"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.
FACTS AND FIGURES ABOUT 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 FORCES
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 heritage destroyed
Women 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 occupation army.