GCC Press Review 3 July 2019

Front Page Headlines


Shameless violation of the speed limit

Measurements by the public works department reveal our road culture. The information justifies Cyprus’ top spot in road deaths. They informed those interested on speed cameras on the range of illegalities (by drivers).

  • Refugees: Help to those who… already have (money)


Tragic autopsy on football pitches

We reveal the report of the police committee on safety. They are all of them substandard. Unsuitable stands, blind surveillance systems, inadequate lighting etc.

  • Plans for full control of Famagusta
  • State (refugee) housing plan (but only) with the bank’s approval
  • They are putting together the pieces of the puzzle (on the fall of the S-200 missile)


US involvement in the Cyprus-Russia relations

The Anastasiades-DISY government is hooked on the doctrine of converting Cyprus into a first line outpost of the West. It has chosen a camp, that of Trump and Netanyahu, harming Cyprus-Russia relations.  In the case of approval of the Menendez-Rubio bill, Russia will assess its consequences and define her foreign affairs policy

  • The president is not responding on the essence of things – Make public the letter to the UN Secretary-General.
  • Cyprus is not far from war zones… Concerns over the fall of the S-200 missile

Cyprus Mail

‘Cyprus is not in a war zone’

Defence minister says the missile that fell on Pentadaktylos on Monday an isolated incident.

  • Moves against firms illegally in EEZ


(Russian FM Sergey) Lavrov, FBME, the Russian deposits and the mystery!

Question marks over the sudden intervention by Russia’s foreign minister. No one in Cyprus knows about the Russian investors’ money deposited in FBME for the erection of a church and which – according to the Russian FM – is gone.

  • Ersin Tatar: If Varosi opens, applications by GCs will also be accepted
  • Propaganda: They are taking advantage of the fall of the missile to promote the entity of the ‘state’
  • Interior minister: The revised refugee support scheme will be launched tomorrow
  • Odysseas (Michaelides): He sees criminal responsibilities for Cyprus Mail for writing ‘Tashkent’ instead of Vouno

Main News

‘AKEL blames GC side over lack of progress on Cyprob while ignoring Turkey’s actions’

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations


All papers except Cyprus Mail report on the latest spat between the government and main opposition AKEL over the letters President Nicos Anastasiades sent UN Secretary-General (UNSG) on the Cyprus problem.

According to the papers, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou responded to criticism by AKEL including that the reason the UNSG has not replied to Anastasiades’ two letters sent last month was because he was not convinced on the president’s intention on the resumption of the talks.

Prodromou said the question is not whether Anastasiades has convinced the UN of the GC side’s intentions, but how does AKEL’s constant effort to incriminate the GC side, while overlooking Turkey’s tactics that prevent any substantive talks, actually benefit the resumption of negotiations.

He said it was the stance of Turkey that did not wish to engage in dialogue due to Brexit developments and the Euro-elections and of the TC leader who was refusing any meeting  that prevented any progress so far. Prodromou also said AKEL is overlooking that Anastasiades’ proposals on decentralization of powers and a parliamentary system were aimed at giving a push out of the deadlock.

AKEL said in response that  the UNSG finds that both the GC and TC sides are responsible for the failure of the Crans Montana Conference on Cyprus and the prolonged dead end.

The party said the government needs to realise the future of Cyprus is above micro-party politics and gains.

Prodromou hit back arguing that AKEL is the only party pointing out that Anastasiades has set terms and conditions for the relaunch of the talks and called on the party to say which these terms the president has set were.

Haravgi, under the title ‘The government does not answer on the essence’, reports that AKEL has asked Anastasiades for a briefing on the content of his letter to the UNSG but received a reply instead by the government spokesman that the ideas put forward by the president were constructive proposals aimed at creating fertile ground for meaningful dialogue.

Alithia reports that AKEL accuses the GC side and provides cover for Turkish intransigence.

Phileleftheros, Cyprus Mail and Haravgi also reported on the announcement by the Russian foreign ministry earlier this week on US interference in the Cyprus-Russia relations through the Menendez-Rubio bill.

