Turkish flag on Mount Goman

Turkish flag on Mount Goman

Most of us were engaged in some sort of “whose daddy is bigger” game in our childhood. It is a nonsense game, but somehow kids love such oddities. By playing, they think they might prove to the rest of the kids the “superiorities” they might have and thus how invaluable their friendship might be… Child psychology!

I remember, during that time of no toys – owing to the poverty that my community was condemned to by besieging Greek Cypriot hordes – one day I found the huge cardboard box of a refrigerator in our backyard. That box was converted into a playground, and in the absence of a better toy around, as owner of that box my friendship had all of a sudden become invaluable. Again, when my grandpa brought me an iron toy train locomotive, for many weeks I became the most popular kid in the neighborhood. It was a great feeling, but it served no practical purpose. In the evenings I was still going to bed with a half empty stomach; as I said, those were the pre-1974 years of poverty…

In those years, from the barricades dividing Nicosia into northern Turkish Cypriot and southern Greek Cypriot quarters, Greek Cypriots frequently played a Turkish song: “I waited for you so long, you never came!” Of course, this was a mockery of the twice-attempted Turkish intervention to stop Greek Cypriot atrocities against Turkish Cypriots. Those intervention attempts were called off at the last minute because of American pressure.

In 1974, when Turkey finally intervened and put a full stop to Turkish Cypriot sufferings, in the Turkish quarter of Nicosia another song was playing on loudspeakers: “I may come one night all of a sudden…” Sometime later, in the 1980s, huge Turkish and Turkish Cypriot flags were painted on the Five Finger Mountains – so huge that they were clearly visible in most parts of Nicosia’s Greek Cypriot side. A few years ago, the contest was continued with the erection of a huge monument close to Nicosia’s Metehan crossing point, which depicted Atatürk on a galloping horse directed towards the Greek Cypriot… What do the Arabs say? “Man dakka dukka!” Don’t knock on someone else’s door if you do not want your door be knocked!

Those were some of the memories that flashed back in my mind over the absurd recent statement by a politician that a 400 kilometer squared area of Turkey’s southeast was under the control of the separatist gang, and the subsequent report that the military had staged a comprehensive operation and hoisted Turkish flag on all peaks of Mount Goman, near Şemdinli…

Can a state act like a small boy in contest with another boy, competing to see who can pee further? Certainly not. Why would a state act like a small boy and try to prove to some bastards who is sovereign or who is the boss on a mountain inside Turkish territory? Do we have any doubt as to who that area belongs to? Or, could those separatist terrorists take away just a pebble of Turkish territory?

My friend Enis Berberoğlu, the Editor-in-Chief of daily Hürriyet, was on the front page of his paper yesterday with a photograph depicting him sitting next to a table decorated with flowers, drinking coffee on Mount Goman… That’s it! The message was civilian, civilized and clear: We want peace. We want harmony. But, know well, this land is ours! Well done Enis.

Why would the state engage in a “who can pee further” contest with the terrorists?