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G.S. EDON “Main message of the Excursion to Troodos is the common struggle of our people”

Seviros Koulas, G.S of the Central Council of EDON, states that EDON’s Excursion to Troodos has a dual character, a bicommunal one and an anti-imperialist one.
He underlines that the main message of the Excursion to Troodos is the common struggle of Cyprus’ people.
He mentions that EDON pioneered the foundation of the re-approachment movement and maintains close relations with T/c youth and its organizations.
He also notes that all EDON events are also open to T/c, but it holds a series of events that have a special bi-communal character.

Asked about the situation in the Cyprus problem, he mentions, among other things, that “the solution of the Cyprus problem must always remain a priority, even if this may not be perceived by the majority of society, due to the negative situation and frustration. For our generation, the issue of solution is literally a matter of life and death.”
On the occasion of EDON’s Pancyprian Excursion to Troodos, that will take place on the 28th of January, we discussed with Seviros Koulas, General Secretary of the Central Council of EDON, in an interview he granted to Voice International.

Question: Let’s start with the Excursion itself and a brief history of this activity?
Seviros: EDON’s Excursion to Troodos is a tradition, both for our Organization and for the society in general. The first excursion to Troodos took place in 1959 and from that year a long tradition has begun, that continues to this day.
In the last many years, EDON’s excursion to Troodos has a dual political character. On the one hand, its main message is expressed through the bi-communal nature of the excursion, since tens or hundreds of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots participate in it, there are bilingual texts, a common bilingual declaration and greetings from G/c and T/c etc.
On the other hand, together G/c and T/c, we give the excursion an anti-imperialist stigma and orientation, with our joint march outside the British bases of Troodos and their demand to leave our country.
Overall, of course EDON’s excursion to Troodos has as its main message the common struggle of our people, G/c and T/c, for a solution and reunification. This year it takes place on January 28th under the slogan: “Duty for our generation to be reunited – United Federal Cyprus”.

Question: You mentioned earlier the participation of Turkish Cypriots. What is the significance of the re-approachment for EDON and what is its relationship with the Turkish Cypriot youth?
Seviros: EDON, together with the People’s Movement, has always been at the head of the movement of re-approachment between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Our positions on re-approachment are an outgrowth of our class approach and our ideology. From the first days after the events of 1974, EDON raised the flag of the need for the Cypriot people, G/c and T/c, to fight together, so that the divisional plans of imperialism at the expense of Cyprus are not completed.
Despite all the attacks of the nationalists from both communities, together with the T/c we managed to establish a strong, political, anti-occupation and mass movement of re-approachment.
For EDON, the re-approachement stems from the common class, social and political struggles and is expressed through the struggle for the common homeland, for the federation and for securing the human rights of our people, against imperialism. Only through a mutual understanding that it is necessary to preserve basic principles in order to reach an acceptable solution we can succeed.
EDON has historically had and maintains as an “apple of its eye”, its relations with Turkish youth. We maintain fraternal – comradely relations with progressive Turkish youth organizations and try to upgrade and enrich them.


Question: What other bi-communal events does EDON organize and participate in?
Seviros: All our actions, whether social, political or cultural, are always open to every Turkish Cypriot compatriot. At the same time, however, there are a number of actions that have as their main or exclusive element, the common struggle and the bi-communal character.
We single out EDON’s Pancyprian Excursion to Troodos, which we mentioned earlier.
At the beginning of April, every year, we hold a “Fifteen-day of Re-approach” in honor of the heroes of our people Derviş Ali Kavazoğlu and Kostas Misiaoulis. In this context, we carry out dozens of bi-communal actions and events throughout Cyprus with the participation of T/c, emphasizing and prioritizing the common struggle for reunification and the development of relations between the two communities.
At EDON’s annual Pan-Cypriot Festival, which this year will take place on 3-4-5 of July, we always have many of our T/c compatriots and delegations from Turkish Cypriot’s youth organizations and we form, what we call a “Bi-Communal Corner”, that is, a space – at the most central point – of the Festival dedicated to our common struggle.
We aim to have and always have, T/c youth from the progressive T/c youth organizations in all our big events, in our regular and extraordinary congresses, in each of our big political and social struggles.
Of course, it goes without saying that many other bilateral actions and events are developed throughout the year with various organizations, the ones I mention concern the stable and most important ones.

Question: Since 2017 we have been experiencing the biggest negotiation gap in the history of the Cyprus problem. What steps do you think should be taken to reach a solution?
Seviros: First of all, we must emphasize that this gap is very dangerous. The danger of permanent partition is more visible than ever and as far as we are concerned, we are determined to do everything in our power to prevent this nightmare from becoming a reality.
The solution of the Cyprus problem must always remain a priority, even if this may not be perceived by the majority of society, due to the negative situation and frustration. For our generation, the issue of solution is literally a matter of life and death.
As far as the leaderships of the two communities are concerned, they must act immediately. As EDON we call on them to resume negotiations within the framework of the agreed solution basis from where they were interrupted, securing the acquis of the talks, building on the joint communiqué of February 2014, the convergences achieved up to 2017 and the Guterres framework. No new ideas, no deviations from what was agreed, no outside of the agreed solution base. There is no other way.
As far as the people, G/c and T/c, are concerned, we say that we must never forget, but the Cyprus problem, like all the major issues in every country, is primarily a matter for the people of the country themselves.
The forces of peace and solution, we have a duty to cultivate, preserve and empower in the youth the need for liberation and reunification of our country and people.

Kallis Antounas-Voice International 2024



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