Speechless European Dream

We’re ridiculously stuck in between the refugee crisis and Turkey’s accession chapters to enter the European Union.

Suddenly European Council President Donald Tusk flies in to flex his diplomatic muscles with our President Anastasiades, who is stuck between his role as a leader of an EU country (he needs all the help he can get to come closer to any solution to the Cyprus problem before his term ends) and conveying the message to Turkey that pressure will not alleviate Cyprus’ demands towards a potential agreement.

Our little island suddenly has a voice in finding a potential solution to the refugee crisis, merely because of Turkey’s gradual steps into entering a European realm that they desire.

Fair enough, every dynasty has the right to go after their desires.

Historically, it is coincidences that materialise these wants. Leaving aside the simultaneous ‘coincidences’ of the refugee crisis, war-torn Syria and the uprising of terror groups, Cyprus’ voice also comes amid the terrifying ‘coincidence’ of Turkey’s raping of freedom of speech.

Over the weekend, Turkey saw its some 75 million people being deprived of access to Facebook and Twitter, just a week after it saw the country’s biggest newspaper Zaman literally seized by the state.

How can we allow leaderships to discuss the paths of our future when our own voices are being silenced? Social media may have changed the way we live, the way we communicate and potentially has a mountain of flaws to address, but it is also one of the prime means we have to share our stories in a world that is becoming all the more globalised.

There’s a wakeup call to be had right there; one that has to be addressed even before we can begin to talk about any idealistic future, whether that of Cyprus, Turkey, Syria or the European dream as I like to refer to it nowadays. Or should I call it a nightmare?

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London