Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Misiaoulis were proponents of peace between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities on the island of Cyprus during the period of intercommunal violence. Both were members of community party AKEL whilst Misiaolis was also a PEO trade union official. The two were shot to death on April 11, 1965 when they were ambushed on the Nicosia – Larnaca road, near the village of Goshi Both are held as symbols of Greek-Turkish friendship.
AKEL in Britain in conjuction with the Turkish Cypriot Democratic Association held an event to honour and celebrate the memory of Dervis Ali Kavazoglu and Costa Mishiaouli who laid down their lives for the friendship between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and peaceful co-existence of the Cypriot people at a very well attended event on Wednesday 18th April 2012 At the Cypriot Community Centre, Wood Green. Main Speaker was Stella Mishiaouli Demetriou AKEL MP also a speaker was Sila Ulucay from the Cypriot Youth Platform. Greetings were also be given by Bambos Charalambous Secretary of AKEL in Britain And Hasan Raif President-Turkish Cypriot Democratic Association also a cultural programme followed with a music presentation from Mehmet Raif. Poems were read by Iacovos Prodromou and Ayca Saragoglu. MC for the evening was Gokay Ucar Vice Chairman of the Cypriot Community Centre in Wood Green.
SPEECH OF THE AKEL – LEFT – NEW FORCES MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
AT THE EVENT ORGANISED TO COMMEMORATE AND HONOUR
KAVAZOGLU – MISIAOULI
April 18, 2012
Organised by: AKEL in Britain & Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy (KTDD)
Allow me, first of all to say that it is for me a great pleasure to be here with you. Neither distance, nor the years that have passed have been able to silence your voice that joins with the voice of all Cypriots fighting for the liberation and reunification of our island.
It was Sunday, a sunny morning in April, 47 years ago when the whole family woke up together and we were asking our dad to take us for a visit to his village, Agios Epiphanios. He hugged us and promised us that after he went to Larnaca for an important job until noon, he would return and take us to grandpa (pappou) in the afternoon. Instead, just before noon we had an unexpected visit from the police first and then from our comrades Evgenoula and Yiannis Katsourides, the parents of comrade Nikos Katsourides, who informed my mother of the tragic incident. I and my sister Electra, were playing carefree in the neighborhood and our mother called us because she wanted us to be near her. Although the memory of what we went through in those days still hurts, I felt the need to share it with you, to show that the pain is still the same today and I believe that the soothing of the pain and vindication of their sacrifice, will be the solution of theCyprusproblem and the reunification of our homeland.
With the assassination of Misiaouli and Kavazoglu the TMT nationalists believed that they would stifle the struggle of our people for peaceful coexistence of the two communities. They believed that with this cowardly assassination of party activists, and of other Turkish Cypriot comrades at the time, they would terrorise AKEL. They managed the opposite though. They failed to bury ideas, values and timeless principles that illuminate our soul, our mind and our struggle for the future of our country. They failed and continue to fail to see that fascism and violence can damage and kill the body, but never ideas. They murdered them in cold blood in the car, on the old Nicosia-Larnaca road on April 11, 1965. They found them covered in blood, embraced as a fist. They have since become a symbol of Greek-Turkish friendship. Their sacrifice became a beacon and banner for the continuance of the struggle until the reunification of our island. Costas Misiaoulis and Dervis Ali Kavazoglu have rightfully been placed in the pantheon of heroes of the Popular Movement of Cyprus.
We are proud that AKEL nurtured fighters, who walked the road of ideals and left the most precious legacies to our people. Their sacrifice is completely intertwined with the our history, ideology and practice. The sacrifice of the two braves has been etched within us as the example of real rapprochement and reunification. It is a sacrifice that captivated the hearts and minds of thousands. It became a source of inspiration, courage and determination for the rest of us to continue our struggle for the salvation ofCyprus. It is the symbol of resistance to the illegal designs of the enemies of theCyprusRepublicand their local supporters. Following the treacherous coup and Turkish invasion and occupation, it became a symbol of rapprochement and common struggle for liberation from the occupation and the reunification of our country and our people. With their actions and sacrifice they became children of the entire Cypriot people and worthy children ofCyprus.
