The “endless story” continues! Elections were held in North Cyprus. Ersin Tatar, the right-wing UBP candidate supported by the palace regime had won with 51.47% and with a difference of 4500 votes.
by Hakkı Yükselen / Kırmızı Gazete 10.22.2020
Tatar, in his speech after the elections, firstly thanked Turkey’s President Erdogan and his vice Fuat Oktay for their help to won the election. There was nothing to hide, though. Everyone knew that a group commissioned by Fuat Oktay, who headed the propaganda machine of the regime “in the homeland”, was operating in Northern Cyprus to support Tatar. Moreover, this was not just political and technical support: According to the news, before the elections, 3 thousand liras were distributed to ten thousand people, who make up 5 percent of the voters of Northern Cyprus, to support Tatar. After the elections, allegations of “electoral crimes” unseen in the history of Northern Cyprus were added.
However, the issue is not limited to these conditions. In the same “victory” speech, the new president Tatars criticized the opposition who he accepts as “enemy of Turkey,” and he said they will not weaken the sovereignty of the Turkish people for the sake of a solution in Cyprus. Isn’t it interesting, the presidential candidate of a state claimed to be “independent” and sought to be recognized by other states, in a post-election speech in which he emphasized “independence” and “sovereignty”, thanked the President and Propaganda Minister of another state in the elections for their support! Moreover, he used the same wording as the Erdogan regime, “Turkey’s enemies”. So Tatar has divided the people of Northern Cyprus as “Turkey supporters” and “Turkey opposites”. With this speech, we can understand the politics of neo-bonapartist Turkish regime in Cyprus.
Intervention policy as a “national strategy”
It has a long history of the intervention of Turkey towards Turkish Cypriots. In other words, Islam “marinated” Erdogan regime is not the first. During the previous “secular” governments, Cyprus was intervened with the same chauvinistic nationalist and “Turkist” language.
Starting from the 1950s, there were fascist murders and attacks against Turkish Cypriot socialists, labor leaders, journalists, and the opposition who are for the unity of Cyprus and the two communities. An intervention policy carried out with various provocations, including the bombing of mosques, was continued by “enriching” in different ways in different periods. The Turkish Cypriot community has never been truly allowed to have free elections and reflect its will. Cyprus management was delivered into the hands of Denktaş (who never accept the “Cypriotism” and who is pro “annexation”) and the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT) (a fascist organization).
The period following the first and joint “Republic of Cyprus”, which was founded in 1960 and represents the Greek Cypriot (Hellenic) majority (with the help of the “superior efforts” of political leaderships from all sides) was no different. Turkish Cypriots which are collected in some cantons by the force of TMT and with the reason of “security”, had to elect the politicians who are supported by Turkey (Fazıl Küçük, Rauf Denktaş). Candidates of different tendencies were prevented from participating in the elections through oppression and threat.
Even after the “liberation” …
The same situation continued after 1974 (“liberation”), in its anti-democratic and reactionary essence. Nothing changed during the times of the Turkish Federal State of Cyprus, where the political life was directed by the Turkish Embassy and the Turkish Armed Forces commanders. And nothing had changed with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was established after 1983.
Even the opposition and left-wing parties that emerged in this period had to obtain approval from Ankara. Apart from the previous ones, starting from 1981, all the multi-party elections were held with the open intervention of Turkey. Opposition leaders were openly threatened by being “invited” to the Embassy, given instructions. In some cases, even dissident or different elements within the ruling party were subjected to the same treatment. The institutions of governments and coalitions were realized with the directions and decisions of Ankara (capital of Turkey). The chauvinistic and nationalistic right was demanding the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey, and they were saying “Deadlock is the solution!”. In contrast, the new left and labor movement who defend “the Cypriotism”, independence and resist against Turkey’s pressure emerged.
Creating a “semi-colony”!
Northern Cyprus’s dependence on Turkey is not only political and economic. “Saviors’” the first job was, with the pretext of “lack of manpower”, to transfer the population from Turkey to the North of the island to “colonize”. Thus, a population of imbalance was created that would later have political consequences. The continuation of this policy aiming at “assimilation” has led not only to demographic and political consequences but also cultural consequences, as the natives of Cyprus started to leave the island due to bad economic conditions and other reasons (one-third of the Turkish Cypriot population). Turkey’s reactionary began to show his face in Cyprus in all its aspects and varieties.
