AktüelPress reviewTurkish Cypriot press review: Here is that letter

Turkish Cypriot press review
Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısEylül 17, 2019

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


The state sought refuge in a private institution

One of Kyrenia’s leading primary schools, the 23 April Primary School, started the school year with a capacity problem. There weren’t enough classrooms for the pupils after it transpired that the school exceeded its capacity when enrolling new students. Around 70 first graders were placed in empty classrooms at the private Doğa College Primary School.  

  • “We took a picture of the home we were born in, it is wrong for them to treat us as spies” – Greek Cypriot mother and daughter arrested for taking pictures of their ancestral home were charged and released pending trial. 
  • EU’s annual action plan for Turkish Cypriots adopted: €35.4m 

Kıbrıs Postası

The dispute between local administrations and the central government grows

Mahmut Özçınar, head of the Union of Municipalities, said the government should be encouraging development at the local level. He added that as long as the legislative power lies with the central government, the municipalities cannot improve the quality of their services. Özçınar spoke to Kıbrıs Postası ahead of the local administration reform meeting called by the interior ministry. 

  • The problems remain the same in the judiciary 
  • Turkish flag and photograph to be returned to the school today (on Tuesday) – Father of the Greek Cypriot apologized to the Turkish Cypriot community. 
  • “We have come here to deliver you new flags” – PM Ersin Tatar said during a ceremony at Akdoğan (Lysi) primary school. 


Citrus orchards to dry up from drought 

Electricity for water pumps in Morphou cut off due to ₺13m unpaid bills. Citrus producers are demanding that the government solves the problem, warning that citrus orchards will all dry up if no action is taken. 

  • Six Akacan personnel released on bail – Businessman Bulut Akacan, who is due to appear in court on Wednesday, is on trial for running an illegal online gambling operation at the FEO Elegance housing estate which he owns. 
  • Plenty of problems for the judiciary – Narin Şefik, President of the Supreme Court, held a press conference for the opening of the 2019-2020 judicial year. She said, “the judiciary is wrestling with problems just like the rest of the country.” 


Kyrenia cannot cope with its population 

Kyrenia Mayor Nidai Güngördü spoke to Havadis regarding the uncontrolled growth in the city’s population, traffic congestion, sewage facilities and other urgent issues for Kyrenia. 

  • No one pays attention to the warnings – Narin Ferdi Şefik, President of the Supreme Court, held a press conference for the opening of the 2019-2020 judicial term. She shared the problems experienced by the judiciary and the number of cases with the public. 


The judiciary is also seeking justice

The crime rate has gone up in North Cyprus, cases are piling up in the courts but the problems concerning staff, buildings and technology have not been solved. 


Here is that letter

The Turkish flag and the photograph of Denktaş that were stolen from the Akdoğan (Lysi) primary school were handed over to Mustafa Akıncı. Akıncı made public the letter written by the father of the 16-year-old teen. The man said that both he and his son but also their whole family express their sincerest apologies “to those who, justifiably felt sorrow, anger and disappointment by those actions.”

Main News

Akıncı: Apology important step in building peace culture

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


President Mustafa Akıncı on Monday welcomed the letter of apology sent by the father of the 16-year-old Greek Cypriot teenager who stole a Turkish flag and photograph of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktaş from the primary school in Akdoğan (Lysi).

“The apology of the family is an important and valuable step taken in the direction of building a culture of peace on the island”, Akıncı said in a written statement issued on Monday.

The stolen flag and photograph were delivered to Akıncı along with the letter. 

The letter was released by Akıncı’s office to the Turkish Cypriot media on Monday following the request of the 16-year-old’s father to convey the family’s apology to the Turkish Cypriot community.

In the letter, the teen’s father expressed the family’s “deep sorrow for the consequences caused to all of us by the thoughtless acts of our 16-year-old son which we condemn unreservedly”.

The man said that both he and his son but also their whole family express their sincerest apologies “to those who, justifiably felt sorrow, anger and disappointment by those actions.”

“It was a frivolous act done by a teenager under too much emotional charge,” the father said, giving reassurances his son has recognised his mistake and expressed regret.