They gave the ultimate good, their life, and put into practice our ideology, with the vision of people living under the same sky peacefully, freely, away from imperialist interests.
The Cyprus problem was and remains primarily an international problem of invasion and occupation of an independent UN member state. A problem of human rights abuses of the whole Cypriot people. A problem of violation of the independence and territorial integrity of theCyprusRepublic. This is why we all, quite rightly, consider that the key to the solution is in the hands ofAnkara and those forces of the international community, who either close their eyes to its callousness or tolerate it.
Now, as always, we are fighting for a bizonal, bicommunal federation as the form of solution that will reunite our state. A solution that will freeCyprusfrom occupation and colonization and protect the unity and integrity of our state. A state with one citizenship, one international personality and sovereignty. These parameters we must not forget have been agreed for the first time in a joint statement with the Turkish Cypriot side. A solution which will demilitarizeCyprusand free it from foreign armies, guarantees, intervention rights, settlers and dependencies.
A solution, then that would restore human rights and freedoms including the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties. A solution that will be viable and functional in order to endure over time and under potential difficulties.
In relation to the international aspect of theCyprusproblem the Government is trying, in a world defined by self-interests, to pursue a foreign policy that helps solve theCyprusproblem. A foreign policy that appeals to all groups of countries, not only to the West, or the Anglo-Americans. Historically, our understanding of the interests ofCyprusand its people did not coincide with some imperialist interests which some served under a nationalist mantle.
TheCyprusissue, however, also has an internal aspect which relates to the relations between the two communities. As far as the Greek Cypriot side is concerned, the first thing we must answer is whether we really accept the kind of solution and the sharing of power that the reunification of the state entails in principle: whether we acknowledge a role for the other community. A role but not excessive privileges and safeguards that will ensure the unity of the state, allowing all of us to adopt it as our own. A solution that takes into account the realities that were created in our country after the double crime of 1974 but at the same time, the internationally acknowledged principles of law. As AKEL we respond clearly with our enduring struggles and everyday action. Unfortunately, some politicians and political parties, especially in light of electoral competitions, mince their words and muddy their intentions. It is the turn, however, of all political forces, which at some stage ruled the county to find answers to these questions, equally clearly, so the people know where everyone stands.
For AKEL, the unity of the state, its functionality and the protection of basic human rights and freedoms of all citizens of the future reunified state (T/C and G/C) determine the philosophy of our positions and our proposals. Any solution that puts the interests of one community ahead of those of the other and that is not based on a mutually acceptable compromise will not be able to survive. Equally important is mutual respect for both communities on the island. We can not treat the Turkish Cypriots as intruders and this should be understood at last. The T/Cs need us and we need them. If the day comes when there will be no longer any T/C supporters of the solution and the reunification things will be tragic.
During the thirty-eight years which have elapsed since 1974, we stood on two pillars around which we built our efforts for reunification. A solution based on principles, as I have described above, and a solution based on the high level agreements of 1977 and 1979, the UN resolutions, from a given point on the EU law and EU principles and on the joint communiqués. The above are not simply theory though. For example, once we have accepted the existence of two communities and the two regions which each community will administer, we basically accept a bizonal bicommunal federation. As for the packaging and the name, this could be referred to as bi-communal, bi-regional or whatever. It is not that, which is important but the content. That is, the basic principles of the solution, especially those of one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality should be present in any plans for a solution.
That is what we seek in the negotiations: the application of these principles in any form of the solution. Let not some people run away with themselves in prescribing solutions that neither AKEL nor the President has accepted or will accept. Nor should they judge us based on the positions expressed or deposited by the other side, which unfortunately continues to move in unacceptable parameters. We have not accustomed the people to opportunistic choices. For eighty-six years we operate with consistency and responsibility. We will not sacrifice our history and our political identity by presenting to the people a proposed solution, which we know in advance can not function or that it will operate to the detriment of all our people.
