AktüelMedya OdasıPress reviewTurkish Cypriot press review: Crossings become a real hassle

Turkish Cypriot press review
Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısEylül 4, 2019
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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

Yenidüzen

Crossings become a real hassle

Businessperson’s Association issues call on crossing points: Relieve the crossing points so the economy can come to life. The association issued a press statement at the Metehan (Agios Dometios) on Tuesday to draw attention to the congestion and long queues forming at the crossing point. The association called on the authorities to find urgent solutions to allow people to cross faster from one side to the other. 

  • Marathon on ‘Terms of Reference’ continues – UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute who arrived on the island on the weekend held three separate meetings with each leader. Lute will be meeting again with the leaders today (Wednesday). 
  • Meaningful step on cultural heritage – Within the framework of the agreement reached by the two leaders on February 26, artworks belonging to Greek Cypriots in the north were handed over to UN officials by members of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Culture. 
  • Turkish and Greek Cypriot youth met at camp

Kıbrıs Postası

Next in line is Near East University 

EL-SEN (Trade union for TC Electricity Authority) has no mercy. Following public offices, it will start cutting off power to establishments in the private sector that haven’t paid their electricity bills. Near East University owes nearly six million Turkish Lira in overdue bills. 

  • The government evaluates its first hundred days – Government also announced its goals for the coming 300 days. 
  • Shuttle diplomacy to continue on its fourth day – President Mustafa Akıncı will receive UN Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute for the fourth time. 

Kıbrıs

Fear of being swindled

Many people, who want to purchase real estate, are concerned following the fraud case involving a businessman in Kyrenia. Arif Ozankaya, Director of the Land Registry Department, urges people to check the ownership of the property they wish to purchase with the department first. 

  • Police who assaulted a passenger dismissed from duty – Police officer Gürşah Üregül assaulted a passenger at Ercan (Tymbou) airport, appeared in court on Tuesday. 
  • Neither history nor the people will forgive – Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay covertly criticized President Mustafa Akıncı with a post on social media. 

Havadis

What we have done is a reference to what we will do 

National Unity Party (UBP) – People’s Party (HP) coalition government evaluated its 100 days in office and shared its goals until 2023 with the public. 

  • Put an end to this torturous ordeal – Turkish Cypriot Businesspersons’ Association shared its recommendations to ease and to speed up the crossings at Metehan (Agios Dometios) crossing. 
  • End to yet another embarrassment – In view of the two leaders’ agreement on February 26, 219 pieces of artwork belonging to Greek Cypriot artists were exchanged with audiovisual recordings belonging to Turkish Cypriot artists.  

Diyalog

Two-month deadline for National Unity Party (UBP)-Peoples’ Party (HP) government

All this time the chambers of commerce, industry and shopkeepers have said nothing. Members of the Businesspersons’ Association (İŞAD) staged a protest at Metehan (Agios Dometios) crossing point demanding that measures be taken to ease the process of crossing. 

  • Greek Cypriots in a panic – It has been claimed that the Russians and Chinese are on the move to purchase properties in Maraş (Varosha). 

Afrika

Revenge for the caricature case

Turkey wants to bring its legal system to the TRNC! Turkey does not only want to take over our electricity, our telecommunications department or other institutions. It wants to take our legal system from us as well. They can’t come to terms with the fact that our judiciary is independent and that they can’t imprison anyone they want. 

  • The north handed over paintings; the south handed over recordings –Historical step after 45 years. The Turkish Cypriot side handed over 219 paintings while the Greek Cypriot side handed over audiovisual recordings belonging to Turkish Cypriots 

Main News

Lute continues marathon to finalize terms of reference

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

UN envoy Jane Holl Lute is set to meet with both leaders on Wednesday, for a fourth consecutive day as reports suggest she is close to in agreeing on the terms of reference as the basis for a new round of talks.

All six dailies on Wednesday reported that Lute is continuing her efforts to finalize the terms of reference.  

Lute had met with President Mustafa Akıncı on Tuesday afternoon. 

The meeting was attended by Akıncı’s spokesman Barış Burcu and other members of his negotiating team. 

Burcu announced that Akıncı would be meeting with Lute on Wednesday morning in a written statement issued after the meeting. 

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay criticized Akıncı via social media on Tuesday. 

He said that the real supporters of the status quo were those who attempted to drag and trap Turkish Cypriots into the same negotiation processes within the same framework although it has been proven numerous times that such a solution was not possible under the current circumstances.

“History and the Turkish Cypriots will not forgive those for making this mistake,” he said, implying that Akıncı was making a grave mistake in his efforts to restart the negotiations process. 

Earlier on Tuesday, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday told Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı in a letter that the issue of hydrocarbons must benefit both communities in Cyprus and contribute to peace and stability.

The best way to do this would be through a comprehensive solution, Juncker said in his response to a letter Akıncı sent the EC president in July explaining in detail the proposal he had made to the Greek Cypriot side on setting up a joint committee on natural gas.

Juncker’s response was delivered to Akıncı by Maarten Verwey, Director General of the European Commission’s Structural Reform Support Office, who was on the island on an official visit. 

