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“I wanted to cry”
The doctor who examined the [Syrian] asylum seekers spoke. “They slept on mattresses infested with bugs, they got scabies. Infectious diseases physician Dr Nesil Bayraktar spoke to Yenidüzen about the humanitarian plight of the 51 Syrian asylum seekers who were housed in unhygienic conditions for weeks at Ercan (Tymbou) airport. The asylum seekers who were refused treatment were then shipped off to Turkey. She said that their right to access treatment was denied. “The pregnant woman risked losing her baby. The most dramatic thing was what they told me…You’re shipping us off but we shall come back with boats. Half of us will die. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to cry,” she said.
- Agenda on Eastern Mediterranean – Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “What we are doing is not illegal” Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu: “We can’t solve the problem if the EU takes the wrong steps” US: “Turkey must halt its drilling activities” Cyprus Mail: “EU cutting assistance to Turkey” Israel: “We are against the violation of Cyprus’ rights”
Not an old folks’ home but a state alms-house!
Senior citizens at an old folks’ home in Kalkanlı (Kalochorio) share the building with psychiatry patients. The old folks’ home, which was inaugurated by a grand ceremony in January 2018 by former Health Minister Filiz Besim, has become known for its scandals. There are allegations of theft, violence, abuse and attempts of rape.
- Only Turkey can decide what to do in its continental shelf – Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu responds to criticisms against Turkey’s drilling efforts.
- US statement’s emphasis on collaboration is important – FM Kudret Özersay spoke on the latest statement issued by the US.
We are aware of the problem but we refuse to solve it
Experts, speaking to Kıbrıs, evaluated the section in the US State Department’s “Human Trafficking Report” concerning the North. Şifa Alçıcıoğlu and Cansu Nazlı commented on the problems concerning“nightclubs, immigrant workers and asylum seekers.”
- Drugs a major threat for schools – Poll results reveal horrific facts. Drug use in secondary schools, high schools, and universities and even in primary schools is on the rise. Drug abuse doubled in the past four years in primary schools. Poll results were shared at the workshop entitled “The role of media and communication in fighting against drug addiction.”
Meet and solve this problem
The arrival of Yavuz in the region has raised the Greek Cypriot side’s concerns and escalated tensions. The EU is discussing sanctions against Turkey and the US urged the parties to refrain from taking steps that will escalate tensions and to solve the problem through dialogue. Tensions over natural gas were top on the agenda of the meetings the United Nations’ Secretary-General Special Representative in Cyprus [Elizabeth] Spehar’s held with the two leaders.
- Lute gets involved again – UN Secretary-General’s Temporary Special Advisor Jane Holl Lute was in London at the start of the week to discuss the possibility of the resumption of negotiations with officials from the British Foreign Office. Lute is expected to visit Ankara and Athens.
- A rift within Europe over Turkey – The sanctions the Greek Cypriot administration is trying to get the EU to impose on Turkey has become clear. However, Germany’s and the UK’s stance have disappointed the Greek Cypriot side.
The US, France, Israel and Armenia have warned Turkey on its drilling activities; Çavuşoğlu said: “[Those] other than the guarantor countries have no right to speak on this issue.”
- 72 out of 300 drivers fined – Within the framework of a clampdown on traffic offenders police carried out controls at three different locations in Nicosia.
There is a rush, a rush to the palace
Social media was filled with humorous posts on [upcoming] presidential elections. Kudret Özersay said he was a candidate. Although stating that he had not yet made up his mind definitely about running, Özersay did not hide his intention to run in the upcoming presidential elections.
- Those who discredited Akıncı called to resign – Trade Union Platform called on the executive boards of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry (KTSO) to resign. Elcil: They ignored the political will of the Turkish Cypriot community by denying Akıncı the right to speak. Instead, they chose to serve Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Akıncı and Spehar discuss a way forward on Cyprob
Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Yenidüzen, Havadis, Afrika, Diyalog
President Mustafa Akıncı received Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar on Wednesday.
Speaking briefly following the meeting, Akıncı said Spehar held meetings with the two leaders on Wednesday and noted these meetings were part of routine contacts during the UN Security Council deliberations on UNFICYP’s report. “In this regard, we have evaluated the current situation and exchanged views on the Cyprus problem,” Akıncı added.
