GCC Press Review 30 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Huge rise in asylum cases

Minister says increased flow from north could not be taking place without Turkey’s approval.

  • Buffer zone meets Hollywood – (Photo caption) Mammari village is the movie set for Nicolas Cage, director Demetri Logothetis and actor Alain Moussi.
  • Erdogan: US will not impose sanctions over Russian S-400s


Idea for a joint energy forum for briefing TCs without participation in decision making

A diversion by Nicosia to the Turks’ demands for a joint energy committee.

  • The Mother(land) and the Guarantor (Editorial on the relations between Greece and Cyprus)
  • From 1980 to-date – The locked map and the mockery over Varosi.
  • Agreements with Total are being sealed
  • Ankara puts her hands on the Eratosthenes (seamount)
  • Bets and names – AKEL in the post-Christofias era.
  • Poll by Simerini – The ferry link between Cyprus and Greece is a popular demand.
  • Andreas Pentaras: Turkey’s Plan B on Cyprus and how she will implement it (opinion piece)
  • Giorgos Kolokassides: Settlers: A critical aspect of the solution (opinion piece)
  • Is Trump going back on the S-400 issue? – What happened at the meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Osaka.


He broke his leg and so was the ice

A warm telephone call by Akinci to the injured Anastasiades. They agreed to meet right after his recovery to discuss the Cyprus problem. The president underwent surgery for the replacement of his hip bone. He is expected to be fully recovered and return to his duties in a few weeks.

  • The truth will be our only protection (article on the Cyprob)
  • Chronicle: Cyprus 1939-1945: The British fortress of the Eastern Mediterranean (Free supplement with Sunday’s Politis)


He (Anastasiades) puts all his cards on the table

President Anastasiades gives answers to Phileleftheros on all current issues and explains his positions.  Exclusive interview: What was discussed with Ozersay during the notorious dinner. I have asked the resumption of talks in six letters to but also four meetings with Guterres. For the dialogue to restart, the Turkish illegal actions in the EEZ must stop. Turkey will be forced to ponder if she was imposed sanctions which would bear a cost. Measures lie ahead by the EU but also in Washington’s warnings.

  • Brussels: London is trying to render the measures (against Turkey) toothless – Constant interventions at a diplomatic level.
  • Occupied areas: Turkey is sending money in instalments and under conditions.
  • The Americans change course in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Will (Ekrem) Imamoglu rule (Turkey)? – The biggest defeat of Tayyip Erdogan.
  • Christos Iacovou: Why is Turkey claiming Cyprus’ sea area? (opinion piece)
  • Yiannis Spanos: Ignorance is a crime (opinion piece)


A blockade in the green line is being introduced (for migrants)

Banning entry to third-country citizens applying for asylum and creation of reception centres.

  • Cyprob: Talks are on the cards, natural gas also on the table
  • Varosi has been lost in the backstage
  • Kastellorizo: All scenarios are open
  • Famagusta: Our town that is being lost (opinion piece)
  • The National Guard is eyeing the US (arms) market – The Menendez amendment does not affect the lift of the arms embargo.
  • Demetris Christofias: The final farewell with political messages
  • Trump’s tete-a-tete with Erdogan – Their meeting at the G20 summit.


Convergences – Legacy for solution             

At the time when the Yavuz is departing Antalya and is on its way to the Cypriot EEZ, when Turkey questions the ownership status of the closed-off town of Famagusta and one intransigent stance succeeds another, we recall the (former leaders’) Christofias-Talat convergences. Convergences achieved just a few years ago and show the way in efforts for solution and reunification based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

  • An environmental disaster affecting Cyprus from one end to the other ( Joint article by Haravgi and Yeni Duzen on a bicommunal programme on the link between mine waste and cancer)
  • Ekrem Imamoglu’s ‘radical love’


More and more GCs cross to the occupied areas for fuel

SOS by the petrol station owners. Their turnover has dropped by 40 per cent. The average petrol price today in the free areas is €1.20 while in the occupied areas is €0.81. At the same time, diesel here is €1.21 while in the occupied areas is €0.75.

