Today we expose an unlikely concoction: Middle East Cyprus. Wait, isn’t it an European island?! Decorating hundreds of Mediterranean travel brochures worldwide, Cyprus’ location and culture are commonly misunderstood. Granted, it is located in the Mediterranean Sea–but so are the coasts of Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey! Indeed, Middle East Cyprus is real and today we explore a few reasons why.
Middle East Cyprus: Location
According to the United Nations, Middle East Cyprus is real, at least in terms of location. For reports and statistics, Cyprus is grouped with 16 other nations, including also-geographically-controversial Turkey, as part of the Middle East:
But what is the Middle East anyway?!
Additionally, according to World Atlas, the Middle East is “where Africa, Asia and Europe meet.” What’s more is that the following sentence describes these countries as “all part of Asia, but for clarity reasons, we geographically show them here as a separate landmass.” This is a now-common division worldwide. Thus, since Cyprus sits south of Turkey and quite close to Syria, it is more than fair to conclude that, geographically, Cyprus is part of the Middle East and not Europe.
Culture and politics of Cyprus: In brief
In terms of politics, Cyprus is deemed European. It joined the EU on May 1st, 2004 and its currency has been the EURO since 2008. But here comes the interesting fact: 36% of the island, the Turkish north, is the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (with Turkey’s support and sole recognition, of course). But then again…
Turks are not Arabs. But Turkey is part of the Middle East as well, isn’t it?
It also wants to join the EU…
I know, you probably have a headache by now! So what’s the verdict!?
Cyprus is a Middle Eastern concoction after all
Like with everything Middle Eastern, there are only gray lines to be found when it comes to Cyprus. It is geographically Middle Eastern, politically more European, and culturally a mixture of (you fill in the blank).
After all, Cyprus is a great example of what the region of the Middle East is: A concoction of misunderstandings and nuances that only the locals and ones delving into the culture can somewhat figure out. Anyone else? Just come for a visit and enjoy its beauty for what it is!