TCC Press Review | 21 Feb 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Sentenced to two months in jail for failing to implement demolition orders

Court gave ruling on former Iskele (Trikomo) District Governor Kemal Yilmaz yesterday: Two months in prison!

  • Production surplus this year – Potato produce hit by disease and trade last year, plentiful this year.

Kıbrıs Postası

No consensus in parliament on the Cyprus problem

Both HP (People’s Party) and the opposition parties ‘disturbed’ by Parliamentary Speaker Ulucay’s statement on “consensus in parliament regarding the Cyprus problem”.

  • Sentenced to two months imprisonment – Former District Officer of Iskele (Trikomo) sentenced for refusing to comply with court order to demolish bungalows.
  • Deploying Fatih to the south of Cyprus – Turkish FM Cavusoglu spoke on Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities in view of Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral actions.
  • All will be better in the TRNC – “As long as there is not a new shock, the economy will improve and all will be better,” said President of Central Bank.

Kıbrıs

“I handed my son over to the police myself,” said mother of drug addict

Rabia Senol, due to lack of a rehabilitation centre, had to hand over her son to the police to rescue him from drug pushers and from his addiction.

  • The second platform to start drilling in the southern part of Cyprus – Turkish FM Cavusoglu announced that the second drilling vessel will be deployed to south Cyprus for drilling.
  • Now KIBTEK board directors are the problem – Energy Minister Nami spoke with the party leaders, whom KIBTEK board members are appointed by, and asked them to stop criticisms of Nami on social media.

Havadis

Cittaslow Mehmetcik up in a stir

Even though the Mayor of Mehmetcik (Galateia) rejects allegations, residents of the area are outraged with rumours of handing over the public beach restaurant to Acapulco Hotel.

  • The main problem is the tendering process for power generators – EL-SEN (trade union for KIBTEK workers) President Kubilay Ozkirac emphasized that the Energy Minister wants to by-pass the electricity company’s board management. 
  • Former District Officer sent to jail – Former Iskele (Trikomo) District Officer imprisoned for willingly delaying court order to demolish bungalows.

Diyalog

People on the brink of revolting

Residents of Yesilkoy (Ayios Andronikos) can’t find land to build on, bury their dead in overlapping graves and can’t find doctors or nurses.

  • 4 parties share the same view – Ozersay says that majority of parliament does not find a federal solution realistic.

Afrika

Court jeered

Family members of former Iskele (Trikomo) District Governor Kemal Yılmaz jeer Iskele District Court’s ruling sentencing him to two months in prison after finding him guilty.

Main News

Parties slam Ulucay for statements on consensus in parliament over Cyprob

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

OVERVIEW

A volley of statements was issued on Wednesday by leaders of some of the political parties with seats in the TRNC parliament refuting statements made by Parliamentary Speaker Teberruken Ulucay that there was a strong consensus among the parties on the Cyprus Problem.

Peoples’ Party (HP) leader, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay stated via social media that the political views or positions of the parties in parliament on what the basis of a settlement should be had not changed. He argued that a majority of the MPs in parliament shared the view that the Greek Cypriots were not ready to share power or wealth with Turkish Cypriots, had not come to terms with the notion of political equality with Turkish Cypriots, and that a federal settlement was no longer a realistic option.

He said that while two political parties and a group of MPs believed that a federal settlement was the only realistic option for a settlement and that negotiations should be held on that basis, the two others did not find this a realistic option.

Ozersay said the only issue where one could talk about consensus among the parties was that the Greek Cypriot leader was trying to maintain the status quo by delaying a settlement.

Main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) MP Ersin Tatar reacted strongly to Ulucay’s remarks, openly stating that his party did not share the President’s views on the Cyprus Problem. He said that Ulucay’s statement had created a misperception that there was consensus in parliament.

Tatar also said that Akıncı should abandon efforts to reach a federal settlement, and bring to the table alternative options such as a confederation, velvet divorce or two-state solution. He also argued that all prospects for a federal settlement had died when talks collapsed in Crans-Montana.

