January 31, 2007

Tommy 2.0: Another Dream

Dear Stravaralanders,

Last night it happened again. As sweet sleep came to find me, a chariot of fire came down in Paphos and the Angel took me away. He told me he was going to take me to the Wings of Freedom, the ones Evagoras had written about, and where Makarios was having his daily coffee, as he wanted to pass on some more instructions. This morning I found myself with the following letter, again in red ink:
1. You did well yesterday to tell off Turkey and tell them that these lion roars about something that is not theirs will be punished. The struggle needs to go on, especially if some oil other than that Strakka olive oil is involved. You should also try to get Dick Cheney's former company involved, we will align their interests with ours, it is one of the lessons I told TeePee about in 1976 and I am telling you now so that you know.

2. You should continue this struggle. The President needs you. We need to show how tough we are because be being tough the G/C electorate gets a high and goes for the toughest candidate. Clrerides did it in 1993 and 1998, TeePee did it in 2003 and you must help him to do it again in 2008.

3. In the process it would be nice if we can think of a way to bring the Denktash regime back in power. Just to make sure there are no doubts about the final solution.

4. You should not object to the casinos. In fact, I want you to start one near Panayia, a super-casino like the one those duplicitous Brits are going to build in Manchester. Like the oil lobby in the U.S., it would also be nice if we got the Las Vegas lobby on board (Ask Kikis, now that he has a bit more time at his disposal) in our fight to reclaim our land. Do not hesitate, time is of the essence, do not let those Brits do it before You.

5. You are right about wanting the British Bases out of Stravaraland. But you should be a bit diplomatic about it. Suggest that if they leave, we will give them 10% of all our petroleum that. Whatever you do, try to be a bit more diplomatic because even though you do not speak English yourself, that does not mean that they do not understand what you are saying.

6. You need to give a further push that we get a few golf courses next to the casinos. We will then invite Tiger to play too and have the golf lobby of the world also support our struggle for fairness.

7. I particularly like the Secret School idea. You should definitely do it but maybe we should extend the age of the participants and also include the T/C so that we can bring them back to the right path. Once they start converting, we should baptize them like the ones I baptized in Kenya. 1000 Makarios exist in Kenya (at least). Think about it. Thousands of Tommys will exist on the Other Side.

Always here to inspire you.
Your Humble, new wannabe Leader,
Tommy 2.0 (stable - out of beta)

January 30, 2007

Tommy 2.0 Has a Dream

Dear Stravaralanders,

Last night I had a dream. Walking up the hills of Pafos, along the paths of our land, the paths that lead to freedom, right near Panayia, Makarios came to find me. He spoke to me in a soothing and etnarch-y voice: "tough is the struggle, and tougher are the enemies, and even tougher are the foreign-bastard enemies, but I trust that you will Deliver our People. Trust me, now, and follow in my footsteps. Tomorrow morning you will know what it is you'll need to do".

When I woke up this morning, I found in my hand the following letter, written in red ink, and instructing me to do the following:
1. Sell all the Church Land and Enterprises and use the proceeds to make a public offer in cash for Marfin Laiki, Bank of Cyprus and Piraeus and name the resulting entity: The Holy, Popular, Bank of Cyprus, (HPBC).

2. Some foreigners could be allowed in management but control will always reside with the major shareholder, the Archbishop of Cyprus.

3. Create a new company, called CP (Cyprus Petroleum) that will start the process of acquiring the necessary know-how to exploit petroleum reserves that belong to Orthodox Stravaraland.

4. Lobby the President to make sure that CP gets exclusive rights to all petroleum fields that the Land possesses.

5. Appoint Kyrineias Pavlos as headmaster of a new Secret School that will (by moonlight, so as not to be seen by the infidels and to preserve our traditions) teach all our youngsters that the Perennial Struggle has to continue till victory and vindication is assured. All Greek Orthodox youngsters under the age of 12 will be obliged to attend the School that will be held every Saturday and Sunday from 6 to 12 pm, that way our youngsters will also remain free of all impure distractions and wanton fornication (pets included).

