Home  |  News   |  Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, S.Stefanou, at the event in memory and honour of the heroic martyrs of the friendship between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots comrades Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishiaouli

Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL, S.Stefanou, at the event in memory and honour of the heroic martyrs of the friendship between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots comrades Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishiaouli


Sunday 14 April 2024, Dali

We have come for yet another year as pilgrims to pay tribute to Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishiaoulis. The two heroic martyrs of the friendship between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus, who were assassinated by the murderous shots fired by nationalism on 11 April 1965.

Back then nationalism, intolerance and fanaticism were at their peak as a result of the bicommunal clashes that broke out in 1963-64. Deep state and far-right organisations were active in both communities. A common characteristic of their activities was their refusal to accept an independent bi-communal Cypriot state. They did not want it, because it annulled their political goals. The former for Enosis [Note: union with Greece], the latter for Taksim [Note: partition].

The far-right Turkish Cypriot TMT organisation terrorised and murdered in the Turkish Cypriot community those who insisted on resisting the destructive course of intolerance and nationalism.

The murder of comrades Kavazoglou-Mishiaouli by TMT was preceded by the murder of two Cypriot patriots, Ayhan Hikmet and Ahmet Gourkan. Two journalists who had founded the newspaper “Cumhuriyet” with the aim of supporting the newly-established independent Cypriot state.

TMT murdered our comrades Kavazoglou and Mishiaouli, but failed to silence them. On the contrary, the voices of the two militants of our Party were heard everywhere, reached every corner of our Cyprus and became a slogan: “Cyprus belongs to its people!”

This slogan was sealed by the warm embrace of Kavazoglou and Mishiaouli as they were coming face to face with death itself. With their comradely brotherly embrace they declared to their murderers: “You are killing us – but our ideas can’t be killed. These ideas inspire and mobilise thousands in defence of our common homeland“.

The warm fraternal embrace of Kavazoglou and Mishiaouli symbolizes in the most emphatic way our own warm embrace with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots in the struggles we are waging for our Cyprus.

It is this tight embrace of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in the struggle against nationalism-chauvinism which have caused so much suffering and brought so much tragedy to our country and people.

It is the militant embrace of those not comfortable with the dangerous provisional nature of the current situation we have been living in since 1974 and of those who reject partition.

Some may have made fortunes by selling golden passports and building skyscrapers, but all of us here know that the Turkish occupation is like a time bomb in the very foundations of the Republic of Cyprus.

All of us here – and tens of thousands out there in society – know very well that the passage of time without a solution to the Cyprus problem consolidates the partitionist fait accompli, both on the ground and in people’s minds.

Fifty years since the twin crimes of the coup d’état and the invasion, and sixty years since the first separation of our population in 1963-64, time is indeed running out. We are approaching the end: either the Cyprus problem will be solved or we will be left with permanent partition.

All the more so in the phase of the Cyprus problem we have been in since 2017, with the longest deadlock ever recorded on the Cyprus problem since 1974 accompanying us. It is this situation that Turkey is weaponising to consolidate the existing partitionist fait accompli and impose new ones.

Turkey, and those who are comfortable with partition, are playing with time. That’s how they serve their goal.

Confronted with this situation, what should we do?

The President of the Republic must be the first to provide an answer to this question. He is at the helm of the Greek Cypriot side. He is the one handling the Cyprus problem. He has the responsibility to push developments forward and, as far as we are able, to influence them. Towards this end, effective initiatives must be taken. I refer to the need for effective initiatives, since so far whatever initiatives have been undertaken by the President have not yielded any results.

  • His initiative for the EU to appoint a special envoy and for an enhanced role for the EU on the Cyprus problem has not yielded any results. For the Europeans to engage meaningfully on the Cyprus problem, they expect the resumption of negotiations. After all, they have approved corresponding decisions with that in mind and the President should normally have been aware of this.
  • The attempt to link the resumption of negotiations with Euro-Turkish negotiations has not worked either. This is because the EU’s primary objective is to upgrade its relations with Turkey. In our view, Euro-Turkish issues can no longer provide Turkey with sufficient incentives to persuade it to return to the negotiating table. Nor should we pin all our hopes on Euro-Turkish relations.
  • We have not seen anything substantive about the formulation of a positive agenda towards Turkey that the President initially talked about.
  • The time ‘milestones’ that the President of the Republic was so keen to advertise have passed, with no results.

As far as the proposals that Mr Christodoulides claims to have received from the Secretary General of the UN, if any, we do not know what they are so we can judge them.

We are waiting for a reply from the President as to whether the National Council will convene, which we have repeatedly requested, so that we can outline our views. But the President is not responding to that request either.

Ignoring the only opposition party evidently responds to the ‘new spirit’ that the President promised during the election campaign that he would introduce to political affairs and life. In the end, this announcement, just like so many others, is proving to be empty talk and meaningless.

AKEL is a party that projects proposals and is characterised by a responsible attitude. Especially on the Cyprus problem, we have for a long time been submitting a specific proposal on how we can intervene in developments to break the deadlock. To continue the negotiations on the basis of the Guterres Framework from the point where they had remained [at Crans Montana], preserving the entire body of work that has been agreed in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem.

At the same time as we are trying to be helpful and creative, the President not only ignores our proposal, but does not even agree to discuss it. At a time when none of the President’s initiatives have yielded any results we need for that reason to make use of other tools and initiatives.

We will insist on our proposal to make use of the energy issue in the region and Cypriot natural gas – without, of course, violating our sovereign rights – because we believe that it opens up prospects for breaking the deadlock. It is worth a try! If anything, with our proposal the international community will turn to Turkey, while now it is expecting a substantive move on the part of the Republic of Cyprus.



AKEL has always been at the forefront of the struggle for a solution to the Cyprus problem. We have always stood in the front line of our people’s struggles to bring progress and prosperity to our people. We have been doing this for almost a hundred years. We will continue to do so for another hundred years at least.

The stronger AKEL is, the more effective can it assert for our Cyprus. For all Cypriots. Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.

On 9 June, the day of the local government and European Parliament elections, we are all called upon to strongly support the candidates and electoral list of AKEL-Left-Social Alliance.

In the elections for the European Parliament, we are continuing the historic step we took in 2019 by including our Turkish Cypriot compatriot Niyazi Kiziyurek on our electoral list again.

This year, we are also marching on the path of the historic decision taken during the previous European elections to convey once again the message that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can and must work together in the present in order to serve our future, serving the common future we want.

Only AKEL has the credibility to convey this message, because it is the principal Party of rapprochement and the common struggle of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

We are therefore called upon to give even more strength to AKEL so that it continues to fight for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

A solution that will end the Turkish occupation and reunite our homeland and people within the framework of a Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation with political equality.

When we achieve this – because we will – then and only then will our heroes rest in peace. Dervis Ali Kavazoglou and Kostas Mishiaoulis. Ayhan Hikmet and Ahmet Gurkan and all those other comrades who dedicated their entire lives to the struggle for a free, peaceful and prosperous homeland.

Honor and glory to our heroes!

Long live our Cyprus. The common homeland of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots!



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