AktüelPress reviewTurkish Cypriot press review: Maraş (Varosha) can only be processed through the IPC

Turkish Cypriot press review
Gazedda Kıbrıs Gazedda KıbrısEkim 23, 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

“The number of universities could reach 40”

The report on higher education prepared for the north of Cyprus by the World Bank and EU Commission makes striking assessments. The report points to low efficiency in the country, lack of criteria and the steady increase in the number of universities. “The only criteria to enrol in a university are a high school diploma,” the report says. 

Kıbrıs Postası

Not right to start a debate over the party’s leadership and the prime ministry 

Labour and Social Security Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu emphasized it would be wrong to start a debate over who will replace Ersin Tatar as party leader and prime minister should he decide to run for the presidency. He added, “if he runs for the presidency, the UBP will first focus on his candidacy,” Sucuoğlu said

  • The claim that the current regulation on residency permits and visas violates the international agreement signed with Turkey caused tension in parliament – Arıklı: “We will be faced with serious anomalies.” Baybars: “The criticisms over the regulation are extremely discriminatory.” 

Kıbrıs

State resources wasted unscrupulously

State funds are being wasted despite the state’s lack of sufficient resources to pay its civil servants and pensioners. The state incurred a loss of ₺600,000 by purchasing electric-powered vehicles. 

Havadis

Maraş (Varosha) can only be processed through the IPC 

President of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC), Ayfer Sait Erkmen said: “The uncertainty over properties ends with the Supreme Court’s ruling on properties in Maraş (Varosha).” He added the option of going to the ECHR is also over. 

  • Hit by AKP’s criticisms – Mayor of Izmir’s metropolitan city Tunç Soyer was harshly criticized by AKP for his comments on Cyprus. Soyer had said: “It would be best to leave Cyprus to Cypriots but we never do so.” Deputy leader of the AKP, Hamza Dağ urged Soyer to correct his statement. 

Diyalog

This issue needs to be addressed legally

[Public Works and Communications] Minister Atakan said that ₺155 million had been collected from road tax and traffic camera fines in 2018. “Our roads would have been fixed if this money was at the disposal of the ministry,” he said. Atakan complained that the money collected was going into the finance ministry’s pocket which was then used to pay salaries of public servants. 

  • We couldn’t reunify [Cyprus] and we lost time – Outgoing EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker touched upon the Cyprus Problem in his farewell speech. 

Afrika

Another 150 hours

Putin and Erdoğan struck a deal in Sochi, shortly before a 120-hour deadline for Kurdish resistance fighters in Syria ended. The two signed a ten-point memorandum of understanding following a six hour long summit. According to the agreement, the YPG forces will withdraw 30km back from the area by October 23. Russian military police and the Syrian border guards will oversee the withdrawal which will then be followed by joint Russian-Turkish patrols. 

Main News

Akansoy: “Status quo needs to be ended” 

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

OVERVIEW

Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Asım Akansoy said on Tuesday that efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem needed to be stepped up. 

He added that the current status quo needed to end. 

Addressing parliament on Tuesday, Akansoy also criticized the Evkaf Administration for its actions concerning the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha).

“It is not possible to accept the Evkaf’s unilateral actions. If a step is to be taken on the fenced-off city this needs to be done in consultation with the United Nations (UN) and by respecting UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions. We are against any steps which might further complicate matters in Cyprus,” Akansoy said. 

He also said that this issue was not a simple black and white issue.

“There are a lot of grey areas. We are opposed to acting outside of the law,” he added. 

Akansoy pointed out that the Cyprus Problem could not be solved with the wishes of the Cypriots alone.

“If the settlement is to be reached it will be within the framework of UN parameters,” Akansoy said, adding that political equality was essential for Turkish Cypriots. 

Meanwhile, the outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday said he lists the inability to solve the Cyprus issue among the disappointing moments of his term.

Presenting his end-of-term assessment before the EP plenary, in Strasbourg, Juncker said that he did not succeed to further the issues of the reunification of Cyprus. 

“We lost time there and we could not conclude an agreement in Switzerland,” he added.

KEY ACTOR
Akansoy (CTP)

>> Efforts to solve the Cyprob need to be stepped up.
>> Status quo needs to be ended.
>> Evkaf Administration’s unilateral actions on Maraş (Varosha) wrong. Any steps taken should be in consultation with the UN & should respect UNSC resolutions.  
>> CTP objects to unlawful steps which can further complicate Cyprob.
>> Settlement reached must be within the framework of UN parameters.
>> Political equality is vital for TCs. 


UBP’s presidential candidate will most likely be Tatar

Kıbrıs Postası
Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

“The National Unity Party’s (UBP) candidate for the forthcoming 2020 presidential elections will most likely be the party’s leader Ersin Tatar,” head of the UBP’s Nicosia District Office Sadık Gardiyanoğlu said on Tuesday. 

