AktüelMedya OdasıPress reviewTurkish Cypriot press review: Everyone has set eyes on Maraş (Varosha)

Turkish Cypriot press review
Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısEylül 10, 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

He wanted a five-party meeting

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s demand: “Let’s hold a five plus one informal meeting with the participation of the UN to decide what we are going to negotiate.

  • Serdar Denktaş resigns

Kıbrıs Postası

“There will be sovereign equality if political equality is not wanted” 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu gave a message to the Greek Cypriot side. If they do not agree to the political equality of Turkish Cypriots, then a partnership based on sovereign equality must be discussed. 

  • End of an era – Serdar Denktaş resigns as leader of Democratic Party (DP). Party’s General Secretary Afet Özcafer will be the acting leader of the DP until the party general assembly on November 30. 

Kıbrıs

Cheating in fuel oil to be prevented 

National Unity Party (UBP) – People’s Party (HP) coalition wants to implement a different measure to curb cheating in fuel oil. The four-party coalition did not survive long enough to establish the “Fuel Oil Control Office” and to have electronic meters installed in tankers transporting fuel. 

  • Unofficial five-party plus the UN meeting proposal – A round table discussion held on the “Cyprus problem” at the presidency. 
  • Serdar Denktaş quits from party leadership

Havadis

Lute’s vice

UN Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute’s week-long shuttle diplomacy brought back momentum to the Cyprus problem. Leaders failed to agree on “Terms of Reference” but Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu came to the north to discuss the Cyprus problem at the highest level. Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades is flying to Greece on Tuesday. 

  • “I am not going to be the Eroğlu of the DP” – Democratic Party leader Serdar Denktaş said he was going to keep his promise and not to run for another term as party leader. He added his resignation from the party leadership does not have anything to do with the upcoming presidential elections as he has not decided yet. 

Diyalog

Two-year prison sentence for such crimes

While, Fatih Eryılmaz, the owner of the illegal online betting site ‘Milano’ was released after paying a bail of ₺50,000 (approx. €7,936), the manager of ‘Kalebet’ Yiğit Gökdereli remained in police custody.

  • Continuing with politics – Serdar Denktaş quits as Democratic Party (DP) leader.

Afrika

Everyone has set eyes on Maraş (Varosha)

The fenced-off city is the latest spoil of war that everyone has set eyes on. Like other Turkish politicians who visited Cyprus before him, Çavuşoğlu did not neglect to visit the closed city of Maraş (Varosha). Kudret Özersay who has been accompanying everyone like a tourist guide did so with Çavuşoğlu as well. 

Main News

Akıncı and Çavuşoğlu underline the importance of political equality for TCs 

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

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu both underlined the importance of political equality for a future settlement of the Cyprus Problem in a joint press conference on Monday.

The two first met face to face before attending a roundtable meeting with party leaders.

The latest developments on the Cyprus Issue and the issue of hydrocarbons were discussed in detail during the meetings. 

Çavuşoğlu’s visit came shortly after the UN Secretary General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute left Cyprus after a week of back to back meetings with both leaders.

Addressing reporters on Monday afternoon, Akıncı said the Turkish Cypriot side wished that the island’s natural resources should contribute to building peace, stability and cooperation in the region. “All our proposals have been made in this direction. We aim not to create tensions but to use the [hydrocarbons] issue to build a bridge of peace. We proposed the creation of a joint committee but this proposal was categorically rejected,” Akıncı said, adding that the proposal had been on the table since 2011. 

Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side had offered a counter-proposal to keep the Turkish Cypriots informed but not to consult them on gas developments.

“They also proposed that Turkish Cypriots benefit from gas revenues based on the population ratio of the two communities on the island and on the condition that Turkey reaches an agreement with South Cyprus on the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone. This is impossible to accept and far from doing something together,” he said. 

Akıncı also said there had been a positive response to the proposal for joint gas management from the EU and other parties. “What needs to be done here is, either, until a solution is found, all sides will stay away from such activities, or we will form the joint committee and work together, or the two sides will go their separate ways,” he said.

