Akıncı attended UN World Humanitarian Summit dinner
President Mustafa Akıncı attended the dinner hosted by the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan within the framework of UN World Humanitarian Summit organized by the United Nations in İstanbul. Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades reacted to Akıncı attending Erdoğan’s dinner and he did not attend himself.
President Akıncı had a meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon following the dinner. Akıncı and Ban evaluated the current negotiation process in Cyprus and the next 7 months. UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was also present at the meeting.
Akıncı: “It is time to act with responsibility to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal Cyprus”
President Mustafa Akıncı said that it is time to act with responsibility to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal Cyprus for both communities living in peace, freedom, equality and security.
In his written statement, President Akıncı expressed that the Greek Cypriot community made their choice and formed the new structure of their parliament. “I wish good luck for the Greek Cypriot community” Akıncı added.
Furthermore, Akıncı stated that it is time now to concentrate on the efforts towards the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Niyazi Kızılyürek: “There is an important anti-solution block ahead of us”
Academician-Author Prof. Dr. Niyazi Kızılyürek stated that the result of the parliamentarian elections in South Cyprus proved that there is an important anti-solution block ahead of us, and “separate living” has become strong.
Kızılyürek added that the greatest surprise in the elections was the increasing votes of the extreme rightist ELAM with the rate of 2.6%. Kızılyürek also expressed that the decrease of AKEL’s votes was not expected.
Furthermore, adding that AKEL-DISI-Anastasiades trio should work much more to gain “yes” votes at a possible referendum, Kızılyürek noticed that there is a Greek Cypriot parliament which includes 8 parties and the Greek Cypriot government which has no legislative majority will experience some difficulties.
It was also reported that according to the elections held in 2011, AKEL have lost 42.000 votes and DISI have lost 30.857 votes throughout South Cyprus. (Kıbrıs Postası)
Özgürgün: “I hope the new structure of Greek Cypriot parliament contributes to our good will initiatives”
Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün wished the result of the Greek Cypriot parliamentarian elections to be beneficial for the region especially for the Greek Cypriot people.
In his statement regarding the issue, Prime Minister Özgürgün expressed “I hope the new structure of the Greek Cypriot parliament contributes to our efforts and good will initiatives towards a solution”.
Siber: “Non recognition of the TRNC should not be an obstacle for inter-parliamentary friendship relations”
Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber stated that non recognition of the TRNC should not be an obstacle for inter-parliamentary friendship relations.
Sibel Siber received the TRNC Friendship Group members of the Kyrgyzstan Parliament under the presidency of Dastanbek Artistbekovich. Speaking at the reception, Siber pointed out that improvements of such visits will serve for the solution and for peace. Siber also added that if the communities become more familiar with each other and recognize each other’s cultural assets it would be satisfactory.
Reminding that there are many students in the TRNC universities from Kyrgyzstan, Siber said, “We hope more students choose our universities with world-renowned diplomas for their education.”
The head of the Kyrgyzstan Parliament TRNC Friendship Group Dastanbek Artisbekovich for his part stated that they consider Turkish Cypriot people as brothers, and expressed his satisfaction for being on the island. Artisanbekovich also wished reciprocal visits to continue in the future.
“One of every three voters turned away from the polls”
The Greek Cypriot press indicated regarding the parliamentary elections in Greek Cypriot side that voters determined the election results by turning away from the polls. Newspapers wrote that 179,652 voters did not go to the polls in order to protest elections.
While DISI became the winner of the elections with 30.69 % of the votes, AKEL was one of the disappointed parties with 25,672% of votes, wounded deeply compared to the previous elections. According to the comments in the Greek Cypriot press, AKEL took a major blow with the lowest vote rate in its history and a change in the party leadership is also among the possibilities that may arise in the coming days.
On the other hand, according to the Greek Cypriot media, some important points came to light related to the decrease in the vote rates of AKEL and DISI. According to comments, AKEL is still paying the price for the economic crisis which emerged during the presidency of Dimitris Hristofyas. The impact of the economic crisis has also continued during Anastasiades’ period and caused DISI to lose votes as well. It was also stated that bipolarity due to the close relationships between the two parties regarding the Cyprus problem was effective in reducing votes. Besides, Eleni Theoharus’ separation from DISI and participation in the elections with her own party also caused a decline in DISI’s vote rates.
One of the losers of the elections in the South is EDEK. EDEK which took 8.93% of votes in the parliamentary elections in 2011, lost two seats in the parliament with 6.18 vote rate in the elections on Sunday 22nd May. On the other hand, DIKO, which exhibits uncompromising attitudes on the Cyprus problem, experienced great joy after the election results on Sunday. The DIKO party, survived this year’s elections without being affected in a negative way by taking 14.49% of the votes. Ecologists-Citizens Solidarity also welcomed the election results by taking 4.81% of votes. Yorgos Lilikas’s party Citizens Alliance also gained right to enter the parliament by raising its vote rate to 6.01% in this year’s election. Another Greek Cypriot political party which gained right to enter parliament is the fascist ELAM, which is well known with its racist attacks against Turkish Cypriots. ELAM is supported by fascist Golden Dawn party in Greece. While 4056 voters supported ELAM in the elections in 2011, the party succeed to enter the parliament with 13,041 votes (3.71%). Some sources in the Greek Cypriot press described the situation as “a disgrace for democracy”. According to the Greek Cypriot press, with an eight-party structure it seems that inevitable differences will occur in the political map of the Greek Cypriot parliament.
