“Cleaning up the house” is the new political advertisement based on which everybody is trying to shape their position. Almost everybody agrees that TRNC, where almost nothing works in the right way, needs reforms. Nepotism, corruption, misuse of office, double standards and so on are all very well known to all of us.
The reason why there is a skepticism about the argument of “let’s clean up our house” comes from the fact that it emerged right after the end of the Cyprus talks and was proposed as a substitute for federation. Of course those, who want to clean up the house while working on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem or independent of what GCs want, could have cleaned it up. But none of these was done. Why? Were all politicians lazy? Was everybody corrupt? Of course not.
The actors (TC politicians, the Turkish Embassy) involved in the ongoing situation did not let it. The Embassy, which has been controlling the domestic affairs for years, did not allow it. Embassy’s say is above the TCs’ voice. It would not be possible to “clean up the house” without touching the accomplices of the Embassy and senior bureaucrats, who allow corruption, in the TC system.
So sending new faces to the parliament will not help solve the problem. As long as you do not take any steps against “ the army- embassy-local accomplices”, which is the “establishment” in the north, they would defeat you.
By walking the path that the establishment wants you to walk, without touching the establishment, would bring more captivity and not freedom. Substituting the domestic issues that bother people with what the future of the island will be is a a cheap opportunism by those who want to be elected. The deep establishment on the island is a kind of ‘coup’ against those who consider the island as their home.
Cyprus problem help differentiate traditional left from right. The new right is seeking a new starting point. That is the reason why the new right considers Cyprob as if it did not exist and came up with a new discourse that entails steps to be taken in its absence. The new right ignores those who consider this island as their home and want to be in government quickly. They rolled up their sleeves for a ‘Pyrrhic victory’.
The new right is building an argument for creating a clean society and apolitical politics. But the new left is unable to put forward any counter argument. When faced with the impossibility of reaching a comprehensive settlement it does not sound very realistic to talk about comprehensive settlement again. They are not too keen on creating a new methodology in line with the UN parameters either. Due to confusion, the understanding of comprehensive settlement created with Turkey and pro-guarantee stance, they prefer focusing on TRNC affairs and the opportunities that it will create. In other words the new left, became the follower of the new right.
Politics of transparency should not be put away but let’s clarify one point:
How do we build a counter argument?
What kind of stance could we take on against the deep establishment (the army-embassy and local accomplices) on the island?
How can we ensure freedom and not captivity?
In a recent radio program Mustafa (Ongun- a TC activist) said the following: “ there are people who want to clean up the house but they pretend that the elephant in the room is not there”. Can you ignore the dirt created by the elephant even if you clean the house every day? The elephant represents Turkey’s military, financial and political presence. Are we going to ignore the elephant or are we going to start talking about the elephant in the room?
Especially those who are talking about ‘cleaning up the house’ should discuss it the most. How many army officers exist in the north? What is their annual budget? Where does their budget come from? Is the budget being used effectively? What are the areas under military control?
Turkish Forces stationed in the north of Cyprus is the least audited/inspected and least transparent body. Are we late in tabling a political demand for their inspection and asking them to be transparent? Don’t you think that the solution of the problem starts with pointing the broom at the army? However, if this is going to be left after a solution, then isn’t it safe to say that the real intention here is ‘captivity’?
What are we waiting for? why do not we reduce the number of troops to the level of Day One? Why do not we reduce their number now to the amount indicated in the Treaty of Alliance or to the number of Greek troops in the south?
To briefly put, there is an elephant that has been sitting in the middle of the house for 43 years. If we are to clean the house, then let’s take it outside cause the house really stinks!
Translation: Fatma Tuna