The flag issue in Cyprus

The flag issue in Cyprus

Once upon a time there was a very rude, angry, demanding sultan. Was he tall or bald, I have no idea, but he was definitely a very bold one.

The story is that the sultan was bored and indeed fed up with bootlickers and his charlatan. He ordered his clown and issued a rigid order: “Make me such a joke that apology for it should be worse than the joke itself. Otherwise your head will roll down the front gate of the palace…”

The sultan was a tough one. He was notorious with his merciless decisions. The poor clown was given only two days to decide about the joke the apology for which would be worse than the joke itself…

He eventually decided on one. What might have been the consequence of making such a joke? After all, did the sultan not say he would be beheaded should his joke not be a sufficiently good one?

The sultan had some royal guests from the nearby sultanate. The clown waited until the end of the ceremony and as the sultan was climbing back the long stone stairs to the front gate of the extravagant palace, he just took a pinch from the back of the sultan.

The sultan was shocked… “How dare you?” he roared like a lion, his eyes turned into mountains pouring out lava in flames. The clown, with a huge smile on his face, said, “Sorry my almighty sultan, I mistook your back.

I thought you were the mother sultan.” The sultan was bursting in anger but all of a sudden, he realized the apology was far worse than the original offense.

In Turkish Cyprus, a controversy has been continuing for some time. Some officious personnel of the presidential office released photographs of President Mustafa Akıncı receiving a not-so-important at all Greek Cypriot Social Reform Union.

In the photographs, from the official presidential reception room, it was apparent that the Turkish, Turkish Cypriot flags and the presidential flags were removed.

After an explosion of anger on social media criticizing the development, Akıncı issued a statement, again on social media, saying there was nothing abnormal.

He defended that there were two kinds of flags and emblems: The permanent ones and the moveable ones.

When, he said, there were some official guests like the U.N. representatives or foreign diplomats or some trivial Greek Cypriot personalities, the “mobile” flags and Turkish Cypriot statehood emblems were removed from the presidential reception room. Is it not another version of the apology being worse than the original offense?

It is so unfortunate to have a president at the head of the Turkish Cypriot state who can accept to hide the Turkish Cypriot flag in order not to offend his trivial Greek Cypriot guests.

Worse, admitting he has been doing that all along is a bizarre development that proves why Akıncı’s opponents have been accusing him of trying to serve Greek Cypriots forgetting that he was elected and getting paid to serve the interests of the Turkish Cypriot people.

Of course, there were guests or visitors of the presidential office who would not accept to pose for cameras with Turkish Cypriot statehood objects around.

Yet, rather than removing the flags, the venue of such meetings was changed to some other places such as the presidential residence, hotels and indeed sometimes to residences of some senior presidential personnel – as Akıncı was hosted recently at the residence of his spokesman Barış Burcu for the visit of AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou…

A flag represents the honor, pride and independence of a state, and the presidents ought to respect them more than anyone else.

Cyprus issue, Politics, Diplomacy