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No hunting in the buffer zone



Perry has occasionally suggested the possibility of introducing a new category named “No shit, Sherlock”, principally for quoting people who have, apparently after a long struggle, managed to figure out the blindingly obvious.

I think it might apply here too. In Cyprus, between the opposing armies of Turkey and Greek Cyprus, there is a buffer zone, monitored by the United Nations. This buffer zone is not as empty or as off limits as many other such zones in other parts of the world, but like many such zones it has become an involuntary nature reserve, full of wildlife.

There are also a small number of occupied towns in the zone. One of these is Pyla, which has the distinction of being the only town on the island of Cyprus in which citizens of Greek and Turkish ethnicity live side by side. This town contains both active mosques and active churches, pubs that serve Efes and different pubs that serve KEO. (Why is beer such a sectarian thing?) There is a significant UN presence in the town. Rather tiresomely, there are also lots of signs prohibiting photography of buildings occupied by the UN, but one still does one’s best. Surreptitious photography does not always lead to the best results, alas.

On the side of the local UN police station is the above sign, which explains that hunting is prohibited. Apparently it is a bad idea to run around a neutral zone between two hostile and opposing armies wearing camouflage and firing weapons. Who would have thought it?

I confess that I have mixed feelings about the necessity for such signs. Sometimes people should be allowed to collect their richly deserved Darwin awards, if they are determined enough.

12 comments to No hunting in the buffer zone

  • Paul Marks

    Time may be running out to visit Northern Cyprus.

    The last time I heard the Islamists were NOT yet in power there (unlike in Turkey itself) – although, given the dependence of Northern Cyprus upon Turkey, they most likely will eventually take power.

    As for Greek Cyprus – historically more prosperioous, but going bankrupt (like Greece itself).

    Oddly enough Islamic law should (if it was applied) prevent that sort of thing in the Islamic world. As credit bubble banking is forbidden under Islamic law (actually all forms of lending for interest are forbidden – which is absurd over-kill, as there is nothing wrong with lending out REAL SAVINGS for interest, but there we go) and welfare spending is supposed to be limited to a couple of taxes.

    Taxes that are supposed to be vastly lower than ours – our tax level being at dying days of the Roman Empire levels now.

    However, Islamists (to judge by Iran and so on) appear to be more interested in persecuting women (and other nasty things) that they are combatting credit money or limiting government spending.

    As for Greek Cyprus, and Greece itself, well President H. of France (recently in Algeria to apologise for more than a thousand years of Islamist attacks upon France – no I do not understand it either) says the problems are over.

    So that is O.K. then………

  • Richard Thomas

    OTOH, maybe those hunters hunt to provide for their families and have little other choice and will do so regardless. The signs are just a CYA for when the inevitable happens: “But there was a sign”.

    Or maybe not. It could just be sportsmen enjoying the pseudo-nature-reserve. But one has to ask, if the wildlife is so populous now, why was it so sparse before?

  • RAB

    Northern Cyprus is weird but I like it; been there quite a few times now. There are only about 300,000 Turkish Cypriots up there, and about 19 different political parties. A major source of revenue are Casinos, every hotel, large or small has one attached. Gambling is illegal in Turkey but the Turks love to gamble, so they flock over to N Cyprus every weekend with hand luggage and the clothes they stand up in and lose their money at the tables. This pisses off the locals because all the money ends up in the hands of the gangsters, and not spent on meals and drinks and tips to them.

    Last time I was there we were staying in a very beautiful hotel with a real beach that you had to pass a Turkish army checkpoint to even get into. Oh and there are signs all over the North saying no Pics allowed etc, but nobody takes a blind bit of notice. Anyway, I’m not a gambler, except perhaps for a bit of Poker, a game of skill not chance. But one night I wandered into the Casino that was in the basement of our hotel just for a looksee. I wish I had gone earlier in the week. Down there all the drinks and food were free, when I’d been paying the standard rate at the bar upstairs. There were huge plasma tvs on the walls, shimmering scantily clad ladies of uncertain virtue sat elegantly around. Large blokes of swarthy hue in suits with big bulges under the left armpit, and all they wanted you to do was leave your money with them as elegantly and effortlessly as possible.

