I was four
years old when we left our Eftakomi village with the
clothes on our backs and the tears in our eyes.
I went back 30 years later. Our first stop was the
cemetery. My mother trying to find her father's unmarked
grave, trying to remember the location her mother had
told her about.
She held a bottle of holy water and both she and my
father kept saying: if she was still alive she would
Unfortunately or fortunately my grandmother died in 2001
in the "free" Cyprus, two years before we were "allowed"
to return to Eftakomi with a "visa".
We never found my grandfather's grave. My mother emptied
the bottle of holy water everywhere she thought he might
be and I tried to envision his smile as if he were alive
asking him to guide me.
He was the life of the village. Everyone knew "ton Kroko".
Stand-up comedian with an abundance of Turkish Cypriot
friends. The barber who once made a soon to be groom
bald just for a prank. Everyone loved him.
The second year we visited a Turkish Cypriot friend we
encountered in the village came with us. We searched for
the grave together and his eyes watered along with ours.
Again, the holy water sprinkled on the area we thought
he might be and the Turkish friend telling us: "You
sprinkle water too on the dead, just like us?"
Similar and the same we are Turkish Cypriots and Greek
Cypriots, one face and one heart but yet the cemetery
was even more devastated this summer. We couldn't see
any more crosses on the graves, the few that were there
the first year had disappeared, the tombstones had been
broken and some moved as if the dead souls would go away
if their monuments didn't exist.