GCC Press Review 29 Mar 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

(Constantinos) Herodotou with approval of DISY and DIKO

Lots of backstage action in the selection of the new Central Bank Governor. The ability to have adequate representation at the European Central Bank considered an advantage. The Presidential Palace also counted as positive his contribution to crisis management on the Co-op bank.

  • Mission in Turkey: The last mile before the elections
  • Larnaca: The TC house saga
  • Kleftiko on UNESCO list

Phileleftheros

Police get to work

The Attorney-general refers cases pointed out in the findings on the Co-op (demise). Decisions also for civil prosecution against those held responsible and compensation claims.

  • Five-hour thriller: A TC man went up on the roof and threatened to set himself on fire – Reaction to eviction from a TC house which he moved into illegally last November.
  • Greece warns of risk of an ‘accident’ (in the Aegean)

Haravgi

They mislead on the immovable property of the Central Cooperative Bank

AKEL: “Submit data before parliament for checks”. They are also plotting to devour the Co-op’s companies. They serve big private interests.

  • A 41-year-old family man with four children went up on the roof so that he wouldn’t be left homeless

Cyprus Mail

Meds at hospitals only for inpatients

Regulations for the dispensing of drugs under GESY scrutinised by MPs

Alithia

Waiting for the tombstone

Nicosia on hold. It is unknown if the UN Secretary-General will officially declare a dead end on the Cyprob on April 15 or at the end of UNFICYP’s term in July. UN envoy Jane Holl Lute has not prepared her report yet on her failed mission.

  • TC man: Threatened to set himself on fire
  • The TCs advertise holidays in the occupied areas with full-page advertisements in the British media
  • “Mockery”: How the TC press comments on the confusion over the occupied areas’ population

Main News

Nicosia expects official UN announcement on deadlock in the Cyprob

Alithia
Negotiations Process, External Security

OVERVIEW

Alithia, in its main headline, said that Nicosia is waiting for the UN to announce a final deadlock in the Cyprus problem, given that the reaction of the UN Secretariat is pointing in that direction following the disappointing results of Lute’s mission.

The daily reported that Nicosia expects that either the UN will declare the Cyprus problem is at a complete deadlock on April 15 or at the end of the UNFICYP mission.

After the Crans-Montana wreck in the summer of 2017, the daily said, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had called on the two sides, after a reflection period, to get back to him on the resumption of talks from where they left off. But 13 months later nothing happened until his envoy, Lute, was sent to Cyprus on a mission to probe the intentions of the two sides.

Citing diplomatic sources, the daily reported that her meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu earlier in the month confirmed the gap between the two sides regarding efforts for the resumption of talks, as the positions put forth nullify all progress achieved up to Crans-Montana. Cavusoglu put on the table that all options are open, which, he claimed is something the GC side wants too.

Lute, who was supposed to prepare a report to the UNSG before September 2018 so that Guterres would add it to his own report to the UN Security Council at the end of September, has not submitted anything yet. She had to visit the region three times for contacts with both sides and the guarantor powers without any results as the goal of the UN to draft the terms of reference for the resumption of talks completely failed. The search for terms of reference gave the opportunity to the sides to stray from the convergences recorded up to Crans-Montana and set new starting points.

Despite the fact government circles told Alithia earlier in the week that we are on a quest for the resumption of negotiations from the point they left off in Crans-Montana, not only does Nicosia not believe in such a possibility, but instead, it expects to hear from the UN a formal declaration of the complete impasse in the Cyprus issue.

President Nicos Anastasiades himself, speaking after his latest social meeting with the TC leader on February 26, admitted that the differences between the two sides remain unbridgeable.

What the GC leadership is concerned about at the moment is the timing and the way the announcement will be made, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Cyprus problem. It will probably come from the UNSG himself in the coming days through the report the Security Council has asked him to submit on the six-month renewal of UNFICYP, the daily said.

In his January 12 report, the Secretary-General acknowledged that prospects for a comprehensive settlement in the near future remain alive, but reiterated what he had said in his October report that before he unfurled the full weight of his services, the sides must agree on a common path forward. This common path forward was not identified by Lute who has yet to say a word about her mission.

According to information, she is completely disappointed and if she writes a report it will simply make the complete deadlock official. When this will happen remains unknown, the daily said.

However, in its last resolution of January 30, the Security Council asked the Secretary-General to submit by April 15, a report on his good offices and progress towards a consensus starting point for meaningful results-oriented negotiations, the daily said.

The question remains whether the UNSG will declare the impasse on April 15, the daily said, adding that if he waits for the end of the six-month extension of the UNFICYP mandate, then the announcement can be combined with decisions on the future of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus.


TC threatened to set himself on fire over eviction attempts

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Politis, Phileleftheros
Property

OVERVIEW

A 41-year-old TC man went up on the roof of the house he is living in with his wife and four children in Larnaca on Wednesday, threatening to set himself on fire after authorities tried to evict them.

