AktüelPress reviewTurkish Cypriot press review: Development masterplan not approved

Turkish Cypriot press review
Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısAralık 5, 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

Development masterplan not approved 

Mayors of Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo), Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) rejected the development masterplan prepared for the area. Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars said the necessary amendments will be made in 48 hours. 

  • “Like any other community, we need to stand on our own feet” – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said in Lefke (Lefka).

Kıbrıs Postası

“We want agreement but we are also determined” 

Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars spoke about the development masterplan for Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo), Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios). She said the Interior Ministry is open for an agreement with the mayors from the three towns but added the ministry is determined to implement the plan. 

  • Development masterplan is not transparent or impartial – Three mayors from Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo), Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) rejected the draft masterplan. 

Kıbrıs

Stern rejection to the development masterplan 

The Board formed to discuss the Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo), Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) development masterplan convened on Wednesday but could not agree to vote on it. The board will convene on Friday again to discuss possible amendments. In any case, the masterplan will be enacted on 26 December in line with the regulation that dictates the procedures to implement a masterplan. 

Havadis

KIB-TEK shaken by resignations 

Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy’s agreement with EL-SEN (TC Electricity authority workers’ union) regarding purchasing power generators for KIB-TEK (TC electricity authority) resulted in the resignation of four board members appointed by the National Unity Party (UBP). 

  • Discussed constitutional amendments – President Mustafa Akıncı briefed the leaders of the political parties with representation in the parliament regarding the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Berlin. PM Tatar said the meeting was not limited to discussing the outcome in Berlin. 

Diyalog

Two more incidents 

The increase in rape and violence cases are frightening the people. Police are looking for six people who were involved in a brawl in broad daylight. In another incident, one drunk man attacked his neighbour over a dispute on the electricity meter. 

Afrika

Even if I die in prison 

People’s Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtaş, who was critically ill, pointed to Tayyip Erdoğan and said “If I die in prison, those who put me in jail will the ones responsible.” Republican People’s Party (CHP) delegation visited Demirtaş in prison. Spokesperson for the CHP delegation Veli Ağbaba recalled what Demirtaş had told them. 

  • The municipalities rejected the development masterplan – Mayors of Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo), Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) state the said plan is neither transparent nor impartial. 

Main News

Turkish Cypriot students safe and accounted for, Özersay announced 

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika 
Internal Security 

OVERVIEW

Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said the students studying at the American Academy Nicosia are all safe and accounted for, on Wednesday. 

In a social media post, Özersay said the school was evacuated around noon after receiving a call that a bomb had been placed on its premises. He also noted that the necessary measures have been implemented in collaboration with the Police Commissioner, to facilitate the crossing of the students, who had to leave their IDs and passports in school when evacuating the building. 

Özersay also said he is closely monitoring the developments and is in communication with the United Nations (UN) on the issue. 


The framework of a future process is defined

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

OVERVIEW

“The Secretary-General has created a new and strong starting point by anchoring certain concepts in their places, for the solution efforts in Cyprus following a two-year long hiatus in the process,” Presidential undersecretary Gürdal Hüdaoğlu emphasized during a programme on Bayrak on Wednesday. 

He added that uncertainty prevailed over the Cyprus negotiations process since the collapse of the process in Crans Montana due to various suggestions on the solution model and due to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ take on political equality. 

“The uncertainty is over now with the trilateral meeting in Berlin,” Hüdaoğlu stressed and said all the convergences up to date have been reaffirmed before the UN Secretary-General. “The framework of a future process is defined,” Hüdaoğlu added. 

He said the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Berlin meets with the expectations of the people as it will be a results-oriented process that is not going to be open-ended, with the aim to reach a federal solution and it will no longer be debated on the island. 

Hüdaoğlu noted that the Cyprus problem has evolved into a dimension that increases tension in the region which affects both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots negatively. He also reminded the Secretary-General’s statement following the Berlin meeting and said Guterres will be shaping the next process. 

“The Turkish Cypriot side wants the future process to be based on a realistic timeline that will be completed as soon as possible in the best interest of the two communities and the region,” Hüdaoğlu said. 

Responding to a question Akıncı’s relations with Turkey, Hüdaoğlu pointed to those who claim the president has ruined relations with Turkey and argued these groups make the same claim as Anastasiades makes. They both point to Turkey as the only obstacle before the solution, he said. 

The Cyprus issue is a problem primarily between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot communities and no one should be afraid of the steps to be taken by the Turkish Cypriot side to end the problem, the undersecretary argued. 

He added that Akıncı does not refrain from taking on initiatives as when needed but he also maintains a close dialogue with Ankara. “There are no problems in continuing to collaborate with Turkey and no issues in taking on initiatives. These two principles are not conflicting with each other and neither do they conflict with Turkey’s interests,” Hüdaoğlu stressed. 

Hüdaoğlu, in response to a question on the upcoming elections, noted Akıncı will announce his decision when the time comes. He added that there is strong public support behind the president as well. “Should he decide to run, nothing will be able to prevent Akıncı from winning the elections,” Hüdaoğlu concluded. 

“Akıncı did not say anything new,” Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said on Wednesday. Tatar was the only political party leader speaking to the media following Akıncı’s briefing on the trilateral meeting in Berlin. 

Tatar also said there is not any expectation of any advancement including the five-party meeting, in the process after the trilateral meeting due to the upcoming elections in the north and in the UK. 

He noted that possibility of constitutional amendments was another topic discussed among the political party leaders and the president during the meeting on Wednesday. 

Akıncı is scheduled to meet with mayors of 28 municipalities and with the political party leaders without representation in the parliament on Thursday, to brief them on the outcome of the trilateral meeting in Berlin. 

KEY ACTORS
Hüdaoğlu (Akıncı) 
>> The SG has created a new and strong starting point by anchoring certain concepts in their places, for the solution efforts in Cyprus following a two-year long hiatus in the process.
>> Uncertainty prevailed over the Cyprus negotiations process since the collapse of the Crans Montana process due to various suggestions on the solution model and due to the GC leader’s take on political equality. 
>> The uncertainty is over now with the trilateral meeting in Berlin. 
>> All the convergences up to date have been reaffirmed before the UNSG. 
>> The framework of a future process is defined. 
>> The outcome of the trilateral meeting in Berlin meets with the expectations of the people as it will be a results-oriented process that is not going to be open-ended, with the aim to reach a federal solution and it will no longer be debated on the island. 
>> Cyprob has evolved into a dimension that increases tension in the region which affects both the TCs & the GCs negatively. 
>> Guterres will be shaping the next process. 
>> The TC side wants the future process to be based on a realistic timeline that will be completed as soon as possible in the best interest of the two communities and the region. 
>> Those who claim the president has ruined his relations with Turkey are making the same claim as Anastasiades makes and point to Turkey as the only obstacle before the solution. 
>> The Cyprus issue is a problem primarily between the TC and the GC communities and no one should be afraid of the steps to be taken by the TC side to end the problem. 
>> Akıncı does not refrain from taking on initiatives as & when needed but he also maintains close dialogue with Ankara. 
>> There are no problems in continuing to collaborate with Turkey and no issues in taking on initiatives. These two principles are not conflicting with each other and neither do they conflict with Turkey’s interests. 
>> Akıncı will announce his decision when the time comes whether to run in the elections or not.  
>> There is strong public support behind the Akıncı. 
>> Should he decide to run, nothing will be able to prevent Akıncı from winning the elections. 

Tatar (UBP)
>> Akıncı did not say anything new. 
>> There is not any expectation of any advancement in the process after the trilateral meeting including the five-party meeting, due to the upcoming elections in the north and in the UK. 
>> Constitutional amendments were also discussed during the briefing. 


KTTO expresses concern over Green Line Regulation changes

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
CBMs, Economy, Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) on Wednesday expressed its concern over the changes being introduced to the code of implementation of the Green Line Regulation. 

It said that the measures which included tighter controls between crossings from south to north and preventing third-country nationals having entered the island from the north from crossing south to be concerning. 

In a written statement, KTTO said that the increase in crossings contributed to bringing the two communities closer together and developing personal relations between individuals from the two communities.

“Any measures aimed at preventing such relations at a time when efforts to reach an urgent and comprehensive solution have not been successful, will not only have a negative effect on trade between the two sides but will be a blow to the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. It will make efforts to reach a comprehensive solution harder,” KTTO warned.

It said that the chamber supported more contacts and cooperation between the two communities even in the absence of a settlement.

“Commercial relations will help build confidence between the two communities and assist efforts to reach a solution. It should not be forgotten that increasing the standard of living of the two communities even in the absence of a solution, will support efforts to find a settlement,” it concluded.  

KEY ACTORS
KTTO
>> The increase in crossings contributed to bringing the two communities closer together and developing personal relations between individuals from the two communities. 
>> Any measures aimed at preventing such relations at a time when efforts to reach an urgent and comprehensive solution have not been successful, will not only have a negative effect on trade between the two sides but will be a blow to the spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. 
>> It will make efforts to reach a comprehensive solution harder. 
>> The chamber supported more contacts and cooperation between the two communities even in the absence of a settlement.
>> Commercial relations will help build confidence between the two communities and assist efforts to reach a solution. 
>> Increasing the standard of living of the two communities even in the absence of a solution, will support efforts to find a settlement. 


Turkey plans new exploration in E. Med. maritime zones

Kıbrıs Postası
Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Turkey’s Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez on Wednesday announced that the country’s new oil and gas exploration and production studies in its maritime jurisdiction area are in line with the recently inked memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Turkey and Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA), 

Before his meeting with miners from Turkey’s various cities for International Miners Day in Ankara, Dönmez told journalists that the agreement with Libya firstly needs approval from the general assemblies of both Turkey and Libya, and after such authorization studies will be undertaken.

“As with other areas, the companies that we will grant licenses to will start oil and gas exploration and production studies in maritime jurisdictions within the scope of this agreement,” Dönmez said.

He noted that Turkey has for a long time been conducting hydrocarbon exploration studies using its drilling and seismic vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey is currently carrying out hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean with two drilling vessels, Fatih and Yavuz, along with Oruç Reis and Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa seismic vessels in the same region.

Dönmez summarized the exploratory work completed to date in the region. He recalled that four drillings have already been undertaken with the help of the two vessels and noted a fifth is currently in progress.The studies so far have mainly concentrated on the east, west and northern regions of the island of Cyprus. 

However, he said the current drilling is focusing on regions to the south of the island.

He acknowledged that many parties intended to keep Turkey and Libya out of the game in the Eastern Mediterranean but added that the agreement with Libya, which Dönmez said is in line with international maritime law, has ensured that Turkey is included in exploration in this region.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Wednesday that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots will not wait for a solution to drill and exploit natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Addressing a seminar titled “Energy policies in the Eastern Mediterranean and its reflections on the Cyprus Problem” Özersay said that the eastern Mediterranean was of great geopolitical, geostrategic and economic importance for Turkey.

He said it was time to stop trying to analyse the eastern Mediterranean and the future of Turkish Cypriots through the Cyprus Problem or negotiations held to reach a political settlement on the island. 

Özersay argued that the Eastern Mediterranean issue was not only about sharing or the distribution of resources.

He said that Greece’s attempt to declare exclusive economic zones (EEZ) through its islands and draw maritime zones accordingly had created a maritime jurisdiction dispute.

Özersay also said that the Eastern Mediterranean basin was of extreme importance for Turkish Cypriots and had created the opportunity to become a regional actor before a settlement was reached. 

“Everyone accepts the fact that Turkish Cypriots have rights in the region. As a result, it is of great importance that Turkish Cypriots are recognized as actors and interlocutors which need to be consulted in the near future,” he said. 
Özersay pointed out that 2011 had been a turning point for Turkey’s and the TRNC’s policies in the Eastern Mediterranean, marking the beginning of a real policy change on energy. 

He added that until 2011, the Turkish side had only been the protesting side while the Greek Cypriots in the ten years that led to that date had signed agreements with other states, granting licenses, launching exploration activities and calling the shots in the region.

“The continental delineation agreement signed between Turkey and the TRNC in 2011 gave the message that we will not wait for a settlement to protect our rights in the region,” he said. 

Özersay said he disagreed with the view that tensions in the region had flared once Turkey had sent its ships to the region.

“To the contrary the presence of Turkish ships and vessels has reduced the chance of conflict by establishing a balance.

On the recent deal signed between Turkey and Libya, Özersay said the agreement was important in securing Turkey’s rights in the eastern Mediterranean to the west of Cyprus. 

He argued in favour of developing pragmatic and institutionalized relations to remove obstacles in the way of regional cooperation.

Özersay said that a conference could be organized with the participation of international actors or committee formed to establish cooperation.

KEY ACTORS
Dönmez (Turkey) 
>> Turkey’s new oil and gas exploration and production studies in its maritime jurisdiction area are in line with the recently signed MoU between Turkey and Libya’s GNA. 
>> The agreement with Libya firstly needs approval from the general assemblies of both Turkey and Libya, and after such authorization, studies will be undertaken. 
>> As with other areas, the companies that we will grant licenses to will start oil and gas exploration and production studies in maritime jurisdictions within the scope of this agreement. 
>> Turkey has for a long time been conducting hydrocarbon exploration studies using its drilling and seismic vessels in the East Med. 
>> Four drillings have already been undertaken with the help of the two vessels and noted a fifth is currently in progress.  
>> The studies so far have mainly concentrated on the east, west and northern regions of the island of Cyprus.  
>> The current drilling is focusing on regions to the south of the island. 
>> Many parties intended to keep Turkey & Libya out of the game in the East Med. but the agreement with Libya is in line with international maritime law. The agreement has ensured that Turkey is included in exploration in this region. 

Özersay (HP) 
>> Turkey & the TCs will not wait for a solution to drill and exploit natural gas in the East Med. 
>> The East Med. was of great geopolitical, geo-strategic and economic importance for Turkey.  
>> It is time to stop trying to analyse the East Med. & the future of TCs through the Cyprob or negotiations held to reach a political settlement on the island.  
>> The East Med. issue was not only about sharing or the distribution of resources. 
>> Greece’s attempt to declare EEZ through its islands & draw maritime zones accordingly had created a maritime jurisdiction dispute. 
>> The East Med. basin was of extreme importance for TCs & had created the opportunity to become a regional actor before a settlement was reached. 
>> Everyone accepts the fact that TCs have rights in the region. As a result, it is of great importance that TCs are recognized as actors and interlocutors which need to be consulted in the near future. 
>> 2011 had been a turning point for Turkey’s and the TRNC’s policies in the East Med., marking the beginning of a real policy change on energy.  
>> Until 2011, the Turkish side had only been the protesting side while the GCs in the ten years that led to that date had signed agreements with other states, granting licenses, launching exploration activities and calling the shots in the region. 
>> The continental delineation agreement signed between Turkey and the TRNC in 2011 gave the message that we will not wait for a settlement to protect our rights in the region. 
>> Tensions in the region did not flare once Turkey had sent its ships to the region. On the contrary, the presence of Turkish ships and vessels has reduced the chance of conflict by establishing a balance. 
>> The agreement signed between Turkey and Libya was important in securing Turkey’s rights in the East Med. to the west of Cyprus.  
>> Pragmatic and institutionalized relations should be developed to remove obstacles in the way of regional cooperation. 

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