July 20, 2021. I woke up to the sound of sirens on the sad anniversary of the invasion. An hour and a half later I was at the roadblock on Ledra Street to pick up my friend Mehmet and his Turkish Cypriot son-in-law who had applied for a passport of the Republic of Cyprus. “Did you find the day of the invasion” I tell him? “We are Cypriots,” he replies. “We are not celebrating anything today.” It was not long before the young man picked up the brand new passport at the Passport Service offices. He was moved: “Am I now a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus and the EU?”. We are sure that the same reaction had the Malaysian Joe Lowe when he also took his passport and went to inspect his villa in the Sand of Kambouris in the area of Ayia Napa! Issuing a passport also has its drawbacks. Some make millions, we made an appointment in August in Galinoporni there in Kranos on the beach where the tavern of Boile is located. The best ofton of the huge in all Karpasia.
The same day
On the same day, the multi-millionaire President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, announced a new long-term struggle for justice for Cyprus. We will fight until the end and the law will prevail, he says. Elytis's verse “The Sun of Justice” was automatically on my lips listening to the President. The patriotism of this President really flows in the veins, those who do not say that patriotism is the refuge of every masquerade are not right. A little while ago, the former official of Asil Nadir, Ersin Tatar, spoke about the recognition of the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and announced the opening of Varos during a parade, while Turkish warplanes formed the Turkish flag in the sky. Varosi will make Erdogan and his companies even richer. Tatar will also get some crumbs.
In Varosi at the same time the journalist Marina Schiza was on the third floor of the Municipal Library and Gallery of Famagusta on Dimokratias and 16th of June streets. She went downstairs one by one and videotaped her dilapidated facilities. The library was founded in January 1954, when the Municipal Council of Famagusta commissioned the writer George Filippou Pieridis to enrich and organize it. It opened to the public in April 1955. Today the library space is full of dumpsters and crumbling offices. The huge collection of books has disappeared. The soul of the Greek Cypriots has flown away from Varosi. Today it flies to Limassol over the towers and mansions.
In the afternoon, a friend of a journalist who was going to cover Erdogan's press conference met Kostis, a member of ELAM, to show his identity and car safety at the roadblock: “What are you doing here? Are you going to the occupied territories? The answer is cynical. “I go and put gas, my friend. With 700 euros a month, I do not go out differently “. In the evening, Kostis was a torchbearer in the speech of the president of ELAM, Christos Christou, to quell his opposition to the occupation and the invasion. Frangolevantinos in the morning, patriot in the evening.
My day ended with the gastronomic sobs sometimes and yells of my neighbor: “A honey oh. I have been eating watermelon like this for years “. As the pattica explained to me in the occupied areas, it is 7 cents per kilo and you can find watermelons traditionally from Kokkona in the first place.
Since we talked about exchange rates. Do you know why my friend Mehmet carried me to the roadblock on the morning of July 20th? The insurance to come with his car is 100 euros. That is 1,000 Turkish pounds. He is a teacher and earns 2,500 Turkish pounds a month. Based on current exchange rates around 250 euros. Some Greek Cypriots believe that if we find a solution, the Turkish Cypriots will remain beggars and under Erdogan's control to make us his protectorate!
The contradictions of the 20th of July are finally the timeless and at the same time historical contradictions of our daily life. Ordinary people have learned to function comfortably and survive through these contradictions which they now claim to consider normal. This was explained to me by Ahmet, a 90-year-old from Kokkina who now lives in Gialousa. In fluent Cypriot, he explained to me why he considers himself a “smart Romio”. “We in Kokkina in the morning went to the mosque and in the evening secretly to the Archangel. My great-grandmother was called Athena. We returned and became Muslims so as not to pay taxes. The rest of the Romans were left to eat kurpajin that agades them “.
My uncle Eugenios in Limassol, Grand Butcher, was one of the suppliers of lamb meat in the T / C district. He also christened 3 babies of friends and clients of the Turkish Cypriots. In the evening, outside the shops of Niazi and Arifi, cars lined up to eat the famous Lemesian t / c lamb skewer. Today, anyone who visits the Niazi tavern in Kyrenia and dares to ask for something different receives contempt: 'We are a Cypriot shop. We only serve Cypriot skewers' “.
In January 1964, at the age of 4, we ran barefoot in the courtyard of the Catholic Church, where I was born. Our feet were stung by dejected bursts of shrapnel in the battle that was raging in the surrounding area with shotguns. In 1998 in Belfast I met Ahmet at a conference. Limassol and he is the same age. The e / k shrapnel reached the square of the T / C Command after the 4 traffic lights. We spoke in Derry, crossing the road of the Catholic and Protestant martyrs until dawn. We lived for years two streets away in Limassol and met 38 years later at a conference on resolving inter-communal disputes.
In their daily life even today the Cypriots know how to be, to say it, even to have fun. The problems start when we get away from the popular and go to the official. That's where we all click. The production of politically connected Cypriots starts at a very young age in our schools. The Church, the priests and the imams also have their role.
We are officially enemies. We are in danger from each other. We can not live together. We can not share a single hospital, much less a common state. We will either liberate this state, or let our game give birth to an avalanche!
* The Greek Cypriots have the official national holiday on the day of the Greek Revolution. When the Greeks drove out the Turks in 1821.
* The Turks have the occupation of Smyrna as an official national holiday. When the Greeks were expelled in 1922, something that led a little later to the proclamation of the Turkish state by Ataturk.
* The Greek Cypriots honor the struggle of EOKA in 1955 when we decided on our own that we have the right to self-determination – union with Greece. The T / C, as “bromosylli” that they always were, did not have the right to self-determination.
* The Turkish Cypriots celebrate the day of the Turkish invasion until the day of their liberation and the day of the proclamation of the pseudo-state in 1983 until the day they gained their independence from the Greek Cypriots. Some of them were trained to take for granted that they had entered the homes of Greek Cypriots and that they now belonged to them.
On the other hand, every Saturday for 18 years no E / K and T / C katastaria gather in the center of Nicosia, there in Megalo Hani, and drink coffee, pomegranate juices, eat kadaifia, baklavades and anari, halloumi and keima cigars. . They say their views on the solution, they say their misery, they even tell jokes. The discussion shows that kadaif is not a Turkish dessert. It is Byzantine. It was called an imaginary sweet. Muhammad the Conqueror who ate and liked (we say now) when he asked his name… heard cataf. The Ottomans transported it to Greece and the cake in the form of a linguistic counter-invention was reinvented. Baklava is of course an Arabic dessert, but the purees, mainly with halloumi, are purely Cypriot. Minced meat purees are an Ottoman invention. From the Turkish word kıyma came minced meat and the phrase “I will make you minced meat”.
In general, in Cyprus, our political leaders have been mincing us every day. The tactic is now clear: It divides and reigns, through fear, stereotypes and prejudices. The leaderships of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots have achieved something important here. They loaded the phrase divide and reign exclusively on the British. Forgetting to tell us that these are the best students in Britain. With the founding of the Republic of Cyprus, we had the opportunity to build through education an open, liberal, democratic and creative society. Instead, we have become a society of cramped and frightened Cypriots.