TCC Press Review 26 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines


Your statements are damaging [the Attorney General’s office]

The Attorney General’s office issued a statement in response to accusations made by Former Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) leader Hüseyin Özgürgün that he was being set up. The statement reacted to accusations made against public prosecutor Ahmet Varol. It said Özgürgün’s statements were hurting the credibility of the prosecutor’s office.

  • UBP-HP tensions at ‘special committee – Peoples’ Party (HP) MP Gülşah Manavoğlu: “Those who failed to become a minister from the UBP are creating difficulties for their party leader (Ersin Tatar).  UBP MP Yasemin Öztürk: “They say they trust us but they need to show us.”
  • Farewell to our comrade – Crowds bid farewell to former President of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias as he embarked on his final journey.
  • “Western crossing point should be opened for residents of Pile (Pyla)” –The Beyarmudu (Pergamos) crossing point has become an agonizing ordeal for the residents of Pile (Pyla). Residents who are fed up of waiting for hours at the checkpoint every day propose the opening of a crossing point in the west.

Kıbrıs Postası

“Traitors” responded

MPs responded to accusations made by HP MP Gülşah Sanver Manavoğlu of being “traitors” after rejecting a proposal to establish a special committee to look into corruption allegations regarding Hüseyin Özgürgün. UBP MPs Zorlu Töre and Özdemir Berova as well as New Birth Party (YDP) MPs Erhan Arıklı and Bertan Zaroğlu harshly criticized the HP.

  • The accreditation crisis will be solved by July 23 the latest – Education Minister Nazım Çavuşoğlu said he discussed the issue with Yekta Saraç, President of the Turkish Higher Education Board (YÖK) and agreed to form a working group to solve the problem.


Surrounded by drugs everywhere

Hasan Karaokçu, head of the anti-drug commission at the Prime Ministry; Ayşe Gökyiğit, head of Kıbrıs Yeşilay (Cyprus Green Crescent Association) and Prof. Dr Mehmet Çakıcı, head of the Department of Psychology at the Near East University provide statistical proof of widespread drug use in the country. Drug-related crimes also rank top in the country.

  • Bidding farewell to Christofias – Demetris Christofias was laid to rest place with a military ceremony. Turkish Cypriot politicians also attended the funeral.


Linked to Cyprus again

15 people were detained in two police raids in Ankara and Sivas (Turkey) for illegally running online betting schemes with links to (North) Cyprus. Five million Turkish Lira was laundered via casinos in the North.

  • Died before she could return to her village – 106-year-old Vasilou Ahmet Fella passed away in the South before being able to return to her village because of the postponement of the Maronite Initiative, which would have allowed the Maronites to return and to resettle in their villages in the north.
  • Lapta (Lapithos) excavations yield results – Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus announced on Tuesday, archaeologists recovered bone fragments belonging to one person.


Police and judiciary must be strengthened

While the case concerning the serial killer in South Cyprus was completed in 64 days, sentencing included, numerous murders committed in the TRNC over a year ago still remain unsolved.

  • War of words over Cyprus – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the Greek PM for his remarks over Cyprus. The Greek PM Alexis Tsipras’s replied that he was speaking on the basis of international law and on behalf of the EU.
  • He was bid farewell with ceremonies – A large number of politicians from the TRNC attended Demetris Christofias’s funeral.
  • He had assisted them – A Firefighter has been detained by police for his connection to the auto theft ring which disassembled cars stolen from the south.


A handful of soil from Digomo (Dikomo) for Christofias

A large number of politicians and citizens from the north attended Demetris Christofias’s funeral. The most meaningful gesture came from Turkish Cypriot journalist Fatma Kişmir. She scattered soil brought from Christofias’s village of Dikomo on his grave. The ceremony was attended by the Presidential Spokesman Barış Burcu, Mehmet Ali Talat, Kudret Özersay, Tufan Erhürman and Cemal Özyiğit.

  • F-35s take off from Akrotiri – UK tried its new F-35B fighter jets over Iraq and Syria. Six F-35Bs are stationed at the Akrotiri airbase.

