By George Koumoulli
“A healthy nation is not conscious of its nationality, just as a healthy man is not conscious of its bones.”
Irish writer, Nobel Prize 1925, (1856-1950)
When a man besieges a woman with the intention of marrying her, he does everything to achieve his goal: he gives her the most expensive gifts, gives her the most beautiful flowers, sends her erotic messages, and generally devises a thousand and two “tricks” to conquer her in order to say the anxiously expected “Yes”.
In our environment, unfortunately, the long-awaited marriage between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots that would reunite our country has not only not taken place, but the last hope of celebrating it is disappearing, simply because the flame of love was never lit. When one partner shows a reluctance to join the bonds of marriage, the bride-to-be “gets cold” and abandons the idea of cohabitation. Now, the reunification of our homeland seems like an illusory dream.
The moderate Turkish Cypriots bitterly remember (a) our rejection of the Annan plan, (b) Christofias’ persistent refusal to record and announce the convergences with Talat that provided for the commitment of the two sides to the IGC with political equality, agreement in principle for a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship and then agreement on indivisible sovereignty, (c) our abandonment of the Crans-Montana talks in 2017 and (d) Anastasiades’ refusal in 2018, at Akinci’s suggestion, to accept the Guterres Framework as a strategic agreement.
The moderate Turkish Cypriots who fervently desire to reach a solution feel greater bitterness when they find that they are marginalized by the RoC. Just on Monday, Mr. Kizilyurek in an article on dialogos.com.cy website entitled “The whole truth about the Turkish language in the EU” proved with documents that the Republic of Cyprus never officially requested the introduction of the Turkish language. However, according to Article 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the official languages of the Republic are Greek and Turkish. Yet no Cypriot MEP expressed support for their colleague’s positions.
Perhaps the most striking example is the decision of the Parliament in 1966 (i.e. before the invasion) by which Cyprus adopted as its national anthem that of Greece. Almost all politicians admit that this is not a characteristic of a normal country and that it strengthens Turkey’s position for a two-state solution. Nevertheless, no government dared – not even that of Christofias – to introduce a new, Cypriot national anthem, because the storm that would arise in such an eventuality from the ecclesiastical and conservative establishment would stifle all effort. The use of the Greek national anthem is like saying to the Turkish Cypriots: “You do not belong to this state – empty our corner”. Of course, the Turkish Cypriots themselves will feel like foreigners in their own homeland.
Of course, something else that repels Turkish Cypriots is our education. Our young people are brought up with the so-called Greek-Christian threads in order to have a “high national morale”. In fact, education, under the strict supervision of the Archbishop, is based on “Patris – religion – family”, which in Cyprus also means discipline to leader Digenis – mockery of the Cypriot flag, democracy, parties and the weak – death to the Turks. This “ideology” is being forged both by “nationalist” football clubs and by a religion that is becoming increasingly obscurantist. The metropolitan of Thessaloniki disputes that there are other planets besides Earth (!), the metropolitan of Morphou introduces iconoclastic theories about homosexuality, while other hierarchs issue a special “wish” for students who compete in the Panhellenic exams, sanctify pens and declare war on abortion. So, when a young person socializes in such an environment, it is not easy to work with an open mind with a non-believer (what a shame!) who his school considers an “age-old enemy”. He will object that, nevertheless, opinion polls show that the majority of Greek Cypriots, even a small one, are in favour of the IGC. Such polls are misleading, because many Greek Cypriots are in favor of the IGC with the “right content”, i.e. they support the IGC provided that there will be Greek Cypriot sovereignty. In the 2004 referendum, the Annan Plan, which was a form of IFR and ensured political equality, was rejected by Greek Cypriots with 76%.
As if this problematic environment were not enough, lately the celebrations for the struggle of EOKA have intensified, which refers to the solution of the union and creates reasonable suspicions among the Turkish Cypriots whether we really want the IGC or the perpetuation of the status quo. Needless to remind you that as repugnant as TMT is to Greek Cypriots, EOKA is equally repugnant to Turkish Cypriots, even though this struggle ultimately brought much greater profits to Turkish Cypriots.
In view of the above, the Tatar election victory should not come as a shock. In short, we have also contributed to the rise of nationalism in the occupied territories. The tragedy is that there is a total underestimation of the situation on our part … Instead of government action we see escape and blissful inaction. It is reminiscent of the words of the famous philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius: “The one who does not do what, not only the one who does what, often does injustice, not only the one who does what (To himself, Th, 5.)
*Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of CypriumNews.