Front Page Headlines
Here is Dome hotel’s contract
Final stage reached in the signing of a contract for Dome Hotel which had been at the centre of a dispute between the Evkaf Administration and the Tourism Workers’ Trade Union (Dayanışma Turizm Ltd).
A debate on constitutional amendments needed before [presidential] elections
Foreign Minister and Deputy PM Kudret Özersay emphasized past year proved the vitality for change in the system, adding there is a need for debate on constitutional amendments.
- Cyprus Turkish Airways case concluded – 15 million Turkish Lira to be paid in lieu of former CTA employees’ social security premiums.
Women are not men’s property
Association of Women to Support Living (KAYAD) activist Mine Atlı spoke on measures to be implemented to prevent growing violence against women.
- We want equality, not positive discrimination – TC Businesswomen’s Association emphasized equality in their 8 March International Women’s Day statement.
- Agreement reached on Dome Hotel – The lease agreement approved by both the Evkaf Administration and Tourism Workers’ Union.
Our goal is cheaper electricity
Energy Minister Özdil Nami spoke about energy policies and said: “Our goal is to provide affordable electricity to consumers.”
- Happy ending at Dome Hotel – Evkaf Administration and the Tourism Workers’ Union reached an agreement on the 10-year lease agreement. Dayanışma (Solidarity) Tourism Ltd will sign the agreement.
Second case exposed
Realtor Yasemin Taşkın, following a similar incident with famous actor Selçuk Yöntem, is claimed to have swindled Mehmet Ali Beldiran, who lives in Germany, out of 41,000 Euros.
- Big trap – Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades announced that Britain does not want to continue its role as a guarantor power.
It’s our turn to speak
Attackers (of Afrika newspaper) are free, those who opened flags on the roof of parliament are free, 9 attackers still not caught but Şener Levent and Ali Osman’s trials still continue.
- RoC citizenship for 529 Turkish Cypriot children – Claims that the Interior Ministry in South Cyprus could be granting 529 children from mixed marriages RoC citizenship. Greek Cypriot Interior Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied the reports.
- 101 artworks more to be returned – Ümit İnatçı told Politis newspaper that a hundred more pieces of artwork will be returned to Greek Cypriots.
Erhürman and Tatar clash over federation modelDiyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Territory, External Security
Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman and main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) leader Ersin Tatar debated on domestic issues in a televised programme aired on Tuesday on Diyalog TV.
During the programme, moderated by Reşat Akar, Tatar criticized the government and Erhürman responded, rejecting Tatar’s allegations as being based on speculations.
Erhürman highlighted that the inflation rate in the north is higher than Turkey even though both have suffered from the same economic crisis due to the devaluation of the Turkish Lira as of August 2018.
Erhürman said the high inflation rate points to structural problems such as: dependency on imports; delays in revising the state employment system; failing to provide qualified personnel to the tourism sector; and failing to promote the private sector over the public sector.
In addition, the Premier noted that most of the state budget is allocated to public sector salary payments. Erhürman also touched on the delays in signing the economic protocol agreement with Turkey, adding that following local elections in Turkey, the agreement will be signed.
Erhürman responded to Tatar’s question on implementing public-private partnership in managing state entities and said both the government programme and the economic protocol on public-private partnerships will be implemented in ports management and in telecommunications.
Erhürman accused UBP of allowing low-quality higher education institutions to be established. “Twenty universities in a small island is too much,” said the Premier, adding that the tertiary education sector is now an 800m USD worth sector but the Higher Education Accreditation Board (YÖDAK) was only improved under the four-party coalition government. The government is now working on increasing YÖDAK’s control over the universities.
On the Cyprus issue, Erhürman stressed that the four-party coalition is working harmoniously and it is not abnormal to see political parties with different positions on the Cyprus problem. The Prime Minister reminded Tatar that CTP and UBP had formed a coalition in the past, and asked him if UBP had adhered to a federal solution then.
Tatar in response reiterated that the people want a confederal structure even though there might be a consensus in the government over a federation.
Tatar said a federation and political equality were baseless and insincere arguments because the Greek Cypriot side signed military agreements with France and Germany. He added that the Turkish Cypriots had wasted 50 years negotiating with Greek Cypriots.
He said there were 15 MPs in the 50-seat parliament who actually supported a federal solution model. The public will has shifted since the Annan Plan, said Tatar.
“Therefore, we advocate for a two-state solution. We have to have our separate state,” Tatar added.
He also criticized Niyazi Kızılyürek for running as a candidate with the Greek Cypriot party AKEL, arguing that his candidacy will aid the Greek Cypriot side’s goal towards achieving a unitary state.
The UBP leader also argued that alternative solution models must be brought to the negotiations table. Parliament should not approve any decision by President Akıncı to resume the Cyprus negotiations process unless new ideas and models are introduced, he said.