6. Lobby the President so that after this brief spell, Kyrineias Pavlos becomes minister of education. We need to teach young Cypriots a thing or two about where they came from and where they are headed (our version - batteries not included).

7. With our own banks, our petroleum and our education, the sky is the limit. This was your dream and now you have to work tirelessly to make it come true. Anyone who stands in your way is a traitor and should be treated as such. In 2004 you did a good job but you did not manage to eradicate all of them from the face of the earth. You now need to finish the job.

My Blessings be with You!
On a mission from the Original Ethnarch,
I remain,
Pompously and meddlingly yours,

Tommy 2.0 (stable)

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 29, 2007

Double Headed Church?

In the picture below [Sieg....!], you'll notice a flag with the double-headed eagle: once the standard of the Byzantine Empire. It stands next to the Cyprus flag, behind Tommy 2.0, a.k.a. The Chosen One.

Now, I understand that in Byzantine times the clergy and Emperor were often related and confused for one another, but can someone explain when Jesus spoke of double-headed eagles which ended up on the flags that we now have in our Orthodox churhces? Does this not go against some sort of Christian ideal? Should we, maybe, move away from double-headed eagles in Year of Our Lord, 2007? What does this tradition symbolise?

I understand some Grivas mourners liking this, as it gives them that feeling of being part of an Empire, but what does the Church of Cyprus really get out of this? It does follow tradition, but surely this allegiance to the Double-Headed Eagle is not really in line with your run of the mill Christian teachings. Or is it?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 27, 2007


No Comment, Almost

Below are today’s comments by Tommy 2.0 on recent Stravaraland events. I think they are so instructive, and delivered with such unquestioned authority, that no comments can really be made about them (well, almost).

“The Church does not wish that what the enemies of Cyprus did not achieve with the referendum, they can now achieve through economic subjugation (οικονομική υποδούλωση) through their control of our Cypriot banks. The Church will support the Land with the infinite spiritual/intellectual power (πνευματικό εκτόπισμα) that the Church possesses, and all those that are targeting the Land’s economy should understand this.”

One small comment is unavoidable, however. You can now sleep safely at night knowing that your (elected) spiritual leaders will never allow the economy to sink. For the last 33 years they were not actively involved in the economy and look where the Land ended up! Do not worry, from now on all your economic problems will be fixed, because Tommy 2.0, the chosen one, has arrived!

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 26, 2007

Who's Mooning Whom?

All it takes is watching the entire evening news bulletin on CyBC. It's the closest one can come to getting a lobotomy without so much as asking for anaesthetic. These people definitely live on their own planet. Enough with referring to the new Secretary General as Mr. Moon. It's Mr. Ban, you half-wits.

.... da da da da blares some royalty-free music, swish and slash go a couple of clumsy graphics on the TV and on comes the hysteria... some guy on a motorbike was forced off the road in a "professional" manner as he was on his way to murder the entire youth of Cyprus armed with 3 kilos of the deadliest cannabis known to man... "fortio thanatou" [cargo of death]... da da da waa waa... more pukey graphics.... "The head of the International Organisation not only retracted his words but apologized in public..."... Yeah Baby!!

Cheesy graphics of an oil rig.... da da lalalala... impending riches over the horizon type of music.... and suddenly the Chinese ambassador pops up and tells us that his country is very interested in drilling for oil off the Stravaraland coast... then we have some minister who must be acquainted with some motorcycle cargo death cult member mumbling on about no decisions having yet been made [yeah, obviously the media were alerted...duh!!] and that the process takes time and soon the entire world will be able to bid for drilling rights.... Yeah, right, moon us from a passing beemer!