The man went up on the roof of the house located in the area of Ayios Ioannis at around 10am with a plastic bottle containing fuel threatening to set himself on fire if authorities evicted his family after members of the Larnaca district administration went earlier in the day accompanied by police officers to execute an eviction order. Police negotiators managed to convince the man to come down at around 2.30pm. An ambulance and the fire service were also on the scene.

The family moved into the house, which is TC property, last November without first obtaining permission from the authorities, and refused to leave despite several attempts by the district administration to get them to move to another house, as that one is to be given to another family.

After the incident, authorities did not go through with the eviction. The TC couple have been living in the government-controlled areas the past 18 years.

According to Politis, the 41-year-old said that the houses authorities showed them are too small for six members. The couple said they are entitled to use TC property since the wife is a refugee from Paphos whose family moved to Kotsiatis in 1963. The interior ministry told Politis that TCs that move to the government-controlled areas are entitled to claim their property back, but in this case, the property of the woman’s family is now a field. Only a wall is left standing today of her family’s home in Kotsiatis.

Larnaca district administrator, Odysseas Hadjistefanou, said during statements after the incident that the TC family was repeatedly asked to leave because the house in question will be given to another family and that they refused the offer by the social welfare service for rent allowance so that they can move to another house, citing a burden to the family budget. On the family’s claims that they were shown a one-bedroom house, Hadjistefanou said that they have been shown four houses, one of which has been restored, but still refuse to leave.

He said the state has no other option but to reclaim the house in question which at the moment is not connected to the electricity grid and has no running water.

According to Phileleftheros, the 41-year-old, who is from Tziaos, said all they want is a decent house to live in. He said authorities showed them only two houses which were too small and old and were not suitable for his four children to live with dignity.

The man, apologising for the trouble he caused, said they have been trying for the past 13 years to be given a house by the state to live in without any success, Phileleftheros reported.

Authorities told the daily efforts would continue to convince the family to move to another house.


Extraditions to north not possible

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Internal Security, CBMs

OVERVIEW

The papers report on an article by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), which citing sources, said that the TC side has been constantly pressing, during meetings of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Affairs, to demand that alleged criminals who fled to the government-controlled areas be handed over.

However, sources told the news agency this would be illegal “since fugitives can be extradited only to other states”, adding that through its demand the TC side appeared to be pursuing the upgrading of the breakaway state in the north.

They had put forward the issue on several occasions, the latest being two weeks ago, CNA said.

The TC side began applying more pressure after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in January unanimously held Turkey responsible for failing to cooperate with Cyprus in a murder case which dated back to 2005 where three members of the Güzelyurtlu family were murdered in the Republic.

Although initially in its Chamber judgment of April 4, 2017, the Court had ruled that Nicosia was also responsible in the case of Güzelyurtlu and Others v. Cyprus and Turkey, in its final judgment the Grand Chamber judges said with 15 votes to 2 that Cyprus did all that could be reasonably expected to bring to justice the killers, who had fled the Republic’s jurisdiction. According to the Court, Turkey had not made the minimum effort required in the circumstances of the case and had ignored Cyprus’ extradition requests, returning them without reply, contrary to their obligation under Article 2.

On cooperation between the two communities as regards the issues with which the Technical Committee on Crime is dealing with, the same source told CNA that a bicommunal Contact Office was operating in the UN-controlled buffer zone. “We’ve been cooperating on many issues on which we are able to do so, for nine years now,” said the source. They added that hundreds of cases had been dealt with so far in the framework of this cooperation, without any issue of recognition of the north.

Alithia reported that the TC ‘foreign ministry’ blamed the GC side in a statement of not delivering to the TCs murder suspects in the occupied areas, while the TC coordinator of technical committees, Meltem Onurkan Samani, said that due to problems in terms of the work of the Technical Committee on Crime, criminals flee to the other side of the island, encouraging criminality.


North’s large-scale tourist campaign in the UK irks GC diaspora

Alithia
Economy

OVERVIEW

Alithia reports that the TCs are trying to increase visitors in the north by offering attractive holiday packages mostly targeting the British market, adding that London is full of such advertisements, stirring reactions by GCs living three.

A full-page ad featured in the Daily Mail on Wednesday, Alithia said, promoted ‘Northern Cyprus’ as a destination with green mountains, fairy tale castles, traditional villages and sunshine 340 days per year.

The ad focuses on the cost of holidays there for the British people, giving indicative prices on hotel stays, dining and spa treatments and promotes the beaches and amenities one can find there.

The British daily also informed its readers that the time to visit the north is now citing the opportunity of the excellent exchange rate between the British sterling and Turkish lira.

According to Alithia, despite the attractive holiday packages the Daily Mail presents, Havadis reports that air ticket prices from the UK to the north are more expensive than to the south of the island.

The provocative advertisements and posters that have been inundating London since the end of January are part of the TC ‘ministry of tourism’, Alithia said, but have stirred reactions among the GC community in the UK. The chairman of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis, has sent a protest letter to the mayor of London, Alithia reported.


