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Cyprus

Opening of crossings ‘an insult’ to those killed by Turkish army

 

Opening crossings between the two sides is an insult to those killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion and also helps to economically sustain “the conquerors”, said the organisers of a protest rally to take place next week against the opening of the Dherynia crossing.

The rally is organised by family members of Tasos Isaak and Solomos Solomou, who were killed in August 1996 in the buffer zone in Dherynia during an anti-occupation demonstration. It will take place on October 19.

Angelos Kyriacou, a nephew of Solomou, told Sigmalive that the demonstration was a “spontaneous initiative”, not backed by any political party and organised by family members of the two men.

The opening of the crossings was “an insult and disrespectful to the memory of all those killed by the Turkish invaders,” adding that opening the Dherynia crossing would bring about the economic collapse of the area.

The aim of the protest, he said, “is not only the cancellation of the opening of the Dherynia crossing but also closing down all crossings that sustain the conquerors”.

During the event, organisers will collect signatures  for a petition demanding the closing down of all crossings, which is to be sent to President Nicos Anastasiades.

Since both sides have said they are ready to open the Dherynia crossing, there have been critical emotional posts on social media.

One of them uses a photo depicting Solomou climbing a flagpole to remove the Turkish flag, moments before he was shot dead by a Turkish officer, and calls traitors those who intend on crossing through the place where the two men were killed in order to fill their car tanks with cheap petrol. Since the fall in the Turkish lira, many Greek Cypriots drive over to the north to fill up their cars with petrol.

The protest follows other earlier ones, including a demonstration last summer by socialist Edek and a declaration of around 200 refugees from Famagusta, including former state officials, expressing their opposition, arguing it would not contribute to efforts towards the return of their properties but turn them instead into tourists in their own town.

Famagusta mayor, Alexis Galanos, also expressed reservations. Famagusta business circles and the mayor of Ayia Napa had openly voiced their opposition to the crossing, expressing concern that it would hurt business in the south.

 

 

 

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