TCC Press Review 29 Mar 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

This time they spoke: “We are not guilty”

Foreign nationals living in the country believe they are subjected to racism following the recent rise in criminal incidents involving ‘suspects’ and ‘criminals’ by individuals coming from foreign countries.

  • Protocol on the table – PM Erhürman met with Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay in Ankara.
  • Meat in the South 38TL, exceeds 50TL in the North – Comparison of meat prices between north and south.

Kıbrıs Postası

Senior UN military official caused a crisis

Colonel Edmund Freely wanted to inspect north of the Turkish Cypriot ceasefire line without fulfilling the necessary requirements with the Turkish Security Forces and caused a crisis.

  • Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots – Turkish Energy Minister Dönmez underlined during opening remarks at Petroleum Istanbul (Fair).
  • Turkey will not tolerate Greek Cypriot approach of disregarding TCs – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay emphasized during a medal ceremony.

Kıbrıs

Six accidents, two dead, 11 injured

It was a horrible night of accidents resulting in the loss of two. All the collisions occurred on the Nicosia-Famagusta highway.

  • Three more detained in Naim murder case – Police detained two suspects while attempting to depart from Ercan (Tymbou) Airport and one in Kyrenia in connection with the murder case. The total number of detainees reached eight.
  • 14,500 people employed in the higher education sector – State Planning Organization announced higher education employment figures.

Havadis

Loneliness is the cause of addiction

Experts warn that tablet and smartphone addiction can cause physical and psychological problems in children. Psychologist Associate Professor Dr Könül Memmedova emphasized children must play outdoors.

  • Discussion of protocol agreement – PM Tufan Erhürman and Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay discussed the details of the economic protocol agreement in Ankara.
  • North’s economy tied to Turkey – Economist Mahmut Sezinler talked about the fragility of the Turkish Cypriot economy, devaluation in the Turkish Lira and what needs to be done for transitioning to single currency.

Diyalog

Night of disaster

Two separate accidents on the Nicosia-Famagusta road last night resulted in the death of İzzet and Tuğba Kılıç and the injury of five persons, two of them serious.

  • “We are ready to pay the price” – Turkish Vice President Oktay said: “We shall not turn a blind eye to attempts by the Greek Cypriot side, which sees itself as the sole owner of the island, to ignore the Turkish Cypriots.”

Afrika

The real insult is being called a servant

Trial on cartoon case filed against Şener Levent and Ali Osman by the Turkish embassy continued yesterday. The court heard testimonies by Mehmet Levent, Beran Dağtaş, Faize Özdemirciler and Zeki Beşiktepeli.

Main News

Cyprus is Turkey’s national cause

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Thursday that Turkey will not turn a blind eye to Greek Cypriot approaches that disregard the Turkish Cypriots on the island.

Speaking during a medal ceremony for war veterans that took part in the 1974 military operation in Cyprus, Oktay said Turkey will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Oktay said the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, as a result of the determined struggle, is now one of two equal and constituent parts of the island. Motherland and guarantor state Turkey will remain in solidarity with the north as it has always done, as Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey, Oktay said. 

He emphasized that Turkey’s goal is to establish political equality for Turkish Cypriots while ensuring their legitimate rights, security and welfare. Despite Turkey’s constructive approach, the efforts failed to reach a conclusion due to the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence. The Greek Cypriot side continues to impose unfair embargoes and many other restrictions on the Turkish Cypriots even now, Oktay said.

He added that the time had come to abandon open-ended negotiations processes and approaches that disregarded the realities on the island.  He said that the continuation of the status quo was no longer a sustainable approach.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, speaking at the same ceremony, said Turkey will continue to ensure peace and security in Cyprus and protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots in line with the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance.

Akar said there has been peace and a ceasefire on the island since 1974. The Defence Minister stressed Turkey is in favour of solving all issues, both in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, through peaceful means, in line with good neighbourly relations and in compliance with international law. Nonetheless, Turkey will not allow any fait accompli in the area and any decision that excludes Turkey does not have any chance to survive, Akar emphasized.

Addressing the veterans, Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman emphasized that the Cyprus problem started in 1963 and not in 1974. He added that the veterans arrived on the island in the darkest days that came following the coup by the fascist junta.

Erhürman highlighted that Turkish Cypriots as an honourable community continued to wage its battle to exist on the island and to be part of the international community. Erhürman stressed that Turkish Cypriots will never give up on their political equality in the Cyprus talks and they will achieve economic and social development by working closely with the Republic of Turkey.

Labour and Social Security Minister Zeki Çeler emphasized in his speech at the ceremony that every war is waged to deliver peace, adding that the Turkish Cypriot community is now working towards a lasting peace on the island.  

KEY ACTORS
Oktay (Turkey)
>>
Turkey will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Med.
>> Turkey will not accept GC side’s approach of disregarding the TCs.
>> Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey and Turkey will remain in solidarity with TCs.
>> GC side’s intransigence resulted in failure to achieve solution.
>> Turkey wants political equality for TCs and an assurance of their security, wealth and welfare.
>> Status quo is not sustainable.