“We hope and wish that the positive climate of understanding and friendship created between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots has not been disturbed irreparably,” he said.

In his statement on Monday, Akıncı drew attention to the dangers of promoting hate culture between the two communities.

“To fill the minds of young people with enmity and hatred is a heavy burden, not only for the youth but the island as a whole,” he said.

In order, not to repeat these mistakes, it is necessary to strengthen the culture of peace in both societies, in every field of life by focusing on the education system, Akıncı added.

Akıncı added that unfortunately, many Greek Cypriot adolescents were raised as fanatics, especially in schools.

“Young people and communities should respect each other’s symbols and values,” he said, adding that the Technical Committee on Education was working to establish a culture of peace in Cyprus.

Akıncı will meet the headmaster of the Akdoğan (Lysi) primary school Sözer Özkaramehmet on Tuesday morning to hand over the stolen flag and photo of Denktaş.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar on Monday said that the incident was unacceptable. 

Addressing students at the start of the new school year at a ceremony in Akdoğan (Lysi) where the incident had taken place, Tatar said that the theft of the flag had outraged Turkish Cypriots.

“We always support peace and a settlement in Cyprus but we can never accept an attack on our values and our flag,” he said. 

Tatar also presented the school headmaster with a new flag to be hoisted. 

>> Apology of the family is an important and valuable step. 
>> Necessary to strengthen the culture of peace in both societies by focusing on education.
>> Young people & communities should respect each other’s symbols and values. 

Nicosia Walls restoration to start in October 

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika 
Human Rights 


The restoration of the collapsed section of the Venetian walls of Nicosia, the Cephane (Quirini) bastion will commence in October, all six dailies reported on Tuesday. 

Ali Tuncay, Turkish Cypriot chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage said the technical study on the restoration of the walls carried out with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been completed and the process will continue with the launch of a tender. 

Tuncay said the stones were numbered according to their shapes, sizes and places to ensure that the wall’s original form and structure is preserved. 

Tuncay pointed out that a topographic study together with soil and rock analysis was also conducted to ensure the restoration was carried out according to its original structure. 

He also noted that a new rainwater drainage system had been built since the collapse of the Quirini bastion on July 26, which was the main factor causing the collapse. 

“The detailed restoration project has been finalized and the bids will be evaluated from September 30 onwards to sign a contract with the winning company by October 10,” Tuncay noted. 

The restoration project will be funded by the European Union (EU).

EU allocates €35.4m for Turkish Cypriot community 

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


The European Commission (EC) has adopted its annual action programme on Monday. Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, said the €35.4m allocated for the Turkish Cypriot community will be utilized in projects towards the reunification of the island. 

“The objective of the programme is to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community,” Dombrovskis said. He added the focus will be on the economic integration of the two sides and to improve collaboration between the two communities and with the EU as well as on the Turkish Cypriot side’s harmonization efforts with the acquis communautaire. 

This new set of projects seeks to improve infrastructure, support economic development, foster reconciliation, and bring Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU. I am confident it will contribute to the settlement effort which is the ultimate goal of our assistance,” Dombrovskis noted. 

The priorities of the funding programme include: financing key infrastructure projects; environmental protection and improving health and food safety standards; improving teaching and learning standards as well as building science laboratories at schools. 

The action programme safeguards the continuation of funding for the Committee on Missing Persons and the bicommunal technical committee on cultural heritage in addition to supporting the civil society across the island to stimulate bicommunal activities as well as continuing with the EU scholarship programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. 

Two arrested GC women released

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


The 52-year-old Greek Cypriot woman and her daughter who were arrested in Morphou on Sunday on charges of violating a restricted military zone were released on Monday after appearing in court. 

The two were charged by the court and released pending trial.

They were arrested after entering the garden of their ancestral home to take photographs and detained overnight. 

Speaking after her release, the 52-year-old woman Maria Hadjikyriakou defended her actions stating that there were no warning signs around the house indicating that it was a military zone.

Her husband told reporters that many Turkish Cypriots had visited their former homes in the South after the crossing points had opened but none had been treated in such a manner. 

He said that his wife had not photographed any military vehicles or buildings and that it was not right that she had been treated as a spy.

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