Front Page Headlines
Protocol raises tensions in parliament
Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman said Turkey and the TRNC had done their part on the Economy and Financial Cooperation Protocol. He said that the protocol will be signed in May following the completion of technical work in April. (Finance Minister Serdar) Denktaş said he would not be answering questions from now on as to why the protocol has not been signed. He said the Turkish ambassador should explain the reasons as to why the protocol has not been signed yet. There is an effort to create the perception that we are incompetent and unable to get money from Turkey.
- London: Cheapest flight in North 1,776 TL / in South 1,029 TL – More expensive to fly to Istanbul or Izmir. Price of cheapest flight to Istanbul was 338 TL in March but has now reached 385TL.
Former Chief Physician Dizdarlı provides an MRI of the health system
Former chief physician Bülent Dizdarlı presented his analysis of the problems in the public health sector. He said doctors must abide by working hours; state must not be in the business of buying and distributing medicine.
- Flyover construction to continue – Nicosia District Court orders the continuation of the highly debated flyover construction. Mayor of Gönyeli (Kioneli) Ahmet Benli said construction will be completed as soon as possible.
- “If only Akıncı had expressed his concerns before” – Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars said she does not find it productive to discuss population figures adding, if only Akıncı had expressed his concerns during the Council of Ministers meeting he chaired.
Torture is ending
The case on the Gönyeli (Kioneli) flyover construction which has caused distress to thousands of people for months is over. The court ruled against its demolition, removing any obstacles for the continuation of the project.
- Financial protocol to be signed in May – Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman said on Tuesday that technical work on the protocol will be finalized in April for the agreement to be signed in May.
- Victims of violence did not complain – Two women, who are victims of domestic violence, refused to file official complaints against their abusers in court on Tuesday.
Construction to start and put an end to the suffering
Finally, the Nicosia District Court gave its verdict on the Gönyeli (Kioneli) flyover construction, rejecting plaintiffs’ demand for the completed sections of the flyover to be demolished.
- Financial protocol to be signed in May – In response to criticism from opposition MPs, Prime Minister Tufan Erhürman said the financial protocol will be signed in May, following the completion of technical work.
Two of four coalition partners ready
Following Özersay, Denktaş said that they will review salaries of KIB-TEK (TC Electricity Authority) employees.
- They hid it in a sheep’s pen – While the 300kg bell stolen from the St. Panteleimonas Church in Çamlıbel (Myrtou) was found months after it was stolen, three people were arrested in connection with the theft.
Go ask the embassy
While it is being argued that the flow of money from Turkey can only take place once the (financial) protocol is signed, Serdar Denktaş is fed up with those who keep asking him why the protocol has not been signed yet. He said he would no longer respond to this question putting an end to the debate.
- They first fought, now they are friends. Fethi Akıncı and Yannis Maratheftis – Maratheftis was injured in the head from shots fired by Akıncı. Now for the past ten years they have become good family friends.
No point holding joint meeting as Anastasiades’s position remains unchangedYenidüzen, Kibris Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
President Akıncı on Tuesday said that there was no point in holding a joint meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Secretary-General’s envoy Jane Holl Lute as long as the Greek Cypriot leader’s negative stance did not change.
Lute, who spoke with both leaders on the phone yesterday, will be meeting with them separately on Sunday.
Akıncı said in a statement to TAK news agency that holding a joint meeting at this point would only help create the false perception that something was happening.
Akıncı said he conveyed to Lute how important the Turkish Cypriot side believed the Terms of Reference (ToR) were and which elements were important for them.
He said he told the UN envoy that any new process should not start from scratch, should not be open-ended and should be held on the basis of past convergences in a results-oriented manner.
“I told the UN envoy that the period of holding talks for the sake of holding talks is over,” he added.
The indispensability of political equality for Turkish Cypriots was a fact known and accepted by everyone, Akıncı added.
He said that any settlement to be reached, no matter what it would be called, needed to include the political equality of Turkish Cypriots.
“Unfortunately we could not see a constructive stance on this issue on Anastasiades’ part at the unofficial meetings I held with him. Just the opposite, it is understood from both the meetings held with us and the statements that followed, that he does not show the necessary attention or sensitivity on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot side and the issue of effective participation in decision making. Whereas this issue was an important UN parameter within convergences reached in the past,” he said.
Akıncı also highlighted that any future talks could only be successful if the ToR being drafted by Lute were on the basis of the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration, other convergences and the 30 June 2017 Guterres Framework.
“If the Greek Cypriot leadership is having difficulty coming to terms with the principles of political equality and effective participation in decision making envisaged by these documents, then it should openly express what kind of a solution it envisages,” Akıncı said.
He also said that he had told the UN envoy that it was unlikely she could draft the ToR as long as the Greek Cypriot side’s stance on political equality continued to remain this way.
More importantly, Akıncı said that Lute’s mission was to determine whether or not there was sufficient ground for new talks, not to act as a mediator.
>> No point holding
>> New process must not start from scratch, must not be open-ended and must be conducted in a results-oriented manner on the basis of past convergences.
>> Any settlement, irrelevant of what it’s called, must include TCs’ political equality.
>> GC leader does not show necessary sensitivity on political equality and effective participation of TCs in
>> Future talks can only be successful if ToR is drafted on basis of 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration, 30 June 2017 Guterres Framework and other convergences.
>> GC leadership should openly express what kind of a solution it envisages if it cannot come to terms with principles of political equality and effective participation in decision making.
