Monday, December 5, 2016

“Mountain of lies…”

"Mountain of lies…"

Sevgul Uludag

Tel: 99 966518

Fatma Azgin has always been an innovator, a problem solver, someone who can see not one but five steps ahead… She constantly reads and writes, contributes in the creation of different groups, always listens to others, always makes proposals, always actively involved in politics, in gender issues, in peacebuilding… She runs a TV programme every week, writes a column in Yeniduzen every week, she teaches pharmacy at a university, runs her own pharmacy and has time for peacebuilding since peacebuilding is her lifestyle…
What is unique about Fatma Azgin is that she constantly supports those who don't have a voice for this or that reason, she constantly supports younger generations, she constantly supports peacebuilding efforts…
She was one of my "mentors" when I began getting actively involved in the women's and peace movements always giving me support…
Women like Fatma Azgin are not raised easily – she is a well-respected writer, a pharmacist, leader of the Turkish Cypriot Pharmacists' Union for many years in the past, leader of the Conflict Resolution Trainers' Group in the 90s…
She was one of the founders of Hands Across the Divide, the first bicommunal women's NGO in Cyprus that was registered in London in 2001 since at that time we could not register it Cyprus, on either side due to its unique bi-communal character. During our work with her as peace activists at the Hands Across the Divide, we would go out in the streets when the big crowds had not started yet, we would stand in the streets with placards in our hands, calling for peace, for reunification of our island – we would demonstrate when Denktash and Clerides were having dinner for the first time back in 1999 flying pigeons and expressing our desire for peace…
A peace activist does not work only in her own community – a peace activist needs connections with the other communities as well… Fatma Azgin always had good friends among Greek Cypriots and she would plan things bi-communally, as well as mono-communally… When checkpoints were opened back in 2003, going on holidays, visiting friends, always crossing the partition line would be her lifestyle – not a slogan but something that you experience…
On the 24th of November 2016, our good friend Fatma Azgın writes an article called "Mountain of Lies…" that is published in Yeniduzen newspaper… I want to share with you the words of an experienced peace builder, a peace activist, a woman of this land who spent years working for peace voluntarily…
Here is her article:
"The talks in Switzerland which were said to have been held with the aim of solving the Cyprus problem, started with a great deal of hope and pumping up of an expectation of a successful outcome; and at the end it was defused and thrown back to the island just like a flat tire. If you have the strength and the patience now watch the attempts of counter accusations being thrown by each side and the attempts of their patriotic shows in a bid to justify themselves to their respective communities. Shows that will have plenty of pride, selfishness, arrogance, vanity; and will aim at establishing a supremacy.
The best thing to do is not to listen and follow those who have negotiated and failed to attain a result. Because everything that is said will be the manifestation of the show of power of the authority which has nothing to do with the truth. They do not know that the only thing that will most empower the authorities is to speak the truths. You attain power when you speak the truth.
Our island, country is still here. We need to keep our morale high. Because those who choose breaking an agreement instead of making one will try to justify themselves by way of trying to demoralise the people of the island, to depress, confuse them and by spreading the disease of nationalism and discrimination. We must never rise to the bait. Honest people are in favour of social justice, humanism, facts. We must not allow the efforts aimed at polluting their minds and souls.
We must remember that the game has never changed. We must be aware that this time too intrigues are being deployed not for the happiness and peace of the Cypriot people, but for the interests of other countries. We should know that the negotiating table was not overturned because of us and take a deep breath. Let us refer the bad spirits who have interceded to the nature. Let us look into how we can best live and most comfortably in our island and see if we have any alternatives left. At the same time let us evaluate what kind of damages this game of power could cause to us. Let us bear in mind that with the "Hatayization" of North Cyprus the EU membership of the Turkish Cypriots could be ended. Let us think that this blessing may not last forever. Let us abandon the roles of pro-Eu with passports and pro-unification with Turkey when it comes to our deeds.
The reason why other chronic problems that continued in other parts of the world for years, for centuries ended up with peace is that positions, one sided interests, fears, excuses, lacks of security, tactics aimed at establishing an advantage over the opposite side, hate were not pushed on to the negotiating with a posture which claimed genuine thought was given to them... Facts were.
In the peace efforts literature this style, this way of negotiating where the main facts are not talked are called "Mountain of lies". It is impossible to find a problem that was solved with this solution. In order to reach a peace agreement you need to dig the "Mountain of lies" right to the bottom, take out the facts at the bottom and put them on the top of that mountain over the top of those lies. With the power of the facts and with the awakening and lurch that come in there, it is possible to destroy the mountain of lies.
As a result, what we need to do now is to chase not the lies but the reality and pull ranks for that purpose.
Let us hear what the wise people have to say:
"Nobody is going to pour truth into your brain. It's something you have to find out for yourself." Noam Chomsky
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." George Orwell"


Photo: Fatma Azgın at a peace demonstration in 1999…

(*) Article published in the POLITIS newspaper on the 4th of December 2016, Sunday.

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