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“Sea transport over”
Kyrenia’s tourism port which used to ferry thousands of passengers years ago has currently become a dock for freighter ships following a drop in demand. While ferry companies have reduced the number of services, freight ships come and go seven days a week.
- Maraş on the agenda – (Tufan) Erhürman: “The president needs to be informed and involved in the process from start to end.” (Serdar) Denktaş: Akıncı’s exclusion is raising doubts.” (Özdil) Nami: “The first thing that needs to be done regarding Maraş (Varosha) is to negotiate with the UN.” (Fikri) Toros: “The Maraş decision can only be meaningful if it is carried out in dialogue and consultation with the President.”
Refugees detained at Ercan (Tymbou) for months
We failed on World Refugee Day. There is no end to scandals regarding refugees. Heartbreaking images of refugees, who are living behind bars, proved how we failed.
- Drilling vessel Yavuz on its way to the Mediterranean – Turkey launched its second drilling ship on Thursday which will conduct natural gas operations off the northeast coast of Cyprus for three months.
A lot of money needed for Maraş (Varosha)
Serious financing and time are needed to revive Maraş (Varosha) which has thousands of houses, tens of hotels, state offices, and entertainment venues. Experts point out it is extremely difficult for the TRNC to bear the financial burden on its own.
- 250 refugees crossed to the south in one week from the TRNC – TRNC authorities have started to direct refugees to cross to South Cyprus to apply for asylum. This is a positive development.
- Yavuz sets sail to the Mediterranean – Turkish Petroleum’s (TPAO) second drilling vessel Yavuz will start drilling in the Mediterranean in July.
(Yavuz) On the way, Its coming
Turkey once more displayed its determination on the drilling issue which turned into an international crisis and even prompted the European Union to take action. The second drilling vessel Yavuz sets sail for the Mediterranean.
- TRNC’s appearance will change – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar expressed his excitement on Maraş (Varosha) during his meeting with officials from the TC Chamber of Industry.
- Don’t contradict the UN – Famagusta Initiative, which has been working for years for the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) warned the government.
It has boosted morale
Economic organisations which welcomed the government’s decision on Maraş said that the initiative was long overdue.
- Landslide victory – Hamza Ersan Saner became the new General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) with 76 votes replacing Hasan Taçoy who had vacated the post earlier.
Speak up Akıncı. Özersay AKP’s public servant
Mustafa Akıncı who is faced with Özersay’s civilian coup supported by Ankara will be holding a press conference Friday morning. Şener Elcil: “Özersay revealed he was the Turkish Justice and Reform Party’s (AKP) project with his statements after the mob attack against Afrika. He forced the collapse of the four-party coalition government and set out to do Ankara’s work on the Cyprus Problem proving he is a supporter of the AKP.
- Maraş (Varosha) paving the way for a two-state solution – Politis newspaper reported the road to a two-state solution was being paved with that the decision regarding the opening of Maraş (Varosha). Maraş is the starting point of division.
- What was discussed at dinner? Host Musas makes a statement as well – Yannakis Musas: “It was completely a social dinner.” Nicos Christodoulides: “The possibility of Özersay becoming the new Turkish Cypriot leader is also a reason.”
- Yavuz coming to drill – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey will continue to defend the interests of the TRNC along with its own interests.
Debate on Maraş (Varosha) initiative rages on
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
The debate on the Turkish Cypriot government’s plans to reopen the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) raged on in the north on Thursday.
Government officials, opposition parties, representatives of business associations, trade unions and NGOs all issued statements on the issue.
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar expressed the view that reopening of Maraş (Varosha) under the Turkish Cypriot administration will positively contribute to the economy during a meeting with a delegation from the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry (KTTO) on Thursday. He said the opening of Maraş (Varosha) will greatly increase the capacity of various sectors, particularly the construction sector. “The water pipeline project, bringing electricity to the TRNC from Turkey via cable, e-governance and other projects along with the opening of Maraş (Varosha) will change the face of the TRNC”, Tatar said.
He reminded the government’s decision was taken in consultation with Turkey.
Deputy speaker of the TC parliament Zorlu Töre on Thursday praised the government’s decision on Maraş (Varosha).
He, however, added that the fenced-off city must be opened for resettlement under the Turkish Cypriot administration.
Töre urged everyone to support the decision that is taken to put an end to Greek Cypriot side efforts to control the island and the surrounding seas.
Töre also criticized President Mustafa Akıncı for using the dinner Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay had with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades to lashing out at him. “The Turkish Cypriot people are fully aware of meetings he [Akıncı] held without informing the parliament,” Töre concluded.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said the government’s true intentions and plans on foreign policy were finally coming to light.
Speaking on BRT (Bayrak) on Thursday, Erhürman noted the timing of the government’s decision was right because of the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and various developments in the Immovable Property Commission (IPC).
