AktüelMedya OdasıPress reviewGreek Cypriot press review: On course for two states starting with Varosi

GazeddaKibris is an independent and non profit news portal promoting fundemental values like human rights, social justice and peace. As GazeddaKibris we are happy to promote Cyprus Dialogue Forum’s efforts to enhance the level of understanding of the communities in Cyprus. The content of the media reviews are prepared by Cyprus Dialogue Forum and GazeddaKibris shares their original content to reach wider audience. Front Page Headlines Politis On course for two states starting with Varosi (TC ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret)...
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GazeddaKibris is an independent and non profit news portal promoting fundemental values like human rights, social justice and peace. As GazeddaKibris we are happy to promote Cyprus Dialogue Forum’s efforts to enhance the level of understanding of the communities in Cyprus. The content of the media reviews are prepared by Cyprus Dialogue Forum and GazeddaKibris shares their original content to reach wider audience.

Front Page Headlines

Politis

On course for two states starting with Varosi

(TC ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret) Ozersay’s announcement is without a plan and without the Varosi refugees. The announcement comes just after dinner with President Anastasiades and in the midst of the crisis in the EEZ and the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights). Ozersay recognises so far the rights of “old residents” while (TC ‘Prime Minister’ Ersin) Tatar is envisioning a new Las Vegas.

  • They are “locking” on the conclusions – Critical summit in Brussels.
  • Mevlut Cavusoglu: Natural gas and solution
  • Total-ENI’s licenses expire
  • Refugee crisis: Cyprus is inhospitable

Phileleftheros

They are playing games again with Famagusta

Moves by Ankara-Ozersay for a new state of affairs also ahead of the ‘elections’. Nicosia briefs the UN Security Council members.

  • (Anastasiades-Ozersay) Social dinner with fish and wine…
  • What the president seeks at the top-level (European Council) summit – The measures against Turkey.
  • We must share and everything will be OK, says (Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut) Cavusoglu – The EU’s reaction.
  • They want a change in policy so that they can sublet TC land – This position is favoured by farmers’ organisations so that farmers can have proceeds. TC properties in the free areas reach 61,000 hectares.
  • In Spilia they are redeveloping the road leading to the EOKA hideout

Haravgi

Air cartels are (enforcing) steep prices

Airfare prices skyrocketed since in many cases the fare to travel from Cyprus to Greece, the closest European country, is more expensive than a transatlantic trip from a European country to the US. The cost for a return ticket from Larnaca to Athens reaches up to €690.

  • They are machinating new faits accomplis through the opening of Varosha
  • What is (Anastasiades) bargaining for at the secret meetings
  • EU sanctions for Turkish provocations
  • AKEL honoured the veterans who responded to the call of June 16, 1943

Cyprus Mail

Varosha move ‘unacceptable’

Ozersay scuppered 2014 move to check properties, now wants sole control, says govt.

  • Turkey ‘weak, isolated’ says Tsipras as Nicosia pushes for action from EU
  • Questions over secret Ozersay meeting

Alithia

Expansion (of the pseudo state) to Famagusta

Through the announcement for the opening of the closed-off town under TC administration the pseudo state is on course for…
Tatar: The ‘government’, in consultation and cooperation with Turkey, is determined to put a stop to the GC side using the status quo against the TCs.

  • Paving the way for measures starts – The Turkish illegal activities in the Cypriot EEZ will be today on the agenda of the EU top-level summit. Erdogan: “Come arrest the Fatih’s staff if you can”.
  • The picture becomes clear on the secret dinner
  • Enclaved villages: The resettlement scheme is in effect

Main News

AKEL: Anastasiades must come out and say it if he wants a two-state solution

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The host of the controversial dinner between President Nicos Anastasiades and Kudret Ozersay, Maronite representative in parliament Yiannakis Moussas gave reassurances it was purely social and no negotiations took place, the papers report.

In the meantime, main opposition AKEL criticised heavily Anastasiades over his attendance questioning his motives while ruling DISY said they are in favour of such meetings.

Moussas on Wednesday said he felt obliged to set the record straight after much speculation over what has been discussed at the dinner he hosted in his home on June 4 with Anastasiades, Ozersay and their spouses as guests.

He told media it was a private, family dinner and that there had been no discussion of a two-state solution or any sort of negotiations.