Akıncı also announced that he had also sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the current situation regarding Cyprus talks.
Criticizing the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, he said: “You know that the Greek Cypriot leader often sends letters to the UN Secretary-General, which are then released for public opinion. We do it if there is a reason and if it is necessary, we do not send letters every day, every hour, however taking into account the situation we are in now, we felt the need to contact the Secretary-General.”
He said that he would make the contents of the letter public once the UN Secretary-General received it.
Akıncı said that he had also raised the issue of the latest attack in Larnaca on a tourist bus from the north with the Special Representative and had asked her to tell the Greek Cypriot Nicos Anastasiades and the Greek Cypriot authorities to take the proper measures in light of the incident.
Akıncı said that it was not possible to accept an attack on the Turkish Cypriot bus at a time when steps were being taken to reinstate confidence between the communities on the island. “While we are striving to produce ideas to increase trust between the two communities, such incidents fall contrary to our efforts,” Akıncı added.
Speaking after her meeting with Akıncı, Spehar said it was a “very good meeting” and reminded that she had met earlier in the day with Anastasiades.
Spehar said she holds these meetings with the leaders routinely before heading to New York.
“I was also able to talk to Mr Akıncı about the discussions that I had with Mr Anastasiades in terms of what we might be working on in the future,” she told reporters.
In response to a question on the possibility of a five-party meeting, Spehar said “everything is being discussed” but refrained from giving any details.
Havadis reported on Thursday that the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cyprus Jane Holl Lute has resumed her efforts to restart the Cyprus negotiations process.
The paper reported that Lute met with Foreign Office officials in London, earlier this week.
She discussed the current conditions in Cyprus as she tries to establish whether and when settlement talks could resume.
It also reported that Lute was expected to visit Ankara and Athens in the coming days.
>> Letter sent to UNSG on the current situation of Cyprus talks. TC side felt the need to contact the UNSG at the current time.
>> Attack on a tourist bus from north unacceptable particularly at a time when confidence-building efforts were underway.
>> GC authorities need to take proper measures in light of the incident.
Ankara rejects claims its drilling activities off Cyprus is illegitimate
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Turkey said on Wednesday it rejected Greek and European Union (EU) assertions that Turkish drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate.
In a written statement on Wednesday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Turkey’s Fatih ship had started drilling to the west of the island at the start of May and its Yavuz ship had recently arrived east of Cyprus and would also carry out drilling.
The ministry also said that it has become clear that the EU, which has become an actor in the unlawfulness by joining the game played by Greece and the Greek Cypriot side, could not assume the role of impartial mediator in solving the Cyprus problem.
The Foreign Ministry’s statement came in response to a comment by the newly-appointed Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias that Turkey should stop acting like the “spoiled child” of the Eastern Mediterranean.
The ministry said that the title of “spoiled child” in the Eastern Mediterranean belonged mainly to Greece, while the Greek Cypriot administration, which was an EU member in contradiction to international law, was acted as the mischievous child, joining Greece in dragging the region into instability.
The statement added that South Cyprus’ membership in the EU did not give it the right to usurp the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
The Foreign Ministry emphasized that its drilling continues in accordance with the licenses the Turkish Cypriot government granted to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) in 2009 and 2012 within the continental shelf area registered with the United Nations (UN).
“As long as the Greek Cypriot side does not include Turkish Cypriots in decision-making mechanisms, including revenue sharing and guaranteeing their rights on hydrocarbon resources, Turkey will continue to defend the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people on the island,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
“In this context, we fully support the statements made by the authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which issued the licenses that constitute the legal and legitimate basis for the operations of our Yavuz drilling vessel,” it concluded.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also reiterated on Wednesday that Turkey is determined to protect Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Either the wealth is fairly shared, a common solution is found, or Turkey will continue to defend Turkish Cypriots’ rights,” Çavuşoğlu told a news conference in the capital Ankara.
Underlining that Turkey will keep on its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said: “No country or international institution has the right to comment on this issue.”
“[Those] other than the guarantor countries have no right to speak on this issue. They shouldn’t take sides,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.
Çavuşoğlu also voiced hope that the new government in Greece will help Turkey to maintain more constructive relations with Greece on the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
Çavuşoğlu underscored that Turkey wants to resolve the disputes with Greece in the Aegean, instead of escalating tensions.
