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Turkish cypriots and their others: an analysis of narratives about Greek Cypriots and Türkiyeliler

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2008
Hamit, Meltem
This thesis explores popular perception of 'Turkish Cypriotness' in relation to Greek Cypriots and Türkiyeliler in the framework of struggling political discourses proposing conflicting identities to the population in the northern part of Cyprus. Purpose of the study is to understand dominant elements in self-representations of 'native' Turkish Cypriots in the context of relatively new reality, namely, the partition of the island and immigration from Turkey. In other words, this study focuses on images of 'Turkish Cypriots' and of their 'Others'- Greek Cypriots and Türkiyeliler- in popular discourse. For the purpose of understanding the self-perception of identity among 'native' Turkish Cypriots, in-depth interviews were conducted in different cities of the northern part of the island. As a result of analyses of these narratives, the relational and precarious nature of identificatory practice is pointed. Moreover, problems relating to dominant perception of 'Turkish Cypriotness' marked with hierarchical exclusion of Türkiyeliler is stressed. It is concluded that popular perception of 'Turkish Cypriotness' signals the fact that, more than opening space for a transnational attachment, Cyprus-centered identity fosters exclusivist approach towards Türkiyeli 'Other'.