European Parliament elections to be held May 23-26 are drawing close, and the parties are picking their candidates. Greek Cypriots, who became EU members despite not deserving it and refusing the Annan Plan, are preparing for the elections with political parties known for making exclusionary policies for Turkish Cypriots.
One such party is the communist Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). Let us remember, the AKEL was against the Annan Plan, which was providing a common solution for Cyprus as a whole. It was among the opposition, which was against this plan that would allow Cypriot Turks and Cypriot Greeks to form a federation together.
In addition, both the AKEL and AKEL's member president of Greek Cyprus did nothing beneficial for a solution in Cyprus. No matter how much Turkey and Turkish Cypriots try to implement a solution, the AKEL has always been on the opposition's side. In the past, at Berlin Bundestag, while we were meeting with a Northern Cyprus president and a left-wing German congressman, the congressman confessed that, "The AKEL was the strongest and most influential party within the GUE/NGL [European United Left-Nordic Green Left], and as long as they didn't want a solution, no steps could be taken toward one." It is true.
The GUEL/NGL, who is known for its enmity toward Turkey and its close ties with parties and groups supporting the PKK terrorist organization, is following a policy against Turkish Cypriots. The AKEL, which "only" has dialogue with Cypriot Turks that are close to it and not against AKEL's communist policies, is now disguising itself as a Turkish ally to gather votes from roughly 80,000 Cypriot Turks. In fact, there are more than 80,000 Turkish Cypriot voters, but Greek Cypriots only allow for 80,000.
Cypriot Greeks are not the only people living on the island of Cyprus; however, the EU, by trampling on all of its values and principles, is siding with Cypriot Greeks, who are prohibiting Cypriot Turks from participating in EU elections freely, and thus causing the continuity of the great injustice that followed the Annan Plan.
In Cyprus, while things that were supposed to be both for Greeks and Turks are being usurped by Cypriot Greeks, Cypriot Turks are facing embargoes. On the European Parliament elections that will be held under such circumstances, the AKEL, which is definitely not a friend of Cypriot Turks, is presenting a Cypriot Turkish candidate. This candidate is living in the Greek part of Cyprus and has no problems with the AKEL's policies. It is true that everyone can be a candidate. AKEL candidate Niyazi Kızılyürek is one such candidate. It is his personal choice.
However, the way the AKEL lies by using him to show itself as if it is taking a positive step for Cypriot Turks and thus attempting to hunt for these 80,000 votes is making Cypriot Turks understandably angry.
The old Turkish mayor of Nicosia, Kutlay Erk, who has held high positions like secretary-general in one of the sister parties of the AKEL in Northern Cyprus or being the private attorney for international relations for Northern Cyprus President Mehmet Ali Talat, knows the true face of the AKEL very well. Not much time left for European Parliament elections. Cypriot Turks have not picked a side in these elections in the current circumstances. Some efforts, like giving Cypriot Turks the right to vote, disregard the fact that they don't have a right to be elected.
"This contradictory situation where it is asked of Cypriot Turks to participate in an election, where they are to vote for an office that they don't have a right to be elected in, is an affront to the intellect of Cypriot Turks," Kutlay Erk said, reflecting the feelings of Cypriot Turks.
Kutlay Erk, who has witnessed AKEL's opposition to solutions, stated that the AKEL is "hunting for votes in an ugly manner," adding, "Yes, staying in a state of status-quo and deadlock is not a choice, but this is the shame of those who are ongoing with the status-quo and isolation; it is the shame of those who are saying ‘no' to the Annan Plan. It is the shame of those that caused the Crans-Montana conference to crumble. It is not right for Cypriot Turks to leave their representation in the European Parliament to their mercy. Then, who does it benefit to allow Cypriot Turks to vote? Only the AKEL."
Last Saturday, during his visit to Northern Cyprus, Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, by touching on the Cyprus problem, highlighted that nobody has the right to give false hope and then disappointed Cypriot Turks by saying, "We are seeing some contradictions and craftiness."
Çavuşloğlu followed with the following words, "As Crans-Montana ends, we see that Greeks don't want to share anything with Turks on the island." Exactly so. They don't want to share anything with Cypriot Turks in the island and at the same time, they want to steal the 80,000 votes of Cypriot Turks. However, for the six chairs in the European Parliament for Cyprus Island, two of them are the right of Cypriot Turks; and they don't need an AKEL candidate for this. If the AKEL wants a Cypriot Turk congressman, it can present one of the four chairs designated for Greeks to him.
However, neither the AKEL nor the others should treat Cypriot Turks like idiots. Cypriot Turks know the PKK supporter GUE/NGL and its member, the AKEL, have always blocked the road to a just solution in Cyprus.