| Politics |Kıbrıs Postası



There is a frequently used expression in English, ‘I told you so’.

It translates into ‘I said so’ in Turkish but this doesn’t give the exact meaning.

It means I told you in advance this would happen, you didn’t listen, and now what I said has come true.

Yesterday People’s Party MPs Ayşegül Baybars and Jale Refik Rogers announced that they resigned from their party.

Actually, this was nothing more than the formalisation of the existing situation but some reporters, chose to go with the headline, earthquake within HP [Peoples Party], in an attempt to portray the issue as an unexpected development which shook the party from its roots. But, the deputies in question no longer belonged to the party, nor did the party have any deputies anymore. Following the decision taken by [HP leader] Kudret Özersay for the party to return to Sine-i Millet [Translators note: term used to describe mass resignation of a partys MPs from parliament and the resuming of politics amongst the people; a form of protest after exhausting all means of democracy], all relations were severed, the party was left without MPs and those who chose to remain as MPs were left without a party.

Yesterday’s development was nothing more than a declaration of what was known.

So coming back to the part about ‘I told you so’.

When rumours first started circulating that the People’s Party was going to be formed, I had written a column stating that ‘Kudret Özersay shouldn’t attempt to form a party if there weren’t another 49 like him. [Translators note: reference to number of seats in the assembly] I knew that Kudret Özersay would have a dominating impact on the people around him because of his character, knowledge and his aptitude. The momentum gained after the presidential election and what the Hoca [Translators note: Özersay is referred to as Hoca (teacher) due to his academic background] was advocating, seemed inspiring to those around him and his staff, and sounded very good to the public.

In fact, the first member of his staff, who he got rid of, had told me back then, ‘This community needs Kudret Hoca.’ Let’s put it this way, the loyalty towards him was to the level of worship. The Hoca was making statements and the winds of populism brought by the political conjuncture and his followers were glorifying him even further.

Does the community need Kudret Özersay? Of course, it does.

We don’t have many people who approach the Cyprus Issue more rationally, who can look at the issue more comprehensively and who are considered worth listening to by the international community. That is why we need the Hoca but he failed to meet society’s expectations of solving issues outside of the Cyprus problem through the political party he formed.

I’m not even mentioning all that he offended.

However, when the honeymoon ended and the time came to take and implement bitter decisions, the followers abandoned the sheikh. And it was clear from the beginning that they would because the sheikh’s path was different from that of his followers.

Things took a different turn when the sheikh complained, ‘these followers don’t understand me,’ and when the followers started questioning ‘I wonder if the sheikh is using us?’

We had pointed these out from the very beginning.

That Kudret Özersay was a precious person but, either he was a cut above for politics in the TRNC or vice-versa. In the end, just as the shirt did not fit the Hoca, it also did not fit or was never going to fit the party that he set up and ran, a little by getting those around him to praise the decisions he took on his own.

And today, there is a nostalgic setting where we can say ‘Once upon a time there was a party called the People’s Party‘.

The only thing I can say at this point is, ‘I told you so’



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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