The Short Statement

This page is excerpted from a longer page titled "Our Dialogue / The Short Statement" which was in the founding documents of the Kalimerhaba BiCommunal friendship group of Turko-Hellenic dialogue, in November, 2000.

The item of interest titled "The Short Statement" is a collaborative effort of BarkIn KarslI and Petros Evdokas who were among the founding members of Kalimerhaba, with help, feedback and guidance from colleagues and comrades not named here. Reproduced here are some of the letters which document parts of the process and the intent of that effort, and then the "The Short Statement" itself, with commentary and margin notes by Barkin.

If you wish you can skip the letters and go directly to the
"The Short Statement".


             (segments of a letter to the Dialogue group)

             From: Petros Evdokas  <petrosarbee@y...>
             Date: Tue Nov 7, 2000
             Subject: Suggestions?

             Hi again,

             ...The truth is, as long as there is an interest to
             shoulder the process of identifying the problems in
             our communities, and of looking for social, political
             and personal solutions to them, there will always be
             themes to explore and work with, there will always be
             work to do to improve ourselves as organisational
             entities, as communities and as individuals. And as
             the internet becomes more and more a part of our
             lives, it becomes possible to create new bonds of
             solidarity in order to address ancient problems. No
             matter which door we open we can find our selves
             behind it.

             Consider this section of messages exchanged at the
             yahoo message board entitled "Gay Cyprus"
             ( )
            - is it possible for us to take it as a point of
             departure, to use the themes below in order to
             understand ourselves and our communities better, and
             to improve the kinds of solutions we seek to our
             mutual problems?


             How much of Equality and Justice will be tangible in
             Cyprus after the politicians are done with the
             "solutions" they are building for us?

             Will there be Sexual Freedom with Peace in Cyprus when
             the "final solution" is signed by the politicians?

             Will there be Spiritual Freedom? How do we envision
             these freedoms being actualised?

             Will there be a system of profits and exploitation?

             Will the ruling class survive the transition, or is
             the transition actually being enacted to better serve
             their interests?

             How do we envision all of this?

             Scary and wonderful at the same time, the possible
             horror and the fleeting hopes embedded within the
             Bicommunal efforts.

             Your views and commentary would be most welcome, both
             here, at this message board, or privately, by email;
             in either case  please feel free to write to me!



Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 
From: barkIn karsLI <

Subject: Re: Our Dialogue

 hello again,

 petros, let's prepare a manifest and then start the e-mailing list initiative by declarating them in 3 languages, to whomever may be concerned (even the statesmen), carefully (co)building the principles. 

(there're people here to join such a community already; maybe it's time to take the first steps. would u mind preparing a not short-not long manifest, and then bring it to a final form?)




Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 
From: Petros Evdokas <> 

It's a good idea. I have some thoughts to share with you on it, and I  will prepare them in a few days.

I still have one more batch of letters from the last few weeks, which I'm editing to be shared with everyone (like on that webpage I had put together previously), hoping we can get responses which will add to the materials we are creating together. This will keep cultivating the sense that this is a group product, a  result of a something like a group dialogue and effort. I feel the need to be doing this until the project becomes a little more refined and self-sustaining. 

I will send more stuff soon,

Thanks again,



Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 
From: Petros Evdokas <> 

Subject: Merhaba
To: barkIn <>

Merhaba Barkin,

I�m preparing a short statement (I hope it will be short!), on themes  we  might wish to explore in this bicommunal dialogue we have been cultivating.  I�m also preparing the next mailing for everyone - do you have any letters from yourself or anyone else you would like me to include ?