Of course, the T/Cs and Mr. Eroglu must realise that neither the complete subjugation to the will ofAnkaraserves them, nor will the pseudo-state protect them as a community, nor is the flow of settlers for their benefit or interest; on the contrary. The consequences of a bad solution will be the same as the consequences of a non-solution and partition. Unfortunately, at this stage of the negotiations and especially since the emergence of Eroglu as the leader of the T/C community, the T/C and Turkish side submit proposals that fall outside the agreed basis of the solution. That’s why the road ahead is difficult and painful, and it needs unity at least among us to address these pitfalls.
Unfortunately, even today, we hear voices for a change to the agreed framework for a solution for changing strategy and tactics. As AKEL we have always put the following question without ever getting an answer: if we reject a bizonal, bicommunal federation, then what will be the solution? What is this solution that will be functional and viable? How will the international community react to this when we ourselves ask for their support, based on the decisions and resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations? If we, today as theRepublicofCypruschange the agreed framework will this not help the Turkish side to extricate itself from the agreed basis of the solution? Therefore the dilemma is not a federation or something else. It is federation or partition. If there are political forces that choose partition, let them say it clearly to the people ofCyprus.
Some repeatedly make statements that the President of theRepublicofCyprus, Demetris Christofias, must withdraw the proposals tabled in the negotiations. That these are unacceptable concessions. So short is their memory that they do not remember that they have the support of the previous presidents, Gl. Clerides and T. Papadopoullos? If they do not remember they should refer to the minutes of the National Council. AKEL has repeatedly and evidently proved to them that the past Presidents have also accepted settlers and the rotating presidency at the negotiating table. If these proposals constitute a retreat, then why do the Turkish side and Eroglu stubbornly refuse to accept them?
We hear from the opposition that President Christofias is turningCyprusintoTurkey(‘Turkeyfying’ – Tourkopoiei). Is it really AKEL, and its then General Secretary who organized the coup of 74 which surrenderedCyprusto the Turkish invaders? Can Mr. Anastasiadis not see thatCyprusever since is being turned intoTurkey(tourkopoieitai) daily, with the rampant colonization and military build-up taking place in the occupied territories? AKEL and Dimitris Christofias, resisted the double crime against our country and our people, they fought long before 74 to prevent the treacherous coup, and now struggle to reverse its consequences. This is what Demetris Christofias does at the negotiating table, consistently and honestly to achieve an equitable, under the circumstances, solution.
The anxiety of some to accede to the Presidential throne leads to them changing their policies to fulfill their ambitions. It does not surprise us that Mr. Anastasiadis, after contacts with the Centre parties, stated that he has no disagreements with anyone. Until recently, not only did he disagree with these views expressed by DIKO, EDEK and others, but he accused them of not wanting the solution of theCyprusproblem. A rationally thinking person would ask why Mr.. Anastasiadis has changed his positions. Is this a genuine change or is it to elicit political support as a presidential candidate in the upcoming presidential elections? We insist that the elections should be mainly about political positions so as to give the opportunity to the people ofCyprus, to assess, evaluate and take a stand on the policies proposed by each political party on the important issues currently facing the people ofCyprus. Past experience has shown that general and vague cooperation frameworks can not be the basis upon which to build a healthy partnership.
For us in AKEL rapprochement has never been an opportunistic policy or a policy that changes according to partisan considerations, or that which is undertaken at the instigation of others. For us, rapprochement is a component of our struggle for a just and viable solution, and has a crucial role and socio-political content. It is born of the common class and political struggles with progressive T/Cs. Struggles in which we lost many of our comrades culminating in the sacrifice of Misiaouli and Kavazoglu.
We believe that rapprochement was and is a matter for Cypriots themselves. We are convinced that it is a political position and not a psychological attitude as some want to present it. We need honest dialogue between us because a problem that exists for thirty-eight years is not going to be solved only by meetings of the two leaders to achieve the solution, the people must be ready to accept the solution as well.
