Within the scope of 21-25 December Cyprus Martyrs’ Week, European University of Lefke Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Fazıl Küçük Education Faculty and EUL Turkology Club organized an event. In the program, Turkish Cypriot mujahideen, poet, musician and painter Oktay Öksüzoğlu gave a conference to EUL faculty members and students.
The opening speech of the conference was made by the dean of the EUL Faculty of Arts and Sciences Prof. Dr. Saadettin Yıldız who is the writer of the introduction part of Oktay Öksüzoğlu’s last book, The Epic of the Liberation of the Turkish Cypriots.
His speech is about the determination, self-sacrifice and struggle of the Turkish Cypriots in recent history -especially in 1963-1974-; Continuing with special emphasis on the pain they suffered, the oppression and disasters they were subjected to, Yıldız spoke highly of the Turkish Cypriots who created a great epic in the Turkish world. He briefly evaluated the poetic side of Oktay Öksüzoğlu, who started working as a mujahideen “at the beginning of his battlefield” when he was only 22 years old, 58 years ago, and his poetry adventure and the Epic of Liberation of the Turkish Cypriots. He emphasized the longing for the beauty of the old days reflected in this epic, while emphasizing the hatred for those who destroyed those beauties for the sake of vain dreams. In the words of the poet Öksüzoğlu, he said that it was the Greeks, not the Turks, who “shot and destroyed the peace“.
Oktay Öksüzoğlu impressed the audience with his loud voice and rhetoric. The poet, who published his first poetry book Gel Mehmet when he was only 18 years old (1959), said that he has written forty books so far.
Öksüzoğlu sang parts of his poems, “The Epic of the Liberation of the Turkish Cypriots”; “Mujahideen Army”; “Mehmetçik is in Cyprus”; “Prayers”; “What We Have Suffered”; “As the Sun of Peace Rises”, “Calling to My Martyrs”.
In his closing speech, Dr. Fazıl Küçük, Dean of the Faculty of Education, Prof. Dr. Oğuz Karakartal stated that Oktay Öksüzoğlu has a very important place in Turkish Cypriot poetry, and that he continues the Turkish epic tradition, especially in epic poetry, and presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the National Poet of Cyprus on behalf of the EUL Administration.