Regarding Lute’s efforts, Akıncı said that work on the terms of reference had come a long way during the week of discussions with the UN special envoy, and he believed that with patience and good intentions and a constructive spirit “with clarity and not ambiguity” there could be a framework for talks.

He said the Turkish Cypriot side had stressed to her the importance of political equality “which is a sine qua non”. “They are already a part of past agreements,” he added.

“Political equality is not a hollow concept. We consider that the effective participation of both parties in decision-making processes is important. We want to remind that these were already part of past agreements and documents,” he said.

“We talked very clearly with Mrs Lute. We want to reach a conclusion now. If a process is going to start again, we want it to work,” said Akıncı.

Also speaking at the news conference, Çavuşoğlu said the Greek Cypriot side pursued unilateral acts and did not intend to share the island’s natural resources.

“The Greek Cypriot administration immediately rejected the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal for hydrocarbon cooperation, dated July 13, as it did in 2011 and 2012, but this proposal is still on the table,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He went on to say he said the Greek Cypriot side should accept the proposal for a committee to jointly manage hydrocarbons “before it is too late”. 

If it remained rejected, Turkey would continue its drilling in and around Cyprus, Çavuşoğlu added. 

“We want to warn that no one, whether it is the EU, Greece or whoever backs you, cannot and will not interfere with our activities here. What you have to do here is to learn to share,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu also said that Anastasiades’ latest proposal was far from being serious. 

Regarding Lute’s contacts on the island, Çavuşoğlu said he was not convinced there was a change of mentality on the Greek Cypriot side when it came to the framework of political equality.

He said that it was not possible to address the recognition of Turkish Cypriot political equality after the negotiations started.

Çavuşoğlu also accused Anastasiades of issuing conflicting statements regarding a settlement. 

“We have been hearing from him [Anastasiades] or through others about a two-state solution, a loose federation or a decentralized federation and other such ideas. “Mr Anastasiades is skilled at saying different things to different people,” Çavuşoğlu said. 

He said that they proposed to hold an informal five plus one [UN] meeting to discuss what to negotiate. 

“Once this is done, the terms of reference can be finalized and talks can begin,” he added.

He said that if the Greek Cypriot side did not desire a partnership based on political equality then they could try to establish a partnership on sovereign equality.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that Turkish Cypriots could never accept becoming a minority and that there was no point for the Greek Cypriot side to insist on the matter. 

Receiving Çavuşoğlu on Monday afternoon, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar also stressed the importance of political equality for Turkish Cypriots.

“Sovereign equality and security are extremely important,” he said, adding that any new process could only begin once everything was clarified. 

Tatar recalled the outcome of the last talks held in Crans Montana and the statements made afterwards. 

“The Turkish Cypriot side’s position should be in parallel to the statements made back then,” he said, adding that Turkey should be consulted on every issue before any step is taken. 

Tatar also stressed Turkey’s guarantor status was very important for Turkish Cypriots. 

On the issue of hydrocarbons, Tatar said Turkey’s activities in the Mediterranean allowed the Turkish Cypriots to be in the energy equation.

Before his departure on Monday, Çavuşoğlu visited fenced off city Maraş (Varosha) with Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay. Çavuşoğlu, who was accompanied by Ali Murat Başçeri, the Turkish Ambassador to Nicosia was briefed about the fenced-off town by military officials.  

In a related development, the Platform of Unions issued a statement on Monday condemning Çavuşoğlu’s earlier statements made at a public gathering in Yenierenköy (Yialousa).

The statement said Çavuşoğlu’s remarks undermined the Turkish Cypriots’ political will.

“Cyprus is our home and unifying it, fighting against colonialism and demanding solution and peace are our primary responsibilities,” the Platform stressed. 

The Platform reminded Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of what it means to be a guarantor nation. 

