Being realistic on Cyprus

Being realistic on Cyprus

When it comes to human relationships and personal life, it is not only necessary to approach topics and developments romantically, but it is also useful as it is the key to happiness. However, when it comes to state life while making political assessments concerning national interests, of course, it is very useful to stay realistic without being pessimistic.

Unfortunately, there is a significant minority among the Turkish Cypriots who are victims of Stockholm syndrome. These friends who had been subjected to all sorts of inhumane treatment, including genocidal practices by the Greek Cypriots - slaughtered, persecuted and downed - cannot call themselves the Turkish Cypriots. They use an absurd definition such as “Cypriottürk.” Noooo… I’m not going to call these friends traitors. I just want to emphasize that they’re seriously psychologically ill. For them, whatever belongs to the Turks and Turkey is bad, while whatever comes from the Greeks or is related to the Greeks is good, and this is the necessity for them for being “leftists.”

Even though they may become the president of the Turkish Cypriot state and compelled to see how the Greek Cypriots see the Turkish Cypriot people as some sort of serfs or slaves that they can feel glorified by helping a bit, “doing a favor” to this “meager minority,” they cannot recover from this serious disorder. A high-capacity pandemic hospital is required in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). However, perhaps it is even more urgent to open a psychiatric hospital and treat these friends.

Last week, some of these friends were on the streets again. They claimed that President Ersin Tatar had been appointed by Ankara as the head of the TRNC, even though he was a wanted criminal in Britain. Of course, it is a necessity in democracies to express opposing opinions, to make claims and to criticize. The Polly Peck case was closed long ago for Asil Nadir and the rest of the accused. Tatar traveled to London last just before the pandemic as the prime minister of the TRNC. If he was a fugitive, would the British police tolerate him? The Turkish Cypriot people, albeit by a small margin, chose Tatar and brought him to the office of community leader and as TRNC president on Oct. 18, 2020. Just as the opponents had to consider his legitimate presidency despite all their objections when Mustafa Akıncı was elected to the same office, today attacking Tatar with the expression “appointed” is a serious disgusting insult and disrespect to the will of people of the TRNC.

Unfortunately, some of Tatar’s appointments are seen as seriously inappropriate not only from this sick group but also by a much wider public audience. If the TRNC parliament legislates a new law and criminalizes offenses against the state -- why they were not legislated over the past decades is a very serious and legitimate question – it will be possible to protect the Turkish Cypriot state and the dignity of the Turkish Cypriot people against such aggressors from both the right and the left. Neither Tatar should be allowed to be attacked or humiliated by derogatory adjectives such as “appointed,” nor should anyone be able to use an expression like” the so-called state” to the TRNC and get away with it.

The budgetary allocation and the discussion over a new presidential palace, of course, is nonsense and should be harshly criticized. Equally filling the presidency with the appointment of people who have been critical of the very existence of the Turkish Cypriot State, insulting the Turkish Cypriot State, or pledging loyalty to the Greek Cypriot administration should, of course, be criticized. Moreover, respect limits can be seriously tested in such criticisms.

We’re on a very important threshold

We are on a very important threshold for Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean interests as well as the future of the Turkish Cypriot people. On the way to the informal 5+ 1 U.N. (and EU as an observer) Cyprus conference in Geneva on 27-29 April, it is wrong for a small group of the Turkish Cypriots to continue the “federation is the only way” line as if federation was possible. Such an attitude is creating a deficiency in defending interests. It is forgotten for some reason that for a Cyprus federation, it requires sovereignty and power-sharing, which the Greeks have repeatedly demonstrated that they will never ever accept. As a matter of fact, now the Greek part is putting forward preconditions for political equality.

We have had enough. Let’s be realistic. The negotiation process, which has been going on since 1968 and serves to consolidate the Greek state step by step, should either be restarted with the goal of a two-state solution on a realistic basis and with a timetable, or the Turkish Cypriots should be allowed to decide their own destiny. Let’s not forget that the 2004 simultaneous referendums on the Annan Plan were essentially the registration of the Turkish Cypriots’ right to self-determination by the U.N. and the international community.