Researcher-Writer Ahmet Cavit An also denied entry to Turkey
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa (12 July 2021 – press.cydialogue.org)
The list of Turkish Cypriot intellectuals and opinion leaders banned from entering Turkey continued to grow on Sunday after Turkish Cypriot research and writer Dr Ahmet Cavit An (MD) was denied entry into Turkey.
An, a harsh critic, is the second person to be banned from entering Turkey on grounds of constituting a threat to the country’s national security.
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı’s press advisor Ali Bizden was the first person to be denied entry last week on similar grounds. Dr Ahmet Cavit An was also told that he was a “threat to national security” (of Turkey) and informed that he could obtain detailed information from the Turkish Embassy in north Nicosia.
Nonetheless, Cavit An, who is a paediatrician by profession, was allowed to return to the north with the next flight after he was kept in a room with a sign reading: “Immigration Administration.”
Cavit An is also famous for his research papers and books on Cyprus as well as Maraş (Varosha).
Havadis: The UBP plays dumb and deaf (13 July 2021 – press.cydialogue.org)
Following Ali Bizden, Dr Ahmet An’s entry into Turkey was also denied. The National Unity Party (UBP) claims “It is not our problem” While the list of people entering Turkey keeps growing, the senior coalition partner UBP’s General Secretary Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu in response to a question on Havadis web TV, said “This is not UBP’s problem. They (the people barred from entering Turkey) could file lawsuits in Turkey.”
Turkey bans second Turkish Cypriot from entering
By George Psyllides - July 12, 2021 -Cyprus Mail
Turkey has expelled a Turkish Cypriot researcher and columnist claiming he had engaged in activities against national security, reports said on Monday.
Reports said Ahmet Cavit An arrived in Istanbul on Sunday and was told that he was banned from entering.
An was quoted as saying that he was travelling from the north to Smyrni through Istanbul when he was told at passport control that entry was banned as part of a decision made in September 2020.
Airport officials told An that he could get more information regarding the decision from the Turkish embassy in the north.
An, a paediatrician, has been exercising the profession since 1982 and at the same time he does research and writes books on Cyprus.
His expulsion on Sunday followed that of Ali Bizden, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s communications officer, on July 6 for the same reason. Bizden was banned from entering Turkey for five years.
Bizden said at the time that when he arrived his wallet and mobile phone were confiscated and he was told that by order of September 8, 2020, he was to be deported on the next flight back.
FES (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung – German Foundation of the SPD Party) Cyprus Newsletter No. 110 - July 2021
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s press advisor Ali Bizden and researcher, Dr Ahmet Cavit An were barred from entering Turkey on the premises that they were regarded as a threat to Turkey’s national security. It turned out that the decision was made in September 2020 and is valid for 5 years. Bizden on July 7 and Cavit An on July 11 were denied entry into Turkey and were deported back to the island. The decision to bar them from entering Turkey had sent shockwaves through the Turkish Cypriot community and the opposition, reigniting a never-ending debate on relations with Ankara while the government and Tatar maintained their silence. Reportedly, ‘the list’ made in September 2020 includes many more people. (pp.9-10)
Avrupa: The blacklist is quite long
12 July 2021 – press.cydialogue.org
Following Ali Bizden, Ahmet An was also barred from entering Turkey and deported back to Cyprus from Istanbul airport. It’s not only Mustafa Akıncı who is on Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s blacklist but every other Turkish Cypriot who is known for his/her opposition stance. Researcher and writer Dr Ahmet Cavit An who flew to Istanbul yesterday was prevented from entering Turkey. He was also provided with the same excuse given to Ali Bizden, that he was a threat to Turkey’s security. An had won a case filed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Turkey after being prevented by authorities in the north from crossing to the south in 1992.
Debate on the ban of TCs from entering Turkey continues
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa (13 July 2021 – press.cydialogue.org)
The issue concerning the banning of certain Turkish Cypriots from entering Turkey on grounds they posed a threat to the country’s national security continues to occupy the north’s agenda.
Commenting on the issue, National Unity Party (UBP) General Secretary Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said that the Turkish courts could provide more clarity on the matter. He added that individuals could apply to the courts to revoke and challenge the decision. “This is about Turkey and its public interest,” Hasipoğlu, who is a lawyer by profession, said.
Speaking on Havadis web TV Hasipoğlu said that every state could exercise a decision to bar individuals from entering its territory and that the issue was not unique to Turkish Cypriots. Responding to the claims that the so-called blacklist is being kept at the Turkish Embassy in north Nicosia, Hasipoğlu said he was not aware if the government launched an inquiry into the matter. “This is not a matter for the UBP nor is it for any political party. This is a matter for the government, and should they see any need, the Foreign Ministry will take the necessary steps to launch the necessary initiatives,” Hasipoğlu noted.