Russia has said it would react if lawmakers in the USA adopted a bill that could affect its relations with Cyprus. Moscow described the bill as a blatant violation of rules and norms.
The foreign ministry also warned that if it were to be adopted “we intend to seriously take into account its consequences for our foreign policy.”

Haravgi reports that AKEL said Anastasiades’ choices harm Cyprus’ relations with important countries and consequently, its vital interests.

AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, commenting on the Russian announcement said no matter what the government is saying, the harm is done.

Developments prove that Anastasiades’ government either cannot or will not exercise a multidimensional external policy because they are hooked on the doctrine of turning Cyprus into a frontline outpost of the West, Stefanou said according to Haravgi.

He added that the government has already chosen to be on the side of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu harming  Cyprus’ relations with Russia.

Haravgi also reports that DISY on the other hand continues to welcome the Menendez-Rubio bill arguing it gives Cyprus geostrategic importance. The paper also said that the lukewarm reaction of the other political parties that turn to Russia as soon as difficulties appear raises questions.

Wants to know how AKEL constantly blaming the GC side for the standstill while overlooking Turkey’s  tactics is actually helping relaunch the talks.
>> Lack of progress on the Cyprob was due to Turkey’s refusal to dialogue citing Brexit and Euro-elections and Akinci rejecting calls for a meeting with Anastasiades.
>> AKEL chooses to overlook that Anastasiades’ proposals on decentralization of powers and a parliamentary system were aimed at giving a push out of the deadlock.
>> Calls on AKEL to point out which terms and conditions Anastasiades has set for the relaunch of the talks as per the party’s accusations.

The UNSG found both the GCs and TCs responsible for the collapse of talks at Crans Montana and the prolonged dead end.
>> Calls on the government to realise that Cyprus’ future is above micro-party politics.

Stefanou (AKEL)
Anastasiades’ choices as regards regional and international partnerships, harm Cyprus’ relations with important countries & its vital interests.
>> Developments prove the government cannot or will not implement a multidimensional external policy since it wants to turn Cyprus into a frontline outpost of the West.
>> By choosing to side with Trump and Netanyahu, the government is harming  Cyprus’ relations with Russia.

Anastasiades to meet Spehar

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
External Security


According to the papers, President Nicos Anastasiades is to meet with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar within the coming days ahead of discussion by the UN Security Council on the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate.

The UN official will meet with both leaders on the same matter.
Anastasiades had scheduled a meeting with Spehar for July 8 prior to his injury. No date was announced on the meeting which is expected to take place in his home after his discharge from hospital later this week, the dailies reported.

Spehar will brief the Security Council on July 19 and the vote for the renewal of the mandate will take place on the 30th of the same month.

Cyprus launched legal actions against companies assisting Turkish drillships

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Energy, Regional/International Relations


The dailies report that the government has initiated legal proceedings against three companies involved in gas drilling by Turkey to the west of the island for encroaching on the island’s continental shelf.

Citing a senior foreign ministry official, the papers report that the government has already initiated legal proceedings against companies cooperating with Turkish state petroleum company TPAO and that the same would be done with the companies assisting the Yavuz drillship.

The official said these companies are not Turkish, the papers reported.

Concerns over fate of Varosha

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Territory


The visit by TC ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay at the closed-off town of Famagusta and statements of ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar on the possible opening of the town under TC administration triggered various reactions by GC media.

According to Phileleftheros, the main goal of the occupation regime is full control of Famagusta since everything that is currently being mulled over in the occupied areas, one way or another, lead to the closed-off town passing to the hands of the occupation authorities.

The daily, citing TC media reports said that the effort of the regime is to make GCs sell their properties in Famagusta to the Turks. Citing TC Diyalog, the paper reports that the plan is to call on the Varosha refugees to return under the term to agree to live under TC administration. Given that the buildings are derelict, even if they take their properties back, they will be forced to sell them since the ‘TRNC’ has no money to have them restored and the Republic of Cyprus will refuse to help them financially while banks will not loan them any money to restore property in the occupied areas. The only buyers will be Turks, Diyalog said, according to Phileleftheros.

