TCC Press Review 27 Mar 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Phone records gave him away

33-year-old Hüseyin Erseyis, who confessed to smuggling Gökhan Naim murder suspect Zahid Masood to South Cyprus via Akıncılar (Louroujina), was arrested by police. Erseyis confessed: “They planned their escape over the phone.”

  • Interior Minister Baybars announced: “Population: 374,299”, “TRNC citizens 252,497”– Interior Minister announces population of North.

Kıbrıs Postası

They shoot and then flee… All the committee does is watch them flee

The south side has become the escape route for criminals in the north. Meltem Onurkan Samani and Hakkı Celal Önen emphasized the need for an agreement with the south on the return of criminals.

  • Population: 374,299 – Interior Minister announced the population during her speech in parliament.

Kıbrıs

More judges needed in the country

Three lawyers attending a training course in the south emphasized more judges were needed in the north because as the population increases, crime rates will too.

  • Coalition parties disagree on conscientious objection bill – The amendments to the military law, which will introduce the right of conscientious objection, continue to be discussed at the parliamentary sub-committee.
  • Sewage flowing into a river in Nicosia – Due to a disagreement between Nicosia Turkish Municipality and Gönyeli (Kioneli) Municipality over a pump station, sewage water is now flowing into the rivers in Nicosia.

Havadis

Increase in value of foreign currencies swallowed the rise in minimum wage

Havadis compared the value of the minimum wage to the main foreign currencies used in the north, revealing that from February to March, wage earners lost an average of 200TL.

  • 252,497 citizens living on the island – Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars, who is the competent authority on population, gave yet another very debatable figure during her parliamentary address.

Diyalog

Last word on the issue

Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars announced that there were 252,497 TRNC citizens, 121,802 legal residents with permits, and a total population of 374,299.

  • “I smuggled them” – Fifth suspect arrested in Gökhan Naim murder case, Hüseyin Erseyis confessed to assisting Zahid Masood.

Afrika

Real comedy 374,299

Confusion over population figures continues. Serdar Denktaş had given population figure as 800,000… Ayşegül gave another figure yesterday which was not convincing… it’s up to you whether or not to believe her.

Main News

Samani says GC side must be encouraged on CBMs


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

OVERVIEW

President Akıncı’s Special Adviser for Political Affairs and History and General Coordinator for Technical Committees Meltem Onurkan Samani said on Tuesday that the Greek Cypriot side needed to be encouraged on overcoming problems faced by the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters.

Samani, speaking on Sim TV, said delays on the implementation of CBMs could be experienced, despite decisions taken at the leaders’ level directly on the matter.

She argued that Greek Cypriots will not be open and willing towards cooperating with Turkish Cypriots as long as the Cyprus Problem remained unresolved.

“This clearly refutes the argument that a federal settlement is not possible and that the sides instead should focus on enhancing cooperation,” Samani said.

On crime and criminal matters, Samani said that the Turkish Cypriot side had recently proposed the signing of a principle agreement to cooperate and overcome problems experienced on the matter.

Our efforts at the technical committee level are continuing. This is not something we can achieve on our own, said Samani.

Samani pointed out that many proposals put forward by the Turkish Cypriot side at the technical committee level were rejected by the Greek Cypriot side with the excuse that they should be postponed or addressed once a settlement is reached.

The culture of cooperation and peace, Samani added, needs to be developed as efforts for a comprehensive settlement continue.

Akıncı’s Special Adviser also reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side had completed its preparations regarding mobile phone interoperability and is waiting for the Greek Cypriot side to complete its work.

She said that there were currently no obstacles for mobile phones to work on both sides of the island.

Regarding the demining CBM agreed by the two leaders on February 26, Samani said that military officials from both sides were working on the issue with the assistance of the UN.

It is the Turkish Cypriot side’s priority to completely rid the island of land mines which is why this agreement is very important, Samani added.

The Greek Cypriot side needs to decide what it wants from a settlement, said Samani, referring to the Terms of Reference (ToR) which the UN Secretary-General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute was trying to draft.

She expressed the view that the ToR could lead to the settlement of the Cyprus Problem and that the only thing remaining was for the Greek Cypriot side to show the necessary political will.

Samani concluded by saying that efforts to reach a solution must not be abandoned and that it was high time for the Greek Cypriot side to decide what it wants from a settlement.

Turkish Cypriot co-chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal matters, Hakkı Celal Önen, in comments to Kıbrıs Postası, said the agreement on the return of criminals with the south side has not been finalized despite ongoing efforts.

The Turkish Cypriot side is waiting for the return of 19 suspects and the Greek Cypriot side is waiting for the return of six suspects from the north, he said.

Önen stressed the importance of an agreement on the return of criminals between the two sides, saying the agreement will help to prevent crime and build trust and confidence between the two communities.