On the EU’s stance about the issue, Çavuşoğlu said: “If EU continues to take wrong steps on the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus issue for the sake of solidarity [with other EU member states], we cannot solve this issue.”
He urged that solidarity should be based on the EU standards, criticizing the bloc’s pro-Greek attitude.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Wednesday that the latest statement by Washington highlighting the need for energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean to foster cooperation, dialogue between the two communities and among regional neighbours, and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity, was important.
“This view overlaps with the Turkish Cypriot side’s stance regarding a solution to the hydrocarbon issue. I would like to reiterate the Turkish Cypriot side’s readiness to cooperate and establish a dialogue with both the Greek Cypriot side and all involved parties on the issue of hydrocarbons,” Özersay said in a written statement.
Özersay reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side had been tabled numerous proposals to the Greek Cypriot side to cooperate and establish a dialogue on the issue of hydrocarbon resources.
“It is my conviction that the Greek Cypriot side will pay heed to the US’s call on the issue. We invite the Greek Cypriot side to adopt a stance in support of cooperation and establishing dialogue in order to achieve sustainable energy security and economic prosperity,” he added.
Özersay also said that contrary to the US statement, it was the Greek Cypriot side which was taking provocative steps through its insistence on carrying on with its unilateral activities and its refusal to discuss the issue with other stakeholders.
The U.S. on Tuesday had voiced concern over Turkey’s gas exploration activities in the Mediterranean Sea, calling on the Turkish government to halt the activities.
“The United States remains deeply concerned by Turkey’s repeated attempts to conduct drilling operations in the waters off Cyprus and its most recent dispatch of the drillship Yavuz off the Karpaz (Karpasia) Peninsula,” US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. “This provocative step raises tensions in the region.”
“We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region,” Ortagus said.
“Energy resource development in the Eastern Mediterranean should foster cooperation, increase dialogue between the two communities and among regional neighbours, and provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity,” the US official said. “We continue to believe the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement,” she noted.
>> Greek and EU assertions that Turkish drilling off Cyprus is illegitimate are not true.
>> EU cannot assume the role of impartial mediator in solving the Cyprus problem.
>> Title of “spoiled child” in the East Med belongs to Greece, while the GC side acts as the mischievous child, joining Greece in dragging the region into instability.
>> GC side’s membership in the EU does give it the right to usurp the legitimate rights and interests of TCs.
>> Turkey’s drilling continues in accordance with the licenses TC government granted to TPAO within the continental shelf area registered with the UN.
>> Turkey to continue defending rights & interests of TCs as long as GC side excludes TCs from decision-making mechanisms, revenue sharing and guaranteeing their rights.
>> Turkey supports statements made by TC authorities within this context.
>> Turkey is determined to protect TC’s rights in the East Med. until wealth is fairly shared and a common solution is found.
>> No country or international institution has the right to comment on this issue.
>> Countries which are not guarantors have no right to speak on this issue. They shouldn’t take sides.
>> New government in Greece will hopefully help Turkey to maintain more constructive relations with Greece on the Aegean and East Med.
>> Turkey wants to resolve disputes with Greece in the Aegean, instead of escalating tensions.
>> We cannot solve this issue if the EU continues to take wrong steps on the East Med and Cyprob for the sake of solidarity.
>> Solidarity should be based on EU standards, bloc’s pro-Greek attitude unacceptable.
>> US ’s statement highlighting the need for energy resource development in the East Med to foster cooperation & dialogue, important.
>> US’s views overlap with TC side’s views regarding a solution for hydrocarbons issue.
>> TC side ready to cooperate and establish a dialogue with both GCs and all involved parties on the issue of hydrocarbons.
>> TC side has been proposing collaboration and dialogue with GC for years.
>> GC side should adopt a stance in favour of cooperation and dialogue in order to achieve sustainable energy security and economic prosperity.
>> Contrary to the US claims it is the GC side which is taking provocative steps through unilateral activities and refusal to discuss the issue with other stakeholders.
>> US remains deeply concerned by Turkey’s drilling operations in the waters off Cyprus.
>> Such provocative steps raise tensions in the region.
>> We urge Turkish authorities to halt drilling operations and encourage all parties to refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region.
