TCC Press Review 5 Apr 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Intense efforts on food safety

Tests for pesticide residue on fruits and vegetables which make it to our dinner tables stepped up. 2,518 tests in 2017, 3,736 tests in 2018.

  • Tons of ‘smuggled’ meat – Nine tons of smuggled meat seized in 2018, five tons seized in just one operation in 2019.

Kıbrıs Postası

Lawyers complain of influx of newcomers into sector

Lawyers complain about the increasing number of new lawyers in the sector on 5 April Lawyers’ Day

  • The possibility of an expected solution no longer exists – National Unity Party (UBP) leader Ersin Tatar said during the opening ceremony for a UBP branch office.
  • Federal solution should not be the only goal – Turkish Ambassador Ali Murat Başçeri highlighted the need to bring alternatives to the negotiations table.

Kıbrıs

There are Court of Auditors’ reports pending for 24 years

The parliamentary subcommittee on Court of Auditors’ reports have not been able to convene for almost a month due to delays in the police or the AG’s office submitting the final versions of cases relating to Court of Auditors’ reports.

  • 11 child labourers discovered in 15 months – Social Services Department identified children being forced into labour at construction sites, restaurants and selling goods on the side of the roads.

Havadis

People in severe debt

There is a total of 25,150 court orders on the indebted; 12,288 new cases filed in 2018 alone for unpaid loans. Nicosia leads in terms of new applications for unpaid loans.

  • Ombudsperson investigating Embassy and the Evkaf Administration – Ombudsperson is investigating the unlawful amnesty given by İbrahim Benter, the General Director of Evkaf Administration, to Universal Love and Brotherhood Association (ESKAD).

Diyalog

Situation is dire

It has been announced that the Agricultural Products Marketing Board’s bank debt is not $140 million but $151.2 million, and work is underway to transfer the debt onto the Finance Ministry.

  • Brexit fear – Greek Cypriots living in the UK rush to get Republic of Cyprus passports.
  • He is going for an injunction – Anastasiades is appealing against a court ruling that reversed payroll reductions imposed on civil servants.

Afrika

They’ve set their eye on electricity

The real reason as to why the protocol which will release the flow of money from Turkey has not been signed is slowly emerging. The protocol aims at splitting KIB-TEK (TC electricity authority) into three parts and privatizing it.   

  • Five tons of smuggled meat – Smuggled meat found in tractor trailers in Yukarı Bostancı (Pano Zodeia).

Main News

Political equality not subject to debate

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

OVERVIEW

President Akıncı’s Special Adviser on Political Affairs and History, Meltem Onurkan Samani emphasized political equality, which is an inseparable part of the federal solution model, is not a parameter to be negotiated.

Speaking on a TV programme aired on BRT on Thursday. Samani said that the international community too was unhappy with the Greek Cypriot side backing out of previously reached convergences.

Samani added that Anastasiades’ decision to go back on past convergences did not help the Cyprus talks process and caused interested parties to be pessimistic.

She noted that the third-parties witnessed Anastasiades’ actions in Crans Montana first hand, and said “Anastasiades is not putting forward any alternatives either.”

Samani said she believes that the Greek Cypriot leadership failed to prepare its community for a solution despite the 40 years of negotiations that have taken place on the Cyprus Problem.

She added that the time has come for the Greek Cypriot side to decide whether or not it wants the bicommunal, bizonal federal solution model and whether or not it is ready for political equality.

Samani reminded that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had appointed Jane Holl Lute to determine the intentions of the two sides and if there is an intent, then to test the basic parameters to produce the Terms of Reference document. Samani, in response to a question, said that it was unacceptable to open political equality to debate because the issue was not something to be debated.

It is one of the primary parameters and an inseparable part of the agreed solution model, Samani said.

She added that political equality constitutes the solution itself, as a federation is based on political equality.

Samani also said the criticisms directed at Akıncı are unfair because it is not Akıncı who does not table other options but Anastasiades who clearly rejects the two-state solution option without proposing any other alternatives.

KEY ACTOR
Samani
>>
Political equality is not open to debate.
>> Political equality is an inseparable aspect of a federal settlement.
>> Both the international community and TC side unhappy with GC side going back on past convergences.
>> Anastasiades is not putting forward any alternatives either.


