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How and what the Turkish community in Cyprus "developed".

Reader comment on item: Cyprus on the World Stage
in response to reader comment: Turks in Cyprus and the real reason for the Greek coup

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Oct 15, 2011 at 19:54

George Philip wrote :

" Just a couple of technical points. The Turkish community in Cyprus was not formed by post-1570 settlement by Turks from Anatolia. Rather, in the usual Ottoman way, the Turkish community in Cyprus developed through conversion of the existing population, either through coercion or by offering enhanced benefits and rights. As is well known, non-Muslims in the Ottoman empire lived in a state of dhimmitude and the advantages of becoming a Muslim were, for some, too good to resist."

As early as 1571 the Turks conducted a population census which found out 180 000 people on the island - 150 000 local inhabitants and 30 000 men strong Turkish corps.Yet even 30 000 men of the Ottoman occupation army (20% of the population) didn't seem to the Turks a sufficient safeguard to assure the possession of the island for ever.So the decision was made to settle Moslems from and Rumelia on the island on a large scale. Some 5720 homesteads , i.e. c. 28 000 people were settled this way on Cyprus. So contrary to your assertion this 30 000 occupation corps and Moslem settlers and their descendants have formed the so called Turkish community in .

This is exactly what happened whenever the Turks conquered a given territory or what was the usual Ottoman way.The same we see happen after Manzikert in 1071 and after occupying Gallipoli in 1354 or after more recently in 1974 in . First comes jihad with its massacres and sadism, then arrive Moslem settlers to occupy in part empty and in part terrorized land with mosques and imams and then follow the Turkish claims to the occupied lands based on Turkish and/or Islamic "rights".

The conquest of Cyprus was accompanied by barbarity, carnage and wanton destruction on a mass scale in the usual Ottoman way. In Nicosia the Turks murdered 20000 inhabitants and abducted 2000 young girls and boys into traditional Turkish sex slavery. It might be interesting to learn whether hunting Christian youngsters and girls and relocating them in Turkish harems may be also called "developing" Turkish community in Cyprus or not ?

In Famagusta the Turks captured by treason among others the brave commander of the city Marc'Antonio Bragadino. They first cut off his nose and ears and after 10 days they skinned him alive sneering at him and his last prayers "Miserere". His body was then quartered, his skin stuffed with hay and shown around the city and the Turkish camp. Later this macabre "toy" was put, together with Bragadino's cut off head, into a box and sent to the sultan Selim II who showed it in turn to Christian slaves in his bath. Finally, when the Turks grew tired of the the "toy", the Venetians managed to ransom the ghastly trophy and bury it in an urn in the pantheon of Santi Givanni e Paolo church in where it has been resting until now.

Needless to say, the Gothic Cathedral of Nicosia ,which incidentally is called Hagia Sophia, the Turks immediately changed into a mosque , now Selimye Mosque . The cathedral's rich sculptures and reliefs were thoroughly destroyed by the Turks together with the fine frescoes and the rare stained glass decorations with scenes from the Old and New Testament and other works of Christian art.The tombstones of various Lusignan rulers were also desecrated, looted and destroyed ... in the usual Turkish way.

The Turks also confiscated large areas of land distributing them among janissaries, beys, settlers, establishing everywhere mosques, madrassas and landed property of the Moslem clergy -vakufs.

Not much imagination is necessary then to understand what regress the Turkish rule in fact meant for Cyprus. As one author put it :