On why he invited Ozersay and not Akinci, Moussas said he has known Anastasiades and Ozersay for many years and that it was not the first time he had taken such initiatives.

Moussas, who released a photo of him and his guests at the dinner table published by all papers, said it is in his nature to take such initiatives when he knows people who can affect the course of things in the country. “I believe it is my duty,” said Moussas. He also said that recent announcements from the north concerning the closed off town of Varosha and Maronites had nothing to with the dinner and that it was a mere coincidence.

The dinner group discussed current affairs such as the serial killer case, Demetris Christofias’ health condition and talked in general about the Cyprus problem, and that a solution needs to be found, he said according to the dailies.

They did not discuss the issue of Famagusta or natural gas, he said.

Alithia reports that Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said that a dinner is not a bilateral meeting or negotiations unlike how some present it.

He wondered however why Ozersay leaks this kind of information recalling that when he had dinner with the Russian ambassador he presented it as a meeting.

Christodoulides said that, even though the government does not want to take a stand on the choices of TCs, a possible election of Ozersay as TC leader would be a very negative development as regards the prospects of a solution to the Cyprus problem. This is another reason why, right after the Turkish illegal acts end, talks must start that would lead to a positive outcome, he said according to Alithia.

According to Politis ruling DISY said it was in favour of such social meetings which bring about a positive ambiance.

AKEL on the other hand was highly critical of Anastasiades.

According to Haravgi and the Cyprus Mail, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou called on Anastasiades to explain his meeting with Ozersay behind the back of Akinci and away from public scrutiny.

Kyprianou said it was curious that the meeting had taken place during a period of Turkish aggression when Anastasiades was taking a hard stance towards Ankara.

“We all know that Mr Ozersay is Ankara’s chosen one,” he said questioning that fact it was just a social meeting.

He also referred to the president’s “flirtation with the two-state solution” arguing that Anastasiades has an obligation to be accountable to the people of Cyprus for what he is trying to promote.

Kyprianou said it was well known that the ‘government’ of Ersin Tatar, in which Ozersay participates, has a two-state solution as its official policy. If Anastasiades wanted to give impetus to efforts towards a solution he ought to be meeting the TC leader, “a politician who despite pressures from Turkey, continues to insist that Cyprus should be reunited on the agreed basis of a solution, ie a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” Kyprianou said.

The dailies also report that Ozersay said that such meetings are often more beneficial than official ones.

KEY ACTORS
Moussas (Maronite representative)
>>
There was no talk of a two-state solution or Famagusta or natural gas between Anastasiades and Ozersay but rather a discussion on current affairs at the private dinner.
>> This is not the first time he has taken such initiatives. Feels it is his duty to the country to bring together people he knows who can affect the course of things.
>> The meeting had nothing to do with recent announcements from the TC side concerning the closed off town of Varosha and Maronites.

Christodoulides
>> Despite what some say, a dinner is not a bilateral meeting or negotiations.
>> Wonders why Ozersay likes to leak information on such events.
>> A possible election of Ozersay as TC leader would negatively affect prospects for a solution which is why talks must start as soon as Turkey’s illegal actions stop to reach a solution.

DISY
>>
Encourages such social meetings which bring about a positive ambiance.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
>>
 Called on Anastasiades to explain why the secrecy over his meeting with Ozersay and if he is flirting with a two state solution just like Ankara’s man Ozersay and the new ‘government’.
>> Suspicious of the timing and character of the dinner which took place while Turkish aggression escalates and while Anastasiades was taking a hard stance towards Ankara.
>> If Anastasiades wanted to boost solution efforts he ought to be meeting Akinci who is seeking a BBF despite pressure from Ankara.

Ozersay
>>
Finds that such meetings are often more beneficial than official ones.


Outrage over TC plans for Famagusta

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

The papers report on reactions by the government and other officials to the announcement by the TC side that properties inside the fenced-off town in Famagusta would be catalogued with a view to opening the town under TC administration.

According to the Cyprus Mail, the Presidential Palace said on Wednesday through Undersecretary to the president Vasilis Palmas that Tuesday’s announcement was “completely unacceptable” and only served the island’s permanent partition.

Palmas said what Ozersay was doing had been proposed in 2014 ahead of a visit by former US vice president Joe Biden. “We had come very close to an agreement for the creation of a joint committee of Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as international experts on Famagusta, an agreement that was scuppered by Ozersay at the last moment,” Palmas said. He added that he didn’t think Ozersay took such an initiative without Turkey’s guidance.

