Monday, 28 February 2011

Şener Elcil KTOS - the Turkish Cypriot demo on 2nd March will be bigger than 28.01.2011

CyBC bi-lingual program spoken in Turkish with Greek subtitles, Biz Emeis 25/02/2011 featured an interview with Şener Elcil, Secretary General of the KTOS Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Union.

The intreview was about the massive 28th January demonstration seeking to ensure the continuing existence of the Turkish Cypriot community, and about his views on the reactions in the Turkish Cypriot community to the statements made by Turkish premier Erdogan. There is to be a second mass demonstration by Turkish Cypriots on 2nd March 2011.

Click to view this video:


    Introduction: The echoes from the demonstration held on 28th January 2011 organised by the Trade Union Platform. The insulting words directed at Turkish Cypriots by Turkish Prime Minister Tayiip Erdogan raised tension levels between the Turkish Cypriot community and the Turkish Government. In order to make an assessment tonight we have here with us the Secretary General of the KTOS Teachers' Union, Mr Şener Elcil. Welcome ...

    .. in the conversation we had in the studio before the 28th January demonstration (see video at:  ) you had said that you expected massive participation by the people. In the time that has elapsed since then there have been significant developments. In your view, did the 28th January demonstration achieve its purposes, and to what extent?

    SE: I would like first of all to thank you. The demonstration did achieve its purpose. We have no doubt on that. Our purpose was to project the reaction of our community to the impositions and to stress that the Turkish Cypriots will not capitulate to them. I want to tell you that your program is very effective. It has widespread viewership in 'the north', particularly among certain circles. We are receiving considerable criticism because of your program and we have become targets of charges that we take instructions and money from Mr Christofias in having organised these demonstrations and that we use this program for our propaganda.

    We don't need to do propaganda.

    The community in 'the south' and in 'the north' knows us, it knows our views. We are not doing something in secret and our actions are visible to the people ...

    (Q) ... Excuse my interrupting ... they say that when it is your enemies who are accusing you, it must be a sign that you are doing something right.

    (SE) That's right ... as per the Turkish proverb - they throw stones at the fruit-bearing trees.

    We are doing our duty - we are trying to open the way for our community and we stress that the future of our country is ensured through peace and reunification and not with war.

    This is our basic aim. We are teachers. A teacher is a social being. Our duty is not to just go to class to teach, but our duty is to be interested in matters beyond our schools, to social problems, to help solve problems which are faced by our society and act in areas where we need to develop policy. That is what we are trying to do.

    (Q) After the demonstration the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayiip Erdogan caused intense reactions through the insulting statements he made. Certain circles are trying to soften these reactions. What is the current situation?

    (SE) Mr Erdogan has shown his real face. We have been saying this for a long time, that Mr Erdogan does not want a solution to the Cyprus issue. He appears to want a solution but he pushes things towards non-solution. On the other hand he is constantly placing obstacles in the procedures which could help the Turkish Cypriots take their fate in their own hands. On the one hand he tries to increase dependence of 'the north' with the mass influx of population from Turkey, particularly after the year 2000. Today an issue exists about 'naturalising' them ... in the 'parliamentary' session in 'the north' two days ago it was said that 250,000 persons are waiting to be 'naturalised'. In addition. Mr Erdogan encourages the large inflows of capital which is associated with him to be moved and invested in 'the north'. All this is not the result of a consciousness which wishes for a solution, but of a consciousness which aims at the conversion of 'the north' into a colony.

    Consequently, the comments by Mr Erdogan, five days after the demonstration, essentially show his real face and real feelings about the Turkish Cypriots. He calls us “kept parasites”.

    Turkey came to the island on the pretext that it was protecting the Turkish Cypriots. But it is using us to make politics, as it did with the agreements for the Republic of Cyprus in '60, and on the other hand it is trying to sideline us.

    I see that the Erdogan reactions and those of AKP officials who are expressing themselves offensively and who insult Turkish Cypriots provoke stronger reactions in our community.

    We are struggling to be able to become masters in our own lands, to be able ourselves to govern us.

    We are not struggling in order to become puppets or employees of Mr Erdogan.

    We expect our political will to be respected.

    We are not struggling for the money.

    We are not struggling for economic reasons.

    I want to stress this.

    If I judge on the basis of the voices I hear from 'the south', there is an emergent view that the mobilisations of the Turkish Cypriots are aimed at money or other economic benefits. Such a view is entirely wrong.

