| Politics |Yenidüzen



“I gave my passport, the kids had already walked ahead with their father, there was no question in my mind.”

Aysu is always cool-headed; I interviewed her during her battle against cancer, and was amazed at her self-confidence and calmness in those most difficult days.

“The female officer looked at my passport, paused, and asked me to take off my mask before asking me to accompany her to the police station.”
“Why” asks Aysu!
“What business do I have at the police station?”
At that point – her partner who happens to be a lawyer – returns to stand by her side and another police officer intervenes, the two children start crying, and the two kids, mother and father start walking all together to the police station at the airport.

“You’re not allowed to enter the country,” they say.
And it was at that moment that code N82 entered the life of our dear journalist friend Aysu Basri Akter…
The code refers to “foreigners whose entry is subject to prior authorisation/visa”.

“A police officer came, asked for my phone, copied everything on it with a special device and returned it to me, the whole process took no more than ten seconds.”


“You should have called the consulate in Antalya” I said, and she responded that she did. “We also have no information, they’re also not telling us, just a few weeks ago another woman was denied entry,” was the consulate official’s reply.

She also calls the Turkish Ambassador in Nicosia after returning to Cyprus, after all, she is a former BRT Director… [Translator’s note: Bayrak Radio Television Corporation]. He also sounded surprised. That’s all…

They asked her questions like, “Are you a member of any organisation, where did you go to university, do you have Turkish citizenship?”

“If I had Turkish citizenship, I could have entered but would not be allowed to leave, maybe I would have been arrested.”


They tell her, “We will be sending you back on the first flight” but the question as to “when” was left hanging in the air.

At first, her partner said, “we will wait too”… In the meantime, some MPs are called, some lawyers, without a result of course…
So, Aysu sends the children and family to “holiday”… Because having to wait under such conditions with two small children is much harder and devastating… Moreover, they set off with another family with children to go on holiday.

“I was alone. It was almost noon and in fact, there were perhaps five, six flights to the island in the period ahead, and, had they wanted, they could have sent me back a few hours after my detention. I waited for 19 hours…”

“We will give you food and water,” they said around two o’clock in the afternoon… The food arrived around seven, in the evening….
“When will I go back?” Aysu asked again and the police officers said “We don’t know either”. They treated her well, regularly asked her how she was, gave her water at least… She lay on a bunk in a ward with a toilet, disgusted…

“This decision concerning you was taken in March”  says one of the officials…
Is there anything special about that period?
“Those were the most difficult days of my life, I didn’t have a single social media post, as both my mother and father were in intensive care…”
She lost her father a few months later… Perhaps this holiday was a (wrong) choice to heal her wounds.

The police came around three in the morning and said, “We will take you to the first terminal.”
“They came at ten minutes to six in the morning and took me. I didn’t sleep at all…”

An official sat me down at the back of the plane…
There is no one on board yet…
The officer turns to her and says, “you’re leaving, you’re lucky, there are some who stay for days.”

When they land at Ercan (Tymbou), another official walks up, calling out loudly:
“We’re here to pick up the İnad [Translator’s note: Term used for either an inadmissible person or someone considered stubborn], where is she…”
Inadmissible person!
“A person who is refused admission.”

The official takes her directly to the police… recognizing her, the police officer in a surprised tone asks, “Ms Aysu, are you the inadmissible person?”
The officer takes her ID, takes a photocopy, and accompanies her out.

“So what do you think of all this now,” asks Aysu, following our conversation…
I stared into her eyes…
Took a deep breath…
I wanted to shout, “Are we your hostages?”

I stood muttering the ending of this sad article…
“You know the weeds that grow out of the cracks of asphalt, concrete and stone. We come across it a lot on the island.
Our roots are deep in this land after all!
If they’re looking for an Inad…
Even our stubbornness is stubborn as a mule…
We never give up…


Born in 1971 in the town of Limassol, Cyprus, Cenk Mutluyakalı migrated to Kyrenia together with his family after the war. He began journalism at KIBRIS newspaper in 1989. He took part in establishing the United Media Group. Currently he writes daily essays, news reports and interviews for Yenidüzen newspaper. He served as the President of the Turkish Cypriot Press Card Commission and Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association. He was awarded with various prizes throughout his career, the most recent being the “Peace Journalism Prize” by the bicommunal New Cyprus Association. Mutluyakalı is an author of published books of essays and interviews. He is also the author of a novel titled “Salıncak” (Swing) published by Kor Kitap.

You may also like

Comments are closed.