1950 Referendum on Enosis, Enosis, Taksim and Peace – Münür Rahvancıoğlu

A decision which was taken recently in the Republic of Cyprus Parliament, is being widely discussed. According to the decision, it is proposed that, the referendum which was organized in the 1950’s among Greek Cypriots -that demanded ENOSIS with Greece- will be taught and celebrated in the schools. While voting for the issue in the parliament, DISY abstained from voting, AKEL voted ‘no’ but the decision was approved with 19 votes…

The referendum, subject to the discussion, was organized by the Church in 1950 and instrumentalized as a tool within the competition between AKEL and Church with regard to the struggle for the demand of ENOSIS among Greek Cypriots. After this referendum, Church unequivocally took the leadership of the ENOSIS demand. Although AKEL took the back seat in this leadership competition, it had kept summoning for ENOSIS.

We are talking about a decision which contains implications about the hegemony struggle among Greek Cypriot organizations themselves more than the ENOSIS itself. It is obvious that, 1950-referendum is not recalled with good feelings by AKEL which recently voted ‘no’ in the Parliament; but the reasons of AKEL for the distasteful feelings on the referendum, are not quite similar with the reasons of Turkish Cypriot society…

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While it has been tried to prove that the chauvinism and nationalism which exist in the south of Cyprus is a phenomenon which consists merely of ELAM, it is obvious that this is not the reality. In reality, there is a vast variety of constituents ranging from the ultra-fascists -who still demand ENOSIS- to the “generous” pro-peace people who consider Turkish Cypriots as a sweet (!) minority under the chauvinism of the big Greek Cypriot nation*. However, it is clear that, chauvinism does not have one color and it is not represented by a single organization -which is thought to be ELAM.

The decision that was taken in the parliament few days ago is the reflection of such variety: Chauvinism of every stripe and colour -ones who proposed, ones who supported, ones who abstained from voting and ones who thought that they can redeem their souls through voting ‘no’ without self-criticizing their own practice in the past…

The most troublesome among these is the one who tries to look the most innocent, that is to say, AKEL…

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AKEL had become an eager supporter of the policy of joining to Greece shortly after the date it was founded. AKEL is a party marked with a political line in which there is an insistence on the entity of one single society on the island. In this political line, the reality that there are two societies has been ignored, the Turkish Cypriots have been considered as a minority and progressive Turkish Cypriot people were left defenceless against the fascist attacks…

AKEL has the responsibility for the TAKSIM policy, which had been raised by the Turkish Cypriot nationalists (with the support of Britain), to have grassroots against the ENOSIS as much as it has the responsibility for the ENOSIS demand to have grassroots. AKEL did not endure the hardship of establishing a third front within which a policy of an ‘independent and united Cyprus together with the brotherhood/sisterhood of the two societies’ would be raised but the chauvinist circles of the two societies, taking the support of their motherlands, made the people of the island fight with each other. Instead of building up an alternative option, AKEL competed for the leadership of ENOSIS among Greek Cypriot society. Through following such a policy and putting the progressive Turkish Cypriots behind the eight ball, AKEL is guilty in the face of the history. The ‘no’ votes today is not sufficient to clear this guilt.

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It should be agreed that, TAKSIM, which is based upon the policy of sharing the island through the division of the land and the societies, is as unacceptable as the ENOSIS struggle towards joining the island with Greece. Both of these policies have not given the societies of Cyprus, working classes of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots anything other than pain, blood, tear, destruction and social, cultural and economic backwardness. Because of these two political mistakes, Cyprus has been a strategical colony benefited by the powers which are hegemonic in the Middle East and the people of Cyprus have lived as groups which are reluctantly allowed to live on this colony without being subjects with willpower up until today.
And perhaps the worst thing is that, the following has been forced to be memorized by the societies of Cyprus: “The answer for ENOSIS is TAKSIM, the antidote of TAKSIM is ENOSIS”… Because of this, both of these policies have maintained their existence through feeding and breeding each other in a self-perpetuating way…
In fact, the good of the laborer classes of Cyprus relied neither upon ENOSIS nor TAKSIM; instead, it relied upon the independent and united Cyprus together with the brotherhood/ sisterhood of the two societies; and it still does…

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A third political front which is a pro-labor, pro-peace, pro-reunification and pro-brotherhood/ sisterhood one, can be established and enhanced both among Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. In order to achieve this, a political line which opposes both to ENOSIS and TAKSIM with the same sincerity, which endeavours for the common good of the laborer classes without considering the existence of two societies as a danger but instead acknowledging this factuality, is required.

Such political line should put the concrete problems of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot laborer classes on its agenda and should rely upon a class perspective which will weave a solidarity against the neoliberalism-related impoverishment and precarious work policies which have been imposed by Ankara and Troika. There is a historical continuity between taking the laborer classes of Cyprus in tow of ENOSIS and TAKSIM policies in the 1950’s and attaching the laborer classes of Cyprus today to a position of “encourager” of a ‘peace from above’ which is under the hegemony of the agents such as UN, EU and USA…
It’s already the time for our laborer classes to struggle for their own benefits under an independent political leadership. This is because, an independent Cyprus together with the brotherhood/ sisterhood of the societies will be created, if and only by the laborers…

*the phrase of “chauvinism of the big nation” refers to Lenin’s own distinction. Lenin argues that “a distinction must necessarily be made between the nationalism of an oppressor nation and that of an oppressed nation, the nationalism of a big nation and that of a small nation.”

Writer:
Münür Rahvancıoğlu
Secretary-General of Independence Path

Translated by:
Celal Ozkizan

Original article:
http://www.ankaradegillefkosa.org/plebisit-enosis-taksim-b…/

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