  • Prolonged standstill: The Cyprob in the freezer. Guterres has forgotten about us
  • Analysis: Akinci’s last months (as TC leader) offer the final opportunity
  • Christos P. Panayiotides: We have no choice, Cyprus needs to be on the side of the West
  • SOS by (Famagusta Mayor Alexis) Galanos – Erdogan’s friends are having an appetite for the (Varosha) beach.
  • Assessment by AKEL’s central committee: We made history with the participation of a TC in the (Euro-elections) ticket

Main News

Leaders to meet after Anastasiades recovers from hip surgery

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process


The papers report that the two leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci have agreed to meet when the former recuperates from a hip surgery. Anastasiades was rushed to hospital on Saturday morning after falling while out shopping and breaking his right hip.

Citing a statement by Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou, the papers report that Akinci called Anastasiades to wish him well and in the meantime agreed to consult on the next steps in the Cyprus problem after the president recovers.

Politis reports that the accident broke the ice between the two leaders while the around 10-minute telephone conversation comes at a time when the Cyprus problem is at a standstill and in the midst of crises such as the EEZ and the closed-off town of Varosha.

The dailies also report that Anastasiades would not be in a position to travel to Brussels for the European Council. Most of the papers report that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was expected to represent him at the summit, while according to Phileleftheros, arrangements have been made for Anastasiades to be represented by European Council President Donald Tusk since they belong to the same political group, the European People’s Party.

Anastasiades: Would accept rotating prime ministership within parliamentary democracy

Negotiations Process, Energy, Property, EU Matters


The daily, in a multi-page article, reports on an exclusive interview with President Nicos Anastasiades.

Part one of the interview published on Sunday is on the Cyprus problem and Turkey’s actions in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Anastasiades also referred to his dinner with ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay and what they had discussed.

He said during his meeting with Ozersay, the latter mentioned nothing on Famagusta or the intentions of the TC side on any measures.

Anastasiades said they discussed in general.

“I told him I accept the TC positive vote but I explained why it is not possible to accept their suggestion for a positive vote on every decision which equals to a veto,” Anastasiades said.

He dismissed reports they discussed a two-state solution as serving expediencies.

The president said he believed a meeting with Ozersay would be useful so that he could be able to familiarise himself with the TC politician’s positions and probe whether the proposals he would be submitting would be a way out of the dead end.

“It was not my intention to marginalise the TC leader whom I respect regardless of our disagreements, or interfere in what is happening in the northern part of our occupied country” he said.

He added that Ozersay did not refer to a two-state solution per se but that they ought to seek a solution model to entertain the concerns of both sides and that the bizonal bicommunal federal model leads nowhere.

Anastasiades said he then referred to the model of the parliamentary democracy that would bring Cypriots closer not as ethnicities, but as Cypriot citizens who could cooperate organised into ideological parties.
“I told him that if the President of the Republic, would always be a GC with symbolic powers, I would accept a rotating Prime Minister in the case of a parliamentary democracy,” he said. He added that in this way governments would be formed on the basis of ideological identity and not on ethnic origin. That way, whether it was a GC or a TC chairing the government, they would apply a programme in accordance with the coalition that would have the majority in the House.

This would be an ideal solution and it applies in all states, he said.

He said a social visit with Akinci would have been preferable but that the TC leader has turned down many of his calls for a meeting.

Anastasiades said Cyprus is trying to stop Turkey from carrying out further drillings in the Cypriot EEZ through legal measures and by engaging the EU which is expected to announce a series of sanctions.

What Cyprus wants is to make Turkey realise that its illegal actions could cause more problems for her than the benefits she thinks she will gain by violating international law, he said.

He added Turkey must realise that the solution will not be found through actions that cause tension and escalate concerns by the GCs on Turkish intentions.

He also said Turkey’s reaction as regards the natural gas are not justified since the GC side has never denied the TCs’ rights and never wanted to usurp what the TCs are entitled to.

Anastasiades recalled there is a convergence that the hydrocarbons issues will be addressed by the central government while, to address the concerns of the TCs the Hydrocarbons Fund has been set up.