Rebirth Party (YDP) leader Erhan Arıklı also joined the chorus of parties who slammed Ulucay, stating the parties were far from reaching any consensus on the Cyprus Problem.

On Wednesday, Ulucay’s office issued a written statement stating that his remarks had been taken out of context and that what he had actually said was that consensus existed between the parties on issues such as political equality and the fact that any new process should not be open-ended but should be results-oriented and subject to timetables.

KEY ACTORS
Ulucay
>> Consensus exists between parties in Parliament on issues such as political equality and that negotiations should be result-oriented and not open-ended.

Ozersay
>>
Majority of MPs share the view that GCs do not want to share power or wealth with TCs & have not embraced the idea of political equality with TCs.
>> Majority of MPs believe a federal solution is no longer a realistic option.
>> Only two parties and a group of MPs believe federal solution is only realistic option. >> Settlement will benefit all sides and region.
>> Only consensus that exists is on fact that GC leader is trying to maintain status quo by delaying a settlement.

Tatar
>> UBP does not share Akinci’s views regarding developments on Cyprus Problem.
>> Akinci should abandon efforts to reach a federal settlement.
>> Alternative options such as confederation, velvet divorce or two-state solution should be brought to the negotiating table.
>> All prospects of a federal solution ended with Crans-Montana failure


Kizilyurek: “Turkish Cypriots are European citizens”

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
EU Matters

OVERVIEW

European Parliament (EP) candidate Prof. Dr Niyazi Kizilyurek who visited the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union (KTOS) as part of his election campaign said that his election will have a positive impact on Turkish Cypriots and efforts to reach a settlement.  Asking for the votes of all those who support a federal settlement, Kizilyurek said that Turkish Cypriots were European citizens and did not have to live in isolation. He said Turkish Cypriots should exercise their European citizenship to fight discrimination and racism. Kizilyurek also pointed out 105,000 Turkish Cypriots could vote in the upcoming EP elections.

The EP candidate from AKEL’s roster also said that his election would be the best response to the status quo.

Kizilyurek said living as a community without a status only speeded up the erosion process, adding that the current situation had started to threaten the existence of Turkish Cypriots. He said Anastasiades was not ready to share power with Turkish Cypriots and the opposing stance adopted by AKEL against this was extremely important.

KTOS Secretary General Sener Elcil expressed support to Kizilyurek’s candidacy and expressed the view that participation of TCs in the EP elections should be increased. He said the EP elections were not elections between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and that anyone who wanted the reunification of Cyprus should vote. “We believe that this election will create an impartial ‘window of opportunity’ for a solution and peace,” Elcil said.

KEY ACTORS
Kizilyurek
>> Taking a seat in EP will have a positive impact on TCs and settlement efforts.
>> TCs are European citizens and should not have to live in isolation.
>> TCs should exercise European citizenship against racism and discrimination.
>> Current situation threatening the existence of TCs.
>> AKEL’s stance against Anastasiades’ reluctance to share power with TCs extremely important.

Elcil
>>
KTOS supports Kizilyurek’s candidacy.
>> Participation of TCs in EP election should be increased.
>> EP elections not an election between TCs and GCs but a ‘window of opportunity’ for peace and a solution in Cyprus.


UBP ready for early elections

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

National Unity Party’s (UBP) Deputy Secretary-General Ahmet Savasan announced his party will be organising a workshop to plan the party’s future strategy. Criticizing the current government for failing to keep its promises, and its practices, Savasan claimed that the people wanted to see UBP in government and that UBP was actively working as the main opposition party. He said if the right conditions prevailed, the UBP was ready for early elections.

The UBP official also argued that the current government’s policies were weakening the Turkish Cypriots position on the international platform. Atakan said the coalition government was in confusion and conflict on the Cyprus Problem, as the Foreign Minister who visited the US conveyed his own views as the views of the government. The same minister, he added, was speaking about alternative solution options.

Atakan also pointed out that President Akinci had earlier admitted the Greek Cypriot side did not want a federal settlement but was still insisting on a federal settlement out of concerns for his re-election. “We see this is a big sign of weakness,” he added. Atakan also said the UBP’s positions on Cyprus overlapped with Turkey’s current stance on the Cyprus Problem in favour of a two-state solution. 

