Front Page Headlines
“I paid 20,000 Pounds Sterling to the police to escape”
He escaped from hospital on April 25. He later emerged in Iran, spoke to Yenidüzen and made an important claim. 29-year-old Mohamed Amine Khereoub who was serving a drug sentence in prison contacted Yenidüzen and explained how he escaped to Iran. He claimed he bribed a police officer to help him escape.
- “A federal solution is the most widely accepted solution in both communities” – UN Secretary General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar addressed a conference in the UN buffer zone.
- Six person list for extortion gang in walled city – Mehmet Harmancı (Nicosia’s TC mayor) claims he handed a list of six names to Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars in October 2018 of suspected members of a criminal gang. Police claim they received no such list. Baybars confirmed receiving the list and claimed she passed the list on to the police. She said one of the persons on the list was arrested in the latest incident.
EU backed Greek Cypriots could escalate the situation
Middle East expert, journalist and writer Prof. Dr Hüsnü Mahalli said tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean could escalate further but that it will not affect the TRNC directly. Mahalli added Greek Cypriots with support from the European Union could escalate the situation.
- Cyprus problem will be solved if guarantees are ended and political equality is accepted – In an interview with Down Town magazine, AKEL MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek said the best and most viable solution model is the federal solution.
Five billion Pounds Sterling turnover annually
Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce UK held a networking event in London to discuss the consequences of Brexit crisis on business. Turkish Cypriots’ contribution to the British economy was emphasized during the event.
- Face recognition system to be installed – Interior Minister Ayşegül Baybars said a protocol agreement will soon be signed to install face recognition system at points of entry into the country to tackle crime.
SOS from Old Town (Nicosia)
Business owners in Old Town Nicosia want the authorities to clean the area from criminal elements. They highlight the fact that everyone knows the problems in the Old Town but keep quiet while authorities fail to implement measures. Businesses are afraid the area will lose its attraction. One business owner claims gangs demand protection money and beat up those who don’t pay. Eight suspects were detained for being involved in a fight in the walled city. Five have been sent to prison awaiting their trial and three released on bail.
He put her through hell
İsmail Burukoğlu who beat and threatened to kill his 35-year old wife because she did not cook and opened a Facebook account has been sent to prison. The latest incidents of violence raise questions as to what is happening in the country.
- Organized crime – Gang who demanded 15,000 Euros in ransom from the Greek Cypriot owner of a car they stole from the South busted.
- They deceived everyone for three years – Deniz Saltuk Gürmanoğlu who worked at KIBTEK’s (TC Electricity Authority) Famagusta branch was arrested for stealing 469,000 Turkish Lira. Toner Tanözü, another KIBTEK employee, was arrested for stealing 5000TL.
They are turning a blind eye to the mafia
Despite having given the relevant authorities names of suspected criminals operating in Nicosia’s walled city, police have done nothing for the past eight months. Nicosia Mayor Harmancı said it was important to look at the bigger picture as what happened in the walled city of Nicosia recently was an extension of the bigger underground criminal activities.
- S-400’s ready by July – Russia announced it would be delivering the S-400 missiles to Turkey in July. Tensions between the US and Turkey rising. The US accused Turkey of being an occupier in Cyprus.
Energy tensions remain in the spotlightYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Negotiations Process
The latest developments regarding Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean continued to remain in the spotlight on Wednesday.
President Mustafa Akıncı on Tuesday said that attempts were being made to leave Turkey and the TRNC out of the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Akıncı was speaking at an annual search and rescue exercise near St. Hilarion. He said that the rising tensions in the region were not something the Turkish Cypriot side desired.
Akıncı said, however, that the TRNC and Turkey were being left with no choice but to engage in their own hydrocarbon activities.
“The TRNC and Turkey are excluded from the region’s energy plans. Both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are part of this geography. Turkey and Turkish Cypriots have always been part of this region’s history and they will continue to do so,” he said.
Akıncı reminded that the island’s wealth belonged to both communities and that the Turkish Cypriot side had repeatedly highlighted the need for joint planning on how to proceed with hydrocarbon activities.
“We proposed on numerous occasions to cooperate on this issue and to set up a joint committee. Unfortunately, they [Greek Cypriots] refused our offer and resumed with their unilateral activities. We told them that they would leave us with no other choice but to take similar steps of our own. This is what we are doing at the moment. We told them we would conduct our own exploration activities and that’s what we are doing. We told them we would drill if they started drilling and that is what we are doing now,” he said.
Akıncı said however that the Turkish Cypriot side was still ready to cooperate on the issue of hydrocarbons if the Greek Cypriot side showed the slightest intention to do so.
“I would like to repeat my call. The Eastern Mediterranean could become a lake of peace. Everyone could benefit from this. We do not want tensions or conflict. We want peace and understanding. I say this with the determination to protect our rights as Turkish Cypriots. We are ready to cooperate if we see the smallest hint to cooperate or act jointly on the matter,” he added.
Asked about the latest Washington based map outlining energy routes, Akıncı said that the map did not exclude Turkey but what was important was not what was on paper but what was actually happening in reality.
“That map is dated 2015. We are in 2019 and what is happening now is different from what the map entails both on land and at sea. As a result, what interests us is not what is on paper but what is happening in reality,” he said.
In response to a question on the possibility of resuming talks, Akıncı said that the reason why the talks had not started had nothing to do with current developments.
“The deadlock in the negotiations process is not because of the current developments taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is because the Greek Cypriot side refuses to recognize Turkish Cypriots’ political equality and our effective participation in decision-making,” he said.
Akıncı reminded that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had tasked his special envoy with the duty of seeking common ground for the resumption of talks but that she had failed to succeed in her mission.
“Past convergences need to be accepted if we are to agree on a common ground to restart talks. The core of these convergences is the political equality of the two sides. The Greek Cypriot side is currently refusing to accept this,” he concluded.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader and MP Tufan Erhürman on Tuesday said political equality and fair distribution of the island’s resources were essential for peace. Erhürman added that attempts directed at Fatih (drilling) vessel result only in further escalating tensions in the region.
He argued that the issuing of arrest warrants only served to further heighten tensions whereas the issue of hydrocarbons could have been used to set a good example for cooperation and motivation towards a solution on the island.
National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said the Greek Cypriot side’s attempts to issue arrest warrants for the crew of the Fatih had no legal basis.
In a written statement on Tuesday, Hasipoğlu said that the Fatih drilling vessel was operating within Turkey’s continental shelf in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and in accordance with general rules of law.
He argued that punitive measures can only be taken by a country if there is a violation of sovereignty rights within its territorial waters. Hasipoğlu reminded that Turkey and the TRNC had signed a continental delineation agreement in 2011 in New York. Hasipoğlu expressed his hope of reduced tensions in the region and said: “I hope the current crisis will be a motivation for a solution on the island and will result in the fair distribution of the natural resources by the two sides on the island.”
On Tuesday, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez said that the drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean will continue and that legal and political measures were taken with the relevant ministries for preventing third-party interference that ignores Turkey’s international sovereignty.
Dönmez said in a statement that Turkey will not allow any violations of the rights of the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots.
“We will continue our efforts to achieve regional peace by distributing the riches of Cyprus and the Mediterranean in a fair manner,” Dönmez said.
“Our extensive and long-term exploration and drilling activities in the region will resume as planned without making concessions to our legitimate rights on license areas,” he said.
Dönmez also said the drillship Yavuz will begin its operations in the region when preparations are completed.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy president Numan Kurtulmuş on Tuesday said Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp its rights nor will it remain a spectator to the developments (in the region). Speaking to 24TV, Kurtulmuş said Ankara was waging a big struggle to protect the rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Kurtulmuş stressed the issuing an arrest warrant for the crew of the Fatih and Turkish Petroleum officials is a violation of international law. Turkey has rights in the Eastern Mediterranean like others and Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp these rights.
>> Attempts are being made to exclude Turkey & TCs from the energy equation in EastMed.
>> TC side does not desire rise in tensions but Turkey and TRNC with no choice but to engage in their own activities.
