Refugees from the village of Pyroi on Monday handed a resolution to the government protesting the 45 years their village has been occupied by Turkish troops, since August 18, 1974, while stating their determination to continue their efforts for return until they are allowed home.
The resolution calls for the removal of all troops from their village, to reopen the old Nicosia-Larnaca road, which they say will help ease traffic problems in the capital of Cyprus and cut journey times from Larnaca.
Community leader Constantinos Adamou, the President of the Refugee Association To Pyroi Panayiotis Savvides and others from the occupied village met Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou at the Presidential Palace and asked him to forward the resolution to the President.
Adamou also included a letter to the President, detailing the obstacles that need to be tackled before reopening the road.
In statements after the meeting, Prodromou said “your protest is also our protest, it is the protest of Cyprus, the protest of the President and the government for the continued occupation” of Cyprus by Turkey.
The Spokesman added that President Nicos Anastasiades is making continuous efforts and lately it seems there is the possibility that negotiations may resume.
Any solution should allow Cyprus – an independent European country – to operate without the presence of occupation troops, foreign guarantees, for the benefit of all Cypriots and all legal residents, allowing thus people to return to their hometowns and villages, he added.
Prodromou also told the Pyroi delegation that their request to open a checkpoint in their village is one of the measures being discussed.
Adamou said they are ready to assist the Technical Committees by providing information about their village. According to Adamou, the church of St. Antypas, perhaps the oldest byzantine church in Cyprus, is close to the road that they want to reopen while mass graves believed to contain the remains of missing persons are also near it.
According to the resolution, Pyroi refugees call for a viable and functioning solution to the Cyprus problem, in the framework of a bizonal bicommunal federation, which will put an end to the country’s occupation.
They also note that the status quo is unacceptable and state their determination to continue their efforts until they are allowed to return to their community.