Greek Cypriot vote: Awesome messages
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades was in Istanbul for the World Humanitarian Summit co-chaired by Turkey and Germany. In all of his meetings, he opened his mouth to complain about Turkey’s “occupation” of Cypriot territory for the past 42 years. Turkish authorities gawked at him in full awareness of the responsibilities of a host, as no one could remind him of the grave role the Greek Cypriots played in unleashing the tragedy on the island after 1963.
The same Greek Cypriot leader who is presumably negotiating with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart on the creation of a federal Cyprus on the basis of political equality of the two communities of the island unfortunately refused to attend a dinner hosted by the Turkish president because Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı was also invited. Why? Because he would never accept a Turkish Cypriot leader elevated to his status?
The Turkish hosts were kind enough not to make the nasty remarks or the miserable boycott of the official dinner an issue. No one could tell him either that the May 22 election results in the Greek Cypriot sector of the island unfortunately clearly demonstrated that, mentality wise, not much has changed from the night of Dec. 21, 1963, when the Akritas Plan to exterminate Turkish Cypriots was put into action.
On that night and the consequent years up until the 1974 Turkish intervention, hundreds of Turkish Cypriots were murdered by Greek Cypriot hordes, removed from roads by police as well as paramilitary gangs and were never seen again. However, Turkish Cypriots resisted and though the Akritas Plan of Makarios, Klerides, Yorgachis, Grivas and other chieftains of the EOKA gang planned to get rid of all Turkish Cypriots in less than 24 hours, a brave resistance was staged for 11 years. The 1974 intervention, as well, was not an irrational undertaking by Turkey, but a by-product of a Greek-engineered coup by Greek Cypriot supporters of union with Greece (Enosis).
Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have been hearing fairy tales… Times have changed. Enosis is no longer a goal of Greek Cypriots. The European Union might provide an effectively secure roof for the two peoples of the island.
Now there is no need to be obsessed with security and maintain the 1960 guarantee scheme… Britain will retain its sovereign bases. Even Russia will have security arrangements to use naval bases and airports belonging to the Greek Cypriots. France, United States and other members of the coalition of the willing will be able to undertake whatever operations they would like in the eastern Mediterranean and beyond and will use Cyprus and the British bases. Greece will have full access to all military installations under the joint defense doctrine. But Turkey will withdraw its troops, accept the scrapping of the 1960 guarantee system, withdraw in full from Cyprus, and watch it from a distance. Worse, as if Turkey is a naïve toddler, there is a desire to deceive it with a guarantor status that won’t include a military presence and be limited only to the Turkish state of the future federation.
A Turkish saying, the direct translation of which might be “The skullcap has fallen, the bold head has been seen” implies that once impediments obstructing sight or comprehension are removed, the bare reality is displayed. The Greek Cypriot parliamentary election produced such awesome results that the messages produced must be carefully examined by the EU but more so by Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. Instead of, for example, meeting with the United Nations secretary-general after the Anastasiades boycott of the official dinner because of his participation, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı should not be so shallow as to discuss what other compromises he could deliver so that Greek Cypriots agree to a federal deal.
The May 22 elections showed that the existential threat the Turkish Cypriots faced is no less than what it was in 1963. The National Popular Front (Elam), a far-right party forged on the coat tails of Greece’s Golden Dawn, received 3.7 percent of the vote and produced two deputies – one of them the son of a former EOKA chieftain – to the House of Representatives. Elam is a terrorist gang, attacking Turkish Cypriots at every occasion and frequently staging demonstrations chanting “Bello [crazy] Turko,” “The best Turk is a dead Turk,” “Thirsty, we shall drink Turkish blood” and such slogans that must be considered as the most cogent examples of a hate crime in any European democracy. Not only Elam, all other anti-Turkish or hardline groups increased their votes in Sunday’s election while the ruling party and the communist Akel lost considerably, albeit coming first and second respectively. The vote showed anti-settlement groups as well as groups pursuing Turkish animosity have all doubled their votes.
Some 3.7 percent of the vote demonstrates that at least 13,000 Greek Cypriot people could vote for a terrorist group vowing to drink Turkish blood. There are less than 4,000 people under arms in the Turkish Cypriot security forces. The Greek Cypriot government just recently decided to establish a 13,000-strong paid new army.
The U.N., EU and everyone must reconsider: Can we really have a federation on Cyprus if Greek Cypriots continue shunning political equality even at a dinner, recruit a new army and vote for zealots hating Turks? And a question to “settlement at any cost” Akıncı: Can we really give away the Turkish guarantee?