(Canterbury Christ Church University)
Paper long abstract:
On 1st May 2004, the Republic of Cyprus entered the European Union, unaccompanied by the Turkish Cypriot population in the northern third of the island. The Green Line - the militarised border marking the cessation of hostilities in 1974 - now defines the outer edge of the European Union, creating a fluid and uncertain borderland which has become the focus for on-going attempts to construct both the new Cyprus and the new Europe. Tourism has a central and contradictory role to play in these processes. It offers an avenue for stimulating economic activity and raising income levels in the Turkish Cypriot north, and presents an opportunity to develop complementary tourism products north and south which could widen the appeal of the island as a whole and promote collaborative ventures between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. On the other hand, such developments face strong resistance from sections of the population north and south, who fear they will lead either to the legitimation and tacit recognition of the Turkish Cypriot state in the north, or to a return to relations characterised by Greek Cypriot dominance and Turkish Cypriot dependence. The paper reflects on the author's involvement in a village tourism development project in Cyprus in 2005/2006 in order to explore the usefulness of anthropological insights on the contingency of place and notions of identity and cultural property, and the potential of tourism to achieve political ends.
Tourism: applied anthropological interventions