A ceremony was held yesterday to commemorate the 126 people who were killed by the Greek Cypriot terrorist organization EOKA on 14 August 1974 in the villages of Muratağa, Sandallar and Atlılar.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Mustafa Akıncı said that the incidents experienced on 14 August 1974 were “inhuman savagery”. He stressed that these incidents should never be forgotten, so that they can never be allowed to happen again.
President Akıncı continued, “No matter how we decide to shape our future, we must establish a peaceful relationship on these lands. We will continue our lives as two equal polities on this island, as there is no other way.”
The President also said that the Greek Cypriot side’s reluctance to share a federal government with the Turkish Cypriots has been demonstrated once again in the negotiations. He said, “It cannot continue like this forever. Somehow, we will find a way to live together, and regardless of the circumstances in which we live together in the future, the lessons learned from these experiences must be remembered”.
Emphasizing that it is important to educate future generations about these experiences and the lessons learned, Akıncı said, “In both societies, future generations should be raised and educated as ‘peaceful generations’. We are doing our part, we may be missing something or be wrong, but we do not educate our children to be racist.”
He pointed out that students in the North are not taught that the Greek Cypriot side is the enemy, and said, “Organizations like ELAM will never exist among us. They could never grow. We have a right-wing party, a left-wing party, a social democratic party and a liberal party but we do not have a racist party. There are many Greek Cypriots who do not want to hear ‘the Turkish name’ in Cyprus, that throw stones at Turkish cars, that swear at Turkish Cypriots, and that want to close the crossing points. They are the members of an organization called ELAM, which has 2 seats in the Greek Cypriot Assembly.”