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28 May, 2024
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Are Cyprus's leaders failing amidst territorial crisis?

Lack of response to occupation sparks fears of division

Marina Economides

Marina Economides

The occupying authorities are taking control of a part of the dead zone in the Arsos-Pyla area to build a road to "improve access for their citizens living in Pyla." They seem undeterred by any diplomatic efforts to prevent this new imposition and don't appear to consider the UNFICYP's attempts to halt ongoing activities.

Meanwhile, a tunnel project is advancing that will pass through the occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range, aiming to connect the Mesaoria region with the northern shores of the island. This is another illegal project funded by Ankara, which continues to enhance the occupied areas, further solidifying their dependency on Turkey. Simultaneously, plots of land are being divided in the occupied area of Agios Dometios. These are reportedly designated for the children of the area's martyrs, while asphalt-laying work continues in the region. According to reports from Geni Bakis, the northern part of Cyprus is being turned into a "for-sale island," as individuals from various countries like Israel, Germany, Finland, Ukraine, Russia, and Iran are purchasing properties, most of which belong to Greek Cypriots. While all these developments are taking place in our occupied land, we seem not to fully grasp the seriousness of the situation or realize that Ankara's annexation of the Occupied Territories has already begun, and division is looming.

When I say "we," I refer to both politicians and us citizens. What are we actually doing to demonstrate awareness and a sense of urgency? Instead of pursuing an immediate convening of a national council or at least a meeting that shows we recognize that we've reached a critical point, our focus remains narrow. We engage in pseudo-patriotic debates, fuel divisive rhetoric, argue amongst ourselves over the participation of a Turkish Cypriot mayor in an anti-occupation event in Ammochostos, and show little willingness to transcend our personal interests and obsessions for the sake of our homeland's good. We persist in the same misconceptions, prioritizing the economy over our national issues and investing in the "kindness of foreigners" without fully comprehending our own objectives or the solutions we're genuinely prepared to support. As our concessions become more painful than ever, politicians appear more despondent than ever, trapped in their own political game, striving to resurrect their parties' fortunes and persuade voters that they're superior to others, while the ship that is our nation sinks day by day. On one hand, the government, despite its diplomatic moves, fails to convince that it truly knows the aim of the solution. On the other hand, the opposition moves awkwardly, giving the impression that its primary concern is the government's failure rather than doing whatever is possible to save the country. And we, even more passive, watch our homeland being divided without truly understanding what is happening to us.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  zones  |  road  |  politics  |  government  |  Pyla  |  Arsos

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