Front Page Headlines
The project has been put to sleep
No one knows what is going on with the “Genç Tepe (Youth Hill) Park Project”. The city park project which was planned for the area opposite the Bayrak TV and Radio station in Nicosia has been forgotten. The site where the park was to be built had been acquired from the military during Özkan Yorgancıoğlu’s term as prime minister. Funding had been acquired for the project during Tufan Erhürman’s term in office but is now all forgotten. Undersecretary at the Prime Ministry Suat Yeldener said they were ‘examining the project’.
Concerns raised over unlawful accordion buses on the roads
There are claims that the accordion buses are not covered within the scope of insurance and are believed to be unregulated. The accordion buses, often utilized by the universities continue to pose serious risks for both students and other vehicles on the roads.
- 18 suspected hazardous areas cleared from landmines – The presidency announced.
- Came first in the world but denied entry into the south due to his/her ethnic origin – The student was first invited to receive his/her award in the south but then s/he was denied crossing to the south.
Flash floods again and the same fear
Torrential rains caused damage in Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo) and Karpaz (Karpasia). Many houses were flooded. Many of the roads were closed for traffic due to floods.
LTB chasing to collect its money
While the court case between the Nicosia Turkish Municipality (LTB) and the Near East University (NEU) is underway, the LTB launched another attempt to collect what is owed to it from the Evkaf Administration of Cyprus. The amount is nearly ₺5 million.
Did someone say the environment?
Citizens who can’t afford to pay ₺400 in ten days for electricity warm themselves with ₺40 worth of firewood. Wood heaters which were banned years ago due to the harm they cause to the environment have become popular in the face of soaring electricity prices. Many, particularly lower-income families, are forced to turn to such methods for heating in the cold winter months.
The Hoca was a good person
Arda Gündüz wrote about the final days of Arif Hasan Tahsin, also known as “Arif Hoca”, Afrika’s legendary columnist. It has been seven years since Tahsin’s death.
- Mustafa Aygün found dead in the South – The identity of 26-year-old Mustafa Aygün who was wanted by Greek Cypriot police on assault charges was determined through his mobile phone.
Özersay: Root causes of failure must be questionedYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
The Cyprus problem continued to dominate the discussions in the Turkish Cypriot parliament on Wednesday as the annual budget for the foreign ministry was debated.
People’s Party (HP) leader and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, who addressed the plenary said: “there is a need to ask ourselves where we stand today on the Cyprus Issue and why all the past processes since 1968 have failed to reach a solution.”
He argued that the federal partnership, which the Turkish Cypriots prefer, is incompatible with the realities.
He said that despite the federation model being a good governance model conditions for such a solution did not exist in Cyprus.
“It is time to stop categorizing one another based on being pro-federation or anti-federation,” Özersay stressed.
Firstly, there is a problem of trust between the two communities and secondly the Greek Cypriot side is not ready to share governance and wealth with the Turkish Cypriot side,” Özersay said.
“What is missing on the island is a culture of the federation,” he added.
Özersay also added there was a massive gap between the two sides in terms of how much each side needed a solution.
“The Greek Cypriot side does not come forth for a solution because they have become members of the European Union (EU) without a comprehensive settlement; because the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) is accepted as the sole representative and sole government on the island; because they have been allowed to explore and exploit the natural gas through unilateral activities,” Özersay said.
He added, “It is the international community that puts the Greek Cypriot side in such a comfort zone.”
Özersay said the two sides on the island reach different conclusions on the basic parameters of the federal partnership.He argued that the sides have yet to reach an agreement on the definition of political equality or bizonality.
“It is not possible to solve the Cyprus problem by repeating memorized sentences,” Özersay stressed.
He argued that the methodology applied in the negotiations processes cannot be the root cause for failure of the process.
Özersay pointed to an argument that if there is a results-oriented process that is not open-ended, the Greek Cypriot side will reach the referendum point and if there were to be a negative outcome again, it will be possible to discuss alternative models and will be possible to remove the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot community.
“However the Greek Cypriot leadership will never allow the negotiations process to reach the final phase as long as the conditions that exist today continue,”Özersay stressed.
“There are two options left before all. The first one is changing the current conditions or if the conditions do not change, then move forward step-by-step in an evolutionary process,” Özersay said.
He argued that the first option does not look likely because the international community is not willing to change its attitude.
The second option, Özersay said, is not a secessionist model. “On the contrary, it is based on collaboration rather than sharing,” he added.
“We all have been making a mistake by focusing on the end result of the partnership therefore not being able to establish a partnership for 50 years,” Özersay stressed.
He said: “It is necessary to start at one point and create substantive progress as we all move forward in an evolutionary model.”
Özersay argued it will be possible to build trust between the two communities gradually, should the two sides start collaborating.He noted electricity, cultural heritage, exchange of criminals were existing forms of collaboration between the two sides.
He added the sides could also collaborate on counterterrorism, money-laundering, human trafficking and other areas as well.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Fikri Toros, who also addressed the plenary claimed the coalition partners contradicted each other on their approaches to Maraş (Varosha).
