της Φανούλας Αργυρού*
Πόσο έγκυρο μπορει να ειναι όταν αντιγράφει στα τυφλά;
Στις 6 Μαΐου 2020 το βρετανικό αριστερό περιοδικό “New Statesman” (αριστερό για την Αριστερά (left for the left) κατά την δήλωση του Αρχισυντάκτη του Jason Cowley The Independent 25.11.2015) δίχως να κάνει δική του έρευνα, και χρησιμοποιώντας τις αναρτήσεις της «Παροικιακής» εφημερίδας στο Λονδίνο, επικαλέστηκε ότι 287 Κύπριοι (μέχρι την ημέρα εκείνη «Π») είχαν αποθάνει από τον κορωνοιό στη Βρετανία, Ελληνοκύπριοι και Τουρκοκύπριοι. Στις 7 Μαΐου 2020 η «Παροικιακή» στις αγγλικές της σελίδες ανέβασε τον αριθμό στους 301.
Την ίδια ημέρα 7.5.2020 η «Ελευθερία» δημοσίευσε τα αποτελέσματα της δεύτερης έρευνάς της επικοινωνώντας με τις Ελληνορθόδοξες Εκκλησίες μας εντός και εκτός Λονδίνου και βρήκε ότι οι κηδείες που είχαν καταγραφεί από τις Ελληνορθόδοξες μας Εκκλησίες ήσαν 109. Επομένως, το ερώτημα είναι σε ποίες Εκκλησίες έγιναν οι κηδείες ή θα γίνουν των υπολοίπων σχεδόν 100 συμπατριωτών/τισσων μας που κατά την «Παροικιακή» απεβίωσαν λόγω κορωνοιού; Είναι δυνατόν να είπαν «ψέματα» οι ερωτηθέντες από την «Ελευθερία» Ιερατικώς Προϊστάμενοι των Ελληνορθοδόξων Εκκλησιών μας στο Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο; Και τους οποίους η «Ελευθερία” ονόμασε ένα προς ένα στο τεύχος της 7ης Μαΐου 2020.
Στις 8 Μαΐου 2020 έστειλα την πιο κάτω επιστολή στο «New Statesman».
Ms Anoosh Chakelian
New Statesman’s Britain editor
Dear Ms Chakelian
Cypriot Community in the United Kingdom
I refer to your article of 6 May 2020 in “The New Statesman” entitled “A Cypriot tragedy: How diaspora deaths expose Britain’s failings to the world” and the subtitle “Countries suffering mildly from coronavirus despair at the UK. Where their friends and relatives are dying in above average numbers”.
Your coverage made some important points and it was evidently well-intentioned. However, I regret to note it appeared to rely heavily on the reporting by “Parikiaki” (one of the two Greek Cypriot weekly community papers in London). That reporting appears to has been mistaken.
The Greek Cypriot population in the United Kingdom is estimated to have reached 300,000 but this is not as yet officially confirmed as no official census has been carried out unfortunately. However this is an approximation which we do use for the time being. At the same time, it is also estimated that there are approximately 60,000 Turkish Cypriots. Furthermore it should be emphasized that although a big number from both communities live in London, a sizeable number primarily live in cities outside London, such as Birmingham, Coventry, Manchester and others.
The Greek Cypriot community weekly newspaper “Eleftheria” (www.eleftheria.co,uk), for which I write, has conducted two researches in order to establish the nearest possible figure of victims of Covid-19 within our Greek Cypriot community in the United Kingdom. The first investigation after conducting the authorities of each Greek Orthodox Church in London and others outside London revealed the deaths from Covid-19 to had reached 92-95. These results were published in “Eleftheria” (www.eleftheria.co.uk) on its electronic edition on 23 April 2020 on the front page at
The second and in-depth investigation carried out by “Eleftheria” on Tuesday the 5th of May 2020 confirmed that 109 burials have been recorded so far including one which will take place in July. Out of these 97 registered by the Greek Orthodox Churches in London and 12 outside London. The details of this investigation have been published in “Eleftheria” on pages 1 and 2 of its electronic edition of 7th May 2020
at http://www.eleftheria.co.uk/pdf/572020254Eleftheria_1023.pdf pages 1 and 2
The coverage is documented, (albeit in Greek) giving the names of the Churches and the names of each one of the Priests or community leaders who gave the above mentioned information published.
The percentage of 5% attributed to the Cypriot community in London calculated by “Parikiaki” is thought to be mistaken.
On the basis of the 109 verified deaths within the Greek Cypriot community in the United Kingdom and the approximate number of 300,000 the proportion comes to 0.4% which is not therefore disproportionate. This number based on these findings, tallies with the understanding of the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Mr. Christos Karaolis. As does the population number of 300,000.
As far as the Turkish Cypriot community is concerned, we do not know of any similar in-depth investigation carried out by Turkish Cypriot community leaders or newspapers. However, it is not estimated that deaths within this community to exceed 60-80. Even so there is a huge discrepancy between the number of 287 claimed by “Parikiaki” which includes deaths from both communities.
Finally -and when this tragedy is hopefully over – I would end with a call for an official inquiry into what has happened to Cypriots across the UK as well as other minority groups. In that way, that uncertainty may be cleared.
For the sake of transparency and the right to reply, please publish my letter in your publication as soon as possible.
Researcher/Journalist/Author – London