TCC Press Review 28 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines


“We opened one neighbourhood and then we closed it”

Former PM and Minister of Housing Hakkı Atun makes shocking confessions on Maraş (Varosha). Speaking to Kanal Sim Hakkı Atun said that no one knew why Maraş (Varosha) was not being opened. “Whether it was the Turkish Foreign Ministry or the Turkish General Staff that was preventing the opening of the fenced-off city remains a mystery,” Atun said. He reminded that the area was under the control of the Turkish military and that only they would know the real reason why the town remained closed.

  • ‘This is not a post to be informed but a post that makes decisions’ – Akıncı harshened his tone following his meeting with the government, the first after the Maraş (Varosha) crisis.
  • All eyes now on Geçitkale (Lefkonoiko) [airport] – Businessman Asil Nadir gave a presentation to several members of the cabinet on the airport he leased in 2010. The finance minister confirmed the reports but said a decision had still not been made. The public works and communications minister said that a timetable has been prepared regarding Nadir’s obligations but refrained from giving out any more information.

Kıbrıs Postası

Maraş (Varosha) tension continues

President Mustafa Akıncı’s statement after meeting with Foreign Minister Özersay revealed that tensions over the Maraş (Varosha) initiative have not died down. Özersay said, however, that he and the president were on the same frequency.

  • CTP’s presidential candidate will be a leader developed in its natural course – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) General Secretary Erdoğan Sorakın responded to a question on the party’s presidential candidate.


It’s worse than a war

Roads are not roadworthy; drivers don’t respect [traffic] rules. In the last six and a half years, 212 people died and 5,396 people were injured in a total of 23,550 accidents on the roads that do not even tolerate the smallest mistake.

  • Tatar and Özersay briefed Akıncı on Maraş (Varosha) initiative – PM Ersin Tatar said: “We have reached an agreement on sharing the developments.” Özersay: “There needs to be a healthy dialogue between various levels of the state.’
  • CTP to hold its general congress on October 6 – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) General Secretary Edoğan Sorakın said the party’s 27th general congress will be held on October 6 instead of November.


‘I believe they understood’

President Mustafa Akıncı received both PM Ersin Tatar and Deputy PM and FM Kudret Özersay. Akıncı spoke meaningfully after the meeting on Thursday. Akıncı: “The Office of the President is not an office to be informed about developments; it is the authority that makes decisions.”

  • People are not able to pay their debts – The TRNC Central Bank published its banking sector report for the first quarter. According to the report, the sector has grown but there is an increase in non-performing loans. Inflation is also calculated at 30 per cent.


No room left in the oncology department

300 patients are receiving chemotherapy treatment in the country which has around 5,400 cancer patients. Smoking, overuse of pesticides, stress and lack of exercise are some of the leading causes of cancer in the country. The state hospital is overwhelmed with cancer patients due to the lack of an effective policy. Oncologist Dr Polat Olgun who works at the state hospital complains that there are only four doctors for the 300 cancer patients receiving treatment.

  • For who is all this madness for? – South Cyprus is raising its armament budget from €51,900,000 to €120,700,000.


Full stop to bluff on Maraş (Varosha)

The meeting between Akıncı, Tatar and Özersay cleared the air a little. Only an inventory will be carried out in Maraş (Varosha) for the time being. Mustafa Akıncı said that there was no government policy after that. “I believe they have understood that they must definitely act together with Office of the President as and when any policy is to be formulated on Maraş (Varosha),” Akıncı said.

  • KTÖS (CT Teachers’ Union) calls for joint policy on Maraş (Varosha) – KTÖS General Secretary Şener Elcil says President Akıncı must pursue a more active policy on Maraş (Varosha).

Main News

Akıncı takes a swipe at the government, stating decisions on Maraş (Varosha) his to make.

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Property, Territory


The government’s plan to conduct an inventory in the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) was taken up a high-level meeting at the presidential palace on Thursday.

President Mustafa Akıncı came together with Prime Minister Ersin Tatar and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay to discuss the inner details of the issue as well as to evaluate possible future steps.

It was the first time the three came met following the recent rift between the president and the government that emerged after Özersay met with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades without informing Akıncı.

Akıncı had also expressed his discontentment last week over the announcement by the government of the decision on Maraş (Varosha) arguing he had been excluded.

Speaking at a press conference afterwards, Akıncı took a swipe at the government, stating that the prerogative to taking decisions regarding Maraş (Varosha) belonged to the President’s Office and not the government.

“The Office of the President is not an office to be informed about developments, it is the authority that makes decisions,” he said, adding that the issue could not be taken up independently from the Office of the Presidency.

“Maraş (Varosha) is an important component of the Cyprus Problem whether it be opened within the framework of a comprehensive solution or is taken up as a confidence-building measure (CBM). Any issues pertaining to the Cyprus Problem is the prerogative of the Office of the President,” he said.

Akıncı pointed out that the government’s decision was only limited to an inventory study and that no other policy currently existed.

“I believe I made myself clear that when the time comes to formulate policy, the government definitely needs to act with the Office of the President,” he said.
Akıncı added that any future move on Maraş (Varosha) needed to be taken in collaboration with the UN and must within the framework of international law.

Both Tatar and Özersay told reporters on Thursday that they had held a positive meeting with Akıncı during which they had exchanged views on the Maraş (Varosha) initiative.