The Platform also recalled numerous occasions during which Çavuşoğlu himself had highlighted the need to change  the system of guarantees even though he recently described those who opposed the system as “traitors.”

KEY ACTORS
Akıncı 
>> Natural resources should contribute to peace, stability & cooperation in the region. 
>> TC side’s proposals on hydrocarbons aimed at building a bridge of peace & not to create tension.  
>> GC side’s counter-proposal on hydrocarbons not acceptable.  
>> Sides should refrain from activities until a solution, should either form a joint committee or go their separate ways. 
>> A framework for talks could emerge through patience, good intentions & a constructive spirit. 
>> Political equality is a sine qua non for the TC side.  
>> Effective participation of both parties in decision-making processes, which is part of past convergences, is important. 

Çavuşoğlu
>> GC side does not intend to share the island’s natural resources.
>> TC side’s proposal on hydrocarbons still on the table despite its rejection byGC side.  
>> Turkey to continue drilling if this proposal remains rejected.  
>> What the GC side has to do is to learn to share. 
>> Anastasiades’ latest proposal far from being serious. 
>> No change in mentality on the Greek Cypriot side when it comes to the framework of political equality.  
>> Not possible to address the recognition of Turkish Cypriot political equality after negotiations start.
>> Turkey proposes to hold an informal five plus one (UN) meeting to discuss what to negotiate.  
>> If GC side rejects a partnership based on political equality then efforts should focus on establishing a partnership on sovereign equality. 
>> TCs could never accept becoming a minority. 

Tatar (UBP)
>> Sovereign equality and security are extremely important. 
>> Any new process can only begin once everything is clarified. 
>> TC side’s position should be in parallel to the statements made post-Crans Montana.
>> Turkey should be consulted on every issue before any step is taken.  
>> Turkey’s guarantor status is very important for Turkish Cypriots.
>> Turkey’s activities in the East Med allowed the TCs to be in the energy equation.  

Platform of Unions
>> Cyprus is our home and unifying it, fighting against colonialism and demanding a solution and peace among primary responsibilities. 


Özyiğit says TCs should determine their own future

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

OVERVIEW

The leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit said on Monday Turkish Cypriots must decide on their future themselves by exercising their political will. He added this is one of the basic requirements of democracy. “No one will benefit from any approach that is imposed,” Özyiğit said. 

Özyiğit stressed the Turkish Cypriots were one of the two main communities on the island.

“It is only natural to expect respect for the public’s will in that respect,” he said, adding that the majority of Turkish Cypriots supported President Mustafa Akıncı, which meant they support a federal solution. 

Özyiğit noted the Turkish Cypriot side supported a bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF) solution based on political equality and therefore there was no need to seek new adventures. 

“The historical process and experience show the most realistic solution is federation,” Özyiğit added. 

He any future settlement would be based on the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration and 30 June 2017 Guterres framework. “Any new negotiations, which will safeguard political equality and effective participation in the decision-making process, must be results-oriented and must not be open-ended,” Özyiğit concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Özyiğit (TDP) 
>> TCs must decide on their own future by exercising their political will. 
>> No one will benefit from any approach that is imposed. 
>> TCs are one of two main communities on the island & it is only natural to expect respect on this issue. 
>> Majority of TCs support Akıncı, which means they support a federal solution. 
>> TC side’s position is BBF solution based on political equality and therefore there is no need to seek new adventures. 
>> Any new negotiations, which will safeguard political equality and effective participation in the decision-making process, must be results-oriented and must not be open-ended. 


Denktaş steps down as leader of Democratic Party

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Governance and Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

Serdar Denktaş announced on Monday that he was stepping down as leader of the Democratic Party (DP). 

Denktaş who had been at the helm of the DP for 21 years announced his decision following a party meeting on Monday night. 

He said he was not leaving politics and would be announcing whether or not he will be running in the forthcoming presidential elections by November 30 when the DP holds its general congress to elect a new party leader.

The party’s General Secretary Afet Özcafer will be serving as acting DP leader until the general congress. 

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