Assessing the relations between Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, columnist for Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen, Unal Findik, argues that this is the issue which should be discussed the most during the election campaign.
Findik notes that those who expect a radical change after the amendment of the election law are waiting in vain because “I do not think that a radical change is possible with this structure”, he writes. He adds the following:
“The issue I want to elaborate upon while going towards the early elections is relations with Turkey. The ‘mother-child relation’ of today has been built on eliminating the Turkish Cypriot community, melting it in the Turkish community, assimilating it” he contends.
“There should be a rapid change in these relations, he argues. “Now, some might ask ‘Are you not a Turk?’ Yes, but I am a Turkish Cypriot. I was born on these lands, I was raised on these lands. Therefore the Turkish Cypriot identity cannot be defined as Turkish identity only. This community is different from the Turkish community in Turkey. This difference derives from its geography, culture, customs and traditions. Trying to eliminate this difference is tantamount to trying to annihilate the Turkish Cypriot community. The pressure to hand out citizenships and the fact that those who govern cannot resist this pressure is the biggest danger. It is said that since this government was established, 10 thousand citizenships were granted.
“The community will either melt, will be absorbed into the wider community, or it will continue its existence and take its honourable place as equal partner in a united Cyprus. And for this, it is necessary to continue its communal existence. We must now understand that, if relations with Turkey continue in this manner, not only we will not be able to become equal partners in a united Cyprus, but we will not be able to be equal partners even in the TRNC [itself]. And we must produce solutions [to this].
“In my view, this is the issue which must be discussed the most in the elections. Otherwise, we must be ready for unexpected results. Do not be surprised if, perhaps not in these elections but in one of the following elections, half of the assembly is filled up with persons who have been recently granted citizenship. And the result of this will be a decision to unite with Turkey through a referendum, like Alexandretta,” Findik concludes.