Local media outlets from both sides of the divide – Politis, Yeni Duzen, and Kanal Sim are organising on Sunday a music event at the Old Market – Bandabuliya – in Nicosia in the north, in a bid to help members of the two communities to move closer together.
‘Countdown to Peace’ is part of the continuing cooperation between the newspapers, an announcement said. “Together we will welcome the new year, one day before the start of negotiations in Geneva, with the hope that 2017 will be the year that will once again unify all Cypriots”.
Music groups Giorgos Kalopedis and Okyanus will perform at the event while zivania, wine, beer and finger food will be on offer.
Following the musical event, participants will walk towards the crossing “for a symbolic gathering in the buffer zone between the two checkpoints of Ledra Street/Lokmaci”.
Absent from this joint event will be “speeches, political messages, incessant analyses, discussions and slogans”.
“Despite the fact that the crossings are open since 2003, we believe that Greek and Turkish Cypriots have not been able to come close,” the organisers said. They add that there were still many people who had never sat at the same table or socialised with a member of the other community.
“It is this gap we are trying to fill, which we consider important if we want to build a society of mutual respect, understanding and tolerance,” they said.
Organisers extended an open invitation to everyone.
The event will begin at 5pm Cyprus Republic time.
For more information: Facebook event/ Countdown to Peace
Another bicommunal event, organised by around 130 unions, organisations and groups is to take place on Tuesday in the Nicosia buffer zone, in support of the settlement talks.
Organisers, in a joint statement, call on all Cypriots from both sides of the divide, to participate at the event regardless of their political and ideologic convictions, to send out the message that the people support the two leaders and to demand that they return to Cyprus with positive news as regards the reunification of the island.
“It is time to leave behind and to finally bury the violence of the past, nationalistic outbreaks, intolerance, and build our common future together,” the statement said.
The event, which will be held in the Cetin Kaya stadium, in the buffer zone near Ledra Palace hotel, will begin at 6pm Cyprus Republic time.