Migrants cross from Turkey to the Greek island of Lesbos (Photo: Video screenshot)
The Europeans are incapable of negotiating their way out of a paper bag.
In October 2015, they handed Turkey $3.4 billion to stop the flow of refugees into Greece. The flow continued. Six months later, in March 2016, Turkey was demanding another $3.4 billion plus visa-free travel to Europe for Turks and accellerated negotiations for membership of the European Union.
Rather than stopping the flow of migrants, the deal made it official. Europe agreed to accept one legal migrant for every illegal migrant sent back to Turkey.
With its radical Islamic government negotiating this deal, Turkey has demonstrated it is not part of the solution but part of the problem.
Now Libya wants to jump on the European gravy train.
On April 23, 2016, after a meeting in Rome with Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, Libyan Vice President Ahmed Maiteeq stated that his country wants to negotiate a deal with Europe similar to that obtained by Turkey.
He is obviously surfing on the outpouring of humanitarian angst after 500 illegal migrants were drowned in the Mediterranean in a boat that people traffickers had sent from the Libyan port of Tobruk.
Maiteeq was originally elected as prime minister of Libya in 2014 under curious circumstances. On the first day of voting, gunmen opened fire in the parliament. The final vote was tainted with irregularities and on June 9, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled his election was invalid.
Not someone you would want to negotiate a deal with.
On the European side, these deals are being negotiated by unelected officials with no electoral mandate. The people of Europe are thus being ignored. Conspiracy theorists could be forgiven for claiming this is part of a sinster master plan. In fact, they may be right.
On June 21, 2012, former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland said this in a speech to the British House of Lords :
"The United States, or Australia and New Zealand, are migrant societies, and therefore they accommodate more readily those from other backgrounds than we do ourselves, who still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine… Anybody who thinks that by erecting borders or fences in some way a particular state can be protected from alleged 'floods' of migrants is living in cloud cuckoo land."
Sutherland is a former attorney-general of Ireland, former Chairman of BP, non-executive chairman of Goldman Sachs International, head of the UN Global Forum on Migration and Development and could be described as the ‘’godfather of globalization.’’
What has been happening to Europe over the past 15 months may well be nothing other than a deliberate strategy to undermine -- that is, to destroy -- the nation-states of Europe, from Greece to Ireland and from Spain to Finland.
In 1973, Sutherland was a candidate in the Irish general election in Dublin North West constituency, but only 1,968 people voted for him -- 6.24% of the poll. This probably accounts for his hatred of democracy as well as his contempt for ordinary British citizens, whom he considers "racist and xenophobic."
He has no political mandate but has been instrumental in shaping the economic and social future of Europe. An advocate of mass immigration, he believes the European Union should "begin weaving together the two sides of the Mediterranean."
The results of this policy are literally blowing up in the faces of European citizens in the form of suicide vests and suitcase bombs.
Barbaros Leylani (Photo: Video screenshot)
On April 9, a group of Turks and Azeris in Stockholm organized an anti-Armenian demonstration in the Sergel's Square, the city’s central public square, to protest what they called “the Armenian invasion of Azeri lands” - something that is non-existent.
What did actually happen was that on April 2, the army of Azerbaijan attacked Nagorno-Karabagh Republic (NKR or Artsakh), a historically Armenian land for 5,000 years.
The aggression of Azeri military forces caused heavy casualties on both sides – including the 12-year-old Vaghinag Grigoryan. Elderly residents of Artsakh were brutally killed. Several were wounded.
As is usually the case, the historical and current facts about the national conflicts involving Turkey or Turkic republics – and this time the conflict between Azerbaijan and Artsakh -- were totally turned upside down at the rally.
But what is even more alarming is that Barbaros Leylani, the vice president of the Federation of Swedish Turkish Labor Associations, delivered an extremely hateful speech in which he referred to “Armenian dogs.”
“The Turk is waking up,” Leylani said. “Armenian dogs, watch out! Death to Armenian dogs! Death! Death!”
The audience repeated “Death” every time Leylani said the word.
“There is a hadith: ‘Love for one’s homeland stems from faith.’ Those who have faith love their homeland. Homelands cannot be divided. The Turkish world will get united. I am saying this here out loud. It is high time the Turkic republics got united.
“Please come together in such rallies,” Leylani appealed to the audience. “Let’s show Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe what a Turk is.
“We do not like blood. But we shed blood. We do shed blood if necessary.”
Leylani openly incited people to ethnic and religious hatred and violence. Whether Swedish officials and prosecutors will turn a blind eye to such a blatant call for a bloodshed remains to be seen.
Leylani later issued a statement on the website of the federation:
“The speech I delivered has caused some misunderstandings and has been used by some malevolent people in the wrong direction,” he said. “Due to the fact that there was a time lag, and that I was caught unprepared, I acted in an emotional way and got excited, so I experienced a slip of the tongue.
“I have nothing against peaceful Armenians. I just aimed to deliver a speech critical of those who kill children, and women, I mean, civilians. Also, I wanted to criticize the regime of Armenia that has recently opened its arms to the terrorist organization PKK. But I was misunderstood.