>> Energy resource development in the East Med should foster cooperation, increase dialogue & provide a foundation for durable energy security and economic prosperity.
>> Washington continues to believe the island’s oil & gas resources should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement.
Frm Evkaf head warns Turkey will pay large sums of compensation if Evkaf claims are ignored
Taner Derviş, former General Director of the Evkaf Administration, said Turkey will be forced to pay huge sums of compensation should the Evkaf’s claims on Maraş (Varosha) are ignored.
He also warned of the danger of the Turkish Cypriot side losing a large amount of territory.
Derviş harshly criticized the article penned by Ambassador Daryal Batıbay, former Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe. “If you claim there’s no other way than surrendering, please do not obstruct those who are defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and those who know how to solve the issue,” Derviş pleaded with Batıbay.
Derviş reminded that the Evkaf laws are recognized and protected by international treaties, constitutional provisions and laws.
He also argued that the “property restitution mechanism” was legally invalid. “The biggest property pillage in the history of Cyprus was done on Evkaf properties by the Greek Cypriots,” Derviş stressed.
Derviş said as a result of wrong political decisions, a restitution mechanism for immovable property had been developed in collaboration with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). “This mechanism exclusively serves the Greek Cypriots,” Derviş added. He recalled that Greek Cypriot judges at the Larnaca District Court in 1958 had recognized the Ahkamu’l Evkaf (laws governing foundation properties) in the “Tersefan case”. In this respect, Derviş highlighted if the Greek Cypriots’ property claims are recognized in Maraş (Varosha) as Batıbay argues in his article, Turkey will be forced to pay out huge sums in compensation. “What Batıbay should have done was to defend the legitimate rights of the Evkaf Administration, which is vital for the Turkish Cypriot community, while also defending the property rights of the Greek Cypriots,” Derviş concluded.
National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu argued on Wednesday that Maraş (Varosha) can be reopened through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). According to a statement issued from the party’s press office on Wednesday, Hasipoğlu said the fenced-off city had always been kept at hand by the Turkish Cypriot side as a possible concession in the negotiations process. He noted that the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution allowed the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) without having to wait for a comprehensive settlement. Hasipoğlu said: “Perhaps it was predicted back then that a comprehensive settlement would never be achieved.”
He added the Greek Cypriot side refused to accept the lifting of the embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots in exchange for the return of Maraş (Varosha).” He noted that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected to date all plans and confidence-building measures on Maraş (Varosha). “Therefore, it is the Greek Cypriot side which owes an explanation to the lawful owners in Maraş (Varosha).
>> Turkey will be forced to pay large amounts of compensation in addition to TC losing territory, should Evkaf’s claims on Maraş (Varosha) be ignored.
>> Evkaf laws are recognized & protected by international treaties, constitutional provisions and laws rendering property restitution mechanism legally invalid.
>> 1958 Larnaca District Court had recognized the Ahkamu’l Evkaf (laws governing foundation properties) in the Tersefan case.
>> Maraş (Varosha) can be reopened through the IPC.
>> Maraş (Varosha) had always been kept as a possible concession in the negotiations process.
>> The GC side refused to accept lifting embargoes on the TCs in exchange for the return of Maraş (Varosha)
>> GC side has rejected to date all the plans and CBMs on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Therefore, GC side owes an explanation to the lawful owners on Maraş (Varosha).
Özersay reveals his intention to run for president
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Governance & Power Sharing
People’s Party (HP) leader and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay for the first time openly admitted his intention to run in the 2020 presidential elections.
He said that he would not shy away from responsibility if the country needed him. “I am not going to lie but I do want to run [as a candidate],” Özersay said while addressing party members during a meeting in İskele (Trikomo) on Tuesday.
He reminded he had entered politics for the first time with his presidential candidacy in 2015.
Özersay noted that people were moving away from political movements and political parties.
He said that he would be giving his final decision when the time came after consulting with his party.
Touching on the developments around the island, Özersay said: “We can choose to be a spectator to the developments or if we act timely and correctly, we can also become an actor in the region.” He also drew attention to the ideological differences in the country ahead of the presidential elections. “Voters in the upcoming elections will have to choose between someone who will continue to negotiate for a bicommunal, bizonal federation as it has been done for the past 50 odd years or someone who will be open to discussing new ideas and who does not think dogmatically,” Özersay said.
