The symposium ‘No future without forgiveness’ starting Cyprus Peace Day activities focused on the need of forgiveness and reconciliation aiming to create bridges between communities and generations in Cyprus.
At the symposium a presentation by Mr John McKinney sharing the Northern Ireland experience, was followed by Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots sharing common stories of sorrow, forgiveness and friendship!
The keynote speaker John McKinney from Northern Ireland. had a significant role in forgiveness and reconciliation after the terrible bombing in Omagh in 1998 as chief executive of the Omagh council gave him worldwide recognition. John’s speech focused on the significance of citizen peace building and its eventual connection with a political settlement drawing examples from Northern Ireland and referring to the Good Friday Agreement. He also suggested possible connections with Cyprus in this critical phase of our history.
Αfter Mr John McKinney presentation well-known personalities of Cyprus Huseyin Akansoy,Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, Petros Souppouris, Esra Aygin, Hasan Kahvecioglou and Costas Yennaris shared personal stories of friendship with someone from the other community.
Erato Kozakou Marcoullis:
After that a short presentation held by four ‘pairs’ representing four generations of Cypriots: a ‘pair’ of teens, two in their 30’s, two in their 50’s and two in their 70’s. Each pair shared its story in an attempt to show both the past and the hope for a common future.
Yiannis Maratheytis and Fethi Akinci:
Eleni Partakki and Esin Saracoglu
Loizos Kapsalis and Suleyman Gelener:
The morning session closed with a ceremony of forgiveness and reconciliation where people from both communities who have lost loved ones placed flowers in the memory of these people. The event closed with one minute of healing silence in memory of everyone who was lost. This mutual acknowledging of each other’s pain, is very significant for the process of the healing of the wounds of the past.