Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cratos Premium: The new Sun City

For years Turkish propaganda has successfully painted Cyprus as an issue between two rival ethnic communities, Greeks and Turks, in an attempt to legitimize the ongoing Turkish military occupation of the island’s northern territory. By twisting history and religion, Turkey has been able to mislead millions into believing that the issue at hand in Cyprus is between two feuding ethnicities, rather than about an illegal military occupation that causes all Cypriots to suffer. Cyprus is less of an ethnic conflict and more about two religious communities divided by imperialism and the colonization.

In Turkey’s continued campaign to separate Christian and Muslim Cypriots into ‘Greek’ and ‘Turkish’, the Turkish government has allowed the Turkish company BOZGROUP to build the largest tourist resort on the island in its illegally occupied territory. The BOZGROUP has invested over $220 million into the Cratos Premium Hotel-Casino-Port-Spa in the occupied city of Kyrenia, in hopes of luring unsuspecting tourists to the self pro-claimed ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ to party the night away on the graves of innocent women and children. What is the ‘TRNC’ one may ask, well its nothing more then a code name for the Turkish Military used in order to masked Turkey’s military occupation and paint it into a peace mission protecting the ‘Turkish Cypriot’ community. The majority of which are Turkish settlers brought to the island after the 1974 illegal invasion, in hopes of changing the ethnic makeup of the island.

Which brings us back to the issue at hand. The Cratos Premium tourist resort and the recent controversial cancelation of Jennifer Lopez, who was scheduled to perform at a concert celebrating the opening of the resort, as well as the 36 anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island. Lopez’s cancelation came as a result of an online campaign initiated by the Cyprus Action Network of America, CANA, which was supported by AHEPA and thousands of individuals on facebook that wrote the celebrity. In an official statement, Ms. Lopez claimed she ‘would never knowingly support any state, country, institution or regime that was associated with any form of human rights abuse’. J.Lo’s appearance was to be used to bring ‘legitimacy’ to the illegal entity in the North, which proclaims itself independent from the internationally recognized government in the South.

The question now is whether other celebrities, like Sean Paul who is scheduled to perform in the Occupied Zone in August, will follow in J.Lo’s footsteps and boycott Cratos Premium, Cyprus’ own ‘Sun City’. Some of you reading may remember Sun City, the luxury casino and resort in South Africa, which was boycotted in 1980s by Artists United Against Apartheid. With musicians today boycotting shows in Israel over human rights abuses against Palestinians, as well as boycotts against performing in Arizona over a new immigration law, it is not too farfetched to imagine a similar boycott against Cratos Premium in order to bring attention to Occupied Cyprus and perhaps finally see the removal of Turkish troops and settlers from the birthplace of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite.