Identity – What makes a country a country?


Am I Cypriot, Turkish or Greek or am I a Greek-Cypriot or a Turkish-Cypriot? Identity is a very wide issue that torments us almost throughout our lives. And the Cypriot puzzle of course has at least a piece about confused identity.

Well identity can be a psychological issue ranging from feelings of ‘belonging’ to even our sexual orientation. It can be a cultural issue about language and religion. Its most concrete manifestation, however, is the legal/political aspect of it. At the end of the day I am who my passport says I am.

This becomes even more relevant to our situation in Cyprus today. We have two civil administrations on the island issuing passports and obviously one of them is more ‘legitimate’ than the other. I do not want to be offensive but the question I would like to raise is ‘what makes a passport legitimate?’ which ultimately boils down to what makes a state legitimate.

For this reason I would like to present the following short video which neatly, quickly and accurately explains what a state is. In short, there is no single answer. The answer lies in international law, which is less of a ‘law’ and more of ‘politics’. So enjoy the video and feel free to post your comments and thoughts on the issue of identities in Cyprus.


Andy Georgiou


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