Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.04.17) columnist Sami Ozuslu assesses the results of the referendum in Turkey in relation to Cyprus. Under the title “Will yes be good for Cyprus?”, Ozuslu reports that a “shady yes” came out from the “problematic in all aspects” and “terrible voting from a democratic point of view” in Turkey. He notes, inter alia the following:
“Turkey’s people have lost in a way. Erdogan has overcome another obstacle in the way of [becoming] the ‘single man’. Turkey has anyway been ruled ‘by one man’ for some time now, but this will become legal now. The sharia regime, that is the prevalence of the Islamic rules, will not happen with this Constitution, but the course in practice has been established on the downgrading of secularism as much as possible. From now on it will be difficult for Turkey to turn its face to the West.
There are many problems which Turkey will have to face and solve. It is not known whether single man Erdogan will wait for the first elections in November 2019 or he will hold the elections earlier in order for passing to the new regime the soonest, but what he will do with the Kurdish problem? Will he continue keeping the members of the HDP in jail, where he has put them? Will he establish in their place an alternative, controlled, close to him ‘covered Kurdish party’? If he does this, will he succeed? It is not known. What will ‘single man’ Erdogan do in Syria? After USA’s latest move, will he return back to the target of ‘overturning Assad’? Will he be able to prevent with buffer zones the structure in northern Syria in which Kurds prevail? What he will do with terror? With the economy? These are serious problems and questions in Turkey which are waiting for the ‘single man’.
Let us come to Cyprus. Cyprus did not say yes in the referendum! No came out from Cyprus. This was good. However, it was not Cyprus the one that said no! This is the one aspect of the issue. The other is how ‘one manned Turkey’ will look at Cyprus and the Cyprus problem from now on. What was Erdogan’s first move on the night of the referendum? The death penalty! This message is on the one hand an operation by Erdogan, who with difficulty achieved 51%, to distort the agenda, but on the other to gather again the conservative and nationalist votes which he had lost. Because, he has not become President yet. He has to be elected. And on Sunday Erdogan saw the danger. He embraced the death penalty at once. What is the relation of this with Cyprus? While entering into an effort to gather again the right wing votes he has lost, he will not and cannot take a step even a millimeter towards the solution in Cyprus, which not only the right wing but even the left wing in Turkey sees with ‘national glasses’. Will he do the opposite? He could do so. He could launch a campaign under the name of ‘promotion’, he could also open the way for ‘annexation’. Especially if the bad scenario is realized in Syria, this process might be intensified much more. ”