherland, a documentary about the Maronite community

Costas Constantinou and Giorgos Skordis created a documentary back in 2001, called The Third Motherland. It contains a series of informal interviews at the village of Kormakitis. The interviews show the internal exclusion that Maronites have experienced. As Constantinou himself says: “the film reveals the dilemmas of identification and belonging and accounts for opposing feelings and beliefs within and beyond the community”. It is “a film about cultural loss, co-option, denial of rights and everyday social problems, but also of ethnic pride, cultural revival, communal joy and resistance”.

George Iordanou Politics, Philosophy and (not much) Real Life

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