1974 Cyprus War: When everything turned upside down overnight


cyprus war11

‘Punishment coming to you. You cannot escape.’ Sheykh Maulana was talking about, pointing a finger to that city people, saying, ‘soon you are getting it. Getting the punishment. Heavy punishment is reaching to you here. And you may not find food to eat.’ And he was giving us (description) how it was going to happen. Before this there were only three doors and that castle entering to our city, he said, ‘when they shut this three doors, what’s going to come from outside to eat? And what are you going to have inside the city? What you have in one day it’s going to finish.’

It was in 1974. Just like today, 20 July, before you know, war begins. And I found myself in that war. I was only 17 years old. Early in the morning, it started. Exactly 10.20 am on a Wednesday morning. Check, you will find out. I’m never forgetting it. It started from one side, ‘Tak! Tak!’ two bullets coming. Far distance another one, another one, another one, another one. By 10.30 am , the place turned into a Hell! Rockets flying from everywhere. Bullets running top speed from every side. Stations were blown up. Everything started burning by 10.30 am. I thought I had no fear, but huh! now you see the reality in front of you, bullets coming, passing from every side. Then by quarter to eleven, when I just got rid of this fear, I said, ‘what the hell, I’m going to die, I’m going to die.’

Soon as I got rid of the fear, one rocket came where I was, it blew up my machine gun and I just got wounded there. I got up, I ran to get another machine gun. And it continued. That day, on the first day, it felt like it was centuries continuing, not thinking that, ‘okay, little bit later the sun is coming down.’ What sun? It’s not even eleven o’clock. It started at 10.30 am, it’s not even eleven o’clock. Already so many people died. People that you know. Ohh, so many, those generals that they were so brave, they just disappeared. And we stayed headless. It was so hot. Today’s heat is nothing. I’m watching yesterday, everyone I’m watching, getting restless because they were so hot. The heat, today it’s 90. They go to the record to find out, it was 110. Everywhere it was burning, plus everywhere they were blowing up the stations. That heat, everything was burning, flying in the air, that flames from that heat, the whole city was burning.

No food. No air. No nothing. Sheykh Maulana, what he said, we went through. By evening time, we thought it was going to slow down. But whole night long non stop rockets flying everywhere. Night time, non stop you see bullets coming from every side. So by evening time, we ran out of so many things. Many prisoners escaped from there. I got wounded two times, by evening. Night time, like this time, no sleeping. You cannot sleep. So many people, on the first day, they just collapsed. I was okay, I was carrying. For some people, throughout the whole war time they became depressed. It was their hope of life that time. Some people, so many who were still living they lost their family. So many were dead. So many were missing. So many things happened. And fifteen days non stop we were fighting. And everything just finished. All food, everything, completely finished. There’s nothing. Now you have fifteen thousand people inside the city, inside the bunkers, everybody is waiting for food.

Eh, watch out. Everyone of you became so spoiled. So spoiled, yes. ‘I don’t like this and I don’t like that.’ ‘I don’t want to eat this. Do you have this?’ Watch out. So there was nothing to eat. So we have the port and the port was in the hands of the enemy. So we decided, we have one brave captain that he was with us and we were about fifteen people, me and another fifteen guys and our captain he said, ‘we got to take the chance. We got to attack. We got to make offensive attack to the port city. We got to take it. There may be something in the warehouses, all the time coming from outside they were bringing all this food and so many times it’s staying there (in the warehouse).’ So with only fifteen, sixteen, seventeen guys, we attacked, and we took over. They left the whole thing. They took the boat and they left, and we went inside the warehouses, and never forgetting that we find chickpeas in huge bags. But all the chickpeas they were there because they all got worms. And they were keeping it there to throw it to garbage but the war began and they just kept it there.

So we were so happy that we found chickpeas. And the army took over and started cooking. We said that we were eating chickpeas with a meat. So much worms inside. They were cooking together. And all those people, fifteen thousands people, waiting everyday with one bowl in their hand just to get one bowl of chickpeas with worms inside. You can see that it is still moving around there after they got cooked. Billionaires became poor overnight, waiting there for chickpeas, taking that to eat just to survive.

Now you understand something. Spoiled Americans brats. Spoiled American kids. That is coming to America soon. So better be careful. We never thought, they never thought that this was going to happen to them. I never thought this was going to happen but it just happened overnight. Things turned upside down overnight. It continued like that for months. Not one day.

So, Alhamdulillah, Allah made us to survive. Coming out from that, from that year until today, every year that is passing, I’m seeing completely something different than that day. So, take some advice. I’m giving advice here. So many like this, just like this (Sheykh pointing to the small group of jamaat that was with him) they were together with me in the army. On the first day, half of them they died. And I bring some people to that cemetery that I went to, didn’t you come with me? (Sheykh ask a murid).  Did you see all those that I show you? Those are all my friends that was killed.  I have a picture. One picture. Everyone of them, except me only that was saved from that war, all the others they died. They were all 18 -19 years old.

How many years passed? Thirty seven years. Wa minAllahu Taufik. We have to take somethings that Allah Jala wa’ala has blessed us with and to turn around to be a thankful servant. That’s the only thing you can do. Fatiha. I see that so many of you are just ready to sleep. You cannot even bear to sit to this. But nobody could go to sleep that night. It was impossible for anybody to sleep. Because bullets were flying from every side and enemy can enter inside any minute. Yes, and I don’t think that you will be able to make through that war. You will fall asleep and they will come to catch you while you are sleeping (Sheykh laughs). Yes Sir. Fatiha. New generation now, very weak in every way. Cannot carry nothing. Now go to sleep. Rest. It’s very hot today. Fatiha.

cyprus war

SahibulSaif Sheykh Abdul Kerim al-Kibrisi al-Rabbani Hz
Khalifah of Sultanul Awliya Sheykh Maulana Muhammad Nazim (qs)

July 20, 2011
Osmanli Dergahi-New York


This entry was posted in Sheykh Abd Kerim Effendi (2012). Bookmark the permalink.

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