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Overview

Welcome to ‘Internal Displacement in Cyprus’,the website of the project ‘Dialogue for Trust-Building and Reconciliation: Cypriots Seeking New Approaches to the Property Issue’. The project, which is initiated and run by the PRIO Cyprus Centre (PCC), is funded by the EU Commission(under the ‘aid regulation  for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot community’; reference: Europeaid/127215/L/ACT/CY).

As a result of inter-communal violence in the 1950s and 1960s, and then the war and subsequent division of the island in 1974, many Greek and Turkish Cypriots lost their homes and properties. Establishing the rights of these displaced persons is still an outstanding issue. This complex and divisive issue is a central theme in the ongoingUN-sponsored inter-communal negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. It also weighs heavily on public expectations for such a settlement. The PCC’s purpose in this project is to help Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots achieve a better understanding of their conflicting perspectives and concerns. Such mutual understandinghas been hindered by a number of longstanding obstacles:
  • Insufficient information about routes of displacement and resettlement
  • Limited information about each side’s legal arrangements concerning displaced persons and their abandoned properties;
  • Lack of empathy due to the dominance of one-sided stories about the past and about the plight of displaced persons;
  • Little constructive inter-communal dialogue about how the problems of displaced personscan be resolved;
  • Lack of a broader perspective involving other comparable post-conflict situations from which instructive lessons might be learned.
The project seeks to contribute toward overcoming these obstacles by facilitating dialogue and making research-based documentationand analysis available, including online. Its activities take place under the following headings:
  • Mapping routes of displacement and resettlement – an inventory of how different types of displaced persons are now resettled in different situations and of the relevant legal arrangements
  • Grassroots dialogue – providing frameworks for discussingconcerns by analyzing the different situations of displacement /resettlement and by facilitating dialogue between local stakeholders who will be influenced by any potential settlement;
  • Life stories – documenting the stories of displaced persons and others who have been variously affected by displacement
  • A documentary film – about displacement, loss, and the politics of remembering and forgetting.


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