Earthquake Politics: A Reflection on Aftershocks in Cyprus

Policy brief

Hatay, Mete & Ipek Borman (2023) Earthquake Politics: A Reflection on Aftershocks in Cyprus, PRIO Cyprus Centre Policy Brief, 1. Nicosia: PRIO Cyprus Centre.

The 6 February 2023 earthquake that struck southern Turkey and Syria left more than 50,000 dead, 2.3 million homeless, and 3.3 million displaced. Its economic, political, and social impacts will likely continue for decades. The earthquake also affected the Turkish Cypriot community, which lost dozens of youth and their parents and teachers from Famagusta. This was a collective trauma for the community that many compared to the pain of the 1963-1974 intercommunal strife on the island, though this time they received the support of Greek Cypriot compatriots. Many Greek Cypriots expressed a strong desire to transcend the divide and share Turkish Cypriots' grief, the political potential of this empathy was immediately impeded by the Cyprus Problem. This moment offers an impetus for cooperation in the face of impending climate disaster, using the Technical Committees on Crisis Management and Environment and in line with the European Union's disaster resilience goals.

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