Fifty years of inter-communal conflict is enough!

The “Bi-communal Peace Initiative -United Cyprus” issued a press release marking the 40 years of division in Cyprus. Below is the press release in full:

  “Last December marked the 50th anniversary of the commencement of inter- communal violence. This July marks the 40th anniversary of the fascist coup of the Greek military junta and EOKA B’ and the war that followed. These events bring to mind the thousands of victims and their families from both sides of the divide, reinforcing our resolve that we will not allow such crimes to be repeated. Coming to terms with our past and unveiling the truth behind this violence is fundamental to peace and reconciliation. It is for this reason that the bi-communal movement has over the recent years been commemorating the victims from all communities and has been creating opportunities for society to come face to face with these realities.

 “The Bi-communal Peace Initiative -United Cyprus” following closely the developments around the negotiation process wishes to express its sincere concern regarding the loss of steam of the whole process and the repercussions that this has over the whole spectrum of the political, economic and social sphere. The broader masses of Turkish and Greek Cypriots have demonstrated their resolve for solution and reunification through their joint actions over the past months: the Good Friday mass at Saint George’s church within Famagusta Walls, the historic 1st May militant mass event on the buffer zone in Nicosia, the Kataklysmos day celebrations in Famagusta, the remarkable progress achieved with the restoration of monuments of cultural and religious heritage and the wide support that this process is receiving as well as so many other bi-communal events and actions of recent months.

The evident mood of society however does not seem to be properly reflected at the negotiating table. Despite intensifying the process through more frequent meetings the two leaders seem to have failed to achieve any concrete results even on issues regarding the commencement of necessary studies for the opening up of Varoshia closed city. More than 50 years of inter communal violence, war and division are considered enough! Our country is in a state that is no longer sustainable. The deep economic recession and the austerity measures imposed in both South and North and the consequential social implications create conditions of political instability resulting in the rise of nationalism and racism. It is essential that we put a halt to the deepening of the crisis by reversing the process.

The reunification of the island in conditions of peace and reconciliation can send a wave of positive developments in all fields: Creating conditions for economic development and creation of jobs. Formulating the right framework for the development of hydrocarbons for the benefit of all Cypriots and the people in the whole of Eastern Mediterranean in conditions of peace Helping to ease tensions in the area and creating conditions for political solutions to problems refraining from the use of force. Achieving reunification requires the political will to find creative solutions to long standing problems. The issues have been thoroughly debated over recent years. Now is the time to take decisions and move forward. Revisiting covered ground will not achieve the required progress.

The people, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, are waiting for their leaders to take bold decisions and have demonstrated that they are ready to support those decisions. We cannot afford to fail yet once more! “The Bi-communal Peace Initiative -United Cyprus” is determined to push the process forward through a series of actions:

1. Looking back at the 50-year old conflict and remembering all the victims, Greek, Turkish and others, the Peace Initiative along with the Bi-communal Initiative of Relatives of Missing Persons “Together We Can” is intending to organize a series of events in early autumn in their honour.

2. On 1st September Day of Action for Peace “The Bi-communal Peace Initiative -United Cyprus”along with all Trade Unions from both communities will co-organize a mass event intending to push forward the peace process.

3. A series of other actions and contacts that will aim at creating the right atmosphere for progress to be made. Remembering the victims of 50 years of inter-communal violence and war we need to stand together, Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike, to work for Peace and Reconciliation, demanding bold steps to break down the deadlock at the negotiating table. Our voice needs to be heard loud and clear: for a united, bi-communal and bi-zonal federal Cyprus, for a peaceful common future! 11th July, 2014 “The Bi-communal Peace Initiative -United Cyprus”

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