    (Q) A neutral third party observer of the situation might, and please do correct me if I am wrong, conclude that there are among certain Turkish Cypriot circles those who in one way or another undermine your struggle, and if you want me to be more specific I would say that there are certain columnists in Turkish Cypriot newspapers (and I could provide you with names if asked) who present the view that the Turkish Cypriots (after the Erdogan statements) will be intimidated, will be frightened to take to the streets. Is it like that?

    (SE) That does not apply. As I can here now talk comfortably, and in 'the north' people do speak freely - the Turkish Cypriots are protecting their democratic freedom in the best possible way.

    (Q) I'll express it differently and clarify what I meant, which I may have not expressed clearly. Some columnists who are opposed to your struggle are trying to convince readers that following Erdogan's threats, the people who had taken to the streets on the 28th of January will not come out now. That they will stay in their homes. And we must say this -- even in AFRIKA ... lets say things with names ... there are such articles appearing.

    (SE) I must say to you that I have exactly the opposite impression. With his offensive speech, Mr Erdogan has prompted even people who had not talked until today, to take to the streets. As a result, the demonstration on 2nd March will be larger and more impressive than the demonstration which took place on 28th January. Certain people naturally, constantly, try to prevent the demonstration taking place. Certain political parties in 'the north' ... following his visit to Ankara Mr Talat stated that the tones should be lowered, as if he had taken on the role of the fireman ... and there are other political parties such as that ...  they circulate rumours that there will be attacks against the demonstrators, that there will be transfers from Turkey of special action units and policemen ... these are rumours which are intended to intimidate our people. We are fed up with such rumours.

    We are determined to defend our democratic rights to the end.

    We expect the same also of the Greek Cypriot community.

    We go out to the squares and we have two basic demands. One: that we should ourselves govern our place, Two: that  a solution is found as soon as possible for Cyprus to be reunited. 

    It is very significant for the Greek Cypriots to also go out into the streets, to demonstrate their desire for a solution. This will give a very positive message to the whole world. There is no sense for only one side to want a solution. The large organisations of the Greek Cypriots, they could for example, organise for the same time as ours, a demonstration at Eleftheria (Liberation) Square or somewhere else. This would give a very significant message to the world. What I am talking about does not need to be coordinated. The organisations of the two sides can simply express a common will regarding this matter.

    I am not asking my Greek Cypriot comrades and compatriots to come to 'the north' to support us. We can marshall the masses. What is significant is that they also activate the masses, so we can project the common will for a solution, the reunification of Cyprus and of Cyprus being governed by Cypriots without foreign impositions.

    (Q) Speaking with Turkish Cypriots, most of them are somewhat upset that there has not been support ... the simple statements do not provide some security to the Turkish Cypriots ... you as the Trade Union Platform are struggling for Cyprus. Do you not feel alone in this struggle?

    (SE) The Turkish Cypriot community has always struggled ... it has never ceased to struggle. Even if we are numerically small, we never stopped struggling.  I believe we will also have the support from the international community because our struggle is just. As we have seen, even if only symbolically we have been supported also by the Greek Cypriot comrades. But this is not enough. As in the past, so today we continue our struggle to the best of our abilities. Our struggle is not a new one. For many years now the Teachers Union and a team of progressive people have been struggling for many years, for the future of the Turkish Cypriot community, and for a solution, for peace in our country. This loneliness is not  something new for us. We see however that every day increases ever more the number of people who understand and support us within the international community and in Cyprus.

    (Q) So, Teacher - on the 2nd of March you expect a larger turn out by the people. Do you feel that the squares are able to hold you all?

    (SE) On the 28th January the square was not big enough for us all. When one wants to gather the whole world in one place there is no square which will be large enough. It doesn't matter if the squares are not big enough to hold all of us. Our aim is that the people should come to demonstrate their reaction.  Our reaction regards the governance of the Turkish Cypriots by the governments of Turkey. We stress this. Enough already of this abuse, the insults and swearing at us. We want to recover our democratic rights and to enjoy the political rights equally with the Greek Cypriots. We don't want to live any longer in isolation from the rest of the world. We want our children and our grandchildren to live better days in this place, in a reunited Cyprus.

    (Q) What happens if ... you said earlier that there are statements to intimidate, that they have threatened to bring forces from Turkey, etc, etc ... what if these are not just threats, what happens if they don't just stay on threats and if they actually go ahead. If there is even a provocation during the whole story? Have you anticipated this? What are your thoughts?