Experts say US State Department’s ‘Human Trafficking’ report exposes dark reality in the North
Experts, speaking to Kıbrıs, evaluated the section in the US State Department’s “Human Trafficking Report” regarding the Turkish Cypriot community. Şifa Alçıcıoğlu and Cansu Nazlı commented on the problems experienced with “night clubs, foreign workers and asylum seekers.” The report highlights that 319 women are currently employed at night clubs with their passports withheld by the owners. However, the report also draws attention to efforts to conceal the suffering of the women at night clubs who are forced to have sex with customers.
Lawyer Cansu Nazlı, who is also a “Bağımsızlık Yolu” (Road to Independence) party assembly member, said: “It is an open secret that the women at night clubs work like slaves” and added that these women will not be able to have their freedom unless the night clubs are shut down. She argued that even the police do not want to intervene in the night clubs because of the ties these establishments have with the mafia. She recalled some of the night club owners had even threatened the Interior Minister in the past. On the issue of the asylum seekers, Nazlı emphasized that none of the governments in power had taken on the initiative to pass legislation that would allow the granting of legal status to asylum seekers.
“As a result, these individuals are treated as illegal immigrants and once arrested are deported,” Nazlı said. She said this situation was a source of embarrassment for the country.
Şifa Alçıcıoğlu, an educator with the Women Education Collective, said that the US State Department report revealed the stark reality no matter how hard the authorities in the country try to hide the problems on immigration, refugees and night clubs. She pointed out that foreign workers are often forced to work without any assurances or rights.
“They also live in fear of being deported once found,” she added. On the issue of the night clubs, Alçıcıoğlu said the current legislative measures are designed to protect the night club owners.
“Nothing is being done to improve the working conditions or to protect the women who are made to work like slaves,” she said.
On the issue of the migrants, Alçıcıoğlu argued: “It is more tragic to migrants or asylum seekers, who risk their lives to escape war, being deported back to their countries.”
Syrian asylum seekers shipped back to Turkey
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Migration & Citizenship, Human Rights
Fifty-one Syrians, including a pregnant woman and four children, were sent back to Turkey on Wednesday after arriving in the TRNC last month, newspapers reported on Thursday.
The 43 men, four women, and four children, the youngest aged eight, who had been detained in an old building at Ercan (Tymbou) airport, were returned to Turkey on a ship.
The Syrians had wanted to apply for asylum in South Cyprus but were instead detained in a dilapidated building in overcrowded conditions.
The decision to send the Syrian nationals was announced on Tuesday by Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay following a cabinet meeting.
He had told reporters the asylum seekers would be sent to Turkey following an agreement reached with the Turkish Department of Migration.
Speaking to Yenidüzen, Infectious diseases physician Dr Nesil Bayraktar who examined the asylum seekers said that the conditions under which the Syrians had been detained were appalling.
She said that asylum seekers were forced to stay in overcrowded and unhygienic rooms and that many suffered illnesses as a result of the conditions.
Bayraktar said the asylum seekers had expressed their frustration over the government’s decision to ship them off to Turkey and said they would try coming back to the island again, this time with boats.
Number of stolen tractors from the South rises to four
Diyalog reported on Thursday that the four individuals arrested in connection with the theft and smuggling of four tractors from the south denied the charges brought against them.
Mustafa Bayır, Cuma Bayır, their nephew Mustafa Bayır and İbrahim Karabulut were arrested on July 1, 2019, on charges of stealing four tractors from the south and smuggling them into the TRNC through a military zone between the villages of Güvercinlik (Acheritou) and Çayönü (Kalopsida). The four are being charged with smuggling, trespassing a military zone, theft and fraud.
Testifying in court on Wednesday, the investigating police officer Kemal Onbaşı said the perpetrators stole the tractors from Avgoru village, smuggling them across the border.
The officers said that they were still looking for the other two tractors.
The four men denied the charges. The judge remanded the four men for six more days.
The articles in the CDF Press Review are translated or reproduced as they were reported by the media in each community, including the terminology adopted. Their inclusion in the review does not mean that CDF endorses the views they reflect or confirms the information they contain.
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