"As chronicles of the three hundred years during which Cyprus was ruled by the dynasty of Lusignan are abundant, so are the records of the three hundred years of Turkish domination scanty... But the explanation is simple. The three centuries during which the island was governed by the kings and queens of the House of Lusignan were the most brilliant epoch of its varied history. In every aspect of mediaeval civilization the little kingdom played a distinguished part ; its remarkable achievements in every domain of human activity invested it with an importance among the nations of Europe wholly out of proportion to its small size and population. Its constitution was the model of that of the mediaeval feudal state;its laws, as embodied in the Assizes of Jerusalem, a pattern of mediaeval jurisprudence. It could boast, in the abbey of Bella Paise, in the cathedrals of Nicosia and Famagusta, in the castles of S. Hilarion, Buffavento, and Kantara, rarely beautiful examples of Gothic architecture;its men of letters, Philippe de Novare, Guillaume de Machaut, Philippe de Mezieres, occupied no undistinguished place in the realm of literature. In King Peter I it possessed perhaps the greatest knight-errant the world has ever seen;in his Order of the Sword the most perfect expression of chivalrous ideals. To Kings of Cyprus such widely different writers as S. Thomas Aquinas and Boccaccio dedicated works;the wealth and luxury of its citizens, especially in the fourteenth century, evoked the amazement of all Western visitors. Moreover, after the fall of Acre in 1291, Cyprus was the outpost of Latin Christendom in the East, with all the glamour and glory that such a circumstance involved ; while for a time the trade and riches of Famagusta vied in importance with those of Venice. An epopee of this kind could not fail to find its singers. The history of Turkish rule, on the other hand, offers none of the attractions of the wonderful epoch which was separated from it only by the eighty-two years of the Venetian occupation. It reveals no tale of martial exploits and fabulous wealth, no efflorescence of Frankish art and letters on the rich Levantine soil. Rather is it a story of provincialism and decay, of contracting commerce and unenterprising administration, a story not regal but parochial.Only at rare intervals does a picturesque incident interrupt the somnolence in which Cyprus lay after her feverish activities of the Middle Ages; from being a kingdom renowned throughout Christendom the island was become an obscure Ottoman dependency." (H.Ch. Luke , Cyprus under the Turks 1571-1878, a record based on the archives of the English consulate in Cyprus under the Levant Company and after, Oxford University Press 1921,p.1-3)