>> Lute’s mission is to determine whether or not common ground for talks exist, not to act as a mediator.
One island two statesDiyalog
Former Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said that political equality was not enough on its own for a new partnership on the island.
Addressing a conference on the Cyprus Problem at the Near East University in Nicosia on Tuesday, Ertuğruloğlu said there must be ‘sovereign equality’ on the island for a partnership to have any meaning.
This means a confederation, Ertuğruloğlu said, adding that they were talking more about the political equality of two states rather than two peoples.
The fact that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have different understandings on what a solution constitutes was one of several reasons why the Cyprus Problem remained unresolved.
Ertuğruloğlu argued 50 years had been wasted with so-called negotiations and that the Greek Cypriots during this time have been reluctant to reach a solution on the basis of an equal partnership.
He also criticized the European Union for accepting South Cyprus as a member, and for using the Copenhagen criteria as an excuse not to approve Turkey’s membership.
In addition to this, other countries such as the UK and US turn a blind eye to South Cyprus in line with their own interests, said Ertuğruloğlu.
He added that 50 years had been wasted through negotiations created by the very same powers that ignored the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots.
Ertuğruoğlu said there were two national identities, two democracies, two states and two different peoples on the island.
“The concept of a Cypriot nation can be nothing more than a geographical and cultural description,” he said.
Providing the examples of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Ertuğruoğlu argued that a one island two states model could be brought to the agenda.
>> TCs and GCs have
>> 50 years wasted with so-called negotiations. GC side reluctant during this period for a solution on
>> EU, UK and US turn blind eye to South Cyprus, stalling TCs with talks for 50 years by ignoring their rights & interests.
>> Two national identities, two democracies, two states and two peoples in Cyprus.
>> Cypriot nation can be nothing more than a geographical and cultural description.
>> One island, two states model could be brought to
Former enemies become good friendsYenidüzen, Diyalog, Afrika
Fethi Akıncı and Yannis Maratheftis, were once on opposing sides as young soldiers during intercommunal fighting. Akıncı had shot and wounded Maratheftis in the head. Decades later the two are now close family friends after their story made it into several books. The two men were received by President Mustafa Akıncı on Tuesday as part of a courtesy visit.
Akıncı said that the two were a good example to the new future that needed to be built in Cyprus on the basis of peace and security.
“Fethi Akıncı and Yannis Marathefitis who fought each other as young soldiers stand here today as two friends. This friendship needs to set a good example as to what needs to happen here in Cyprus from now on. Wars mean blood and tears. Peace means love and friendship. There is much to be lost from war and much to be gained from peace. I believe that Cyprus had experienced enough pain and suffering in the past. We have a responsibility towards future generations. We must work in this direction with all our strength,” he said.
Journalist unions support Sevgül Uludağ’s Nobel nominationYenidüzen, Afrika
The Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ), BASIN-SEN (TC Media Workers’ Union), and Turkish Cypriot Journalists’ Association (TCJA) declared joint support for Sevgül Uludağ’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination in a statement issued on Tuesday. The media organizations emphasize Uludağ’s work in investigative journalism and note her nomination is an honour for all journalists in Cyprus.
The journalist organizations will also inform their international affiliates, namely the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) of Uludağ’s nomination to seek international support for her, during the annual meetings of said organizations, scheduled to be held in Tallinn in May 2019 and in Tunis in June 2019 respectively.
Uludağ was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Anna Agathangelou, Associate Professor of Political Science at York University in Canada, for her investigative journalism work on the fate of the missing persons in Cyprus. She is the recipient of international awards like “International Courage in Journalism Award” in 2008, “European Parliament Citizen of Europe Prize”, “Press Freedom Award of RSF” and she has been honoured by civil society from both communities for her work.
Biggest environment problem in Lefka are the mine dumpsKıbrıs
Lefka Mayor Aziz Kaya stressed the biggest environmental problem in the area was caused by the mine dumps in the region. Kaya announced on Tuesday the conclusions of the 1st Lefka Town Symposium, which was held in December 2018.
Kaya underlined that the environmental catastrophe caused by the mine was the most urgent issue in the town.
He said the issue was serious and must be urgently addressed as the waste in the dumps was contaminating underground water resources used for agricultural crop production.
Kaya said the European University of Lefke’s growth was also resulting in unplanned development in the town. Renewable energy, sewage system and environment-friendly constructions must be considered in view of the Lefka Master Plan, he added.
Labour force incompatibility reduces productivityKıbrıs
The 2018 Competitiveness Report, published by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, reveals that “labour force incompatibility” is a threat to business productivity.
The report finds that the labour environment in the northern part of the island is dynamic but the correlation of incompatibility against productivity shows negative growth towards per capita production in the country.
Additionally, the report finds that the labour force incompatibility also results in increasing the unemployment percentages. The incompatibility in the labour force is defined as having one employee that is overqualified on the one hand and an underqualified employee on the other. The overqualified employee expresses discontent regarding the working hours, salaries, his/her supervisor while the underqualified employee faces the risk of losing his/her job due to underperformance.
On the other hand, according to the report’s findings, the employers also complain about not being able to find qualified local employees, therefore they resort to bringing labour force from abroad. The report concludes that, should the authorities decide to take the labour force incompatibility into consideration, it is possible for the private sector to lower its dependency on foreign labour force.
The 2018 Competitiveness Report is written by Prof Dr Mustafa Besim, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kamil Sertoğlu, and Assist. Prof. Dr. Tufan Ekici.