The statement will be attempting to touch on those aspects of our being, which are now specifically being excluded from existing channels in the dialogues. It will be addressing the: 

Politics of the Spiritual realms
Sexual politics
Personal politics
Social politics


Date: Tue, 7 Nov 2000 
From: barkIn karsLI <> 


 I've forwarded your message to some turkish fellow friends. on the other hand I'd better contribute to what's being tried to be done through - trying to - add st. to your hopefully coming manifest skeleton. 

                     bye and hi till then (and then)



Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 
From: barkIn karsLI <> 

 dear petros,

 I'm sorry for this delayed mail. anyhow, the letter mentioned below was not as improtant as to be translated mott-a-motto. these days I've no time to itch my head even; but will try my last bits to help on anything if there's any,

                your tired but smiling comrade(?),



Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000
From: Petros Evdokas <> 

Subject: my tired but smiling comrade

Hello Barkin,

Thanks for your note!

I have almost finished the text on the bicommunal dialogue, and I will be sending it today or tommorrow, for your commentary.

We also have a few more letters from others, perhaps I will include them all on one mailing.

What are your activities which are tiring you so much these days? 
I wish for you some opportunity to rest,

Your tired and smelly comrade,



Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2000
From: Petros Evdokas <> 

Subject: the "Short" Statement

To: barkIn <>
CC: Sue <>, Lilith Adamou <>, Angelos <>

Merhaba Barkin,

Here is the "short" statement on themes  we  might wish to explore in this Bicommunal Dialogue we have been cultivating. It is an attempt to touch on those aspects of our being, which are now specifically being excluded from existing channels in the dialogues. 
Your thoughts, critique?

I�m also preparing the next mailing for everyone -
I�ll write again soon.


PS. A copy of this is sent only to those listed in the "CC" above.  I wanted you all to have a copy before we send it out to everyone. Your suggestions on changes would be very welcome - thanks!


Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2000 
From: barkIn karsLI <>

Subject: Re: the Short Statement


 I'll inshallah have answered your 'short' st. in 48 hrs. time. by the way you had asked what busied me (or sth like that): I'm at the same working in two economics related part time jobs (so as to get money for good things, and as long as I'm in a city this way seems to be continued), amnesty international, some judicial cases (on different concepts), keeping touch with people and friends, and some fine arts 'business'. 

 anyhow, anyway..

                               aufwiedermailen und




Many thanks to Sue for helping create this webpage - P.


The Short Statement

{Margin notes in blue highlight are by Barkin}

* * *

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000 
From: barkIn karsLI 


I could've read all you've written and as you will recognize have been in line with you most of the parts. I think the time to 'begin' (be and in without begin' ) has come if not passing away. Hey Petros, egroups kiss you!! (and as you'd once cited, this time order me sth. to do and I do!)

                               yours shoulderingly,

                                        (bk).  B 



The text below is a rough "working text", to be used as a springboard for exploring more themes which need to be pursued in order to build the foundations for unity among our peoples on a more solid ground.
It is of necessity more focused on themes and items related to those aspects of our being which are now being specifically excluded from the dialogues promoted by the establishment parties, governments and mainstream politicians. Those dialogue -contacts are currently being conducted only and exclusively in the framework of either "business needs" (the needs of the profit system), or the within the artificial culture of commercialism and merchandise (ways to make profits), or within the context of artificial culture promoted by the instruments of the ruling classes for reasons of power, domination and control of our populations, for example fake bicommunal "folk dances" which no one really enjoys in our real lives, with "folk dresses" which no one really wears in our real lives. These are promoted because they create a school-like atmosphere where the participants are reduce to either being obedient "actors" or devout "audiences", in the exactly same way as the system forces us to experience our real political lives. 
In the framework of the bicommunal re-approachment, in the form it is currently being directed, there is no place for the population to be forming our alliances directly as autonomous, politically mature and free people by-passing the structures of authority, power and profits.
There is a definite need to expand the dialogue to include the following themes, with the approaches roughly sketched below:

Spiritual Politics

Religion, Unity, Freedom, "tolerance" vs. "embrace".
Sexual Politics
Freedom, Authoritarianism, dis-empowerment, sexual and political maturity, Class- consciousness.
Social politics
Class, Property, Ownership and Control, Ecology,
Racism, sexism (male -chauvinism), homophobia.
Personal Politics
Lifestyle, appearance, symbols, mainstream culture and alternative /radical culture.