And to top it all off we've got people going on and oooooon about the billions that Greek Cypriots spend gambling in the geographical location that is not south... The plan, Stan? Well, from what I gathered, Rikkos is going to dress up as a nun and whip the bad boys who visit casinos in the part of the island where there are casinos. While Cleanthous wants to implement a plan whereby people will snitch on gamblers in court, thus grinding 40 casinos to a halt and saving thousands of families and keeping the fabric of society well starched. Then they can all piss off to the horse races or buy a lottery ticket or hand over their salaries to Kammouyiaros. Appppomenos also said something on the matter but I was too busy having a THC withdrawal fit to notice what the plump boy was trying to say. Does he look stoned half the time, or half-stoned all the time?

The archbishop made no statements. Bummer.

January 25, 2007

Halloumi Habibi!

Following on the success of Stravaraland's potato exports via the northern section of our geographical location, our Agriculture Minister (and accomplished vegetable detective) has been talking to people in Larnaca about the prospects of dairy exports to the Middle East.

According to the Republix' Haber agency, there are good prospects of increasing exports despite the promotion of dairy products by other countries countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.

Koumpare Photi, you are totally confusing us now. Besides being unable to tell the difference between north and south-bound traffic on the island, are you now trying to place Stravaraland in the Middle East and Asia? What were you drinking with those Larnaca dairy producers?

It seems, according to the same news report, that Photis Photis also has a cunning plan (no, it doesn't involve a giant turnip) to fend off competition from these neighbouring countries by ... registering Halloumi as a trademark in the Middle East!

I ask once more whether the trademarking will also include the term Hellim? Does the said pseudo-geo cheese come from what was once Cyprus or not? Will the Norwegians be successful in promoting their own halloumi in the Middle East? Did Photis tell the Larnaca Chamber of Commerce about the impending changes in EU CAP subsidies or did he not get the memo?

PseudoGeography or a Slip of the Tongue?

We were so eagerly awaiting Kofi Annan's departure from the U.N. so that the Cyprus Problem could be solved according to our wishes and expectations. And what do we get in return? Before the cuckoo flew over the nest, before the rooster crowed three times, before the geographical term "Northern Cyprus" sank in, we got a new Sec. Gen. telling us that there should be negotiations between the two states in Cyprus.

What? Is he also referring to geographical locations, or is he simply another bloody traitor? Here we have a bit of a problem, though, as a traitor has to come from within. Well, maybe not in this case, seeing as he is a traitor to international law and order as well as to European ideals: yes, the ones we gave to the rest of the world as a gift a mere 2,500 years ago.

Mr Ban - or Moon, as that hideous peasant Zkoullias will probably refer to him (only to get the opportunity to give him a rude little Cypriot nickname) - is simply the archetype of a New Traitor on the block! He should apologise immediately before any of our political leaders agree to talk with any U.N. diplomat. Ever!

As traitors of ideals, betrayors of our people's inalienable human rights, such men cannot be tolerated. We will ignore them unless they beg for mercy, unless they go to Ledra Palace and publicly admit that this was a horrible slip of the tongue. In this case, when it comes to such an important topic and a key component of our struggle (winning over the independent U.N.), we are not willing to accept the geographical term.

We need a few more decades to accept that from the U.N. itself, but, for the time being, we will not compromise. With every microgramme of our mental ability, with every angelic vocal chord we have, with all the potatoes that cannot be exported, we will fight, we will shout, we will throw those potatoes at them if they so much as even think of talking to us. There is nothing to talk about before the necessary preparations can be made.

Victory is within our grasp. Give us 5 more years (that naive Glafcos thought he could do it in 16 months...) and we will triumphantly enter Kyrenia! With our banks fully under our control, with our superior economy, we will unite the two states and create the loving relationship we once had with our T/C brothers. Who just don't realize how much we love them, how much we want them to be part of the Republic as they pretend not to bother, like a bride holding out for a bigger dowry. We will persist, and we will win. 5 more years is what we need, 5 more years to shove our winning strategy down the throats of all those colonial-serving, dog-eating U.N. diplomats!

Choose Life!!!

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos


Once Stravaraland's Archbishop is done saving the local banks from the dangers of foreign impurities, it may be a good idea to take on the foreign-bastard fast-food imperialists who continue to shamelessly market a double decker hamburger known as the Big Mac.