Özersay underlined the importance of a healthy dialogue between the different levels of the state and added that his dialogue with Akıncı will continue.

Tatar for his part said that the meeting had focused on ongoing preparations for the inventory to be conducted in Maraş (Varosha).

He also said that the process of informing Akıncı will continue.

On Thursday afternoon, Özersay met separately with former president Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit within the framework of his meetings with political actors.

According to Diyalog, Özersay responded to statements made by the so-called Mayor of Maraş (Varosha) Alexis Galanos via social media.

He urged Greek Cypriot authorities to refrain from making prejudiced and misleading statements.

Özersay reminded that the government recognises the rights of the former residents of the fenced-off city and that these rights will be safeguarded in any future move regarding Maraş (Varosha).

He said that the inventory to be conducted was solely aimed at determining an accurate picture of the situation.

General Secretary of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union, Şener Elcil said on Thursday that Akıncı needs to take a more active stance on the issue of Maraş (Varosha).

In a written statement, Elcil also claimed that bargaining between the various actors for the island’s natural resources was continuing behind closed doors.

He said that Akıncı should disrupt these secret backdoor attempts.

“It is your primary responsibility to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot community’s presence is felt internationally by emphasizing our communal rights stemming from the Republic of Cyprus (RoC),” he said.

Elcil also said that Maraş (Varosha) should be returned to its former residents.

Speaking to Kanal Sim former Prime Minister and Minister of Housing Hakkı Atun said an attempt had been made in the past to open Maraş (Varosha) to settlement but that the move was cancelled shortly afterwards.

He said that they had opened a neighbourhood in the fenced-off city to settlement in 1983 only to vacate its newly settled residents a week later upon instructions from the Turkish General Staff.

“I believe the decision was political. The people we vacated experienced great difficulties. This was a period that really shook me,” he said.

Atun said that the next time the issue of Maraş (Varosha) came up was during talks on the Ghali Set of Ideas.

He said that a proposal had been put on the table to return Maraş (Varosha) in exchange for reopening the Nicosia airport for the joint use of the two sides.

“We missed a real opportunity back then. It was the Greek Cypriot leadership’s fault that the offer was not accepted,” Atun said.

He also said that the TRNC government at the time wanted to open and to use the money in the 254 sealed vaults located within the fenced-off city.

“Our economy was going through a tough period. We asked for assistance from Turkey but their economy was also in crisis. There were a kilometre long petrol queues. We learned that there were 254 vaults in Maraş (Varosha). We wanted to open them and use the money but the Turkish military did not give us permission,” he said.

Atun also said that an invitation had been made to foreign investors to invest in Maraş (Varosha) under Turkish Cypriot control but no one had shown up.

He concluded by saying that no one knew who was preventing the opening of Maraş (Varosha).

“It’s not known whether it’s the Turkish Foreign Ministry or the Turkish General Staff that is preventing the opening of the closed city,” Atun said.

Prerogative regarding decisions on Maraş (Varosha) belongs to President’s Office, not the government.
>> Maraş (Varosha) issue cannot be taken up independently from President’s Office.
>> Maraş (Varosha) important component of Cyprob whether it is opened as part of a comprehensive settlement or taken up as a CBM.
>> Government’s decision limited to scientific inventory. No other policy decision exists.
>> Office of the President must be included in any formulation of policy on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Any move on Maraş (Varosha) must be taken in collaboration with UN and within the framework of international law.

Özersay (HP)
>> Healthy dialogue between different authorities of the state important.
>> Dialogue with Akıncı will continue.
>> GC authorities should refrain from making prejudiced and misleading statements.
>> TC government recognises rights of former residents of Maraş (Varosha). Rights of former residents will be safeguarded in any future move.

Tatar (UBP)
>> Meeting focused on ongoing preparations for Maraş (Varosha) inventory.
>> Process of informing Akıncı will continue.

Elcil (KTÖS)
>> Akıncı must take a more proactive stance on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Bargaining for island’s resources continuing behind closed doors. Akıncı must disrupt these efforts.
>> Akıncı’s primary responsibility to ensure the TC community’s presence is felt internationally by emphasizing TC’s rights stemming from RoC.

CMP unearths remains of a missing person in Lapta (Lapithos)

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
Human Rights


The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on Thursday announced that human remains belonging to one person were unearthed in a well in Lapta (Lapithos).

According to an announcement, a bi-communal excavation team of the CMP recovered remains of one person on Wednesday.

“This exhumation took place in a deep well using a new method for well digging under experimentation that promises to expedite CMP’s well excavations,” the announcement said.

The CMP said it has exhumed the remains of 19 individuals so far this year.

The committee also said it would like “to extend its warmest sympathy to the families of the missing persons.”

It also made another plea to all communities on the island to support the Committee’s efforts by providing information on possible burial sites by contacting the CMP.

Former US radar station demolished



A former radar station belonging to the US embassy in Alayköy (Gerolakkos) was demolished, Yenidüzen reported on Friday.

According to the Alayköy (Gerolakkos) Municipality, the old and abandoned radar station was demolished after the US embassy gave the necessary permission to Turkish Cypriot authorities.

The paper reports that the building was demolished because it contained asbestos, a banned carcinogenic material.

The municipality, on the other hand, said that the demolition was part of work to clear the area of a serious public health hazard.

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