“I apologize to the members of our Federation and the Turkish nation for my speech.”
Leylani added he resigned from his post “in order for the Federation not to be harmed.”
When Leylani uttered those hate-filled remarks against Armenians, he actually imported a very unfortunate “Turkish tradition” to Sweden.
Hate speech against Armenians is so commonplace in Turkey. Even the word “Armenian” is used as a swearword by many people.
Armenians are frequently called “Armenian sperm,” “Armenian semen,” “Armenian dogs,” or “dirty Armenians,” among other things – not only by ordinary citizens, but also by many officials of the country.
In August, 2014, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, then Prime Minister, for instance, complained that people had questioned his ethnic background.
"I was called a Georgian. I apologize for this, but they even said something much uglier: They called me an Armenian," Erdogan said during an interview with NTV, and then went on to clarify his nationhood: "I'm a Turk."
Hate speech against non-Turks or non-Muslims is widespread in the Turkish media, as well.
The Hrant Dink Foundation, named after the slain Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, has since 2009 issued reports about the hate speech in the media. The reports have revealed that the ethnic and religious groups that have been exposed to the most intense hate speech have remained the same: Jews, Armenians and Christians.
In the report of the year 2014, for instance, 32 different national, religious and ethnic identities were found to be subject to hate speech. Of all the news items and pieces analyzed by the foundation, 50.4 percent appeared to have used hate speech against Jews and Armenians. Twenty-one percent targeted Greeks, 18 percent targeted Kurds and 10 percent Syrian refugees – with impunity.
Although hate speech against Armenians was widespread in Turkey even before Erdogan and his Islamist AKP party came to power, it has continued unabated.
Everyone – including government and military officials – seem free to engage in this type of speech. Bringing those who engage in hate speech or even threaten people for their ethnic and religious roots to account is one of the rarest phenomena in Turkey.
As Europe contemplates the inclusion of Turkey into the European Union as well as tackling the enormous job of integrating the millions of refugees now in its borders, it is important that such racist and ethnic-related hate speech does not go unchallenged – or unpunished.
Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist formerly based in Ankara. She is presently in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/uzayb
Turkey tanks roll in to Cyprus
In 1974 an illegal coup instigated by Greece’s junta caused the deaths of almost 100 Christian Cypriots. The ensuing unilateral Turkish invasion of Cyprus, ostensibly to protect the Muslim minority, was a sheer catastrophe, causing several thousand deaths.
The historic Christian majority of the 37% occupied northern part was forced or intimidated out, and the Muslim minority island-wide was later invited in.
"Bizonality," a pure ethnic-religious geographical separation, became a new reality, strangely even the basis of the UN-led Cyprus negotiations, despite the Security Council’s own resolutions (353 (1974), 541 (1983), 550 (1984)) condemning Turkey’s actions and calling for the respect of Cyprus’ “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.” No wonder Cyprus has “been dubbed a graveyard for peacemakers.”
In 2004, just prior Cyprus’ entry to the EU, over 62% of Cyprus’ population and a prodigious 76% of the over four-fifths Greek-educated, Christian majority rejected the sexed-up, bi-zonal deal on offer.
Nonetheless, bizonality remains center stage. Lord Haney, the plan’s British architect had warned “If the Greek-Cypriots say 'no' to the Annan plan, we will take them to a new referendum, until they say 'yes'.”
No doubt he had his own country’s interests in mind, specifically the British military bases, a trademark of the island’s colonial heritage and root cause of the Cyprus problem itself. (‘Sovereign British Areas’ (SBAs) make up roughly 3% of the island’s territory.)
There is no definition for bizonality in international law. The Muslim Turkish-Cypriot minority -- in perfect beati possidentes form (i.e. blessed are those who possess, since “possession is nine-tenths” of the law) -- interprets bizonality as guaranteed majorities in both property ownership and population in “its zone,” an area historically Christian-populated and Christian-owned.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriots expect derogations from the acquis communautaire, the European “constitution,” for political and geographic segregation to be enshrined in Cypriot and European law. “Natural rights,” they say. Both Nelson Mandela and Adam Smith, each for his own reasons, must be turning in their graves.
On the other hand, Christian political leaders are united in emphasizing the critical importance for the full respect of the human rights of all Cypriots. Christians have titles to over 85% of all properties in the illegally occupied north from a land registry the British established back in the late nineteenth century.
EU institutions, while tacitly tolerating the bi-zonal basis, reiterate that an upgraded charter for Cyprus must be fully in line with EU law, an indirect answer to Turkey that controls -- lock, stock and barrel -- the Turkish Cypriot political will.
Bizonality demands of Cypriots to vote away ownership in their ancestral lands and properties, thereby legitimizing a Muslim zone where none ever existed, establishing a 50-50 political arrangement between majority and minority. (Approximately 85% of property in all of Cyprus -- free and occupied parts – belongs to Christians.)
Refusing to comply allows the perpetuation of the status-quo, amidst rampant colonization of the north -- an unfolding, unpunished war crime.
