From Tue Jul 24 12:51:39 2001
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 16:52:47 -0500 (CDT)
From: (Turgut Durduran)
Subject: Report on Situation in northern Cyprus
Organization: University of Pennsylvania
Article: 123194
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Report about the situation in northern Cyprus

Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) Youth Executive Council, [20 July 2001]

The evaluation of YBH Youth concerning the latest situation in northern Cyprus is as follows:

The economic crisis in northern Cyprus is especially affecting youth negatively. The level of unemployment is increasing and the standard of living is falling down. This situation is increasing the discontent against the regime by the youth, but due to intensive emigration, these negative influences are not turning into a strong political movement.

But the regime in the north is taking measures in order to develop psychological tools in this negative atmosphere.

The evaluation of YBH Youth concerning the latest situation in northern Cyprus is as follows:

1) National Peoples Movement (UHH [tr. Ulusal Halk Hareketi]):

In northern Cyprus, a semi-legal nationalist organization has been formed under the leadership of the former Foreign Affairs Minister, Taner Etkin, who is directly linked to Denktash who is the leader of Turkish Cypriot Community. The new formation, in a very short period of time, was announced through illegal brochures and banners. The new organization claims that it is formed in order to fight with the internal and external enemies. Moreover, it has announced that the brain of the organization is the Civil Defence Organization, which is linked to the military.

The name of the Civil Defence Organization was also heard when Kutlu Adali was murdered on the 6th of July 1996. Adali was a writer and a journalist, who had a column in Yeniduzen Newspaper. He was writing articles against the regime and when he wrote about the looting of the St. Barnabas Church where the Civil Defence Organization was involved, he got death threats and calls were made to Yeniduzen Newspaper by this organization, complaining of Adalis articles. The commander of the Civil Defence Organization then, was Galip Mendi, who is currently the general commander of the military authority in northern Cyprus. When Galip Mendi was appointed to this post, the media accused him in Turkey, linking his name with the assassination of Kutlu Adali.

After a thorough consideration, it can be said that UHH looks like a paramilitary body.

This organization continuously gives briefings to the masses around the country both by paying visits to the towns and villages and by using the states radio and TV broadcasting services frequently. Through these briefings without any hesitation- they keep targeting The Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) and some other civil organizations as the internal enemies, to their definition- weakening the National Policy (tr. Ulusal Dava) of regime in the north.

These new developments like the formation of UHH, are aimed to create a so-called sterile political agenda for the Turkish Cypriot Community by oppressing the opposition by any means. UHH is strongly supported by Denktash and military authority.

2) Bi-communal Peace Chorus:

The bi-communal peace chorus was going to give a big peace concert at Pyla on Sunday the 1st of July. Pyla is a village where people from both communities live together and the village is under UNs control. UHH then issued a statement denouncing the decision to give a peace concert and threatened the chorus in order to ensure that the event be called off. UHH claimed that if any provocation occurred and if the chorus members or the progressives were attacked, it would not be responsible. A few days later the UN asked the chorus to postpone the event claiming that it could not guarantee the security of those who would participate in the event. Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the concert was banned since the UN had said that they could not ensure the security of the people. The statement further claimed that the German Embassy and the German-Cyprus Forum also expressed similar concerns and that they were satisfied with the Foreign Ministrys decision to cancel the concert. But the German-Cyprus Forum issued a statement saying that they had had no contact with the Foreign Ministry in the north and they had never asked that the event be cancelled, on the contrary they supported the bi-communal contacts in Cyprus. German-Cyprus Forum also stated that the German Ambassador to Cyprus, Peter Wittig, went to see Denktash and expressed that this type of behaviour was unacceptable for them.

On Sunday, the rapid deployment police forces were placed before the entrance to Pyla in the north, and Turkish Cypriot members of the chorus and the Turkish Cypriots were not allowed by the regime to cross to Pyla to attend the concert. Even the members of Turkish Cypriot media were not permitted to cross to Pyla. Greek Cypriot members of the chorus gave a symbolic concert in Pyla with the absence of their Turkish Cypriot members.

3) Bombing and murders:

Recently, four different places were bombed in northern Cyprus.

a)Bombing of the Printing house of the Avrupa Newspaper:

The printing house of Avrupa Newspaper was bombed on 24th May 2001. This was the second attack done against the printing house of the newspaper. The last summers attempt managed to burn down the printing house hence avoiding the printing and distribution of the newspaper for almost a week.

The Avrupa Newspaper is against the regime in the north and it is an anti-militarist daily newspaper.

b)Bombing events near the Prime Ministry Residence:

A bomb was planted in front of the Prime Ministry Residence in northern Nicosia on 4th May 2001, the day before a party congress of National Unity Party (UBP).

The congress was preceded with increased tensions between two rival groups: current Prime Ministry Eroglu's group (a rival of Denktash) and Hasipoglu's group (supported by Denktash).

