TCC Press Review | 28 Feb 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Knot over dairy subsidies

Talks between livestock breeders and the government failed to produce a result yesterday. Livestock breeders set out for Nicosia with their tractors but were prevented by police. In response, the protestors blocked the junction at Ercan airport with their vehicles, forcing passengers to walk to the terminal building. The protest action is set to continue today.

  • Call to all operators not to charge roaming fees – CTP deputy Fikri Toros calls on mobile phone operators not to charge roaming fees when interoperability is achieved.

Kıbrıs Postası

TRNC’s MRI taken

(Serdar) Denktaş presented the TRNC Quality of Life research findings, which was commissioned by the Finance Ministry.

  • Livestock breeders blocked access to Ercan – When prohibited to enter Nicosia by the police, livestock breeders carried their protest to Ercan Airport.

Kıbrıs

Livestock breeders outraged

Due to police measures, livestock breeders could not reach Nicosia for their protests. Tension rose between the police and farmers. 

  • 66.7% of households at lower income level – Denktaş announced the results of the TRNC Quality of Life and Assets research.
  • UNSC underlines facilitating contact between two communities – Security Council issued a press statement welcoming the CBMs agreed by two leaders.
  • Establishment permits for six universities suspended – Announced by Higher Education Accreditation Board Member Professor Mehmet Hasguler.

Havadis

Terms of Reference from scratch

Middle East Technical University (METU) published its technical report on the procurement of a power generator for KIBTEK, which resulted in the removal of the electricity company’s board director from duty.

  • In search of a vision for three years – PM Tufan Erhurman spoke at the Social and Economic Council meeting and emphasized the government is going strong despite rumours that coalition is dissolving.

Diyalog

The main problem is their debts

Positive steps are being taken to reduce the current number of 28 municipalities in the TRNC.

  • 2 new crossing points – Anastasiades said to have presented Akıncı with a new list of 21 confidence-building measures.
  • Crime machine in the South – It emerged that man arrested in South Cyprus who is also wanted for drug-related charges in the North is Haydar Sahin.

Afrika

Our population is 800,000

Serdar Denktaş, responding to a question during a presentation of a report, said he believed the population was 800,000 and that only one per cent of the population in the TRNC was extremely wealthy.

  • Aysegul Baybars: I’m embarrassed to talk about the population issue – Interior Minister Baybars’ response to remarks made by Finance Minister/DP leader Serdar Denktaş.
  • Compensation to the family of Greek Cypriot missing since 1964 – Court in South Cyprus orders GC government to pay 50,000 Euros in compensation after it failed to take action against two Turkish Cypriots believed to be responsible.

Main News

UN Security Council welcomes progress on CBMs

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

OVERVIEW

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) welcomed the progress made by the two leaders on CBMs and stressed the importance of mobile phone interoperability and electricity interconnectivity to assist contact between the two communities. The UNSC commended the two leaders on the decision to demine 18 minefields in line with the goal to achieve a mine-free Cyprus.

The UNSC urged the leaders to direct their efforts on agreeing and implementing new CBMs as well as put their efforts behind further work on reaching convergences on the core issues of the Cyprus problem. The UNSC stressed that the status quo on the island is unsustainable.

KEY ACTORS
UNSC
>>
Welcomes progress made by leaders on CBMs.
>> Urges leaders to agree and implement new CBMs & work on reaching convergences on core Cyprob issues.
>> Status quo on the island is unsustainable.


More political reactions to leaders’ meeting

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

OVERVIEW

Speaker of the Parliament Teberruken Ulucay said the leaders’ agreements were important and positive developments.

He expressed hope they will contribute to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Ulucay also noted that the CBMs on mobile phone interoperability and electricity grids will have a positive impact on the daily lives of all Cypriots.

He congratulated the two leaders for the agreement to demine minefields in line with their mine-free Cyprus goal, adding that the exchange of artworks with pre-1963 recordings will contribute to reinstating mutual trust between the communities.

Ulucay underlined the vital importance for Anastasiades to clarify his views on power-sharing in order for the talks to resume.

The Turkish Cypriot side is willing and ready for the resumption of a results-oriented process which will be subject to a timeframe but will not be open-ended, nor bring the TCs’ political equality into question, he said.

Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktaş said that political equality of the TCs must be ensured in any solution to be reached. He said that although he was not in favour of a federal solution his party would not oppose a federal settlement on the condition that it safeguards the political equality and freedom of TCs.

National Unity Party (UBP) leader Ersin Tatar urged Mustafa Akinci to table the two-state solution model. Tatar noted that the majority of the TC people would support the idea. He reminded that the Greek Cypriot side continues to impose embargoes on the TC people and advance its unilateral hydrocarbon activities. The GC side has not changed its position on rejecting the effective participation of TCs in the decision-making processes as well as on scrapping Turkey’s guarantees on the island, he added.

Re-birth Party (YDP) leader Erhan Arikli noted that Nicos Anastasiades insists on ending the unilateral right of intervention and wants to put an end to Turkey’s guarantees while not agreeing to TC political equality. Arikli reiterated that the GC mindset has not changed at all and urged Akinci to stop wasting his efforts on the federation model but instead focus them on a new vision for the TRNC. Arikli also welcomed the CBM agreements achieved at Tuesday’s leaders’ meeting.

KEY ACTORS
Ulucay
>>
CBMs will have positive impact on daily lives of Cypriots, help reinstate mutual trust between two communities & contribute to comprehensive settlement.  
>> Anastasiades needs to be clear on his power-sharing proposals.
>> TC side ready & willing for results-oriented process subject to timetable but without questioning TCs’ political equality.

Denktaş (DP)
>>
TC political equality must be ensured if and when a solution is reached.
>> DP not in favour of federal solution, but will not oppose it if TCs’ political equality & freedom are safeguarded.

Tatar (UBP)
>> Akinci must put two-state solution model on the table.
>> Majority of TCs would support this.
>> GCs continue to impose embargoes on TC side & undertake unilateral hydrocarbon activities.
>> GC positions on effective participation & Turkish guarantees remain unchanged.

Arıklı (YDP)
>> GC mindset and positions (on guarantees & political equality) not changed.
>> Akinci should stop wasting time on federation model, but focus on new vision for TRNC.
>> CBM agreements welcomed.


Toros: Call to mobile operators not to charge roaming fees

Yeniduzen
CBMs, Economy

OVERVIEW

Regarding the CBM on mobile phone interoperability, CTP Deputy Fikri Toros said that Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot subscribers will be able to use their phones across the whole island.

He said mobile phone operators will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss call charges and a roadmap for the future.

As a politician, Toros called on mobile phone operators not to charge roaming fees. The CTP Deputy added that efforts to make GSM interoperability possible had been going on for the past five years , with the aim to raise the quality of people’s daily lives. “We are also working to ensure that the operator charges will be as low as possible,” he said.

KEY ACTORS
Toros (CTP)
>> Call made to all operators not to charge roaming fees.


Civil society welcomes leaders’ decisions on CBMs

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
CBMs

OVERVIEW

The Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) welcomed the decisions taken by the leaders’ aimed at easing daily life across the island and improving relations between the two communities.

In a written statement, KTTO said much effort had been made for the implementation of the CBMs agreed upon. The fact that these targets have been reached was a good example and source of encouragement for future cooperation in other areas, it added

KTTO said that it supported a speedy and just solution to the Cyprus Problem, adding that this was necessary for the people of the island and regional peace. Working harder for CBMs has become a necessity as such steps ease daily life on the island, it said. The Chamber also highlighted the urgent need for measures to ease trade between the two sides.

The Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union (KTOS), the Cyprus Turkish Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOES) and the Press Workers’ Union (BASIN-SEN) issued a joint statement welcoming the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem. The unions said that Tuesday’s meeting between the leaders had demonstrated that nothing could prevent steps taken towards a solution if Cypriots adopted a determined stance.

The three trade unions said that the CBM agreements were a good response to circles that gathered their strength from the continuation of the status quo.

They also emphasised the importance of education in peace-building, stating that it was necessary to foster a culture of peace. The joint statement said that education constituted the foundation of peace.

