Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 6 August 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 AUGUST 2016 23 OPINI0N Islamic Turkey and Cyprus The island has become the chunk of cheese in the mousetrap to be nibbled away by ravenous rats ANDREAS C. CHRYSAFIS As with all religions, evil thrives on fear and ignorance. To retain its dominance, evil draws its strength from the weakness of those who are trapped in slavery by their own fears and obsessions. If allowed, evil can actually devour people’s souls; the rise of tyrants and Islamic State brutalities are a prime example of that. The current metamorphosis in Turkey has finally exposed its poisoned veneer in readiness to contaminate the feeble-minded, radicals and those blinded by ultra-nationalism. The failed attempt to overthrow the Turkish government has unleashed a brutality so ferocious that western powers are shocked that an ally claiming to be a ‘democracy’ and a NATO member with aspirations of joining the EU could actually behave so pugnaciously against its own people. Western powers for years have coddled petty despots and ignored the slaughter of the innocent in the name of geopolitical dominance and self-interests. One of those nations has been Turkey, and the coup d’etat has exposed one more ruthless dictator. President Erdogan called the botched-up coup a “blessing and a gift from Allah” - an excuse to eliminate powerful minds loyal to a secular Turkey. His life-long ambition of establishing an Islamic Turkey is now only a matter of time; the process has begun. Oddly, the generals did not go after the president at the start and to coup experts, this humiliating military fumbling triggers serious questions and doubts as to whether the entire plot was for real or orchestrated by Erdogan to rid himself of his enemies. Time being of the essence, Erdogan did not waste time. In the name of ‘democracy’, he appealed to his people to defy the military coup, and they did. Instantly, the streets were crammed with his supporters and the rule-ofthe-mob soon took over – the lynching had begun with fervour. Thousands of people were arrested and proErdogan fans went on a rampage, humiliating hundreds of captives. Young conscripts were forced to strip and hog-tied as they lay crammed together on the floor and flogged by the police and fanatical mobs. Recept Tayyip Erdogan’s obsessiveness to rule with an iron fist ordered the reinstatement of the death penalty. Once approved by Parliament, it will allow him to ‘legally’ execute his enemies as ‘traitors’ and purge everyone that does not capitulate to his absolute rule. School children were not excluded and many were arrested as traitors and sent to prison. Christian churches were also shut and declared state property. To gain total control, he stripped the immunity of parliamentarians so he can remove those lawmakers who oppose his policies. With media censorship across the country, nobody really knows exactly how many people were killed, imprisoned or executed. Amnesty International has evidence that detainees are being tortured, beaten and raped, and denied water and even medical treatment. Reports indicate that more than 100,000 people have already fallen victim to Erdogan’s Islamisation of Turkey. That’s just the beginning and no one can anticipate how many more will die as ‘traitors’ and ‘plotters’. As his AKP party tightens its grip on power, secular institutions are chipped away and replaced by religious zealots. The sweeping culling of non-Islamist officials and firing of thousands of teachers by closing down uni- to be cursed and should not receive Muslim burial rituals but be buried separately from the true followers of Islam. Turkey’s religious authority announced it would not provide Islamic funeral services for the coup plotters. Istanbul Mayor Kadir Tophas went one step further to establish ‘The Traitor’s Cemetery’ - Hainler Mezarlingi. Such stigmatisation and psychological torture on the grieving is not only inexcusable but also barbaric to the faithful of the Muslim faith. It also shows that religion is used to control the nation. When Erdogan was first elected prime minister in 2003, many believed that Turkey would serve as a democratic model for the rest of the Islamic world, but as it turned out, he deceived everyone. The current state of emergency has now given him absolute power and nothing can stop him. With media censorship across the country, nobody really knows exactly how many people were killed, imprisoned or executed. Amnesty International has evidence that detainees are being tortured, beaten and raped, and denied water and even medical treatment. Reports indicate that more than 100,000 people have already fallen victim to Erdogan’s Islamisation of Turkey. That’s just the beginning and