Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A.Kyprianou to the plenary session of Parliament to condemn the black anniversaries of the fascist coup and Turkish invasion
Wednesday, 15th July 2020, House of Representatives
Today we honor those who resisted so that fascism would not pass.
Those who defended the freedom and dignity of Cyprus and our people.
We honor those who did not bow their heads to the betrayal and crime committed by EOKA B and the Greek junta.
Today we honor both the living and the dead who were vigilant and filled our country’s squares to defend democracy; the living and the dead who rushed to the front line to defend Cyprus, few and unarmed to confront the might of Turkey’s invading troops.
If you are sincere when you honor them you cannot at the same time honor those who betrayed and murdered them.
You cannot honor those who took up arms against democracy and our homeland.
I express our strongest indignation for the fact that the government and political parties honored yet again those who took up arms to attack the Presidential Palace (on the 15th July 1974). The state-owned Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation judged that this should be transmitted on the news.
We all declare – some with zeal – that a people that forgets its own History is condemned to repeat it. AKEL does not forget. The falsification and distortion of History is being sought so that its suits some.
AKEL will never consent to that.
To vindicate our country, for the wounds to heal and Cyprus to be saved, we must draw lessons from the past. We must find the courage to tell the truth.
Unfortunately, the Right and the ultra-right insist on denying the historical truth.
They insist on refusing to talk about the responsibilities of imperialism, nationalism, the Greek junta, the responsibilities of the EOKA B of Grivas and the crimes it committed.
They refuse to talk about the betrayal, and therefore about the traitors too, who opened the door to the Turkish invasion.
This is an insult to the sacrifices made by our Heroes. This nourishes the injustice felt to the bone by the families clad in black and the thousands of refugees who were uprooted and are still hoping to return to their homes. Even worse, this gives ground to nationalism to return to complete its crime.
In 1974 our people was betrayed – from outside and from the inside. This is the truth. This was certified by the Finding on the Cyprus File (commissioned by the House of Representatives) which was drawn up based on the testimonies of many protagonists who testified before the relevant Commission. Our people lived this historical truth with their own bitter experiences.
That is precisely the reason why any attempt to distort or falsify what happened in 1974 is a huge provocation. It is a provocation to History itself, provoking the memory of those who lived the events.
The historical truth is indisputable.
The main responsibility for the 1974 tragedy lies with US and NATO imperialism. The US and NATO wanted Cyprus as a base for espionage and an unsinkable aircraft carrier and aggressive launching pad. To serve this purpose, plans for partition were being hatched from the 1960’s.
How we arrived to 1974 is well known. Neither the geo-strategic goals seeking the subjugation of Cyprus to NATO interests, nor Turkey’s expansionist plans would have succeeded without the existence of willing Trojan horses to implement these plans.
The Greek junta and EOKA B played this role. None of these thugs of “national-minded” forces woke up on that morning of 15th July 1974 and “spontaneously” took up arms to overthrow Makarios. None of them were supposedly “carried away by the vision of Union with Greece”, as those who feel uncomfortable every July like to say. These forces consciously took part in the preparation of the coup, not caring if this action would open the door for the Turkish army to set foot in Cyprus.
The coup was being deliberately planned and methodically prepared for years. The aim was to seize power and murder President Makarios and do away with the role played by AKEL. For the “national-minded patriots”, it was more important to exterminate AKEL than to save our homeland. The anti-Makarios and anti-communist mania of EOKA B culminated in crimes and murders being committed.
The betrayal of 15th July 1974 gave Turkey the pretext to invade Cyprus and occupy approximately 40% of our homeland. The barbed wire of division left a deep scar on our Island’s body. Since then, our people have been condemned to suffer division, displacement and being uprooted as refugees.
The years have passed, but the wounds have not healed. Nor are these wounds going to heal so long as there are barbed wires of division, checkpoints, refugees, war-stricken people, the enclaved people in the occupied areas and the remains of our missing persons without burial.
When will justice de delivered?
