NewsLocalOfficial on occupation authorities' move at Famagusta Gymnasium

Official on occupation authorities’ move at Famagusta Gymnasium

History can not be deleted, co-president of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Culture, Androulla Vasiliou told CNA, commenting on the Turkish occupation authorities` move to cover the inscription “Greek Gymnasium”  from the front marble of the Greek Gymnasium in Famagusta.

What they did is indicative of their culture, Vasiliou said, adding that they should know that they can not delete  history, nor alter people`s memory.

Asked whether the technical committee on culture would be able to do something about it, she said that this is not possible explaining that for the committee to make decisions a plenary session is needed which is not possible due to the stance of the Turkish Cypriot members.

She noted that since the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot members, new members were appointed but they never appeared nor have they submitted any proposals, adding that the Greek Cypriot members have submitted their own proposals.

Replying to questions, she said that she held an online meeting with the Turkish Cypriot co-president of the committee, while an other online meeting took place some months ago which was an alleged plenary session, since it was attended by all Greek Cypriot members of the committee but only by three Turkish Cypriot members. “They promised – and this happened a few months ago- that in a few days they would submit their own proposals but we never received them “, she said.

Asked why this is happening, she said “I think it is not just our committee, it is a general indication that unfortunately they are  not willing to cooperate”.

Turkey invaded Cyprus on July 20, 1974. Numerous UN backed talks to reunite the island have failed to yield results. A 5+1 Informal Meeting that took place in Geneva, on April 27-29, failed to find enough common ground to allow for the resumption of formal negotiations in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Since the Turkish occupation, the regime has been systematically destroying Cyprus` cultural heritage in the occupied areas.

UN Secretary – General, Antonio Guterres, has said that he will convene in the near future another meeting of the 5+1, the five plus the United Nations, again with the objective to move in the direction of reaching common ground to allow for formal negotiations to start.Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’.

UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.

On October 8, 2020, the Turkish side opened part of the fenced area of Varosha, following an announcement made in Ankara on October 6. Both the UN Secretary-General and the EU expressed concern, while the UN Security Council called for the reversal of this course of action.

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