| Cyprus Problem |Phileleftheros



The CyBC [Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, or RIK under its Greek acronym], in a statement, justified putting on ice (let’s call it that) the adaptation of the book “Treis skales istoria” [Three fields of history] by Stavros Christodoulou, wanting – supposedly – to also see other proposals for the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the invasion (which will be reached in 9 months and whatever was to be done should have already been organized and set in motion). However, the truth is probably hidden in the first reaction: “The subject of the book is delicate and Cypriot society is not mature enough to deal with it.” This is what the Board of Directors as a whole, or the chairman and his majority believe.

And the delicate issue is not the rape of a woman by a Turkish soldier in 1974. CyBC viewers have seen countless rapes and scenes of violence, either in the news, in movies and serials, or even in Cypriot sketches. The issue of the rapes of ’74, for decades a taboo subject, is now even discussed in Parliament.

The sensitivity of the issue is hidden between the lines of the book. Does the mother’s attitude, almost apathetic, during her daughter’s difficult hours symbolize the attitude of Greece? Could the reference to the division that preceded the invasion (which we all know to be true) be considered a defence [for what followed]? Should what happened in the villages of Aloa, Maratha, Santalari not be mentioned by our side? Does the symbolism at the end when victim and perpetrator meet 40 years later imply something beyond the specific event?

The content of Stavros Christodoulou’s book, as has already been written by many, is multilayered. The political aspects of the book cannot go unnoticed. And this is what provoked the withdrawal of CyBC’s interest in adapting [the book] to the screen (we may not be mature, but we are aware).

At first glance, the subject matter may seem appealing, like the re-enactment of crimes committed in recent years, which state television has no problem dramatizing. On second reading, however, the issue takes on other dimensions. It is these dimensions that CyBC (or some in the Corporation) feared and wanted to… protect us from.

One does not need to agree with an author’s point of view. But one can see it, hear it, read it and ask questions. In order to mature (if we accept that we are not mature) we must at some point talk openly about history, about responsibility, about trauma. We’ve seen enough folklore, we’ve had our fill of fairy tales, we’ve chewed enough hay. How many more fields must we pass through before we don’t need protectors?


Daily columnist at Phileleftheros for 20 years and editor-in-chief of the architecture magazine Synthesis. Earlier she worked for Alitheia and Politis. She was born in Dikomo and has been living permanently in Nicosia. She is married with one son.

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