The policy of rapprochement is the answer to nationalism and chauvinism in our country, which unfortunately has recently taken on new dimensions. It is our duty, as the progressive force of this country to resist nationalist practices and ideas that can only wound and condemn our country. We do not want to relive tragic moments of the past. We do not want other people dead, missing, mothers and sisters dressed in black, refugees in their own country. We want to live together in circumstances of security, justice and development. It is our duty to forge our voices and to resist the partitionist plans ofTurkeyand its allies.
Comrades and compatriots,
I want to close my speech with the words of Dervis Ali Kavazoglu spoken in 1964 at a gathering of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, powerful words that touch the heart but also timely words that show the path of fight and struggle which we will not stop until our country is liberated.
“Put an end to disaster. Your historical duty awaits you! … Move … But today. Because maybe tomorrow will be too late. To stop this calamity now! Live, continue! Long live peace! Long live friendship! ”
Long live our Party!
Honour and glory to our heroes!
Long live ourCyprus!
Specch from Bambos Charalambous General Secretary AKEL UK
Dear Compatriots, Comrades & Friends
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all, on behalf of AKEL in Britain, to tonight’s event to honour and commemorate the sacrifice of Dervish Ali Kavazoglou and Costas Mishiaouli, two true Cypriots, who together, since their murder on 11th of April 1965, became the symbols of friendship between all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish.
We are especially delighted to welcome to London and in our midst, Stella Dimitriou-Mishiaouli, Akel’s member of the House of Representatives, a Member of the of the Central Committee of AKEL and the daughter of our hero, the late Costa Mishiaouli. We very honoured and delighted, since it is the first time that Stella takes part in such an event in London, to commemorate the lives of our heroes Kavazoglou & Mishiaouli
Although Dervish Ali Kavazoglou, a Member of Akel’s Central Committee, and Costas Mishiaouli, a leading Member of AKEL and a Trade Unionist, were brutally murdered 47 years ago, their sacrifice is still fresh in our minds and hearts, because of what they stood for, their struggle remains unfinished and our common country is divided into two. 47 years later, our own people still cannot live and work in any part of the country they want to.
As in previous years, once again, we are gathered here together – Greek-Cypriots, Turkish-Cypriots, Maronites and Armenian Cypriots – not just to remember and honour them, but also to reaffirm our own involvement in the long struggle for a United, Federal, Cyprus, a common country for all Cypriots and to send a strong message to our homeland that united, we can achieve wonders.
Being here together as one people for this special dedication, allows us to honour the memory of two exceptional sons of Cyprus, whose names, for many years to come, will represent the true martyrs of friendship, freedom and democracy.
I take this opportunity to thank the Turkish Cypriot Democratic Association, an organisation which for many years has co-operated and worked with AKEL in Britain for the organisation of tonight’s event, that sends back to our common country a true message that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can work and create so much together as one people, as long as they are left alone to do so.
However, before I finish, I would like to thank the Central Committee of AKEL and, of course, Stella Mishiaouli – who, despite all her responsibilities, commitments and pressures, responded so positively to our invitation.
I would like to conclude by wishing Stella and AKEL every success in their struggle for a free united Cyprus. Here in Britain, especially this evening, we have shown that Turkish and Greek-Cypriots are ready to continue the unfinished struggle for a Free United Federal Cyprus, where all its lawful residents can live and work together for the prosperity of future generations.
That is exactly the reason why our President Demetris Christofias is working extremely hard, with all our comrades and all the people who love peace and freedom behind him, to find a just and viable solution for all Cypriots.
We, Greek and Turkish Cypriots in Britain, stand by him and fully support his efforts for a positive result on the direct negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglou for a solution that will unite our common country and safeguard the rights of all Cypriots.
Long live the memory of our two true beloved Cypriots, Dervish Ali Kavazoglou and Costas Mishiaouli, and all the other compatriots who sacrificed their lives for a free united Cyprus.
Long live the Cypriot People.
Long live a Free United Cyprus
Secretary – AKEL in Britain
18th April 2012