Cyprus that great and peaceful island
By Jean Christou

A NEW internet encyclopaedia describes Cyprus as a huge and very important island, and a centre of international peace and harmony in the eastern Mediterranean, conveniently located close to its friendliest neighbour, Turkey.

The only problem is, the encyclopaedia, called Uncyclopedia, is a spoof of the well-known Wikipedia.

Uncyclopedia, founded in 2005, describes itself as “the content-free encyclopaedia” and works with the same format as Wiki, which now owns and hosts the site. The Uncyclopedia logo is a hollowed potato, a spoof of Wikipedia's globe logo.

The Cyprus section opens with the description: “The island of Cyprus (Greek: Êýðñïò, 'Ours'; Turkish: K?br?s, 'Ours')”, showing that the writers clearly have a good knowledge and grasp of the political situation… and a sense of humour.

The island’s motto is listed as: “Get these Turks out of here", and the national anthem is titled “Cyprus is great”, while the flag is a map of the island with blood dripping from the north, emblazoned with the words “Den Xehno (‘I don’t forget’), a popular anti-occupation slogan.

“Apart from some minor political squabbles and ethnic pillow fights in the 1930s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, the island has remained afloat and entirely in one piece since its invention a long, long time ago,” the entry writes.

“The occupied part of Cyprus depends on which side of the green line your standing,” it adds.

The article goes on to satirise how the international community’s recognition of the Greek Cypriot side makes the Turks very sad. It refers to the Turkish extremist group, the Grey Wolves, as “an inbreed of Turkish transvestite belly dancers.”

Nothing is spared, from the public and private education system, to the army, to lifestyle, under which the entry describes “the cult of show-offs”.

“They sit at the expensive cafes with their shiny clothes and new hairstyles seeking people's ‘simasia’(something important for young Cypriots). When that doesn't happen they lose their reason to live. So they just try harder,” it says.

Under famous Cypriots, it mentions Archbishop Markarios “cleric and fashion icon.” Makarios was the first President of Cyprus, “and presided over a period of hotel-building and invasion”.

Others who get a mention are pop singers Peter Andre and George Michael.

“It is believed that this malicious rumour was circulated by the Turkish Secret Service. An obvious clue is that Peter Andre's name is an anagram of 'A Pretender'. Also, if George Michael had a Cypriot connection he would be called George George, Michael Michael, or George Hadjimichael, but not 'George Michael'.”

EasyJet’s Stelios Hadjioannou also made it into the entry as the only Cypriot knight. “He's running his business in the Cypriot traditional way i.e 'life is short eat fast'.”

The website is located at http://uncyclopedia.org/wiki/Cyprus

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2007