On May 26, we are going for the fourth time to the polls to elect the members of the European Parliament after our country joined the European Union in 2004. What is the “Jasmine Movement” and why is it participating in these elections?
We are six Turkish-speaking Cypriot candidates who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. Although whole Cyprus has joined the EU, the northern part of the island is still out of Europe, at Turkey’s mercy. The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot supporters of the status quo seem to have agreed to disguise this reality, which has been very clear for years.
We participate as candidates to reveal what really happens.
While in the southern part of Cyprus the European acquis is in force, in the northern part the Ankara acquis applies. Under the Islamofascist dictatorship of Erdogan and his party, human rights have been eradicated in Turkey, justice has turned into a whip against the opposition and prisons have been filled with people who committed the offense of expressing their opinion.
Our island has been under Turkey’s occupation since 1974, the most tragic year for our homeland. Turkey, which under the 1960 Zurich-London Agreements had the right to retain 650 soldiers on the island, is here with 40,000 ones. The Turkish government has the final say in all decisions taken in the north. But this occupation is not only military. For years, it has also been transformed into a political occupation, because, as a result of the population being systematically transferred from Turkey, the demographic structure has deteriorated and Turkish Cypriots become a minority. The settlers from Turkey reached five times the number of Cypriots. We face the danger of settlers becoming locals and the locals being left homeless, while the looting of the lands of the Greek Cypriots who were slaughtered by the arms violence in 1974 continues.
We are candidates to reveal these truths that are kept hidden.
There was no form of oppression and violence that the “Afrika” newspaper has not suffered so far, because of referring to Turkey as an occupying power. It has twice taken bomb attacks, it has twice taken gunshots attacks and has filed dozens of lawsuits against it. More recently, on January 22, a mob of Turkish settlers attacked the newspaper, following Erdogan’s order. It was a lynching attack, with stones and bats, made with the tolerance and complicity of the police. And while the perpetrators were released, “Afrika” publisher Sener Levent and director Ali Osman Tabak are being tried under the charge of “insulting a foreign state official”.
We are candidates to uncover this fear regime.
We know that the voice of the people that from of the occupied resist the oppression of Turkey is not heard on the international scene and that the politicians sent to Brussels and Strasbourg are not presenting the reality. This is one of the main reasons why we are candidates with the “Jasmine Movement”. It is our duty to denounce the reality that we are living in Cyprus to the European Parliament.
We are in favor of a Cyprus whole and inseparable, and not just united. We want a Cyprus without borders that will not be divided into Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot regions. We support a solution that excludes the two states, the partition. We are not opposed to a federal solution, but we see the federation as a means of creating a united Cyprus and not as a springboard for separate states. Τhe Republic of Cyprus was also a bi-communal federation, but unlike what is being discussed now, it was a unitary rather than a bizonal one. Cyprus is one and inseparable. It is absurd to ask for the creation of two separate countries on one island. Those who support the federal solution on both sides of the island need to clarify its content and speak clearly, especially on the issue of the end of guarantees and the withdrawal of the occupying troops.
Until today, the leaders and the political parties have not taken serious steps towards the solution and peace. Some examples are the perpetuation of the missing persons, the fact that the two leaders did not go to a single tomb together, the fact that Varosha did not open and that the war criminals were not tried.
We have an obligation to emphasize these.
We are currently living very critical days. Treasure was found in our seas, but we are not sure what the end will be. We are surrounded by warships.
In 1974 the junta of Athens caused a great harm in Cyprus. Now there is a fascist dictatorship in Turkey. The aggressive Turkish policy in Syria is a proof of what it can do to Cyprus. We are candidates because we perceive this danger. We are surprised to see that, not only in the north but also in the south, there are circles that embrace this fascist dictatorship. At the same time, Turkish officials embrace these Cypriot circles while declaring us “enemies of Turkey” because we oppose Turkey’s Islamofascism.
As the fascist junta of Athens was a danger for Cyprus, at such a great risk the fascist regime of Turkey threatens all of us.
That is why we are candidates. Strong voice against fascism and against occupation: This is the “Jasmine Movement”.