When will we vindicate the sacrifices that were made?
When will the wounds heal so that the long-suffering Cypriot people can smile?
We will heal the wounds only when the barbed wires of division belong to museums once and for all.
When we manage to tear down the checkpoints.
When we pave the way for our people to live together in a common homeland.
When we shut the door to partition which was the goal of those who ordered the crime against Cyprus. Partition cannot be an option today.
The wounds will close only when we face the truth head on, admit it and address the situation with patriotism, realism, wisdom and without cultivating illusions.
Unfortunately, the handling of the Cyprus problem in recent years has led Cyprus into a worse position. It is true that Turkey is escalating its provocative and aggressive actions, becoming more and more dangerous for the whole area.
The question is, what have we done to make it difficult for Turkey to attain its goals?
How did we expose it before the international community?
Unfortunately, Turkey has not only not been exposed, but has been relieved of responsibilities, while it is being appeased as well. The Government belatedly needs to abandon the illusions it is cultivating. The suggested EU-Turkey dialogue needs to be utilised to our advantage, for curbing Turkey’s aggression and promoting a solution of the Cyprus problem. The government should be and appear to be ready to resume negotiations from where they had remained.
Our goal and priority must be the solution of the Cyprus problem.
A solution as we have agreed it with the international and Turkish Cypriot community.
A bi-zonal, bi-communal federation solution, based on the United Nations Resolutions and the agreed framework.
A solution that will reunite our country and people, our institutions and economy.
A solution that will free our country from the barbed wires of division, checkpoints and foreign armies.
A solution that will pave the way for the coexistence of our people in a united state – the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus – with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality, without guarantee and intervention rights.
A solution with political equality, as provided for in the UN resolutions.
In this endeavor we are fully aware of the difficulties we will encounter. Turkey is a powerful country that does not respect international law. But if we give up on our goal because of the difficulties we know will arise then we will inevitably be driven to the partition of Cyprus, given that the longer time goes by (without a solution) the closer partition gets.
The road to the solution will not be an easy path full of roses. But if we manage to take this path, we will reach the desired solution. Because of the difficulties we will face, there is no room for mistakes, contradictions and regressions. Dedication to the sought goal and a clear mind is demanded, as well as good preparation and making full use of the just cause of our struggle.
Negotiations will not resume until after the voting procedure in the Turkish Cypriot community takes place. All through this period, Mr. Anastasiades must move in two directions. He should take initiatives so that immediately after the voting procedure (in the occupied areas) substantive negotiations are resumed for a just, under the circumstances, functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.
Furthermore, with the rhetoric he should develop the President needs to cultivate the need for a solution, reconciliation, peace and reunification. He should prepare all Cypriots to support the effort for a solution.
We and all those who are struggling for peace have a vision for the Cyprus of tomorrow. We have a vision for a reunited and federal Cyprus, a beacon and an example for the whole world. We want Cyprus to be a modern model of harmonious coexistence of two communities of different nationality, language and religion who will rule their common state together. It will be a country that will have managed to drive out armies and channel all its forces and resources into social investment and economic development.
We want the future generations to live in this Cyprus and we will not stop struggling until we make this vision a reality.
Today we honor the river of blood that was shed on the land of Cyprus for the freedom, democracy and dignity of our homeland and people.
We honor the true heroes.
Those who were not afraid.
Those who refused to carry out the orders of fascism and who paid for it with their very lives.
Those who resisted and suffered with their blood shed inside Police Stations, the Central Prison, their own homes, out on the street, in cemeteries over the open graves of our heroes.
Today we honor the thousands of patriots who were sent unarmed and betrayed to fight in the front line of battle against Turkey’s invading army.
We honor the thousands of our compatriots who were killed in the war, who were made refuges and were uprooted, whose hearts were torn out by the photos of their missing persons.
The best way to honor all of them is the memory that becomes a consciousness waging a struggle until the vindication of our Cyprus.
Until the day of reunification and peace dawns.
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