He urged the cabinet members to take up the issue with the office of the president because the UN, which has two resolutions on the fenced-off town, recognizes the president as its only interlocutor.
CTP MP Armağan Candan in his address on Wednesday urged those who advocate a two-state solution to realize that the Turkish Cypriots also have shares in the resources in the south.
“Therefore, the two-state solution model will not even be brought to the negotiating table,” Candan added.
Touching on the recent developments on the Cyprus problem, Candan highlighted the importance of taking the current process to the referendum phase.
“This opportunity must not be missed,” Candan said and added otherwise the current situation on the island will continue and the Turkish Cypriots will end up suffering more.
“It is necessary for the process to be concluded with a federal solution, in which the Turkish Cypriots would be equal partners of,” Candan concluded.
>> We need to ask ourselves where we stand today on the Cyprus Issue & why all the past processes have failed.
>> The federal partnership, which the TCs prefer, is incompatible with the realities.
>> Despite the federation model being a good governance model conditions for such a solution do not exist in Cyprus.
>> It is time to stop categorizing one another based on being pro-federation or anti-federation.
>> There is a problem of trust between the two communities & the GC side is not ready to share governance & wealth with TCs.
>> Federation culture missing on the island.
>> There is a massive gap between the two sides in terms how much each side needs a solution.
>> It is the int’l community that puts the GC side in such a comfort zone.
>> The two sides on the island reach different conclusions on the basic parameters of a federal partnership.
>> The sides have yet to reach an agreement on the definition of political equality or bizonality.
>> It is not possible to solve the Cyprus problem by repeating memorized sentences.
>> The methodology applied in the negotiations processes cannot be the root cause for failure of the process.
>> The GC leadership will never allow the negotiations process to reach the final phase as long as current conditions continue.
>> Two options remain. Either changing the current conditions or moving forward step-by-step in an evolutionary process.
>> First option looks unlikely because int’l community is unwilling to change its attitude.
>> Second option is based on collaboration rather than sharing, & it is not a secessionist model.
>> It will be possible to build trust between the two communities gradually, should the two sides start collaborating.
>> The sides could collaborate on counter-terrorism, money-laundering, human trafficking & other areas.
>> The coalition partners contradict each other on their approaches to Maraş (Varosha).
>> The issue needs to be taken up with the office of the president because the UN, only recognizes the president as its interlocutor.
>> Those who advocate a two-state solution should realize that TCs also have shares in the resources in the south.
>> It is important to take the current process to the referendum phase.
>> This opportunity must not be missed otherwise the current situation on the island will continue and the TCs will end up suffering more.
>> It is necessary for the process to be concluded with a federal solution, in which the TCs would be equal partners.
Support expressed to Turkey-Libya pactYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations
National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Thursday said the recently signed pact between Turkey and Libya laying out the two countries’ maritime boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean had foiled Greek-Greek Cypriot plans in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking to the Anadolu News Agency, the UBP MP recalled that Turkey and the TRNC were conducting their own drilling activities in the area in response to the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral activities.
“The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Turkey and Libya has sliced through the deals made between the Greek Cypriot side and other countries.As a result, this is the second most important agreement signed in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
Hasipoğlu said that both Turkey and the TRNC was on the right path legally and politically.
He added that the deal was in line with the principles of international maritime law.
“In order to preserve our solidarity rights in the Mediterranean, we have established a Blue Hometown in the region (with the deal with Libya). We are pursuing the right policy both in terms of judiciary and politics,” he said.
Hasipoğlu highlighted that while the drilling ship Yavuz symbolizes the solidarity rights of Turkish Cypriots in the region, the drilling ship Fatih shows the solidarity rights of Turkey.
Hasipoğlu said that the European Union’s (EU) biggest mistake had been to allow the Greek Cypriots to join the bloc alone in 2004 thus proving its inconsistency.
“They made a big mistake by allowing a country with a political dispute to join before solving the problem. Now the EU is pretending to be deaf and blind. However, the TRNC has become a reality and the EU is now making its second big mistake by supporting the Greek Cypriot side’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean despite the Turkish Cypriot side’s just position,” he added.
The UBP MP claimed there has been no shift in the Greek Cypriot side’s rejectionist position.
Also touching upon the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Hasipoğlu said that work to complete an inventory of movable and immovable properties in the fenced-off city was expected to be completed by the beginning of 2020.
“We shall vacate the area of all military elements through our laws and regulations removing obstacles for the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) so that steps can be taken to open the fenced-off city. We shall open transform Maraş (Varosha) in a tourism hot-spot,” he added.
In the meantime, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Thursday reiterated Turkey’s determination to defend its rights in Cyprus and the region.
Speaking during a budget debate in the Turkish Parliament said Cyprus was a national issue for Turkey.
“No one should expect us to make any concessions on the Cyprus cause. Everyone is well aware of our positions and views. We are not after anyone’s rights. Our desire for good relations with our neighbours should not be seen as a weakness nor a concession,” he said.
