TCC Press Review 1 July 2019

Front Page Headlines


This departure not good

Expert psychiatrist Dr Ocak Davut from Turkey brought in to set up the Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Centre has left the island. Dr Davut said he had left after being informed by the new health minister that the process to set up rehab centre will not be completed any time soon.

  • We promoted an example dialogue model for relatives of the missing at the European Council
  • “I never brought up a two-state solution” – Details from Nicos Anastasides regarding his dinner with Kudret Özersay.

Kıbrıs Postası

Bitcoin ‘unregulated’ in the TRNC

“Bitcoin”, which is valued approximately at €10,400 does not have any legal basis in the TRNC but it is being used as a currency at exchange offices. While there are even ATMs in South Cyprus that accepts Bitcoin currency, the cyber currency is not regulated in any way in the north.

  • Greek Cypriot leadership is not our interlocutor on Maraş (Varosha) – Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay evaluated Anastasiades’ joint committee proposal on the fenced-off city.


Either an armed drone or a missile

Following a big explosion, a fire broke out at in an area between Taşkent (Vouno) and Güngör (Koutsovendis). Authorities are examining the debris. Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay shared his initial assessment.


Potato sales dropped, pomegranate sales soared

2018 Green Line Trade figures from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce reveal that the trade volume decreased by four per cent. Pomegranate exports broke the record with a 5279 per cent increase but the total drop in the fresh produce category amounted to 32 per cent. A 74 per cent decrease was recorded in potatoes alone.

  • Open Maraş (Varosha) to journalists – Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association wrote a letter to Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay requesting for a visit to be organised to Maraş (Varosha) for members of the media.


Fear and panic

Disaster averted. A ‘missile’ crashed in Taşkent (Vouno) in the early hours of the morning. Luckily no one was injured. Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Brigadier General Tevfik Algan, the Chief of Police Süleyman Manavoğlu and other officials examined the site of the crash. The missile crashed in the foothills of the Five Finger (Pentadactylos) mountain range around 1 a.m Monday morning following news that Israeli jets carried out air strikes on Damascus. Luckily no one was injured from the missile but residents of the village spent the night watching the flames in fear and panic. Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay and Public Works and Communications Minister Tolga Atakan were first at the scene. President Akıncı also visited the crash site receiving information from military officials.


The situation is worse in the north

The attempted attack on Turkish Cypriots at the Maraş (Varosha) protest in the south by a handful of ELAM members created an excuse for the chauvinists in the north to speak. We would like to ask those [chauvinists] who criticized the Greek Cypriot police of not doing anything to protect the Turkish Cypriots; Why did you not criticize the Turkish Cypriot police when they did nothing when protestors stormed the Afrika newspaper and threw stones at our office?

Main News

An unidentified object believed to be a stray missile crashes into north Cyprus

Kıbrıs, Diyalog
Internal Security, External Security, Regional/International Relations


An unidentified object that may have been a stray missile crashed north of Nicosia early on Monday, but no one was hurt, Turkish Cypriot officials said.

The explosion occurred shortly before 1 a.m. in the area near Taşkent (Vouno), some 20 km northeast of Nicosia, with the impact setting hills ablaze and heard miles away.

Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay, Public Works and Communication Minister Tolga Atakan and President Mustafa Akıncı visited the crash site, following up on developments.

President Mustafa Akıncı linked the incident to military operations in the Middle East but further investigations were underway by the military to establish what it was, he said.

“It is evident it is not something stemming from our soil … It is one of the bad sides of the war in the region falling into our country. Everyone needs to do everything possible for a lasting peace,” he said.

Akıncı also said that it was great luck the object had landed in an uninhabited area and there were no casulaties. .

Officials were studying debris at the crash site, said Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay

 “According to information I received from our military sources, the cause of the accident that occurred tonight was not … a helicopter or one of our similar vehicles,” Özersay wrote on Twitter.

“Our soldiers, police and firefighters are carrying out inspections and responding at the site,” he added.

“Initial findings indicated the object that caused the explosion was either an aircraft carrying explosives or a direct explosive (missile). The writings and signs on the debris will allow us to understand exactly what happened soon,” Özersay added.

Public Works and Communication Minister Tolga Atakan said the the object was most likely a stray missile.

The mukhtar of Taşkent (Vouno) Durmuş Aşandır told Diyalog that residents jumped out of their homes in panic following the explosion.

He said that a fire broke out just 500 meters from the village.

“At first we thought it was a plane crash. Then they told us it was a helicopter crash. We were then told that it could be a drone or a missile,” he said.

Residents told media they saw a light in the sky then three loud explosions were heard for miles around. Taşkent is on the foothills of a Five Finger (Pentadactylos) mountain range rimming the TRNC, lying some 20 km  northeast of Nicosia.

Syrian government sources confirmed that Israeli warplanes fired missiles targeting Syrian military positions in Homs and the Damascus outskirts overnight in an attack that killed at least four civilians and wounded another 21.

Potato sales dropped, pomegranate soared



The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Green Line Trade figures reveal that the trade volume decreased by four per cent compared to previous year (2017). Pomegranate exports broke the record with a 5279 per cent increase however total the decrease in the fresh produce category amounted to 32 per cent. A 74 per cent decrease was recorded in potatoes alone. Under the same category, fresh fish sales increased by 12 per cent; onions by 56 per cent; watermelon by 96 per cent; green beans by 129 per cent and taro  by 698 per cent.

The Chamber of Commerce figures also reveal that there is a 14 per cent decrease in the sales of construction materials, which amounts to €123,220 less compared to the previous year.

Under the category “waste products and scrap metal”, waste plantal oils achieved a 120 per cent increase together with a 52 per cent increase in wooden furniture and a 34.3 per cent increase in mattresses.

