TCC Press Review 3 July 2019

Front Page Headlines


₺80 million to be saved

Salaries of 18,500 public sector employees and 15,000 pensions will receive a two per cent cut in line with a government decision. The government will be saving ₺80 million in the process. The government’s decision to slash two per cent from the cost of living allowance which will be reflected onto July salaries was met with fierce reaction from the public sector. All eyes have now turned to the salaries that will be paid at the end of the month.

  • Ticket prices for summer soar –The price of plane tickets to Istanbul have gone up further this month. The cheapest ticket in May cost ₺569. Now the cheapest flight to Istanbul costs ₺775. A ticket to London with a stopover at Istanbul costs at least ₺2,548. A direct flight from Larnaca to London costs ₺1,216.

Kıbrıs Postası

The report has been presented to TRNC authorities…It’s at their discretion to announce [it]

AFAD’s (Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) Adana Branch Director Süleyman Türker said they screened the crash site of the S-200 missile for any biological, chemical or radioactive contamination but found nothing. He added AFAD has written a report on its findings and submitted it to the TRNC authorities.

  • North Cyprus is as safe as South Cyprus – Dimağ Çağıner, head of the TC Hoteliers’ Association said the missile issue should have been brought to the attention of the UN and discussed at an international level instead of being debated in the country.


Surrounded by problems all around

Not a single day passes in the country without problems. In addition to out of the ordinary incidents such as the S-200 missile crash, there are other problems such as regular traffic accidents, arson, dead bodies washing ashore, queues at vehicle inspection sites and road repairs that make people’s lives even harder.

  • 13 pieces of the missile being examined by the military – Officials from the Turkish General Staff have arrived in the north to inspect the missile debris.


Roads are incomplete

Three road projects which commenced in 2012 remain incomplete due to expropriation problems. Only one of the projects has been partially completed. It was not possible to launch tenders for some projects between 2014-2017. However, projects with completed tenders are also pending.

  • “This initiative belongs to the government” – PM Ersin Tatar said the Maraş (Varosha) initiative will be managed and implemented by the government. He added, “Anastasiades’s joint committee proposal is ill-intended.”


The markets are waiting for money

The government which succeeded in paying salaries last month without experiencing any problems is planning to sign the economic protocol with Turkey by the end of the month. Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that the public sector’s salaries had been paid without having to borrow money. He added that investments will begin once the economic protocol with Turkey is signed. Speaking to Diyalog Tatar said that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and a technical delegation will be visiting the island soon to put the final touches on the protocol.

  • Disaster averted – According to the Greek Cypriot side, there were five Turkish planes in the air and two were getting ready to take off from Ercan (Tymbou) airport when the S-200 missile crashed into the foothills of the Five Finger (Pentadaktylos) mountains.
  • The operation was a success – Four men accused of bringing over a stolen tractor from South Cyprus to the North were caught in a police bust.


Are the S-400’s for Cyprus?

As tensions over energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean continue to rise and the proxy war between Turkey and Syria on Syrian territory heats up, discussions have started on the possibility of deploying the S-400 missiles Turkey is buying from Russia in Cyprus. In a statement to the Russian Izvestia newspaper, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Turkish Grand National Assembly Ahmet Berat Çonkar said that the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Syria constituted the biggest threat to Turkey. He added that the S-400s could be placed in these areas.

  • Tests for toxic materials carried out – A team of experts from AFAD who screened the crash site of the missile said they did not find anything that could be dangerous for human health. The Greek Cypriot spokesman (Prodromos Prodromou) said that Russian experts had also examined the pieces of the missile.

Main News

Tatar insists government’s Maraş (Varosha) plans will go ahead

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


Prime Minister Ersin Tatar announced on Tuesday that his government intends to go ahead with its plans to reopen the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) for settlement.

“The government plans to proceed on the issue of Maraş (Varosha) within the framework of the TRNC’s laws, rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and applications to be filed to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) by former residents or the Evkaf administration,” Tatar said in a written statement.

He argued that this was the right course of action and there was no need to drag the issue to other levels.

Tatar also said that the Evkaf had strong claims over Maraş (Varosha) and was ready to back up these claims with documents.

He added that the Evkaf had made it public on several occasions that it was prepared to defend its claims both at the Immovable Property Commission and international courts.

“Once the inventory is carried out, we shall be sharing with the public the roadmap to be pursued on the basis of title deeds of former residents and the Evkaf administration, he said.

Tatar stressed that it was out of the question to take up the issue of Maraş (Varosha) as a confidence-building measure (CBM), particularly when the Greek Cypriot side maintained its intransigent stance on the Cyprus Problem and continued to take hostile steps on the issue of hydrocarbons.

He described the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’s proposal for a joint committee on Maraş (Varosha) as an ill-intended move aimed at shifting attention away from the initiative.

“The Maraş (Varosha) initiative will be managed and implemented by the government,” said Tatar, adding that they will be informing and cooperating with all stakeholders involved.

Tatar also criticized the Turkish Cypriots who expressed support to the Maraş (Varosha) protest held in South Cyprus last week.

He said that those who attended were unhappy with the government’s move on Maraş (Varosha) but did not have the support of the Turkish Cypriot public.

“As I have said before the government will be pursuing a proactive policy to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people on the Cyprus Problem,” he said.  

Tatar (UBP)
Government to solve Maraş issue within the framework of TRNC’s laws, ECHR rulings and applications to IPC by former residents and Evkaf admin.
>> Evkaf has strong claims over Maraş (Varosha) and is ready to back up these claims with documents at IPC and international courts.
>> To take up Maraş (Varosha) as CBM is out of the question due to GC side’s stance on Cyprus talks & tensions over hydrocarbons.
>> Anastasiades’s proposal for joint committee ‘ill intended’.
>> Maraş (Varosha) initiative to be managed and implemented by the government.
>> All stakeholders will be informed on developments. The government will be cooperating with stakeholders.
>> Government to pursue a proactive policy to protect rights & interests of TCs on Cyprus Problem.

S-400s could be stationed in North Cyprus

Kıbrıs Postası, Afrika
External Security, Regional/International Relations


Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Turkish Grand National Assembly Ahmet Berat Çonkar said on Tuesday that the newly purchased Russian S-400 air defence missiles could be stationed in the TRNC.

Çonkar is also a member of the Turkish delegation at the Political Committee at NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly.

In statements to the Russian Izvestia newspaper, Çonkar said that North Cyprus and Turkey’s border with Syria were among possible locations the controversial surface to air missiles could be deployed.

“The borders of our country resemble a powder keg. We have hot zones in all neighbouring countries such as Iran, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus. The biggest threat to our national security at the moment comes from the Eastern Mediterranean and Syria which is why we are looking into what we can do to secure our southern borders,” he said.

Çonkar (Turkey)
>> S-400s could be stationed in TRNC.
>> Biggest threat to national security comes from Eastern Mediterranean & Syria. Turkey seeking ways of securing it’s southern borders.

Taçoy claims seeds of mobile telephony deal were sown in 2014

Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika


Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy welcomed the GSM interoperability deal in a written statement issued on Tuesday.

He, however, claimed that the seeds of the deal had been sown during the term of former president Derviş Eroğlu.

“The issue was first raised in 2014 by the Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTHK), which was established by Eroğlu during his term in office,” Taçoy said.

Taçoy noted that roaming agreement was aimed at developing good neighbourly relations and said he was pleased to see the Greek Cypriot side finally agreeing to such a deal following years of wrangling.

“Our government will take all necessary measures domestically to ensure the smooth operation of the roaming agreement as it should be taken within the principles of human rights and freedoms,” Taçoy said. He concluded that the deal was not a privilege given to either side.

Taçoy (UBP)
Government welcomes interoperability deal.
>> Issue first raised by BTHK in 2014 during Eroğlu’s term in office.
>> Deal aimed at developing good neighbourly relations.
>> Government will take all measures to ensure the smooth operation of the deal.
>> Deal not a privilege given to either side.

Four arrested for smuggling stolen tractor from S. Cyprus

Kıbrıs, Diyalog
Internal Security


Four men were arrested by police on Tuesday for smuggling a stolen tractor from South Cyprus into the TRNC. The four men involved in the incident drove the tractor over the border somewhere between the villages of Güvercinlik (Acheritou) and Çayönü (Agios Theodoros).

The stolen tractor was seized as evidence and a police investigation into the incident is continuing. 

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