By Kathy Martin…
Written October 2015
To paraphrase the words of Martin Luther King Jr, the black (sorry, Afro-American) civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968, “I had a dream”!
In my dream, the European Union, The United Nations and indeed, the rest of the world woke up to the fact that when the Turkish military “invaded” Cyprus 50 or so years ago, they did so to protect and rescue the Turkish Cypriots from being massacred by the Greek Cypriot terrorist organisation “Eoka B”.
Therefore it was not an “invasion” but a rescue operation.
Surely Britain, the “colonial power” before Cyprus’s independence, who had had so many servicemen and their families killed by this same terrorist organisation, could see this?
But no, it was politically expedient for that once “great” country to act in a spineless manner, and, like the rest of the world (except Turkey), accept the Greek and Greek Cypriot propaganda as “fact”.
On my planet (population one!) the Greek Cypriots would be have been charged with attempted genocide against the Turkish Cypriots. However, in the real world I accept that a “Christian” Europe and the Western powers felt comfortable in blaming a “Muslim” Turkey and Turkish Cyprus!
In my dream, we were also given the Kocan (title deeds) for our flat that we have been in for approximately 7½ years! (Still waiting in 2017)
Also, I dreamt that direct (non-stop) flights to and from the rest of the world were allowed to operate through Ercan (our) airport. Apart from reducing flight times (eliminating the current obligatory landing in mainland Turkey) this would allow European “budget” airlines to offer genuine competition in respect of the cost of airfares.
In the “Cyprus Today” newspaper of 3rd October there was an article about three fatalities in a “spate” of (road traffic) accidents.
In one of these car accidents was on the Girne to Esentepe road, the driver escaped with injuries, but the passenger was killed.
This accident had prompted an Esentepe resident to write a letter to the editor that blamed the “Highways Department” for the accident!
The letter writer describes the section of the road:- “first it dips, then rises and is very bumpy”. It is this section of the road that the letter writer asks the Highways Department to “smooth out”.
The article about the accident says that driver lost control and the car overturned. Continues to state that the driver and passenger were travelling to work, and, therefore, were presumably familiar with the particular stretch of road where the accident occurred.
However, familiar or not with the road conditions (indeed, especially, if she was unfamiliar with them) the driver should not have been travelling at a speed that could entail a loss of control resulting in the vehicle overturning!
The “project of the century”
The fresh water pipeline from Turkey to Kibris has been completed and water is flowing into the reservoir.
Now the question is who is going to administer it? The government both at national and local levels want to control it, but there is also (due to bureaucracy and incompetence in these government departments), a strong case for it to be controlled by the private sector.
Er, as the pipeline has been in construction for many months, shouldn’t this have been sorted out a long time ago?
But hey, this is Cyprus!
I learnt a few days ago that the local radio/television broadcasting station BRT Bayrak radio & television has 7 (yes seven) television channels in addition to the “English” radio channel to which we listen.
Readers in more densely populated parts of the world may well shrug their shoulders and say “so what”? However, according to a population census carried out in 2013 the population of the TRNC was under 302,000.
Not having a television (except one used to watch DVD’s of our choice) I cannot comment on the quality or content of these seven TV channels, but goodness gracious, seven taxpayer-funded channels for approximately 300,000 people?
Admittedly, these TV channels (like radio Bayrak) may be available on world-wide web for the benefit and information of the many Turkish Cypriots who live abroad. If so, then the taxpayer’s money is, probably, being spent wisely!
There were a couple of news items in the newspaper “Cyprus Today” of October 10th that caught my eye.
The first that was the headline “Beer is cheaper than milk”! While this would be a welcome headline for an alcoholic, I read the article out of interest!
According to the article a litre of beer costs between TL 1.75 and TL 3.25 while a litre of milk is between TL 3.40 and TL 3.70.
The Consumers Association chairman is quoted as saying “…the government is going to offer subsidies to dairy producers, which will be paid for by those who are unable to afford to buy milk!”
Those who cannot (in the first place) afford to buy milk are going to pay a subsidy to the producers, so that (presumably) they can produce cheaper milk!
The other headline that caught my attention was “Row over water control deepens”. This “row” is about who is going to control the supply and distribution of fresh water brought over from Turkey in the undersea pipeline.
The Turkish government, who financed and supplied the expertise for “the project of the century”, want it to be controlled by the private sector.
However, 14, yes fourteen, trades unions have objected to this on the grounds that a “private firm would have the power to set rates”!
Er, yes, that is what, in the real world private (or government) offices do!
Or am I being stupid?
Indeed, why are as many as 14 trades unions involved?
Meanwhile, mayors of 26 municipalities have indicated that they are willing to be responsible to distribute the water under the umbrella of Beski, a newly formed water and sewage local government organisation. The article doesn’t state that the trades unions object to Beski being able to set rates!
One thing that should surprise me, but having lived here for a decade, doesn’t – is that the management of water distribution hasn’t been sorted out earlier! After all it wasn’t as if the fairies had built the pipeline overnight without telling anyone!
But hey, this is Cyprus!
Readers, especially in this part of the world, will undoubtedly have heard of the horrendous “terrorist “attacks in Turkey’s capital, Ankara. In this attack three explosions on 10th October 2015 left 95 people dead and 246 injured.
Ironically, these explosions occurred before a planned “peace” demonstration about the government clampdown and harsh treatment of Kurdish nationals in both Turkey and neighbouring Syria.
The powers that be in the TRNC have declared a 3 day period of mourning, ending at midnight on 13th October 2015.
I have no wish to criticise the government here, nor upset the relatives and friends of the victims, but come on, a three day “holiday” for all of the government employees? I presume that all, or most of the, commercial, and (unlike the government), profit making, shops, cafes and restaurants etc will be open during this period!
One of the “side effects” of this period of mourning is that radio Bayrak will only be broadcasting tapes (if these are still used) of music; there will be no “live” programmes such as the news etc.
Next blog will continue with Alistair’s last ramble
These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum”