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Glossary critics pile pressure on journalists’ union

The glossary contains a total of 56 terms considered to be offensive by either of the two sides of the divide

A group of 210 journalists signed a statement on Monday expressing their concern over the international release of the OSCE’s glossary on suggested words to use when discussing the Cyprus problem and demanding that the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) take action.

The statement also criticises the praise the glossary has received from overseas and by foreign media and international organisations of journalists.

In a move that works to escalate pressure exerted last month when the glossary was first released, the group ask that the leadership of the UCJ listen to their complaint and proceed directly to actions that will restore its credibility.

The group warned that if the UCJ does not do so, the signatories will file complaints regarding the glossary to international organisations, including the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) itself, the freedom of press bureau of the UN, and wherever else is deemed necessary.

The statement says that “this tool, which lacks any scientific validity and which was written echoing the personal views of four people – selected with unclear criteria – is establishing a new official communication line for the Cyprus issue in international media and thus on the international political scene.”

The group of journalists argue that the glossary, rather than being a tool for an improved communication and cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in fact “undermines efforts for sincere dialogue and termination of the occupation, which are necessary if we are to come up with a viable solution and peaceful coexistence”.

“In retrospect, it turns out that journalists were used as a Trojan Horse to promote political ends and we regret to see that this was achieved with the approval and inactivity of the board of the Union of Cyprus Journalists,” the statement said.

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