By Antonis Elias Kasapis
I am a Cypriot.
Neither Greek nor Turk.
I am of Christian Catholic Maronite religion, not because I chose to be so but because I was born into it.
I have many close relatives who are of different religions, Christian Orthodox, Moslem, Christian Protestant, and others.
I love Cyprus and it is my only country, my motherland.
I was born in Cyprus 60 years ago, in 1956.
In a place near my village, there is a military camp which existed in all my life.
In this camp, I saw three different flags. First it was the British Flag, then it was the Greek Flag, and then, since today, it was the Turkish Flag.
The flags of three different countries, supposedly the guarantors of my own country, the Republic of Cyprus.
In all my life I have been learning about the same things, in two different ways.
What was good for the Greek speaking Christian Cypriots was bad for the Turkish speaking Moslem Cypriots. And vice versa.
What was a heroic act for the one side, was a barbaric act for the other one.
What one side called a massacre, was called fighting for freedom by the other side.
Both sides have been “fighting for liberty and justice” for decades.
And the result?
We have made our country, from a beautiful island in the Mediterranean which could have been one of the happiest places in the world, into one of the most unhappy places on earth.
We have turned it into a place where our children have no future.
We have given half of it to one ‘mother’ country and the other half to the other ‘mother’ country, who use their respective halves for their own purposes, not really being concerned about the real welfare of the legitimate inhabitants of the island, the real Cypriots.
And the third ‘guarantor; power, Britain, having secured what was wanted by her, watches indifferently, taking care only to prolong the stalemate, playing the divide and rule game, and really being concerned only about safeguarding its own interest in continuing to use the ‘sovereign’ bases on the island freely and without any problems by the locals, who are kept busy fighting between them. Can we blame them?
Every time there is even a theoretical chance for some kind of a solution to be reached, the powerful forces that have big interest in keeping the island divided and the status of uncertainty continuing, intervene and make sure they destroy the progress towards the solution.
They have set supposed ‘red lines’ beyond which they are not able to accept a solution.
They make sure that these red lines are so far apart that a solution will be impossible.
They use their influence in the education system of each side, the religious establishment of each side, the public media and propaganda machines of each side, to present a possible agreement, where compromises beyond the artificial ‘red lines’ will have to be made, as unacceptable betrayal of the nationalistic pride of their side.
They hide their economic and other parasitic interests behind the mask of patriotism and religion.
These are the real enemies of the people of Cyprus.
These are the main responsible people for the suffering of the people of Cyprus.
These are the enemies that we must face and we must overcome if we will ever manage to change our beautiful country to what it should be, the ONLY motherland for ALL its own children, of any religion, of any language, but of ONE motherland, Cyprus.