Main News

FM Özersay holds consultations on Maraş initiative

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog


Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay launched a series of consultations on Tuesday with Turkish Cypriot political actors regarding the government’s initiative on Maraş (Varosha).

Özersay held discussions with the General Director of the Evkaf Administration İbrahim Benter on Tuesday. The two discussed how the Evkaf could contribute to the inventory to be carried out by a team of experts.

In a statement afterwards on social media, Özersay said Benter had shared with him previous studies carried out by the Evkaf administration.

Later in the day, Özersay met with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman.

In a social media post, Özersay said that they exchanged views on the details of the initiative and sensitivities regarding its implementation.

Özersay will be meeting with President Mustafa Akıncı on Thursday.

On Friday he will be meeting with academics and representatives of civil society organisations who have previously carried out studies on Maraş.

Turkish Cypriot politicians attend Christofias’ funeral

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


A number of Turkish Cypriots, including high profile politicians, attended the funeral of Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias on Tuesday.

President Mustafa Akıncı was represented by his spokesman Barış Burcu.

Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay and his wife; former president Mehmet Ali Talat and his wife; the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman, CTP MPs Doğuş Derya, Fikri Toros and Asım Akansoy; National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu; Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Özyiğit and United Cyprus Party (BKP) leader İzzet İzcan were among the Turkish Cypriot politicians who attended the funeral held at in south Nicosia.

In a meaningful gesture, Turkish Cypriot journalist Fatma Kişmir brought soil from Christofias’ village Dikmen (Dikomo) to honour his vision for a reunified island.

Erdoğan says Turkey will not be stopped by EU threats

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan resumed Ankara’s rhetoric on Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have rights in the Eastern Mediterranean no matter what the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras claims Erdoğan told his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday. “Until we achieve a fair distribution of natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, we will continue to move with determination in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Erdoğan said.

He warned that Turkey would not allow any drilling activity that disregarded the rights of Turkey.

Erdoğan was responding to comments made last week by Tsipras who said that Athens “will not allow” Turkey to proceed with reported plans to expand its area of exploration into Greece’s exclusive economic zone.

Erdoğan also alluded to French President Emmanuel Macron, who earlier this month called on Ankara to stop its ‘illegal activities’ in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and said the EU would not back down on the issue.

“When it comes to France, it has no say here,” Erdoğan stated.

“In this issue, it is Turkey that speaks a guarantor power. It is Greece that speaks, also a guarantor. And Britain, another guarantor. But you, France, you may not speak.”

The dailies also reported that the second drilling vessel Yavuz, which is a sixth generation type vessel, has anchored off the coast of Antalya. Yavuz is expected to commence its offshore drilling in areas licensed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus at the beginning of July near the Karpaz (Karpas) Peninsula.

Turkey & TC side have rights in the EastMed no matter what the Greek PM claims.
>> Turkey to move with determination in the EastMed until a fair distribution of natural resources.
>> Turkey would not allow any drilling activity that disregarded the rights of Turkey.
>> Turkey will continue its drilling and exploration activities with its four vessels.
>> France does not have a say in the region. There are only three guarantor countries in Cyprus and France is not one of them.

Missing persons in Cyprus raised at PACE meeting

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Human Rights


National Unity Party (UBP) MP Hamza Ersan Saner and Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Armağan Candan are in Strasbourg to attend the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meetings according to a press release by the parliament on Tuesday. Turkish Cypriot MPs attended a meeting of the Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons Committee during which a report prepared by Killion Munyama titled “Rights and Humanitarian needs of the displaced persons in Europe” was discussed.

The issue of missing persons in Cyprus was also included in the report. A video-conference was arranged with the three members of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP). CMP members briefed the committee on their work since 2006.

Turkish Cypriot member of CMP, Gülden Plümer Küçük criticized the report for omitting crucial facts and stressed the issues of immigration and missing persons in Cyprus dated back to 1963.

Candan, in his address of the committee, noted that the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots are equally affected by the issue of missing persons. He pointed out that nearly 25,000 Turkish Cypriots had to migrate to other countries between 1963 and 1964, unlike the report which only referred to developments after 1974.