The enclaved are included in both sides’ population

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

The debate on the population in the north yields another issue as regards the Cyprus problem, that of the GCs and Maronites living in the north, Phileleftheros said, adding that both sides count them as part of their population.

It is well known that GCs and Maronites living in the occupied areas are considered as part of the GC community as regards the talks, but it seems that they are also counted as part of the population of the TC community, the daily said, citing statements by the ‘interior minister’ Aysegul Baybars a few days ago that that group of people have ‘ID numbers’. It has not been clarified however if the TC side included the GC and Maronite enclaved persons in the 220,000 population number given at the talks, the daily said.

Citing sources, the daily said that if the enclaved have ID cards of the Republic of Cyprus, then they have been calculated in the GC population number given during the talks.

After the solution, the source told Phileleftheros, the issue of citizenship of those who will continue to live within the TC constituent state will depend on relevant decisions. If they will have the internal citizenship of the TC state then they will be part of that population.

Another aspect affecting the solution of the Cyprus problem is of course, settlers, the daily said, citing statements by the head of the TC teachers’ union KTOS, Sener Elcil who said earlier in the week that Baybars was trying to conceal the systematic population transfer from Turkey.

The daily also referred to statements by the leader of United Cyprus Party Izzet Izcan who said that the aim is for Turkish nationals to outnumber Cypriots so that the north is turned into a province of Turkey.

Phileleftheros and Alithia reported that the Greens and EDEK are calling for a reliable census in the north.

Both parties, in separate statements, called for a census in the north by an international organisation.

Alithia also reported that the debate on the population number in the north was front page in TC papers and gave a review of what each daily said.

KEY ACTORS
EDEK, Greens

>> Would like to see a census in the north carried out by an international organization.


Supreme Court rejects TC woman’s appeal on usufruct clause concerning her property

Phileleftheros
Property, Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by a TC woman against the decision of the interior ministry to recognise her right to use her late grandmother’s house in the government-controlled areas with an usufruct clause, thus not granting her full ownership of the property.

The woman, who has been living in the government-controlled areas since 2004, had requested to be granted the title deeds to a number of properties her grandmother owned in various villages in the south.

The ministry, that acts as guardian of TC properties, agreed to transfer the properties but inserted an usufruct clause on one of them, the daily said. The term stipulated that the property would continue to be used by the beneficiary for residency purposes for the rest of her life or until the solution, whichever came first.

After the woman’s first appeal was rejected, she filed a second appeal with the Supreme Court which too rejected the appeal.

The Court found that the ministry’s decision was based on the doctrine of necessity, that the Guardian did not deprive the woman of her property and that the ministry’s decision did not violate any constitutional rights.


Three trilateral summits scheduled for April

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations, External Security

OVERVIEW

A series of trilateral summits are set to take place next month, the dailies report.

The second trilateral summit between Cyprus, Greece and Jordan will take place on April 14, in Amman just over a year after the first in January 2018 in Nicosia.

A trilateral summit between Cyprus, Greece and Palestine is expected to take place in April as well, in Athens.

On April 10, a trilateral meeting between Cyprus, Greece and Lebanon, is scheduled to take place, at foreign ministers’ level in Beirut.

During their first trilateral summit last year, the leaders of Cyprus, Greece and Jordan decided to establish a trilateral partnership. They agreed on its guiding principles, stressing that the three countries’ partnership was not exclusionary nor directed against any country and that it was being established on the basis of full respect of international law and of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Security Council Resolutions, including commitment to good neighbouring relations, international peace and security and respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of states.

According to Phileleftheros, the trilateral with Lebanon is important as the issue of the demarcation of the two countries’ exclusive economic zones is pending.


Two more TC candidates running in Euro-elections

Alithia
EU Matters

OVERVIEW

Another TC party is running in the European Parliament elections, the daily reports, with two candidates, Mehmet Birinci and Kazim Halit.

The Socialist Party of Cyprus said in a press release sent to the GC media, in Greek, that its two candidates, if elected, will use the European Parliament as a forum to protect and promote the interests of the working class in Cyprus.

It said they will also fight for peace, against imperialism and capitalist exploitation, poverty and hunger.

The party called on workers to support its candidates to strengthen the struggle for an independent, united and democratic Cyprus, rid of the occupation, foreign troops and bases, and to avert turning Cyprus into a base of NATO.


Race to register traditional dishes with UNESCO

Politis
Economy

OVERVIEW

Kelftiko and prickly pears (papoutsosyka) have been pre-approved for inclusion in the list of UNESCO’s National Intangible Cultural Heritage of Cyprus, Politis reports, but koupepia (stuffed vine leaves or dolma) has been snatched by Azerbaijan.

In total, 11 domestic products have been pre-approved for registration in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list, including kleftiko and prickly pears.

The Cyprus Food Museum, the daily said, is racing to include various foods in the UNESCO national list, hoping that the national committee will promote them to the World list, after Azerbaijan has already succeeded in including dolma making in its own national list but also in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2017.