Home Page >> Columnists Enver ETHEMER | 1 February 2015, Sunday

My daily despair!?


I travel to Nicosia every day for work. It is an ordeal of its kind. The story begins at home but gets more intense and despairing as I approach the Gonyeli roundabout. It hits harder as I drove nearer to Dereboyu. It strikes me how we as a society, can live in such morose deceitful life. How can a flock of human kind, Turkish Cypriots, be so numb and anesthetized to believe in a counterfeit life, thinking that it is ultimate fairytale blow? Embarking on a journey of my daily encounters ( Gonyeli roundabout, Levent Primary and Dereboyu), one cannot avoid to draw conclusions on the standards we absurdly find fit for ourselves..

Car ownership in Cyprus runs at par with those of most developed nations where economy relies on sustainability and wealth creation. Here comes the first illusion. We are a country where state does not have any wealth, we are being spoon-fed by our motherland, Turkey, and we have not had any post-war reconstruction in rebuilding new industries and economic production. Ironically, we have perished them one by one and plunged them into the deep ocean. Sanayi Holding, ETI, Peyak, Cyprus Turkish Airlines were all national cornucopia we could be proud of. We failed them, we failed us and we failed the state. The post war greed has corroded us into something we would never revert/relapse/regress…. We talk about peace and country of our own but how much of that “land” is ours? How proud are we of this small piece of land we call “a corner of heaven”? This is what I self-narrate to myself every morning when traffic comes to a standstill at the Gonyeli roundabout and people criss-cross from left to right and then right to left in a shrewd way.  I am one of them. I pose and ask myself... Is this what I want? Is this something acceptable? I pay my tax, I pay my dues and my government is in total oblivion to provide services that will make my life easier for me. I find this intolerable but many find it tolerable. Spending 30 minutes at a roundabout is a bit of an oxymoronic situation. I feel like my life is being degraded by the TRNC in a delusional manner. I see people driving pricey cars as if our per capita GDP is in highest %5 percentile in the world. As the queue gets longer, I watch them digressing their cars into muddy/rough terrain (field).

As I drive past the roundabout, you are even more shocked that our state education system actually is non-existence. How possible that could be that we claim to be modern democratic society and original Cypriots (proudly yelled out) but we have a dysfunctional government that cannot even provide a standard of education. Where do we find all these wealth to send our children to private schools? What is the standard we want for our children in education that we are so assured private schools can provide? Yet we are even more delusional that we want unification daydreaming we will become wealthier as we become member of EU. Hey, what will happen if the public sector shrinks and EU puts caps on our wages? Will we really be able to maintain our standards? Will we become the next Greece? Social and economic dissolution? Can we sustain to wait one hour in traffic every morning deliver our kid to a college? Where is the life standard of a modern TRNC and proud Turkish Cypriots? Time is infinite in this geography…

Pass that horrid scene, you enter into Dereboyu. I call it “tunnel where stints are motionless”.  An infinite long queue of cars, progressing at 2mph the most. Congestion, stress and frustration. I looked around. Nice coffee shops, posh clothing stores. Almost like Oxford St in London or erstwhile Makariou... Buzzzing Street as it seems but a disgrace of inaptness. Cars parked on sidewalks. Pedestrians cannot walk so they develop novel ways of strolling around the “HIGH STREET”.  Shops have no parking space. I believe it a requirement under the local legislation. I mean at least I know of from Greek side. Otherwise some feasibility could have been done to estimate the possible impact of erecting two so called “Shopping Malls” in the midst of the chaos. If you happen to go for a coffee in Gloria Jeans,  you have to circle around half an hour to find a parking space. Deadlocked traffic during public office closure time makes it almost a jungle and a rocket science to find your way out. Shops, residential area, traffic and restaurants jammed into a narrow motionless tunnel. It represents our hopeless/hapless state of mind, future(less) misery of non-existence( nonbeing).

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