Erhürman said the issues need to be evaluated on the premises of the existing practices. He added everyone was fully aware of what the office of the presidency meant regardless of who occupied the post. The office of the president is tasked to carry out the Cyprus talks and the president is one of the two community leaders in the negotiations process carried under the auspices of the United Nations. “Therefore, the President is also the leader of Turkish Cypriot community leader and must be involved in and aware of every development on the Cyprus problem,” said Erhürman. He added that the president should be informed of all meetings with Greek Cypriot officials. Erhürman said that dialogue and communication between Akıncı and Özersay were important.
He said that the public was talking more about the row than it was about the substance of the issue.
Erhürman also pointed to the conflicting statements made by PM Ersin Tatar and FM Kudret Özersay on the opening of Maraş (Varosha).
He noted that while the premier was talking about the opening of the fenced-off city under TRNC control, the foreign minister was talking about the framework drawn by the UN.
“As the CTP, we want to see an initiative within the framework of the UN and we will not refrain from taking proactive steps in this regard,” Erhürman added. Erhürman also said he will try to obtain a clearer picture on the issue on Monday when the parliament convenes.
Erhürman stressed the government should have consulted with the president on the issue before announcing anything as the matter was as part of the Cyprus talks process. He said an evaluation should also have been made to determine whether the decision would have had an impact on the legal status of the IPC or not. Secondly, a common position among Turkish Cypriot political actors should have been identified at a time when Anastasiades is refusing to accept political equality. “In our view, Maraş (Varosha) should be a project to reignite the solution process and a project that will rattle the status quo on the island,” Erhürman said.
CTP MP Özdil Nami defined the government’s decision as a “bypass operation” aimed at sidelining the president and rendering him ineffective. “The government’s decision to meet with those who do not respect our political will is a major blow dealt towards our efforts in getting the world to recognise our demands for political equality,” Nami stressed. He added it will be difficult to compensate.
Regarding the government’s decision on Maraş (Varosha), Nami said it is not possible to exclude the UN in any initiative on Maraş (Varosha) and to yield positive results in the process. He added the prime minister’s and foreign minister’s conflicting statements displayed the government’s clumsiness on the matter.
“While Tatar has implied that UN resolutions will not be taken into consideration, Özersay pointed to a methodology in view of Greek Cypriot side’s expectations. The Turkish Cypriot side will end up losing both ways,” Nami warned.
He added it is necessary to negotiate with the United Nations to clarify what it means to return [the area] under the UN’s control as stated in the relevant UNSC resolution.
“The next steps can only be determined following an understanding and agreement on this point”, Nami said. He underlined that any talks on the issue with the UN needed to be carried out between authorities recognised by the UN as interlocutors.
“In this case, it is the office of the president and Turkey, Nami added.
He urged for close collaboration with the presidency no matter what. “The steps that might lead to a way out of the deadlock (in the negotiations process) are being wasted for political ambitions,” Nami concluded.
CTP MP Fikri Toros pointed to the relevant UNSC resolution regarding the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) in his social media post on Thursday and said the properties in the fenced-off city must be returned to lawful owners and its administration must be handed over the UN. Toros also underlined the interlocutors in the negotiations process under the auspices of the United Nations are the two community leaders.
“The Maraş (Varosha) project can only be meaningful and be internationally acceptable if only it is carried out in dialogue and in collaboration with the presidency. Then it can have a ‘game changer’ effect,” Toros added.
CTP MP Asım Akansoy said Maraş (Varosha) can only be returned to lawful owners and pointed to the relevant UNSC resolution in his comments to Kıbrıs. “Solving the Maraş (Varosha) problem is more difficult than solving the Cyprus problem,”
Akansoy said the initiative carried social, economic and political risks and could have serious consequences for the Turkish Cypriot community if not handled properly. Akansoy harshly criticized Kudret Özersay for not informing the president about his meeting with Anastasiades and added: “Özersay has undermined the office of the presidency and undermined the equal standing of the community leaders in the eyes of the United Nations.”
Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktaş on Thursday said Kudret Özersay was being disrespectful to the office of the presidency. He added no matter the nature of his meeting with Anastasiades, Özersay should have informed both the president and the prime minister.
Denktaş said the government’s decision on Maraş (Varosha) is a positive one and recalled he had submitted proposals in the past to Ankara on Maraş (Varosha) which had been rejected on grounds the timing was not right.
In a written statement on Thursday, TC Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) General Secretary Şener Elcil accused the current government and particularly the leader of the People’ Party-Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay of being the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) puppet. He said that proposals put forward by Özersay regarding the Cyprus Problem and Maraş (Varosha) aimed at deceiving the public were insincere. Elcil accused Özersay and the Turkish military in Cyprus of deliberately preventing the Maronite initiative from moving forward. “Thus the statements made on Maraş (Varosha) are mockery,” he said.
