| CYPRUS PROBLEM |Özgür Gazete



The concept of peace has been eroded perhaps as never before,
This period has become subject to manipulation dipped in the sauce of extreme nationalism like never before.

As if making a demand for ‘peace’ requires a certain race, language, nationality or colour, one can be called to account for. 

For example, how could ‘non-Cypriots’ – as some people like to call them – in favour of a federal solution in Cyprus, want peace on the island? 

I am writing this article as one who is exposed to these kinds of questions the most.

I am asked, ‘Didn’t your parents come from Turkey? Why do you want peace?’

To be more precise, these are not really questions; in asking for an account, they judge and insult me. 

In other words, they say: Why would you care about peace here?
In other words, they are saying: You do not belong here.

So they’re saying they don’t want peace,
And in line with this statement, they argue with me by excluding me from the country.

Then, of course, comes the following: Even in the Annan Plan, only 50 thousand people of Turkish origin were allowed to stay on the island. If a peace settlement comes, they will send you away too. How can you support this? 

But these speeches are not always so innocent (!)
Insults and humiliation usually follow;

‘Are you a traitor? We shed blood for this land. If you are so keen on Greek Cypriots, go and live there. We are Turks. You have forgotten your Turkishness and where you have come from.’

Believe me, I am using milder expressions here,
They are usually not so polite (!)

Now let’s come to why I, or people like me, want peace;

Are we crazy?
If they don’t want us because we are of Turkish origin, then why do we want peace?
What is it to us?

First of all, it must be said that ‘peace’ is not under the monopoly of anyone, nor is it a limited concept that belongs only to the geography where one might live, and that this is how I and others like me see it.

Every person who has adopted the motto, ‘an unjust peace is better than a just war’, desires peace not only for their own geography but also for the whole world.

People who pose these questions to me, for example, even if with nationalist feelings and a biased attitude, desire a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and an end to the killing of people.

They wish for this without having to be either Israeli or Palestinian.
And in fact, without being able show where it is on the map.

Now let’s talk about who I am, or we are;

As for myself, I didn’t come from anywhere, to be honest.
I have always been here.

Because I am not someone who settled in Cyprus by her own choice at an adult age.
I am someone who came to the island at a very young age and grew up here.

I travelled to and saw Turkey at the age of 25.

Of course, as a child you grow up as a native of wherever you are,
Then they start to teach you: ‘You’re not from here!’

Oh, what do you mean? Where am I from?

Then everyone tells you where you are from as they wish.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter how you feel.

To sum it up;

I grew up as a free-thinking individual,
On this land.

My father was a leftist.
He taught me who Ahmet Kaya is
[Editor’s note: a dissident singer and songwriter of Turkish and Kurdish origin who passed away in 2000],
And how I should raise my left fist in the air.

And then I read, I did my own research, I listened…
What I learnt became one with my conscience.

This is how my thoughts came into being…
Thoughts that shouted, ‘Peace’, to me – both here and all over the world.

They say that if there is a peace settlement, the Republic of Cyprus will not give me an identity card.
Then they shouldn’t.

Is it that identity card that will define my Cypriotness?
Is it that passport that will break my chains?

Will I reduce the peace that might finally settle on an entire geography,
To my own identity card?

And will I really choose to do that,
In place of enjoying a land of peace while sipping on raki/zivania accompanied by Turkish-Greek melodies?

Moreover, I grew up in a Greek-speaking home.
I can speak it a little, and then we can laugh about it for a bit, huh?

My family lived with Pontic Greeks in the Black Sea region for centuries…
Even the names of their villages are still in Greek.

Even today, they don’t even speak Turkish among themselves.

So this was our home…
Every language belonged to us…

So what I’m saying is;

Peace has got nothing to do with your personal salvation, or interests, mate.
Peace is in your heart
And from there, it spreads everywhere…

To those beautiful days, when we will breathe in the scent of peace…


As a believer of peace and freedom in Cyprus, I am a person who struggles for this, and practices journalism not only as a profession but also with an ideological consciousness. I am proud to work and generate ideas for our country and communities in particular and for the whole world and its peoples in general. That’s all.

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