'Without Turkey, won’t go even to heaven’
I’ve been hearing some very unpleasant allegations lately. Whether it’s true or false, it’s a separate story, but if what I hear comes true, some people might end up paying a very serious price. On the anniversary of Turkey’s 1974 Cyprus intervention, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay a one-day visit with a large delegation to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).
A visit to TRNC by the Turkish leader has always been important, but this year around, there is an added excitement due to the fact that Erdoğan announced almost a month ago that he would be making a very important statement during his visit.
Tensions at the leaders’ level during former Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı’s term since the election of Ersin Tatar to the presidency have been replaced by cooperation, support and a synergy rapidly resolving problems. One sign of this is that Erdoğan will visit the island once again shortly. Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has almost made the TRNC his second address.
Even though the TRNC government has not been wholly successful in responding to the requirements of the pandemic period, but with Turkey’s assistance and solidarity, it is indeed far better off than many other countries regarding containing the pandemic, vaccination work and coping with economic difficulties. But problems continue, especially in the tourism sector. Tradesmen need more appropriate support and grant programs for their problems. The education sector requires an added support package as the heavy burden of the pandemic does not seem to be easy to relieve. Turkey has a share in the Turkish Cypriot fight against the pandemic and its economic-social results.
It is unclear where Erdoğan will make his long-promised statement. Will he make his awaited statement during his speech at the ceremony, or is he planning to make a statement that will demonstrate Turkey’s commitment to Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots at a special session of the Republican Assembly? We’ll have to wait and see, but of course, it will be important for the Republican Assembly to host Erdoğan.
However, it can also be a troubling situation. Of course, there is no obligation that everyone should like Erdoğan. The right to criticism is reserved, but everyone is expected to respect the elected president of Turkey. The claim that some elements of the opposition and non-parliamentary left-wing groups plan to stay away from the events attended by Erdoğan and even boycott the special session of the Republican Assembly on July 20 if he attended is inappropriate.
Erdoğan’s speech at the Republican Assembly will be an important cornerstone of the Turkish Cypriot struggle for existence.
Finally, respect and love are shown to the great Turkish nation in the person of the president in office.
It should be noted that if we complain about foreign interference in an election, a political party congress, or a political decision-making process, it is extremely important and respectable to develop sensitivity. But unfortunately, the history of this issue goes back a long way. Let’s remember in which elections, or referendum, which external factors played a role and how effectively. In short, please the one with the least sin should throw the stone first.
We need to talk about mistakes, voice our resentments and criticisms. Why are some Turkish Cypriot intellectuals declared undesirable in Turkey? Let’s ask and demand answers. The Turkish Cypriots love politics, but they also manage to leave politics at the ballot box, to abandon political differences once the polling booths are closed and to always stick together in full respect to each other’s differences. This concept of democracy, the ability to respect differences, should not be spoiled.
For historical reasons, the Turkish Cypriots have always been raised in a culture of “objection” or “resistance.” The Turkish Cypriots do not like the culture of allegiance, to be ordered at. Let’s not forget, it’s a little tense. But it is worth remembering what the late Denktaş one said: “I wouldn’t go to heaven without Turkey!”
P.S. I celebrate the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha. So I am taking this opportunity to take a week off from my writing. Goodbye, I hope to see you on July 29.