KEY ACTORS
Samani
>> GC side needs to be encouraged in overcoming obstacles faced by Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters.
>> GCs will not be open or willing to cooperate with TCs without a settlement, which refutes argument that focus should not be on federation but instead on enhancing cooperation with GCs.
>> TC side recently proposed agreement in principle to cooperate with GCs & overcome problems in crime & criminal matters.
>> TC proposals at technical level rejected by GCs with the excuse they should be addressed post-solution.
>> Culture of peace and cooperation should be developed while efforts for a solution continue.
>> TC side aims to rid Cyprus of mines completely.
>> GCs need to decide what they want from settlement. ToR could lead to a solution. Requires GCs to show political will.
>> Efforts for a solution should not be abandoned.

Önen
>> Efforts ongoing to agree with GCs on return of criminals, which would help prevent increasing crime and build confidence & trust between the two communities.


Confession in Naim murder case points south

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

OVERVIEW

New developments unfolded on the Gökhan Naim murder case on Tuesday, days after the trail on the suspects went cold. Hüseyin Erseyis, 33, became the tenth suspect arrested by police in connection with the murder of the foreign exchange office owner Gökhan Naim, all the dailies reported.

Phone records of lead suspect Zahid Masood led police to Erseyis who confessed to smuggling Massod to the south through Akıncılar (Louroujina). While five suspects are in police custody, the five other suspects are still at large.

The co-chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee for Crime and Criminal Matters Hakkı Önen told Yenidüzen on Tuesday that Greek Cypriot authorities had been informed of the developments.

He said that the Greek Cypriot police will continue its search for the suspects in the south.


Baybars announces North’s official population as 374,299

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

All six newspapers gave room to the official population figures announced by Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars during parliament’s session on Tuesday.

Speaking in parliament, Baybars said that the current official population of the North is 374,299.

She said that of this figure, 252,497 were TRNC citizens while the remaining 121,802 were legal residents with permits.

Baybars drew attention to the problems associated with the absence of a policy on population in the North for the past 44 years, adding that the current debate on the country’s population needed to end.

She said the last census held in 2011 had only provided a picture of the situation back then and that the current government’s policy on population was quite clear.

Baybars stressed it was imperative to question the registration mechanisms in the country as none of the previous governments to date had attempted to keep an exact record of the number of foreign students who came to study at universities in the North.

She added that there were currently 59,482 third-country nationals in the country that had registered with the Interior Ministry system and enrolled in universities in the country. 

Baybars also criticized the main opposition for speaking on the issue, stating that it possessed the record for granting the highest number of citizenships.

Previously everyone born in the country, including Greek Cypriots and Maronites, whether or not they were TRNC citizens, were issued an ID number, said Baybars, explaining that this wrong practice was corrected by the current government when it came to power in 2018.


Erhürman reiterates desire for a solution

Diyalog
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman said that he desired an urgent solution to the Cyprus Problem but that any future process could not be open-ended.

Addressing party members and sympathisers at a gathering in Famagusta on Monday night, Erhürman said that any new process needed to be results-oriented.

He reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had proposed important concessions at Crans-Montana which no one had anticipated but that these, as usual, had not been included in international reports.

Erhürman accused the Greek Cypriot leadership of throwing around new concepts such as decentralized or ‘loose’ federation out of fear of having to persuade the Greek Cypriot public to accept political equality with Turkish Cypriots.

Political equality is not open to discussion, said Erhürman.

KEY ACTORS
Erhürman (CTP)
>>
Urgent solution desired but any future process must be results-oriented and not open-ended.
>> TCs & Turkey proposed important concessions in Crans-Montana that were not anticipated but these were not included in international reports.
>> Rather than convince GC public to accept political equality, GC leadership introducing new concepts like decentralised or loose federation.
>> Political equality is not open to debate.


United federal Cyprus nothing but an impossible dream

Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

Deputy speaker of Parliament and UBP MP Zorlu Töre stressed on Tuesday that the Greek Cypriot mindset has not changed at all.

In a written statement, he said the refused entry of a Japanese physicist at Larnaca Airport by Greek Cypriot authorities was the latest example of Greek Cypriot intolerance towards Turkish Cypriots.

Töre said that the dream of establishing a federal united Cyprus was impossible and reminded of past examples of Greek Cypriot officials preventing people destined for the north from entering through Larnaca Airport.

Töre urged the Turkish Cypriots to be aware of Greek Cypriot fanaticism and urged them to protect the Turkish Cypriot state, its sovereignty and its national identity.

KEY ACTORS
Töre (UBP)
>> GCs show their intolerance to TCs by preventing people from entering north via Larnaca airport.
>> Dream of establishing federal united Cyprus not possible.
>> TCs need to be wary of GC fanaticism & need to protect TC state, sovereignty & national identity.