Speech by the General Secretary of AKEL A.Kyprianou at the screening of the “Flowers and Bullets” film
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 13th January 2020
On behalf of the C.C. of AKEL, I convey our warm congratulations to the contributors to the film that will be screened soon. To Nyiazi Kizilyurek and Panikos Chrysanthou, to all those who worked on its preparation. It is a moving film in its simplicity and emotional in the truth it tells.
Against the backdrop of the tragedy that our country has been living through and is still suffering from since 1974, Giorgos Liasis plays a pivotal role. The story of his family and the Siouppouris family, the story of the village of Palekythros where one of the most heinous crimes of 1974 was committed, the murders of innocent civilians, the bitterness, the rage and the conscience, is at the end of the day the story of the whole of Cyprus.
In September 2015 as AKEL, together with a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot party “United Cyprus Party – BKP”, we took the initiative to visit the burial places of the victims from the Turkish Cypriot villages of Maratha, Santalaris and Aloa to lay flowers. A small number of furious residents “welcomed” us with fanaticism, shouting that they don’t want peace. Before them they found Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots reminding them that nothing can stop peace in Cyprus. The same tension and confrontation is shown in the first scenes of the film we shall see.
“Who is missing and if they are, where are they?” Giorgos wonders.
“They cut my life in half,” he goes on to say.
This is the homeland we lived in:
Conspiracies and treacherous actions.
A handful of traitors. Many heroes.
Nationalism and fascism.
Armies and barbed wires of division.
Shedding of blood and tears.
Trembling hands holding up black and white photos of missing people.
Re-association of the remains of missing people on the benches of the Committee of Missing Person’s anthropological laboratory.
Funeral eulogies for the remains of missing people.
Patriots who still carry bullets in them.
Pseudo-patriots who have never repented for the crime they committed.
Nightmares that have sat firmly in the chairs of power and are today giving lessons to us (about patriotism and unity)…
This is the homeland we lived.
But there is also the homeland we want.
Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Latins and Armenians.
One homeland and one people.
AKEL, the majority of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, insist on fighting against ideological and political partition which certain forces and circles have been trying to impose on us for decades.
We have a vision for tomorrow’s Cyprus, to which we have given a practical substance and meaning through the elaboration and tabling of specific positions. The effort by Christofias during his administration, the consistency we have shown to our positions on the basis of which we have subsequently acted, the initiatives we have taken united Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots again in numerous ‘small’ and big struggles, reflect the struggle and the anxiety of this country for its future.
We insist on pursuing our conscious policy that dictates that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can count on the future only when it will be ensured that we shall live this future together, within the framework of a solution that will put an end to end the occupation and colonization (of the occupied areas); a solution that will reunite Cyprus and its people within the framework of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with political equality as outlined in the UN texts.
“We owe it to our children to tell them the truth,” says Giorgos in the film. He is absolutely right. We owe it to our children to tell them the bitter truth. As long as the “national-minded” forces and circles engage in empty talk and bellicose rhetoric, they undermine their future leading to the greatest danger of all: partition.
We owe it to our children to bring peace.
We owe them a different Cyprus, where our people – united – will build their own tomorrow.
We will never stop struggling for this country, for this Cyprus.
Congratulations again to all those who contributed to making this film.
 The Liasis and Souppouris families, who came from the village of Palekythro now occupied, lost most of their relatives when Turkish Cypriot extremists stood 22 innocent civilians before a firing squad and shot them. Only four people survived the slaughter, including Giorgos Liasis himself.
 The massacre of Turkish Cypriot civilians was committed by the Greek Cypriot armed fascist EOKA B organisation during the Turkish invasion on 14th August 1974 in the three Turkish Cypriot villages. In total, 126 people were brutally murdered during the massacre.
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