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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Equine Still Has a Pulse...

Not to keep beating a dead horse, but a new issue on the country count thing has arisen. Arrived in Cyprus the other day. Flew direct from Istanbul. That is important to the story. As you may or may not know, Cyprus is an island in the Med divided into a predominently ethnic Greek part and a predominently ethnic Turkish part. They had a pretty good pissing contest going on back in the 70's. A lot of tension since. It was in all the papers.

The Greek part is it's own country recognized around the world. They have a seat in the UN.

The Turkish part, which they call the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, is basically a rogue government, recognized by themselves and Turkey. And me. The thing is, I cleared passport control when I entered the Turkish part. Here's the stamp:

Since my business was on the Greek (southern) side of the island, I had to do some negotiation with the cabbies to get a ride to the border. After being delivered to the border I had to hump all my stuff through the UN Buffer Zone to the Greek side, wherein I got another cab to deliver me to the wrong hotel.

But, here is the sign greeting arrivals to the Turkish side as they come from the Greek side. I understand the tensions have eased considerably in the last year or so. It probably has to do with Turkey AND Greece are both US allies AND Turkey wants in the EU.

So far as I'm concerned, it counts. #24

On to Greece.


Hani said...

It counts, pending a U.N. resolution..or something.

J.C. said...

Yes, I give you this one (because I have been myself). If it takes effort, and there is good argument for it, it counts. If you had a list, I think it should look like this:
23) Cyprus
24) Cyprus* (Turk side)

New quandry: what if an area of a country you have been to later becomes an autonomous state? Can you automatically (ha) count it? Or do you have to re-visit after the split?

Also, just met your Sri Lankan pals a couple hours ago - ran into them at the college fair in Colombo (which sucked - the fair, not the city. but it is flite nite at the club - should make up for it).