“I feel stuck”: living in Nicosia, Europe’s last divided capital

Sude and Orestis both live in Nicosia, Cyprus. They are both 22 years old, medical students and passionate about political science, but live under two different governments… They tell their daily lives.

“Here you won’t find brands like H&M, McDonald’s or Starbucks,” says Sude, the young 22-year-old Cypriot who lives in the north of Nicosia, before continuing: “We are on a diet of ‘obsession’.”

“Nicosia is Europe’s last divided capital”, wants to remind the student of social sciences. On the one hand, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is a state located in the northeastern part of the island of Cyprus, recognized only by Turkey. On the other side, the Republic of Cyprus to the south, a member of the European Union since 2004.

The political situation does not make things easier for the medical and political science student. “I don’t have Cypriot citizenship, I don’t have Turkish citizenship, I only have TRNC citizenship, which is not a recognized country. I feel like I’m lost, I feel like I’m stuck.”

On the other side of the checkpoint lives Orestis, 22. Like Sude, he studies medicine and is passionate about political science. “The problem is much more complicated than it seems”, assesses this Greek Cypriot, who regularly visits his mother’s country – which she had to leave during Turkey’s intervention in 1974 – from the other side of the island. “If you give up your inheritance, you let someone else take it.”

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