The timing of the event was not random. Greece’s relationship with Turkey is deteriorating and tensions are escalating dangerously due to their maritime disputes in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The dispute is complicated, and perceptions from each side are different. According to Turkey, for instance, everything starts back in 1923 and the Treaty of Lausanne, the main treaty between the two countries concerning the border delimitation and demarcation, including of the Aegean Sea. But the main issue in the last decades is the potential undersea resources of the maritime area and control of the waters and seabed.
It is the height of spring in Turkey, and with that comes a flurry of concerts and outdoor festivals to complement the pleasant weather.
But in recent weeks, a string of events have been cancelled by cities and districts run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), leading critics and analysts to accuse the government of attempting to wage a “culture war” in the run-up to next year’s general elections.
Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis granted an interview to FRANCE 24 from the capital Nicosia. The northern third of the Republic of Cyprus has been under Turkish domination since 1974. Anastasiadis said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine uses the “exact same arguments that Turkey used to invade Cyprus”. Asked about tensions with Turkey over hydrocarbons, he expressed hope …
Kurdish rights hardly figure in the debates, and if they do, only as a prop for taking Turkey to task for its slide into authoritarianism.
An ethnic group spread across southeastern Turkey, northern Iraq, northern Syria, and western Iran, Kurds are seen at best as assets in the fight against the Islamic State and at worst a threat to Turkish security and territorial integrity. Turkey’s estimated 16 million Kurds account for up to 20 per cent of the country’s population.
Above all, the regime in Ankara has violated the constitution and the existing domestic and international laws so many times that it does not have the luxury of losing the elections and simply handing power to its successor. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his proxies could face multiple life sentences.
Thus the regime has a multilayer strategy to win the elections.
The government issues chip-enabled national identity cards that contain no visible section to identify religious affiliation. The information on religious affiliation is recorded in the chip and remains visible to authorized public officials as “qualified personal data” and protected as private information. Previously issued national identity cards, which continue in circulation, contain a space for religious identification with the option of leaving the space blank. The new cards include the same options for religious identities as the older cards: Muslim, Greek Orthodox, non-Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Confucian, Taoist, Buddhist, “no religion,” or “other/unknown.” Baha’i, Alevi, Yezidi, and other religious groups with known populations in the country were not options, requiring individuals of other religions or no religion to leave the category blank or to state “other/unknown.”
Sadly, in the case of the occupation of Cyprus, the West, and NATO have stood with the aggressor and against the victim. This Western incoherency in freely allowing the Turkish occupation of Cyprus undermines the West’s credibility and international authority.
For the past 48 years, the rightful owners of the Turkish occupied territory are unable to return to their homelands. Most of their cultural heritage has been demolished, and they have been subject to apartheid-style segregation by Turkey, even in death.