Well done President Tatar
An outstanding majority of the Turkish Cypriot people are patriotic, nationalists and have strong attachment to Turkey. Of course, they are not always in a social consensus on everything, but despite the political differences that persist at the back of their mind, the Turkish Cypriot people have always succeeded in returning to the normal course of life in every period immediately after the election, burying the electoral period tensions at the ballot box.
The situation was slightly different in the last parliamentary and presidential elections. Due to post-election uneasiness, early elections have almost become inevitable. Particularly, the polarization of the presidential election and interventions of the magnitude that will affect the result did not make it possible to return life to normal and leave the election behind. Especially the post-election turmoil in the National Unity Party reaching the dimension of eliminating the capacity of the largest party of the Turkish Cypriot people from holding its own congress for a period deepened the fault lines in the Turkish Cypriot politics.
While the economic consequences of the pandemic have made the TRNC economy more dependent on Turkey than ever before, the hardline positions adopted both in domestic and foreign policy have raised serious concerns over derailment.
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar is a political leader who cares about relations between the TRNC and Turkey. Just as the Late Founding President Rauf Denktaş, who when asked whether he could accept EU integration before Turkey’s accession, said that “I would not go even to heaven without Turkey,” Tatar is a politician who knows that it is not possible for the Turkish Cypriots and their state to continue alone without Turkey’s support.
Tatar is a politician who has a duty to resolve the tensions between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people that are produced both as a result of some misrepresentations and some unfortunate statements, as well as because of efforts of the “fifth column” activities of the Greek Cypriot side and some foreign powers. During his last visit to Turkey, Tatar visited the graves of Brigadier General Nihat Ilhan, who was a military doctor at the time, his wife, Mürüvvet Ilhan, and their three children who were killed by Greeks in the Kumsal massacre in the 1963’s Bloody Christmas.
My dear friend, Tatar, has longed to make this visit. He wanted to visit the home of the Ilhan family to convey the gratitude of his people to the İlhan family and pay a visit to the graves of İlhan Pasha as well as his wife and three children slaughtered by the Greek Cypriot hordes.
Tatar, like all Turkish Cypriots, reflected my feelings. Just as Ilhan Pasha’s wife and children were brutally murdered in the 1963 Bloody Christmas in the bathroom of their Kumsal residence, which has been the Museum of Barbarism since the 1963 incident, the Turkish Cypriots were attacked with a genocidal barbarism and only with Turkey’s intervention and support was able to stage a heroic resistance and come to this day.
Of course, no one can establish tomorrow and build a more secure future without knowing and drawing lessons from the past. For this reason, the demands for the Turkish Cypriot struggle history to be taught in the Turkish Cypriot secondary education are appropriate and must be achieved. Turkish Cypriot history should be taught as a course in the Turkish Cypriot universities. The Turkish Cypriot Historical Society should be revived, and its legal framework should be urgently legislated.
I expect my friend, Tatar, whose sensitivity to these issues I am aware of, to play an encouraging role in the government taking such steps. For the sake of not raising new generations with the feeling of enmity towards the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots’ heroic resistance to genocidal attacks by the Greek Cypriot hordes from 1963 to 1974 has remained out of textbooks for a long period. Did Greeks take out Turkish enmity from their textbooks? No. Time is up to correct the anomaly and start teaching the Turkish Cypriot kids about the heroic resistance of their forefathers.
Thank you for your sensitivity, President Tatar.