Four new products were introduced in the Green Line Trade in 2018. These are wet wipes, plastic water tanks, used car batteries, and industrial steel ovens. Despite achieving revenues amounting to €29,452, the inclusion of four new products in the Green Line Trade regulation could not save the year due to fall in other items.

The four per cent decrease in overall trade volume amounted to €209,978.

Özersay: ‘Greek Cypriot leadership is not our interlocutor on Maraş (Varosha)

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog
Property, Territory, Governance and Power Sharing


Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Sunday that “the Greek Cypriot leadership is not our interlocutor”.

He was responding to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal to set up a technical committee on Maraş (Varosha).

All six dailies report on Özersay’s statement given to Turkish Cypriot News Agency (TAK).

Özersay said that the Greek Cypriot leadership, which was asking for the establishment of a joint committee on Maraş (Varosha), had not even responded to an earlier Turkish Cypriot proposal for the creation of a joint committee on natural gas.

Instead they pointed to the need for comprehensive settlement, Özersay added.

He said that Maraş (Varosha) was neither a part of talks for a comprehensive settlement nor was it part of the process of confidence-building measures.

He added that the fenced-off city could have been discussed between the two sides as part of a comprehensive settlement only if negotiations were currently being conducted.

Özersay recalled that Maraş (Varosha) had been taken up in the past on numerous occasions as a confidence-building measure but that the sides had failed to reach an agreement.

He underlined there was no need to keep repeating failed processes adding that such attempts would only assist to the continuation of the status quo.

Özersay added the inventory study will provide a snap shot of the situation in the fenced-off city, which then the Turkish Cypriot side will use as its basis for the next steps.

“It is for this reason the Greek Cypriot side is not our interlocutor but the former residents of Maraş (Varosha) are no doubt one of the stakeholders and they will not be ostracized from the process,” Özersay said.

He reassured that the TRNC government will take steps on the basis of international law and by taking into consideration the expectations and the rights of the town’s former residents and the Evkaf Administration.

“However we are conducting a scientific survey before doing so,” Özersay highlighted.

Özesay also said that debates regarding the ownership of property in Maraş (Varosha) were wrong and that by doing so could mean missing out on the bigger picture.

“The issue is beyond property or proprietorship,” he concluded.

Özersay (HP)
>> GC leadership is not government’s interlocutor on Maraş (Varosha).
>> GC leadership which had even responded to TC side’s proposal on joint committee on hydrocarbons now wants to establish a joint committee on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Maraş (Varosha) is neither part of comprehensive settlement talks nor confidence-building measure process.
>> Old and failed approaches can only assist continuation of status quo.
>> Inventory study will take a snap shot of the situation in the fenced-off city.
>> TC side will use the data from the inventory study to decide on next steps.
>> TRNC government will take steps by taking into consideration international law, the expectations and the rights of the former residents of Maraş (Varosha) and the Evkaf Administration.
>> Debates regarding ownership of property in Maraş (Varosha) wrong. To resume such a debate could mean missing out on bigger picture. Maraş (Varosha) is beyond an issue of property or proprietorship.

Bicommunal dialogue model of relatives of missing in Cyprus promoted at Council of Europe

Human Rights


An example model of dialogue created by the bicommunal relatives of missing persons in Cyprus was promoted at a round table meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg last week, Yenidüzen’s Sevgül Uludağ reported on Monday as part of her article series on the issue of missing persons.

She presented the model of dialogue and cooperation of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot relatives of missing persons and victims of war entitled ‘Together We Can’ to human rights defenders from conflict areas and disputed areas in the former Soviet Union such as Ossetia, Abkhazia, and the Crimea.

An investigative journalists who writes in Yenidüzen and Politis, Uludag presented her work on “missing persons” in Cyprus, giving examples of how her readers voluntarily help her unveal information about the fate of “missing” persons on both sides of the island.

She also pointed out how this information has led to the discovery of numerous burial sites of missing persons by the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus.  

Uludağ explained how a hotline set up for her readers from both parts of the island has worked, providing valuable information about the fate of many “missing” Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

Her presentation included details of how a joint association of the bi-communal relatives of missing persons and victims of war, ‘Together We Can’ has been working for many years

“The association not only allows relatives of the missing to share their pain and to moving forward but also assists efforts to acquire information on “missing persons” and possible burial sides. We visit schools and villages and speak to the youth about the pain and suffering of both communities as well as the atrocities committed by both sides which are not written in school boks”, she said.

Participants of a meeting organised by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, expressed a keen interest to find out more details about how the association works in Cyprus.

A proposal made by Uludağ to the Office of the Council of Europe Human Right’s Commissioner to do a follow-up meeting in Cyprus, was welcomed.

“We explained to the participants how our model of dialogue can set an example for other conflict areas in the world,” she said.

Uludag’s presention also touched upon the state of the media in the north, assassinated journalists and attacks on the press by extremist elements.

The presentation included a screening of a short video by UniteCyprusNow activist Kemal Baykallı who then answered questions.

She said that an agreement has been reached to hold a followup meeting in Cyprus as well as a workshop on the dialogue model.

Uludağ said that the representative of the Greek Cypriot society for the missing Giorgos Economides also gave information on his organisation’s activities.

She said that Economides complained that Turkey was not cooperating on the issue of missing persons.

“Economides also said that the Turkish Cypriot Society for Martyrs’ Families refused to meet or cooperate with them,” she said.

She said that Economides did not believe that sincere cooperation with Turkish Cypriots was possible.

“We responded to Economides’s claims, proving his arguments to be untrue by giving examples of sincere cooperation that exists among the relatives of missing persons from both communities in the joint association ‘Together We Can’,” she said.

Translate »