“I want a unified country. I want Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to join their lives together, to be neighbours in the same neighbourhoods, to drink coffee on the same balcony, to drink ouzo and raki under the same vine. I want and I want. I want Varosi to be given back to its owners before a solution...”
Sener Levent is a journalist who publishes and edits the daily Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. He also has a regular column in the Greek-language newspaper Politis, which presents Levent’s articles from Afrika in Greek translation.
Recently Sener Levent published an article in Afrika (7 July 2016) and in Politis (8 July 2016) in which he presented shocking testimony to the effect that, in the Turkish invasion of 1974, Greek Cypriot prisoners had been taken to Turkey and had there been buried alive with their hands and feet tied together.
In the following week Levent presented testimony which claimed that eleven Greek Cypriot captives had been thrown to their deaths from Buffavento Castle.
Instead of being praised for revealing evidence which may lead to the solving of a few more missing-person cases, Levent was attacked by Greek Cypriot “reconciliationists” for “raking up something which took place 42 years ago”, and reporting matters which will “create hatred”.
Levent responded with an important article, which I give here in English translation in its entirety.
Et tu, Akis Lordos?...
By Sener Levent, Politis 7 July 2016
Translated by Pavlos Andronikos
With whom are you uniting in the north? Let me tell you. With those who do not want to give you back Varosi and Morphou, who wave the flag in our faces..
See here, dear Akis Lordos, and you too, dear Greek Cypriot compatriots who commented on the Lordos’ article. If what I write in this newspaper pleases your chauvinists, what you write is pleasing to our chauvinists. With whom in the north are you uniting? Let me tell you. With those who do not want to return Varosi and Morphou back to you. With those who feel proud that the flag on the mountain is waved in your face every day. With those who do not want the Turkish army to ever leave this island. With those who demand that the fake property titles, issued on lands that were taken away from you by force of arms, be regarded as legal. With those who condemn you to using a passport to pass from the one half of your homeland to the other. With those who insist that the population brought in from abroad are also our citizens. With those who say “it is not possible to fast on pork or to be friends with a Giaour”. With those who, for so many sites, will not issue permits for excavations to search for the missing. With those who celebrate every 20th of July even though you are mourning. With those who shout “the TRNC will live for ever”. And even with the “New Cypriots” who say that Allah is great. You are fighting on the same front. Your words spread honey on the bread of all of them. You will never be able to bring peace to this island in this way.
What did you say, Mr Lordos? If the five young Turks returning from Ayia Napa had been killed, we would have given Turkey a new opportunity to intervene? You amaze me. Does Turkey need such a thing to intervene? Is she looking for an excuse but cannot find one? If she does decide to intervene—something she can never do without a green light from America and England—are there no excuses? In one day she could create thousands. If she wanted to she could blow up the mosques of Bayraktar and Omeriye again. If she wanted to, within 24 hours 5 soldiers on the border could be killed. If Allahverdi Kılıç was killed on the border why not others?
And you, Yiannis Papadopoulos and you dear friends, Dionysos and Kaskanis, do not upset Akis Lordos. Throw me out of Politis. Do not publish my articles again. I bring harm to peace. I incite hatred. I want a unified country. I want Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to join their lives together, to be neighbours in the same neighbourhoods, to drink coffee on the same balcony, to drink ouzo and raki under the same vine. I want and I want. I want Varosi to be given back to its owners before a solution. Throw me out. Listen to Lordos’ appeal. Look, I am also guilty because I wrote that some Greek Cypriot prisoners who were transferred to Turkey were buried alive there. There are some here who get angry and froth at the mouth. What need is there to rake up something that took place 42 years ago, they say. I do this too because I want to incite hatred, they say. My actions are no different to those of ELAM, they say. You, Mr Akis Lordos, are fighting on the same front as those who say these things. Tell Yiannis as well, maybe he will transfer some of them to the newspaper. In this country, the enemy of peace is the search for our missing! We must not anger Turkey!
So chauvinists like what I write? Well, what can I do, if you have left only the likes of them to fight against this shameful occupation? Let me tell you something. One day they asked Lenin: What is this priest doing amongst us? And Lenin replied: Do not ask me. Ask the priest!