In the meantime, Ali Bizden in a social media post on Monday said he has asked to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar. Bizden said he will share his viewpoint on him being barred from entering Turkey, adding that “I also would like to listen to Tatar’s evaluation on the issue.” “I have also asked to be informed if it is not possible to allow me in the office of the president as well,” Bizden concluded.
Ahmet Cavit An who spoke to Yenidüzen questioned the justification and legality of the decision taken. He questioned who had instructed the Turkish authorities to take such a decision.
Head of the Turkish Cypriot Bar Association Hasan Esendağlı who also commented on the issue, expressed concern over the developments, arguing that relations between the north and Turkey were at a breaking point.
Bizden on July 7 and Cavit An on July 11 were denied entry into Turkey and were deported back to the north. Both had been deemed as a “threat to Turkey’s national security” in a decision adopted in September 2020 for five years.
The decision to bar them from entering Turkey had sent shockwaves through the Turkish Cypriot community and the opposition, reigniting a never-ending debate on relations with Ankara while the government and Tatar maintained their silence to date other than a benign statement from the Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry claiming to have “launched the necessary initiatives with the Turkish authorities.”
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu did not deny the allegations that some TRNC journalists and politicians were not admitted to Turkey.
The Minister described the decisions taken regarding foreigners entering the country as 'sovereignty'.
17 November 2021 14:47 - t24.com.tr
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu did not deny the allegations that some TRNC people who were close to former president Mustafa Akıncı or who were warm to the federal solution were not admitted to Turkey.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was asked about the allegations that some people from Northern Cyprus, including politicians, writers and journalists, were not allowed into the country on the grounds that there was an "entry ban to Turkey" against them.
Answering the questions of CHP's Utku Çakırözer, Minister Çavuşoğlu did not deny that some TRNC members were not admitted to Turkey, but described the decisions taken regarding foreigners entering the country as "sovereignty".
Reacting to Çavuşoğlu, Çakırözer said, "The fact that TRNC members are not allowed into Turkey cannot be explained solely by 'sovereignty'. On the one hand, you say, "We will defend the rights and law of the Cypriots", on the other hand, you are violating the law, by not allowing Cypriot journalists, politicians and intellectuals to the country! The reason for this unlawful treatment should be immediately disclosed to both the TRNC residents and the public.”
News about the fact that Ali Bizden, the communication consult of former TRNC president Mustafa Akıncı, was sent back to Cyprus from Istanbul on 6 July and researcher-writer Ahmet Cavit An on 12 July on the grounds that they were banned from entering Turkey. It took place in the Turkish press. Then, in October, there were news that the President of the Press Workers' Union, Ali Kişmir, was detained at Istanbul Airport on his return from Croatia and was not boarded on the plane.
A newspaper published in Cyprus, on the other hand, stated that they had reached the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Nicosia and shared the "forbidden list" that allegedly imposed an entry ban on 42 Cypriot dissidents, including intellectuals, writers, journalists and politicians.
Rising anger with Turkey drives calls for reunification in crisis-hit northern Cyprus
With the economy in freefall and allegations of political interference, people have taken to the streets to advocate for federal future
Helena Smith in North Nicosia - Sun 9 Jan 2022 - theguardian.com
In his sun-filled office in north Nicosia, Şener Elcil is plotting his next protest. Anger, he says, is in the air in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.
The economy is in freefall, thanks to the self-declared republic’s financial and political dependence on Turkey. Thousands have taken to the streets, spurred by inflation rates that have left many struggling to make ends meet; ahead of parliamentary polls later this month, calls for a boycott are mounting, while a blacklist of Turkish Cypriot dissidents, reportedly drawn up at the behest of Ankara, has spawned consternation and fear.
“Turkey is our biggest problem,” says Elcil, who heads the Turkish Cypriot teachers’ union and is a vocal proponent of reunification of the war-divided island under a federal umbrella with the Greek-run south. “It should keep its hands off Cyprus and take its lira and go away.”
Sener Elcil in the teachers’ union of northern Cyprus. Photograph: Helena Smith/the Guardian
Elcil, 58, is among the statelet’s most outspoken opponents of the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his unorthodox economic policies.
The recent gyrations of the Turkish lira – adopted by the territory in 1976, two years after the Turkish invasion – have had a devastating effect on daily life for a populace that remains under international embargo and cut off from the rest of the world. The use of foreign currency for property transactions and the purchase of imported goods has made a bad situation worse – even if the lira has regained some of its dramatic loss in value against the dollar.
Amid rising desperation, along with demands for the entity to adopt a “stable” currency, Elcil is far from alone.
“People are tired of international isolation, and they’re aware that it will only get worse,” he says. “Five years ago, a teacher first entering our system earned the equivalent of €1,100 (£920) a month. Today, because of the lira, they’d take home €350 a month.”
The protests come as hopes of reuniting Cyprus have rarely been as bleak. Last week, nearly 15 months after Ersin Tatar, a nationalist hardliner, won presidential elections in the north, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, issued his starkest report yet, warning that “without decisive action” further efforts to reach a negotiated peace settlement appeared increasingly slim.
