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MICHAEL N. Michalis

Reproducing myths in an Ottoman educational system


The ideological framework of the operation of modern states can only be perceived if we analyse the educational system that the states establish on their territory and through the lessons -mainly history- they promote, among other values, loyalty to the state. With the proclamation of the Republic of Cyprus and the withdrawal of the British regime, education was organised on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution according to which all educational and teaching matters for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are entrusted to the Greek Community Assembly and the Turkish Community Assembly respectively. Education remains a community affair for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the common state, which leads to the maintenance of its separate character, Greek and Turkish respectively. National memory as a form of collective memory for the two communities functioned quite separately in the period after the proclamation of the Republic, while one of the most basic means of shaping and reproducing the separate national memory for each community was the educational system. In this respect, any investigation into the absence of a notion of a common state between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must begin with an analysis of the way in which the communities managed the separate communal education systems on the island. In this context, the reproduction of myths in relation to the history of Cyprus, particularly the Ottoman period, remains one of the key features of the Greek Cypriot educational system.

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