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Front Page Headlines
The (EU) leaders refer to targeted measures
A battle was given for stronger wording in the Conclusions. Germany and the Netherlands had raised objections over the harshness of the message to Ankara. Estimates on a review of the situation in July with Turkey ignoring the warnings.
- Turkey is not bluffing – The Yavuz (drillship) is headed to Karpasia. The pursuit is natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
- (DISY leader) Averof (Neophytou): Gloominess over Famagusta
- Istanbul: Back to battle for the mayoralty
The summit points to sanctions
The EU leaders ratified the terms of reference to the (EU) Commission for targeted measures against Turkey. A strong decision by the high-level summit.
- After the Fatih, they sent the Yavuz – Proper pirates.
- Up to €20,000 for enclaved couples
- Electrical twinning of Cyprus and Crete in 2023
- Unequal treatment among Euro-election candidates – MEPs had at their disposal free trips and money for receptions. Letter by Zacharias Koulias to the European Court of Auditors for submission of information.
Feasting on former Cooperative Bank
A million-euro feast seems to have been set up on the ruins of the Co-op, with among other things thousands of suspicious sales of real estate, while generous compensations of up to €180,000 were also given to officials who took the voluntary exit scheme but were then deemed necessary and returned to KEDIPES (state-owned Cyprus Asset Management Company) with salaries of more than €5,000 per month.
- Close monitoring instead of sanctions
- The Yavuz at the Famagusta bay
- Serdar Denktash: Nicos Anastasiades knew of the proposal for the opening of Varosha
- The Anastasiades-Ozersay duo is not convincing about the political menu of the secret dinner
Whopping €690 to fly to Athens
DISY’s Neophytou wants probe into possible price fixing by airlines as complaints grow.
- EU ‘will continue to monitor’ EEZ situation
Strict warning by the EU to Turkey over its illegal acts in the Cypriot EEZ
The European Council is positive for measures against Turkey. It will continue monitoring her actions in the Cypriot EEZ according to its conclusions.
- The Yavuz has set sail for Karpasia – Turkey is being provocative.
- Discussion in the occupied areas on the closed-off town while Ersin Tatar says Varosha will become Las Vegas again – Afrika: From Varosha we (will be) united with Anatolia.
Juncker: Proposed measures against Turkey will not be soft
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Energy, Regional/International Relations
EU leaders have instructed the European Commission to suggest measures against Turkey over her ongoing activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) although it remains to be seen what these measures will be and when they would be implemented, the papers report.
According to the papers, the European Council stated in its draft conclusions: “Concerning Turkey’s continued illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, the EU will, as set out in the Council conclusions of 18 June 2019, closely monitor developments and stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.”
It expresses serious concerns over Turkey’s current illegal drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and deplores that she has not yet responded to the EU’s repeated calls to cease such activities. The European Council underlined the serious immediate negative impact that such illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations and called on Turkey to show restraint, respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus and refrain from any such actions.
It also endorsed the invitation to the EU Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to submit options for appropriate measures without delay.
[Reviewer’s note: By the time the papers went to print on Thursday evening the final text of the Conclusions was not available. The Cyprus News Agency posted on its website the final text late on Thursday. The final text says the European Council “endorses the invitation to the Commission and the EEAS to submit options for appropriate measures without delay, including targeted measures.”]
Phileleftheros online reported on Friday morning that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in the press conference following the first day of the EU28 meeting in Brussels that the targeted measures on Turkey will not be “soft measures”.
“What Turkey is doing in the territorial waters of Cyprus is totally unacceptable” he said, noting that the Commission was asked by the EU leaders to propose measures which will not be soft measures.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk too said the European Council stands ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus, the online news portal reports.
Ahead of the EU summit on Thursday evening, President Nicos Anastasiades met with Tusk and briefed him on the latest developments. Anastasiades also had a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
He also met with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who expressed the hope that the European Council would take two clear decisions on two crucial issues concerning the future of Europe and the future of EU relations with Turkey in the critical region of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The first decision should in itself be the blockade of Manfred Weber from the presidency of the Commission. The second crucial issue is the clear message that must be given to Turkey, to immediately stop the activities in the EEZ of Cyprus, violating Cypriot sovereignty and European sovereignty as well, Tsipras said. He added that in the case there is no immediate end to these violations appropriate measures should be taken.
Some of the dailies also report that Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said his country would support the use of strong language in the conclusions recognising that the sovereignty of Cyprus and its rights are undermined by the actions of the Turkish government, “to which we strongly oppose.”
Phileleftheros, citing sources, reported that the reference to ‘targeted measures’ was to be included in the final text which is a small but important addition and is a strong slap to Ankara for the provocative and illegal actions in Cyprus’ EEZ. It also paves the way for effective sanctions against anyone held responsible, whether persons, companies, or even possibly Turkey itself, Phileleftheros reported.
