05 May 2006

Unexpected origins

I have long suspected that Cyprus' ethnic Turkish community is descended, not so much from the invading Anatolian Turks after 1571, but from those who converted to Islam in the generations thereafter. My assumption was that the forebears of today's Turkish Cypriots spoke Greek and were Orthodox. However, Alkan Chaglar has uncovered evidence that his community is descended from Cyprus' formerly more numerous Latin and Maronite Christians, associated with the centuries of Frankish and Venetian rule between 1192 and 1571.

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