Tuesday, 5 November 2013
Χώμα που περπάτησα, γη που νοσταλγώ
Above is an uplifting video featuring supporters of Anorthosis – the sporting club from the Turkish-occupied Greek city of Ammochostos (Famagusta) – during a Challenge Cup volleyball match with the Turkish team Fenerbache played last week in Limassol. Regarding the history of Anorthosis and who and what it represents, it’s worth bearing the following in mind:
Anorthosis was formed in 1911 as a cultural and political organisation aimed at promoting and mobilising Hellenism in the Famagusta region of Cyprus and took its name from Eleftherios Venizelos’ rallying cry of Anorthosis (Regeneration) as he prepared Greece for the realisation of the Great Idea.
Anorthosis collected funds and sent volunteers to the Balkan and Asia Minor wars and, during the EOKA period 1955-59, the club played a leading role. EOKA stalwarts Kyriakos Matsis, Grigoris Afxentiou, Antonis Papadopoulous, Pavlos Pavlakis and Panagiotis Toumazos were all members of Anorthosis; and in 1958 the English blew up Anorthosis’ headquarters in Famagusta as punishment for the club’s EOKA connections.
Currently, Anorthosis is a club in exile, and the majority of its supporters – who come from the city of Famagusta, its satellite towns and villages, and the Karpasia peninsula – are refugees.