A heart, after all, is sacred.

January 24, 2007

Night flights

Imagine someone driving and parking on Soutsou Street (the street behind the larger-than-life statue of Ethnarch the First) 57 times in a short period of time and pulling out his little red triangles indicating car trouble. He is then seen going into different ‘establishments’ on Soutsou asking for help (with his testosterone-release I would imagine).

Yet here in glorious Stravaraland, where the bearded folk, donning black cashmere fight for the investor's sacred right to maintaining racially pure Cypriot banks, absolutely no one would ever suspect what this fella is doing on that street. No suspicion whatsoever.

When the local kafetzis was asked whether the zapties at the corner was playing full-pello, he answered ‘ We did not know’…

OK sior, maybe so… but if you step back (careful not to fall in the lakkos at Strakkaland where the finest of Cypriot olive oils are produced and exported to the UK and bought in Pounds Sterling) and think with what brain cells have been spared from the lazarmavr-phil-aulik brainwashing, the only thing you might not suspect is that the fella came ‘freely’ - so to speak - or perhaps resorted to one of those super-duper, delayed ejaculation, twisted and ribbed Durex XL (hopefully with spermicide) of European origin…

Oops, that was not what C Pash was referring to when he made his comments today when asked about the 57 flights.….ou stravara mou… I guess not all flights are the same…


Now, you tell me whether the following is from: a newspaper in Greece, Turkey or Cyprus (Northern geographical location), or Cyprus (Proper - a.k.a. The Republic):

"It is simply tragic and repulsive to see some prominent figures in [blank] who insist on putting the blame on imagined 'external enemies.' Alas, enough is enough, and it is time to be honest. What we are facing is an internal enemy. And it deserves being called '[blank] fascism'"

I have intentionally replaced the actual word that gives away where this was published with a [blank]

But is it not true, that the [blank] could be any of the following:
1) Greek
2) Turkish

and it could have been published in:
1) Greece
2) Turkey
3) Cyprus

The article in question was actually published in Turkey, following the murder of the Turkish journalist of Armenian descent, Hrant Dink.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

Geographical Location

BBC informs us today that

"A man has been jailed for 10 years for manslaughter by a court in Northern Cyprus, after setting fire to a shop in Stoke-on-Trent in an insurance swindle."

Of course, as the government spokesman C Pash will claim, the article refers to a geographical location that has nothing to do with reality. Or something like that.

To repeat the infamous quote that is probably saved in Pash's memory indelibly:

"We do not have any doubt that the German Minister's specific reference is a mere geographical definition with no political implications whatsoever," Pashiardis noted.

Just substitute German Minister with BBC

Until we get bored and we stop even doing that...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 23, 2007

Traitors and Patriots III: The Case of Re-Approachment

We heard yesterday AKEL’s top leadership accusing Nick of DHSY that by meeting Talat he will be “undermining the government’s positions”.

Now note that AKEL (along with the Americans that followed them) was the first political party that correctly understood that “re-approachment” could work to create the understanding between the 2 communities that could avoid final division. AKEL has actually continued this effort and its leaders (except Katsourides) routinely meet with T/C politicians like the Prime Minister of the Other Side.

When Nick announced that he was going to meet with Talat (the President of the Other Side) though, all hell broke lose. Nick the traitor was “undermining our policy”. Now which policy was this? It was not that he was recognizing Talat as President because meeting with Soyer who is Prime Minister does not mean that AKEL is recognizing him as Prime Minister, does it? So it must be TeePee’s policy which was being violated: that meeting with Talat without lengthy preparations will not lead anywhere and just disappoint the people. This is not convincing but I am not going to go down that route.

I just want to point out how fragile the politics of re-approachment are. Any act can be labelled treasonous by some ministerial bureaucrat while the same act by AKEL or DIKO might be hailed as an act of great courage and patriotism. The blame does not really lie with the act itself, but with who is actually perpetrating that act. Some nice policy to bring unity within, and eventually between, the two communities!

