Our photo shows the entrance to the Ledra Palace checkpoint, viewed from the south side, from the "European Union" areas of Cyprus. Please read the directives on the signs, left and right. The same signs exist for those crossing back south, coming from the north.The enlarged area (please click on the photo), shows a policeman of the republic stationed there to enforce the directives of the shameful signs.
There is no proper way to express in words the disgust and shame this situation generates - who would have ever expected that the sick and pathetic contemptible little bureaucrats who operate and lead the republic of Cyprus, would have chosen now - at this most crucial time and place - to make into public policy the contents of their racist petty minds?
Even though the invading armies of the north - which still occupy half of the island - are the actual force which generated genocide and the division of our communities, uprooting with violence both of our ethnic and religious communities from their homes, and forcing us - as refugees in our own lands and as exiles to distant countries - to become estranged from language, customs, places of worship, and to be denied basic human and political rights, it is the idiots who hold the "legal" republic in their hands, who are the ones stumbling about, pretending to the world and to themselves that they are "masters of diplomacy", "great leaders" and such, who are the twisted characters of this story. At least the occupation regime is honest when expressing its genocidal campaigns.
How on earth can the "progressives" and "leftists" and "greens" and "revolutionary socialists" who got the recent government elected justify what these signs here say?
So, who is the "great diplomat" who came up with this racist policy at the Ledra Palace checkpoint? What justification can there ever be for dividing us according to our ethnic identity? The only thing that matters in the traffic of people crossing the divide these days, is whether a person is a resident of the areas (still) controlled by the republic, and whether a person is a citizen, or not.
There are so many other options to create rational and manageable traffic control at the checkpoint. Why not use signs with concepts such as "leaving/ entering/ returning/ towards" and concepts such as: "areas controlled by the republic", "European Union- affiliated areas", or just plain "north/ south"?
Also, there are concepts such as: "residents of Ö" "citizens ofÖ" "holders of identity cards" "holders of passports", and so on.
The options are many, they are flexible, they are easy to use. They can be helpful to any person and even the dumbest of bureaucrats can understand them and work with them.
Why is it our ethnic identities which matter in dividing us into these lines at the checkpoint? Which line should be chosen by the Turkish -Cypriot who has been a resident of Paphos for the last thirty years?
What prevented the "poet" who came up with this racist division of our people, to stop and think "what am I doing here?". The answer is too simple, actually, and thatís why itís so difficult to accept it, but itís the plain truth: it is straight-forward, uncomplicated, pig-headed racism, backed up by the power and authority of the State.
The Cyprus Indymedia Collective
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Our logo was inspired by an original work of art created by Kareen,
a friend and supporter of Indymedia, to whom we are very grateful. We incorporated
a Stony Sun to Kareen's magnificently rendered Stone-built Arch: both of
these images work together now, evoking the unfinished work of bridging
the distances between our communities; celebrating the traditional ecological
use of natural materials from the earth. A sterile Sun made of stone, evokes
the barrenness of the Cyprus skies, and dots the
A copy of the original work by Kareen is here: Stone-built
The day no one ever expected!
Everyone had wished for this day to arrive - in a sudden move, the occupation
regime in the north of Cyprus has allowed freedom of movement back and
forth for residents of both sides of our divided island. Itís a restricted
form of movement, but the restrictions are moderate, opening wonderful
possibilities! - and dangers.
1. Now that itís dawning on us that we might visit each other, visit our homelands, spend time in all the locations we all dreamed of for decades, there needs to be time for all us to become accustomed to our feelings, to our memories, to each other. This needs to happen at many levels: we need to experience the developments as individuals, as families, as members of our communities *and* also together, re-united as members of the separate communities with our different identities *and* - for some of us who have particular needs stemming from our political action - in our identities as radicals, outcasts, exiles, misfits, "rejects", enemies of the establishment in each of our own communities. There needs to be time for all this to happen, for all of it to be experienced in peace, for the rivers of emotions to find their natural flow.
2. There may not be time. Now is the period of greatest danger, between Mayday of 2004 and now, before the final signature activates the formal entry of Cyprus in the EU. It would be so easy for one murder, or for a series of lethal incidents, to be engineered between our peoples and to begin the blood- feud again. Military action is not far away from civil unrest. Civil unrest can be created very easily by the manipulators of crowds and by the leaders of organizations who have either dark intentions, or no brains at all. Both of these realities, evil motives and brainless stupidity, have been determining the fate of this country for too long. Letís not allow them to take any dangerous initiatives now.
Bicommunal re-approachment groups have a special role to play right now. Most of them, led by parties of the establishment, or affiliated with the governments of the US and the EU, will have their agenda created for them and we will see how that will evolve.
Independent and radical bi-communal groups, such as KaliMerhaba and Cyprus Indymedia, are going to have to find the correct direction very soon, so as to be in the forefront of events, bringing whatever positive and helpful presense and insight we may have.
But for now, letís start with accepting the simple fact that we are all stunned.