If you ask me to describe Famagusta in one word, I would definitely say diversity. Because it is a magical city where you can find an old city-castle with Venetian, Lusignan, Ottoman influence and a historic port which is having its most silent times in the history. Next to it, the only ghost city of the entire region which no one has ever lived since 43 years. You may ask why is that? Its absolutely political but nobody knows the correct answer. On the edges of this ghost-city, there are half-ghost neighborhoods where residents mainly has agricultural jobs. But on the other side of the city with the effect of its international university, there is a completely different life than other parts of the city. Sounds too diverse right? All of those happen in a small city in the eastern side of Cyprus.
I am living in this city since September, 2013 as an international trade and business student. Everyday is a unique challenge but trying to get a degree with the hope of having a better life is much bigger challenge in the era of globalization. Plus, when we add the special conditions of North Cyprus to this challenge things get much high-challenge. Because we are living in post-truth era, under high bombardment of information of social media. We are living in a Trump era, brexit in Europe, rise of populist parties and hate to the foreigners. On the other hand, the Cyprus Negotiations that are continuing since 1968, came to another big crisis which will bring an end to the last 20-month period of efforts for reunification.
Meanwhile on the island, Life is continuing with all its dynamism. In the northern part of the island, universities are getting bigger and bigger every year. Each one of them is increasing their student number, plus there are new universities opening in every parts of the island. There is no doubt that, Eastern Mediterranean University is the leading institution among others. It is located in Famagusta, on the eastern part of Cyprus. With its incredible campus, students from Middle east to Central Asia, then to Africa it is definitely adding great value to this city. It is giving an international, multicultural atmosphere to its students, which is a necessary element for getting ready to life in a globalized world. Being multilingual, being able to function, work in a multicultural atmosphere, having contacts from around the world is of course great competitive advantage for us. Emu is giving all of that. All of those are happening, in the northern part of Cyprus, where it is not recognized by the rest of the world other then Turkey. Additionally, it is a place with continuous crisis of economy and politics. Its a place with problem of youth unemployment and low salaries that are not enough to make life. Its also a place that lives in pause as we have a problem called ‘Cyprus Conflict’ where we try to reunite. But the island is divided since 1974, and after the collapse of last negotiation round, I do not see any hope in the following 5 years. It is very much suitable at this point to say that, Turkish Cypriots as a society has low self-confidence.
Now, lets go back to the international atmosphere of Famagusta and the deadlock that we are in. Actually, this atmosphere is giving a lot of opportunity in terms of development, economic growth, innovation and better relations with the rest of the world. The question is how can we organize this opportunity for greater benefit of the island? . The answer is Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship for a better tomorrow, to acquire better talent. To have better businesses, innovation and society.
Next time, we continue on the details of entrepreneurship that North Cyprus needs. We continue on the synergy of the students here, We continue on the life in Famagusta and its rich cultural, historical heritage.