Turkey open to discussing alternative models on the Cyprus issue

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Energy

OVERVIEW

Turkish Ambassador in Nicosia Ali Murat Başçeri said Turkey is open to discussing alternative solution models on the Cyprus issue and emphasized the most important factor is for the two sides on the island to share the same vision, based on political equality for the future of Cyprus, in a statement given to the Anatolia News Agency (AA) following the 2nd International Conference on the Cyprus issue at Near East University in Nicosia.

Başçeri emphasized that the Turkish side was evaluating all creative ideas that might lead to a solution.

He said they had been telling their interlocutors that this was why the process could not continue from where it left off in Crans Montana in 2017. Başçeri noted every possible method had been attempted in the past 50 years of negotiations. The Ambassador said there was no meaning in engaging in talks just for the sake of negotiating. It is vital for the sides to identify the goal, and what the sides perceive from basic concepts in the talks prior to the resumption of any process, he said.

“We do not reject the federal solution however it must not be the sole goal,” said Başçeri adding that “all alternatives must be at the [negotiations] table.”

The Turkish ambassador said that Turkey was open to new ideas within this framework and that the most important aspect within the context of new ideas was for the two sides to share a joint vision based on political equality for the future of the island.

Only then, said Başçeri, could any new process yield a successful outcome.

Regarding the issue of hydrocarbons, Başçeri expressed the view that the natural resources around Cyprus constituted an opportunity.

He said that the discovery of natural gas could be a game changer for the solution of the Cyprus issue. He also noted that if this opportunity is not used properly it could lead to negative developments.

Başçeri pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side was acting with the incorrect assumption of being the sole owners and the only legitimate government on the island and reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side had proposed in 2011 and 2012 for the joint management of the hydrocarbon resources.

He reminded that the proposals were rejected by the Greek Cypriot side on both occasions.

“The Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral actions on hydrocarbon exploration contradict the convergences and agreements achieved in the negotiations process from 2008 to 2017, which left the natural resources as a competency of the federal state,” said Başçeri.

Başçeri also said that international companies must see the fact that the Greek Cypriot administration is not an ordinary state and that conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean aren’t ordinary conditions either.

He also warned that pretending that there was no Cyprus problem might trigger other problems. The Ambassador added that third parties in the form of tripartite alliances cannot ignore international law and cannot sail into new adventures by disregarding the realities in the region. Başçeri concluded that any cooperation which excludes Turkey will not be sustainable and Turkey will continue to take all steps to protect its and the Turkish Cypriots’ legitimate rights.

KEY ACTOR
Başçeri
>>
Turkey open to federal solution model as long as sides have a joint vision for the future of the island based on political equality.
>> Turkey evaluating all creative ideas that might lead to a solution.
>> Federal solution model should not be the sole goal of the negotiations process, other alternatives must be tabled.
>> Continuing negotiations for the sake of negotiating is meaningless.
>> Vital for the sides to identify the goal and what the sides perceive from basic concepts before holding future talks.
>> Natural gas can be a game changer and opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus Problem.
>> GC side wrong to act as if they are the sole legitimate power on the island.
>> GC side’s unilateral actions on hydrocarbons in contradiction with past convergences.
>> Turkey will take necessary steps to protect the legitimate rights of Turkey and TCs.


Crackdown on smuggled meat continues

Yenidüzen
Economy

OVERVIEW

Yenidüzen reported on Friday that smuggled meat in the country continues to be a growing problem. Authorities continue to carry out operations and seize meat smuggled across the green line into the north.

According to police figures, over nine tons of ‘smuggled’ meat were seized in 2018. Just five tons of meat alone was discovered hidden in two tractor-trailers in Bostancı (Pano Zodeia) in a single operation on Wednesday night.

The paper said that police and customs have stepped up controls and inspections at crossing points.

It said that police have also been carrying out more operations and raids in a bid to crack down on meat smuggling.

Head of the Turkish Cypriot Veterinary Services Hüda Hüdaoğlu said that the reason for meat smuggling was economic.

He said it was only natural for a commodity which was cheaper on one side to be smuggled through to the other side.

Hüdaoğlu also pointed out that the biggest problem with smuggled meat was that it was transported in unhygienic or unhealthy conditions, posing a major public health threat.

Police figures also reveal that most of the meat comes through Beyarmudu (Pergamos).