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You can now say ‘hello’ without any obstacles
Calling Nicosia from Europe is ₺0.30. Calling Nicosia from Nicosia is ₺4. Calling Ankara from Nicosia is considered a local call. Mobile phone interoperability across the island within the framework of a confidence-building measure (CBM) was established on Thursday. Mobile phones will be working everywhere across the island but roaming rates will apply. The cheapest call will cost ₺4 (approx. €0.62) per minute. GSM operators in the north said that it will take two more months before data packages will be included. It was interesting to see CYTA in the south announcing prices for data use at ₺1.2 (€0.20) per MB. Akıncı: “Mobile phone interoperability is an important service. I hope that there won’t be a need for an intermediary in the future. Spehar: “I congratulate both leaders.” Erhürman: “I hail the step taken on the mobile phones.”
“Hello Nicos! Finally, your phone has reception”
The mobile phones are linked four years later as part of confidence-building measures, which President Mustafa Akıncı took up as one of the first issues following his election.
- Oktay to be in charge of coordination with the TRNC – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appointed his vice president Fuat Oktay to be in charge of the coordination office.
- Economic protocol to be signed in the coming weeks – PM Ersin Tatar announced economic protocol will be signed in the coming weeks.
Murder weapon could be the chopper knife
Nine African suspects were detained by the police following early morning raids on two apartment flats as part of the ongoing investigation into the murder of 33-year-old Nigerian Obasanjo Adeola Owoyale.
- Now possible to use mobile phones on both sides of the island – The mobile telephony link implemented. GSM companies announced that the goal is to enable internet use within two months.
- Fuat Oktay responsible for coordination with the TRNC – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appoints Oktay to carry out coordination with the TRNC.
Broke his skull with a vase
Police raided two apartment flats and detained a number of suspects as part of the ongoing murder investigation into the murder of Obasanjo Adeola Owoyale. His body had been found in the trunk of his car in north Nicosia.
- The island united through mobile phones – The process to link the GSM operators in Cyprus completed. The first call was between the leaders. TRNC GSM operators announced their tariffs: KKTCELL: ₺4 (approx. €0.62) per minute and Telsim Vodafone: ₺4.12 (approx. €0.64) per minute. These rates apply for calls made from the south to the north by Turkish Cypriot subscribers.
- Turkish Cypriot side to propose a joint committee for hydrocarbons – President Mustafa Akıncı received PM Ersin Tatar as part of their routine meetings. Economic protocol, hydrocarbons, refugees and the attacks on Turkish Cypriot buses in the south were discussed.
There is great fear
Speaking to Diyalog, AKEL leader Kyprianou warned that Taksim (partition) will become permanent if the Cyprus Problem is not solved in the near future. Leader of the main opposition AKEL Andros Kyprianou said that opening Maraş (Varosha) under Turkish Cypriot administration and allowing legal residents to return will make Taksim permanent. Answering Reşat Akar’s question as to whether or not Greek Cypriots were aware of the threat of Taksim, Kyprianou said: “I believe that more and more people are becoming aware of the threat.” He also said that the majority of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were not ready to live or work together.
- They succeeded in six years – Mobile phones in North and South linked.
- The restriction must be lifted –The co-president of the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers’ Association Ercan Turhan said that well-off Turkish Cypriots were going to the casinos in the south. He said that there was a need to pass legislation in the TRNC to lift restrictions on Turkish Cypriots gambling in local casinos.
Like two countries
Mobile phones of the two sides have been linked. International roaming rates will be applied on the calls made in the south. There will be serious differences in call rates between the North and the South. While the tax on phone bills in the South is 19 per cent, the tax in the North is 62 per cent. According to Fevzi Tanpınar, General Manager of GSM operator Telsim calls made in the south to the TRNC and Turkey will cost ₺4.12 (approx. €0.64) and SMS messages will cost ₺0.50 (approx. €0.07). Incoming calls will cost ₺1.53 (approx. €0.23) and international calls will be charged ₺11.75 (approx. €1.85) per minute.
Mobile phone links finally established between two sidesYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
The two leaders on Thursday announced the implementation of the interoperability of mobile phones across the island with the aim of improving the communication between the communities and bringing all Cypriots closer together.
According to an announcement by UNFICYP, the first call took place between the two leaders at 12:45 pm, facilitated by the Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, confirming that the arrangement is now live and working.
“The achievement of this confidence-building measure (CBM) underlines the importance of dialogue, trust and co-operation between both sides,” the announcement said.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades also discussed the possibility of meeting the soonest possible with the aim of evaluating the situation as regards to the current state of play on the Cyprus problem as well as furthering more potential CBMs which will affect positively the daily lives of all Cypriots, it said.
In a written statement on Thursday, Akıncı welcomed the implementation of the CBM.
He congratulated all institutions, organizations and individuals who supported the efforts to make the interoperability of mobile phones possible.
“This is an extremely important service. Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots would lose all contact with their homes and families when they crossed over to the other side. Think of it, there was no possibility of using your mobile phone when you moved further away from the border. This was the situation at a time when mobile phones work even in the remotest corners of the planet. This was unacceptable in all ways,” he said.
