Famagusta Dialogues Report
MICHALIS S. MICHAEL
The Famagusta Dialogues project emerged out of serious concern over how Famagusta and its local municipal communities were increasingly being ignored, misrepresented and misunderstood against the wider background of tension and debate over the collapse of the Cyprus Talks in 2017.
The concern was that important and complex issues about reunification, federalism, intercommunal relations, local, regional and international affairs, security, division, and separatism, were, in many instances, being reduced to a polarized debate about competing majorities, the politics of inclusion, and the legitimacy of belonging. A key concern of the project was to scrutinize the risk that reunification and reconciliation, as a public policy, might be overrun by various official (government and non-governmental) approaches to the Cyprus conflict.
The key aims of the project were to provide the space and the opportunity for Famagustians, in particular Greek and Turkish Cypriots, to engage with their local municipalities over issues of common concern, to maximize their understanding of the broader Famagusta region and contribute to the development of effective community policy responses. To this end, we drew on the views, experiences and narratives of four dialogical encounters involving participants from local government, civil society, and the business and union sectors.