Panicos’ Chrysanthou latest film was played in front of a full house at the Cypriot Community Centre’s Theatre on Tuesday 8th April 2024. Organised by the AKEL in Britain and the Turkish Cypriot Association (T.C.A) for Democracy, the film screening was part of a larger event to commemorate the memory of Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishaoulis, true Cypriot heroes who gave their lives for the Greek-Turkish Cypriot friendship, who have been murdered by the fascist organisation TMT.

This time round the organisers opted out to do something different than before, to show a documentary titled ‘’Flowers and Bullets’’, made by Panicos Chrysanthou and Niyazi Kızılyürek with Giorgos Liasis. The film covers the stories of two families, recalling of the living memory of Greek Cypriot Giorgos Liasis and Turkish Cypriot Houseyin Akansoy, their stories bare striking resemblances resulting in almost the entire elimination of their respective nuclear families. The atrocities carried out during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the subsequent war were committed in cold blood by fascists in both sides, something that is often left out of the narrative, depending on who’s telling the story.

The evening opened with the secretary of AKEL in Britain and co-ordinator of the event, Andreas Gregoriouwho presented Derman Sarachoglou, the T.C.A. for Democracy chairman, who delivered his welcome speech to a fully packed room and it is important for it to be acknowledged:

“Tonight, we have gathered once again to pay tribute to our heroes Derviş Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishaoulis, who laid down their lives for Cyprus and its people 59 years ago. On behalf of AKEL In Britain and the Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy, it is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this important event.

We are honoured to have with us tonight, film director Panicos Chrysanthou, Giorgos Liasis and Huseyin Akansoy, who have travelled a long way to be here with us for the presentation of ‘’Flowers and Bullets’’ A film made by Panicos Chrysanthou, Niyazi Kızılyürek and Giorgos Liasis.

Tonight’s event dedicated to our common heroes.

Kavazoglou and Mishaoulis, who were tragically murdered on April 11, 1965, (they) have become symbols of friendship and a common struggle for freedom, peace, and democracy for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the island and their legacy still guides us today, we remain committed to their vision of a peaceful and democratic Cyprus, where human rights are respected, and both communities can live and work together.

Kavazoglou tirelessly worked to expose extremist and nationalist plots and warned the people of Cyprus not to fall into such traps. He and his comrades opposed the divisive forces of their time and foresaw the consequences of their actions. Unfortunately, despite their efforts, Cyprus has experienced bloody tragedies that continue to affect our lives to this day.

Let’s never forget the sacrifices made by Kavazoglou, Mishaoulis, all their comrades and all those who lost their lives in the pursuit of a better future for Cyprus. Together, let’s continue the unfinished struggle for a free, united, federal Cyprus, where all its residents, communities and people can live in brotherhood and prosperity.

As we gathered here tonight, we recommit ourselves to the path laid out by Kavazoğlu and Mishiaouli. We stand united in our pursuit of justice, democracy, and a unified Cyprus, and we condemn all forms of extremism and nationalism that seek to divide our island forever.

Famous singer, Leonard Cohen, said in one of his songs:

“The birds they sang at the break of day / Start again / I seem to hear them say / Do not dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be… The dove is never free /Ring the bells that still can ring…  There is a crack / A crack in everything / That’s how the light gets in / That’s how the light gets in.”

That is exactly what you are going to witness tonight in ‘’Flowers and Bullets’’ film.

War brings violence and often killings of innocent people. The nationalists try to hide their own atrocities and use the atrocities of the enemy as propaganda. In Cyprus, a country (that) suffered from a bicommunal conflict, and some men do not allow to a group to put flowers in the spot of an execution (still conflict to this day). They argue that nothing had happened in their village. Giorgos, who returns to this village after 46 years, visits this spot and he (gives) witness (to) his personal experience there. (His attempted execution) He was executed with another 20 persons. He personally was lucky. He survived with 11 bullets in his body. He reflects upon the events, forgiveness and his wish that no man will ever again live through such horror. He visits Huseyin in a nearby village, and search the truth about the events there the same day he was shot. Men of his own nationality massacred innocent people, among them all the family of Huseyin. He puts some flowers on the spot of their execution.

We shall continue to ring the bells that still can ring, together.

We shall continue to call light to get in.

Long Live Free United Federal Cyprus.

Long live common struggle for common land.

Long live Peace”

It was an emotional documentary film presented by the actual people that suffered the atrocities and not by actors, giving the precise facts of their ordeal, which kept the audience on their toes with emotions running high, in a room filled with sadness and with a question on their minds – how can people on both sides behave like this?

The event was concluded by the protagonists, Giorgio and Hüseyin as well as director Panicos, taking questions from the audience, who were encouraged by the presence of so many and were urged to continue the fight for a free united Cyprus based on Bizonal Bicommunal Federation and the United Nations resolutions, so that the sacrifice of Kavazoglou and Mishaouli was not in vain.


Photos Stavri kay

Leave a Reply