Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

If Morphou residents really wanted to go home, they should have voted ‘yes’

By Loucas Charalambous

AS REGULAR readers know, the annual march of the people from Morphou, which takes place today, is one my favourites topics.
Morphou is the classic example that trumpets the sheer scale of our political schizophrenia and boundless hypocrisy that down the years has marked a political culture that has destroyed our country.
Like every year, the media have given a lot of publicity to today’s ‘anti-occupation’ march, with the organisers calling on people to participate “in order to emphasise their determination to return.” This year’s march which, to me, has become a ridiculous festival of intolerable audacity and hypocrisy is the 33rd.
The mayor of – unfortunately, non-existent – Morphou municipality, Mr Pittas is the star of the event which could be described as the theatre of the absurd. This year he went on a tour of Cyprus, visiting his fellow villagers in order to persuade them to participate in the march.
On March 21 he went to Paphos and with the Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas by his side he made the following patriotic plea: “We want to send a resounding message, inside and outside Cyprus, that we are claiming our inalienable right of return to the land in which we were born.” He added: “Our culture and tradition has been desecrated and is being crudely destroyed by the Turkish occupier whose aim is the ‘Turkification’ of Morphou and the wider area.”
I would like to point out to Pittas, one more time, that if Morphites are not in Morphou today, it is exclusively their fault, the fault of those people that participating in today’s ‘anti-occupation march’ to send a ‘resounding’ message. If Pittas and his fellow villagers voted in favour of the Annan plan in 2004, today there would be no Turks living in Morphou. According to the plan, Morphou would have been returned to the Greek Cypriots, six years ago, on October 24, 2007.
But such was the love Pittas and other super-patriots had for Morphou that they voted ‘no’ to its return. They voted for it to stay under Turkish control. They did not want it back. This is the truth that they dare not mention, because they were and still are happy where they are today.
There is no other rational explanation for their refusal to take back Morphou, which was offered to them by the Turkish Cypriots, 65 per cent of whom voted in favour of a settlement, even if this meant they would have to leave the house in which they had been living.
Today, Pittas poses as the mayor of (the now permanently Turkish) Morphou from a two-storey house in a street off Makarios Avenue in Nicosia and seems pretty content with his life.
Need it be said that if Pittas and his fellow-Morphites had voted ‘yes’ and returned to their town/village in 2007, there would be no Turkish occupier there today and neither its tradition nor its culture would be desecrated by anyone? Nor would he have had to organise fiestas and marches to send ‘resounding messages’ inside and outside Cyprus. And he would not, today, have to claim the right of return to “the land he was born in”, as he would have been there for the last six years
The truth is that when the Morphites were asked if they wanted the Turks to leave Morphou so they could return, Pittas and his fellow villagers responded with a resounding ‘no, you stay’. And the Turks were happy to oblige.

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