TCC Press Review | 15 Mar 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

“I bought all of them from a bookstore”

Bengül Gargınsu, the figure in the spotlight regarding possession of illegal publications and membership to outlawed organisations, spoke to Yenidüzen’s MertÖzdağ and Devrim Demir.

  • President Akıncı: Our ship is taking on water. Society’s psychology is being ruined. First thing we need to do is have a census – President Akıncı highlights the importance of population census.
  • Prime Minister Erhürman: “We want to live in a country where we feel secure” – PM Erhürman says entry of around 3,000 people denied due to security reasons.
  • Özersay: “We have 351,000 citizens, 61,000 live abroad – FM Özersay speaks on population census debate.
  • They fled with two cars: Planned murder – Second car driven by suspects in Naim Gökhan murder found abandoned on the Ercan-Gaziköy road (Tymbou-Afanteia).

Kıbrıs Postası

Critical day for public reform [bill]

Following their protest yesterday, 12 trade unions will meet with the Prime Minister on Friday

  • FM Kudret Özersay: not possible to progress if hoping to take votes by pushing for a federation – FM Özersay says disregarding realities in view of election plans will only harm the country.
  • Gargınsu and Alıcı released on bail – Court released mother and daughter on bail while the prosecutor will seek expert opinion on books allegedly promoting terror organization.

Kıbrıs

Murderers on the loose

Murderers, believed to be Pakistani nationals, are still on the loose. Police found the rental vehicle believed to have been used as a getaway car near Gaziköy (Afanteia).

  • Gargınsu and Alıcı released on bail – Police will continue its investigation on links to terror organizations. Platform of Unions showed support to mother and daughter outside the Court House.
  • President Akıncı: Community is depressed – Akıncı emphasized the psychological effects of the increasing crimes on the community.
  • PM Erhürman: 3,000 people denied entry into the country – Erhürman spoke on the need to increase measures to ensure security.

Havadis

Biggest problem: population

President Akıncı underlined the number of TRNC ID card holders increased by 130,000 in three and a half years and urged authorities to hold a population census.

  • Books are not a crime – Ombudsperson Emine Dizdarlı said a book on its own cannot constitute a violation but if it contains propaganda for a terror organization, then it is considered a crime.
  • 12 trade unions to meet with the premier – PM Erhürman will meet with the trade unions on the public reform bill on Friday.

Diyalog

Red Alert

It’s been claimed that vital intelligence was passed to the North from the South three weeks ago regarding a possible bank robbery.

  • Exit prohibited – Bengül Gargınsu and her daughter Simge Alıcı, charged with being members of an outlawed organisation and spreading PKK propaganda, were released on bail but will not be allowed to leave the country.
  • ‘Hope for return is fading’ – Refugees from Maraş (Varosha) who visited GC leader Anastasiades express concerns of never being able to return to their properties.

Afrika

The arrested are released

Society fights back regarding ban on books and arrests. We shall not allow Turkey’s fascist practices to be imported to Cyprus!

  • Strong voice against occupation and fascism – Yasemin Movement promoted EP candidates at event held in South Cyprus.
  • Magnificent art lesson from Yaşar Ersoy – Four more witnesses heard in Afrika newspaper-Erdoğan cartoon case.

Main News

Akıncı: Biggest problem is not knowing the population

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Citizenship and Migration, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı said it is vital to know the population of the country in order for healthy planning, report all the dailies.

He urged parliament and the government to carry out a population census without delay.

Speaking at a Medicine Day event on Thursday, Akıncı reminded that the number of TRNC citizens provided to him three-and-a-half years ago was 220,000 but that the recent figure given to him by the Interior Minister has gone up to 343,000. Akıncı said that this meant the population had increased by 130,000 citizens during this time.

He added that the previous government used to grant a thousand citizenships per month and the current one grants about 500 a month. The President underlined the importance of knowing the exact number of citizens while negotiating for a solution and reiterated the need to hold a population census in the country.

Akıncı also touched on the ongoing efforts to revise the citizenship law and stressed that the proposed bill has not come into the public eye yet.

He highlighted that “our ship is taking on water,” adding, efforts to improve the country must commence as negativities and anomalies have started to be accepted as normal. The starting point is the population census for planning and planned development.

