An Oath, a Poem, and the First Anniversary of the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus

 

An Oath, a Poem, and the First Anniversary of the Turkish “Peace Operation”

The poem “Hate” expresses such an extreme and genocidal fanaticism that it is hard to believe that it was not the creation of some lunatic fringe group, but it was not. According to the sources it was recited at the official celebrations of the first anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, which was attended by Turhan Feyzioglou, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, and it was read out repeatedly on Radio Bayrak during the anniversary celebrations. In addition copies of the poem and of an oath of allegiance to the cause of “union with the mother country”, Turkey, were distributed on the day.

I have gathered together below, the relevant sources, and a translation of the poem and the oath.

It is comforting to read in the extract by Christopher Hitchens that there were Turkish Cypriot opposition politicians who were made gloomy by the poem.

Pavlos Andronikos

20 July 1974
The Turkish “Peace Operation” Begins

In an age committed, at least verbally, to human rights, anti-colonialism, economic reform, social justice and collective security among nations, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus equalled in its degree of savagery the almost legendary carnage and devastation caused by the Huns under the Turkish military's eponymous hero, Attila, in the darkest age of Europe's recorded history. (Kevin Andrews, Greece in the Dark: 1967-1974 [Hakkert, 1980], p. 219.)

Editor’s Comment: Clearly Kevin Andrews had not been told it was a peace operation.

20 July 1975
The First Anniversary

Speaking ... in the Turkish sector of Nicosia, Mr Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, ... proclaimed that the Turkish Cypriots would take all necessary measures to strengthen their own self-proclaimed separate state in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.

Mr Denktash was speaking at a “peace festival” rally organized to commemorate the liberation [sic] of Turkish Cypriots “by the Turkish peace operation”.

[...]

The ... rally was also addressed by Mr Turhan Feyzioglou, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Republican Reliance Party. He said Turkey was seeking a just and lasting solution based on geographical guarantees which would place the Turkish region under Turkish control.

(“Rival Rallies Mark Turks’ Invasion of Cyprus”, The Times Monday 21 July 1975, p. 4.)

On the 20th July 1975 a victory parade was held in the Turkish occupied part of Nicosia, to mark the first anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus... The parade was attended by a number of Turkish dignitaries, including the Turkish Vice-Premier, Turhan Feyzioglu. During the ceremony leaflets were distributed to spectators. These leaflets published the words of an oath, Andımız [our vow/oath] and a song Kin [hate/grudge]. The oath and the song are given below...

(Stelios Theodoulou, President of the Pancyprian Association For the Protection of Human Rights, at http://agrino.org/humrights/agrsion/agrsion.htm.)

... any disappointment is catered for by a pan-Turkish military nationalism — for instance:

         As long as my fists can stand up in the air
         As long as 120,000 hearts can beat together
         As long as 40 million support me
         By Allah this hate will not leave me
         A thousand heads of the Greeks will not wash away this hate.

That poem was read out repeatedly on Radio Bayrak during the anniversary celebrations for the Federated State, and until I heard it gloomily confirmed by Turkish opposition politicians I confess I did not quite credit the Greek sources who had given it to me. Turkish Cypriot youths are now being encouraged to swear an oath about unification with the motherland, and it may be no coincidence that the Minister for Youth and Culture, Mr. Fikret Kursad, is a supporter of the right-wing MHT.

(Christopher Hitchens, “Talking Geography Over Cyprus”, The New Statesman (London), 5 Sept. 1975. Also in United States Congress, Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee to Investigate Problems Connected with Refugees and Escapees, Crisis on Cyprus: 1976, Crucial Year for Peace: A Staff Report (U.S. Government Printing Office, 1976), p. 81.)

The Oath

I am an inseparable part of the great Turkish nation which has created many 20th of July’s. My wish is to live free. My ideology is peace. My aim is union with the mother country.

With this belief and thought, I shall hold above everything else my motherland, my nation and its independence. I shall not darken the sacred memory of our martyrs and ancestors at any time or in any situation. By overcoming all difficulties in the future I shall become master of this Land and will master all its problems. I give my word of honour that I offer myself completely to this one aim.

The Poem

Hate

As long as vengeance fills my veins
As long as my heart beats for Turkism
As long as the word ‘Greek’ exists in dictionaries
By Allah, this hate will not leave me
A thousand Greek heads will not wash away this hate.

I will crush the heads of 10,000 of them
I will pull out the teeth of 20,000 of them
I will throw the corpses of 30,000 of them into the sea
But by Allah this hate will never leave me
A thousand Greek heads will not wash away this hate.

As long as my fists can be raised in the air,
As long as 120,000 [Turkish Cypriot] hearts can beat together,
As long as 40 million [Turkish] hearts beat with mine
By Allah this hate will not leave me
A thousand Greek heads will not wash away this hate.

Although, as we have intimated, it is naïve to even consider morality as a factor in the formulation of foreign policy objectives (whatever the asinine statements made by politicians about ‘ethical foreign policies’), we can consider emotion as a factor. Despite Callaghan’s caving in to Kissinger, (or perhaps because of it?), he certainly had some unfortunate things to say about the Turks (to Kissinger): “Now as regards Greece and Turkey, it is Greece who will need massaging because the Turks are too jingoistic, indeed too close to Hitler for my liking. All right?”

While on the question of emotion, and Callaghan’s views of the Turks, we should perhaps record here the Turkish ‘Hymn of Hate,’ broadcast and sung from 1964 and recited at the first (annual) celebration of the Turkish invasion of 20 July.

          As long as vengeance fills my veins [etc.]

One can wonder on what Callaghan based his opinion when talking to Kissinger. Perhaps he had read this poem (at least it was sent by the British High Commissioner in Nicosia to the FCO’s Southern European Department)...

(William Mallinson, “The Year After: Cyprus and the Shipwrecking of British Sovereignty”, 2006.
Available at: http://www.imxa.gr/files/BalkanStudies_(6) Mallinson final 021012.pdf)