Turks already outnumber the more “progressive,” mostly secular, local Muslims in the occupied northern Cyprus ghetto. Turkey’s Erdoğan considers them the new “improved,” i.e. more pious, Cypriots.
Unmistakably, segregation coupled with an ill-conceived, flawed understanding of “political equality,” has been the cornerstone of the Muslim Cypriot minority’s thinking. Segregation in various forms is also the coat of arms of the religion-political ideology known as Islam, not least of which separates between Muslims and kafirs (non-Muslims).
The Turks’ idea is unabashedly simple: nothing goes unless Muslims agree to it. Juxtaposed with the Islamic totalitarianism we witness in Raqqa, Riyadh or Tehran, it may seem delightfully liberal. Nonetheless, in any dialogue or negotiation, “our Western notions of truth, logic, reason, and facts” invariably fail to infiltrate.
Most would be quick to point out that religion was not a direct factor in the Cypriot quagmire. And they would be right. Nevertheless, the religious underpinnings of the permanent segregationist calls and interpretations of the charter by the Muslim Cypriots cannot be disputed either.
It is under this light, with much of the West facing new, emerging demographic realities and ever-increasing non-assimilated Muslim communities, that we need assess the repercussions of bizonality if embodied in Cypriot, European and international law.
When people of an entirely different weltanschauung (worldview) become a sizable minority in their city, district or state, will these communities not aim to achieve some sort of political status or recognition predicated upon their “religious” uniqueness? Is such a course not demanded of them in their “sacred” politicized texts and preached by many of their religious leaders?
Legal precedents to validate such pursuits would be invaluable. And none more powerful than a potential EU-member Cyprus precedent, embedded in the highest law, one that affords religion-based privileges to a sizable Muslim minority, starring “political equality,” as misconstrued by Muslims, enabling their own gated politico-geographical enclaves, where their “otherness” can be shielded from the “racism,” “Islamophobia” and “decadence” of kafir ethos and traditions.
Europe’s uneasiness about the “’perceived’ invasion” is not new. Daniel Pipes warns of ominous consequences should the plethora of existing partial no-go zones in Europe’s majority-Muslim areas be left unchecked.
“Indeed,” Pipes stresses, “it is not farfetched to foresee them turning into Muslim autonomous zones applying Islamic law and challenging the authorities” predicting “future unrest, crises, breakdown and even civil war.” Has this not been the case in Cyprus?
Unsurprisingly Muslim Cypriots consider it “natural” for no less than 100,000 illegal Turkish settlers to be granted Cypriot citizenship. To put this figure in European perspective, the equivalent would be the naturalization of 70 million illegal Muslim migrants in the EU.
Compare this hypothetical number to the effect the influx of one million Muslim migrants has so far had on Europe, or even the three additional million predicted for 2016, and you begin to appreciate Cypriots’ despair as they witness a medieval demographic conquest unfold inside their home.
For Cypriots, Western silence or outright complicity in pushing for bizonality is incomprehensible, to say the least. Would Germans accept a federal Muslim länder, in an equal partnership with the other 15, its original German inhabitants relocated or forced to either sell their properties or settle for reduced political rights?
Would the French afford their Muslims full exclusive education in Arabic or Turkish without ever learning French? Would the British, Swedes, Dutch or Americans cede Muslims veto powers or separate ballots? Why then expect, beguile and even coerce Cypriots to do so?
If Cyprus’ “moderate,” “Westernized” Muslims go as far as to issue concealed threats unless their “equality” and land-grab “zone,” are recognized, how will Europe’s Muslims behave once they reach critical mass?
The Cypriots’ existential dilemmas should sound the alarm for all. “Religion-rooted” arguments cannot possibly be allowed to creep in to become the neo-Western legal norm. The Muslim Ottomans' military advance in Europe was stopped 333 years ago at the Gates of Vienna.
Today's demographic, cultural and political Islamic advance must be resisted and defeated diplomatically at the fabricated zones of Cyprus by refusing a bi-zonal legal precedent carved out of historically Christian towns.
In Cyprus, time has supposedly entrenched inescapable “facts on the ground,” as some surely had hoped or even designed. Common sense however must prevail. International diplomacy should have never heeded legalized apartheid under the federation euphemism for the heart of Europe no less.
Cyprus may still define Ban Ki-moon’s legacy after all. Long overdue as it may, the secretary general should urge the Security Council to turn its back to perilous, self-defeating diplomatic nonsense by courageously admitting nostra culpa (our fault) and seeking an upgrade to Cyprus’ 1960 charter, for approval by the Cypriot people in a unified referendum, much like the Cypriot president had attempted to do as far back as in 1963.
As both the USSR and Germany examples proved, sometimes going back is the only rational escape to the future.
Kyriacos Kyriakides is a political activist, current events expert and blogger based in Limassol, Cyprus. He blogs in English (http://antifon.blogspot.com/ ) and Greek (http://syllogiemai.blogspot.com/ ) . Follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/no2bizonality ) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/KyriakidesK ).