Northern Cyprus: 10.000 took to the streets in the “Democracy for all and will” demonstration

On Tuesday 10 of November 2020 thousands of people, angry of the turkish intervention before, during and after the presidentail elections, gathered in Dereboyu, a central road of north Nicosia and walked first to the Turkish Embasy and from there to İnönü Square chanting slogans “Ankara Elini Yakamazdın Çek ~ Ankara Take Your Hands of our collars” “Faşizme Karşı Omuz Omuza ~ Shoulder to shoulder against fashism” “Biat Değil Özgürlük ~ No obedience – freedom” “Müdahale Değil İrade~no intervention – will”.” Kıbrıs Laikdir Laik Kalacak ~ Cyprus is secular will remain secular”

The initiative was taken by 7 left wing individuals on facebook that decided that they will challenge the result of the elections, in the name of Demokrası and İrade platform – Platform for democracy and will. Even though the demonstration was not organised by any political party, many leftist parties and groups, gave their support, like Sol Hareket, Sosyal Adalet Hareketi, Peace at Cyprus Plaftorm, Baris Yuruyusu, Root Cyprus, Biat degil ozgurluk grubu, karantinasiz girislere hayir grubu, and others. Between them was also TDP, the party of the ex president Akinci, and their youth organisation. The ex-president Akıncı, the ex-prime minester and current leader of CTP, Tufan Erhurman, TDP leader Özyiğit, Nicosia Mayor Harmancı and many TDP and CTP members and MP’s also joined the demonstration.

The police blocked the road to the Turkish Embassy but people stopped in front of the police blockage and shouted very laudly “Ankara Elini Yakamazdın Çek” – Ankara take your hand from our collars! This went on for 5 to 10 minutes then eventually people carried on with the demonstration towards İnönü Square where a platform was set up for speakers.

Thousands of people had already gathered in the square, where the demonstration joined them, under the sound of Bella Ciao, a song known to many as a revolutionary song. There was people from every age group children, tennnagers, retired people but mainy it was the young people who were very active and who were very passionatly chanting slogans such as “Bu memleket Bizim ~ this country is ours” “Ankara Elini Yakamazdın Çek” “Biat Değil Özgürlük”.

The first speaker welcomed the crowd to the square which has a historical importance as it was the square people gathered during Annan period, in 2004. “This Country is ours” and “we will govern this country” were the main points of his speech, slogans that were also used at that time.

The speaker from Demokrası and İrade platform came up and gave a very powerful speech. He said: “what we have experienced during the presidential elections and afterwards was a big blow to democracy and it will be remembered as a black period in Turkish Cypriot political history”. “The will of Turkish Cypriots has been ignored, the honour has been crushed and democracy has been interrupted”. “No matter where it is coming such interference is not welcomed“ he said, refering to the influence of Turkey in the presidential elections, and also that we cannot be governed from Ankara, we will not accept a governor to be appointed to the head of our country and be camouflaged as a presidentail system! We will not allow for democratic procedures to be terminated and different sections of the comunity to be silenced.”

He noted that “we are not the enemy of Turkish people we have brotherly feelings towards Turkish people.Our voice and will will be with all the people all around the world whose will has been interfered with and has been under pressure and frigteneted“ insinuating the situation in Turkey and Erdogans regime. And finally “we will carry on strugling for better living conditions and for the Turkish Cypriots to be included in the international law – we will refuse everything that will push us out of international law.” referring to the two state proposal of Tatar, and the opening of Varoshi.

Special mention was done to the economical packages, laws and bylaws forced by Turkey, and derogating words such as “besleme” – beggar that are being used by the media, the suppression of the press which has been targeted and freedom of speech silenced, after the Erdogan in 2018 called his supporters in Cyprus to go and attack the Africa newspaper, that ended in lynching its offices, and a clear demand was put forward to change article 10 of The Constitution, which gives the control of the police to a committee that is governed by Turkish army and officials.

For all these interventions from Turkey there were many struggles through the years. However it was the first time that had such mass support from the people and so much will to stop it.

The spokesperson of the Democracy and Will Platform concluded by saying that “this demonstration today was a spark that came out of the will of our people. Lets make this spark bigger, through organised struggles in an inclusive and collective spirit, together with all the sections of the society”.

We could not agree more! Now is the time for all the left, the trade unions, the people that we were on the streets on Tuesday, but also in all the past struggles against interventions from the turkish regime to northern Cyprus to fight united, and take their future in their hands.

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