Greek Cypriot director Panikos Chrysanthou and Turkish Cypriot poet Nese Yasin on Friday received the European Citizen’s Prize 2021 for their cooperation which led to documentaries ‘Our Wall’’ and ‘My Homeland’.
The award ceremony was held at the Home for Cooperation in the buffer zone in Nicosia.
Yiasin in her speech said that both she and Panikos were two people who were hurt from the past and were fighting for the future. She said that they were born in different sides of the divide “but in their hearts they have a common home, the whole of the island”. She said that they both search for the truth and they want to make a reality what politicians failed to do for decades.
Yasin said that she was receiving the award in the name of so many pacifists who fight for coexistence. She said that she and Panikos would keep on writing and making movies.
Chrysanthou said that pain has no nationality and that in conflicts and wars people hurt the same. He said that the award was an appreciation for his work and gives him courage for all the bullying and hostility he endured over his work.
He said that both he and Yiasin fight for freedom of speech and “freedom to utter different words than those who monopolise patriotism”.
He also said that fanaticism, hate and intolerance make people go blind.
MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek who proposed the two for the award, a proposal that was endorsed by all Cypriot compared both to the intellectuals in France and Germany who brought people together and hoped they also manage to bring the people of Cyprus together.
Each year, the European Parliament awards `The European Citizen`s Prize`. This prize is an award for exceptional achievements in the following areas:
Projects promoting better mutual understanding and closer integration between citizens of the Member States or facilitating cross-border or transnational cooperation within the European Union.
Members of the European Parliament have the right to submit nominations – one per Member each year.