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 20, 2007

The Taliban Strikes, Again

Lazaros Mavros concludes today that the failure of the government to buy the Chinese guns (those that were to originally fund the lavish lifestyle of the military guy who was handling the "negotiations" and the pre-election campaign of KISOS-EDEK) comes directly and conclusively from the fact that Politis published that the government was going to finally buy the guns. Thus, to quote from the Taliban's Koran, the "goal of Turkey and Politis to weaken the Cypriot defensive forces is finally successful".

We have pointed out previously how many people in Stravaraland think in terms of traitors and patriots, from ever since I can remember. The Talibanistic Lazaros just suffers more than others from this black-white view of the world (As Bush would have you, you are either with us or against us, it is either here or the highway, you get the point).

I find interesting this traitor/patriot dichotomy though. I find interesting how pervasive it is in Stravaraland politics (if you click back to the HAPESHI THANKS link you will find that the SMS voting for unity was also based on the traitor/patriot dichotomy). The historical examples that illustrate this abound. Grigoris Afxentiou you might recall was given up by the traitor voskos up in Mahairas, EOKA dealt with many more G/C traitors than English soldiers in 1955-59 as the Stats on the right illustrate, from 1960 to 1974 we had patriots dealing with traitors throughout the land, in 1974 the traitors created the coup and did not stick around to find when the invasion took place, then the traitors voted yes in 2004 contrary to the 1974 traitors who gave the strong patriotic No, and now we have the traitors again who want to turn the whole of the land into a Turkish protectorate...And we even have the bash-traitors who create movies about G/C-T/C love and show a traitor called Evagoras being killed in a church... Out of all places and out of all names, what a bash-traitor this director must be...

I guess always pointing the finger to the guilty traitor, ever moving, ever changing, ever present, must be some sort of solution. They do offer one solution, one excuse, one justification for the inability to deal with political problems. Like the barbarians of Kavafis, they do offer some sort of solution. What after all, would we be, without the traitors?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 19, 2007

Gimme Culture or Gimme Death

Yeah, Baby! Get them pencils sharpened and scoot on over to the State Broadcaster for some good old fashioned edukashun.

The Mouse That Bored

What's with all this attention some obscure rag called To Kypriako Pontiki is getting? I caught part of the Yiannakis Nicolaou hysteria show on CyBC just prior to souvlaki. The white-socked dork was interpreting a letter that had been published by the mouse-dropping rag..."a letter full of caustic humour" Yiannakis says and then goes on to read some brainless shit about a man who's wondering whether it would be within his rights to slash lorry tyres the next time he has a grievance. The dog sitting at my feet drew a blank stare as she has never been into mouse related humour and is not really partial to Ayia Napa waiters getting air time.

Why does this man feel the need to explain everything including questions he is about to ask?

By the time Apomenos Apomenou appeared sporting an Arafat beard I had to leave in search of souvlaki.

Why does Lambros - accross the road from Ayios Andreas elementary school - have a giveaway clock from the Cyprus Postal Service. How much did these clocks cost the taxpayer? What's the point? How much money did someoone's relative make on the deal? Why were there 2 tremors in Paphos today?

Spot The Ethnarch

January 18, 2007

The Men Who Lead Stravaraland

However sad we, and the rest of Stravaraland, might be with the loss of Pefkios, we need to take stock and examine the capacity of the men in power to lead the land.

I realize Aristotle defined the qualities of a good statesman to be (roughly) virtue, cleverness, courage and experience but the way "experience" has been interpreted in Stravaraland defies belief.

Let me give you a few concrete examples. Pefkios must have had a problem with his heart, therefore his death must have not come as the surprise it has been made it out to be. At 72, very overweight, with a previous open heart surgery, a tough schedule is probably not something he could handle. Dying on the job does not make one capable, instead it makes the rest of us wonder whether he could actually perform well on the job before hand.