(Needless to say, all the elements identified above are inter-connected and overlapping. There is no objective division between these aspects of the human experience, but we "divide" them this way in order to process them and discuss them.)

 I agree. all refer to the question "who am I?" and "who we are?.."   (bk).

Politics of the Spiritual realms

Spiritual practices, and especially the contents and symbols of religion and faith, have been used as weapons to divide our peoples and lead us to cutting each others� throats.
Is there a sane way out of this?
The answer is a resounding "yes", and it lies in the core of the spiritual truths of both Islam and Christianity (and also in the "humanist" content of secular culture). 

 not forgetting the kabbalists, shamans, mayas, eskimos, aborigins, witches, zen buddhists,.. as well as che guevera and giordano bruno?(who all are mystics!)  (bk).
Persons who value those Spiritual truths, who are able to navigate outside of the "faith monopoly" currently exercised by the  major religious institutions in our cultures and countries, can help us to re-discover the spiritual principles common to All of  the spiritual practices  and religions in our broader region.
This can only be done by understanding the difference between "tolerance" of all faiths, as opposed to the "embrace" of all faiths. It is a vast difference. Tolerance is a disinterested neutrality, at best. But only those who are able to embrace in practice the spiritual truths at the core of All religions will be able to help us cultivate a better sense of Oneness and Unity among our people.

 tolerate the created  in name of the Creator - m.c.rumi  (bk).

Sexual politics

Will there be sexual freedom and happiness in the "new arrangements" among our peoples which are being pursued by the politicians?
The most dependable criteria to judge this, are the degree to which there is (or will be) freedom for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people, in addition of course, to the crucial need for a free sexuality in the lives of teenagers, young adults, infants and children and  married individuals. 
For example, even though in Cyprus after many years of struggle and efforts we have succeeded in changing the legislation to de-criminalise homosexuality, gay sexuality is still being persecuted in various ways, and therefore driven underground. All the major political parties participate in this persecution, even while they participate in the bicommunal dialogue "in the name of equality and freedom". 
Our dialogue needs to be rooted in the understanding of the role of the suppression of a free sexuality in creating authoritarian structures; its role in anchoring the psychological structures of power and authority embedded in the reality of our cores as physical and emotional beings; its role in destroying the ability for healthy rebellion and channeling the enslaved life-force toward artificial forms of alienated religion and fascist ideologies (of all colors, especially red and black), and its role in destroying within our communities and populations the ability of people to relate to each other in daily life with a sense of equality and respect. 

 I agree, nearly mott-a-motto. (bk).
Social politics
There is no way to by-pass the glaring realities of property ownership, class politics, forms of government, and the source /exercise of authority-power.
If we are to succeed in creating a community more tangibly built on the foundations of  radical Ecology and  Feminism, we have no option but to seek broad and deep changes in our social structures. There is the vast power in the hands (and wallets) of private capital, state capital, and church capital. At all levels of our society, globally, regionally, locally, these are the forces served by the politicians, the parties, the machinery of state. It is the source of all misery, exploitation, inequality, racial, religious, and sexual prejudice, environmental and social destruction. 
What is our position toward the existence of these forms of capital? How can the power of capital be abolished in our communities, without us have to look at abolishing its very existence? What will it mean to restore those resources and wealth back to the ownership and control of the community? Does radical ecology mean common ownership? 

