AktüelMedya OdasıPress reviewGreek Cypriot press review: Five black holes in the migration issue

Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısTemmuz 10, 2019
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Front Page Headlines

Politis

Five black holes in the migration issue

The increase of the refugee flows shows the vulnerabilities of the asylum system. Unaccompanied minors are without any help when they reach adulthood. UNHCR: Need for a new national plan of integrating refugees. The reception centre is permanently full. Allowance is lower than the Guaranteed Minimum Income and high housing costs. Huge bureaucracy for the employment of asylum seekers. Between three to five year-delays in examining asylum applications. Absence of a comprehensive plan on the integration of applicants.

  • To the courts also for Kamares – Demands by TCs.
  • The Yavuz: EU (measures) package against Turkey
  • Extension for drillings
  • Greece: Swearing ins and commitments

Phileleftheros

These are the first EU measures

European (External Action) Service and Commission have prepared the list of the first phase (of measures) against Turkey. Political and diplomatic measures, such as freezing of funds. Sanctions follow in the next phase.

  • Battle of the Guardian (of TC properties) with TCslawyers – Eviction procedures for 22 families of refugees. 86 cases of TCs claiming properties.
  • The Yavuz did not start drilling yet
  • Kyriacos Mitsotakis starts from Cyprus (visit) – Speed is his motto.

Haravgi

Urgent measures in hospitals

Whether the doctors’ strike at the accident and emergency departments is justified or not, everyone agrees that the situation in state hospitals must change. Decisions and measures are needed for staffing and others so that (hospitals) remain viable and competitive under GESY conditions. The situation is critical, the indifference of those in charge is unforgivable.

  • Swiss FM: We were close to the solution
  • Turkey is taking advantage of the lack of mobility

Cyprus Mail

EU to sanction Turkey on EEZ

TCs say move is in violation of international law.

Alithia

Europe is holding a whip against Turkey

Which measures is the EU Commission mulling over against Turkey. Cutting EU enlargement funds by €145,8m. Stop to funding-investments activities by the European Investment Bank.  Discontinuation of a series of “high-level dialogues” at ministerial level on economy, agriculture, energy and transport.

  • TC properties: The big battle (will be given) in September

Main News

Proposed list with EU sanctions against Turkey is ready

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

OVERVIEW

The main story in almost all papers on Wednesday is the list of sanctions against Turkey prepared by the EU Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) over her activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

All papers cite the Cyprus News Agency that reported on Tuesday that according to a well-informed source, the proposed measures concern cutting pre-accession assistance to Turkey by €145.8m next year, the re-evaluation of the European Investment Bank’s activities in Turkey, as well as a suspension of a series of dialogues at ministerial level on economy, agriculture, energy and transport but also meetings between top EU officials and Turkey.

It is also expected that the European Commission will declare its readiness to impose targeted measures against companies and persons related to Turkey’s drilling activities should member-states deem such action necessary. The full list of measures will be presented to EU member-states representatives today, while the final decisions regarding which measures will be taken are expected to be made by EU foreign ministers within the month.

The Cyprus Mail online reported on Wednesday that a government source said the proposed measures are within expectations.

“Our aim is to announce and enforce measures as soon as possible,” the unnamed source told the Cyprus News Agency, although there was no timeframe, the news portal reports.

But according to Phileleftheros, several member-states that have been influenced by Britain appear hesitant in imposing targeted measures against Turkey. Britain argues that Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and not the Cypriot EEZ should not lead to measures but to a diplomatic effort to deescalate tensions to end this “unfortunate conflict” as London is provocatively characterizing the Turkish invasion of the Cypriot EEZ, the paper said.

The daily reports that Germany too has expressed reservations while some other countries have asked EU Commissioners for the proposed measures to be soft ones.

Meanwhile, the TC ‘foreign ministry’ described the EU’s approach as one of a courtroom which is acting in clear violation of international law. Both international law and the law of the sea dictate that conflicting parties must deliberate and reach a solution as soon as possible, it said, though so far approaches to the issue have given an advantage to one party contrary to the principle of impartiality.

