Aiming not only to reunite Famagusta with its fenced area, but also the whole of Cyprus, the Famagusta Bicommunal Initiative, founded in 2013, is one of the two winners of the "European Citizen Award 2018", while the other winner is the publisher and well-known African columnist, Sener Levent, who declared himself a Cypriot and spoke about Turkey's sovereignty in the north and Europe, which was absent in the big problems, as he said.
The ceremony took place at the Goethe Institute in Nicosia, in the presence of foreign diplomats, NGO members and celebrities from both communities. The rationale of the proposal for the two candidacies was analyzed by MEPs Neoklis Silikiotis and Takis Hatzigeorgiou for the Famagusta Bicommunal Initiative, and Costas Mavridis and Dimitris Papadakis for Sener Levent. Lefteris Christoforou and Eleni Theocharous, due to their obligations, were in Brussels and sent messages to the winners.
"We face the division of our city and our island through our contribution to the union of views and participation in unifying acts. "We are working and developing proposals on how to transform Famagusta - a divided and partially evacuated city - into the reunited, multicultural space of our dreams," said Okan Dagli, who was the first to speak on behalf of the winners and Diko. Famagusta Initiative.
Andreas Matsis spoke in detail about the work of the Initiative, emphasizing the bi-communal cooperation for the planning for the return of Famagusta and the preparation of studies and other projects. "Another issue that preoccupied us as a Bicommunal Initiative for Famagusta was the declaration of the medieval city as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. "The medieval city is considered as one of the few existing monuments of a fortified medieval city relatively well preserved", said Mr. Matsis.
We want to transfer this spirit of cooperation between the two communities to the younger generations, who must show more interest in the future of their country and behave as responsible European citizens, he said, noting that the cooperation between the various ethnicities that make it up , is an essential component of the success of European integration.
"We are well aware that our island, throughout the history of mankind, has hosted many cultures, religions and cultures. Knowing this, I can tell you that this island is not worth being the subject of a split controversy for so many years between T / C and E / K. "We have never accepted this city, Famagusta, where cultures meet, part of it to be alienated from life and another of its owners," said Okan Dagli.
We are guilty of all the pain this island has experienced and the only way to wash our hands of this guilt is to resist segregation, chauvinism and hateful acts and behaviors so that this island will never again experience pain again. , added the T / C activist.
You were missing Europe, in 1974 from Rwanda, in 1995 from Bosnia, you were watching the events in Sebrenica, you closed the doors to the immigrants and in order not to be approached you made a fascist dictator in Turkey a guard and you pay him for that, he said in his Sener Levent's speech. "If the immigrants became immigrants, it was because of you. "The interventions you made to bring democracy to their countries forced them to leave," he said, noting that the number of those drowning at sea is endless.
He spoke of the "Arab Spring" that has become a "bloody spring" with what is happening in Arab countries such as Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. Now, he added, the terrorists of that bloody spring are coming and threatening and killing the people of Europe.
Sener Levent declared himself a Cypriot and without rejecting - as he said - the national identity "I tell you easily: you are a Greek Cypriot, I am a Turkish Cypriot, but we are both Cypriots". How strange, he said, that the Middle East, paradise under another name for humanity, produced so many prophets, as if they had come out of oil wells.
Mr. Levent said that the war is a greater catastrophe in which all people should be against and Cyprus experienced this. "Europe is not showing enough effort to liberate the north from Turkish hegemony and to apply the European acquis here as well. "MEPs cannot even enter Varos, which is in the hands of the Turkish army."
Neoklis Silikiotis and Takis Chatzigeorgiou analyzed the reasoning on the basis of which they proposed the candidacy of the Famagusta Bicommunal Initiative, congratulating Sener Levent as well. The MEP Silikiotis also spoke about the restoration of the walls of Famagusta by European funds, saying that the members of the Bicommunal Initiative are struggling to overturn the myths and stereotypes that poison the mind with hatred for others.
MEP Hadjigeorgiou made a special reference to the visit of the Committee on Petitions to Famagusta and supported the election of a Turkish Cypriot by the European Parliament, wishing Sener Levent, who has shown good luck, and the support of the party that nominated him for the specific award to make his candidacy more effective.
This award honors those who honor the values of the EU and Europe can be the solution for the Cyprus issue, said MEP Costas Mavridis, who analyzed the rationale for supporting the candidacy of Sener Levent for the award. The basis that unites us is the basis of the European rule of law, with which we can coexist not only in Cyprus but in the whole of Europe, he noted.
MEP Dimitris Papadakis spoke in honor of the values and principles built by the EU, which has done its utmost to prevent conflicts and wars for many decades and which faces major challenges, such as austerity, immigration or refugees, and Brexit. Europe must give its own answers to these challenges to persuade citizens who feel they are not being heard, he added, adding that those honored by their own example give the right answers. We do not want the Cypriots, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, to be side by side, he said, not even opposite, but together.
This year's winners from Cyprus will be in a few days in Brussels, in the building of the European Parliament, to be honored at the main award ceremony, along with all the winners, coming from all Member States of the Union, he said in his greeting The Head of the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus, Andreas Kettis, congratulating the winners and referring to the institution of the European Citizen Award established in 2008.