This example is not the only one. The current minister of defence (the successor of Kokkalis if you want to know) has been in the hospital for the last month. The minister of social security has also been away from his duties for the last month because of health problems. These ones are the ones that receive media attention, I am sure there are a lot more about lots o men in power in Stravaraland that are conveniently hidden from wider public attention.

Now I do not consider age to be a disadvantage by itself, but when age (through health problems) interferes with the day to day job, I think it does become a disadvantage.

How many democratic countries have so many old (and in poor health) men running them? How many more men must die on the job before they realize it is best for everyone if they remained at home attending their grandchildren? How many days off do they take for health reasons every year and how do their health problems interfere with their jobs? Is this really the governance that the citizens of Stravaraland aspire to?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 16, 2007

Religious Economic Nationalism

It was high time Stravaraland got the archbishop it deserved. From advising Nick to come back to the national council for the sake of unity, from further advising that unity is more important than disagreement with TeePee, he now decides to offer his views on how the banking system should be organized.

Actually, he is right that BoC should not be sold to Marfin-Laiki but for completely the wrong reasons. I guess I should be interpreting that as something positive. He is right, and this will not be allowed to happen, because a bank cannot control close to 70% of the banking system, the Competition Commission first and the Central Bank second will both stop this process.

But what is the reasoning of our Chief of Bishops?

"Archbishop of Church of Cyprus, Chrysostomos B’, announced on Tuesday that the Church will proceed to investments in Bank of Cyprus and Hellenic Bank, reiterating its appeal to maintain their ownership regime so long as the Cyprus problem remain unsettled.
The Church will proceed to investments in both banks so as not to be taken by foreigners. While the Cyprus problem remains unsettled, the banks must be left unhindered to handle the economic issues of the country. Our banking system is perfect and when the Cyprus issue is solved within the framework of globalization, many companies will arrive and will merge with our companies. The banks must remain undisturbed”.

So, all you foreigners who wish to invest in Stravaraland so that you can spend your billions and then give us for free to the enemy, all of you will not succeed because Tommys B is watching. Yes, we have a Bishop and we have an Arch Bishop and he is strong and ready, come on you speculators, come on in and you will see what the Man of God, the Protector of the Meek, will do to you! But do not even think of starting to build a stake because he will buy it all then from you, whatever the price, whatever the cost! Come on you speculators of the world, you think you can outwit our Chief of Bishops? He is telling you, he will pay anything as long as the majority stakes do not end up in foreign hands! What are you waiting for? And Fear not! The purse goes all the way to Kykkos monastery and the CEO has been appointed for life! How long the wealth of the Church will last is another matter!

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

The Mistakes of Politis

We have been positive about the presence of Politis in Stravaraland's media from the beginning but that does not mean that Politis does not make mistakes. In its Sunday edition, there were two major ones that one could spot if they read carefully the two articles that were published simultaneously in both Politis and Phileleptheros.

The first one was a letter by outgoing AKEL MP Takis Hadjigeorgiou. The title in the correct version of the letter (published in Phil) was «Στη Λευκωσία υπάρχει ένα εργοστάσιο που παράγει φόβο» translated as “In Lefkosia there is a factory that produces fear”. The same letter was published in Politis on the same day entitled as «Λευκωσία: το εργοστάσιο που παράγει φόβο» translated as “Lefkosia: the factory that produces fear”. The difference in interpretation is dramatic since in the first instance there is only one factory somewhere in Lefkosia that produces fear whereas in the second instance the implication is that the whole of Lefkosia is a factory that produces fear, a much more sinister description of reality.

The second letter was one from Nikolas Papadopoulos (of Tassos) addressed to Papapetrou, and arguing that Papapetrou was being arrogant and curt towards Nikolas. The Phil letter was entitled very kindly as «Πρός κ. Μιχάλη Παπαπέτρου» whereas the Politis letter was entitled «Πρός κ. Μίχο», which immediately negates the point of the letter since a curt/arrogant letter cannot credibly accuse someone of being curt/arrogant.