As regards sanctions, the daily reports that member states would first have to unanimously agree on the framework for the imposition of measures and then, the majority must agree on what these measures will be. It is therefore understandable that this will not be simple or that it will happen automatically and that time may be required as was the case concerning measures against Russia on the Ukrainian issue, Phileleftheros reported.
At the same time, Nicosia will have to launch new efforts to ensure that the substantive step by the EU FMs that was reinforced by the top-level summit, for the imposition of measures, will not be left hanging given the moves of the ‘usual suspects’ who continue to intervene in favour of Ankara, the daily said.
Politis reports that Nicosia has secured strong references against Turkey while a list with possible measures is to be prepared but no timeframe was given for actions.
The battle within the European Council was not easy with Germany and the Netherlands raising some objections. The interventions by Anastasiades and Tsipras who called for a decision to force Turkey to end her illegal actions and not just a verbal conviction were catalytic, Politis reported.
Cyprus Mail reports that it remained to be seen what, if any, specific political and economic measures the European Commission would propose against Turkey for the latter’s actions in the Cyprus EEZ. Nevertheless Thursday’s draft conclusions were a washout when compared to the robust rhetoric voiced by certain EU leaders not a week ago, the daily said, reporting that following the summit of Southern European Union heads of states in Malta last week, French President Emmanuel Macron had urged Ankara to stop “illegal activities” in Cyprus’ EEZ and said the EU would not back down on the issue. Nicosia is hoping for an unequivocal display of ‘solidarity’ from the EU, even as Turkey despatched a second drillship to waters off the island, the paper reported.
Haravgi points out that once again that both in the decision of the General Affairs Council on Tuesday evening, and in the draft conclusions text of the European Council, there is no clear reference to Cyprus’ EEZ but on drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean. But despite that heads of state removed the EEZ reference from the texts, both the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Party of European Socialists (PES) to which most of EU leaders belong, denounced Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ in separate written statements after their preparatory meetings ahead of the summit, Haravgi reported.
European Council (EU leaders)
>> Will monitor developments in the East Med and will respond accordingly in solidarity with Cyprus by calling on the Commission to submit possible targeted measures against Turkey.
>> Concerned over that Turkey continues her illegal drilling activities in the East Med that seriously affect her relations with the EU and called on her to stop them immediately.
Juncker (EU Commission President)
>> The measures the Commission will propose on the behest of the EU leaders against Turkey will be tough.
>> Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ territorial waters is completely unacceptable.
Tusk (European Council President)
>> The European Council is ready to respond appropriately and in full solidarity with Cyprus.
>> If Turkey does not immediately stop violating the Cypriot & European sovereignty measures should be taken.
>> Ireland strongly opposes the undermining of the sovereignty of Cyprus and its rights by Turkey’s actions.
Second Turkish drilling off Cyprus starts soon
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, Regional/International Relations
The papers report that Turkey sent to Cyprus a second drillship on Thursday that will conduct natural gas operations off the northeast coast of the island at the beginning of July.
Citing statements by Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, the papers report that the Yavuz would operate in a borehole near the Karpasia peninsula off the north eastern coast, and reach a depth of 3,300 metres.
Donmez said unilateral agreements made between Cyprus and the regional countries that attempted to “steal” the rights of Turkey and TCs had “no legal validity” and that Turkey would continue its operations in its own continental shelf and in areas where the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ has licensed the Turkish Petroleum Corporation.
The Turkish minister also warned actors from outside the region that are forming partnerships with Cyprus, not to chase illusions that will yield no results.
Politis, under the title ‘Turkey is not bluffing’ reports that the presence of a second drillship proves the Turks’ determination to carry on with their plans in the Eastern Mediterranean despite warnings by the EU and other members of the international community.
Phileleftheros reports that Turkey, with an unprecedented audacity and with much fanfare sent yesterday the Yavuz drillship to the shores of occupied Cyprus for a second drilling within the Cypriot seas. It is estimated it will take place around 10 nautical miles south of the coast of Karpasia near Koma to Yialou, Vathylakas and Galinoporni, the paper reported.
According to the Cyprus Mail, the move risks aggravating a conflict with Cyprus over jurisdiction rights for oil and gas exploration.
>> Turkey does not recognise unilateral agreements between Cyprus and other countries in the region that attempt to steal the rights of Turkey and TCs and will continue operations in its own continental shelf and in areas the ‘TRNC’ licensed TPAO.
>> Warns those forming partnerships with Cyprus from outside the region not to be disillusioned that they will see any results.
