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Three Turkish Cypriots in three Greek Cypriot parties in the European Elections – How it can affect the result

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Τρεις Τουρκοκ yπριοι σε τρλα ελληνοκυπριακκo&mu ;ματα στις Ευρωεκλογες – Πoς μπο&rho

The European elections are the only electoral process in the Republic of Cyprus that allows Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to participate in a joint ballot. This year, for the first time since the accession of Cyprus in 2004, three Turkish Cypriots are standing as candidates, under the umbrella of three different Greek Cypriot political forces.

A development, which has political-electoral significance

strong>and under some datathe participation of more Turkish Cypriots in the polls on June 9 may play a role not only in the percentages of the parties, but even in the first place.

Niazi Kizilyurek is running for re-election with AKEL and the latter's successful presence five years ago, they came this year to follow – although with a different approach each party – both the Environmental Movement with Oz Karahan, as well as the newly formed Volt party, with Hulusi Kilim, including a Turkish Cypriot in their European ballot. p>

Invited by “F” to comment on the data, Deputy Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Nicosia, Yannos Katsouridisstated that initially it is good to remember that it is not the first time that Turkish Cypriots participate as candidates in European elections, since it has already happened again in 2004, 2014 and 2019, arguing that the candidacy of Niazi Kizilyurek represented a break with previous practice, since it was the first time that a Turkish Cypriot ran for election under the umbrella of a Greek Cypriot party.

“In the upcoming elections of 2024 it seems that we will have three Turkish Cypriot candidates with three different Greek Cypriot political parties. This participation is certainly special and quite important, since it marks the acceptance by a part of the Turkish Cypriot community of claiming political representation through the framework and mechanisms provided by the Republic of Cyprus, as the EU member state”, he noted next.

He also argued that it “symbolises to some extent a unifying perspective, which is both facilitated by the fact that the Republic of Cyprus joined the whole of 2004 as a member as well as that European elections are perceived and different from national elections', adding that 'hence the participation of the Turkish Cypriot candidates should not be considered a priori as recognition of the structures of the Republic of Cyprus by them, precisely because of these particularities of the European elections”.

He also noted that “< possibly, there is also the element of the effort of a more autonomous representation of the Turkish Cypriot community, even if this is done through the structures of a Greek Cypriot party, given that after the election an MEP has increased scope to exercise a more personal policy" .

Asked if he thinks that the presence of more Turkish Cypriot candidates will affect the turnout of Turkish Cypriot voters at the polls, Mr. Katsouridis commented that “it will probably lead to a greater participation of Turkish Cypriot voters as well.” After all, already in 2019 they voted 5,804 compared to 1,856 in 2014″.

He added that “the great majority of those who voted in 2014 chose Niazi Kizilyurek and AKEL (4,076), giving the party a percentage close to 1.5%, which “in itself demonstrates that the numerical participation of Turkish Cypriots is not only of political importance in relation to the Cypriot issue, but also political-electoral significance, since probability will also determine the final percentage of parties hosting Turkish Cypriot candidates, even the first, if AKEL and DISY are really close in relation to their performance”.

“Don't forget that the polls that are conducted do not include the Turkish Cypriots, so we don't have a picture of the effect of their possible participation”, he also pointed out.

He noted that “it is also good to remember that based on the overall turnout in 2019, 1% of the electorate accounted for about 2800 votes,” explaining that “this means that if the turnout of Turkish Cypriots increases significantly compared to 2019 and has similar partisan behavior, i.e. voting in AKEL, will significantly favor this party in the final result.
So, and due to the high electoral measure, the increased participation of the Turkish Cypriots is likely to have a significant effect on the result, mainly regarding the primary, but it will probably be less decisive in terms of obtaining a seat than one of the other two party formations, which include a Turkish Cypriot candidate”.< /p>

How the three parties comment on the inclusion of Turkish Cyprus

The three parties, after being called by “F” to comment on the T/k option on the European ballot, gave their own interpretation of their decision.

Called to comment on the inclusion of Turkish Cypriot academic Niazi Kizilyurek on the ballot of the party, the press representative of AKEL, Giorgos Koukoumasstated that “it is absolutely normal that a Turkish Cypriot compatriot participates in the AKEL ballot on the basis of common principles and goals”, noting that “ideologically and historically, AKEL and the Left are the force fighting for the unity and cooperation of Greek Cypriots and of Turkish Cypriots in the struggle for the freedom and independence of our common homeland, but also in the workers' claims for their justice and rights”.

He then pointed out that “in 2019 AKEL took a historic step with the inclusion of a Turkish Cypriot on our ballot, Niazi Kizilyurek” and argued that “it is no coincidence that this development disturbed the nationalists on both sides, while on the contrary, it was welcomed by every A Cypriot who believes in reunification and peace”.

He also argued that “the possibility given by the European elections to E/K and T/K to vote together is a golden opportunity to send a common and resounding message against division, the occupying status quo and chauvinism, a message in favor of solution based on the agreed framework, in favor of the reunification of our country and people”. And he concluded that “AKEL is and wants to be the voice of all Cyprus and all Cypriots in the European Parliament and this is reflected in all our actions and initiatives at the European level”, he then asserted.

The chairman of the Environmental Movement, George Perdikis said that we have chosen the Turkish Cypriot competitor Oz Karahan, with common positions, common perceptions, with whom we fight for a united state, with a sovereignty, agreeing to the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the abolition of the anachronistic guarantee system.

He also explained that the choice of Oz Karahan is not accidental, since he is the political child of Sener Levent, his successor and advocates the same ideals, principles and values, while he argued that this way opens the way for cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots who have the same dreams and opinions.

On the side of Volt, the co-president of the party, Panos Parras he told “F” that “Volt is a genuine bi-communal party and has many members from the Turkish Cypriot community. Therefore, the inclusion of a Turkish Cypriot in our ballot is not opportunistic, nor is it a product of tactics”, noting that “for the sake of truth, our candidate is not just our member, but the General Secretary of the party”.

He emphasized that he is the first Turkish Cypriot, who assumes a role in the leadership of a party, which was founded in the Republic of Cyprus, after the Turkish invasion.

He also pointed out that “the main message we are sending is that the solution of Cyprus will not come overnight, nor can anyone impose it on us, if we do not manage to find a way to cooperate with each other, at least for the beginning on the issues that concern both communities”.

“It is the only way for one side to understand the concerns of the other and to carve out a common future together. A party like Volt, which declares itself in favor of a united Europe, cannot help but actually support efforts to achieve a united Cyprus”, he concluded.

Source: www.philenews.com

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