We think Politis has been a positive addition to media in Stravaraland. Nevertheless, actions like this, that seem to be intentional and not “the press demon”, the customary excuse, reduce the credibility of the paper. Hopefully, the editor of Politis will take note that objectivity is not sacrificed to support other goals, however noble those might be.
Otherwise, the paper will lose its very hard-earned credibility...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 15, 2007

Traitors and Patriots

One of the main editorials of Phileleftheros on Sunday Jan 14th commented on “what we learned from the recent Ledras events. In particular, we have seen, that for one more time, G/C did not follow the official government policy, they actually sabotaged our positions like good traitors (Πεμπτοφαλαγγίτες). Positions that support the Turkish stance are unjustifiable”.

The argument is that everybody should follow the official government view, namely that the problem in Stravaraland is between the state of Turkey and the state of Cyprus and that therefore the T/C have no substantial role to play in solving the problem. Given that Cyprus is part of the EU and given that Turkey might still want in 15 years to enter the EU, at some point Turkey will give in and accept this view of the world, if not because it is correct, at least out of self-interest.

Now the “traitors” (or "patriots" to take the opposite view) among us, simply said, believe that the above view of the world, and the scenarios that directly follow from it, will only generate more division and conflict on the island and will never achieve any of the stated goals (bizonal, bicommunal federation, with the borders of the Greek state substantially enhanced relative to what they are now). I can go into the reasons for this view but that is not my point here. My point is that branding as traitors all the people that hold a different view from the government reminds me of statist/fascist regimes that did not accept any disagreement from the official view (remember Stalinism and Nazism?) If G/C need to defend themselves against the accusation of treason, simply for holding the opposite view, then how mature are the democratic institutions in Stravaraland? And if, objective as I trust you are, you agree that the current situation generates a strong impression that the democratic institutions are not mature enough, then how can T/C be persuaded to return to the Republic? With what faith can they trust the institutions of a land that holds its own citizens as traitors, simply for holding a perfectly reasonable alternative view of the world?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 13, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Words

A year or so ago the President of beloved Stravaraland announced that "The construction of the New General Hospital is the biggest scandal in the history of the Republic" (yes, the one that was saved in April 2004).

Now, has anybody heard of any investigations to identify and punish the culprits (even if they belonged to the previous government)? Or are we to assume that there were never any scandals in Stravaraland and therefore the "biggest scandal" is a drop in the ocean and therefore not sufficiently important to waste time on? You will agree with me that this is probably not what the President meant. But if this indeed the "biggest scandal" in the history of the Republic, and nothing is being done to identify and punish the ones responsible for it, am I not correct to conclude that words have lost their meaning? That words, that is, have become unbearably light, and therefore irrelevant?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 10, 2007

The Irrational Fear of Casinos in Stravaraland

Year after year for the last 15 years we have witnessed discussions/studies/fights about whether casinos should be allowed to operate in Stravaraland. The (potentially justified) fear concerns the natural tendency of the Cypriot man to gamble the family fortunes away. In such a world the state should come in and paternally look after the Cypriot man by removing the temptation that is called casino.

Since April 2003 though, the discussion has become irrelevant because the true hard core Cypriot man can cross the border and not only gamble, but gamble and party in anonymity. This same Cypriot man can even gamble away the most popular institutions of the land like the recently lost popular taverna in Strovolos.

But take a look around next time you are in any populated part of Stravaraland. Is there any doubt that the willing gambler can find the relevant Eurosport gambling place or the local kafene institution to gamble the family fortune away? Is there any doubt that the more sophisticated among us can log on the internet and gamble away till kingdom come? Is there any doubt that the advertising done by OPAP or the Cypriot government for their respective gambling games is actually encouraging gambling? And if all these are legally allowed to operate in Stravaraland, is it not true that the fear of having some government-regulated (thus tax-paying, non-taverna accepting) casinos in Stravaraland is irrational?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 08, 2007

Talat Own Goal

First Talat puts up a bridge in the middle of the holidays last year without consulting with anyone and claims this is how we are going to open Ledra street. All the G/C are up in arms, even the ones that would be willing to listen to his point of view...

