A new series about ethnic warfare in Cyprus is hitting the airwaves soon, with the Turkish Cypriot leader paying a visit on set in Famagusta during the filming by Turkish state broadcaster TRT1.
According to local media, TRT1 is funding a new series called “Bir Zamanlar Kibris” (Once Upon A Time in Cyprus), which tells the story of ethnic conflict on the island back in the 1960’s.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar paid a visit on set in Famagusta, where he spoke with actors in the television drama.
Greek Cypriots view 1963-1964 as a rebellion staged by the other side, while Turkish Cypriots say it was a fight to defend their community
“The long struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people is justified,” said Tatar, who has described sovereign equality as the basis for a desired solution to the Cyprus problem.
"The fact that the series is being shot at this time and that it will air before the [informal meeting] 5+1, it gives us strength in that regard,” Tatar said, telling reporters that Turkish Cypriots would seek an agreement based on cooperation between states.
Tatar went on to describe the series as “a very important work in terms of announcing the just struggle of Turkish Cypriots to the whole world.”
The series will cover a difficult period in the history of divided Cyprus, when ethnic conflict took a heavy toll on both communities in the 1960’s, with the the storyline reportedly going forward until summer 1974, when Turkish troops landed on the island a week following a Greek-inspired coup.
According to the Greek Cypriot official narrative regarding the events of 1963-1964, Turkish Cypriots staged an uprising that prompted the other side to use force to crash the rebellion.
But Turkish Cypriots view the same events as a fight to defend themselves, arguing they were victims of violence by Greek Cypriots who also sought to scrap the Constitution.
Turkish drama on television has been very popular in many countries, with huge budgets devoted to elaborate productions including series with historical content.
Once Upon A Time in Cyprus will air in a total of 26 episodes, with local media saying the drama series will be seen not only in Turkey and Cyprus but also in a number of other countries.