    I had no intention of gambling that night, especially when I’d seen number 14 come up 4 times in ten spins (are we on a bit of a slope here?) So I had a few Whiskies and helped myself to the club sandwiches and eventually one of the waiters sidled over and enquired when I might like to start losing my money… What time is it I said. He told me, and I said… ah but it’s two hours behind in England, and my Astrologer has told me never to gamble before midnight, so it will be a few more hours yet before I hit the tables… And they bought it! Kept bringing me drinks and nibbles.

    What I’m basically saying here is that for a supposedly Islamic Nation they are the least fundamental I have ever seen. They like money and beer and Raki and a good time. There are also thousands of British and German residents there too. It may get poorer due to circumstances happening throughout Europe and the world, but it is certainly no Afganistan, or even Egypt. Without tourism and the Casinos, they’d have fuck all to live on.

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    I think the least fundamentalist Islamic nation I have ever been to remains Albania – a place in which I somehow managed to find myself drinking beer in a betting shop about 30 minutes after entering the country – but I agree that there is not much evidence of fundamentalism (or even, a lot of the time, Islam) in Northern Cyprus.

  • Paul Marks

    Interesting comments.

  • Regional

    Duck Season or Rabbit Season, take your pick

  • Alsadius

    I think half the concern is about it possibly starting a war, which would obviously affect a lot more people than just some stupid hunter.

  • Rich Rostrom

    I have never been in a Moslem country, but several years ago, here in Chicago, I stumbled across a nightclub for immigrants from a particular Moslem country. It was called the “Pyramid Restaurant”, but had nothing to do with Egypt and AFAICT didn’t serve food.

    Through the front windows I could see small tables, a band stage, and a large, fully stocked bar. There were a few customers outside on the sidewalk for a smoke, and they told me the club was a hangout for Bosniaks. From which I gather they aren’t exactly the most observant Moslems either.

    Mind you, in both my case and Michael’s, we were observing a self-selected subgroup, which is not necessarily representative of the whole population.

  • Michael Jennings (London)

    Bosniaks are not known for their abstinence from alcohol, no. Turkey is relatively open about consumption of alcohol. There are lots of places where you can have a beer in public, and there doesn’t seem much if any stigma amongst most Turks against people who do so. Places that were Islamicised by Turkey seem to be similar, so alcohol is fairly freely consumed in Bosnia, in Albana, in Northern Cyprus.

    If you go to the Arab world, it is more complicated. In Saudi Arabia, alcohol is banned completely, although how big the underground alcohol business is, I am not sure. In the UAE, alcohol is available to foreigners, but in most cases not officially to locals. In Jordan, there are bars in Amman where foreigners and members of the local middle class will drink, but outside Amman, you will find the odd bar in a hotel but not much more. (There are liquor stores, normally owned and run by Christians, however). In Morocco, there are a few bars, but they are seedy places that respectable people might not be all that willing to frequent. However, if you go into a supermarket, the liquor section seems as large as it would be in a supermarket in Britain. So Moroccans clearly drink quite a lot – just not in public. Again the stigma is not as strong amongst the urban middle class. (In Tangier last year, I wanted to watch a Champions League football match. Finding a place in public in which to do this was simple – the Moroccans love football. The cafe/restaurant where I sat down charged me a small some of money for admission, and gave me a ticket, which could be exchanged later for a drink. (Pubs in the UK sometimes do this, too. The admission charge is usually about the same amount as the value of the drinks the ticket can be redeemed for. The purpose of the ticket is to prevent freeloaders from watching the game and not spending anything at the bar). Anyway, after I sat there for five minutes or so, a waiter came up to me, took my ticket, and asked if I wanted tea or coffee).

  • Be vewy, vewy quiet…

  • Paul Marks

    So I am not the only one to remember Mr E. Fudd.

  • Surellin

    Even outside a DMZ, wearing camo while hunting is an excellent way to distinguish Captains Clueless from sensible hunters who are not qualified for the Darwin Awards.