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Durham University

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Publication details for Dr Olga Demetriou

Demetriou, Olga & Hadjipavlou, Maria (2014). a feminist position on sharing governmental power and forging citizenship in Cyprus: proposals for the ongoing peace negotiations. Feminist Review 107(1): 98-106.

Author(s) from Durham


On 12 August 2013, a feminist stood up at a podium and declared that she would work for the benefit of ‘everyone living in Cyprus, [irrespective] of language, religion, race, birthplace, class, age, physical ability, gender, or sexual orientation, to create an environment of fairness and equality, to replace the culture of conflict and violence with that of peace and reconciliation, while staying committed to the principles of democracy, social welfare, human rights and freedoms, and to establish a federal Cypriot state’. Her words were noted because the podium was a parliamentary one, albeit internationally shunned since it represents the unrecognised Turkish Cypriot state in northern Cyprus, and because the context in which she uttered them was her swearing-in ceremony as a newly elected people’s representative. The session was stopped mid-oath, live broadcasts went silent, questions of ‘treason’ were raised, and she reappeared, reading the ‘normal’ oath. Doğuş Derya later stated that she had wanted to swear according to her conscience and principles first, before reading out the given script. In Cyprus, this was the first of such public reformulations of constitutional tenets (isn’t this what a legislature oath points to?). It remains to be seen how they might be followed up, especially in the current context of recently resumed peace negotiations.