“Stop the War Coalition-Cyprus”

«The common pain and future unite us»

The dead and missing persons from the clashes and wars in Cyprus represent the worse aspects of the grief and pain for both communities, especially in July days every year.

Apart from the names and religion of those missing persons, the picture in both communities is the same; stories to tell full of tears, pain and despair. Hundreds of women, children and old were murdered only because they were Greek or Turkish. They were killed in order to serve the interests of the leaders of our society who make all decisions and the interest of world powers as part of their games for regional control and domination.

The recent bi-communal excavations of mass graves brought into the headlines a 50 year old story of wars and ethnic cleansing of both sides. This story is only paralleled to the massacres witnessed in former Yugoslavia and Lebanon.

These revelations are but the tip of the iceberg of what truly and tragically happened. However, they are enough to demolish the official propaganda of each side which says that only the ‘other side’ committed such atrocities while they present themselves as innocent victims.

These crimes were not «isolated incidents» but the result of the politics of nationalism followed by the political establishments of both sides. It’s no coincidence that none of the people who committed those crimes were ever brought to justice.

We can only salute Dimitris Christofias’ public admission that crimes were committed by both sides and that these crimes should at last be acknowledged and each side should offer apology to the other. We also salute the positive atmosphere during the meetings and negotiations now underway between the two leaders. However this is not enough; what is needed is to speak openly and expressly about those crimes, to name the murderers and the moral perpetrators.

We cannot talk about rapprochement, re-unification and peaceful co-existence while those responsible for these crimes walk among us free, honoured as heroes in their respective communities.

We are not asking for the setting up of special courts. We demand however, that those who committed the crimes and the moral perpetrators, be condemned politically, morally and socially. It’s necessary to honour the innocent victims of the ‘other side’ in the same manner we honour the victims of ‘our side’. The attendance of president Christofias’ representative and other Greek Cypriots at the funeral of Mustafa Arif (Kutlay Erk’s father), one of several hundred Turkish Cypriots missing since inter-communal clashes in the 1960s, is a good start and gives a momentum to a growing peace movement. However, political leaders in both sides should extend this gesture and together attend similar events and joint memorial ceremonies.This way, the dead and missing in Cyprus can become the bridge for peace and reconciliation instead of a source of bigotry as the nationalists of both sides want.

Under the slogan «The common pain and future unite us» Stop the War Coalition – Cyprus in co-operation with other organisations and activists, organise for another year, bi-communal, memorial events to honour both Greek and Turkish Cypriot innocent victims of wars.

Wednesday 23th July 2008 ARABAHMET Cultural Centre 20:00 public meeting

Saturday 26th July, Ledra Palace 09:30, visit two symbolic places one in the South at Parissinos area (Strovolos) the other in the North at Palekithro (Balikesir) where mass graves were found of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots respectively.

We call all true supporters of rapprochement looking for a peaceful and democratic re-unification of the island to join and support these initiatives. Together let us send a clear message that we are not prepared to allow anyone use the dead, missing and pain caused by crimes and wars in order to perpetrate nationalist and racist policies.

For details please contact: 00905338610908 or / E-mail: .