Victory of those with black shirts became a source of concern
According to Cyprus Mail daily published in South Cyprus, the election outcome does not bode well for the current reunification talks, political observers said on Monday.
DISY and AKEL, or the ‘pro-solution camp’, received a combined 56.36 per cent of the popular vote. The other parties, which are opposed to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, grabbed 40.44 per cent.
But according to political commentator Louis Igoumenides, in the event of a referendum on a Cyprus settlement, the pro-solution parties can be expected to suffer considerable leakage, perhaps as much as 10 percentage points – bringing them down to 46 per cent and evening out the odds.
Many DISY and AKEL fanatical supporters are uncomfortable that their respective parties should be in agreement and work together on any issue, not excluding the Cyprus problem.
“To these people, cooperation is like sacrilege, high treason. That might therefore prompt them to vote against a settlement in a referendum,” said Igoumenides.
By contrast, the anti-settlement camp is “iron-clad.”
This would leave it to undecided voters to settle the outcome of the plebiscite.
KISA calls on parties to counter ELAM
On the other hand, Anti-racist and multi-culturalist NGO KISA is concerned over far-right party ELAM winning seats in Sunday’s MP elections, and calls on all parties to take concerted action to counter ELAM in the House of Representatives.
In an announcement by the NGO, KISA expressed concern over the number of absentee voters and the rightward drift of the electorate towards political parties that “espouse racism and nationalism”.
KISA also said that the government is engaging in a “dangerous game of balancing power, crossing between peaceful coexistence and nationalism.” This, says the NGO, has benefited political formations and politicians who set themselves apart with their nationalist and racist rhetoric, and has ongoing repercussions in the field of education.
KISA urges political parties to create a “common code” for dealing with ELAM in the House of Representatives. The NGO also calls on the government to create a long term plan for fighting racism and nationalism on all levels.
Victory of the far-right took place in the World media
“The success in South Cyprus’s parliamentary elections of a far-right party opposing the island’s fragile peace process should spur on those aiming for a deal this year before more momentum is lost, analysts said”, as published on Reuters.
Reuters stressed that the right-wing ELAM party took two seats in the 56-member chamber in the Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections on Sunday, its first since it was created in 2008.
According to Reuters “The result largely mirrors voter disillusionment over the country’s financial meltdown in 2013, with fringe parties picking up protest votes. But it could also endanger reunification talks between the island’s estranged Greek and Turkish communities. Diplomats say the talks are one of the best chances in generations to solve the Cyprus problem.” Reuters also gave some details about ELAM. “At the extreme on the right is ELAM, an affiliate – and some say ‘kindergarten version’ – of Greece’s Golden Dawn party. ELAM has been involved in isolated acts of violence against Turkish Cypriots in the past. Some members stormed a lecture delivered by former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in 2014.
Some of its sympathizers are also thought to be behind attacks on Turkish Cypriot cars in November 2015 in incidents roundly condemned by Anastasiades.”
ELAM’s getting seats in the South Cyprus Parliament also created eco in POLITICO. (Internet newspaper) Politico gave the news as “The far-right ELAM party’s success in getting its first seats in the South Cyprus parliament in Sunday’s elections, alongside two other small groups, casts doubt on support for the fragile negotiations to reunify the Greek and Turkish halves of the island.
The Greek-Cypriot nationalist ELAM (National Popular Front) party, which has links to Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn and has been accused of racism against Turkish Cypriots, won two seats in the House of Representatives in Nicosia.”
Who is ELAM?
The extreme right wing and racist Greek National People’s Front (ELAM), which operates in the Greek Cypriot side was founded in 2008. Followers of EOKA-B act with the purpose of annexing the island with Greece and also oppose the ongoing efforts for a bi-communal bi-zonal federation in Cyprus and protest for the closure of the border gates. The organization defends excessive Greek nationalist ideology and strictly refuses a federal solution in Cyprus. ELAM is well known by its publications and organizations against the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people.
The organization is disturbed by both the presence of Turkish Cypriots and the presence of foreign national people, especially Muslims. The organization also claimed that Muslim refugees spoil the demographic, religious and cultural structure of the island by crossing to the South.
One of the greatest supporters of ELAM on such racist verbal attacks and while transforming these verbal attacks into physical force is the extreme right-wing Golden Down Party, which was founded in Greece in 1993 with neo-Nazi ideology.
Golden Dawn party is known as the brother-group of ELAM and group members frequently educate the members of ELAM in Cyprus in accordance with their ideology. Golden Dawn party members support ELAM in many racist activities carried out by the organization.
One of the greatest examples of the ELAM organization’s grudge and hatred towards Turkish Cypriots was the stabbing of the Turkish Cypriot musician Sertunç Akdoğu in a festival held in Larnaca, in 2010. Although a legal process was launched for suspects, the case ended with exculpation. 2nd President Mehmet Ali Talat who went to Limassol in order to give a lecture also was attacked by Elam members who raided the hall with sticks and torches in their hands and managed to survive without penalty. None of the racist ELAM members were punished. With the opening of the border gates, Turkish Cypriots who crossed to South Cyprus with their cars were often attacked verbally and physically by the fascist ELAM organization. The ELAM organization continues these racist incidents fanatically due to the arbitrary attitudes of the Greek Cypriot police.
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