Phileleftheros reports that Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides has described Ozersay’s announcement as a negative development. He also said that Biden had suggested in 2014 setting up a joint committee for the rebuilding of the city, but that the TC side, through Ozersay had stopped the whole effort by demanding the exclusion of GCs from the committee.

The paper also said the occupation regime, with the announcement on Famagusta as well as leaking information on the Anastasiades-Ozersay dinner, succeeded in turning public attention away from the EU decisions on Turkey and their importance.

What is alarming however, is that the decision of opening Varosha is unilateral and will not be subject to negotiation between the two sides, the daily said, quoting Ozersay saying that this is not a confidence building measure to be discussed with the GC side.

The paper also said that the moves announced by the occupation regime are not unrelated to the 2020 ‘elections’ and Ozersay’s effort to take over leadership of the TC community. That is why Nicosia does not rule out the continuation of these actions, in an effort by Ankara to support Ozersay’s candidacy, the daily reported.

Phileleftheros also reports that Nicosia will brief the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, indicating the efforts made in the past in the direction of the opening of the Famagusta closed off town.

Alithia cites Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos saying that Ozersay’s announcement was on the instructions of Ankara in a bid to draw attention away from developments in the EEZ and all what is going on in Brussels on Turkey’s illegal actions.

The issue of Famagusta lies with the UN, he said, urging caution to the motives behind the announcement which does not concern the return of Famagusta. Galanos said Ozersay’s moves were dangerous and could spark internal discord.

Haravgi reports that AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said that possible machinations by the Turkish side to open Varosha is clearly an attempt to promote the permanent partition of Cyprus.

AKEL will not accept this, he said. If Turkey is indeed machinating the opening of Varosha and inviting its legal residents to move in under TC administration, this is against UN resolution 550 and others that call for the return of Famagusta under UN administration and grant owners the right  to return to their properties, he said.

The daily also reports that the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber ETEK has expressed concerns over the move.

The head of ETEK’s committee on redevelopment and resettlement Nicos Mesaritis wondered who these experts will be. He added that the exclusion of GC experts from this makes them feel concerned and sad and expressed doubts that their TC colleagues would be allowed to be selected as experts.

ETEK has a comprehensive approach on all aspects concerning Famagusta and has prepared a report in 2018 in Greek, Turkish and English, so that it can also be given to its TC colleagues, he said.

Mesaritis said they have started delivering the report to government agencies and the political leadership while it has also been presented to the TC side. He said ETEK is in contact with the Union of the Chambers of TC Engineers and Architects and have discussed this issue, Haravgireported.

Politis, under the title, The beginning of partition (starts) from Famagusta, reports that Ozersay spoke of his standing position to open the closed off town under TC administration. The announcement comes in anticipation of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) decision on the property status of Varosha and two weeks after the dinner with Anastasiades and amidst the crisis in the Cypriot EEZ, the daily reported.

Ozersay’s announcement that a team of experts would enter Varosha to record the properties reminded GCs of the unexpected move by former TC leader, Rauf Denktash in 2003 to open the crossings, the daily said.

In case the ECHR rejects TC claims on the rights of EVKAF in Varosha, Ozersay’s announcement will be left without a plan but if the court rules in favour of GC refugees from Varosha, then around 30,000 GC owners will be called to decide, in the absence of their own state, on whether or not to become ‘enclaved’ like their compatriots in Ayia Triada and Rizokarpaso. This interpretation is reinforced by the fact that Ozersay’s announcement for Famagusta came with that for the return of 10 to 15 houses in the Maronite village of Karpashia to their original owners, Politis said.

The papers also report statements by TC ‘Prime Minister’ Ersin Tatar that Varosha would become Las Vegas again and would be visited by international stars like in the past.

KEY ACTORS
Palmas (Undersecretary to the President)

>> The move by TCs on Famagusta serves the island’s permanent partition and is unacceptable.
>> Ozersay is partly implementing a 2014 proposal by Biden which he had scuppered at the time, on setting up a joint committee of GC & TC & international experts for rebuilding Varosha.
>> Believes Ankara is behind Ozersay’s announcement.

Christodoulides
>>
The announcement on Famagusta is a negative development.
>> Ozersay had demanded in 2014 the exclusion of GCs from the joint committee proposed by Biden.