Politis reported that Ozersay carried out an ‘autopsy’ in Varosha a few days before the appointment of the team of experts that is to make an inventory of the buildings there and that he and Tatar do not seem to be bluffing as regards the closed-off town.

Plans on the opening of the town under TC administration are against all UN resolutions and not in line with Akinci’s positions who believes that nothing can be done in the right direction unless all moves on Famagusta are according to international law and the UN, Politis reported.

Alithia reports that Tatar said that if Varosha opens under TC administration, they would also accept applications by GCs for resettlement.

In a comment, Haravgi, under a photo showing Ozersay in Varosha, said this was another provocative action by the TC politician who blindly follows Ankara’s suggestions and policies.

“Does this photo not bother Anastasiades? Does he not feel that without any talks and with the Cyprus problem remaining unsolved new faits accomplis are created as regards the closed-off town of Famagusta?,” the daily asked. Haravgi said there is urgent need for the relaunch of the talks as well as the return of Famagusta and the overall solution to the Cyprus problem.

Alithia too, under the same photo, comments: “Our friend Ozersay is pointing to the neighbourhood he wants to reserve for Erdogan’s circle, across from the neighbourhoods that belong to Lala Mustafa and behind one of the neighbourhoods they will leave to the GCs.”

‘Missile fall an opportunity for TCs to elevate their status’

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros Politis
External Security


The papers report the government continues to make inquiries about the fall early on Monday of an S-200 missile on Pentadaktylos while reassuring there is no reason for concern since this was an isolated incident.

Defence Minister Sawas Angelides refuted claims that Cyprus is in the middle of a war zone despite close proximity to Syria where a war has been ongoing for years. The minister argued that that war did not cause any problems for Cyprus.

He also said that the Republic of Cyprus has the systems to locate and deflect this type of missile but since the country is not under missile attack, these systems are not deployed round the clock. The National Guard, however, does have the systems to protect Cyprus and will use them if necessary, he said.

Alithia also reports that the incident is now being used by the occupation regime to elevate its status as a separate entity citing TC and Turkish media reports that the missile fell on ‘TRNC’ ground. The daily also reports that ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar said it seems the missile fell on ‘TRNC’ ground by accident and that they sent Syria the message, through Turkey, that they ought to be more careful.

In another article, where the daily reports on how the incident was reported by foreign media, it notes that while many articles state that the northern part of the island is not a recognised state, yet they refer to ‘Northern Cyprus’ and use the TC officials’ titles without putting them in inverted commas. BBC, Alithia said, refers to Kudret Ozersay as the foreign minister without putting the title in inverted commas while other British but also Israeli and Arab media also omitted to do so. They also showed maps depicting the island divided into ‘Cyprus’ and ‘Northern Cyprus’, the daily reported.

According to Phileleftheros, assessing statements and analyses in the TC press seems there is intention of taking advantage of the incident to reinforce Turkey’s position on the purchase of the S-400 missiles based on the argument this would increase protection from similar cases in the future.

Haravgi reports that TCs are terrified and feel insecurity after the fall of the missile fearing a similar incident as some of its pieces fell in populated areas including inside a kindergarten.

GC fishing trawler harassed off Famagusta port

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Economy, External Security


Haravgi reports that fishermen from the Famagusta district went through difficult times on Tuesday when their trawler was towed by a Turkish navy vessel to the occupied port of Famagusta. The fishing trawler was later towed around 12 nautical miles from the port and was released without any arrests, the daily said.

Phileleftheros reported that a fishing trawler was harassed by the Attila. The trawler, with a five-member crew, all foreign nationals,  was harassed at around 2pm while in an area off Bogazi and the Famagusta port, the paper reported.

It said that and that fishermen and owners of recreation boats find the latest act by the Attila a provocative one.

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