“Partition is so close,” says Izzet Izcan, who heads the United Cyprus party, one of three leftwing groups that have announced they will be abstaining from the 23 January parliamentary vote. “Tatar is Ankara’s puppet who was elected only after Turkey intervened in our democratic process. His pro-partition policies are not in the interests of our community. The only way to oppose them is to fight all together.”
In the 38 years since the breakaway republic unilaterally declared independence, Turkey’s interference in the entity’s affairs had never been as flagrant, claimed Izcan, echoing a widely voiced concern. “Elections are no longer representative of the real will of ordinary Turkish Cypriots. They’re like a game planned and played by Turkey,” the former MP said. “Our main problem is political. Our economic difficulties are the result of a political situation, of Turkey continuing its military occupation of the north by means of the lira.” Cyprus has been split between a Greek Cypriot south and Turkish Cypriot north since an Athens-backed coup, aimed at union with Greece, prompted Ankara to launch a military operation to seize its northern third. Although Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of reunification in a referendum in 2004, the island entered the EU as a divided state after its majority Greek Cypriot population rejected the prospect of power sharing. Until reunification is achieved, EU laws are suspended in the north despite it also formally being part of the bloc.
The growing disgruntlement follows alarm over the deportation from Turkey of prominent Turkish Cypriots opposed to Ankara’s policies.
Until recently the self-styled state – acknowledged solely by Ankara – was regarded as a safe zone for opponents of Erdoğan and his governing AKP party, one in which Turkish Cypriots and exiled mainland Turks indulged freely in criticism of the president’s authoritarian leadership.
But the appearance of a blacklist, published by Avrupa, a local newspaper, in October has heightened anxiety over the lengths to which Turkey is willing to go to silence dissent. The paper identified 42 politicians, writers, journalists, lawyers, trade unionists and artists as being on the list.
“It’s created fear and uncertainty,” says Mehmet Harmancı, the mayor of North Nicosia, drawing on a cigarette in a cafe near the divided capital’s UN-patrolled buffer zone. “Nobody knows exactly who is on it. All we know is there is a list, a blacklist of people seen as a security threat in Turkey who are blocked from entering the country.”
People previously unafraid to voice opinions were increasingly concerned, he said, about the consequences if they did so. Turkish Cypriots expelled from Turkey had learned of the ban only upon arrival in the nation.
“Even if ours is an unrecognised country we’ve had a longstanding democratic tradition of freedom of speech, of respecting each other’s values and ideas,” says Harmancı. “Since the election of Ersin Tatar, that has changed.”
Tatar, who was raised in the UK and educated at Cambridge before returning to Cyprus, has used his term in office to advocate for a two-state solution to the island’s division after years of failed negotiations to reunite it as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation – a proposal flatly rejected by the EU. He has defended the travel ban, saying: “Every country has the right not to allow entry foreign nationals on the grounds of security when faced with threats and insults.”
However, Turkish Cypriots thought to be on the list are united in their desire for reunification and opposed to any suggestion that the EU’s most easterly member state should remain partitioned.
For Ahmet Cavit An, who co-founded the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus, the island’s first such organisation, the memory of being stopped by immigration officers at Istanbul airport last summer is still painfully vivid. “I was at the passport control when they said I was persona non grata,” says the 71-year-old retired paediatrician. “I was then told I should write to the Turkish embassy in Nicosia for more information. Five months after my lawyer sent a registered letter demanding an explanation we’ve still not had a reply.”
In a landmark case, won in 2003, An took Ankara to the European court of human rights for being prevented from crossing into the island’s buffer zone to participate in bi-communal meetings. “What I want to know is the duration of this ban so I can get on with my life,” he says.
In October the European Federation of Journalists condemned the arrest of Ali Kismir, who heads the north’s press trade union, after he was detained at Istanbul airport and denied entry into Turkey.
“I was taken to a special deportation area where my photograph and fingerprints were taken,” he recalls. “It makes me very angry to think that I was treated like a terrorist when all I do is write the truth.”
Kismir, the fourth Turkish Cypriot to be barred entry to Turkey, is a well-known columnist who took issue with Ankara’s electoral meddling to ensure Tatar’s election. His convictions are such that he sports a tattoo bearing the word “peace” in both Greek and Turkish on his right arm.
In recent weeks, Turkish opposition MPs have also raised the plight of Turkish Cypriots being banned from Turkey, arguing that this runs counter to the motherland’s professed desire to protect the minority.
But, like almost every Turkish Cypriot opposed to Ankara’s policies, Elcil says time is running out for a community already outnumbered by settlers imported from the mainland. About 2,000 Turkish Cypriots have relocated to the south, lured by jobs and better living standards.
“There have to be more protests that target Turkey, because Turkey is the biggest obstacle to a solution of the Cyprus problem and reunification,” he says. “They call us traitors and Turkish-speaking Greeks but we’re not giving up. We’re here to stay and we’re here to fight.”