GCC Press Review 13 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines


Disagreement also between lawyers on the CPC (Commission for the Protection of Competition) probe on CyMA (medical association)

How ethical are the reactions of the state and political leadership? CyMA strikes back and proceeds with legal measures.

  • Fatih (drillship): Arrest warrants also for Brits
  • Cyprus is permanently absent from the ECHR – They (Famagusta municipal council) respond on Varosi (issue).  
  • Turkey: The issue of the S-400 goes to the National Council


Akinci carrying the same tune as Ankara

He is trying to link natural gas reserves with the talks and brings back the (issue) of the joint committee. He is accusing the GCs and Anastasiades for the lack of mobility.

  • Turkey decides today on the S-400 and F35
  • Assessment of the election (results) by DIKO’s central committee


Vulnerable groups are excluded from ‘Estia’

The Estia scheme does not cover vulnerable population groups that have low or no income at all, AKEL warned yesterday, while stressing the need for an integrated housing policy to address non-performing loans. A precondition for the borrowers’ inclusion in Estia is for them to be deemed as viable.

  • Juncker: The Cyprob was close to a solution
  • Contacts by Spehar for the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate

Cyprus Mail

Last of Metaxas’ victims retrieved

Body of little Sierra found after suspect taken back to lake and points to different location.


Widespread outcry

A maelstrom of reactions against the CPC on the raid on CyMA’s offices. The President of the Republic asked to be fully briefed and said the probe was unnecessary and posed risks to GESY (National Health Scheme). Parties and organisations criticise the CPC’s move and are calling for responsibilities to be attributed. (CPC head) Loukia Christodoulou: We do not answer to anyone.

  • Juncker: The Cyprob is among my failures. We were close to a solution that vanished
  • Turkey: Decisions today on EEZ and S-400. Toward countermeasures on the arrest warrants

Main News

AKEL: Akinci’s justification of Turkish actions in EEZ is wrong & counterproductive

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations


Most papers report on the disagreement by AKEL to statements by TC leader Mustafa Akinci concerning Turkish provocations in the Cypriot EEZ. The government waits to see if the Turkish cabinet, reportedly meeting today, will take countermeasures to the arrest warrants the Republic has issued against staff working at the Fatih drillship. In the meantime, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar is to meet with the two leaders ahead of discussion by the Security Council of the UNFICYP mandate.

Phileleftheros, Alithia and Haravgi report that AKEL expressed disagreement with statements by Akinci who tried to justify Turkey’s actions.

Member of AKEL’s political bureau, Christos Christofides, said that Turkey’s activities in the Republic’s EEZ are a violation of international law and her provocations were “unacceptable and condemnable, and there is no excuse for them.”

Unfortunately, tensions created by Turkey’s actions pose serious obstacles to the resumption of negotiations, he said.

Any statements, such as those by Akinci, trying to justify Turkey’s unacceptable behaviour are wrong and counterproductive, he said.

On natural resources, Christofides recalled there is an agreed convergence concerning the allocation of federal revenues, including gas revenues. Upon the solution of the Cyprus problem an agreement on the issue will be implemented, he said.

Christofides said efforts at the moment need to be focused on Turkish provocations and violations and to create the right conditions for the resumption of negotiations from the point where they left off in Crans Montana. He added that a proper and comprehensive solution would end Turkish provocations and regulate the distribution of gas revenues on the basis of the agreed framework, he said.

Alithia reports that AKEL lambasts Akinci.

According to Phileleftheros, Akinci, who was considered by many as being marginalised by Turkey, has emerged and is fully in line with Ankara on the issue of energy aiming at the interconnection of energy with the Cyprus problem.

The TC leader wants a joint committee to discuss issues related to energy. The goal is to link energy with the solution of the Cyprus problem, which will keep the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus a captivate of Turkey’s whims, the paper said.

Akinci has also justified Turkey and the obstacles it creates to the relaunch of the talks arguing that the deadlock in the negotiation process is not due to the latest developments taking place in the Eastern Mediterranean but to the GCs’ refusal to recognise TC political equality and their effective participation in decision-making, the daily said.

Phileleftheros also reports that the ‘cabinet’ will have an extraordinary meeting soon to discuss the Cyprus problem. As it is already known, the Ersin Tatar-Kudret Ozersay ‘government’ is in favour of seeking a solution beyond that of a bizonal bicommunal federation, it said.

Alithia, citing diplomatic sources, reported that Erdogan is expected to preside over an extraordinary  cabinet meeting on Thursday where counter measures would be decided on the arrest warrants issued by Cyprus against the crew of the Fatih.

Nicosia, the daily reported, is on hold for Turkey’s response to the arrest warrants while, at the same time, it intensifies contacts ahead of the European Council summit on June 21 and 22, which will discuss Turkish actions in the Cypriot EEZ.

But given that since the issue was first discussed by the EU leaders in Romania last May there was no new provocative action by the Turkish side beyond the continued presence of the ‘Conqueror’ (Fatih) and the constant statements on the imminent start of drilling, it is unlikely that our European partners will take measures against Turkey unless, in the meantime, Erdogan gives them a reason, Alithia said.

