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The Minorities of Cyprus

Development Patterns and the Identity of the Internal-Exclusion

Editor(s): Nicholas Coureas, Marina Elia, Andrekos Varnava

Book Description

This book examines the various minorities living in the island of Cyprus from the early modern (late Venetian and early Ottoman) period down to the present day. It charts their history, with special emphasis on their relations with the powers ruling Cyprus and with the two dominant Christian-Greek and Muslim-Turkish communities. The theme running through the book is that despite being significant members of Cyprus’ society, the three historical minorities (Maronites, Armenians and Latins) were only included in society to a certain extent by the two major communities. This was formalised in the post-independence (1960) period when they were compelled to become members of either dominant community and thus they suffered ‘internal exclusion’ by being regarded as religious sub-groups of one of the two dominant communities rather than national minorities in their own right.

Within this general context, the social, legal and political roles, customs, culture and language of the various minorities are examined as they evolved through time and in response to internal and external developments affecting Cyprus in the political, economic and global spheres. They are discussed not as static entities, but as evolving groups that have adapted with greater or lesser degrees of success to the radical and at times painful changes Cyprus has undergone, especially over the last 150 years, in all walks of life. Finally, the question of what the future holds for the minorities of the island in the light of Cyprus’ EU membership and the prospect of reunification are also analysed.

This book is a product of the conference “Minorities of Cyprus: Past, Present and Future”, which was held on 24 and 25 November 2007 at the European University Cyprus.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-0052-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-0052-X
Date of Publication: 01/04/2009
Pages / Size: 400 / A5
Price: £39.99


Andrekos Varnava was born and raised in Melbourne, obtained a BA (Honours) from Monash University (2001) and his PhD in History from the University of Melbourne (2006). He is the author of British Imperialism in Cyprus, 1878-1915: The Inconsequential Possession (Manchester University Press, March 2009). He also co-edited Reunifying Cyprus: The Annan Plan and Beyond (I. B. Tauris, February 2009). In January 2009 he was appointed Lecturer in Modern History at Flinders University, South Australia.

Nicholas Coureas was born in Nicosia Cyprus and studied Ancient and Medieval History at the University of London (King’s College, UCL and Royal Holloway). Since 1990 he has worked as a researcher at the Cyprus Research Centre, specializing in the history of Lusignan Cyprus. He has published various articles on Lusignan Cyprus, especially its economic and religious history, as well as some books, including Cyprus and the Crusades, co-edited with Professor Jonathan Riley Smith, Nicosia 1995, The Latin Church in Cyprus, Ashgate 1997 and a translation into English of George Boustronios, A Narrative of the Chronicle of Cyprus 1456-1489, Nicosia 2005.

Marina Elia was born in Kormakiti in the North of Cyprus. Her family immigrated to England when she was two years old. She completed her studies at Reading University and holds an MA in TEFL as well as several teaching diplomas. She has taught English at various institutions in Cyprus. She is currently at the European University of Cyprus and holds the position of EFL Coordinator. Her interests lay in Course Design, evaluation and multiculturalism. She was a dedicated committee member of the Cyprus branch of IATEFL (International Association of Teachers of English) for fifteen years and then continued as an active committee member of CyTEA (Cyprus Teachers of English Association).