For his part, Erhürman said that the Turkish Cypriot side’s position on the resumption of the talks was very clear.
As long as Anastasiades continues with his positions against political equality and effective participation, the Turkish Cypriot side should not enter into a new process, he said.
>> Structural problems impede Turkish Cypriots’ economic development: dependency on imports; delay revising state employment system; lack of qualified personnel in tourism sector; failure to promote private sector over public sector.
>> Economic protocol with Turkey will be signed end of March to ensure flow of funds for reforms.
>> TC side should not enter new process if Anastasiades continues position on political equality and effective participation.
>> Alternative models must be introduced to the Cyprob talks.
>> TC side must work towards two-state solution under EU umbrella.
>> TC parliament must not approve Akıncı’s decision to resume talks if alternatives not introduced.
>> Majority of TC parliament and people want confederal structure in a solution.
>> Kızıyürek’s candidacy will aid GC side’s goal of achieving a unitary state.
Conditions for a federal solution don’t exist, says ÖzersayDiyalog
Negotiations Process, Energy, Economy
Speaking on Diyalog TV on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said that conditions for a federal settlement did not exist in Cyprus due to the Greek Cypriot side’s reluctance to share power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots.
Özersay said that it was true that all four political parties that made up the coalition government had different views regarding how the Cyprus Problem should be settled.
He added, however, that the coalition partners were in harmony on other aspects of a settlement such as the importance of political equality, bizonality of a solution, the importance of the system of guarantees, practices of Turkish Cypriots regarding their immoveable property in South Cyprus, the issue of hydrocarbons and the Greek Cypriot leadership’s delaying tactics.
“When I issue statements on these issues, I do so as the foreign minister of this government,” he said.
Özersay expressed the view that all methods and approaches towards reaching a federal settlement had been exhausted over the past 50 years and that it was not possible to reach a different outcome by continuing to use the same method.
He said that a partnership was possible in Cyprus but a federal partnership was not under the current conditions.
Any federal partnership would require confidence and trust and that his Peoples’ Party (HP) supported the idea of an ‘evolutionary’ or piecemeal partnership model built through cooperation, he added.
On hydrocarbons, Özersay said that the Cyprus Problem was as much an economic issue as it was a political one.
“The issue of hydrocarbons is an issue of sharing. We are openly stating that the Greek Cypriots should not only be ready to share power with Turkish Cypriots but economic wealth as well,” he said.
Özersay complained that the Greek Cypriot side was constantly attempting to prevent Turkish Cypriots from engaging in any economic activity, particularly with other countries or actors, and in the field of tourism.
He said that an example of this was the regular attempts by Greek Cypriot officials at Larnaka Airport denying tourists with vacation plans in the North from entering Cyprus.
The island could be transformed into an economic and commercial regional hub if TRNC ports were opened to international trade and travel, even before a solution was reached, said Özersay.
>> Conditions for a federal settlement don’t exist in Cyprus. GC side reluctant to share power and wealth with TCs. Confidence & trust lacking.
>> HP favours evolutionary partnership model built through cooperation.
>> Coalition partners have different views on Cyprob but agree on certain aspects like: political equality, guarantees, bizonality, TC property in the south, hydrocarbons, GC delaying tactics.
>> Cyprob is as much an economic issue as a political one. On hydrocarbons, GCs should be willing to share wealth & power.
>> GCs constantly blocking TC economic activity. Cyprus could become regional economic & commercial hub if ports in North were opened to international trade even before a solution.
First step for Maronite resettlement to take place in Karpaşa (Karpaseia)Havadis, Diyalog
Finance Minister Serdar Denktaş met on Wednesday with the representative of the Maronite community in the South Yiannakis Moussas and members of the Return to Gürpınar (Ayia Marina) Committee to discuss progress on the Maronite Initiative, which aims to resettle Maronites in their ancestral villages.
Moussas expressed his community’s gratitude for the support shown by Denktaş for the return of Maronites to their villages which started with a scheme for Kormacit (Kormakiti) village in 2003.
He also requested that the current process for the return of Maronites to their villages be expedited.
Denktaş said, as a first step, the government will be launching a tender to complete the infrastructure of 12 Maronite homes in the village of Karpaşa (Karpaseia).
He said work at Gürpınar (Agia Marina) will commence once work in Karpaş (Karpaseia) is completed.
Denktaş pointed out a comprehensive approach was being adopted on the issue but that the initiative would be completed step by step.
He also said that Turkish Cypriots did not perceive Maronites as a minority and that their desire was to see them live happily as citizens of the TRNC.
Moussas (Maronite Community)
>> Maronite community is grateful for the initiative which started in 2003.
>> Request for current process of resettlement to be expedited.
>> First step will begin with Karpaşa (Karpaseia) village, after which Gürpınar (Agia Marina) will follow.
>> TCs don’t perceive Maronites as a minority.
>> Maronites should live happily as citizens of TRNC.