 maybe. (bk).
Only some of these changes can be legislated. The most important of them, can only be actualized by helping our populations mature politically and become capable for self-government. For example, after the victory over the domination of capital, it will be simple to legislate against private ownership of social resources and wealth. But in the here and now, how do we form mobilized communities within which we can practice direct democracy, equality and co-operation while disallowing (or minimizing) the influence of  the profit system among us?
Personal politics
It might seem like a deflating note to concern ourselves with Personal politics, after discussing the "grander" changes we seek in our communities. But the truth is that we cannot actualize the broad social changes externally, unless we also seek to change our inner selves in a process of politically and spiritually meaningful personal growth.
For example, is our sense of Feminism the same as that of the business community?
Or for another example, it�s honorable to say "hey Petros, I feel uncomfortable when you speak of gay sexuality, it�s a whole experience that�s alien to me and a little scary, I don�t see what is has to do with world peace or even just peace among our communities here, regionally. Can we please discuss it?". But it would be  misleading to say "hey, leave out that sexual stuff now, this just confuses people. This is just a question of demilitarization and of better economic planning". 
The crux of it lies in how we deal with personal politics in our communities, and this is reflected in the degree to which our liberation movement in each of our countries, has any roots or connection whatsoever to the existing alternative and radical communities, which are living, breathing, tangible expressions of the future, sometimes covertly hidden away in the in-between spaces of our communities, or occasionally existing openly but struggling under oppression or threat of strangulation by the culture of mainstream lifestyles. 
Alternative and radical lifestyles are ever-changing both externally and internally, but often their external signs become known for symbolizing freedom and therefore make their bearers targeted by the system. Long hair in the 60s, mohawks in the early 80s, are examples of this on a global level. In general, these symbols and activities are part of a personal behavior, dress and appearance (clothing for example) and  lifestyle, and often found connected to (disguised by) recreational culture. "Ethnic", and  "World" music fans in Istanbul, Athens, Nicosia and New York are more likely nowadays to be  attracted to each other in shared community -building, rather than "just plain" un-politicized long-haired men from each place. 

 more than yes. (bk).
The year 2000 has brought us many changes, and with it, a multiplicity of symbols. We can not be guided by symbols alone, as they get co-opted by commercialism very quickly, but our attitude toward them, says something about who we are, what we do.
So, if our movements include support and embrace for single unwed moms, support and embrace for teenage sexuality, support and embrace for the religious, medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, support and embrace for people living in communal, co-op arrangements, support and embrace for collective projects in our communities, we are more likely to be building for peace among our peoples than the sterile bicommunal "folk dances" enforced by the establishment so as to divide our people while essentially keeping us apart.

It is in this spirit that we can go forward.
It might be easier to re-think parts of the original "Letter for Barkin", from the point of view of the radical Oikologia group:

"We seek to unite with Turkish -Cypriots and people from Turkey who, like us, aim for the re-uniting of all of Humanity�s peoples, aim for the destruction of all borders and the disarming of  the armies guarding them, and for the final  overthrow of the governments arming and training them for that purpose. 
We aim for the overthrow of the system of profits and authoritarian power, and for its replacement by the simple functions of ecological Direct Democracy: a system of self-administration and self-government within all of our communities, which are to be run by voluntary Peoples� Councils at all levels, in the schools, the workplace, the neighbourhoods, the villages and towns. 
We believe that once the influence of the system of profits  and of authoritarian power is removed from both our external and internal (psychological) world, people everywhere are capable of living as equals who can respect and honour each other, and who are capable and willing to make together the major and minor decisions which affect our everyday lives as neighbours, co-workers, colleagues, friends, lovers, comrades."

 agree again. (bk).

And also to rethink this, from the letter to the Youth for Peace group:

"...there are many radical Green-minded individuals and organizations in all the countries of our region (including Turkey, Greece, Cyprus) and abroad, active in the heartlands of the imperialist countries, who wish to see our communities re-united again, on the basis of a unity founded on the global efforts to *replace* the socio -political system of profits.  We believe that our people can be re-united meaningfully only on the basis of the shared efforts to replace the political system currently exercised by authoritarian power and capital, with a system of equality and justice for all, which is founded on co-operation (as opposed to capitalist competition and exploitation), and founded on self-government within our communities, instead of government by local neo-colonialist 'managerial administration teams' appointed by global and regional capital."

Our Dialogue, is burdened with the "unfortunate" historical mission of finding ways to make all this happen.