The Christian Science Monitor website reports today (July 9, 2010) that Jennifer Lopez has canceled a controversial birthday show in the north of Cyprus, provoking celebrations by Greek Orthodox Cypriots and condemnations from Turkish Muslim Cypriots.
Reports that Lopez would perform at a luxury hotel inauguration in the illegally-seized Turkish north on her 41st birthday this month triggered a Greek Cypriot online campaign pushing for cancellation.
Greek Cypriots viewed Lopez's July 24 appearance as helping to legitimize the Mediterranean island's violent division. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and illegally took control of the northern third of the island. Turkey continues to control northern Cyprus, but may soon relinquish its control, since it must do so before it will be allowed to join the European Union -- which Turkey would like to do.
Reports said Lopez would have earned a $3 million appearance fee for performing in northern Cyprus. A statement on Lopez's website today said, "Jennifer Lopez would never knowingly support any state, country, institution, or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse."