| Cyprus Problem |englishYenidüzen



What melancholic stories our island has…

And you would be making a mistake if you interpret the 20th of July through the official historical narrative.

They tell you stories of  “liberation”, whereas you question captivity by looking at today.
They celebrate it as “bayram” without recalling the memories of the tears, the migration, the souls that were lost and the lands that were forcefully abandoned.


As in the words of Fikret Demirağ, “It was as if yesterday, that a summer passed with blood dripping from its wound”, July is a month where murderers become heroes, victims fall into silence and the void of being without a homeland grows.


A very special memorial took place the other day, I am saddened that I couldn’t go.

The New Cyprus Party took the initiative, they visited Hasan and Haroulla (Hambou), and hope was sowed into the soil, love instead of resentment was recalled in their memory, and peace instead of war.

In their solitude, poverty and destitution, the shepherd Hasan and Haroulla created a life and flourished, they wrote a different history, a different story of humanity…

The village of Androlikou is also known as Gündoğdu. [Translator’s note: Gündoğdu means sunrise in Turkish]

The day that not a single barricade remains will be the day that the sun will truly rise over the island of Cyprus.

This will be the day when this painful geography will be enough for all of us, without discrimination, equal and free, where people will love each other without borders.


As a child, Hasan was given to a Greek Cypriot family to work as a shepherd. A great love was born out of that life… He had fallen for Haroulla, the daughter of the family he was sent to live with…

Since the codes of the Republic of Cyprus were written on the basis of “division”, even “marriage” was forbidden for people that came from two different communities… So, either Hasan would change his religion, or Haroulla…

Alas, the world has changed much since then, but some minds are still the same!

All separatist symbols are ingrained into the minds of people, all that exists, ingrained one by one…
And those blinded with hatred, ambition and resentment are the ones leading the way…


Their first child was about to be born and in order for Hasan and Haroulla to marry, one of them had to convert.

Haroulla, signed the necessary paperwork, taking the name “Meral”, Hasan throughout his life never once called his wife by that name.

The 1974 war divided the island, but couldn’t divide them.
Even death couldn’t.
As you know, even the cemeteries were separate then.
Hasan was not concerned with borders.
When Haroulla died, he opened a grave just a step away from the Muslim cemetery and erected a cross.
Buried his love there.
And when Hasan died, he lay next to her.


For all those who believe in their country, their homeland and humanity, the 20th of July is foremost the story of Hasan and Haroulla.
It is as much their sorrow as it is their resistance…

In the mind, in the heart and in the consciousness, borders first exist… 
It is in our hands to break free of these borders…
And Cyprus will reconcile in the end…

And that’s the time for bayram…

Until then, we owe a moment of silence and respect for all the victims and the pain…


Born in 1971 in the town of Limassol, Cyprus, Cenk Mutluyakalı migrated to Kyrenia together with his family after the war. He began journalism at KIBRIS newspaper in 1989. He took part in establishing the United Media Group. Currently he writes daily essays, news reports and interviews for Yenidüzen newspaper. He served as the President of the Turkish Cypriot Press Card Commission and Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association. He was awarded with various prizes throughout his career, the most recent being the “Peace Journalism Prize” by the bicommunal New Cyprus Association. Mutluyakalı is an author of published books of essays and interviews. He is also the author of a novel titled “Salıncak” (Swing) published by Kor Kitap.

You may also like

Comments are closed.