ΦΩΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ – KIBRISLILAR’IN SESI – CYPRIOTS’ VOICE
The CYPRIOTS’ VOICE addresses the following announcement to the Authorities and the people of Cyprus:
The Refugees of Cyprus
The Turkish Cypriots citizens of the Republic of Cyprus moved, or were driven from their homes mainly in the period 1963-64, and then during the period 1974-75. Most of them feel that the status quo that prevailed in our island since 1974 was an improvement in their situation, and for this reason the concept «refugee» is for most a marginal concern. They are concentrating their political aspirations in other issues like the participation in the post-solution state, and therefore the remedy of the «refugee» damage becomes an issue of secondary importance.
The Greek Cypriot citizens of the Republic of Cyprus moved / were driven from their homes mainly during the 1963-64 periods when we had the «Tourkopliktous». The 1974 invasion created the mass expulsion of the «normal» refugees. Unlike the Turkish Cypriot culture, the concept “refugee” has taken a dominant position in the historical narrative in the Greek Cypriot community. The slogan «all refugees to their homes» has been with us for 35 years. There is nothing wrong in this slogan as a moral concept. On the contrary, it is an essential and important tool to confirm the strength of international legality.
All the Greek Cypriot politicians since 1974 have committed themselves to the cause of the refugees. Many have been trapped in this cause. On the other hand, the practical value of the cause has depreciated literally and politically. The importance of being a refugee in 1975 is completely different than what it is 30 years later.
A lot of our compatriots who are still mainly in the refugee settlements carry, and will carry until their last moment multiple moral and emotional wounds because they are refugees, others are suffering in more tangible ways since they have to get used to living in a financially far worse situation compared to pre 1974. Others changed their address and moved to the cemeteries. Others got rich, some had to flee to foreign countries, and others became refugees as soon as they were born. All those who had a father from the occupied villages were baptized refugees. However the children of refugee mothers who did not married a refugee are not refugees…
CYPRIOT’S VOICE believes:
- Refugees are only those who were alive during the violent non-voluntary movements of population. We must stop consider it a priority to create more refugees. Priority should rather be the creation of conditions that will prevent the repetition of the circumstances that started our adventures in the first place.
- The refugee problem will be solved only with the final settlement of the Cyprus issue. The political significance of the term refugee should be consistent with the maintenance of full property rights. All affected Cypriot citizens who own or inherited property must be presented with satisfactory options at the time of the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Cypriots’ Voice – Communiqué no 7 – 18/12/2008