President Nicos Anastasiades has responded to President Mustafa Akinci’s comments on social media about the voting in of ‘Enosis Day’ by the South Cyprus parliament.
Akinci had said that the decision was unacceptable, that it was a serious blow to the negotiations and should be reversed, as it would only increase the Turkish Cypriot’s lack of trust for the Greek Cypriots.
The uproar came about after the Greek Cypriot parliament voted for a proposal by far-right party ELAM, to have ‘Enosis Day’ become an annual commemoration of the anniversary of the 1950 Enosis referendum.
According to ‘Cyprus Weekly’, secondary school pupils would only spend a brief time learning about the 1950 referendum, where 89% of Greek Cypriots said they were in favour of enosis with Greece.
“The way a segment of the Turkish Cypriot community has reacted to a decision, which included a simple reference to a historical event, should not be seen as a change in policy and I won’t allow anyone to doubt the sincere efforts of the Greek Cypriot community in an effort to seek a mutually agreed solution, as it is clearly laid out at the negotiating table,” said Anastasiades in a press release.
He added that celebrations in the north were also provoking Greek Cypriots.
“If the Turkish Cypriot community is showing such sensitivity on a simple reference to a historical event, imagine how much more provocative are the celebrations for the anniversary of the Turkish invasion* that lead to occupation and put in force an unacceptable order of things.”
Anastasiades also said that he has proven repeatedly that the Greek Cypriot community has been sincere and well intentioned during the negotiations, as they seek a win-win solution.
“I am convinced that if we all want to achieve the same goal, we must work with resolve and move away from any pretence and particularly any unacceptable claims and conditions that do not serve the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots,” the president said.
The Greek Cypriot Assembly vote will introduce a School Day in observance of a 1950 referendum, when the great majority Greek Cypriots voted in favour of union between Cyprus and motherland Greece, something which was met with strong disapproval by Turkish Cypriots.
* July 20th is celebrated in the TRNC as the anniversary of the peace keeping operation launched by Turkey, when it landed its troops on the island in a military operation to safeguard the Turkish Cypriots from annihilation, following a military coup d’état launched by the Cypriot National Guard supported by the Greek military junta on 15th July 1974. (Ed.)