Geoff Hazel - Good relations

Running time
2 min 5 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


We ate out a lot. And you went to the Greek restaurants, you went to Turkish restaurant. There's not much difference between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot. In fact, I heard somebody who said, in fact somebody had done the DNA, and said they are actually closer together than the Turkish Cypriots are to Turks or the Greek Cypriots are to Greeks. Yeah, you went to the restaurants, the restaurants were there.

On the first tour, the Turkish army that was there, the soldiers were never allowed to take their uniform off. So whenever I went north, I'd be doing a lot of saluting when I was in uniform, because they recognized the Australian officers immediately. And we had an excellent reputation with them. And obviously, it goes right back to Gallipoli.

I remember one time I was taking a carton of Victoria beer to our jeweller on the north, who was a Turkish Australian. He'd gone back there and he asked me, because we'd got some imported, and he said, "What can you do?" And I said, "Well, yeah I can sell you one." So I sold him one. But I'm trying to carry a carton of beer and salute the Turkish soldiers all at the same time. But yeah, it was good. We had good relationships everywhere.

The best thing was, the first tour was even better, was giving out in the little villages on both sides. It was great. Second tour, because the whole country, both sides had changed. You had all the students in the north and, the little villages in the south had now become just dormitory rooms, suburbs for the cities, and you didn't get the little villages running like they used to before. It had become sort of just dormitory and people migrating from there to work in the cities each day.

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