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KIZILYÜREK AND PANAYIOTOU

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ (GREEK) TÜRKÇE (TURKISH)

The European Parliament elections held in Cyprus gave us two important messages.

The effects of Niyazi Kızılyürek’s failure to be elected and Fidias Panayiotou‘s victory will be felt for a long time.

Niyazi Kızılyürek’s victory in the previous election and the work he carried out had managed to revive the hopes that had faded following the Annan referendum period.

At a time when the voice of Turkish Cypriots had not been heard on international platforms for decades, Kızılyürek conveyed the problems experienced by Turkish Cypriot individuals to Europe, on account of them being Cypriots.

This disturbed some left-wing politicians as well as nationalists in the north and south of Cyprus.

Kızılyürek, who was censored for 5 years while trying to get his voice heard in the south, was the parliamentarian with the rarest appearances in the Greek Cypriot media. He was widely accused of not attacking Turkey enough. He repeatedly argued that the solution to the Cyprus problem could only be achieved by winning Turkey over and that pushing Turkey away from the EU was equivalent to continuing the deadlock, but this was never accepted.

He came a close third in the polls. There was an expectation that the small gap between him and second place would close with the votes coming from Turkish Cypriots. However, it transpired that AKEL voters did not want Kızılyürek this time. One indicator was the fact that 1/3 of the votes he received were from Turkish Cypriots.

Him voicing the problems of Turkish Cypriot youth – the victims of the Cyprus problem – also caused discomfort in the North. The fact that he fought for issues that were on the agenda of only a few Turkish Cypriot politicians was disturbing to those who did not include these issues on their agenda in a sincere manner.

The failure to elect the “Intellectual Beyond Nation” [Editor’s note: reference to Kizilyurek’s book titled ‘Ulus Kaçağı’], who disturbed most in politics, is a big blow for those who still believe in a solution in Cyprus.

The bridge in between has collapsed, and the ground is now created for the Republic of Cyprus and European Union to remain even more silent against the problems being faced. The absence of someone to convey the problems of Turkish Cypriot youth to platforms outside the island will pave the way for the further entrenchment of existing conditions.

Fidias Panayiotou, a social media phenomenon, received enough votes to come close to the two biggest parties, not only sending a serious message to Greek Cypriot politics, but also allowing everyone who will compete in elections to grasp the importance of social media.

According to the election results, which clearly show that the parties should question their conventional strategies, a significant group of people – mostly young – are far from the ideological positions of the parties. These results clearly indicate that ideologies need to be questioned.

He was a candidate whose name I did not know; when I looked him up following his election, I saw that not only his use of social media as an apolitical person, but even his appeal to elderly voters in coffeehouses wiped the ordinary off the map. It triggered a new kind of propaganda, full of madness.

This propaganda method is a strong candidate for initiating a process that will lead to the fading of ideologies. We may see similar kinds of propaganda in the next elections, both in the north and south of Cyprus.

The view that two of the 6 seats in the European Parliament was a right [of Turkish Cypriots] and that this was usurped by the Greek Cypriots had softened when Turkish Cypriot candidates were nominated by Greek Cypriot parties. At this point, I believe that the participation of Turkish Cypriot voters will further decline in the next elections. Of course, I do not want to assume that the EU institutions and the officials and political parties of the Republic of Cyprus will not care about this.

In conclusion, in light of the strategies followed so far, I see a political process in which hopes for a solution will diminish, faith will fade away, and the environment favouring existing conditions will begin to solidify.

Source: KIZILYÜREK AND PANAYIOTOU

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EMİN AKKOR | BAĞIMSIZ
Emin Akkor was born in 1975 in Famagusta. He started his journalism career as a reporter in 1994 in Halkın Sesi where he also worked as Editor-in-Chief. He served as the editor-in-chief of Kıbrıs newspaper, and currently he is the editor-in-chief of Kıbrıs Net Haber online newspaper. He served as chairman of the board of directors at TAK Agency (Turkish News Agency Cyprus). He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union. He completed his PhD in the Communication and Media Studies Department of the Near East University with his thesis on ‘The Role of the Press in the Construction of National Identity in Cyprus’. Since 2005, he has been lecturing on journalism for communications departments.

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