WALK HOME FOR A UNITED CYPRUS
"Women Walk Home", a non-party
political initiative conceived by a group of Greek Cypriot women and pursued
with the support of aware women from the United States and Europe.
The reunification of the divided island
republic of Cyprus and the peaceful coexistence, without outside interference
or artificial barriers, of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.
Cyprus became independent from British
colonial rule in 1960. Britain, Greece and Turkey were appointed guarantors
of the fledgling republic. Racial tensions were virtually built into the
Cypriot constitution, in the drafting of which the Greek and Turkish Cypriots
had had little say. To the credit of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities
at large, Cyprus did not slip into civil war. Although occasional clashes
were not avoided, featuring extremists on both sides and leading to the
dispatch of United Nations troops to the island, the overwhelming majority
of Greek and Turkish Cypriots strove to live peacefully with one another.
In 1974 however all efforts towards coexistence received a harsh blow.
Turkey invaded Cyprus and occupied over one third of the island using as
an opening a coup staged by the military junta ruling Greece at the time,
while Britain, the third guarantor of Cypriot independence and territorial
integrity, looked on. As a result of the invasion, the Greek and Turkish
Cypriot communities, which until then had been living alongside each other
throughout the island, were forced into an artificial segregation across
the military line that now divided Cyprus in two. Hundreds of thousands
of people in a total population of just over half a million were made refugees.
Fourteen years later, despite numerous United Nations resolutions calling
for an end to outside interference in the affairs of Cyprus, the Turkish
occupation and de facto partition of the island continues. It becomes more
entrenched as tens of thousands of mainland Turks are settled in the occupied
area in order to alter its demographic character.
The "Green (or Attila) Line", the
infamous military line maintained by 35,000 Turkish troops which divides
Cyprus east to west and separates the Greek and Turkish Cypriots. In the
Spring of 1975, in June and November 1987, and in March 1989, women under
the "Women Walk Home" banner braved United Nations and Turkish troops in
attempting to cross the Line. Theirs is a determined, but peaceful, resistance
to the division of Cyprus.
One of hope for the future of Cyprus.
It is an appeal to all those who believe in the right to live peacefully
without military interventions to lend their support towards reuniting
Cyprus and its people.
THE CYPRUS INVASION
|9250 sq. km
|About 700,000 (Greek Cypriots
81,6%, Turkish Cypriots 18,4%)
|37% of total area
|less than 520 Greek Cypriots
living in the Turkish occupied area of Karpas under constant pressure from
Turkish occupation forces seeking to drive them out. (In 1974 there were
20,000 enclaved Greek Cypriots in the Karpas.)
TURKISH MILITARY OCCUPATION
|35,000 troops, heavily armed
with Nato supplied modern weapons
COLONISATION BY TURKEY
OF THE OCCUPIED AREA
|62,000 settlers from mainland
Turkey; names of Greek towns and villages changed to Turkish and churches
and monuments bearing witness to the continuation of the country's cultural
Walk Home is an independent non-party movement of Greek Cypriot women from
all walks of life. They are dedicated to non-violent dynamic action to
demonstrate their rejection of the division of Cyprus. Women Walk Home
are working towards a country in which there is no dividing line and no