Akar added that Ankara’s determination not to allow a fait accompli in the eastern Mediterranean should not be perceived as a threat either.
In a related development, the Turkey-Libya agreement came into force on Thursday after its publication in Turkey’s official gazette, all the Turkish Cypriot dailies reported.
Ankara also has applied to the UN on Wednesday to register the pact signed with Libya said diplomatic sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media
The pact with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) was signed on Nov. 27 and passed by Turkey’s parliament on Dec. 5.
It went into effect as of Dec. 8 after the two countries published it in their respective official gazettes.
The memorandum setting both countries’ marine jurisdictions rejects unilateral and illegal activities by other regional countries and international firms and aims to protect the rights of both countries.
>> The deal between Turkey & Libya has foiled Greek-GC plans in the East Med.
>> Turkey & TRNC are conducting their own activities in the area in response to the GC side’s unilateral activities.
>> Deal is the second most important agreement signed in the East Med.
>> Both Turkey & the TRNC are on the right path legally & politically.
>> The deal is in line with the principles of international maritime law.
>> The drilling ship Yavuz symbolizes the solidarity rights of TCs in the region, the drilling ship Fatih shows the solidarity rights of Turkey.
>> EU’s biggest mistake had been to allow the GCs to join the bloc alone in 2004 thus proving its inconsistency.
>> EU is now making its second big mistake by supporting the GC side’s actions in the East Med. despite the TC side’s just position.
>> No shift in the GC side’s rejectionist position.
>> Inventory on Maraş (Varosha) expected to be completed by the beginning of 2020.
>> Maraş (Varosha) should be vacated of all military elements in accordance with TC laws & regulations, to remove obstacles for the IPC so that steps can be taken to open the fenced-off city.
>> Goal is to transform Maraş (Varosha) to a tourism hot-spot.
>> Turkey is determined to defend its rights in Cyprus & the region.
>> Cyprus is a national issue for Turkey.
>> No one should expect Turkey to make any concessions on the Cyprus cause.
>> Everyone is well aware of Turkey’s positions & views.
>> Turkey’s desire for good neighbourly relations should not be seen as a weakness or a concession.
>> Ankara’s determination not to allow a fait accompli in the East Med. should not be perceived as a threat either.
18 suspected areas declared mine-freeYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
CBMs, Internal Security
“The goal is to have a completely mine-free Cyprus,” President Mustafa Akıncı said on Thursday.
According to the information given by the presidency, Akıncı welcomed the full implementation of the confidence-building measure (CBM) agreed with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on 26 February 2018, to clear a total of 18 suspected hazardous areas.
The United Nations Peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) had announced that the 18-suspected hazardous minefields on both sides of the island have been declared mine-free with a certificate in a written statement issued on 10 December.
It was also stated that the demining efforts adhered to International Mine Action Standards and were checked and approved by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS).
As a result of the implementation of the demining CBM, all the measures agreed by Akıncı and Anastasiades during their meeting on 26 February 2018 have been delivered.
These CBMs in addition to the demining, include permanent connection of the electricity grids, GSM interoperability and exchange of Greek Cypriots’ artworks with audiovisual recordings of Turkish Cypriot artists in the CyBC archives.
Özersay slams GC side for denying student permission to crossDiyalog
“This is not only a human rights violation but also is inhumane,” Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Thursday.
In a social media post, Özersay said a student from the Bülent Ecevit Anadolu Lisesi (Lyceum) (BEAL) who was first invited to receive her award for becoming world’s number one in the IGCSE Turkish language exams at a ceremony in the south was denied permission to cross over to the south just shortly before the award ceremony.
She was denied permission on grounds her ethnic origin, even though the Turkish Cypriot side had been in dialogue with the Greek Cypriot side via the United Nations (UN) and had that the Turkish Cypriot side had given its assurances to facilitate certain issues asked of it in return.
Özersay condemned the Greek Cypriot side’s attitude towards a 15-year-old child.
Body discovered in Nicosia belongs to TC fugitiveKıbrıs, Diyalog, Afrika
Greek Cypriot police announced that the body of a 26-year-old male discovered in southern Nicosia was that of fugitive Mustafa Aygün.
Aygün was wanted by police in the south on assault charges.
He was accused of stabbing his wife and father-in-law in the village of Sina Oros.
According to Greek Cypriot media reports, the man was found on the third floor of the 360 building on Makarios Avenue, apparently after falling from further up.
He was identified through a mobile phone found in his pocket.
Gazedda'yı hem yaşatabilmek hem de içeriklerini daha da zenginleştirebilmek için okuyucu katkısına ihtiyacımız var. Bağımsız ve özgür olmak, öyle kalmak ve bu sesi yaygınlaştırmak, daha fazla paylaşmak istiyoruz. Bunun da yolu sizlerin desteğinden, yani yurttaşların, Gazedda’yı sahiplenen insanların gönüllü oluşturacakları fondan geçmektedir. Gazedda’ya patreon üzerinden destek olabilirsiniz. https://www.patreon.com/gazedda