By Andromachi Sophocleous*
I find abhorrent what happened against my Turkish Cypriot compatriots in Ayia Napa a few days ago. People being attacked because of what their number plates indicate is not the society I want to live in. This island has suffered a lot from extremists who wanted to impose their version of what Cyprus should be like. If we have learnt anything from the mistakes of our past, we should be prepared to stand up against such behaviour and prove that we are not willing to allow them to turn Cyprus into a conflict zone again. The majority of Cypriots is peaceful and is also powerful enough so as to set aside such fascist actions and prove that it wants a united island.
For this to happen though, the prompt enforcement of law and justice is necessary. In order to hinder chaos and distrust from spreading, sabotaging the very foundations of any solution, the whole Greek Cypriot society should demand that the people who did it are brought to justice and punished. If we are serious about a common future, then our reflexes in such situations should be fast and effective. If we can’t prevent extremist actions from occurring, then a prompt law enforcement system should be in place to make sure that the culprits are punished immediately. The contrary might be detrimental.
Negotiations regarding a solution are taking place at the moment. No solution though can be viable if the people on this island do not feel safe to go around, if they cannot trust each other to co-exist peacefully and in respect of each other. If the citizens do not feel safe in their everyday endeavours, then this island cannot prosper as no solution can be feasible. The most important guarantee for this island, is trust and confidence in each other and we need to work on establishing that.
I visit the North frequently and never have I felt threatened or in danger and I want this to be the case with my Turkish Cypriot compatriots as well. This is our island and we should feel safe at every inch of it; be it in the North, South, East or West. We have been deprived from getting to know our island for a long time now. Let us isolate and punish that small group of fascists who once again, want to stand in the way of that. We have suffered so much from racism and hatred. If we have progressed as a society let us prove that this time round, we will not tolerate it.
*This comment first appeared translated in Turkish on 27/06/16 , on https://t.co/Y7JHOjDFim