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Greeks Cypriots propose to increase their numbers in North

1 September 2014

A joint council meeting for overseas Greek Cypriots was held last week in the Greek Cypriot presidential palace Nicosia, in which Greek Cypriots living abroad came together to contribute their ideas to their government, ‘World Bulletin’ reports.

On Sunday, TAK news agency reported that one of the ideas discussed at the 25th Session of the Central Council of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots – International Coordinating Committee “Justice for Cyprus” (POMAK-PSEKA) and the 7th World Conference of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) was to create a Greek Cypriot “kibutz” in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

The idea was proposed in writing by the so-called Greek Cypriot “mayor” of Kyrenia, Galfkos Kariolu, as a way to boost the Greek Cypriot population in the TRNC, focusing on the regions of Korucam/Kormacit (Kormakitis), Dipkarpaz (Rizokarpaso) and the Karpaz peninsula (Karpass).

The north-western town of Korucam/Kormacit (Kormakitis) mainly consists of Maronite Christians who in addition to Turkish, speak Greek and their own dialect of Arabic. Meanwhile, the people of Dipkarpaz (Rizokarpaso) and the Karpaz peninsula (Karpass) are mainly Turkish Cypriots who also speak Greek due to the fact that the region was heavily populated by Greek Cypriots before Turkey’s military intervention on the island in 1974.

According to the Greek Cypriot daily newspaper ‘Simerini’, Mayor Kariolu appealed to Greek Cypriot businessmen living abroad to help fund the project which would see a high concentration of ethnic Greek Cypriots move to the villages in the Turkish Cypriot north of the island. He also encouraged Greek Cypriots to buy land and property in Famagusta and Kyrenia, both regions located in the TRNC.

Although Kyrenia is located at the Turkish Cypriot northern coast of the island of Cyprus, “Mayor” Kariolu continues to manage the affairs of Greek Cypriots who left Kyrenia and moved to the south after 1974 from his office in the Greek Cypriot-controlled south Nicosia, close to the TRNC border.

The island of Cyprus has been divided into the Turkish Cypriot north and Greek Cypriot south since Turkey used its right as a constitutional guarantor of peace via a military intervention in July 1974, which was prompted by a coup on the constitutional government by the Greek junta in bid to unite the island with Greece.

Turkish Cypriots in the north of Cyprus later went on to declare the independence of the TRNC in 1983 after almost of decade of failed peace talks. An attempt to reunite the island failed in 2004 when the vast majority of Greek Cypriots rejected a plan proposed by the then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a referendum prior to their entry into the European Union.

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