The unbearable lightness of attacking Turkey from the Mediterranean

The unbearable lightness of attacking Turkey from the Mediterranean

There has not been a week in the recent months without reports, statements, decisions or condemnations against Turkey’s Mediterranean policies, from the United States, the EU and the Arab world. A large portion of the work at the Foreign Ministry, especially for the Spokesman, is rushed through the answers to these baseless, untheorized, unreasoned and unfair explanations. Next, in the United States, we see the CIA-affiliated RAND Corporation producing scenarios for Turkey and a Greek MP tearing a Turkish Flag apart in front of the European Parliament. At the same time, the Greek Prime Minister and the French President shake hands at the Élysée Palace against Turkey, announcing that the French Navy will openly support Greece in the Mediterranean and complain about our warships cruising off the shores of Libya.

Or, the Italian Foreign Minister, along with his counterpart from the Greek Cypriot Administration, arguing on November 27th, 2019 that the maritime delimitation line and defense cooperation deal between Turkey and Libya, using the legal basis of Rome, to conclude that the European Union should impose sanctions against the connections to Turkey’s drilling activities in the Mediterranean. It does not stop there…


Therefore, it is not incorrect to call what happened in the Eastern Mediterranean a second imposing of the Sevres. There exists those who applaud and rejoice the foreign anti-Turkish and anti-Turkey statements, especially the FETO militants both domestic and abroad. Just like in the Inter-Armistice Period of 1919, we still have pro-mandate supporters. Today they exist in greater numbers than the hedonist traitors who surrendered to the British invaders and to the hegemony, in order to continue their comfortable lives in Istanbul 100 years ago.

Despite this, they are not capable of altering the course that is the Ship of the State’s, 21st-century route. This is because the spirit of the times and the flaming geopolitical conditions set the route.


Unfortunately, today’s pro-EU mandate supporters pose a serious threat to the route that the Ship of the State is taking. Of course, The Turkish Cypriots are free today, but much was suffered in order to arrive at the situation we are in today. With the first attack of the EOKA, seven Turks were killed in 1955. In the next five years, no Turks experienced the feeling of security. In the 1960 massacres of Gazikoy (Afania) and Gelincik (Vasili), 150 Turks were shot to death. On the night of December 20th, 1963, also known as the Bloody Christmas attack, 128 Turks were killed in their sleep. Between 1969 and 1971, 103 Turkish villages were plundered and 107 mosques were destroyed. 388 Turks, most of whom were children, were murdered.

On July 20th, 1974 during the Cyprus Peace Operation, 258 Turkish Cypriots and 31 officers, 20 NCOs and 447 draftees from the Turkish Armed Forces were killed. During the same period, 70 people from the Taskent (Tochni), Terazi (Zygi) and Tatlisu (Mari) villages; and 120 people from the villages of Atlilar (Aloda), Murataga (Maratha) and Sandallar (Santalaris) were massacred. In his 4-volume memoir “My Deposition”, Clerides admitted that they destroyed the Republic of Cyprus for the Enosis, created a secret army for this purpose, and made the Akritas Plan. He then had the full-text of the plan published in his book.

In another statement published in 2010 in the newspaper Phileleftheros, Clerides said: “We have locked the Turkish Cypriots down into ghettos, in order to ensure their capitulation and submission.” In his confessions, a former EOKA member named Hristos Savvas, whom the Greeks honored with a medal, described what had happened with these words: “In November 1963, to those who were trained within the Greek Regiments (ELDYK), were given the hate speech against Turks… Meanwhile, on December 25th 1963, it was ordered to attack the 100,000 Turks and even their cats… Indeed, the attacks had begun, but Makarios had ordered to stop the attacks by saying ‘Turkey is preparing for an intervention, stop the attacks’.”


The 10-year-period, full of hardships and suffering, ended on the morning of July 20th, 1974. However, in the last 46 years, neither Turkey nor the Turkish Cypriots have been able to determine the port they planned to go. Despite the establishment of the TRNC in 1983, this action, which represents the values of independence and freedom, could not be fully integrated amongst the people.

Undercover pro-mandate supporters in the homeland, with the mindset that hesitates about the Turkification of the island, and fears the question “What will the United States and the West say?” for the concept of affiliation with Turkey and becoming an independent entity, have unfortunately affected TRNC domestic politics. We have to put the insecure Turkish Governments, who are sedated with the EU candies.

Unfortunately, the pro-mandate supporters prevailed with the April 24th, 2004 Annan Plan. If the Greeks had not said no to the plan, we would have lost the independent Turkish presence held by the TRNC, in this exclusive geography forever. Destiny helped both the Turks of the motherland and the TRNC, and we got rid of the curse of the Annan Plan.

Today, the spirit of the Annan Plan is being revived under the name of a “federal resolution”. While the numbers of the pro-mandate supporters for this resolution is small, they can have a serious impact, especially with the media opportunities maintained by the current President and the EU. There are many examples of this. Last week, a Turkish Cypriot named Serhat Incirli, who constantly produces anti-Turkey shows for television, went so far as to insult his own country, saying “I can collapse the state even with only three plates of beans”, on a TRNC television channel called Kanal T. These are only a small fraction of the examples…


The government and the people of the TRNC should never forget this fact. From a geopolitical perspective, the TRNC is an integral part of Turkey. It is never acceptable for it to take a course against Turkey’s geopolitical interests. Turkey cannot allow itself to be besieged from the south again, by losing the TRNC. Thus, the loss of the TRNC will spark the process that will trigger the loss of the Blue Homeland.

Therefore, the candidates and political parties participating in the upcoming April Presidential Elections, should understand the geopolitical realities of the region.

While acting for small interests from conjunctural and shallow judgements for short-term political moves,it should be remembered that the results will affect the defense, security, prosperity and happiness of the 82 million Turks living in Turkey. In this context, candidates should avoid any approach that may lead to negotiations for a federation. This process already collapsed in Crans Montana in 2017.

We should not try to revive the dead. In a hostile juncture where Turkey is completely suspended from the EU membership, attention should be drawn to the trap of TRNC’s EU membership offer without Turkey. Laws that protect the TRNC should be enforced as soon as possible; the insults to Turkey and the TRNC must be stopped.

The TRNC does not have the luxury of struggling with the pro-mandate supporters when it is needed as an ally for Turkey in a period where it is besieged from the south and the west. The TRNC government and its people have a responsibility to raise awareness and invite the pro-mandate supporters to the right path. Let me remind you again, treason is not a democratic right and it cannot be.

Cem Gürdeniz
Admiral Cem Gürdeniz graduated from Turkish Naval Academy in 1979. As a deck officer, he served in different in destroyers and frigates. He assumed the Command of guided missile frigate TCG Gaziantep and the Third Destroyer Division. He completed his education in Turkish Naval War College and Armed Forces College. He holds two masters degrees from US Naval Postgraduate School and Université Libre Brussels (ULB) in personnel management and international politics respectively. He was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral (lower half) in 2004 and upper half in 2008. He served as the Chief, Strategy and Agreements Department and then the Head of Plans and Policy Division in Turkish Naval Forces Headquarters. As his combat duties, he has served as the commander of Amphibious Ships Group and Mine Fleet. He retired in 2012 as a result of the Sledgehammer Bogus Case. He is the founder and Director of the Istanbul Koc University Maritime Forum. In addition to his native Turkish, he is fluent in English and French. Admiral GUrdeniz is the writer of numerous publications in multiple languages languages including ‘Bluehomeland Writings.’ He is a columnist at Aydınlık Daily and Yacht Magazine.

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May 2024