    (SE) We have for many years lived under exceptional circumstances. In 'the north' there are 45-50,000 soldiers. In such an environment it would be easy to cause provocations during a demonstration. This matter is always on the agenda. We constantly reappraise the situation. We have experiences and we always seek solutions on how to prevent such a possibility.

    In the past, they have placed a bomb at Inonou Square ... in 2002. We defused it. We were prepared for every possible provocation.

    (Q) Has the matter of banners been discussed? What slogans will the banners have which will be used by the platform? Will there be flags?

    (SE)  We do not consider it right to exploit national symbols at demonstrations. We are opposed to any flag at the demonstrations. We consider that ... exploitation. The message we want to convey is crystal clear.

    We do not intend to demonstrate who is the most nationalist, or otherwise.

    We have suffered a lot and we suffer still from the nationalisms and the racisms.

    As a platform we declare that we do not consider it right to take nationalist emblems to the squares.

    As far as the banners are concerned - people are expressing their opinions and their emotions in two ways - verbally and in writing with banners. We do not consider it right to limit people's freedom of expression. We decided as a platform that there is to be no restriction on the carrying of banners during the demonstration as long as it is not of an offensive nature. We do not however consider it right that banners should be displayed that would divert the demonstration from its main aim. We have experienced this in the past. Consequently there is no restrictions on expression provided it takes place in a civilised manner.

    (Q) As far as flags are concerned ...

    (SE) We are against the use of national symbols. Whoever brings a flag will cause us to react appropriately.

    (Q) I want to ask also about the measures to restrict some of your strike actions ....

    (SE) The administration in 'the north' went on a visit to Ankara where the taking of certain measures was discussed. In 'the north' opposition is by certain unions. Most political parties have been completely marginalised. Yet others need approval from Ankara before they can wield positions of authority. Unions do not depend on the vote, so they can look to the future. That is why we are struggling.

    We know that certain measures have been taken. One of these was the suspension of strikes and was in fact based on a ruling from the days of British colonialism, of 1939. Those who bad-mouth the British administration now use the regulations of that era to suspend the strikes at three schools for two months. Yesterday in Nicosia we had a warning strike, in the schools, we protested. Today we have a strike in another school. Tomorrow in more schools. We will continue our struggle.


    (Q) All the things we see happening, in Egypt, in Libya and in other countries,  how do they affect your struggle? Do you see them as an example, do they form yet another reinforcement to your struggle?

    (SE) In Libya, in Bahrain, in Tunisia, in Egypt ... in many places in the Arab world people are revolting in order to acquire democratic rights. Where there is a democratic deficit, where dictatorial and autocratic regimes exist and where there are no democratic rights people are revolting. If people try to deflect one struggle with repression and bans the people will erupt. They are left with no other choice. This is happening in Cyprus also. Everything which is happening around us has a positive influence on our struggle also.

    (Q) As we approach the end of our time I would like to touch upon a very serious issue. The other day you had mentioned that nationality should not be granted to the children whose parents are not Cypriot. Certain circles are accusing you of racism. How do you answer that?

    (SE) This is a hand-crafted news item. I had made a statement in the newspaper Fileleftheros. There are people who came from Turkey and settled in Cyprus. Their children, who are born and grow up in Cyprus - when they are sent to Turkey find it difficult to live there because they can not assimilate. They have learnt our way of life. They feel they belong to these places. These people are in the middle. That is what I had expressed. The children who were born in Cyprus from Turkish parents have identity problems. These children have not been able to, and will not be able to become citizens of the Republic of Cyprus. This is a reality. That is what I had expressed. The news agency in 'the north' which does the translating diluted my comments and turned them against me.  News Agencies involve  the art of reporting on events. For us however it has been turned into the art of reporting false and erroneous news. They can continue attacking me but I will continue to speak about realities.

    (Q) We have only a minute left, and I would like to ask you how far you are prepared to go, and to what extent are  all the unions which take part in the mobilisations united as they had started?

    (SE) Between the trade union organisations there is close cooperation and dialogue. There certainly are different views, differences in the political sphere, but we continue to go forward together. I liken it to a speeding train. The unions are like the steam engine, behind them are the political parties and the non governmental organisations. The train is travelling at such great speed that if anyone jumps off it they will break their head, will be seriously injured or even killed. Consequently no one wants to jump off the train because the destination of this train is the liberation of our community. Everyone is working soul and body so we can reach our destination.


