By Christos Panayiotides
Takis Hadjidemetriou is one of the few Cypriot politicians I respect a great deal. He is a politician in the broader sense of the word, and, unlike most, he genuinely cares about Cyprus.
His work as co-chairman of the Bicommunal Technical Committee for the Cultural Heritage of Cyprus was outstanding. He has literally saved from certain destruction many important cultural monuments – both Greek and Turkish.
In parallel, he has set out to present the contemporary history of Cyprus under a different light. He has set out to explain in simple, readily comprehensible, but well-documented terms, what has gone wrong in the past 75 years and is currently threatening the very survival of Cyprus, as we have known it for centuries.
His first book in this series was published in 2018 and covered the period from 1950 to 1959. The second book, which followed in 2021, covered the period from 1959 to 1964 and the third book, which has just been published, covers the period from 1964 to 1967. All three books have been published by the well-known Greek publisher Papazisis.
The thrust of his arguments as to what has gone wrong is the lack of foresight on the part of Greek Cypriot leaders and their inability to take the right decisions at the right time, resulting in perpetuating and compounding the problem to an incredible extent. Takis Hadjidemetriou assigns the lion’s share for what has happened to Makarios. I must say that I entirely agree with the author’s overall conclusion, which is adequately documented.
However, what is amazing about the books Takis Hadjidemetriou has written is that the reader cannot trace any elements of vengefulness, bitterness, anger, hatred or vindictiveness. What the reader can easily sense is a feeling of sorrow and melancholy for the past and of anguish for the future.
In reading his last book, which was formally presented by the publishers last Tuesday, November 7, at the Journalists House in Nicosia, what I found striking was the absolute lack of lamenting and grieving, which one often finds in Greek Cypriot literature. On the contrary, the author appears committed and determined to continue striving to arrest Cyprus’ downfall and to encourage other Cypriots to do the same.
It is a pity that the book, recently published under the title “The Republic of Cyprus 1964-1967: From Militancy to Military Rule”, is only available in Greek. However, as the author informally told me, an English edition is being discussed. He also told me that he is already working on his next book covering the period from 1967 to 1974.
Takis, carry on your good work. You are providing a great service to your homeland.
Christos Panayiotides is a retired CPA