There were no strong proofs and no police statement about the bombing. However, to a larger extent, there are rumours that the military authorities have organized the bombing. The main reason for the bombing is that there is a strong conflict of interests among the ruling class, ranging from the internal conflicts to the power domination, and their roots are closely linked to the conflicts in Turkey.

The most important argument, which strengthens this idea, is the break down of the coalition government on 25th May 2001, where Communal Liberation Party (TKP), which is a social democrat party, was present. And instead in a very short period of time a new coalition government from the right wing political parties was established on 5th June 2001. This happened immediately after the bomb explosion before the Prime Ministers Residence.

The Turkish Republic (TR) Embassy forced this new coalition of the right wing parties and even before its legalization the representatives of these two parties paid a visit to the TR Embassy on 4th June 2001. This meeting was reflected for publics information through the media. And neither of these coalition members, National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP) have denied this visit and the meeting held at the Embassy till now.

In Turkey parallel to the countrys candidacy to the European Union (EU), two opposing views were raised in regard to its membership to the union. One is against the membership and the military is included in this category, and the other, which consists of the liberals and the businessmen, advocates membership. Under these conditions, Denktash is in the former category.

c)Other Bombing Incidents:

There has not been any proof linking the bombings in Famagusta (Magusa) on 16th April 2001 and Karava (Alsancak) on 1st May,to political reasons. Both are generally seen as criminal incidents. However, it raises some suspicions that there has not been any explanation by the media or authorities in either case or no organization were assumed responsibility of bombings.

d)Two murders:

Two well-known Turkish Cypriot men were killed within a short interval. One victim was the manager of a casino and the other was the owner of a foreign currency exchange bureau.

Crime rate and murders has recently increased. In our view, these events are aimed towards creating an unnatural depression in the society. They are the result of the lack of an appropriate foreign policy on EU entry issue of northern Cyprus by Turkish governments. Therefore, to fill in the gap a politically tense situation is created with increased violence to declare an extraordinary situation’ for the suppression of rights and freedoms.

A terrorized environment makes it very difficult for the opponents of the regime to carry on their struggle.

4) Resolutions of the European Human Rights Court on Cyprus:

Because of recent resolutions of the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) about Cyprus, the regime in the north has increased its threats on us. Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) is referred as an internal enemy in various cases. The following refers the YBHs analysis on the EHRC resolutions:

It is impossible to use ancient mentalities to solve the problems of rapidly changing world just like it is impossible to use old methods to solve new problems.

Turkey, as a candidate to the European Union (EU) that is trying to integrate with the EU, is being governed and led very poorly by its leaders and hence it is meeting impenetrable obstacles regularly.

The reactions against the European Human Rights Court (EHRC) on Cyprus shows that they are not ready to give up the old Ottoman Empire mentality.

EHRC is reminding Turkey that is one of the guarantors of the independence, sovereignty and integrity of Cyprus and this is the main reason of Turkeys existence on the island. It is openly declaring that Turkey cannot continue to violate the basic rights and freedoms of the Cypriot people.

Ankara approved the 1977-79 high level agreements bearing Denktash's signature and promised to work towards a Cyprus where Greeks and Turks would gain their basic rights and freedoms in an independent, sovereign, undivided, bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. Furthermore, when becoming a candidate for the EU in December 1999, Ankara created the impression that it would help the United Nation (UN) efforts to bring a just solution to the Cyprus problem.

At this point, Denktash and bureaucrats in Ankara are announcing that there is no way to find a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem. They are forgetting that they guaranteed the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus and are insisting on taksim (partition).

These policies that disregard international law and agreements met with the EHRC obstacle.

EHRC convicted the status quo and the virtual democracy in Cyprus. Regardless of how angry they could get or how much they insist on not recognizing this decision it is out there as a fact and documents the bankruptcy of policies of taksim (partition).

As YBH we have been warning for years.

You will never reach anywhere by changing the population demographics of the community, by founding an empire on looting, imprisoning people who express the truth as spies, by trying civilians in military courts and by buying weapons with people's food money.

You will never reach anywhere lying looking right in the eyes of world, calling an arbitrary military regime a democracy and violating the most basic rights and freedoms of people without any hesitation.

More than half of Turkish Cypriots did not leave their homeland without a reason. The youth is not without an understandable excuse to see future in emigration.

It is impossible for a regime that is founded on looting, oppression and lies to get endorsement by the international community.

As YBH, we call the leaders in Ankara and say:

As seen in the last elections the vast majority of our people do not see Denktash as their representative or their speaker. Opinion polls indicate that people are for federation and against integration with Turkey. Opinion polls also indicate that people want Cyprus to join the EU with a federal solution and not disrupt the membership process of the island. The desire of people living in north Cyprus to obtain Republic of Cyprus passports indicates the truth in those opinion polls. A federal solution within the framework of the high level agreements is the only way out. The interests of the peoples of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece call for this solution.

