Greeting passerby crossing at the Giris Checkpoint in Nicosia from the Republic of Cyprus to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is a striking example of political graffiti.
The piece, impossible to miss, covers a slab of metal tin situated in the UN Buffer Zone between the two regions, an area forbidden to citizen entry past certain hours.
Referring to the Cyprus Division, an issue which has plagued the small island nation since 1974, the writing expresses sentiments common to many Cypriots. While the majority of both Greek and Turkish Cypriots are willing to reunite as one country, the opposing governments have different aims. The government of Turkey in particular, which controls the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, refuses to acknowledge any talk of reunification. Having relocated thousands of their own citizens to the island, the Turkish government is unwilling to give up both the acquired land and the strategic position in the Mediterranean granted to them with occupation of the island.
The sign then suggests that the supposed hatred between the two ethnicity’s–Turkish and Greek–is invented, an illusion constructed by the governments which prevents two nations who “want to live together” from the freedom to do so.