| CYPRUS PROBLEM |Kıbrıs Postası



I’ve been thinking about it ever since I heard the news, but I can’t quite find a place for it.

Most likely, I will not be able to find a place for it anywhere by the time I finish this article either.

As you know, the Chief [Editor’s note: reference to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] will be on the island for the ‘celebrations’ on July 20.

He will attend various events and make some speeches, including one in parliament. However, without beating around the bush – and reserving the ‘parliament’ issue for another article – I would like to move on to the news that I heard and thought about.

Phileleftheros, the best-selling newspaper in the south, announced yesterday: Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, will attend the events to condemn the occupation on the island on July 20! In fact, he will be the first Greek Prime Minister in history to do this!

But there’s more: For the first time in history, the holders of the highest office in Turkey and Greece, namely President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis, will be stepping on this island’s soil at the same time for the first time!

So, what happens now?

There are signs, jingoism and meaning in all this, but when you think about it under normal circumstances, it is not easy to find the logic!

That’s why it’s better to go step by step:

20 July is the day when jingoism goes through the roof, tension escalates, various demonstrations are held, and in short, hatred reaches peak levels on both sides of the island.

As a matter of fact, our routine expectation from days likes this is as follows: The Turkish Cypriot side celebrates the victory as if it requires skill to do so, stages demonstrations, plays the victim, makes endless references to the ‘Greek-Greek Cypriot duo’; makes it impossible for the level of gratitude shown to Turkey to fit into the vastness of things, and it ends up spilling into the entire galaxy…

The Greek Cypriot side, on the other hand, commemorates their material and immaterial losses, and those who are still missing; condemns the occupation; organizations such as ELAM demonstrate at the border, chanting “The best Turk is a dead Turk”; some insolent people attack cars with Turkish Cypriot license plates, but they ignore one thing: The fact that the Cyprus problem did not actually start on 20 July 1974.

If we leave this issue for another time too, and continue with our scenario, in short, the island completely transforms into a black land of jingoism, leaving no trace of green grass anywhere…

Therefore, when Erdoğan speaks, he will take all this jingoism into account, while Mitsotakis will take into account the antithesis of the same jingoism when he speaks, and discourses of hatred and hostility will spread all over the place.

Moreover, all of this will occur at a time when relations between the two countries are unprecedentedly good.

All this, while Greece’s Aegean islands are full of Turkish tourists; while the two countries, through rare – not to say unprecedented – co-operation nominate a common candidate for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE); and again, while socio-economic but especially economic activities between the two countries are growing. Really?

Please, someone find some logic in the scenario above and explain it to me. This is a very genuine request!

Why is this happening?

Honestly, what is this madness that is the Cyprus problem?

Or, let’s put it this way: Why have we become captives of the Cyprus problem?

Why should we engage in jingoism and risk all of this when we can focus on doing business, making money and concentrating on the welfare of the people of the two countries in a friendly, brotherly and equitable way, without fighting and bickering?

Yes, the Cyprus issue may still be bringing money for certain interest groups, or maybe even politicians. It is also possible that a certain degree of profit is made from the existence of this problem, but how far can we push this?

It’s not sustainable, can’t you see? Is it that hard to give up on this?

Look, for example, I make a living out of the Cyprus problem. So, I am a journalist who is known to be a specialist in this subject.

Soon, if it all ends, what the hell will I do?

Polat Alper [Editor’s note: founder and CEO of CityPress Group, which runs Kıbrıs Postası] always mocks me about this possibility and says, “I’ll buy you an extravagant camera so that you can move on to celebrity journalism.”

Imagine, a celebrity reporter with a belly in a Hawaiian shirt! Will it work?

However, at the end of the day, this is what I’m working for: for the Cyprus problem to end so I can become a celebrity reporter!

Now, it bothers me that no one moves a finger when I’m about to sacrifice so much… I’m getting tired of it.

Well, joking aside, what if things unravel like the scenario I will write below?

Since, for the first time in history, the leaders of the ‘motherlands’ are on the island… And the relations are in a Romeo and Juliet kind of state…

What if they go out, walk to the border, cross the border at Ledra Palace checkpoints, stand in the middle of the buffer zone, and shake hands…

There wouldn’t even be a need to talk.

That kind of a photo, alone, would be enough to consign the Cyprus problem to history.

Could this be possible?

I can’t think of anything else other than wishing it were.

I swear, I have longed for that photo all my life…

I’ve lived my whole life to make that announcement…

To Tweet that message and see that slogan turn into reality…

Even thinking about and imagining these things while writing these sentences makes me cry…

I don’t know, maybe I’ve gone insane and don’t realise it.

Or if I haven’t gone insane, maybe there’s still hope for me.

Maybe I’m what they describe in the line from the movie ‘Kuru Otlar Üstüne’ [About Dry Grass]: “I’m tired of hope…”

I don’t know, but as I said at the beginning of the article, I’ve been thinking about it from the moment I heard the news…

But I can’t put my thoughts anywhere.

Maybe you can…


I was born in Istanbul on the 1 May 1973. I have worked in many organisations and in many different positions, such as a columnist, programme developer, editor, reporter, news director, proofreader. I believe that the non-solution of the Cyprus problem is the root cause of all the problems we have at home and across the island. That is why, I am trying to do my part for its solution. I have been to many unsuccessful summits, but I believe sooner or later I will also attend a successful one. I have a degree in Political Sciences from EMU. Apart from that, I have been performing on stage for 30 years; I am an old but undaunted musician. Long Live Rock and Roll!

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