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Reader comments (78) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1Parallels between Israel/"Occupied Territories" vs Turkey/Northern Cyprus [73 words]Sigmund DermanJan 6, 2012 15:27192343
1You are so naive Sigmund Derman [59 words]PrashantJan 7, 2012 10:50192343
2Cyprus Need Firm US Backing [67 words]DaveDec 28, 2011 21:45192118
4Better be careful! [104 words]YovenOct 14, 2011 20:18190041
14Israel, Cyprus and Greece [366 words]jgetsOct 13, 2011 14:46190011
1Another suggession [182 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 24, 2011 14:12190011
15End of the Turkish anomaly [314 words]IanusOct 26, 2011 10:12190011
1My answer to Ianus [665 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 26, 2011 22:51190011
7Wrong history [364 words]IanusOct 28, 2011 08:42190011
6"Chechen civilization" - slave markets, beheadings and kidnappings [436 words]IanusOct 28, 2011 09:52190011
2Banerjee I can;t believe this guy. [32 words]KayT (India)Dec 30, 2011 03:24190011
I do not forget anything [114 words]Debanjan BanerjeeDec 31, 2011 03:43190011
Banerjee's wierd logic [35 words]PrashantJan 1, 2012 15:46190011
What will Russia's policy be? [90 words]Stuart FaginOct 13, 2011 08:26190006
5biased interests [83 words]AthinagorasOct 13, 2011 00:56190002
1Theatre like Cyprus [145 words]Jay1Oct 12, 2011 19:39189996
10USA's past romances [99 words]L. ManoharOct 12, 2011 04:11189985
1L Manohar's point to ponder. [63 words]PrashantOct 13, 2011 21:57189985
13Neither old nor romantic ! Turks buy love from the US through high-ranking govermental pimps [885 words]IanusOct 14, 2011 16:22189985
4Turks in Cyprus and the real reason for the Greek coup [198 words]George PhilipOct 11, 2011 16:22189975
2Turkish identity is a mixture of Turkic migrants and indigenous converts. [68 words]Jon OzOct 12, 2011 21:56189975
1Another potential match [134 words]Joe Six-PackOct 13, 2011 12:53189975
15How and what the Turkish community in Cyprus "developed". [1065 words]IanusOct 15, 2011 19:54189975
3Turks also did good things [344 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 24, 2011 14:36189975
5Debanjan's only purpose is to irritate others [58 words]JoshOct 25, 2011 01:49189975
2Genetics of the people of Turkey [239 words]Steven A. AdelmanOct 25, 2011 14:14189975
7Regress as a "good thing" and demographic war as "intermerriage" [2793 words]IanusOct 25, 2011 18:57189975
2If you want to refute me you can Josh [126 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 26, 2011 00:58189975
5My empire is better than yours - wrong [109 words]PeterOct 26, 2011 08:01189975
8No canine genes in Turkish DNA? [564 words]IanusOct 26, 2011 09:20189975
What you give is only drivel [813 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 31, 2011 06:36189975
5"These Christians are not even worth burial, let the dogs eat them." [1261 words]IanusOct 31, 2011 20:17189975
8OMG [57 words]Peter HallNov 2, 2011 00:40189975
3OMG you are really clutching at straws [40 words]Peter HallNov 2, 2011 01:05189975
My answer [108 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 2, 2011 23:30189975
Forced conversion [366 words]ProxenosNov 2, 2011 23:46189975
1My answers on Cyprus [511 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 2, 2011 23:59189975
5Oriental solipsism [436 words]IanusNov 3, 2011 19:24189975
2Ah, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing [97 words]Peter HallNov 3, 2011 23:47189975
8what a victim complex you have!! [226 words]Peter HallNov 4, 2011 00:08189975
1Another mistake in Islamists' argumentation [227 words]PrashantNov 5, 2011 11:23189975
6Debanjans bizarre universe [147 words]ShishirNov 5, 2011 16:54189975
4Debanjan says: I see your drivel and raise you a delusion! [324 words]ShishirNov 5, 2011 17:12189975
My reply to Shishir [388 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 6, 2011 08:39189975
My Answer to my fellow Bangla babu [176 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 6, 2011 08:55189975
Occidental exceptionalism [715 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 6, 2011 09:29189975
My answer to Mr. Hall [195 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 6, 2011 09:37189975
1My answer to Mr. Shishir [657 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 6, 2011 09:52189975
3Debanjan Banerjee I have told you there is no need to further demonstrate ... [814 words]Peter HallNov 6, 2011 20:26189975
3... Are you serious? [161 words]Peter HallNov 7, 2011 03:55189975
2Answer to Kurdish question [298 words]ShishirNov 7, 2011 12:17189975
5Oriental obscurantism at its best [1822 words]IanusNov 7, 2011 18:06189975
3Debanjan I think you are the blind one here [527 words]Peter HallNov 7, 2011 19:01189975
1Debanjan Banerjee's ideas about surplus Kurdish population [134 words]JoshNov 8, 2011 02:35189975
2Romans and Ottomans:Apples and Oranges [384 words]ShishirNov 8, 2011 16:43189975
Mr. Josh [94 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 8, 2011 20:21189975
Occidental exceptionalism at its best [596 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 9, 2011 02:15189975
1I rest my case after I make these two points [168 words]JoshNov 9, 2011 23:09189975
1Debanjan's true belief [38 words]JoshNov 9, 2011 23:25189975
4Debanjan Banerjee I have told you there is no need to further demonstrate ... [165 words]Peter HallNov 10, 2011 01:30189975
4Football jihad in France [792 words]IanusNov 17, 2011 09:27189975
Propagandas do not stand for truth [581 words]Debanjan BanerjeeNov 19, 2011 05:23189975
What a confused man you are! [54 words]Peter HallMay 24, 2012 07:05189975
rethinking ancient beliefs [22 words]akJan 14, 2013 23:56189975
muslim turk=muslim arab of middle east [39 words]akJan 15, 2013 00:03189975
Y-DNA Turkey Turks=Y-DNA Ancient&Modern Central Asian Turks [18 words]turktoresi.comJun 17, 2015 19:15189975
3Full-on alliance between Israel and Cyprus, a gift from Heaven? [74 words]Carmen WaggonerOct 11, 2011 16:21189974
There is a very good use of Cyprus [96 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 24, 2011 14:23189974
2Idea for India [31 words]JoshOct 25, 2011 01:53189974
5And even better use for Turkey ! [140 words]IanusOct 26, 2011 09:41189974
1On the contrary [120 words]Debanjan BanerjeeOct 26, 2011 22:59189974
7Wrong resettlers [181 words]IanusOct 28, 2011 08:09189974
TURKEY, A LITLE COUNTRY ISLAND [52 words]JACQUES HADIDAOct 11, 2011 13:52189970
Obama and Clinton Cannot Play That Role [43 words]jdOct 11, 2011 13:11189967
Another thought [31 words]Peter HerzOct 12, 2011 21:43189967
Money Makes the World Go Round [24 words]Barry BlackOct 11, 2011 11:22189965
2Cyprus on the World Stage [37 words]Nenette GrunbergOct 11, 2011 10:54189964
The return [17 words]MikeOct 8, 2014 16:50189964

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