According to the papers, Cairo, Paris and Athens have issued statements in support of Cyprus, while a representative of the British high commissioner in Cyprus said that de-escalation “is crucial for the stability of the Mediterranean and for the cohesion of the international system, which is based on rules, whereby conflicts such as these are solved not through an imposition of power, militarisation or coercion, but through dialogue.”

The UK continues to recognise the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit the energy resources in its EEZ, the representative said.

The French foreign ministry reasserted its “firm commitment to respect the law of the sea and its solidarity with Cyprus, whose sovereignty must be respected, as the High Representative of the European Union, Federica Mogherini, has recently reaffirmed.” The Foreign Ministry calls on Turkey “to avoid any action that would be against the law and endanger regional stability.”
An announcement by the Egyptian foreign ministry said “the Turkish stance indicates Ankara’s commitment to continue its unilateral measures which will escalate the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

The Greek foreign ministry issued a statement condemning Turkey’s illegal attempt to drill within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.

This provocative conduct on the part of Turkey at the expense of the sovereign rights of an EU member state, is a far cry from the conduct expected of a candidate for EU membership and lends further credence to the  June 20 decision taken by the European Council regarding appropriate measures to be taken against Turkey, the ministry said.

It called on Turkey to immediately desist from its illegal activities and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus.

On Wednesday morning, Cyprus Mail online reported that the US State Department too said in a written statement that it was deeply concerned by Turkey’s most recent dispatch of the drillship Yavuz to conduct drilling operations off the Karpasia peninsula which was a provocative step and urged Turkish authorities to halt these operations.

“Energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean should foster cooperation, increase dialogue between the two communities and among regional neighbors, and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity,” US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said, according to the news portal.

Phileleftheros, in another article, reports that the Yavuz has not started its illegal drilling activities yet since none of its three support vessels has made any moves yet to unload the necessary materials for the drilling. In fact, one of them, the Vos Prince, that was docked at the port of Seleucia, left the area after the Yavuz entered Cypriot waters and is now on its way to Egypt’s Port Said, the daily reported.

KEY ACTORS
Ozersay
>>
EU’s approach to the matter is in clear violation of international law that dictates that conflicting parties must deliberate and reach a solution as soon as possible. So far however, the EU has violated the principle of impartiality giving an advantage to one of the sides.

BHC representative (UK)
>>
Reiterates UK’s position that deescalation is crucial for the stability of the Mediterranean and for the cohesion of the international system, which is based on rules, and that this type of conflicts must be solved through dialogue and not through imposition of power, militarisation or coercion.
>> The UK continues to recognise the sovereign right of the RoC to exploit the energy resources in its EEZ.

French foreign ministry
>>
Calls on Turkey to avoid any action that would be against the law and endanger regional stability & respect Cyprus’ sovereignty.
>> Declares its solidarity with Cyprus & reaffirms firm commitment to respect for the law of the sea.

Egyptian foreign ministry
>>
Warns Turkish actions are an indication of Ankara’s insistence on continuing its unilateral measures and will escalate the situation in the East Med.

Greek foreign ministry
>>
Condemns Turkish illegal attempt to drill within the territorial waters of the RoC which it says is provocative conduct at the expense of the sovereign rights of an EU member state and far from what is expected of an EU member candidate.
>> Calls on Turkey to immediately stop its illegal activities & respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus.

US State Department
>>
Deeply concerned over provocative step to dispatch of second drillship off Karpasia and calls on Turkey to halt these operations.
>> Energy resource development in the East Med should encourage GCs and TCs cooperate and help increase dialogue between them and among regional neighbours, and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity.


Swiss FM: Sides were close to a solution during last round of talks

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The papers report that Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday that he asked his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis to convey the message to Turkey that the GC side is ready to engage in dialogue, provided that illegal activities within the EEZ of Cyprus will stop.

Meanwhile, Cyprus Mail online reported on Wednesday morning that the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Cyprus Jane Holl Lute met with Foreign Office officials in London, earlier this week.

