All Cypriots should rise against the past demons of Enosis and Taksim that seem to haunt us still, the Unite Cyprus Now (UCN) initiative said on Tuesday, calling on ruling party Disy to take clear action to prove its dissociation from the far-right rhetoric of comments made by its MP Eleni Stavrou.
“We are utterly disappointed to see an MP and an MEP candidate of a major political party openly support an expired policy that brought many catastrophes to our country,” UCN said in a press release.
On Sunday, Disy MP Eleni Stavrou, who is also running for Member of European Parliament, posted on her social media account pictures from her attendance at a memorial for General Georgios Grivas (Digenis), the military commander of the Eoka insurgency against British colonial rule from 1955 to 1959 and its later variant Eoka B in the 1960s.
Stavrou wrote: “Digenis is not flesh to be consumed by the earth, he is a noble ideal! Immortal! Greece-Cyprus-Enosis. Cyprus is Greek – Macedonia is Greek.”
“Cyprus is not Greek, as the Disy MP said, nor is it Turkish. Cyprus belongs to all Cypriots,” UCN responded.
At a time when populist, nationalist and xenophobic rhetoric is on the rise globally, Cypriots should never forget the price they paid when they turned against each other, leading to the division of our country, the announcement continued.
Though Disy leader Averof Neofytou distanced himself from his MP, stating that the idea of ‘enosis’ ceased to exist decades ago, UCN called on Disy to “take a firm stand and clear action to prove they really mean it when they say that such beliefs do not represent them.”
It is high time Disy decided where it stands at these historic times our country and Europe are going through, the initiative added.
“We must learn from the past if we are to look to a united, peaceful and prosperous future,” the announcement said, noting in conclusion that “we all need to acknowledge that only the mutually accepted federal model will allow us to do so, one that provides for cooperation, mutual respect and tolerance.”
Taksim was what Turkish Cypriots who supported a partition of the island called their objective.