On Thursday night, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay refuted Akıncı’s point on the population census during a TV programme he attended on public broadcaster BRT. Özersay said it is not possible to identify the population through a census because it will not include the citizens living abroad. He noted there are 351,000 citizens according to Interior Ministry records, of which 61,000 live abroad.

Özersay underlined the measures implemented by the government to reduce crime rates and talked about university registrations, electronic ID cards, which allow immigration officials to monitor criminal records of individuals, and measures to stop labourers working on tourist visas.

Speaking on the citizenship law, Özersay said the government’s first priority was to draft a bill on citizenship. He added that the citizenship bill is almost completed and will be submitted to parliament in 10 days.

Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman on BRT said the government is working towards establishing a more secure country, noting that 3,000 people have been denied entry while entering the country. Erhürman added that despite much criticism directed towards the Interior Minister, Ayşegül Baybars has implemented the agreement with Turkey allowing Immigration officials to see the criminal records of those arriving.

Erhürman said the City Security Management System is being installed to monitor public spaces through CCTV cameras.

KEY ACTORS
AKINCI
>> Need census now to know population number for planned development.
>> TRNC citizens increased by 130,000 in three and a half years to 343,000.
>> Current government grants 500 citizenships per month whereas previous one a thousand a month.
>> Knowing the number of citizens is vital in Cyprus talks.

Özersay (HP)
>>
Population is 351,000, including 61,000 citizens living abroad.
>> Population census will not identify the number of citizens living abroad.

Erhürman (CTP)
>> 3,000 people have been denied entry into the country as a result of the agreement signed with Turkey, which makes it possible to see criminal records of individuals upon entry.
>> City Security Management System being installed to monitor public spaces with surveillance cameras.


Özersay: public must be told truth about federation

Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Diyalog
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The leader of the Peoples’ Party (HP), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said it was clear that 50 years of negotiations had failed to produce a settlement. The time had come to stop misleading the public and tell the truth that a federal settlement was not possible, he added.

Özersay, speaking during visits to Doğancı (Elia) and Gaziveren (Kazıvera) on Wednesday, said that it was wrong to insist on a federal settlement, warning that disregarding realities in view of election plans would only harm the country.

“Imagine if both Turkey and the TRNC were EU members while South Cyprus was in our shoes. We just discovered a natural gas reserve off the coast of Karpaz. The international community, particularly the UN and EU favours the TRNC over South Cyprus. Do you think a solution would be possible under such circumstances? I do not think so,” Özersay said.

The HP leader reiterated that the Greek Cypriots were not ready to share wealth with Turkish Cypriots and so what must be done is to enhance cooperation between the two sides using pragmatic approaches.

Giving the example of electricity as an example of cooperation carried out in the past, Özersay said that electricity had been sold to South Cyprus in the past via the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.

He said that the European Community of Steel and Coal had evolved into the European Union through a similar process.

Özersay said the possibility of a federal partnership could emerge only after a decade or so of successful cooperation between the two communities.

“We are not categorically against the idea of a federal settlement but current conditions on the island are not suitable for a federal partnership”, said Özersay.

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP)
>>
50 years of talks have failed to produce a result. Time to stop misleading the TC community & tell them the truth that federal settlement not possible now.
>> Disregarding realities in view of election plans will only harm the country.
>> Should focus on enhancing cooperation with GC side (on issues such as electricity).
>> Federal partnership could only be created after a decade or so of cooperation


Gargınsu and daughter released on bail

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Human Rights, Regional/International Relations, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

Senior Republican Turkish Party member Bengül Gargınsu and her daughter Simge Alıcı were released on bail on Thursday after testifying before a court.

The two are being charged with membership to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and possessing publications spreading PKK propaganda.

Gargınsu and Alıcı’s travel documents were confiscated. The two will remain in the country until the court proceeding are done.

The police officer in charge of the investigation told the court that 27 books which contained PKK propaganda had been found during the search conducted in Gargınsu’s home on 11 March 2019. A chest with a PKK insignia on it was also collected as evidence.

He said that the suspects had refused to say whom the books belonged to and to provide written testimony.

The police officer also said that the suspect Simge Alıcı had caused 4,600TL worth of damage on four billboards on Mehmet Akif (Shakespeare) Avenue by spraying the words “Leyla Güven, Jin Jan Azadi, 121 days remaining” on them. The two are Kurdish activists currently in prison in Turkey.

The defence’s lawyer Ürün Solyalı questioned where or not possession of books was sufficient criteria for being a member of an outlawed organisation.