Then a year later he announces he will demolish the bridge again in the middle of the holidays and again without consulting anyone. Now all the Turkish generals are up in arms for seeing their power being reduced...

Talat has managed to score two own goals and the bridge is still standing...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 07, 2007

The Missing Generation(s)

Last week I took my refugee grandfather to Kyrenia, a possible last time for him to see his land. He was forced to leave this land in May 1976, a full 22 months after the 1974 invasion. We had coffee with a T/C friend and his grandfather. I talk with my T/C friend in English, but the two elders hit it off talking to each other in Greek. Surprisingly, there is no problem communicating in Greek between them. They refer to a “Traoullos” that was responsible for the troubles of both communities. I leave that without comment but they definitely agree.

44 years after what we call “Turkish Revolt” and what they call “Bloody Christmas”, 33 years after what we call “Bloody Invasion” and what they call “Peaceful Intervention”, there is very little real communication between the two main communities on the island. Even the mode of communication has changed. I speak in English to my T/C friend and there is no conceivable other way of achieving communication, now or in the future. Our grandparents, on the other hand, manage just fine in Greek while our parents probably have seen too much and are therefore probably unable to talk to each other, period.

44 or 33 years of separation, depending on who is counting, have generated a missing generation, a generation that tells its own view of events, unable to come to terms with the mistakes of the past. Unable to therefore prevent the mistakes of the future. It is not a shame to live side by side with a view of changing things in the future, what is a shame is to keep denying the events of the past, and more importantly, continue to intentionally create more missing generations by distorting the accuracy of historical events to create further converts to “The Cause”.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 05, 2007

New Year, Same Toilet

Alright, maybe toilet is a bit over the top, so we'll keep it in the title while keeping ywith the spirit of the times.

The mayorette of Nicosia tookover from the rather affable but clueless Zampelas. She did, however give us a clue of what we may be in for. The capital's new Commissar told one and all that her regime would be a modern one, devoid of any unpleasantries, corruption and waste. Waaaitaminutehere, is the towns leading Pioneer accusing Zamp of all the aforementioned? Get your ass in gear and give us some pavements and sit the ball down.

Speaking of balls, does anyone out there have any idea as to the outcome of a discussion, otganised by the Cyprus Union of Sportswriters on the subject of "The State of Cyprus Football Since The Island's Accesion to The European Union"?

Pass me the zivania.

January 04, 2007

The Rule of Law

We all know by now how the Cyprus Problem will be solved in a big legal treatise that will spell out all the possible outcomes and preserve everyone's human rights for ever.

The following is an instructive example of the difficulties faced by this view. A Russian woman was arrested in November at the crossing and taken to court for having paid a deposit to buy a villa being built on a G/C's land. This woman had an 18-month old baby back in Moscow but all the newspapers of the land made a big deal of how her passport was taken away so that she could not escape her trial, how she posted 50 thousand pounds to avoid staying in prison until the trial and how she faced up to seven years behind bars.
Reports of the first day in court were widely covered in the press.

Now our sources place an Embassy person (from a country to remain unnamed) being actively present during all these proceedings. Now this country happens to be one of those "important and friendly countries" in Stravaraland's Struggle for Justice.

Now our sources also tell us that the Attorney General has stopped proceedings against the Russian (I guess on humanitarian grounds), yet none of the local newspapers have covered the route this story has taken (not yet anyway, too many things were happening during the festive holiday season anyway, from the bridge, to the street murders, to taking down all the symbols, our journalists have their plate full)...

Now, if for such a simple issue the rule of law is being compromised and completely silenced, what hope can one have that following the rule of law blindly will ever resolve the political problem of Stravaraland?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

January 03, 2007

A Quote from The Other Side

I think, therefore I am.

I am a Turkish Cypriot, therefore I am not

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos