TCC Press Review 18 May 2019

Front Page Headlines


The movie is going to have a happy ending

Second UBP (National Unity Party)-HP (Peoples’ Party) meeting held within the framework of forming a new government. This time it was announced that the sides converged and that there were no problems on fundamental principles. Both UBP and HP stressed that there was no need for the process to be extended more than necessary. It was also announced that another meeting could take place on Sunday.

Kıbrıs Postası

Delayed scholarships awaiting the new government

Thousands of students studying in the country and abroad are waiting for the Finance Ministry in order to be able to pay their tuition fees for April while the Ministry is awaiting the new government for the money to flow.

  • New government to be formed must solve economic problems swiftly – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay attended the breaking of the fast event at Hala Sultan (mosque).
  • I drank two cups of coffee, there’s one convergence – Leaders of the National Unity Party and People’s Party appeared before the media following their meeting. Both said they have evaluated basic principles.


UBP hopeful, HP cautious

UBP and HP held another meeting to form a government on Friday. (HP leader Kudret) Özersay said UBP will evaluate the meeting, in which basic principles were discussed. (UBP leader Ersin) Tatar noted he does not believe there would be much of a problem.

  • 510 kilos of smuggled meat found in an abandoned barn – Famagusta police found smuggled meat stuffed in 12 separate garbage bags in an abandoned barn.


Smiling faces

The second official meeting between UBP and HP lasted an hour and a half. Though cautious statements were made, the body language shows the path ahead.

  • The support given to the Greek Cypriots, not in line with international law – Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu sent a letter to UN [Security Council] permanent members and to EU foreign ministers regarding Fatih’s drilling activity in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • 15 Syrians found in the back of a lorry – Police found 15 Syrians hiding in the back of a lorry at Famagusta Port.


Tough bargaining for 22 institutions

UBP and HP close to agreement on ‘principles’, problems however still exist in sharing.

  • Greek Cypriots deeply upset – UK Foreign Office once again described South Cyprus’ ‘Exclusive Economic Zone’ where drilling is taking place as a ‘disputed area’.


In the international press

The acquittal of Afrika in the cartoon/collage case has caught the attention of the international press. One of the UK’s leading papers ‘The Guardian’ gave extensive coverage of the court’s ruling and the background of the case. The news story also touched upon the attack on Afrika last year after it was targeted by Erdoğan.

  • Tatar: We drank our coffee as well – Kudret Özersay sat at the table with Tatar and broke his fast. Tatar said they had discussed fundamental principles and that he didn’t believe there were serious differences. He even said progress had been achieved.

Main News

UBP and HP one step closer to forming a coalition

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog Afrika
Governance & Power Sharing


The National Unity Party (UBP) and Peoples’ Party (HP) came one step closer to forming a new government on Friday after the parties held their second official meeting.

As opposed to their first meeting, UBP leader Ersin Tatar and HP leader Kudret Özersay addressed the press together following the meeting held at HP headquarters in Nicosia.

Tatar told reporters that the parties had achieved progress and that convergences had been reached on a number of issues.

He said they were hoping to reach an agreement by the beginning of next week. Tatar also said there were no problems regarding basic principles.

“Özersay is a good negotiator. Every little detail will be discussed. Some issues tend to become a problem when not discussed openly. Everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities. The country’s problems are waiting to be addressed,” he added.

Tatar, in response to a question as to whether the presidential elections were discussed, said that the issue had not come up. 

Özersay said the two parties had started discussing issues of substance. He said UBP will be sharing its views after evaluating the positions put forward by his party. 

The HP leader said that, unlike the previous meeting, it was his party that had done most of the sharing and talking this time.

Özersay also said that the talks should not drag on whatever the outcome will be.

Diyalog newspaper claimed that HP was insisting on issues of the distribution or leasing of state-owned lands as well as corruption claims.

The paper said UBP is insisting on distributing the cabinet 7:3, with it holding the majority of ministerial positions.

It said that HP wants at least nine of the 22 government departments or institutions to be under its control. These include the Department of Sports, the Evkaf Administration, the Cooperative Central Bank, Şeker Insurance, the European University of Lefke and the Meteorology Department. 

Çavuşoğlu: Support given to GCs not in line with international law

Energy, Regional/International Relations


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief, EU member countries and the foreign ministers of the UN Security Council’s permanent members on Friday regarding Turkey’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

After explaining Turkey’s political and legal positions in detail, Çavuşoğlu highlighted that the ‘Fatih’ was carrying out drilling in an area that falls within Turkey’s continental shelf.

Fatih’s offshore operations area is located 75 kilometres off the west coast of the Island of Cyprus and the drilling area has nothing to do with any of the Greek Cypriots’ so-called EEZ or Turkish Cypriots’ licensed areas granted to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO), Çavuşoğlu said in the letter.

He stressed that Turkey does not recognize the unilateral and illegitimate exclusive economic zone claims made by the Greek Cypriots and urged third parties to refrain from taking sides in overlapping maritime boundary claims nor should they pass judgement like a court. He also said there is no automaticity in claiming that islands generate full maritime jurisdiction areas. He highlighted that the issue of islands’ entitlements regarding maritime jurisdiction areas and how they are dealt with in the delineation of maritime jurisdiction areas are completely separate issues under the Law of the Sea.

Çavuşoğlu underlined Turkey has made its position on drillings clear since 2004 and added that such disputes can only be solved either through bilateral agreements or through international courts.

The FM stressed that EU members, which are infringing on the legitimate rights of third countries, cannot portray their claims as the external borders of the EU. Çavuşoğlu said such an EU stance in this regard would be a blatant violation of international law.

He added that the settlement of the issue can only be achieved with the political solution of the Cyprus problem. In the absence of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, the EU must play a constructive role on the island rather than taking sides to legitimize one side on the island, he said.

Çavuşoğlu argued the EU’s press statement in support of the Greek Cypriots just for the sake of EU solidarity is not compatible with international law.

Reminding that Turkey has the longest continental coastline in the area, Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey is exercising its legitimate rights in view of its interests in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with international law. The minister underlined that Turkey, as it has done  in the past, stands ready to give its support to a fair, and peaceful settlement to all the problems in the Mediterranean. He said Turkey is willing to solve all maritime jurisdiction issues with the regional countries that Turkey has diplomatic relations with.

He emphasized Greek Cypriots’ unilateral hydrocarbon activities, disregarding the Turkish Cypriots’ rights as the co-owners of the Island, pose a security threat and risks stability in the region.

Çavuşoğlu stressed that unless the Greek Cypriots include the Turkish Cypriots into the decision-making processes on hydrocarbons or cease their unilateral activities, Turkish drilling will continue in the areas licensed by the North to Turkish Petroleum. Turkey will not be a mere spectator to developments and the ongoing violations of Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots’ rights, he said.

Turkey carries out drilling in its own continental shelf.
>> Fatih’s operation area not overlapping with the so-called EEZ of Cyprus.
>> Turkey does not recognize unilateral and illegitimate EEZ claims.
>> Law of the Sea deals with delineation of maritime jurisdiction differently for the island.
>> RoC’s seas cannot be presented as external borders of the EU.
>> EU cannot take sides with GC side on the basis of solidarity.
>> Turkey is in line with international law regarding its hydrocarbon activities.
>> Turkey in favour of a peaceful settlement to all issues in the Eastern Mediterranean.
>> GC side’s unilateral hydrocarbon activities pose a security threat to the region.
>> Unless GCs cease their unilateral hydrocarbon activities or include TCs in the decision-making processes, Turkey will continue its drilling activities in areas licenced by the TCs.
>> Turkey will not be a spectator to developments in the region.

510 kilos of smuggled meat found in an abandoned barn

Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası
Internal Security


Famagusta police found 510kg of smuggled meat on Friday stuffed in 12 separate garbage bags in an abandoned barn. Police followed a rental vehicle with the meat in the booth and caught the smuggler red-handed while unloading the recently slaughtered 12 sheep. Police arrested Mehmet Araz, driver of the rental vehicle in Akdoğan (Kontea) after following him from Türkmenköy (Lysi).

The market value of the smuggled meat is believed to be approximately 100,000 Turkish Lira.

They’re all going to be sent back

Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Migration & Citizenship


Police caught 15 Syrian migrants trying to enter the island illegally, during a raid carried out at the port of Famagusta on Friday night.

The migrants were found hiding behind a stack of crates in the back of a lorry.

While the police are continuing their investigation, the dailies report that the migrants are expected to be sent back via Turkey.

Joint market for peace in Derinya (Dherynia)

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs
Economy, CBMs


The Famagusta Initiative shared its “Joint Market for Peace” project with UN SRSG Elizabeth Spehar on Friday. In this regard, Spehar attended a presentation on the project in the Famagusta Old Town.

It is believed the project, which aims at selling products and produce permitted through the Green Line Trade Regulation, will bring the two communities closer together and increase their socio-economic bond.

Spehar said she strongly believes that such a project, at a time when the peace process has slowed down, will bring new momentum to building confidence and trust between the two communities.