Destinations Magazine

You Say Raki, I Say Ouzo

By Stizzard
You say raki, I say ouzo

PERCHED on a hilltop a few miles from the sea, the Christian Maronite village of Kormakitis, in Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, is running out of time. In 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the island following a Greek Cypriot coup, the town was home to some 2,000 people. Today about 110 pensioners remain. They spend their time at the café joking in the indigenous dialect, a blend of Arabic, Aramaic and Greek. Their children, who have moved to the richer Greek part of the island, visit on holidays. A Lebanese priest leads prayers at the newly restored church. Every fortnight a UN convoy arrives from Nicosia, the capital, carrying supplies.

“There is no work here, no school and no room for investment,” says Napoleon Terzis, who worked in the Greek south as an air-traffic controller before returning to retire. Without jobs, he says, the town, its language and its people, who moved here from Lebanon in the 12th century, all face extinction. Mr Terzis and his friends place their hope in a united Cyprus.

That prospect may be within reach. Since last year, Nicos Anastasiades, president of the Republic of Cyprus, and his counterpart,…

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