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There isn’t much information regarding Mustafa Kemal Atatürk being a whisky drinker. We all knew him to be a fan of kulüp rakı [ouzo type alcoholic drink made of twice-distilled grapes] and roasted yellow chickpeas.

In any case, the subject of this article is not the Great Leader’s preferences for alcoholic drinks. It’s something else.

There are 13 days left until the election in the Republic of Turkey.

As I do not like my colleagues in Turkey writing articles and making comments about the elections in my own country before they happen, I have exercised and am exercising my right not to write anything about the elections [in Turkey] until the results come out.

Of course, my position not to write or comment is not an obstacle for me to write or comment about the possible effects of the election results on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

For example, we need to evaluate how the political situation of the UBP [National Unity Party], with its loyalty, dependence and even submissiveness to the Justice and Development Party [AKP], will change if the People’s Alliance [Translator’s note: Multi-party alliance in Turkey standing against Erdoğan] wins the election.

What will happen to an UBP whose internal affairs were put in turmoil, whose congress was nullified, and whose leader has been replaced, if those responsible for these actions step down?

Isn’t this an important question?

What form will UBP take in the event of a new situation?

Some say that if the AK Party loses the election, UBP will seriously stumble, and even fall off the political stage.

It is also said that there is a common view among the UBP’s base and leadership that Ünal Üstel [Translator’s note: UBP leader], who was put in power by the government in Turkey, will be toppled if the government changes. Oh, but don’t take this as criticism against Üstel. If anyone was given the opportunity, they wouldn’t hesitate to become the Prime Minister. I can understand that too, you know.

If the government changes in Turkey, those who have been expelled from UBP will come back to the stage, while those who have come to power undeservingly will return to their normal state and even disappear from politics once their artificially inflated situation ends.

There are many more assessments, but it’s pointless to list them here.

Let me tell you what will happen.

The National Unity Party is the most pragmatic and unprincipled party you will ever see.

That is, it is a party that can adapt to any situation, even better than a chameleon.

Just like how after the AK Party came to power, they [UBP members] started going to Friday prayers and fasting, and how they would lower the alcohol bottles under the table when photos were taken. How they had stopped talking about Atatürk’s principles and reforms.

Just like how they would pull strings starting on Wednesday to try and learn which mosque the [Turkish] ambassador would be going to for Friday prayers, the UBP’s transformation under a CHP [People’s Republican Party] government wouldn’t take more than 48 hours.

Regardless of who is in power in Turkey, they would certainly not object to a TRNC government that says “Yes sir, whatever you say sir. If you think it’s appropriate, sure.” Instead of having a government that constantly challenges and creates problems.

Therefore, the CHP will not erase the UBP for working for the AK Party, but will instead hold it in high esteem.

A few complaints during face-to-face meetings like, “The stuff we had to put up with under Erdoğan, right?” and that’s it.

And the era of posing with whisky glasses in front of Atatürk posters will begin again.

A friend of mine whom I love very much once said in one of our conversations.

UBP will return to its roots. Isn’t the UBP all about Atatürk and whisky?


Rasıh Reşat is a London-born Turkish Cypriot journalist, columnist and TV Commentator. He has run various newsrooms in his career of nearly three decades. He is mostly known for his on-the-ground coverage of the Cyprus Summits over the years. He currently is producing and presenting a daily commentary programme for Haber Kıbrıs and writing a regular column for Kıbrıs Postası. Rasıh Reşat, has a Masters degree in Political Communication and is currently working on his PhD on political science. He is also teaching at the Journalism Department at a university in Cyprus.

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