Levent, S., Occupation, Lefkosia 2004.
The book is comprised of articles, published by Sener Levent in the TkCyp daily Avrupa. Levent recounts the circumstances around his arrest, interrogation and imprisonment in a prison in Turkish-occupied Lefkosia.
Levent tells us about his experiences in the cell, where he was not allowed to bring anything and where he was provided with a very dirty military blanket for the night. On the day of his arrest, he was not even allowed to call his family to tell where he was.
The book is written with humour and irony against the policemen and other humble ”servants” of the Turkish dictatorship. Successively he reveals the incompetence, cowardness and lies of the management in the prison.
The conditions in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus are well known, as are also the methods of the TMT in the past. Even the eldest son of Denktash was murdered when he became critical towards the military regime of Turkey, who seems to consider northern Cyprus to be one of their colonies.
Hence, their treatment of Levent doesn’t surprise anyone. What is surprising, however, is the courage of Levent who doesn’t refrain of making fun of his tormentors and even dares to oppose them at every interrogation.
How dares he, and how come that he’s still alive?!
The events, described by Levent, are by no means unusual in a dictatorship. We have read that before, f ex from the prisons in Greece during the junta. Neither must we forget that there also were prisons in the Republic of Cyprus, before and around 1974 and that many Greek Cypriots also were involved in unpatriotic actions towards their own patriots. But very seldom we read about that.
Levent’s book is very important, but hardly surprising. There are many satirical drawings in the book, but an ignorant Swedish reader has some difficulty in understanding the meaning of some of them. Perhaps because of a strong element of Turkish (TkCyp) humour?
The book also deserves better proofreading for the next edition.