TCC Press Review 25 Mar 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Education pains for EU citizen Turkish Cypriot students due to ‘Brexit’ process

While the uncertainty on education for Turkish Cypriot students as a result of Brexit continues, Yenidüzen researched students who graduated from high schools in the North and who are studying in third countries. According to the education ministry, there are currently 1,500 students studying in Europe and the US. One thousand of these students are studying in the UK. There is no statistical information on Turkish Cypriot students who graduated from schools in the South and are studying abroad.

Kıbrıs Postası

People want broad constitutional amendments

In addition to the political parties in parliament, the people give their green light to constitutional amendments. People believe the current regime is exhausted. Presidential system should be implemented.

  • CMC (Cyprus Mining Corporation) must not be left alone – National Unity Party Central Executive Board member Kemal Örgen insists compensation should be sought from CMC for the environmental damage caused in the region.

Kıbrıs

Price hike eradicated the meaning of new tariff scheme

People are not persuaded with the self-managed electricity consumption scheme based on three slots of the day. The new tariff scheme would have been beneficial but the people feel burdened with the unit price increase that came with the new scheme.

  • Turkish assistance dropped to 8.9% – According to statistics from the Finance Ministry, Turkish financial aid and loans dropped from 30% to 8.9% resulting in a state budget deficit of 9%.

Havadis

Pain, sorrow and tears

The court case is still underway regarding the death of Arif Ummak. Police concluded it was an accident but the Judge said there might be gross negligence. Arif Ummak’s mother is still seeking justice.

  • Tourist profile changing – Orhan Erönen, who owns Djumba Hotel in Arabahmet, highlights the positive change in tourist profiles.

Diyalog

All the best

Start given to new model of ‘public-private partnership’ for telecommunications.

  • Traffic jam at Metehan (Ayios Dhometios) – Large number of Greek Cypriots crossed over to the North via Metehan (Ayios Dhometios) crossing point after the Euro gained value against the Turkish Lira.

Afrika

Mobile phones waiting in pockets

Turkish Cypriot side ready for use of mobile phones on both sides. Greek Cypriot side still not ready. Samani: We are waiting for the procedure between the Greek Cypriot leadership and the Greek Cypriot GSM operators to be completed so that mobile phones may work both in the north and south.

Main News

Natural gas should not lead to conflict

Havadis
Energy, Negotiations Process, External Security

OVERVIEW

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Sunday the Turkish Cypriot side does not want the issue of natural gas to become the reason for conflict.

Özersay, speaking during a visit to Mehmetçik (Galateia), said the Greek Cypriot side’s investments in arms went beyond its defensive needs.

He said that the Greek Cypriot side was also trying to get the US weapons arms embargo on Cyprus lifted.

Özersay said the Turkish Cypriot side has informed its interlocutors that once the embargo is lifted, it would enable the Greek Cypriot side to intensify its arming campaign which in turn would lead to an escalation of tension between the two sides.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side’s actions will disrupt the delicate balance on the island as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

On the issue of guarantees, Özersay reassured the public on Turkey’s position on guarantees, adding that the Greek Foreign Minister’s attitude was not sincere. On the one hand, he calls the guarantees outdated but on the other, intensifies armament on the island.

Özersay also pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready to accept politicial equality of the Turkish Cypriots, arguing that the wrong steps taken by the international community had further complicated the Cyprus Problem, making a solution impossible.

The international community was making the same mistake on the hydrocarbons issue as it made with the Greek Cypriot side’s EU accession in 2004 . “However the hydrocarbons issue could be solved through an evolutionary collaboration model and pragmatism,” he said.

Özersay said the international companies must force the Greek Cypriot side to collaborate with the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue of hydrocarbons to overcome the problem.

“We as the Turkish Cypriot side do not want the natural gas issue to lead to a conflict and we believe if the two sides start collaborating on hydrocarbons before a solution, the Eastern Mediterranean region will become more stable. As a result of developing commercial relations and collaboration, no one will dare to cause a conflict in the region.”

Özersay concluded that the Turkish Cypriot side will achieve its goals through diplomacy.

KEY ACTOR
Özersay
>>
TC side does not want natural gas to become reason for conflict.
>> GC side’s purchase of arms goes beyond its defensive needs. Will lead to tension between the two sides, and disrupt the delicate balance on the island & the region.
>> GC side not ready to accept TC’s political equality.
>> International community making same mistake on hydrocarbons as it did with GC accession to EU. Must push GC side to collaborate with TC side.
>> Hydrocarbons issue can be solved through evolutionary collaboration and pragmatism, before a solution, which will make East Med region more stable.
>> Then, no one would dare to create conflict due to progressive collaboration and commercial relations.


Mobile phone interoperability pending procedures

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

OVERVIEW

All six daily newspapers reported that the Turkish Cypriot side is waiting for the Greek Cypriot leadership and Greek Cypriot GSM operators to finalize procedures in order for mobile phone interoperability to be implemented.

The General Coordinator for the Technical Committees Meltem Onurkan Samani said on Sunday said that the Turkish Cypriot side had completed its preparations that would enable mobile phones to work on both sides of the island in line with the agreement reached between the two leaders on February 26.

Speaking to public broadcaster BRT, Samani said that officials from the European-based telecommunications company Comfone had met with experts from both sides last week and had stated that there were no technical or political obstacles in the method to be used for interoperability.

She said that that they were waiting for the Greek Cypriot side to complete is procedures.

The general coordinator also said that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready on this issue four years ago but that the issue had been delayed due to technical and legal excuses put forward by the Greek Cypriot side.

Samani added that mobile phone interoperability was one of several CBMs the Turkish Cypriot side had insisted on.

“We believe that this is one of the most important CBMs. We were ready four years ago. We were first told there could be political obstacles as cooperation on this issue could imply recognition of the north. This was meaningless as we have been using mobile phones and talking with the world for years,” she said.

Samani added that using different SIM cards was also proposed.

“Then they proposed to sign an agreement directly with companies in Turkey. We developed this model to use a hub in Europe with the assistance of the EU Commission and EU experts in 2015,” Samani said.