Elcil recalled the decision to conduct an inventory in Maraş dated back to 2014 when the US Vice President Joe Biden had visited the island. He reminded that the decision had been prevented from being carried out by Özersay and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who was Prime Minister at the time. “To take the same decision now doesn’t mean the closed city will be opened,” he said.
Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) President Selma Eylem said Kudret Özersay’s meeting with the Greek Cypriot side is unacceptable. Eylem added Özersay exceeded his authority and undermined the authority of the publicly elected president.
“Those who withdraw from governments with Ankara’s orders, are now undermining Akıncı with the aim of maintaining the division on the island and the status quo,” Eylem said. She added the real reason behind the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) is to hinder the negotiations process to realize the two-state model.
Famagusta Initiative spokesperson Okan Dağlı welcomed the government’s decision to reopen Maraş (Varosha) and warned the government not to be in contradiction with standing UN Security Council resolutions. Dağlı said that the Famagusta Initiative was aware that Maraş (Varosha) was just as much a humanitarian issue as it was about property. Dağlı said Famagusta Initiative sees the inventory study as an important development.
The economic organisations in the North welcomed the government’s decision regarding Maraş (Varosha).
Diyalog reported on Friday that leading representatives of business associations and chambers said that the decision was long overdue.
The President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Turgay Deniz expressed the view that reopening Maraş (Varosha) to settlement will have an incredible impact on the Turkish Cypriot economy.
He recalled that the majority of Turkish Cypriots have voted in favour of the 2004 Annan Plan but were still being subjected to unjust practices from the international community as if they had rejected the plan.
“I believe the time has come for the Turkish Cypriot side to change its strategy.
Head of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry Candan Avunduk said that there was nothing more natural that reviving an abandoned area for the benefit of the economy.
“As far as we can see Turkey and the TRNC’s policy on Cyprus is changing. The move will be in line with international law. Former residents and property owners will be allowed to return and invest. The Prime Minister is thinking of returning the property in the fenced-off area to its rightful owners, whether it is the Evkaf foundation, Greek Cypriots or other foreign property owners.
The chairman of the Society for Businessmen Enver Mamülcüoğlu said they had carried out six different workshops on the issue. He said that should Maraş (Varosha) be reopened for settlement, all economic balances would change.
Mamülcüoğlu also said that Maraş (Varosha) was the Turkish Cypriot side’s trump card to be used against the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral hydrocarbon exploration activities.
President of the Young Businessmen’s’ Association Yağış Akpınar expressed the view that the steps taken will contribute not only to the Turkish Cypriot economy but to solving the Cyprus Problem as well.
He also said that the city will most likely be opened under Turkish Cypriot administration within the jurisdiction of the Famagusta municipality.
Akpınar also pointed out that there was a lot of work to be done both in terms of reconstructing the ghost town as well as for deciding how to allow former residents to return. Kıbrıs writes serious financing and time are needed to revive Maraş (Varosha) which has thousands of houses, tens of hotels, state offices, and entertainment venues. Experts note it is very difficult for TRNC to bear the responsibility on its own. The paper speaks to Serdar Atai, deputy president of Famagusta Old Town Association (MASDER), Doğuç Veysioğlu, president of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, and Engin Ömer Kunt, a civil engineer regarding the rehabilitation cost of Maraş (Varosha).
>> Reopening of Maraş (Varosha) will contribute positively to TC economy.
>> Opening of Maraş (Varosha) will greatly benefit various economic sectors, particularly the construction sector.
>> Other projects together with the opening of Maraş (Varosha) will change the face of TRNC.
>> Maraş (Varosha) must be reopened under the TC administration.
>> Government’s decision on Maraş (Varosha) is correct.
>> New government’s foreign policy finally revealed.
>> Conflicting statements made by PM Tatar & FM Özersay on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Timing of government’s decision is right due to regional tensions and ECHR cases on property.
>> President is tasked with carrying out the Cyprus talks.
>> President should be informed of all meetings with GC officials
>> Maraş (Varosha) is part of the Cyprus talks process & president should have been consulted.
>> A common position among TC political actors should have been identified. The legal impact of opening Maraş (Varosha) on IPC should be discussed.
>> Özersay’s meeting with Anastasiades is a bypass operation by Ankara.
>> Current government attempting to sideline president.
>> Not possible to exclude the UN on any initiative on Maraş (Varosha) and to yield any positive results in the process.
>> Tatar & Özersay point to different methodologies but the TC side will end up losing both ways.
>> Necessary to negotiate with the UN to clarify what it means to return the area under UN control as stated by UNSC resolution.
>> The properties in the fenced-off city must be returned to lawful owners as stated in UNSC resolution.