On Tuesday, he had separate meetings with the two leaders.

According to Akıncı’s press bureau, Juncker welcomed the August 9 meeting between the two leaders, the ongoing work of UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute and the forthcoming meeting with the UN Secretary-General.

Juncker reportedly also reiterated the European Commission’s (EC) support for the process of a UN-led settlement of the Cyprus problem.

The President of the Commission also welcomed Akıncı’s efforts on the interoperability of mobile phones throughout the island, within the framework of the confidence-building measures agreed by the two leaders, expressing confidence that this would contribute to enhancing security between the two sides.

Akıncı also explained to Verway his proposal on the joint committee on natural gas and exchanged views on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP)
>> Akıncı making a grave mistake in his efforts to restart talks on the same basis. 

Juncker (EU)
>> Issue of hydrocarbons must benefit both communities & contribute to peace & stability. 
>> EC ready to support process of a UN-led settlement of the Cyprob. 


Artworks and audiovisual material exchanged by the two sides

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
CBMs

OVERVIEW

The Bicommunal Technical Committee on Culture announced that an exchange of artworks and audiovisual recordings took place on Tuesday in the divided island’s United Nations Protected Area. 

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriots on Tuesday exchanged artworks and audiovisual material as part of a confidence-building measure agreed by the two leaders on February 26.

The exchange, according to the bicommunal technical committee on culture, took place in the UN-protected area at Nicosia airport. 

The agreement reached between the leaders on February 26 was for the Turkish Cypriot side to return paintings by Greek Cypriot artists and the Greek Cypriot side to hand over visual and audio recordings of Turkish Cypriot artists from their respective archives.

Paintings and recordings will be prepared for an exhibition which will be open to the public in due course, the committee said.

The transfer involves 219 artworks, some of which are of great value, and which were created by Greek Cypriot artists and left behind after.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, President Mustafa Akıncı expressed his happiness stating that the mutual exchange carried out in good faith was extremely important in terms of bringing the two communities closer. 

Akıncı thanked all members of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Culture as well as others who contributed to the process. 


Government lists accomplishments for its first 100 days in office 

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika 
Governance & Power Sharing, Property, Territory, Energy, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

All six dailies gave room to the press conference held by Prime Minister Ersin Tatar and his cabinet on Tuesday to evaluate the National Unity Party (UBP) and People’s Party (HP) coalition government’s first 100 days in office. 

Following a brief opening statement by Tatar, a short presentation summarizing the achievements of the coalition government was screened. 

“The introduction of a proactive diplomacy on the Cyprus Problem with new proposals and balancing the playing field on the issue of natural gas; shaking the status quo with the Maraş (Varosha) initiative; establishing practical mechanisms for the exchange of criminals between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides” were among the main highlights concerning the Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry’s accomplishments on the Cyprus Issue. 

“It has been made possible for drilling to commence in areas licensed by the TRNC striking a balance in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the presentation stated. 

In addition to carrying out an intense public diplomacy effort with international media and NGOs, the foreign ministry also contributed to the preparation of the co-management proposal for hydrocarbons submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leadership to the Greek Cypriot side, the screened video noted. 

It said that the cabinet approved the Maraş (Varosha) initiative proposed by the foreign ministry. 

“While an inventory commission has been established to take stock of movable and immovable properties in the fenced-off city together with an assessment of environmental concerns, conditions of the buildings and the infrastructure; further steps on the fenced-off city, following the completion of the inventory study, will also be taken by the government,” the presentation stated. 

A practical mechanism has been developed for the exchange of criminals between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot sides. The mechanism has been implemented and has worked without any problems so far. 

The international diplomacy efforts to launch direct collaboration channels between the two sides had been shared extensively with the Turkish Cypriot public. “As a result of diplomacy efforts, the UN Secretary General’s report called on the two sides to establish various mechanisms allowing the two sides to directly collaborate,” it said. 

The ministry has also worked closely with UNHCR to assist refugees and asylum seekers, allowing and facilitating many of the refugees to cross to the south. “The process was managed through the mechanism developed by the ministry under the supervision of UNHCR,” it was noted. 

On the issue of the Maronite Initiative, it was noted that the process to relocate the current residents of Karpaşa (Karpasia) will be completed in the coming five months, while the legal aspects of the return of immovable properties will be finalized allowing the village’s Maronite residents to return. 

In projecting towards the future, the ministry underlined it will maintain its perspective on a negotiated settlement and its peaceful approach; it will also further develop discussions on alternative solution models based on collaboration including a two state-model within the European Union (EU). 

On the issue of hydrocarbons, the presentation stated the Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry will continue to reciprocate to the Greek Cypriot side’s provocations and unilateral actions that disregard the Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the area. 

Finally, the ministry noted the inventory study on Maraş (Varosha) will be completed as soon as possible to define the shape the new policies on the fenced-off city to be implemented. 

The video screening was followed by a Q & A session. 

Responding to a question on UN Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute’s efforts, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay stated he is cautious about her efforts. 

