Strange and hard to explain incidents have been taking place in the south of the island. More frankly, since December 2009 a new process has begun in Cyprus. This process is hard to name or to describe in a framework. However, developments point in a singular direction for those interested: be pessimistic regarding the future. Peace talks continue on the island. Much headway has been made in the negotiations up until now. There are of course some important and some unimportant points on which reconciliation has not been made. However, it seems that the future of the island will not be determined by the negotiating process, but by the “parallel process” taking place in the south of the island.
What has been happening on the island, or the southern part of it to be more precise, indicate that the “panic button” has been pressed. It seems that the panic but was pushed in early December 2009. On the 3rd of December 2009, the slogan “Cyprus is Turkish” was written on the wall of the Greek Cypriot Presidential Palace, in a manner no one could understand or explain. The slogan, reminiscent of the 60s, naturally discomforted the Greek Cypriots. Somehow, it was never uncovered who was responsible for the graffiti. A few days after this strange incident, on the 8th of December, the cars owned by Cypriot Turks crossing over to the south through the Metehan Border were imprinted with “EOKA” with spray paint. EOKA has a place in the personal and collective memory of the Cypriot Turks which is very difficult to override.
In the 60s many Turks were killed, Turkish settlements set on fire and heavy pressure brought to bear on the Turks by EOKA. In all probability, had EOKA existed in the 90s and acted in the same way it did in the 60s, the international community would have reacted to it in the same way it did to what happened in Bosnia and Kosovo. While the Greek Cypriots tried to make sense of the “Cyprus is Turkish” slogan written on the walls of the presidential palace and “EOKA” written on cars owned by the Turks visiting the south, something else happened. On the 11th of December the remains of former Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos were stolen from his tomb, a day before the first anniversary of his death.
According to the statement made by the Greek Cypriot police, those who stole the remains did not use any machinery. They also used to their advantage the power cut which occurred between 3:58 am and 4:50 am, as they were on the act. The perpetrators, who, having dislodged the tomb stone weighting 250 kilos, dug up the grave which is almost 2 metres deep with shovels and picks, reached the coffin, took the remains and got away with great professionalism, spreading two bags of lime around the grave in order to hide their tracks. While society underwent great surprise, other developments were to follow.
Later, on the 7th of January 2010, Papadopoulos’ empty grave was once again targeted. This time the Greek flag at mast by the tomb was cut loose and thrown to the ground. On the 10th of January the grave of the former Greek leader Spiros Kipiyanu was attacked. The perpetrators cut off the Greek Cypriot and Greek flags from their masts. The event which followed graffiti on walls and cars and attacks on tombs showed that the parallel process had geared up: on the 11th of January Andis Hacikostis, the media boss known for his lenient stance was murdered. No one, who is responsible for these mysterious incidents has been caught. However the far right and probably pre-fabricated organisation Hrisi Avgi (the Golden Dawn) is named in rumours.
The enigmatic process seems set to continue. The milestones of the parallel process which began in Cyprus during the most crucial stages of the negotiations makes the claim that someone has pushed the panic button on the island appear a rational guess. The Greek Cypriot people are rightfully anxious. None of these events are ordinary or forgettable. While the Greek Cypriots watch the news on television, they also remember the official propaganda which has been placed in their subconscious since their childhood; do the Turks really want the whole of the island to themselves? Were these attacks carried out by the Turks? Will everything be worse if in spring the leaders agree on a solution and the sides approve of it? When one makes a list of all that has taken place, one gets the impression that they were all carried out by a single group.
On needs to think with the logic of Agatha Christie. The obvious suspect is certainly unrelated with the incidents and the criminal is the one who has something to gain from the crime. In no country –not even in Cyprus- can the death of a media magnate, three attacks on the tombs of two former presidents and hostile graffiti on the walls of the presidential palace and cars parked in town within the space of one and a half months can be a coincidence. Those who have pressed the panic button on the island want to be prepared for the scenarios for the process that will come after the completion of the peace negotiations on the island in order to prevent peace on the island by uniting all Greek Cypriots behind a single political view.
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