>> Turkey & TCs part of the region’s geography and history. They cannot be excluded.
>> Island’s wealth belongs to both communities. Offer to cooperate and set up a joint committee repeatedly rejected by GCs.
>> TC side ready to cooperate if GC side shows slightest intention to do so.
>> Eastern Mediterranean could be transformed into a lake of peace.
>> US energy map outdated. Current developments are different from what the map entails. What is important is what is happening in reality, not what is on paper.
>> Deadlock in negotiations process not related to hydrocarbon developments.
>> Deadlock due to GC side’s refusal to accept TCs’ political equality & effective participation in decision-making.
>> GC side needs to accept past convergences which in essence recognizes political equality of two sides in order for talks to resume.
>> Political equality and fair distribution of resources essential for peace.
>> Arrest warrants are yet another step taken towards escalating tension.
>> Hydrocarbons could have set the example for cooperation and fair sharing.
>> Hydrocarbons could have been a motivation for peace on the island.
>> GC side has no legal basis in issuing arrest warrants for the crew of the Fatih.
>> Fatih drilling vessel is operating within Turkey’s continental shelf in accordance with UNCLOS.
>> Punitive measures can only be taken by a country if there is a violation of sovereignty rights within its territorial waters.
>> Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean will continue.
>> Legal and political measures are being taken to prevent third-party interference that ignores Turkey’s international sovereignty.
>> Turkey will not allow TRNC’s and TCs rights to be violated.
>> Turkey to resume efforts to achieve regional peace by distributing the riches of Cyprus and the Mediterranean in a fair manner.
>> Turkey’s extensive and long-term exploration and drilling activities in the region will resume as planned without making any concessions on legitimate rights in licensed areas.
>> Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
>> Issuing an arrest warrant for the crew of the Fatih and Turkish Petroleum officials is a violation of international law.
Tensions between Washington and Ankara rise over S-400 purchaseAfrika
External Security, Regional/International Relations
Afrika newspaper reported on Wednesday that tensions between Washington and Ankara have reached a new high after the US House of Representatives passed the resolution calling on Turkey to cancel its purchase of Russian S-400 air and missile defence system.
Afrika reports that the resolution described Turkey’s military presence in Cyprus as a military occupation.
It said that despite the fact that Turkey shares key regional interests with the United States, its cooperation with Russia and Iran, its military occupation of northern Cyprus, its rollback of democratic norms and institutions, including attacks on the free press and its continued unjust detention of US citizens is deeply problematic for US-Turkey relations.
Spehar: “There is hope despite disappointment in Crans-Montana”Yenidüzen
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus (SRSG) Elizabeth Spehar said on Tuesday there is still hope despite the disappointment in the failure in Crans-Montana.
Spehar was addressing an international conference entitled “30 years of dialogue between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties in service of peace” hosted by the embassy of Slovakia in Cyprus.
The SRSG said that as surveys showed a bizonal, bicommunal federation is still, at the present moment, the ‘most acceptable solution’ across the two largest communities.
She pointed out that negotiations have been in hiatus for nearly two years now with the UN striving to support the parties for the resumption of talks through on-going consultations facilitated by the UNSG’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute. Additionally, Spehar underlined the importance of the forum that brought the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties together at a time of no solution on the island.
Regarding confidence-building measures, Spehar expressed her pleasure in seeing two leaders’ continued efforts on implementing important CBMs such as the permanent connection of gridlines, demining and interoperability of GSM lines.
She added that should the two leaders agree on new CBMs, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political party forum could very well support their implementation.
The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic Miroslav Lajčák in his address at the conference said he strongly believes it is possible to find a solution to reunite Cyprus.
He expressed Slovakia’s sincere readiness to take on a facilitating role in such a process. Lajčák stressed that only Cypriots will decide for their future and said Cypriots can show the required courage to realize the vision of a solution.
Lajčák also reminded the first Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political party meeting was held on 16 May 1989 in Prague.
Former President George Vassiliou, former foreign ministers Nicos Rolandis, George Iacovou and Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, former president Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot politicians, and foreign ambassadors to Cyprus also attended the conference on Tuesday.