Lute discussed the current conditions in Cyprus as she tries to establish whether and when settlement talks could resume. A Foreign Office source told the Cyprus News Agency that “as a guarantor power, the UK has regular discussions with all parties, including Ms Holl Lute in her role as Secretary General’s representative on the Cyprus dispute,” the news portal reports.

Following a meeting with Cassis, who is in the region for visits also to Greece and Turkey, Christodoulides said on Tuesday he asked the Swiss minister to tell Turkey “we are ready to engage in dialogue, provided that illegal activities within the EEZ of Cyprus will stop” and that “it is only through dialogue that a solution can be reached, on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the principles upon which the European Union is founded”.

“Unfortunately, the signs are not positive in this respect, as Turkey has chosen instead to escalate its provocations further in the last few days by proceeding with a new, illegal drilling operation within the Territorial Sea of the Republic,” Christodoulides added.

Cassis said will also meet with the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers and discuss with them also the Cyprus problem and Turkish activities in Cyprus’ EEZ.

He said he would speak with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and try to convince him to find the best way possible in order to restart the talks.

The Swiss minister said his country was honoured to host five rounds of the talks on Cyprus in 2016 and 2017 in Mont Pelerin, Geneva and Crans-Montana.
“We were not far away from a solution but we didn’t reach a solution. So it is very important for Switzerland to reiterate our offer to support this process with our good offices” he said, noting the importance of the resumption of the talks and of trying to create the appropriate preconditions towards this end.

Alithia, Haravgi and Phileleftheros, citing TC papers, also report that TC leader Mustafa Akinci will send UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres a letter explaining his own stance on the Cyprus problem solution as the person in charge of negotiations for the TC side in a bid to avert any confusion the positions of the new ‘government’ may have caused.

KEY ACTORS
Christodoulides
>>
Wants Turkey to know the GC side is ready to engage in dialogue, provided that she stops her illegal activities within Cyprus’ EEZ.
>> Wants Turkey to know that only dialogue will lead to the Cyprob solution based on relevant UN resolutions and EU principles.
>> Expresses pessimism on the negative prospects for a dialogue since Turkey has chosen instead to escalate its provocations further through new illegal drilling operation within the RoC’s territorial waters.

Cassis (Switzerland)
>>
 Wants to help give a push to Cyprob process by trying to convince Cavusoglu find the best way possible in order to restart the talks.
>> The sides were close to a solution during the talks in Switzerland but failed to reach one.
>> Switzerland is willing to support Cyprob process with her good offices.


Government up against scores of lawsuits and property claims from TCs

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The dailies report on law suits and claims by TCs for their properties in the free areas, some of them already being used by refugees. A Turkish national is claiming vakif land in Larnaca.

The House committee on refugees was briefed on the matter behind closed doors on Tuesday by the interior ministry’s permanent secretary, Kypros Kyprianou.

According to Phileleftheros, the TC properties Guardian (interior ministry) is giving a battle concerning 86 cases of TCs whose lawyers claim their properties in the free areas.

Politis reported that another large case was revealed on Tuesday concerning property claims by a woman from Turkey on a vast expanse of land spanning from the refugee estates in Kamares in Larnaca up to the airport.

The daily reports that the woman, a Turkish national, claims to be the heir of a trust fund given to her family by EVKAF. The representative of the legal services who was at the committee meeting was hesitating to give MPs more details on the case in question as there is no case law concerning EVKAF and trust funds combined, Politis reports.

Alithia reports that the big battle before the Limassol district court concerning the lawsuit filed by the TC owner of land in Polemidia which the government gave to 51 refugees to build their homes on, starts in September.

The law suit was filed in 2017 against the 51 refugees and the government, the daily reports.

Haravgi and Phileleftheros also report that a registry on what type of aid was given to which refugees was delivered to President Nicos Anastasiades. The registry also includes the properties refugees own in the occupied areas.


New Greek PM and FM expected in Cyprus soon

Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that the first trip abroad of the new Greek Prime Minister, Kyriacos Mitsotakis will be in Cyprus probably later in the month.

The new foreign minister, Nikos Dendias, has also accepted an invitation by his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides and a meeting will be arranged soon. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also congratulated Dendias through a tweet, the paper reports.

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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