YBH is determined to continue its struggle in this direction.

5) Visits to the Military Camps:

Approximately a thousand primary, secondary and high school students visited the military camps on 17th May 2001. During the visits, the students had to watch the army trainings and manoeuvre and listen to briefings on political and military matters presented by military staff in these camps. Live ammunition was also used during these manoeuvres.

Regarding the particular issue, we have published the following statement:

They are trying to create an obedient generation by brain washing and psychological oppression through using military powers.

For YBH Youth, the regime in the north has been using such chauvinist, militarist educational tools such as taking the youth to military camps as methods to oppress the opposition.

Because of increasing efforts of the international community for a viable solution to the Cyprus problem, the regime in the north has increased its efforts in order to create an oppressed obedient generation by brain washing.

Recently, secondary and high school students have been taken to military camps and have been fed with forced militarist ideologies under the disguise of National Security Lessons.

Along with this, they have been forced to watch military exercises with live ammunition and listen to war propaganda.

The press released photos showing young people posing with weapons. Such scenes do not allow us to be a part of the contemporary world. The real reason why the regime in north Cyprus uses this sort of “forced” education which could negatively affect the physical and psychological development of the youth is to use “brain washing” and “psychological oppression using military powers” to create an obedient generation. They are increasing their outdated, chauvinistic methods for these reasons. Under these conditions it is impossible to claim a modern education and raise healthy human beings.

YBH Youth considers it to be a main requirement of modern, pluralist life to replace the militarist, chauvinist elements in the educational system with modern, democratic, scientific elements.

YBH Youth cannot accept the intervention of the military into the civilian life and calls the progressive, patriotic youth to struggle against the military intervention.

Regarding the issue, you can see the photographs in this site:

6) Banning of travel of Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union Representative and children:

Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) had organized for a group of 24 children to participate in the International Children's Peace Olympia currently held in Greece in Olympia and Delphi, Greece from 12-19 July 2001 but Turkish Cypriot children, aged around 10-11 were prevented from leaving the country by the police forces at the Ercan Airport in north Cyprus. 17 children and 2 teachers were `banned` from leaving the island by the regime and 50 police officers, as well as secret police were sent to the airport to prevent them from boarding the plane on 12 July 2001. Parents of children were threatened and 7 families decided not to send their children to Greece. But the rest went to the airport, only to find 50 policemen and as many secret police greeting them. The children and their parents held a protest meeting at the airport.

In a press conference held in Nicosia on 12 July 2001, the children, their parents and the KTOS representative, expressed their anger and disappointment. Varol Oztug, General Secretary of KTOS said, Nowhere in the world, can you find 50 policemen facing 17 kids. This is fascism.

7) Other internal enemy:

Recently, developments against the progressive people, showing them as enemies, are putting us in danger and making us feel insecure.

The journalist Tema Irkad expressed his anxieties about insecure environment and declared it in the Yeniduzen Newspaper. Yeniduzen Newspaper is progressive daily newspaper in northern Cyprus.

The Avrupa Newspaper prepared a report about insecure environment and sent it to the Security Council.

Their report is given below:

To The Presidency of the Security Council

In the last few days we have been witnessing the wish to close down Avrupa Newspaper the only paper opposing Denktash and Turkeys official doctrine and policies in the Cyprus Conflict, by increasing oppression and terrorism by bombing the printing office of the paper.

The death threats to the staff of the newspaper are on the daily increase. The telephones of the paper are continuously tapped and listened by the orders of the Security Forces.

Last year in July the owner and the chief editor of the newspaper with its three political correspondents were arrested with accusations of treason for spying and held in custody for 12 days.

They were released after the court dismissed the allegations as inconsistent and insufficient evidence.

Later that year in November the newspapers printing office was bombed and burnt down.

Within six months under very heavy financial difficulties the paper managed to survive only to be bombed more fiercely this time.

The bombers never been found in the past, and no effort is shown by the police to investigate the arson and off course this raises the question in our minds: Are they being protected by some officials in the high places?

As we have no other paper left to express our views and opposition to Denktashs handling of the Cyprus talks we the staff and correspondents of Avrupa Newspaper begun to fear for our lives and security. In the name of humanity and freedom of speech, which we value above all else, we humbly request your help in raising the matter with the proper authorities.

Believing that our humble request shall meet your kind consideration and prompt intervention.

We remain yours


The Staff and Correspondents of Avrupa Newspapers

8) Conclusions:

We would like to present these recent developments to your kind consideration.

At this time, all struggles are at a psychological level however it is expected to turn into a physical struggle soon.

In northern Cyprus, there are urgent needs for the development of common projects and work for the provision of our security.

Thank you in advance for your concern.

Patriotic Unity Movement (YBH) Youth Executive Council