It is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot Parliament has approved the proposal to introduce the 1950’s ‘Enosis Day’ in schools, President Mustafa Akinci said on Saturday.
This act would send a dangerous message to the Greek Cypriot youth and only serve to further increase the mistrust that the Turkish Cypriots feel for the Greek Cypriots, he said.
On Friday, the South Cyprus parliament approved a proposal submitted by the ultra-nationalist ELAM party to introduce the annual event in public schools to mark the January 1950 referendum on enosis, in which 96% of Greek Cypriots voted in favour of union with Greece.
It took only 19 votes from the smaller parties, excluding ruling Disy, party which abstained and main opposition Akel party, which opposed, for the proposal to be approved.
Disy’s decision to abstain rather than reject the motion outright has been heavily criticised on social media.
On Sunday, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun condemned the decision, describing it as a “most severe blow” to the negotiations.
In a written statement Ozgurgun said that the vote was the “the clearest evidence of the Greek [Cypriot] side’s desire to own the whole island”.
“There can be no other explanation for the parliament’s approval of a proposal made by three deputies who take every opportunity to display their animosity towards Turks, and a racist minority in that parliament,” he said.
He added that if negotiations were to continue without this decision being reversed, it would not only be a waste of time, but also “a disrespect to all parties who contribute positively to the process”.