GCs reeling after Varosha opening speculations
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Territory, Property, Human Rights
All papers report on various issues concerning the announcement earlier in the week by TC ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Ozersay that a committee of experts would carry out a scientific inventory study in Varosha and talk that the closed-off town would open under TC administration.
Most of the papers report that the UNFICYP said it is monitoring developments.
The papers report that UNFICYP spokesman Aleem Siddique told the Cyprus News Agency they have noted the statement by the TC side on Varosha and are following the developments.
Politis reports that gloominess reigned over Ozersay’s announcement during a meeting of DISY leader Averof Neophytou with Famagusta municipality’s councillors whom he urged to stage protests. After the meeting Neophytou said he understands their concerns and that he too sees the looming dangers for the future of Cyprus and Famagusta, the paper reported.
Politis reported that the Famagusta municipal council is to convene on Friday to discuss organising a protest.
Alithia reports that Neophytou said that Varosha ought to be returned to the Republic of Cyprus.
According to Phileleftheros, DIKO suggests that the Green Line status is reassessed but also possible sanctions on products and services from Turkey.
Haravgi reports on an interview by the head of EVKAF, Ibrahim Benter, with Kibris Postasi. Benter told the TC daily that Varosha belongs to EVKAF and they have the paperwork to prove it.
Lawyer Achilleas Demetriades told Haravgi that EVKAF is claiming two thirds of the properties in Varosha challenging the title deeds issued by the Republic of Cyprus as invalid.
Such claims however, have been already rejected by the ECHR in a 2006 ruling concerning a similar case, that of Aris Xenides, he said.
Demetriades was also quoted by the Cyprus Mail saying that the first thing GC owners of Varosha property must do is ensure that they have title deeds in the name of a living person.
The daily reports on what Demetriades told Politis radio on Thursday in view of emerging speculation that the inventory of property of Famagusta’s fenced-off city would be followed by an invitation for GC property owners to return to the city but under TC administration.
Demetriades restated his confidence in the legal legitimacy of GC property owners despite the ownership claim submitted by EVKAF and he said authentic title deed records in both the GC and TC land registries would hold sway. The issue, he said, lies with those who will refuse to return to their Varosha homes under a TC administration as they will be entitled to compensation, the value of which will be very difficult to calculate. He said that last week Anastasiades received a list of all properties in the north valued at 1974 prices, which do not reflect their current value.
“Converting value is a difficult matter but those who do not wish to return will need a concrete response regarding the amount of compensation,” he said according to the Cyprus Mail.
Haravgi reports that the head of the TC Democratic Party Serdar Denktash said on Thursday that if assumptions are correct, Anastasiades was informed of TC intentions concerning Varosha during the secret dinner with Ozersay.
Denktash also said that he had been submitting since 2004 proposals to all ‘governments’ on the opening of Varosha, Haravgi reports.
Alithia and Haravgi give a review of how some TC newspapers report on the issue.
Alithia, using the quote by TC ‘Prime Minister’ Ersin Tatar that Varosha will once more become Las Vegas as headline, also reported on comments by TC politicians. According to the paper, the ‘cabinet’ announcement on Famagusta sparked positive, negative and moderate comments and reactions in the occupied areas.
It also cites Afrika saying that they must braise themselves for investments and the descent of population from Turkey.
In another article, Alithia reports that the TC press is giving great coverage to the decision by GCs to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights against the ‘Immovable Properties Commission’ that turned down their requests for claims concerning their properties in Varosha. According to Havadis, the commission turned down around 500 applications by GCs with properties in Varosha while 25
persons filed a case with the ECHR, Alithia reports.
>> At the moment it is monitoring developments after the announcement by the TC side on Varosha.
>> Shares the Famagustians’ concerns on the looming dangers
for the future of Cyprus and Famagusta from a possible opening of Varosha under TC administration.
>> Varosha ought to be returned to the RoC.
>> Calls for reassessment of the Green Line status and possible sanctions on products and services from Turkey.
>> It seems Anastasiades knew about the intentions by the TC side on Varosha.
>> Had been trying since 2004 to convince TC side and Turkey open Varosha.
Anastasiades-Ozersay dinner maybe not so social after all
The daily, in an opinion piece, reports that Ozersay and Anastasiades haven’t been able to convince in both sides of the divide of the ‘social nature’ of their meeting that took place some two weeks ago.
Amid tensions in the EEZ and as negotiations with TC leader Mustafa Akinci are frozen, a meeting between the President of the Republic and pseudo-foreign minister Kudret Ozersay is raising suspicion, the daily said.
This is also reinforced by that both men are supporters of ‘new ideas’ with Anastasiades publicly flirting with the decentralised federation idea but also with rumours that he is discussing agreed partition in the form of a two-state solution. Ozersay on the other hand, openly speaks about such a solution, the paper said.
“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.