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Çağıl Günalp – cakilgunalp@gmail.com

reconciliation-statueFrank Darabont’s remarkable movies are also known with their quotations… At one of his quotations, it is being underlined that a person can be free as much as he hopes. Moreover, it is being indicated that the fear can chain people… Not to mention, one of the biggest authors of the literature history, Shakespeare, had asserted that “expectations could be regarded as a root of all heartaches”… During Cyprus Summit at Mont Pelerin, endlessly I was sunk into these quotations… Throughout the talks I walked on the bridge which was over the troubled waters of hope and expectation… The hope inside me was warmed by the snows of the The Alps and during “Cyprus talks” my inner voice told me that hope of unification of the Island will not be frozen by the cold weather of The Alps… Coexistence of hope and fear pushed me into such an ambivalent situation…

Since Cyprus has been divided into pieces, our dreams, our traditions, our childhood memories, our future, our identities were divided into pieces as well. In political terminology our separation was named “Cyprus Problem”. But in fact, it was beyond that… It was the problem of the Cypriots… During decades we have been victim of our cowardice and prejudices. We have not been brave enough to face our brutalities. We have not accepted our crimes committed due to our pointless interests… However, since our island had been torn like a paper, reconciliation was in our hands and it had always been possible to shape today from yesterday and tomorrow from today… Unfortunately we have always ignored it…

During decades, this separation has given rise to destructions, ethical corruptions among the Cypriots. Division of our island altered us… We have acted as if we hadn’t lived together for centuries. We have ignored our solidarities… We have forgotten our loves and our cultural values… The only thing we had been concerned with was our selfish interests that caused our separation…

Now, there is a big chance to solve this problem. We have never been so close to solve the Cyprus Problem as we are now! It can be fairly seen that nowadays Cypriot Communities are challenging taboos, confronting the past and daring to forgive each other…

It can be asserted that, this problem should be solved for the sake of next generations. This segregation should be ended to feel safe and not to be colonized by others… In order not to act as puppets of “big bosses”, peace should be achieved…

As my journalist friend Giorgos Kaskanis had underlined before, we have once more remembered that Cyprus is our common history. We have to accept and we have to dare to face with our mistakes, pains and concerns. If we want to change this catastrophic situation, initially we have to change our mind-sets which have given rise to the “Cyprus Problem” and paralyzed our rationality for decades. At this point, both Cypriot leaders should demonstrate their leadership skills… Both pro-solution parties and NGOs should lead masses to be engaged… That is our historical duty…

It is fairly known that protracted problems could only be solved with creativity, imagination, commitment, empathy and courage. It is crystal clear to claim that every single conjuncture and political movement has its own dynamics and realities… If we consider today’s xenophobia all around Europe, changing presidency at the USA, endless destruction of the Middle East, chaotic climate at Turkey; it might be pointed that, this is the last chance for a federal solution in Cyprus. If this chance is ruined, future for all Cypriots would be full of ambiguity, tension and concern…

Now we have only two options; either there would be more graves at diplomatic graveyard of Cyprus, or our souls will be revived from our ashes as the phoenix. Either we will be surrounded by destructive dimensions of ethnic and religious tensions, or our destiny will be like Berlin and we will be able to make our small island, a centre of multiculturalism, mutual trust, reconciliation and tolerance again…

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