>> The Maraş (Varosha) project can only be meaningful and be internationally acceptable if it is carried out in dialogue & collaboration with the president.
>> Maraş (Varosha) problem is more difficult than solving the Cyprus problem.
>> Maraş (Varosha) can only be returned to its lawful owners.
>> Kudret Özersay is being disrespectful to the office of the presidency.
>> No matter the nature of the meeting with Anastasiades, Özersay should have informed both the president and the prime minister.
>> Government’s decision on Maraş (Varosha) is a positive development.
>> Kudret Özersay is AKP’s puppet.
>> Proposals put forward by Özersay on Cyprob and Maraş (Varosha) aimed at deceiving the public.
>> Özersay and the Turkish military had deliberately prevented the Maronite initiative from moving forward during previous government’s term in office.
>> Real reason behind Maraş (Varosha) move is to hinder the negotiations process and to achieve a two-state solution.
>> Kudret Özersay’s meeting with the Greek Cypriot side is unacceptable.
>> Özersay exceeded his authority and undermined the authority of the publicly elected president.
Dağlı (Famagusta Initiative)
>> Inventory study is as an important development.
>> The government must not be in contradiction with UNSC resolutions.
>> Maraş (Varosha) is not only a property but also a humanitarian issue.
Turkey to drill near Cyprus’s Karpaz (Karpasia) for three months
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Turkey launched a second drilling ship on Thursday which will conduct natural gas operations off the northeast coast of Cyprus for three months. Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez said during a ceremony to mark the launch that the Yavuz would operate in a borehole near the island’s Karpaz (Karpasia) peninsula, and reach a depth of 3,300 metres.
Dönmez said unilateral agreements made between Cyprus and the regional countries that attempted to “steal” the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots had “no legal validity”.
“Turkey will uninterruptedly continue its operations in its own continental shelf and in areas where the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has licensed to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO),” Dönmez said.
“We are warning actors from outside the region that are forming alliances with Cyprus: Do not chase illusions that will yield no results,” he said.
“The Greek Cypriot administration does not have a right to take decisions on its own or even have a say in any matter concerning the whole island,” said Dönmez.
“We were here yesterday. We are here today and we will be here again tomorrow. No power can change this historical truth,” he added.
The minister said that Turkey doesn’t accept any of the efforts of non-regional actors to determine the boundaries of the region by substituting themselves as an international court or decision-making authority.
“We will fully defend the legitimate rights of our country and the TRNC in the Mediterranean. We will continue our drilling activities, which is rooted in our own legitimate rights. Yavuz will show the nation’s determination to the whole world once again,” he said.
He underlined that Turkey always defended the distribution of the riches of Cyprus and the Mediterranean in a fair manner.
In a written statement on Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated Ankara’s determination to protect the rights of Turkey and the TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Erdoğan wished the crew of the Yavuz success on its historic mission and expressed confidence that it will be successful.
He said that protecting the rights of the TRNC was a priority for Turkey as a guarantor country.
“The Yavuz is the most concrete proof and expression of Turkey’s resolve on the matter. I believe we shall be hearing of good news from both the Fatih and the Yavuz in the near future,” he said.
>> Yavuz to drill borehole near Karpaz (Karpasia) peninsula with goal of reaching 3,300 meters in depth.
>> Unilateral agreements between S. Cyprus & regional countries aimed at stealing the rights of Turkey and TCs has no legal validity.
>> Turkey to continue its operations in its own continental shelf and in areas where the TRNC has licensed to TPOA.
>> Actors outside the region should not chase illusions that will yield no results.
>> GC side does not have the right to take unilateral decisions or have a say on matters concerning the whole island.
>> Turkey rejects efforts of non-regional actors to determine boundaries of the region by substituting themselves decision-making authorities.
>> Turkey to fully defend legitimate rights of Turkey & TRNC in the EastMed.
>> Turkey has always defended the distribution of Cyprus’s & Mediterranean’s riches in a fair manner.
>> Yavuz most concrete proof and expression of Turkey’s resolve on the EastMed hydrocarbons.
Syrian migrants ‘being guided’ to South Cyprus by TC authorities
Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Afrika
Sixty-three Syrian migrants who recently arrived in the TRMC via Turkey, have reportedly crossed to the south.
Kıbrıs Postası which cited Ihlas news agency as its source reported the Syrians flew out of Turkey and landed at Ercan (Tymbou).
Under the supervision of Turkish Cypriot authorities, they were then guided to cross to the south via the Ledra Palace crossing.
The Syrians were apparently instructed to apply for political asylum once they reached the Greek Cypriot side.
The news agency said that previously refugees arriving in the north would be sent back to Turkey. But the North’s foreign ministry changed this policy about a month ago.
Since then, it said, some 100 Syrians have been given permission by the north to cross into the south.
“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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