In a written statement, Gardiyanoğlu said that Tatar’s earlier remarks that he will listen to the party’s base had roused excitement within the UBP. 

He also said that it was out of the question for the party base to be pressured into making a decision on the matter in a way which will be against the interests of the UBP.

Regarding a debate on the future of the coalition government, Gardiyanoğlu said that the UBP was no concerned about a possible collapse of the coalition government.

“The UBP alone will decide who to nominate and will not allow being influenced from outside forces,” he added. 

Labour and Social Security Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu on Tuesday said it was not right to start a debate over who will replace Ersin Tatar as the leader of UBP and who become prime minister if Tatar decided to run for president. 

Speaking on Güneş Web TV, Sucuoğlu noted should Tatar decide to run f, the UBP will first focus on his election before deciding on who will lead the party. 


Erkmen: “Maraş (Varosha) can only be processed through IPC” 

Havadis
Property, Territory 

OVERVIEW

“The uncertainty over properties in Maraş (Varosha) has ended with the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Ayfer Sait Erkmen, head of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) said on Tuesday.

Erkmen said that cases concerning properties in Maraş (Varosha) will no longer be to taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision. 

He pointed out that the IPC had previously not been able to process property applications on Maraş (Varosha) due to existing UN Security Council resolutions 550 and 789 and the area’s status as a military zone. 

“Those who have property claims in Maraş (Varosha) will no longer be able to go directly to the ECHR. They will first have to apply to the IPC. If they are unsatisfied with the IPC’s decision, they can take the matter to the Supreme Court. They will be able to take their case to the ECHR only if they find the Supreme Court’s decision unsatisfactory as well,” he said. 

Erkmen reminded that all domestic legal remedies must be exhausted before applying to the ECHR adding that the Supreme Court’s ruling was acceptable from the ECHR’s point of view. 

He argued that the ECHR had given five verdicts against Turkey regarding property cases in Maraş (Varosha) in 2003 based on 1974 title deed records, which had set a precedent for the ECHR. 

“Thus, the ECHR will recognize the Supreme Court ruling,” Erkmen added. 

He pointed out that there were currently 280 applications at IPC regarding properties in Maraş (Varosha). 

The IPC will accept the 1974 title deed records in line with the Supreme Court ruling, he said. 

“From now on we shall be recognizing whose ever name is on the title deed of the property when evaluating such applications,” Erkmen concluded. 

KEY ACTORS
Erkmen (IPC) 
>> The uncertainty over properties in Maraş (Varosha) ended with the Supreme Court ruling.  
>> The possibility of taking the cases to the ECHR is also over. 
>> All domestic legal remedies must be exhausted before applying to the ECHR directly. 
>> IPC will accept the 1974 title deed records in line with the Supreme Court ruling. 
>> IPC will recognize whoever’s name is on the title deed when processing applications from now on. 


Tensions over regulation on residency permits

Yenidüzen
Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

Tensions over the “citizenship and residency permit regulation” ignited into a heated exchange on Tuesday between Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars and Rebirth Party (YDP) MP Bertan Zaroğlu.

Baybars responded to criticisms made by Zaroğlu who claimed that the regulation had been prepared with the intention of torturing foreigners, particularly Turkish nationals, wishing to visit the country. 

He also accused the government of granting citizenship to an individual who had a criminal record. 

“It’s not right to treat everyone who wishes to visit this country like a common criminal. The regulation violates the international treaty signed between Turkey and the TRNC. The regulation is an arbitrary arrangement and should be removed until it is amended,” he said.

Hitting back at Zaroğlu, Baybars explained that granting citizenship to foreigners was not a direct obligation of the government and that every administration had its citizenship policy.  

“The work being done on the citizenship law is based on criteria and aimed at preventing the arbitrary granting of citizenships,” she said. 

Baybars also slammed Zaroğlu for his criticism on the residency permit regulation, stating that they were discriminatory. 

“Such regulations are not directed at one particular nationality,” she added.


Taşcı & Katsantonis present single to Akıncı

Yenidüzen
CBMs

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot artists Yıltan Taşcı and Adamos Katsantonis on Tuesday presented President Mustafa Akıncı with their single “Seri Görüşmeler” (A Series of Meetings) based on the Cyprus negotiations which have been continuing since 1960. 

According to a statement issued by Akıncı’s office, Taşcı and Katsantonis said they were aware of Akıncı’s goodwill and constructive stance on the Cyprus Problem.  

They expressed the hope that Akıncı’s efforts will yield a positive result.

Akıncı for his part wished the two Cypriot artists success in their future endeavours.

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