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The jasmine scent of Nicosia: of returns, revolutions, and the longing for forbidden pasts

Hatay, Mete and Bryant, Rebecca (2008) The jasmine scent of Nicosia: of returns, revolutions, and the longing for forbidden pasts. Journal of Modern Greek Studies, 26 (2). pp. 423-449. ISSN 0738-1727

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Identification Number: 10.1353/mgs.0.0032


In the past decade in Cyprus, the jasmine flower has become the symbol of Nicosia, the island’s divided capital, and subsequently of a revolution within the Turkish-Cypriot community. As symbol of Nicosia, the jasmine flower evoked a purer time when the city had not yet been “tainted” by an influx of poor workers from Turkey into areas of the walled city that had been abandoned by Turkish-Cypriots. As such, the flower also came to stand for Turkey’s purported colonization of the island and Turkish-Cypriots’ rebellion against it. And because the jasmine came to represent a city that had once been multicultural and a call for a re-valuing of the local, it was easy enough for the Jasmine Revolution to be translated into a semblance of bicommunalism. But as we show here, rather than a multicultural nostalgia, the nostalgia expressed by the symbol of the jasmine is for a period when Turkish-Cypriots lived in enclaves, a period of deprivation but also of solidarity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Johns Hopkins University Press
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2013 11:39
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 01:41

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