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Greens leader protests use of Turkish place names in north

Ayios Panteleimonas in Myrtou which was renovated by the bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage

The head of the Greens party, Giorgos Perdikis, has criticised the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for using the Turkish name – Mormenekşe – for the village of Limnia in the north.

He was referring to a recent UNDP document describing the work of the bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage on reconstructing an old windmill in the village which used the Turkish name for the village.

Perdikis had urged the foreign ministry to formally notify parliament whether it is normal practice for the UNDP to Greek Cypriot place names in the north with Turkish ones.

In a letter of response earlier this month, ministry official Minas Hadjimichael told MPs that the ministry is closely monitoring what names are used to describe places in the north.

Hadjimichael stated in the letter that the Cypriot committee for the standardisation of geographical names had notified the UNDP over the issue, asking for a correction to the name of the village.

The community leader of Myrtou village, Andreas Athanasiou, made a similar complaint in the past after a presentation by the head of cultural heritage committee Takis Hadjidimitriou. Talking about the restoration works on the monastery of Ayios Panteleimonas, Hadjidimitriou referred to Myrtou by its Turkish Cypriot name Camlibel.

“We find it outrageous and unforgivable that the name of the pseudo-state was given in the presentation, while the Greek name was missing,” said Athanasiou.

Giorgos Perdikis made a similar complaint in 2015, when he reported a UNDP booklet which was distributed as a means to introduce the work of the bicommunal committee to the wider public. The booklet had printed the Turkish names right next to the original Greek names.

In his letter of protest at the time, he said his objection in no way affected his appreciation for the cultural heritage committee and their work.

“The work they do, restoring cultural monuments, is praiseworthy and very important. We have nothing but appreciation for the committee’s work,” Perdikis said.

The UNDP was not immediately available for comment.

 

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