The Trade Unions Platform staged a protest in front of the court building in support of Gargınsu and her daughter.

Ali Kişmir, head of the Journalists Union, spoke on behalf of the platform, reminding that Akıncı and other government members had made it clear a list of banned books did not exist.

He also said that the hearing had shown the prosecution’s arguments were weak.

“There is an attempt through orders from elsewhere to assert pressure on the TC community and to manipulate us,” Kişmir said.

Ombudsperson Emine Dizdarlı provided clarification on the penal code and said: “A book on its own cannot constitute a crime.” Dizdarlı explained that any publication that contains seditious intent and is considered propaganda material for any one of the prohibited organizations constitutes a crime.

The Ombudsperson added that being a member of a terror organization is regarded as a serious crime in the penal code and if convicted, a person can be imprisoned up to three years. Dizdarli also provided an explanation as to how Articles 49 and 58 of the Penal Code apply for accusations brought against the individual and Article 63 for the list of unlawful organizations in the North.

KEY ACTORS
Kişmir (Trade Unions Platform)
>>
Attempts being made through orders from elsewhere to assert pressure on and manipulate TC community.


Tatar says EP report does not contribute to a solution

Diyalog
EU Matters, Negotiations Process, External Security

OVERVIEW

Leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar in a written statement on Thursday said that the European Parliament’s latest report on Turkey did not contribute to peace in Cyprus.
He expressed disappointment over the EU’s failure to see and acknowledge which of the two sides was intransigent.

Tatar claimed that the report was biased in favour of Greece and Greek Cypriots and was therefore non-binding.

He said that the fact the report called for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus but failed to mention the Greek Cypriots’ intransigence and the growing danger of ultra-nationalist parties such as ELAM was proof that the report was biased.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> EP report does not contribute to peace in Cyprus.
>> Report biased in favour of Greece and Greek Cypriots, therefore non-binding.
>> Proof of bias is call for withdrawal of Turkish troops, without mentioning GC intransigence & rising danger of far-right parties like ELAM.


Yasemin Movement promotes EP candidates in South Cyprus

Afrika
EU Matters, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The Yasemin Movement on Thursday promoted its six candidates running for seats in the European Parliament at a press conference held at the Cyprus Journalists Union building in South Nicosia.

Afrika published the statement read out at the event, which pointed out that the Yasemin Movement’s six candidates were Turkish-speaking citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.

It said that Turkish Cypriots had been left to the mercy of Turkey in the North, excluded from the European Union, and that if the six candidates were elected, they would work to change this.

The movement said the island had not only been occupied militarily since 1974 but that a civilian occupation and demographic change was taking place as a result of unending population transfers from Turkey.

It said that the movement supported a reunified Cyprus, a country without borders or discrimination between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

“We support a settlement that is not based on two states or Taksim (division),” the statement read.

The movement also said that those who claimed to support a federal settlement should act rather than talk.

“Cyprus is an island and a whole. To create two states on one island is absurd,” the statement concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Yasemin Movement
>>
TCs left at the mercy of Turkey.
>>
Military occupation accompanied by civilian occupation after 1974. Population from Turkey transferred to Cyprus changing the island’s demography.
>>
Opposed to two-state solution or TAKSIM (division).
>>
Federation supporters should act not talk.
>> Creating two states on one island is absurd.


Murderers on the loose

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

Police are continuing to search for the killers of Gökhan Naim, owner of Gesfi exchange office.

A vehicle used by the suspects to flee the scene was found by police not very far from the crime scene.

The vehicle was identified as belonging to a Pakistani national.

Police also found a second vehicle, a rental, believed to have been used by the suspects as a getaway car near Gaziköy (Afanteia). The second vehicle too was rented by a Pakistani national.

Police are not ruling out the possibility that the two suspects may have fled to South Cyprus through Akıncılar (Louroujina) village.

According to Diyalog newspaper, Greek Cypriot intelligence had warned authorities in the North three weeks ago on a possible bank robbery. The daily said that police had tightened controls at banks and ordered all officers to carry their sidearms while on duty.

An autopsy was carried out on Gökhan Naim’s body on Thursday and his funeral will be held on Friday (15 March). Naim was gunned down outside his home on Wednesday night and the murderers stole a money pouch containing 112,000GBP, 170,000Euro and 800,000TL.