The statement also called on the two leaders not to just focus on CBMs but to take concrete steps towards a lasting solution on the island. “To be a leader requires taking initiatives to bring peace and a solution to our country by looking out for the interests of Cypriots,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the intercommunal civil society movement Unite Cyprus Now (UCN) welcomed the CBMs reconfirmed by the leaders but maintained a cautiously optimistic stance on their implementation.
UCN reminded that the CBMs announced after Tuesday’s meeting were initially agreed upon in 2015.

The organisation noted that the decision to exchange artwork was nonetheless a step in the right direction to build confidence among Cypriots. UCN stressed, however, that CBMs cannot substitute a mutually acceptable federal solution based on political equality.

The group also urged the two leaders to display the required will to resume the talks in order to bring an end to the division of the island in line with the 30 June, 2017 Guterres framework and in line with past convergences and agreements.

KEY ACTORS
KTTO
>> CBMs necessary to ease daily life on the island.
>> Agreements on CBMs good example & source of encouragement for future cooperation.
>>
Urgent need for measures to ease trade between two sides.

Trade Unions (KTOS, KTOEOS & BASIN-SEN)
>>
CBMs welcomed, showed that steps towards solution possible.
>> Education constitutes foundation of peace-building & fostering of peace culture.
>> Leaders should not only focus on CBMs but should take concrete steps for a solution.


Denktaş reveals interesting findings on population

Yenidüzen, Afrika
Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

Finance Minister Serdar Denktas discussed the findings of research on the population in the North with the press on Wednesday, saying that the government does not have any plans to hold a population census even though there is a serious need for it.

Asked to comment on the population figures, Denktaş said he believed there were currently around 800,000 people living in the TRNC.

The findings of the report, according to Denktaş, also revealed that people living in the TRNC, despite all the negative developments, were happier than their neighbours in the South and Turkey.

Commenting on Denktaş’ remarks on a TV programme, Interior Minister Aysegul Baybars said it is vital to record the number of people entering the country otherwise anyone can give any figure.

Baybars added that the necessary registration mechanisms are being prepared now. She also said she felt embarrassed about the fact that there was no exact information about the country’s population.

KEY ACTORS
Denktaş
>>
No plans to hold population census even though there is a need for it.
>> Believes there are 800,000 people living in the North.
>> Research shows that TCs are happier than GC and Turkish neighbours.

Baybars
>>
Registration mechanisms are being prepared to record the number of entries into the country.


Kizilyurek: TCs need to make their presence felt in EU

Yenidüzen
EU Matters

OVERVIEW

European Parliament (EP) candidate Niyazi Kiziyurek said that the purpose of his candidacy, apart from his election, was to lay the foundations for a joint future between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

Kizilyürek, who visited the United Cyprus Party (BKP), repeated his views that Turkish Cypriots were EU citizens and that the time had come to show this to the world. He said that TCs definitely needed to vote in the upcoming EP elections, to make their presence felt and their voice heard within the EU.

BKP leader İzzet İzcan underlined the importance of pro-federation supporters waging a struggle under one roof. The EP elections provided TCs with such an opportunity, making success essential.

“We are already Europeans, we are EU citizens. The time has come for us to run for institutions, to be a party to, to normalize by integrating with the world and Europe,” he said.

The BKP leader also said that his party will play a role in getting Turkish Cypriots represented within the EP.

KEY ACTORS
Kizilyürek
>>
Purpose of candidacy is to lay foundations of common future for TCs & GCs.
>> TCs need to make their presence felt & voice heard in EU institutions.

İzcan (BKP)
>> Important for pro-federation supports to wage joint struggle, EP elections provide TCs with such an opportunity.
>> Time has come for TCs to exercise rights as EU citizens, to normalize by integrating with the world & Europe.
>> BKP will support TC representation in EP.


Parliamentary sub-committee held its third meeting on conscientious objection

Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

A parliamentary sub-committee convened on Wednesday to continue its discussions on amendments to the compulsory military service law to recognize conscientious objection as a right.

Representatives from The European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, members from the Canadian Law Association, representatives of Conscientious Objection Initiative and Turkish Cypriot Bar of Lawyers attended the meeting alongside the regular members.

The parliamentary sub-committee will continue its discussions on the proposed amendments.