Candan highlighted that the CMP is a substantial organization that brings the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots closer and emphasized the importance of not politicizing the committee.

Saner said the issue of missing persons is still an open wound on the island and is affecting the two sides negatively. He recalled that Turkish Cypriot Cengiz Ratip, an elected member of the parliament in Cyprus had gone missing since February 14 1964.

Saner and Candan will also be attending meetings organized by the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee; Culture, Science, Education and Media Committee; Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee; Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons Committee; Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development Committee; and Equality and Non-Discrimination Committee.

In a related development, a bi-communal excavation team recovered on Monday bone fragments belonging to one person at a site in Lapta (Lapithos), the Committee on Missing Persons announced on Tuesday.

In 2019 so far, the CMP has exhumed the remains of 18 individuals, the press release added. The Committee reiterated its plea to all communities on the island to support the Committee’s efforts by providing information on possible burial sites by contacting the CMP.

Küçük (CMP)
Displaced persons’ report omits crucial facts on its Cyprus paragraph.
>> Migration and missing persons issues in Cyprus date back to 1963, not 1974.

Candan (CTP)
TCs & GCs are equally affected by the issue of missing persons.
>> CMP brings TCs & GCs closer & it must not be politicized.

Saner (UBP)
Missing persons issue is an open wound, affecting the two sides negatively.

TC residents of Pile (Pyla) demand new crossing point



Turkish Cypriot residents of the mixed village of Pile (Pyla) are demanding the opening of a new crossing point to the west of the village due to congestion at the Beyarmudu (Pergamos) crossing point.

The villagers are complaining about the agonizing process of entering and exiting the village due to the long queues forming at the checkpoint.

Yenidüzen reports that the congestion is mainly caused by Greek Cypriot shoppers who have recently increased their trips to the north due to the fall in the value of the Turkish Lira.

The checkpoint is also used by tour operators from the North to access Larnaca airport, the paper adds.

The paper also reports that while local shopkeepers in Beyarmudu (Pergamos) are happy with the boom in business, the Turkish Cypriot residents of Pile (Pyle) don’t share the neighbouring village’s newfound happiness as many are forced to waste hours trying to cross the checkpoint.

Tour operators carrying tourists to Larnaca airport are also unhappy, claiming that the long waiting period at the crossing point was creating a bad image for the island.

The Turkish Cypriot mukhtar of Pile (Pyla) Veysal Güden complained that school children from the mixed village were forced to wake up in the dark in order to make it to school on time and wasted several hours returning home.

The Mayor of Beyarmudu (Pergamos) İlker Edip said that they had launched an initiative with the foreign ministry and security forces for the opening of an alternative crossing point to the west of Pile (Pyla).

He said he believed the Turkish Cypriot authorities looked at the proposal in a positive light. Edip complained that the British forces were searching through cars crossing from north to south but were not applying the same process to cars crossing from the south to north.

Edip (Mayor of Beyarmudu/Pergamos)
>> Initiative launched with MFA and security forces to open a new crossing point west of Pile (Pyla).

New suspect arrested by police in relation to the auto ring case

Internal Security


New developments unfolded on Tuesday in the investigation concerning the auto theft ring uncovered by police.

Police detained Hasan Karabıyıklı, a firefighter on duty at the Famagusta station, for assisting the auto ring.

He is being accused of facilitating the crossing of the car thieves into the north. 

The auto theft ring case was brought to police’s attention when a Greek Cypriot man filed a complaint with the Turkish Cypriot police after those who stole his vehicle tried to extort money from him.

Since then, two suspects were arrested for stealing cars from the south and disassembling them in the north. One of the suspects, Arif Tolgan who owns an auto repair shop confessed to disassembling cars stolen from the South and selling them as spare parts.

Police had raided Tolgan’s auto shop following an investigation into the incident which took place on June 10, 2019. It emerged that Tolgan’s partner in crime, Yaser Y. Abdslbagı had stolen another car from the south on April 12, 2019. The car was found in the auto garage disassembled in two pieces during the raid.

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