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Famagusta, a personal and global affair!

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Famagusta, a personal and global affair!

The report has already started to be written in the bus that transported its few Varosian passengers from Nicosia to the cultural center of the Municipality of Famagusta in Deryneia, at the protest protest “We are all Famagusta” last Monday 19 July 2021 on an internal route that more Or he was constantly fighting in the beautiful land of childhood memories, but also in that of unfulfilled desires and the time that passes. It was a journey of memory full of mixed feelings of frustration and hope, of hope and frustration, less political and more personal, culminating during the event and even reflected in the speakers' attitudes from the podium.

With occupying Turkey now literally playing with these feelings and now addressing, not to the political official but to the citizen of the besieged city, the weight of 47 years of violent displacement adds to the weight of the decision to return home. and becomes immovable. “The invitation to the legal owners of the enclosed area to return under the administration of the pseudo-state, certainly causes us concern and will bring us in front of big and tragic dilemmas,” said in his speech the mayor Simos Ioannou. In the letter to the UN Secretary General that Mr. Ioannou delivered on behalf of the Famagusta municipal council to a UNFICYP official at the Deryneia roadblock after the end of the event, it is emphasized that “the case of Varos will become a global case show whether the law of the jungle will eventually prevail or whether the civilized world will find ways to put an end to the illegal ambitions of President Erdogan, who wants to revive a long-term empire in the 21st century.

The daughter of my first teacher…

We were counting on the fingers of one hand the people of Varosia who boarded last Monday afternoon the bus provided by the Municipality of Famagusta from Nicosia to Deryneia, but the initial dissatisfaction disappeared when I found out that among my passengers was a child , Eva Alekou Xenophontos, the daughter of my first teacher Eleni Minti Alekou at the primary school of Kato Deryneia, occupied since 1974. In fact, her two daughters Eleni and Andria were with her who accompanied her to the protest. We talked, of course, about her mother, Eleni, who had first been appointed and worked at the primary school of Kato Deryneia for many years until 1969, when she was transferred to the primary school of the parish of Stavros next to the family house in Famagusta. After 1974 and the exile he was appointed and worked in schools in Larnaca where the family lived. “My mother died in 1998 with the bitterness that she could not go back to Varosi,” Eva told me. The teacher and writer Eleni Minti Alekou wrote poems and plays focusing on the refugees' desire for return and is one of the pillars of Cypriot children's literature in the post-1974 era, as mentioned in a relevant tribute.

Eva has been married and lives in Nicosia since 1988 and worked in a subsidiary of the Bank of Cyprus until 2019. “I am sad to see that our fellow citizens go en masse to gatherings on much less important issues,” she said. “Here,” he added, “our homeland and our land are being lost; and unfortunately we do not realize that with what is happening now in Famagusta, Cyprus may be permanently divided and may become even worse with Turkey's expansionist tendencies.” Our culture and education had to convey the message that our homeland is being lost. Young people should have been ahead of us, but it is our fault that we did not inspire them. In my case, with my two daughters I am trying in this direction, but I admit that I could do more. However, I am glad that they are both with me today “…

“We have to react now!”

The young Eleni Xenofontos told us: “This is the first time I participate in an anti-occupation event for Famagusta because until a few months ago I lived and worked for about 8 years in Germany where I had done postgraduate studies. “I feel frustrated for my generation because I believe that it is our duty as young people, not just the older ones, to take action to prevent our country from surrendering to the mercy of Turkey. I am very afraid that we will make the same mistakes of the past and unfortunately we are a people that does not learn from its mistakes. There are many internal divisions that perpetuate and unfortunately all evolve for the worse…

I never went to Famagusta and I really felt a tight stomach watching a recent TV show about how it was and how the city became. I noticed that in the events I happened to see about Famagusta the participation of the youth is always small; we have to participate in such events because not participating also means acceptance. The Turks are determined to proceed with the opening and exploitation of Famagusta and they are transmitting this will to the new generations and this should concern us. Our education and especially secondary education should give more importance to the modern history of the island and especially to the occupied areas. There are sources for recording the story.

I think it is right to make an objective teaching of our modern history and here we have a lot of room for improvement.

Abroad, a lot of time is invested in the educational system for the modern history of each country – with visits to historical sites, with period films, with interactive workshops and if we did, we would have a lot to benefit as a people. “Although generations are lost, if organized student visits to the occupied territories and an objective presentation of the events could take place, today's children would keep in touch with their roots.”

“Maybe there is still a little hope”…

Our passengers on the bus Sotiris Christodoulou 69 years old from Kato Varosi and Dinos Konstantinou 72 years old together with his wife Anthoulas from the parish of Stavros, agree with the sisters Eleni and Andria Xenofontos.

Sotiris Christodoulou told us: “I go to the event with mixed feelings… It is difficult to go to Varosi again… People our age are interested in Varosi, but not the younger ones because they did not know it and did not live it. Our sons and daughters got married and found jobs and built their homes in the free areas. What do they have there to do? The time factor on which Denktash and Turkey bet worked. “

“I want to go to our house in Stavros and I will go, but not with the Turks,” Anthoula Konstantinou told us. “I was 24 when I left Stavros and now I am 72,” Dinos Konstantinou told us. “People of the previous generation died, the children do not care, they were rehabilitated, they did their job in Limassol, they are Limassol… My sister is from Varos, she got married in Limassol, she had three children in Limassol who feel Limassol,… The Cyprus issue is over… When If our generation dies, the Cyprus issue will be resolved since there will be no desire to return. And now if they tell me to go, I will not go “.

“You sound disappointed but you are on the bus and you go to the protest,” we told him. And Dinos Konstantinou replied: “Yes… maybe there is still a little hope…”.

“Our generation to make its anti-occupation presence more felt”

Andria Xenophontos spoke to us about how the generation of those born 20 years after the Turkish invasion perceives us:

“The young people of my generation were born about 20 years after the invasion of a consolidated post-war situation that still continues. There is no interest among young people born many years after the invasion. If there is no zeal from the parents to convey to the children the feeling of justification, they do not care. I know many who are refugees and are not even registered in the refugee register. If this generation also leaves, the people who were in the war for 10-12 years will remain. What happens next? So what needs to be done, needs to be done now, we need to react now because time has already been lost and we have problems with Erdogan who in recent years is Islamizing the occupied territories by building huge mosques in various areas.

The time that passes is catalytic because you learn to live with this event, you give the impression that you compromise and you accept that this is the reality. Turkey continues to do essentially what it wants. We are talking about European partners, strong friendships and partnerships with foreign countries that will help us; but we are essentially alone because they ultimately see their interests. Only in recent years, when Turkish policy has begun to have a negative impact on Europe's interests, has it begun to react somewhat. Our generation must make its anti-occupation presence more noticeable because now it lives in its microcosm and in its routine “…


Source: 24h.com.cy

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