WOMEN 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.
FIGURES ABOUT THE
|9250 sq. km
|About 700,000 (Greek Cypriots 81,6%, Turkish
|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
|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
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.