Reactions to BKP’s and AKEL’s visit to T/c 1974 victims commemoration ceremony

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (11.09.15) reports that representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties reacted to the incidents during the joint visit of [Turkish Cypriot] United Cyprus Party (BKP) and [Greek Cypriot] AKEL left-wing party to the commemoration ceremony of the Turkish Cypriots from Aloa, Maratha and Sandalaris villages who had been murdered during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Huseyin Ozgurgun told Kibris Postasi that he thinks that the activity of the two parties was positive, but he does not find correct the fact that the “interlocutors of the upsetting event were ignored”. He argued that the inhabitants of the village should have been informed before the visit.

Asim Akansoy, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in occupied Famagusta, said that he thinks that the activity was correct but did not achieve its goal because of “inadequate organization”. The activity was turned into a political show because it was not well organized”, he argued and described as “extremely important” the fact that AKEL participated in the visit. He expressed the view that those who organize this kind of activities should be very careful regarding the timing of such “steps of apology”, which should be “constructed” very well.

Hasan Tacoy, general secretary of the Democratic Party – National Forces (DP-UG), described the activity as “untimely and unnecessary” and added that the events dealt a blow to the [negotiations] process. He argued that AKEL’s participation in the activity was a show and accused both political parties of aiming at “performing a political show”.

Dr. Suphi Hudaoglu, general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that they supported the activity, but in spite of the fact that they were sincere, they have been misunderstood. He noted that TDP thinks that this kind of activities are extremely important, but “we understand the feelings deriving from the past”. He said that BKP’s and AKEL’s activity was “extremely good intended” and added that accusing the two parties of “performing a political show” was wrong. He claimed that the reaction to the activity may have derived from what he described as “AKEL’s support to Enosis [Translator’s note: The wish of a part of the Greek Cypriot community to unite Cyprus with Greece]” in the past.

Murat Kanatli, organizational secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), said that the same kind of protest had also happened ten years ago in an activity with the participation of his party and added that the reaction to BKP’s and AKEL’s activity was not correct. He also expressed their disagreement with those who say that this was “untimely” or “too early”. “I think that the activity was correct and it was a good place for the beginning of such activities”, he noted adding that the incidents might not have happened if the inhabitants of the area had been contacted first, but no permission is needed for such things.

Finally, Kudret Ozersay, Turkish Cypriot former negotiator, said that he does not oppose to the activity which was necessary for the two communities coming closer to each other. Noting that this kind of issues are sensitive and must be well organized, Ozersay expressed his disagreement with those who argued that the activity was “untimely and too early”, because the communities need this kind of “confrontations and apologies”. He finally argued that the relatives of the victims should have been asked to say their views before the visit.


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