Front Page Headlines
“They told us to give it to them and relieve ourselves”
Former education minister and leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit makes shocking statements to Yenidüzen. Özyiğit explains how Ankara tried to apply pressure on his ministry during the previous four-party coalition government to have its religious demands accepted. The TDP leader said that they resisted these demands which brought them to where they are today.
- ‘Internal security’ being questioned – Leading NGO representatives, lawyers and associations claim that more needs to be done to address the growing security issue in the country.
Extradition requests have been turned down for the past 12 years
According to Kıbrıs Postası, the Iranian nationals who robbed a jewellery store in Kyrenia worked ‘professionally’ before leaving the island from Ercan (Tymbou) airport with ease. Turkish Police has been informed about the two suspects and if found, Turkish Cypriot authorities have asked for their extradition. Nonetheless, not a single suspect has been found or extradited to the North for the past 12 years.
- Amnesty and automation system to be imposed – Labour and Social Security Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu said his priority is to prevent unregistered labour force working in the north through an amnesty and automation system.
Issue of nightclubs forgotten
No serious steps were taken to put an end to the blatant human rights violations and unlawfulness despite the Interior Ministry’s April 2018 report on the night clubs, which detailed the unlawful acts. National Unity Party (UBP) – People’s Party (HP) coalition does not touch on the problems in its programme other than promising implementing legislative measures to improve working conditions at the nightclubs.
- The goal is to prevent abuse in public tenders – Efforts on the Public Tender bill, which includes amendments to the existing one, are underway. The goal is to implement a healthy public tendering system with the appropriate infrastructure.
Women are “prisoners” and nurses are “wardens”
Women brought to the island to work at nightclubs are being treated as “prisoners” at the State Hospital and nurses are being used as “wardens” as the women are kept in locked rooms. The head of the Turkish Cypriot Union for Nurses and Midwives Ali Özgöçmen said this situation was unacceptable and nurses could not be given such responsibilities.
- No vision in education – Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader and former education minister Cemal Özyiğit says UBP lacks the vision for improving the country’s education system. He added the current situation in education is the work of UBP’s past administrations. Özyiğit stressed, “I do not believe they will implement a full-day system in schools either”.
The country is on fire
Experienced politicians in the TRNC urge the new government to take speedy steps on the economy and implement public reform.
Who do they think they are?
Gangs in Nicosia’s old town respond to Turkish Cypriots’ claim that the country belongs to them. They posted signs on the doors of homes of Turkish Cypriots living in the walled city which read “Everywhere we live belongs to us”. The signs were printed from a computer or in a printing press. It’s not known who posted them but it’s believed these actions are aimed at scaring off the few remaining Turkish Cypriot residents of the walled city of Nicosia.
- The cause of the armed fight in Arasta. Gangs marking their borders –The cause of the fight on Tuesday near the Lokmacı (Ledra) crossing point was disagreement on who is going to collect extortion money from the area. Police arrived at the scene 30 minutes after the fight ended.
Özyiğit: Ankara had exerted great pressure on the previous governmentYenidüzen
Regional/International relations, Governance & Power Sharing
Leader of the Social Democratic Party Cemal Özyiğit revealed shocking statements regarding relations between Turkey and the previous four-party coalition government. In an exclusive interview published in Yenidüzen on Monday, Özyiğit said that Ankara had tried to exert great pressure on the previous government to hand over control of the Hala Sultan religious college to Turkey. The school currently operates under the Turkish Cypriot National Education and Culture Ministry.
Özyiğit had served as education minister in the four-party coalition government.
He claimed that Ankara was unhappy that the school was under the inspection and control of the Turkish Cypriot education ministry and had openly voiced their discontentment regarding the issue.
“They were constantly telling us to hand over the school’s management so that we could free ourselves of the matter. We refused to do so,” he said.
Özyiğit also said that there were other issues such as their refusal to send girls and boys to separate summer camps in Turkey.
“We were saying something…they were saying something entirely different. Both sides claimed that they had sensitivities on the issue,” he added.
Özyiğit also argued that Peoples’ Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay had been insincere with the coalition partners.
He claimed that Özersay had waited until the National Unity Party’s (UBP) leadership had changed in October last year before putting into motion his plan to form a coalition with the UBP.
He said that the HP had used Democratic Party leader Serdar Denktaş’s land lease issue as an excuse to pull the plug on the coalition. Responding to a question, Özyiğit said he believed that Özersay had an intention to run for president in the upcoming elections from the very beginning but had kept his intentions secret.