>> There is hope for a solution despite the failure in Crans-Montana in 2017.
>> Studies show bizonal, bicommunal federal solution model is accepted by the two communities.
>> Political party forum can support new CBMs.
>> Possible to find a solution to reunite Cyprus.
>> Slovakia is ready to take on the role of an honest mediator.
>> Cypriots will decide for their future & Cypriots can show the required courage to realize the vision of a solution.
Cyprob could be solved if guarantees are scrapped and political equality is acceptedKıbrıs Postası
Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL) MEP Niyazi Kızılyürek said the best and most viable solution model is a federation in an interview with Down Town magazine reprinted by Kıbrıs Postası.
Kızılyürek added there was a serious lack of information among the public on both sides regarding what a bizonal, bicommunal federation model entailed. “While Turkish Cypriots will never accept a unitary state, which means being governed by the majority, Greek Cypriots will never accept a separate state for the Turkish Cypriots. Moreover, the Turkish Cypriot state does not have a legal basis either. Therefore, the ideal model is federation. This is the only model that can reunite the country,” said Kızılyürek.
Kızılyürek said that the issue guarantees, which is a thorny issue, fails to convince the people and argued that it remained to be a serious obstacle in the way for a settlement.
“The path to a solution will open if the guarantees are scrapped and if political equality is accepted,” he said.
Kızılyürek also said that his biggest fear for Cyprus was its permanent separation (Taksim).
He warned that failure of the Cypriots to reunite the island will result in the assimilation of the Turkish Cypriot community Turkey. “The north with all its elements will become Turkey. There will not be a separate Turkish Cypriot community and such a development will not lead the Greek Cypriots to stability. “For stability and peace, both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots must govern their own home,” Kızılyürek concluded.
>> The best and most viable solution model is a federation.
>> TCs will never accept unitary state & GCs will never accept a Turkish Cypriot state leaving the island with the federal model as the only option.
>> Turkish Cypriot state does not have a legal basis.
>> The way to a solution will open if the guarantees are scrapped and if political equality is accepted.
>> If unification fails, TCs will be assimilated by Turkey and North will turn into Turkey with all its elements.
>> For peace both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots must govern their own homes.
Four arrested for stealing the car of a GC and demanding ransomYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Four people were arrested by Turkish Cypriot police after demanding €15,000 in ransom from a Greek Cypriot individual whose car they stole and brought over to Famagusta in the North.
According to the police, the four who stole the car and brought it over to the TRNC illegally later phoned the Greek Cypriot owner demanding a cash ransom fee of €15,000.
Diyalog reported on Wednesday that the four men were part of a gang that included Turkish Cypriots and Libyan nationals. It named the four men arrested as Marwan Altdashi, Moataz Favzi Malawaj, Salem Mohamde Quassam and Turgut Yazgı.
According to the daily, the Greek Cypriot car owner Kypros Michaelides who owns a rent-a-car business had rented the car in question to a woman a few days before. The woman who then crossed over to the north called Michaelides over the phone telling him that his car was with Marwan Altdashi. Michaelides then called Altdashi who told him that his car was in the hands of the mafia and that he needed to pay a fee of €15,000 if he wanted to get his car back.
The four were caught and arrested after Michaelides took the matter to the Turkish Cypriot police. The Turkish Cypriot suspect Turgut Yazgı is said to own a mechanics garage and was working together with the other four.
Slovak FM presents €10,000 donation to CMPYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis
The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on Tuesday expressed its thanks to the Slovak Republic for its donation of €10,000 on the occasion of the visit to the CMP Laboratory of the country’s foreign minister Miroslav Lajčák.
This brings the Slovak financial assistance to the CMP to €20,000 over the past years.
“This contribution to the CMP Project on the Exhumation, Identification and Return of Remains of Missing Persons in Cyprus will support the Committee’s goal of identifying and returning as many remains of missing individuals as possible to bring an end to the uncertainty which has affected so many families for so many years,” the CMP said. The statement also said that so far 937 missing persons from both communities have been identified and returned to their families for dignified burials.