Akıncı said that the island-wide interoperability of mobile phones was an extremely pleasing development even though it was only possible through a hub based in Switzerland.
“I hope we shall see the days when we shall be able to use our mobile phones without the need for an intermediary hub. It may have taken some time but its better late than never,” he added.
Akıncı reminded that the ultimate goal was to reach a mutually acceptable settlement that safeguarded political equality, freedom and security.
“No doubt such positive developments will help build confidence on the island,” he noted.
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar tweeted: “My congratulations to both leaders on achieving mobile phone interoperability across #Cyprus today: a step forward to facilitate better communication & help bring Cypriots closer. Join me & connect with each other.”
Leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman hailed the development.
In a post on social media on Thursday, Erhürman said “I hail the steps taken on the issue of mobile phones. There are many more steps that could be taken through serious work. I would like to thank everyone who made this possible.”
CTP MP Fikri Toros said in a post on Thursday said that currently only calls and SMS messaging was possible but that work on including data connections would be completed soon.
The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) also welcomed the implementation of the interoperability of mobile phones.
In a statement on Thursday, KTTO said that the successful link of mobile phones showed that the two communities on the island could agree on and implement confidence-building measures that could improve relations between them even in the absence of a political settlement.
“KTTO expresses the hope that other similar projects will also be successfully implemented. We congratulate President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades for this meaningful step,” the statement read.
The President’s Special Advisor for Political Affairs and History and General Coordinator for the Technical Committees Meltem Onurkan Samani on Thursday said that call rates would become more reasonable following a discount in VAT and special communication taxes currently imposed on GSM operators in the north.
Making calls across the divide for Turkish Cypriot subscribers will cost between ₺4 (approx. €0.62) and ₺4.12 (approx. €0.64) per minute, depending on whether you use KKTCELL or Telsim Vodafone. Receiving calls and SMS messaging will be a little cheaper. While incoming calls will cost between ₺2.5 (approx. €0.38) and ₺1.53 (approx. €0.23), SMS messaging will cost ₺1.5 (approx. €0.23) and ₺0.50 (approx. €0.07) depending again on which service provider you use.
Users will need to activate the roaming service before entering South Cyprus. GSM operators advise their customers to deactivate the service upon returning to the TRNC to avoid unnecessary charges. Subscribers will need to send SMS messages to activate and deactivate the service.
>> Mobile phone interoperability an important service.
>> No doubt such moves will help build confidence on the island.
>> Ultimate goal is to reach a mutually acceptable settlement that will safeguard political equality, freedom and security.
>> Mobile phone link a step forward to facilitate better communication & help bring Cypriots closer.
>> Mobile link welcoming development. Many more steps can be taken through serious work.
>> Mobile phone link shows two communities can agree on & implement confidence-building measures to improve relations in the absence of a political settlement.
AKEL Secretary-General Andros Kyprianou warns of the danger of permanent partitionDiyalog
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing, Property, Territory, Internal Security, Energy, Regional/International Relations
AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou warned of the threat of Taksim, or partition unless the Cyprus Problem is solved in the near future.
In an interview to Diyalog published on Friday, Kyprianou said that more and more Greek Cypriots were becoming aware of the immediate danger of permanent partition.
He said that other Greek Cypriot political parties such as DISY were also concerned about the possibility of partition.
Kyprianou argued that a bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF) settlement was the only solution model that could be accepted by both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.
“This solution model at the same time is supported by the UN and the international community,” he reminded.
He warned that abandoning the BBF framework would encourage debate for a unitary state in the south and a two-state solution in the north.
“This is why we are telling all circles that these two models are wrong and would have disastrous consequences. None of these would bring about a viable solution to the Cyprus Problem,” he said.
Reminded of the growing tendency and support for a two-state solution in the north, Kyprianou said that AKEL had warned the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades that this would happen in the absence of negotiations on the Cyprus Problem.
“Unfortunately we see Turkey and Ersin Tatar bring this to the agenda of the Turkish Cypriot side. Kudret Özersay is also talking about similar things. They are right when they tell us that Anastasiades is flirting with other ideas outside the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement. This is why we are strongly criticizing Anastasiades and warning him,” he added.
Kyprianou expressed his belief that reopening Maraş (Varosha) to its legal owners under Turkish Cypriot administration would be the first step for permanent partition.
He said that it was out of the question for AKEL to accept this and that his party will fight against this to the very end.
Kyprianou said that AKEL’s position on the issue of governance and power-sharing was very clear.
“The Greek Cypriot side should accept provisions stated in UN Security Council resolutions and decisions. It should also accept the convergences reached between Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat on governance and political equality. We believe that concepts such as cross and weighted voting as well as rotational presidency should be accepted and implemented,” Kyprianou stressed.
Asked whether the two communities were ready to live or work together, Kyprianou said he believed that a majority of Turkish Cypriots or Greek Cypriots were not ready for either.
He said that AKEL was in contact with the pro-solution parties and organisations in the north and was constantly looking for ways to open the way for the resumption of talks for a solution that would be beneficial for everyone.