Anti-Turkey demonstrations by Turkish Cypriots explained - bilingual spoken in Turkish with Greek subtitles

Bilingual Greek-Turkish program Biz Emeis continues coverage relating to the Turkish Cypriot protests and demonstrations in the Turkish occupied parts of the island. "As is well known, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made insulting statements about the Turkish Cypriots in reaction to certain placards which were displayed during the massive demonstration on 28.01.2011 giving rise to tensions in relations with Turkey in Turkish occupied Cyprus".

This program, broadcast by Cyprus Broadcasting Corporaton on 11.02.2011 features interviews with two of the persons who had displayed some of the placards which had caused Tayyip Erdogan to take such offence - Hasan Yikici, Political activist from the "Baraka" Cultural Centre (, and, Evrim Kamali from the "Jasmin Movement".


Turkish Cypriots - English extracts - the  "Liberation" which became a Nightmare

Extracts spoken in English, from a one hour current events program about the Turkish Cypriot demonstrations against economic measures being imposed by Turkey on the areas which are occupied 37 years after its invasion and occupation. This program (Turkish Cypriots - the "Liberation" which became a Nightmare) in the Anoiktoi Fakeloi (Open Files) series was broadcast by CyBC on 22.02.2011 and featured some interviews with Turkish Cypriots as well as with all Greek Cypriot political party leaders and President Christofias providing their assessment of the Turkish Cypriot demonstrations.

The above video clip is an extract from the full (60 min) item which is available at:

Setting the context - interview with Metin Münir who is a Turkey-based Cypriot political analyst and columnist for the daily Milliyet.

Interviews in English with Turkish Cypriots during the 28.01.2011 demonstration in Turkish occupied Nicosia:

Political analyst Ahmet Sozen of the Eastern Mediterranean University’s (EMU) Cyprus Policy Centre

Şener Ercil - Secretary General of KTOS - Turkish Cypriot Teachers' Union


Turkish Cypriot Revolt - an appraisal spoken in Greek

Spoken in Greek with Turkish subtitles, this was a Biz-Emeis bilingual pogram broadcast by CyBC on 22.02.2011. to provide a considered reaction from members of the Greek Cypriot community to the mass demonstration against the economic policies and settler policy being enforced on Turkish-occupied Cyprus by Turkey.


Director of KIPE, commentator, journalist and lecturer in Social and Political Studies - Mr Costakis Constantinou

Member of the Bi-Communal Initiative, Former Member of Parliament and EU Negotiator, Mr Takis HadjiDemetriou


Turkish Cypriot Protests - 1of3 - Discussed in Greek

Turkish Cypriot protests - 2of3 - KTOS Teachers Union Chairman Interviewed - Turkish

Turkish Cypriot Protests - 3of3 - Discussed in Greek

CyBC weekly current events program Proektasis devoted its 10/02/2011 to a discussion with a panel of Greek Cypriot commentators providing an appraisal of the massive demonstration by 40,000 Turkish Cypriots on 28/01/2011. This program was also following events developing live at that time with Egypt's then-president Mubarak being due to make a televised speech during which he eventually announced he would not resign.

Panel consisted of:

Christos Pourgourides - DISY

Demetris Syllouris - President of the European Party EVROKO

Nikos Moudouros - Advisor to President Christofias on Turkey affairs

Takis HadjiDemetriou, former Member of the House of Representatives, former EU negotiator and member of the BiCommunal Initiative


Turkish Cypriots General Strike documentary - protesting Turkey's policies 28.01.2011

(Turkish with Greek subs)

Documentary, spoken in Turkish with Greek subtitles, about the demonstration organised by the platform of trade unions attended by 40-50,000 Turkish Cypriots against the economic measures and immigration policies being imposed on the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus by Turkey. Produced by the staff of the Bi Lingual Greek-Turkish language Program Biz Emeis, as broadcast by Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation on 08.02.2011.

Includes interviews with many persons attending the demonstration including some of the event organisers and excerpts from some of the speeches


Turkish Cypriot unions object to Erdogans "Strategic Interests" over Cyprus demos

CyBC news 07.02.2011 in English, Turkish and Greek report on how Turkish Cypriots found Turkish PM Erdogan's statements about his country's "Strategic Interests" in Cyprus to be offensive, and union leaders involved in organising the General Strike and the massive demonstration on 28.01.2011 handed in their objections at the "Turkish Embassy" in Nicosia and said they would organiser further mass demonstrations.

