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From any high point in Nicosia, the capital and the largest city on the island of Cyprus, one can see a giant flag of Turkey-occupied Northern Cyprus painted on the slopes of Kyrenia Mountains. Beside this flag is another large flag of Turkey and a legendary quote in Turkish made by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey. It says "Ne Mutlu Türküm Diyene" which translates to “How happy is the one who can say ‘I’m a Turk!”

Each of these flags is about 450 meters wide—large enough to be seen clearly in satellite images, and impossible to miss from the south side of the divided city. Many Nicosia residents grew up seeing the flag every day of their lives, and as much as they hated it, people eventually became numb to the sight.


The flag of Northern Cyprus as visible from Nicosia. Photo credit: A.Savin/Wikimedia

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