Northern Cyprus, not only by political and military means, was linked to Turkey but also by economic methods. In Cyprus, where production is almost non-existent, tourism has also declined sharply. Significantly a country that has lived with Turkey’s financial assistance, the people, have to work at civil service and with small businesses. The economy was only rotated by casinos and private universities. This siege also gained strength with international economic-diplomatic isolation.
But what is more serious than that in Northern Cyprus after 1974, state control over the most important elements of the national currency and fiscal sovereignty (which are the most important elements of sovereignty) was handed over to Turkey completely.
The official currency of the country became the Turkish Lira. In 1986, President Ozal visited Cyprus to apply Turkey’s neoliberal economic program (the Cypriots’ called it the economic Demolition Package). In addition to these, not only the external security of Cyprus but also the internal security, the police and fire brigade, were attached to the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces). Thus, at the foundation stage, the integrity of its national sovereignty became a fragmented “semi-colony” …
The ultimate goal: annexation …
All the rulers of Turkey (“Savior” Ecevit included! – Prime minister who lead the army operation in 1974) never had a concern of liberating the Turkish Cypriots.
From the beginning, the purpose was “division” (the invention of the colonial British imperialism in the 1950s). So imperialism, particularly in the control of NATO, divided the island of Cyprus between Greece and Turkey. Thus, this giant “aircraft carrier”, which provides the opportunity to keep the most strategic areas in the Eastern Mediterranean under control, would be shared between two NATO members, a loyal ally of imperialism, through “Enosis” (union with Greece) and “Taksim” (partition).
However, a significant change over time made this plan inoperable. The political leadership of the Greek Cypriots abandoned the “Enosis” (Unity: Unification with Greece) policy in line with the interests of the Greek Cypriot bourgeoisie and turned towards the policy of “non-aligned”. This position, which badly annoyed the imperialist centers, especially the USA and Britain, was supported by the Soviet Union.
Cyprus has become a member of the “Non-Aligned” movement internationally. President Archbishop Makarios, who defined by the Western politicians as “Mediterranean Castro” and by Turkey “Red priest” (also supported by “Communist” AKEL party) therefore, constantly subjected to assassination and coup attempts by CIA, Greece, and the EOKA.
After an imperialist-fascist conspiracy, on 15 July 1974 Turkey landed in Cyprus with a “guarantor” title. This was more of an “expansion” operation than a “rescue” operation.
The policies of deadlock, which have been “legitimated” with the effect of the chauvinist nationalist politics of the Southern Cyprus bourgeoisie and political administrations, are also aimed at annexing the island under appropriate conditions.
To save the Turkish Cypriots!
The real aim of Turkey’s Cyprus policy has never been to ensure the freedom and safety of the Turkish Cypriots. What is done is nothing more than making the problem inextricable under the name of “national lawsuit”. Accordingly, the existence of Turkish Cypriots was seen only as a tool, their real demands and wills were not shown with the slightest respect, but on the contrary, all kinds of independent appeals are repressed with humiliating language and threats of starvation. This instrumentalization and humiliation continued under the Erdogan government.
The presence of the Turks on the island was tried to be used as a means of joining the EU for a while, and today it has been turned into a tool in the fight over natural gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean. The current foreign policy, which is completely intertwined with the domestic policy of the palace regime, aims to “solve the Cyprus problem through” conquest “(ie annexation). When Northern Cyprus has no chance to be an “independent” state anymore, the option of unification with Turkey will be on the table (“homemade and national” enosis!). That’s why the pressure has increased. Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that he can survive, by a possible “conquest” that will earn him the title of “conqueror”.
The point that should not be forgotten is that the church and nationalism, which were able to influence even the “communists” in the Greek part, have a great share in the transformation of Cyprus into a problem. In the most critical period of the colonial history of Cyprus, the domination of the thesis of “enosis” instead of “independence” caused the division of a society that managed to live together for years and sometimes waged joint struggles.
Where the imperialist centers, Turkish and Greek bourgeoisie, their states, and the ruling classes of Cyprus have made the problem inextricable, it’s not possible to solve it with a few wheeze words of “brotherhood of the peoples” or with a few stereotype formulas.
“Federal” or “unitary” state solutions and the self-determination right of people, can be possible with Turkey, Greece, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots working classes common struggle… Despite all the obstacles in both parts of Cyprus, the tendency to struggle together, which has increased significantly compared to the past, can be transformed into an organized political struggle under the leadership of the laborers. Otherwise, this “endless story” will perhaps continue by taking bloody forms again.
It is up to the working people to turn this terrible story into an epic of freedom and independence …