A union boss said 07.02.2011 that they had gone to the Turkish embassy because they wanted to send a message: "We do not accept what they are imposing on us. We are against it and we do not want to be hostages and slaves until Turkey joins the EU. We are ready to fight for our rights."

Also, statements by Cyprus Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou about the Erdogan statements, and questions to UN's Alexander Downer during his meeting with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias 07.02.2011


Turkey's Erdogan Furious at Turkish Cypriot 2011 Demos


Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation news reports, in English, Turkish and Greek, (5th, 6th and 7th February 2011) report the furious comments by Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan following the demonstration on 28.01.2011 and the General Strike called by the platform of Turkish Cypriot trade unions to protest Turkey's economic and immigration policies with reference to Turkish-occupied Cyprus - Erdogan called for organisers to be arrested.


Turkish Cypriots General Strike protesting Turkey's policies 28.01.2011

News reports on the major event involving mobilisation of a reported 50,000 demonstrators during the General Strike by the platform of Turkish Cypriot Unions held on 28.01.2011 at Inonu Square in Turkish occupied Nicosia, protesting the economic and immigration measures being imposed by Turkey.

News in English, Turkish and Greek from Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation on 28th January 2011 and on 29th January.

Also, the last clip is from the profile featuring the music "Ciao Bella" with video footage from the demonstration.


Zeki Βeşiktepeli - 27.01.2011 pre General Strike by Turkish Cypriots - in Greek Turkish with subs

Political analyst and founder of the Jasmine Party in Cyprus, academic Zeki Βeşiktepeli is interviewed on the day before the historic General Strike demonstration by up to 50,000 Turkish Cypriots in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, against Turkey's economic measures and the immigration policy enforced by Turkey sending hundreds of thousands of mainland settlers to change the demographic structure which now threatens the very existence of 'the Turkish Cypriots'.

Spolen in Greek and Turkish (with subtitles in Greek and Turkish) as recorded by the bilingual Biz Emeis Program on 27th January 2011, the day before the General Strike demonstration, and broadcast on 1st February 2011 by Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.


Şener Elcil KTOS - 1of3 - General Strike in Turkish occupied Cyprus

Part 2:

Part 3:


Sener Ercil - UN and EU officials turn blind eye to Turkey's settler policy in Cyprus
September 2010

Translation into English from the Greek subtitles of Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation 'Biz Emeis' [ ] bilingual program on 16/09/2010 featuring an interview with General Secretary of KTOS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union [ ]) KTOS Sener Ercil. Mr Ercil  is also a member of the Executive Committee of ETUCE (European Trade Union Committee for Education) [ ] and is a founder member of "This Country is Ours" Movement in Cyprus.

Archive copy of the original broadcast Video, spoken in Turkish, with Greek subtitles:

Part 1 20100916_CYBC_BizEmeis_Sener_Elcil_KTOS_01

Part 2: 20100916_CYBC_BizEmeis_Sener_Elcil_KTOS_02


28 ocak eylemi

by Murat Kanatlı (videos)


çav bella, daha ne olsun :)


by Çetin Tolga Karaca (videos)



28 Ocak 2011 Varoluş Mitingi


Erdoğan the loser 16feb11

Hurriyet Daily News

Monday, February 7, 2011


Erdoğan, Talat hold talks on anti-Turkey protests
08 February 2011, Tuesday

‘Colonial’ Erdogan traps Eroglu in a Catch-22
By Simon Bahceli

February 13, 2011

Is Ankara listening to the cry of Turkish Cypriots?

By Yiorghos Leventis

February 11, 2011,,14829513,00.html

Turkish Cypriot protests set back Turkey's EU membership bid


Turkish PM demands action against Turkish Cypriot protesters

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tahrir Square? Don’t overlook İnönü Square in Nicosia
Friday, February 11, 2011


Turkish Cypriots march in protest against Turkish PM's statements


Turkey: Cyprus Issue Moving to Forefront
February 18, 2011, by Nicholas Birch

The Cypriot revolt

Robert Ellis

20 February 2011

Please add your name to support the petition on the web, placed online by Turkish Cypriots, and already signed by many of the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot movement:



Closing thought:

    "Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding" - Albert Einstein

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