“The greatest risk is the resumption of the talks from the point where they had left off in 2017 and on the same basis,” Özersay stressed. He added it has not been possible to achieve any results from the negotiations based on federal partnership, therefore, a change in the mindsets is needed.  

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP) 
>> Greatest risk is resuming talks from where they left off in 2017 
>> Not possible to achieve any results on a federal settlement. A change in mindset is needed. 


Akar says Turkey determined to protect the rights of the TCs

Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog 
Energy, Regional/International Relations 

OVERVIEW

Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said that Turkey is in favour of the international law, bilateral agreements and amicable solutions to the problems during the opening ceremony held for the new academic year of the Flight Training School on Tuesday. 

He warned that Turkey’s approach should not be perceived as Turkey’s weakness in any way. “Turkey will neither allow a fait accompli in the region nor will it allow anyone to usurp Turkey’s or TRNC’s rights,” Akar stressed. 

“The Fatih, the Yavuz, the Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa and Oruç Reis vessels are carrying out their duties in an exceptional manner. They are protecting our rights and those of our Turkish Cypriots in line with the international law,” Akar said. 

KEY ACTORS
Akar
>> Turkey is in favour of international law, bilateral agreements & amicable solutions to its problems. 
>> Turkey’s drilling & research vessels are carrying out their duties in line with international law. 
>> Turkey’s activities in the region should not be acknowledged as a sign of weakness in any way.  
>> Turkey will not allow a fait accompli in the region. 


İŞAD calls for measures to ease congestions at crossing points

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Economy, CBMs

OVERVIEW

The Cyprus Turkish Businessperson’s Association (İŞAD) on Tuesday said that congestion at the Metehan (Agios Dometios) crossing point was hurting the Turkish Cypriot economy. 

Members of the association which gathered at the crossing point on Tuesday issued a press statement. 

Reading out the statement, the President of İŞAD Enver Mamülcü said that authorities needed to transform the current economic crisis into an opportunity by increasing the number of staff at the crossing points, improving the crossing point’s technological infrastructure as well as opening new crossing points for vehicles. 

He argued that conditions at the crossing points needed to be improved to increase the state of welfare in the country.

Mamülcü pointed out that long queues forming at the crossing point at certain hours of the day made it a torturous ordeal for those trying to make their way across the divide.

He drew attention to the recent increase in the number of Greek Cypriots crossing over to shop in the north due to the weakening Turkish Lira against the Euro. 

“If we can’t do business we can’t pay our taxes. Without taxes, the economy will not develop,” Mamülcü said.

Underlining the importance of opening new crossing points, Mamülcü said that failure to do so will spell the end of business owners. “We shall not only issue press statements but will take other forms of action as well,” he added. 

KEY ACTORS
Mamülcü (İŞAD)
>> Congestion at crossing points hurting TC economy.
>>Economic crisis needs to be transformed into an opportunity. 
>> Measures needed to ease the process of crossing.
>> New crossing points needed. Ledra Palace should be opened to civilian traffic.  


TC and GC youth meet at bicommunal camp

Yenidüzen, Havadis
CBMs

OVERVIEW

A group of youth by the Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) Youth Branch and the United Democratic Youth Organisation (EDON) organised a bicommunal youth camp at the Olive Tree Hotel in Kyrenia last week as part of the Reunite_Cy project. 

A series of workshops, activities and panels were organised within the framework of the camp, Yenidüzen reported on Wednesday. 

The CTP leader Tufan Erhürman and AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou were speakers on a panel on the Cyprus Problem.  

Addressing the participants, Erhürman drew attention to the urgency of reaching a federal solution in Cyprus. 

He, however, added that it would be pointless to enter a new round of negotiations which were not results-oriented. 

Erhürman said that the time had come to end the debate on political equality as this was an indispensable component of a federal settlement.  

He added that any new process needed to be results-oriented and should not be open-ended. 

Also addressing the panel, Kyprianou said that must duty fell on leftist parties in reaching a lasting solution in Cyprus. 

He said that a federal settlement was the only way out of the current situation in Cyprus and that there were no other alternatives. 

Kyprianou pointed out that they had repeatedly warned the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades following the process in Crans Montana.

“Taksim or permanent partition cannot in any way achieve the stability desired in Cyprus. Just the opposite it will trigger new conflict and tension. We believe that we shall achieve a federal settlement in Cyprus,” he said. 

The co-chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage Ali Tuncay also delivered a presentation on the island’s joint cultural heritage on the second day of the camp.

KEY ACTORS
Erhürman (CTP)
>> A federal settlement is urgently needed in Cyprus. 
>> Pointless to hold a new round of talks which is not results oriented. 
>> Debate on political equality must end. Political equality indispensable component of a federal settlement.
>> New process must be results-oriented and not open-ended.  

Kyprianou (AKEL)
>> Duty falls on leftist parties for reaching a lasting settlement in Cyprus. 
>> Federal settlement only way to solve Cyprob. No other alternatives. 
>> Partition will not achieve desired stability but will trigger new conflict & tension. 

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