| Cyprus Problem |Yenidüzen



Cypriot Member of European Parliament Costas Mavrides says, “Turkish Cypriots must decide, they must choose either the European Union or Turkey… There is a better and more secure life for Turkish Cypriots in Europe.”

I ask, “Do Turkish Cypriots have a deciding role to be able to make this choice?” I guess this is the actual question concerning the northern part of the island. Who has the key, Turkish Cypriots or Turkey?

European parliamentarian Costas Mavrides replies, “I understand what you mean,” and adds: “Turkish Cypriots could raise their voices much louder, they could find supporters, they could voice what they want to Europe and the world.”

Costas Mavrides is an old academic and economist. He studied in the United States. He was elected to the European Parliament from DIKO [Democratic Party]. He is originally from Dikomo. He visited his village after years, his home and even found the bed he slept on as a kid… He had scratched his initials on the iron bed, during the war…. “I was deeply moved, my own initials stood there,” he said.


Once again the “guarantor” issue


He was one of those who said “no” to the Annan Plan, now he says, “I would say yes if there was a new plan, as long as the Greek Cypriots’ security is safeguarded” expressing some regret.

What does he mean by “security”?
“Turkish Cypriot nationalists also oppose a solution on grounds of security,” I tell him.

He’s talking about guarantees to be offered by the European Union.
“People in Cyprus have no problems with each other, there are only people with good and bad thoughts, and this has nothing to do with ethnic identity. The majority of Greek Cypriots would not feel safe under Turkey’s guarantees that include [the right to] unilateral intervention. Our guarantor in the event of a solution must be the European Union.”


“It’s not easy”


I ask him, “The current situation has persisted for too long and the masses have come to accept this, do you believe that the status quo will change?


“I’m not optimistic because I’m realistic. It’s not very easy. Particularly when we have Erdoğan… Nevertheless, we must work to change this situation. The new president, Christodoulides is preparing for restarting the negotiations. He wants to give the European Union a stronger role. The United Nations is not effective enough. The European Union possesses much stronger instruments to particularly convince Turkey. The future of Turkish Cypriots lies in the European Union. Erdoğan’s Turkey has no desire for European Union [membership]. We need to uphold European laws and values, I hope, Turkey will turn its face to Europe again. So that the violation of democracy, human rights, freedom of expression and minority rights ends.”


Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP [Republican People’s Party]


Cypriot Member of European Parliament Costas Mavrides continues his assessment of the [upcoming] elections in Turkey:

“Kılıçdaroğlu’s CHP is more nationalist than Erdoğan. There might be hope for the new era because he is pro-European and secular. Nevertheless, I must admit, expectations concerning a [new] term with Kılıçdaroğlu are not very high.”


This time Mavrides says he wants to ask a question…
He asks, “What do you feel about Turkey?”


I tell him of my anger against [Turkey’s] patronising policies imposed on northern Cyprus, of having lost our homeland and our [political] will…
“Both Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus are imposing their “power” on Turkish Cypriots. They’re not establishing a relationship based on respect and equality. They don’t see us as actors, neither of them does,” I reply…

The key held by Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus locks all the doors for Turkish Cypriots, their hopes and their future!



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 and translated into Greek by Heterotopia Publications with the title «Η κούνια».

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