Pointing out that the majority of MPs in parliament favoured a two-state solution, Atakan said the public’s will in favour of a federal settlement that emerged the day Akinci was elected was no longer present.

“A two-state solution must be openly and courageously voiced,” he said.

KEY ACTORS
Atakan
>> UBP ready for early elections.
>> Government’s policies weakening TCs at international platforms.
>> UBP’s position overlaps with Turkey’s stance in favour of a two-state solution.
>> Majority of MPs in parliament support two-state solution.
>> A two-state solution must be openly and courageously voiced.


Youth from both sides to visit the US

Yeniduzen
CBMs

OVERVIEW

The Cyprus Friendship Programme (CFP) which entered its 11th year will be sending a mixed group of Turkish and Greek Cypriots between the ages of 15-18 years to the US for a month to stay with families there.

A meeting to inform those interested in applying will be held on Thursday. Head Turkish Cypriot Coordinator Simge Kahvecioglu said that CFP was one of the most successful and stable bicommunal programs in Cyprus.

She said that the aim of the programme, which was a purely voluntary bicommunal peace project, was to foster friendship and trust between youth from the two communities and to allow hope to flourish instead of bias and prejudice. 


Cavusoglu: “Deploying our second platform to the south of Cyprus for drilling”

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, addressing civil society in Bodrum, stated that Deepsea Metro 1, Turkey’s second hydrocarbon drilling platform, will soon arrive in Turkey and be deployed to the south of Cyprus to carry out drilling while Fatih, the first vessel, will carry on its activities off the coast of Alanya.

Referring to the Crans-Montana process, Cavusoglu stated the reasons for the failure of the process as the Greek Cypriot side’s lack of desire to share power, governance or economy with the Turkish Cypriots.

Despite the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals to collaborate on hydrocarbons, Cavusoglu noted that the Greek Cypriot side continues its unilateral activities.

On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Turkey’s main opposition party and accused CHP of adopting the Greek Cypriot rhetoric on Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities, which demand Turkey to cease its operations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It is only natural that some will be disturbed by Turkey’s activities in the region, however, one should question CHP’s attitude on the issue, said Erdogan, addressing the crowd during an inauguration ceremony in Ankara ahead of local elections.

KEY ACTORS
Cavusoglu
>> Second drill rig will soon be deployed south of Cyprus.
>> Crans-Montana failed because of GCs refusal to share power, governance & economy with TCs.
>> GCs choose to continue hydrocarbon activities unilaterally despite TC proposals to collaborate.

Erdogan
>>
CHP has adopted the GC rhetoric & wants Turkey to cease its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. 


Central Bank governor says banking sector strong

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Economy

OVERVIEW

Rifat Gunay, governor of the TRNC Central Bank, said despite economic difficulties in 2018, the Turkish Cypriot banking sector came out strong with a 96.7% liquidity and with a 10.8 billion Turkish Lira (TL) active growth. Even though the devaluation of the Turkish Lira has created uncertainty in the Turkish Cypriot market, the Central Bank together with the government has implemented measures to protect both customers and banks.

Gunay said non-performing loans dropped to 5.53% from 11.46% among the 21 banks operating in the north, adding that bank revenues increased by 70% compared to the previous year’s revenues mainly as a result in trading in currencies.

Asked whether any one of the banks take their funds abroad, Gunay rejected the claims and assured that bank deposits are under the strict control of the Central Bank.

KEY ACTORS
Gunay
>> Central Bank is strong enough to intervene in any economic crisis now.


Proposed amendments to mandatory military service law discussed

Havadis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

A parliamentary sub-committee convened on Wednesday to continue discussions on the proposed amendments to the compulsory military service law – specifically recognizing conscientious objection as a right. Representatives from the Presidency, Prime Ministry, Foreign Ministry, Turkish Cypriot Security Forces, TMT War Veterans’ Association, Turkish Cypriot Bar Association of Lawyers, Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation and Conscientious Objection Initiative attended the meeting to share their views on conscientious objection.