Galanos (Famagusta Mayor)
>>
Does not believe Ozersay’s announcement is really about opening Varosha but rather aims at drawing attention away from developments in Brussels on Turkey’s actions in the Cypriot EEZ.
>> It is the UN that are responsible for the issue of Famagusta.
>> Warns that Ozersay’s moves could spark internal discord.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
>> AKEL will not accept possible machinations by the Turkish side to open Varosha  which is clearly an attempt to promote permanent partition of Cyprus.
>> Inviting GCs live in Varosha under TC administration would be against UN resolutions calling for the return of Famagusta under UN and granting owners the right  to return to their properties.

Mesaritis (ETEK)
>>
Concerned over exclusion of GC experts from the property recording procedure but also that even TCs may not be allowed to participate as experts.

Ozersay
>>
Wants to open Varosha under TC administration.
>> The Famagusta decision is not a CBM and will not be discussed with GCs.

Tatar
>>
Wants to see Varosha turned into a Las Vegas-style resort and attract international celebrities.


Nicosia satisfied by GAC conclusions, looks forward to measures against Turkey

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Nicosia says the conclusions of Tuesday’s General Affairs Council (GAC) was what it was aiming for as President Nicos Anastasiades is in Brussels for a very critical European Council meeting where the government hopes measures would be decided to counteract Turkish activities in the island’s EEZ, the papers report.

Meanwhile, Greece supports Cyprus, Turkey is calling for sharing of the natural gas and the UK wants tension in the region deescalated.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Wednesday that Tuesday’s conclusions by the GAC were what Nicosia was seeking and that they would be ratified by the European Council.

Christodoulides said no EU member was negative in adopting practical measures against Turkey while the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) would submit to member states a series of measures to choose from concerning among other things pre-accession funds and the high-level dialogue between Brussels and Ankara.

At the same time a competent service within the EC would suggest a series of measures concerning international affairs such as sanctions against all those involved in the illegal Turkish acts in the Cypriot EEZ. These measures could concern barring entrance to EU member states and freezing the assets of these companies in Europe.

On rumors that Nicosia would veto the accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia in the case the EU did not react strongly against Ankara, Christodoulides said that the text does not correspond to Cyprus’ expectations as regards specific measures against Turkey and, therefore, it will not back it. As a result, the whole enlargement package could not proceed since it is a unitary text, he said.

Christodoulides also said that no action on behalf of Cyprus or Greece will favour the possibility of a military incident since they are handling the situation calmly.

Judging by Tuesday’s developments, Cyprus has an advantage compared with Turkey since through the EU, it promotes political, economic, diplomatic and legal measures to deal with the situation, he said.

The papers also report on reassurances by an EU official that Anastasiades may rely on the solidarity of his counterparts in the European Council.

Citing an EU official, the papers reported that the conclusions of the GAC will guide the work of the European Council.

The official also said Anastasiades would brief his counterparts on developments “and can rely on the solidarity of the other leaders.”

“I hope the European Council will adopt the conclusions of the GAC, which were adopted by consensus by the GAC itself, and that is very important for Cyprus,” he said.

Phileleftheros, citing sources reports that beyond the integration of the foreign ministers’ conclusions (CAG), Nicosia will seek that the summit issues an “autonomous stance” around Turkey’s unlawful actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, also referring to the launch of measures.

The Cyprus Mail reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday that the moves of Greece and Cyprus, and the alliances that have been built in recent years with neighbouring countries, had led to a strategic impasse for Ankara.

Speaking on Greece’s OPEN TV, Tsipras argued that Turkey has no strong alliances and she sees she cannot claim her differences with Cyprus are a bilateral issue, as with Greece.

Regarding the possibility of a military incident with Turkey, Tsipras stressed that such things are always possible and that was why the Greek government was taking the necessary measures.

Tsipras expressed the conviction that Turkey would not put a second drilling rig in the area between Kastelorizo and Cyprus, but in any case, there was a deterrence plan, warning Greece would not back down.

The papers also report that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday the solution to the Cyprus problem dispute was “to learn to share”.

“We do not see gas around Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean as an issue that separates us, and we do not want to see it that way,” he said.

“Instead we want to enhance the prosperity and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus by sharing the resources,” he said. Cavusoglu also said Turkey wanted  to guarantee the rights of the TCs.

