Friday, 5 June 2009

EOKA forever

On 3 June, at a ceremony in Nicosia the well-known Cypriot journalist Lazaros Mavros was recognised by the Memorial Council for the EOKA Struggle 1955-1959 for his contribution to the council's goals. In accepting the distinction, Mavros had this to say (my translation, see article in Greek here):

EOKA is not museums, monuments, memorial services, books, articles, radio and television programmes, ceremonies and events. EOKA, first of all and above all, then, now and for always, is, was and will remain forever: the duty to liberate our homeland.

EOKA is King Onesilos in 499BC and the Battle of Marathon in 490BC.

EOKA is Thermopylae, Salamina and Plataea in 480BC.

EOKA is Kimon, who 'even in death was victorious'.

EOKA is Constantine Paleologos in 1453: 'we have all decided to die and we shall not spare our lives'.

EOKA is the rebirth in 1821, Pavlos Melas and the Macedonian fighters, the Balkan Liberation Wars 1912-13 and the mayor of Limassol Christodoulos Sozos, who died fighting in Epirus at the Battle of Bizani.

EOKA is the Asia Minor campaign in 1919, the 'Thirty Times Greeks' [Τραντέλλενες] from Santa in Pontos, the October 1931 uprising in Cyprus, the NO to Mussolini and the 1940 epos, the national resistance movement 1940-1945, the Enosis Plebiscite in 1950, and the resistance to the Turkish onslaught in 1963-64.

EOKA is the Afxentiou-inspired heroes in the National Guard and the Hellenic Force in Cyprus (ELDYK), who fell or became missing fighting the Turkish invaders at the betrayed Cypriot Thermopylae in 1974. EOKA is Theophilos Georgiades, who campaigned for a Greco-Kurdish liberation alliance and was murdered by the Turkish secret services in Nicosia in 1994.

EOKA is the loud NO to the Annan plan in the referendum of 24 April 2004, after first, at dawn on that Saturday, in tears of shame, we laid flowers at the graves of the EOKA men killed by the British [στα Φυλακισμένα Μνήματα].

EOKA is our duty to fight for the liberation of Cyprus from the Turkish occupiers and the British colonialists. And if we don't achieve this in our lifetimes, we will hand down to our children and grandchildren that which was entrusted to us by Grigoris Afxentiou and Evagoras Pallikarides.

1 comment:

Hermes said...

Inspiring words indeed! Nothing else to add.