EDEK withdrew the election spot that caused reactions

EDEK withdrew the election spot that caused reactions

Nicosia, May 20, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The election spot created by EDEK for the elections of May 22 was withdrawn. The spot featured a photograph of Kiamil from Murataga of Famagusta, mourning the slaughter of his wife and child in a mass grave along with 124 other Turkish Cypriots, by the paramilitary organisation EOKA B.

As he wrote on twitter the candidate MP and head of the Press Office of EDEK, Giorgos Agapiou, the photo was used “by mistake” as “it is not consistent with the content and the message he wants to send with this spot”.

The video, which was eventually withdrawn from Facebook of the party, where it had been posted in the previous days, refers to the history of EDEK, linking it with people of Cypriot, Greek and world history, from Venus of Botticelli (although a legend) and Alexander the Great, to Che Guevara, Aris Velouhiotis, Yasser Arafat, Grigoris Afxentiou, and others. Among them were quickly passing the moments of the modern Cypriot history, from EOKA and the invasion, to the present day, with the haircut of deposits and the closing of Cyprus Airways.

In images that recorded the history of the island was the image of Kiamil mourning his family.

The history

In the three small Turkish Cypriot villages Atlilar, Murataga, Sandallar took place in the summer of 1974, in the midst of the Turkish invasion, one of the worst crimes committed by the Greek Cypriots against the Turkish Cypriot community. According to reports published by the “Politis” in 2007, the first day of the invasion, on July 20, 1974, about 40 men of EOKA B, instead of going to the front to fight the invaders, ordered at gunpoint all the Turkish-Cypriots of the three villages to go to the Marathi school. From there, they took all men over the age of 15, who were brought in Varosi where they were held as prisoners, while the women and children were left to return to their homes on foot. Very soon however, they began to raid villages, stealing animals and valuables and then taking women, who they raped at gunpoint.

This continued until August 14, when at the news that the line of “Mias Milias” broke and began the advance of the Turkish army to Famagusta, they decided to cover their crime: They gathered the women and children with the pretences that they would take them to Famagusta to protect them and executed them in cold blood. They then proceeded to bury them roughly in two locations. A total of 126 people lost their lives that day, women and children, the youngest one just 18 months old.

When the men returned to the village, they found no trace of women and children. Initially, they thought they had been transported as prisoners in Limassol, but when a Turkish Cypriot villager testified that, as he was hiding in a cave, on August 14, he heard several and consecutive gunfire, then began research in the area for their detection. Eventually, the macabre spectacle was revealed at the dump in the village. From the exhumations at that point and at another location in Santalari were identified a total of 126 corpses mutilated and burned. The photo of Kiamil became a symbol of slaughter, and was even used in Turkish-Cypriot history books.

The event was republished by the greek-cypriot Press, but with references that it was turkish propaganda and that the corpses belonged to Greek Cypriots. Only recently were discussion started on the issue on its actual dimensions, while in 2012 the European Parliament honoured Hussein Akansoi, who lost his mother, brothers and grandmother in Murataga, and Petros Soupouri, whom the Turkish invaders executed in 1974 his parents, siblings and aunt, with the “European citizenship award” for their efforts to bring the two communities together, despite the painful experiences they carry from one another.