Your comrades, your gardas (Note: brothers in Turkish), the construction workers on scaffolds, the skilled workers, the office workers and employees, students, pupils, the toilers and people of labour. The people of the Arts and Letters, of culture. The simple and common people are crying for you. Today they are pinning their tears on your collar, the final and greatest medal.
All those who struggled with you, who fought with you, who laughed and cried with you.
All those who you marched with at the forefront are crying for you today.
You leave us as you came in the same way. Untarnished. Honest. With dignity and integrity till the very end.
With your head held high because as a communist and as a human being you fulfilled your duty.
Health problems plagued you all your life. But you didn’t not give in. You struggled and smiled with our mum standing as a solid rock on our side. You didn’t deserve the illness that pained you till the end.
Farewell and rest assured. You leave behind you, like a good ploughman, thousands.
We, your children, will always carry with us your surname. But we know that this means nothing if we do not honour the name you leave behind. The Demetris of the struggle for Cyprus, for the Party, for the working people, for the youth, for the people, for culture, for peace and friendship.
You weren’t the husband and father that imposed yourself. You were a man that made us believe; who made us believe deeply and truly in principles, values and ideas, the noblest that the human mind has given birth to.
You were the one who, together with our mum, taught us first and foremost to be humane. You taught us to give and not take. You taught us to love, not to use. You taught us to look directly in people’s eyes, not to look down on people. You taught us to be fighters in life.
You always had a multitude of duties, many things to do and little time to dedicate to us. However, you made that little time we spent together worth a whole life because no matter how many responsibilities you undertook to fulfil you always found time and the will not just to talk, but to listen to us. To discuss with us about political and party issues and about our personal issues. You knew how to enjoy with us a good movie, a beautiful poem, a good theatrical play and a wonderful concert.
You taught us love because you yourself knew to love. You loved people, life and nature. Whenever you could you took care of your orchard and yard. You were proud of your crop. You invited with an open heart all your friends to cook yourself. It was your own way of showing your love for them
One of the last times we saw you smiling with all your heat was when the people from your village Dikomo, the refugee association “Dikomo 74”, honoured you.
Dikomo was your starting point and we knew how much the passion for reunification, the passion for Dikomo to again become your destination burned inside you.
You left Dikomo on the day of the coup d’état with our mum with just the clothes you were wearing and Marianna just 40 days old baby. You looked those who stopped you with their Kalashnikov machine guns straight in the eye. You looked them in the eye and they took down their guns. He himself confided in us years later that one of them stood before you and with tears in his eyes asked you: ”Will you ever forgive me?” and you kissed him and told him: “If only everybody would do the same as you are doing now…”
That’s our dad. A courageous man, who didn’t yield or give in. A man who knew to love and forgive.
Your integrity was α thorn and a problem for many. For us, it’s a matter of pride.
Your faith in our ideology was an obstacle for many. For us it is the flame that will always be giving an example to us.
You were a good listener, you listened and weighed up things, but you also had a well-documented clear opinion. And when decisions were taken you always led the way in implementing them, regardless of view you may have had personally.
You loved passionately and deeply young people. You were always thinking about EDON Youth Organisation, you always viewed young people as a priority from whatever post you assumed. Besides, with every opportunity you made time to be near young people, to discuss with them and feel their pulse.
You loved Cyprus and its people enormously and profoundly. For you, the slogan “The Turkish Cypriots are not our enemies, the Turkish Cypriots are our brothers” was sacred. You passed away with the pain of our homeland still divided. Your pain is our oath. We shall continue every hour, every day, to struggle more intensively, all of us and many others too, to unite our homeland and people. Be sure of that.
You perceived the working class as one. You struggled for the working class all over the world. Internationalism was a fundamental component part in your activity.
You were easily filled with emotions, often shedding a tear. Many pointed this out mockingly.
It’s true. Your eyes filled with tears when you remembered the veteran comrades. Ezekias, Poumbouris, Kourtellaris, Katsouras, Demetriades.
When you were talking about Harilaos Florakis.
When you were referring to Ozger Ozgur.
When you remembered that concert with Maria Demetriadou.
When you were listening to the voice of Kazantzides singing “I’ll smash you, unjust world”.
When you were talking about the Soviet Union, socialism-communism.
When you were hearing the poetry of Ritsos, Livaditis, Anthias, Pierides and Liasides.
When you were meeting people and they were telling you their problems.
When you were hearing your kids singing at the family gatherings.
When you saw your grandchildren take their very first steps.
Dad, you cried because you remained human, gentle and sensitive. This is the greatest legacy you have left us.
Farewell dad. May you rest in peace.
We, the grandchildren of “the washer” will consider it an honour and are proud of it.
We will always talk with pride about how the necessity became History and we will not let History become silence.
Now and forever.