He said that Turkey’s actions and statements are contradicting since it cannot claim islands have no EEZs but recognise that the illegal regime has one and can issue licences to Turkey to carry out drillings.

Anastasiades also said Turkey prioritises an agreement on sharing the natural gas over the solution to the Cyprus problem.

“I wonder though why Ankara does not set the solution as a priority since this would lead to sorting out any differences,” Anastasiades said, adding that Turkey too would benefit from the situation  and could be a possible buyer of Cyprus’ natural gas.

He said he has sent more than six letters to the UN Secretary-General while during his meetings with Antonio Guterres himself since 2017, he has always been setting the relaunch of the talks as a priority, but “due to the crisis created, it would be good for the UN to intervene more actively to find the basis for a dialogue to restart.”

On the call by TC leader Mustafa Akinci for a five-party meeting on Cyprus, Anastasiades said he never refused any informal meeting as long as it was on the same composition as in Geneva and Crans-Montana.

He wondered why the refusal by the TCs for the participation of the EU so that the conditions for the relaunch of the talks are relaunched. Cyprus is a member of the bloc while the EU Is not hostile to the TCs, he said, adding they would benefit much more by the EU if a solution was found. This would concern not only the economic aspect, but also the protection of human rights and safeguarding all those they want Turkey to safeguard for them, he said.

Anastasiades also said he never referred to a two-state solution.

“What I am saying is that we need to ponder what the next step will be in cases of dead ends,” Anastasiades said.

On criticism by opposition over his idea of decentralisation of powers, he said the TCs did not refuse to discuss it but some political parties refuse to accept this idea. He said one must also keep in mind what is going on while the Cyprus problem remains unsolved arguing that the lawsuits by TCs claiming their properties in the free areas increase, settlers increase in the north, the occupied areas are being islamised and more and more migrants arrive through the occupied areas. At the same time one cannot overlook Turkey’s aggressiveness, he said, Phileleftheros reports.

Never talked of a two-state solution but calls for preparedness to discuss the next steps should talks lead nowhere & given that as time goes by the situation worsens.
>> Accepts TC positive vote but not all matters since this would in fact be veto.
>> Did not mean to marginalise Akinci with whom he would have preferred to meet but the TC leader has turned down several of his calls for a meeting.
>> Would agree to rotating presidency within a parliamentary democracy if the president is always a GC with a rotating prime minister.
Believes parliamentary democracy is an ideal solution as GCs and TCs would cooperate based on ideology rather than ethnicity.
>> Turkey needs to realise that its illegal actions could cause more problems for her than the benefits she thinks she will gain by violating international law & that a solution will not be found thorough actions that intensify GC concerns on Turkish intentions.
>> The GC side has never denied the TCs’ rights and to prove this it has set up the Hydrocarbons Fund while a convergence stipulates that the natural  gas issues will be addressed by the central government hence Turkey’s reaction on the issue is not justified.
>> Wonders why Turkey prioritises an agreement on sharing the natural gas over the solution to the Cyprob given that she would too benefit from the situation and possibly buy Cyprus’ natural gas.
>> Has called on the UNSG to assist in the relaunch of the talks several times but now given the current situation would like the UN to intervene more actively to find the basis for a dialogue to restart.
>> Never refused any informal meeting as long as it was on the same composition as in Geneva and Crans-Montana with the participation of the EU.
>> TCs would benefit much more by the EU in the event of a solution and would not need Turkey to safeguard anything for them.

Government mulls over forum on natural gas with TC participation

Energy, Negotiations Process


The daily, citing sources, reports that the government, in a bid to divert Turkish demands on a joint committee on natural gas, is mulling over the creation of a joint energy forum with the participation of TCs. That way, the TCs will be informed on all matters concerning the natural gas but will not have the right however to take decisions until after the solution of the Cyprus problem, the paper reports.

The other side, however, will most probably not agree to such a proposal since the position of Turkey and of the TCs is a joint committee with representatives from both communities to manage all matters concerning natural gas, Simerini said. It added that such a proposal would mean some sort of recognition of the occupation formation by the Republic of Cyprus.

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