Meanwhile, the UK expressed concern over the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean with Minister for Europe Sir Alan Duncan urging dialogue and reiterating they oppose Turkey’s plans to drill.

Sir Alan reiterated that the UK would like to see the situation deescalated and that he has raised the issue of Turkey’s planned drilling in waters around Cyprus with the Turkish ambassador in London while the British ambassador to Ankara has engaged with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to urge de-escalation.  “We also continue to recognise the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the oil and gas in its internationally agreed exclusive economic zone,” he said, urging all parties to look for ways by which the development of the island’s resources could support the search for a settlement for the benefit of all Cypriots.

KEY ACTORS
Christodoulides
>>
Nicosia is satisfied by the GAC conclusions which will be ratified by the European Council.
>> Nicosia could not back the EU enlargement package because its expectations on specific measures against Turkey were not met.
>> Cyprus and Greece are handling Turkish provocations in the EEZ in such a way to prevent a possible military incident.
>> Cyprus has an advantage over Turkey as it can promote political, economic, diplomatic and legal measures against Turkish provocations through the EU.

Tsipras (Greece)
>>
 Greece’s and Cyprus’ alliances in the region have led to a strategic impasse for Ankara which does not have strong alliances.
>> Greece is taking measures to avoid to deal with the possibility of a military incident with Turkey.
>> Greece will not back down to a possible second Turkish drilling rig in the area between Kastelorizo and Cyprus.

Cavusoglu (Turkey)
>>
Sharing natural gas in the East Med would lead to the Cyprob solution.
>> Turkey believes sharing natural gas could be a way of enhancing the prosperity and stability of the East Med.
>> Turkey only wants to guarantee the rights of the TCs.

Duncan (UK Minister)
>>
 The UK is concerned over the situation in the East Med and wants Turkey to stop planned drilling in waters around Cyprus.
>> Calls for dialogue to deescalate tension and wants all parties to look for ways on how developing the island’s resources could support the search for a settlement for the benefit of all Cypriots.


RoC enclaved resettlement scheme unrelated with TC plans on Maronites, Famagusta

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Territory, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou on Wednesday said a cabinet decision on a scheme offering incentives to couples settle in villages in the occupied areas where the enclaved live had nothing to do with plans announced this week by the TC regime.
Photiou said after announcing its provisions that the scheme had been under preparation for around a year by competent state services.

The commissioner said he expects that a significant number of young couples would make use of the scheme giving incentives to those who want to resettle in villages in the north where the enclaved are living.

Cabinet approved on Tuesday the scheme for couples up to 45 years old to resettle in Rizokarpaso, Ayia Triada and the Maronite villages of Kormakitis and Karpasha.
Around 50 applications are already pending and will be examined now that the scheme has been approved, he said.
Photiou said the scheme, which will enter into force immediately, provides for the allocation of €15,000 to resettled families with children up to 18 years old and of €10,000 to couples with no children. An additional €2,000 will be given for the purchase of household goods, while another €3,000 could be given for occupation purposes.
The commissioner said there is no limit to the number of couples who can apply. He also said that resettlement to the Karpasia area is particularly encouraged, recalling that there is a school for the enclaved children there.
He made clear that the decision taken by the cabinet was completely separate from plans announced this week by the TC regime.

KEY ACTORS
Photiou
>>
The new government scheme encouraging young couples resettle in the enclaved villages is completely separate from plans announced this week by the TCs.


Farmers want change in TC properties policy to meet demand in agricultural land

Phileleftheros
Property

OVERVIEW

The paper reports, citing sources that farmers’ organisations are for the first time since 1974 in favour of a change in the existing policy on TC properties. They would like for refugees leasing TC agricultural land from the state to be allowed to sublet it to farmers who could cultivate it.

The farmer groups expressed this position as part of consultations of the interior ministry with stakeholders on streamlining the use of TC properties.

The paper reports that many leased TC agricultural land many years ago and now they are unable to cultivate it due to old age, this land sits unutilised.

The groups said there is demand for agricultural land by young people who would like to work as farmers but there is no land available to be leased by the state.

According to the paper, TC properties in the south amount to 61,000 hectares which is 10.1per cent of the land in the free areas.

“CDF Press Review Disclaimer”

The articles in the CDF Press Review are translated or reproduced as they were reported by the media in each community, including the terminology adopted. Their inclusion in the review does not mean that CDF endorses the views they reflect or confirms the information they contain.

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