Germany’s contribution to a bi-communal glossary prepared under the wing of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) was €25,000, the German ambassador to Cyprus said on Friday.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, ambassador Franz Josef Kremp said he supported the idea of the glossary, saying “it will encourage journalists to consider the sensitivities around certain words, and to offer them a useful tool of possible alternatives.”
The glossary was a joint undertaking between two Greek Cypriot and two Turkish Cypriot journalists.
It was launched earlier this week amidst polarized reactions. The OSCE thanked both Germany and the Netherlands for their financial contribution.
Kremp told CNA Germany’s contribution of €25,000 was 50% of the cost.
Earlier this week, the embassy posted on its Facebook page that “Germany is proud to be one of the main sponsors of this meaningful project that is contributing to the rapprochement of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots”.
It contains 56 terms which may cause offence to communities from the island on the other side of the divide and contains alternative terms which are mutually acceptable.
The embassy also backed statements by the OSCE representative on freedom of the media, Harlem Desir, who in the glossary’s foreword said the aim of the glossary is not to impose the use of words or terminology on journalists.
“They are and should always remain free to write and report without restrictions. The glossary is also not about political correctness, but about encouraging new approaches and a new thinking on the most difficult issues, and a dialogue throughout and between the media communities.”
Titled Words that matter: a glossary for journalism in Cyprus, the glossary sparked polarised reactions, with many journalists branding it an anathema and a restriction on freedom of speech.
President Nicos Anastasiades jumped on the bandwagon too, saying it wasn’t the right time for such an initiative and expressing his discontent at the OSCE’s involvement.