Akar (Turkey)
>> Turkey will protect rights & interests of TCs in line with Treaties of Guarantee & Alliance.
>> Turkey is in favour of solving all problems in the Eastern Med & Aegean through peaceful means, good neighbourly relations and in line with international law.
>> Turkey will not allow any fait accompli.
>> Any decision that excludes Turkey does not stand a chance.

Erhürman (UBP)
>>
Cyprus problem commenced in 1963, not in 1974.>> TCs will not give up on their demand for political equality.
>> Social and economic development of TCs will be done together with Turkey.

Çeler (TDP)
>>
TCs working to achieve lasting peace on the island.


Usurping TC rights will not be allowed

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Diyalog, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez on Thursday stressed Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean in his opening speech at the Istanbul Petroleum Fair.

Turkey neither wants to usurp anyone’s right nor abandon its own rights, he said. Turkey will not allow any fait accompli in the Mediterranean, Dönmez emphasized.

The energy minister outlined Turkey’s energy policies, highlighting that Turkey does not want to be dependent on anyone for energy. He also emphasised Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Black Sea, touching upon on the success stories of the Turkish Stream and TANAP pipeline projects. He concluded stating that the fuel oil sub-sector alone employs 150,000 people in Turkey.

KEY ACTOR
Dönmez
>>
Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp the rights of TCs in the Eastern Med.
>> Turkey wants neither to usurp anyone’s right nor will it abandon its own rights.
>> Turkey will not allow any fait accompli in the Mediterranean.
>> Turkey wants self-sufficiency on energy.


EU concerned about rising regional tension

Yenidüzen
Regional/International Relations, Energy, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

The European Parliament’s (EP) Rapporteur for Turkey Kati Piri said that European Union (EU) leaders were doing all they could to lower tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, largely as a result of the discovery of hydrocarbons in the region, but were not able to do much.

In a joint interview given to Yenidüzen reporter Esra Aygın and CNA reporter Rally Papageorgeou in Strasbourg, Piri expressed the view that an authoritarian Turkey with an unstable economy was very dangerous for Cyprus, neighbouring countries and the region in the medium and long-term.

An economically stable and democratic Turkey is in the interest of EU citizens, said Piri, adding that EU leaders needed to build a strategy on the basis of this notion.

“How can we prevent Turkey from moving further away from the EU and becoming a threat? Through which means at our disposal can we draw Turkey closer to the EU? These are things we are unable to do,” Piri said.

She said that the EU was focusing too much on the short term and that there was no strategy, just empty statements.

Piri said that this was neither helping the Cypriots, nor Turkey’s democratisation process.

The EP Rapporteur said Turkey was still an EU candidate country but that its accession bid was not being discussed as long as the EU did not see any progress.

“Let us be honest. We never carried out real negotiations with Turkey. Now we are pretending that the process has stopped. There was never any real process!” said Piri, admitting that the EU had made a mistake.

KEY ACTOR
Piri (EP)
>>
EU leaders doing all they can to reduce tensions in Eastern Med as a result of hydrocarbon discoveries but not able to do much.
>> Authoritarian Turkey with unstable economy dangerous for Cyprus & region.
>>
Democratic and economically stable Turkey in the interest of EU citizens.
>> EU needs to build strategy on this basis, but it has no strategy, just empty statements & short-term thinking.
>> EU unable to prevent Turkey from moving further away & becoming a threat.  
>> Failure to bring Turkey closer not good for Cypriots or Turkey’s democratisation.
>> There was never any real accession negotiation process with Turkey.


Senior UN military official causes crisis

Kıbrıs Postası
External Security

OVERVIEW

A crisis erupted between Turkish Cypriot authorities and United Nations Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus on Wednesday following an attempt by UNFICYP Chief of Staff Colonel Edmund Freely to inspect the northern part of the TC ceasefire line near the Akyar (Strovilia) crossing point without acquiring the necessary permission from the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces.

Colonel Freely was stopped by police officers at the border point and prevented from accessing the area. Freely informed the police on duty that he wanted to inspect the UN’s office and the observation post located adjacent to the TC immigration booths at the crossing point. Colonel Freely then confronted the soldiers on duty first and then the police officers preventing him. A confrontation followed and the UN commander reportedly made threatening hand gestures against the Turkish Cypriot police officers, according to the report published in Kıbrıs Postası.

The paper also provides background information on Colonel Freely, reporting that the colonel was the subject of an investigation after allegations were made against him for awarding a military cross medal unfairly to Major Robert Armstrong in 2009. He was detained as part of the investigations only to be acquitted later. The British army officially apologized to Freely in 2017.


TC man in Larnaca resists eviction

Afrika
Human Rights, Property

OVERVIEW

Barış Gökmen, a Turkish Cypriot father of four, threatened to set himself on fire after GC authorities moved to evict him from the house he and his family are currently living in.

Afrika reported that Gökmen and his family had moved into the home, a Turkish Cypriot property, 18 years ago, illegally.

The paper said that the family had been shown alternative accommodation by the authorities following Afrika’s story but that all had been rejected because of the poor conditions of the houses shown.

Gökmen threatened to set himself on fire on Thursday as police tried to move him and his family out.

Afrika says that TV crews arrived at the scene to cover the story and that his stance was successful as the eviction process has currently been stopped.