no one can anticipate how many more will die as ‘traitors’ and ‘plotters’. versities and schools is not a coincidence but a well-orchestrated plan using fear and intimidation to destroy the free minds of the young and the old. Yet he has the gall to justify the ruthless mistreatment of his people in the name of democracy; an institution that he publicly abhors but which he uses when it suits his purpose to deceive western powers. Erdogan’s supporters, waving red Turkish flags, ran amok chanting “Allahu Akbar” while giant speakers in Taksim Square were blasting verses from the Koran encouraging violent protests. The fanatical mobs were chanting in demand for the execution of those involved in the coup and thirsty for blood, the blood of their own people. To a civilised person, such frenzied behaviour is incomprehensible but not to those perpetrators obsessed by pure evil. Erdogan’s announcement that it “costs mon- ey to keep traitors in prisons” clearly shows that killing them is a preferred option. He decreed that all “traitors” and their families are Turkey should in fact be tossed out of NATO and dropped by the EU - no western democratic nation should tolerate a civilian dictatorship or military junta in their midst. But, as long as the Turkish people continue to buy Erdogan’s neo-fascist radicalisation to abandon secularism and democracy, they are surely in danger of losing reality and reverting back to a dark theocratic era advocated by Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism and moral authoritarianism. With the turbulent changes in Turkey, one country that has to worry the most has to be the Republic of Cyprus. The occupied area would certainly not be spared by Erdogan’s purge and radicalisation. If he can do it in Turkey, he will certainly do it to the Turkish Cypriot regime and its institutions. Activities testify that Ankara is preparing the groundwork to introduce Islamic control on the island. Pro-Erdogan Turkish settlers waving red flags rallied in the streets of Nicosia (for the first time ever) chanting from loudspeakers “Allahu Akbar” in support of Islam. Meanwhile, Christian churches were shut to be turned into mosques and orthodox services banned. Koran courses, the increased number of mosques and religious schools including Islamic associations are well funded and supervised by Ankara. What does this mean to a secular Cyprus? It displays that a large Turkish population on the island is now openly sponsoring Erdogan’s neo-Ottomanism. Historically, the Turkish Cypriot community has never vented fundamentalist chanting by religious fanatics before; it’s now happening and shows that Muslims are now split between radical Islamists and secularists. This is a volatile combination and poses a real threat to security by the growing resentment against secularists. If that’s the new trend of things to come, Turkey’s aggressive Islamisation should be a worrying factor for both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. The TCs have to worry the most. In the next few years their Cypriot culture will be fused and lost forever under Erdogan’s sultanic influence. The only chance of TC survival is to reunite Cyprus as one nation and work together to protect and defend the Republic against the new threat of Islamic Turkey. It is mind-boggling why President Anastasiades insists on believing that he can negotiate with the Erdogan regime; many have tried, only to discover a number of fingers missing. In fact, it’s pointless to continue the charade of the mythical Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federation (BBF) and should be stopped before its too late. A BBF is not a solution but dissolution of the Republic. Technically, Cyprus is still at war with Turkey and with what’s happening today, it’s wise to reconsider if the crossing should remain open or not. The unhampered flow of people did not help to ‘build bridges’ but has accelerated the partitioning of the republic. In this respect, Cyprus put its faith in its western ‘allies’ , none of whom showed real willingness to help the island other than lip service. Forty-two years on and Turkey continues its occupation, with Nicosia remaining the only divided capital in the world and Famagusta a ghost town. One of the options available to Cyprus was to offer Russia a powerful naval base on the island in exchange for protection, but no government had the vision or dared to explore such a defence strategy. If the Russian option had been accepted, Turkey would have gone years ago from Cyprus: Ankara would never dare mess with the Russian Bear. Instead, Cyprus has become the chunk of cheese in the mousetrap to be nibbled away by ravenous rats. * Andreas C. Chrysafis is a freelance writer, author and artist based in Cyprus.
30 July 2016
13 August 2016