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crh 2015 04 01

George Koumoullis, The EOKA struggle: what was it all for? (in English language opnly)

George Koumoullis, an economist and social scientist, writes, under the headline “what was it all for ?” in “Cyprus Mail” (an Englisch Language Daily Newspaper appearing in South Cyprus) of 1st April, 2015, on the occasion of the annual celebration in Greek South Cyprus of the EOKA struggle.

The celebration takes him back to his school years when “teachers taught labyrinthine and exhausting lessons with an emphasis on rote learning. Critical thought, questioning, evaluation and the development of a personal understanding were considered alien and of suspect origin and therefore rejected”. Koumoullis says that the same, more or less applies today, when it is taboo that Hellenism “lost out from this struggle”. The struggle staged by EOKA for union with Greece was not for liberation. Had Enosis been achieved in 1950, Koumoullis writes, Cypriots would have found themselves deprived of freedom of speech, thought, expression and action with a Greek concentration camp “Makronisos” in the background. Koumoullis suggests that British Colonial rule in Cyprus would have ended sooner or later without any armed struggle, as it did in Malta, Bahrain, or Hong Kong and as the British Labour government had granted independence to India, Burma and Sri Lanka.

Concerning the Greek-Turkish relationship in Cyprus Koumoullis explains: “Another big mistake committed by EOKA was the complete marginalisation of the Turkish Cypriots who made up 18.2 per cent of the population. The armed struggle was waged as if there were no Turkish Cypriots. However the Turkish Cypriot leadership had made it clear, on many occasions and long before 1955, that it would never consent to Cyprus being united with Greece. The Turkish Cypriot leaders were aware of the ethnic cleansing that took place in Crete and … did not want the same to happen to Cyprus. … In the end, what did EOKA achieve? …. We all bow to the bravery and courage of our young men who gave up their lives for their ideals, but bravery per se does not necessarily fulfil the dreams of a country. “


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