Nationalism amongst the Turks of Cyprus: the first wave by Altay Nevzat

By Altay Nevzat

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Which materials should we choose as worthy of our deliberation? 99 Ironically, a second obstacle that may confound the historian seeking the origins of nationalism amongst the island’s Turks, that of not having enough evidence regarding the 97. LEWIS 1968, 155. 98. LANDAU 1995, 30. 99. Finley explains the general dilemma well in the following passage: “The past is an intractable, incomprehensible mass of uncounted & uncountable data. It can be rendered intelligible only if some selection is made, around some focus or foci.

HILL 1952, 488– 489. GIVEN 1998, 3. CONSTANTINOU – PAPADAKIS 2001, 135–136. 32 British appreciation of Turkish Cypriot history was no less flawed. A particularly patronising tone has typically been employed by many British historians and observers regarding the Turkish Cypriots. 82 The first Ottoman book concerning the history of Cyprus was only published in 1895, and only a handful of other such works related to the Turkish Cypriots were to be published by Turks prior to the Second World War. Yet the accounts of western observers were highly susceptible to the incorporation of prejudice in evaluating levels of development and sophistication of almost all colonial peoples, not to mention the particular intellectual burden borne as a consequence of persistent negative stereotypes of “the Turks”.

In some ways İnalcık might even be considered to have been quite lenient on his fellow historian, though it must be said that he himself could be accused of being more than a tad partial in the very same article in which he accuses Hill of subjectivity. 33 challenge official or dominant versions of Cyprus’ past in Britain and other states. For the Greeks, and even more directly for the Turks, researching Turkish Cypriot history is still, however, wrought with significant dangers and difficulties.

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