Meanwhile, Politis, citing sources, reports that the arrest warrants against staff working at the Fatih drillship concern Turkish nationals but also Europeans, mostly British nationals, and Americans  who participate in the organisation of the drilling.

Diplomatic sources told Politis the government has already sent the arrest warrants to all police administrations. None of them has been executed yet.

The papers also report that the  Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of UNFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar, will hold meetings with Anastasiades and Akinci as well as senior officials in both sides ahead of the UN Security Council’s discussion on the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate in July.

Christofides (AKEL)
Statements such as those by Akinci that try to justify Turkey’s unacceptable and inexcusable behaviour are wrong and counterproductive.
>> Turkey’s activities in the RoC’s EEZ are a violation of international law and hinder resumption of talks.
>> There is already an agreed convergence on the allocation of federal revenues, including from gas which will be implemented upon solution of the Cyprob.
>> What everyone needs to focus on now is dealing with Turkish violations and prepare the ground for the resumption of talks from where they left off in Crans Montana because only through a solution Turkey will stop provoking while distribution of gas revenues will be regulated.

Wants a joint committee to be set up to discuss issues related to energy.
>> The deadlock in the talks is not due to Turkey’s actions in the EEZ but to GC refusal to recognise TC political equality and effective participation in decision-making.

Juncker: Sides had come very close to a solution

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, EU Matters


The papers report on the confession by EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that the non-resolution of the Cyprus problem was one of his regrets admitting the two sides were very close to reaching an agreement.

During an interview with Politico Brussels, Juncker said he regrets not concluding a deal between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community when he was asked what his biggest regret of the past five years was.

Juncker answered: “I have some regrets, smaller but important ones. I am sad, although I was spending a lot of efforts in that direction, that I was not able to bring the Cypriot question to a good end. I started there, I visited Cyprus different times, the Republic of Cyprus also the Turkish community. We were very close and then it evaporated.”

One of his biggest regrets is non-conclusion of a deal between the RoC and TCs on the Cyprob, despite his efforts.
>> The two sides were very close to a solution but that progress vanished.

GC fishermen banned from fishing off Karpasia call for ban on fish from north

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros


The papers report on the complaint by an owner of fishing trawlers that the market has been flooded with imported fish but also fish caught in Turkey which is sold by TCs, since GC fishermen who used to fish in international waters north of Apostolos Andreas have been forced to avoid that area following threats by Turkey they would be arrested if they went near there.

Aristos Aristidou, owner of a fishing company that owns three of the four trawlers that have for years been fishing north of Apostolos Andreas in international waters said they now stopped going to that area after TC fishermen informed them of the occupation army’s intention to arrest any GC fisherman attempting to fish again in the area. The warning said that this time if GC fishermen are caught, their fishing trawler, along with its crew would be towed to a port in Turkey, Aristidou said.

One of Aristidou’s trawlers was seized by the Turkish navy last September, along with its five-member crew, all from Egypt, and were forced to change course to the Kyrenia harbour. The crew and boat were released a few days later.

He said that a colleague of his who had attempted to fish in that area a month ago had a similar incident after his trawler was sent away by a Turkish warship. Aristidou called on the state to intervene and ban the transfer of fish from the occupied areas as a pressure lever to allow GCs to fish, as they are legally entitled to, in international waters north of Apostolos Andreas.

Famagusta refugees say their occupied town is being neglected by government

Property, Human Rights


Lawyer Achilleas Demetriades criticised the government for opting to abstain from cases before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning claims filed by GCs against Turkey over their property rights in the occupied areas.

Speaking to Politis radio, Demetriades said that the government failed to submit its positions in two recent cases before the ECHR.

Since both cases concerned the Immovable Property Commission which is a Turkish body and not of the breakaway regime, Demetriades wondered why the government chose to abstain, arguing that this is not due to the stance of the state legal service but of the foreign and interior ministries.

A government source told Politis it is the legal service that represents the government in the ECHR.

Demetriades said that a third case, concerning disputed property within the closed off town of Varosha and the involvement also of EVKAF, is a very important one and that the state must submit its positions by June 18.

The daily reports that the same issue was discussed by the Famagusta municipal council as part of discontent over the wider stance by the government to their occupied town.

Mayor Alexis Galanos told Politis two letters they sent to Anastasiades on the government’s absence from property cases before the ECHR went unanswered.

One of the reaction measures discussed was mass resignations by municipal councillors to force the state to mobilise on what is going in the occupied part of Famagusta, among them, the opening of the closed-off town to Turkish or TC visitors, the paper reported.

Grain producers want arrest warrants against TC Deneia farmers

Cyprus Mail
External Security, Economy


The Pancyprian Organisation of Grain Producers (POS) called on the government to issue arrest warrants against the TC farmers they have accused of illegally harvesting GC crops in the Deneia buffer zone earlier this month.

According to the daily, the group, in a letter to the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, justice and the police chief, published by Phileleftheros online on Wednesday, said they were appalled by events in Deneia where TC farmers illegally harvested crops from fields legally cultivated by GCs. Similar incidents have taken place in other areas of the buffer zone, the letter said, with POS requesting authorities to take measures to protect farmers that legally cultivate land in such areas.

Among the measures requested is investigations into any offence that may have taken place by the TC farmers in question including theft and the subsequent issuance of arrest warrants against them, the paper reported.

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