Legacies of Violence and Overcoming Conflict in Cyprus: The Transitional Justice Landscape

PRIO Report

Bozkurt, Umut & Christalla Yakinthou (2012) Legacies of Violence and Overcoming Conflict in Cyprus: The Transitional Justice Landscape. PRIO Cyprus Centre Report: 2. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

In Cyprus, the past is an area of both remembering and forgetting. For many years, particular issues such as missing persons, accountability, and perpetration of crimes have been covered by heavy clouds of taboo and limited information. Issues like involvement in the events that led to the coup and military intervention in 1974, as well as responsibility for acts of violence, have been carefully constructed to perpetuate hegemonic narratives about the past in both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. This report focuses on the importance of creating a bicommunal discussion in Cypriot public opinion about coming to terms with the past in Cyprus. In that respect, it aims to elaborate the opportunities and constraints of four particular areas of transitional justice that are relevant to Cyprus: truth-seeking initiatives, criminal prosecutions, memorialisation efforts, and documentation projects. While Cyprus can draw on the experiences of other contexts in its journey to come to terms with the past, transitional justice approaches cannot be imported from one context to another. Instead any transitional justice approaches that will be developed in Cyprus will be shaped as a result of the particular demands of victims and civil society, as well as the conflict context and the local political realities.

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