Kyprianou also expressed his view that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots could co-exist peacefully as long as far-right elements were left out of the picture.
He also pointed out that AKEL was the only Greek Cypriot political party that took a firm stance against far-right parties such as ELAM as well as attacks on Turkish Cypriots in the south.
“I spoke with the Attorney-General on the issue of attacks against Turkish Cypriots. He told me that some of the investigations on incidents had been completed and that the files had been handed to the judiciary. There is a serious delay in judicial proceedings in Cyprus,” he said.
Responding to a question as to why attacks or incidents against Turkish Cypriots in the south were being swept under the rug, Kyprianou said that AKEL should be informed on such actions so that the cases could be pursued.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Kyprianou said that it was not possible not to be concerned about Turkey’s drilling activities in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
“If Turkey will help us solve the Cyprus Problem, then it will become an important actor regarding the region’s natural wealth,” he added.
Kyprianou also said that the possibility of transporting the region’s natural gas to Europe via Turkey will not be possible unless a settlement is reached in Cyprus.
>> Partition an immediate danger unless Cyprob is solved in the near future.
>> More and more GCs, including other political parties such as DISY, are becoming aware and concerned about the possibility of partition.
>> BBF settlement only solution model acceptable by both TCs & GCs.
>> BBF solution model supported by the UN and the international community.
>> Abandoning BBF framework would encourage debate of unitary state solution in the south and two-state solution in the north.
>> AKEL telling various circles these two models were wrong and would have disastrous consequences.
>> AKEL warned Anastasiades on the growing tendency in North for a two-state solution in the absence of negotiations.
>> Two-state solution being voiced by Turkey, current TC authorities.
>> AKEL strongly criticizing Anastasiades for flirting with other ideas outside BBF framework.
>> Reopening Maraş (Varosha) to its legal owners under TC administration would be the first step for permanent partition. AKEL strongly opposes such a move.
>> AKEL’s position is that GC side should abide by UN resolutions and decisions. Convergences reached by Christofias & Talat on governance & power sharing, political equality should be accepted.
>> GC side should accept cross & weighted voting as well as the rotational presidency.
>> Majority of TCs and GCs not ready to live and work together.
>> AKEL in contact with pro-solution parties in the north seeking ways for the resumption of talks for a solution.
>> TCs & GCs can co-exist if far-right elements are kept out.
>> AKEL only GC political party taking a firm stance against far-right parties such as ELAM.
>> It is impossible not to be concerned about Turkey’s drilling activities in Cyprus’s EEZ
>> Turkey could become an important actor in the region regarding natural resources if it helps solve the Cyprus Problem.
>> Transporting natural gas to Europe via Turkey will not be possible unless a solution is reached.
TC side proposes to form a joint committee for hydrocarbonsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Energy, Human Rights
The Economic protocol with Turkey, hydrocarbons, refugees and the recent attack on a Turkish Cypriot bus in the south were issues discussed during a routine meeting held between President Mustafa Akıncı and Prime Minister Tatar on Thursday, the dailies reported on Friday.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that his discussions with the president had focused on the letter sent to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Turkey’s drilling activities, the economic protocol to be signed with Turkey and problems experienced with asylum seekers.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Tatar noted Akıncı shared a copy of the letter he had sent to the Secretary-General with him. “The Turkish Cypriot side in its letter to the Secretary-General is proposing for the creation of a joint committee to discuss the issue of hydrocarbons,” Tatar added.
Tatar said that the 51 Syrian asylum seekers, who had been held at a building at Ercan (Tymbou) airport, were sent to Turkey on Wednesday.
He recalled that Syrian nationals from now on will have to apply for a visa before arriving in the North in line with a newly introduced regulation.
“As a result, airline and maritime companies are now under a legal obligation to check for necessary documentation prior to boarding. They will also be responsible for transporting those back who do not have visas. Tatar said he informed the president about the new measure.
A statement issued by the Turkish Cypriot presidency following the meeting with Tatar said Akıncı shared his sensitivities regarding the importance to be given to the humanitarian aspects of the refugee issue.
Turkish VP Fuat Oktay to head Coordination office for Cyprus AffairsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Governance & Power Sharing, Regional/International Relations
All six dailies report that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has been appointed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the head of the new Coordination Office for Cyprus Affairs.
A Presidential decree was published on 6 July for the establishment of a coordination office to oversee relations with the TRNC in all fields.
It has been reported that the coordination office will be in charge of planning and coordination of financial and technical assistance provided to the TRNC by Turkey.
The consent of the coordinating body will also be sought for any agreement between Turkish public institutions and the Turkish Cypriots. The body will monitor and evaluate the economic programmes signed by Turkey and the North while a technical committee will be involved in the procedures. Moreover, the decree sets provisions for setting up temporary working groups of experts who would monitor and assess the application of the financial programmes agreed between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community.
Töre says EU sanctions against Turkey will encourage GCs’ spoilt behaviourYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Cypriot Parliament and National Unity Party (UBP) MP Zorlu Töre said that possible European Union (EU) sanctions against Turkey for its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean will further encourage the Greek Cypriots’ spoilt behaviour.
In a written statement issued on Thursday, Töre criticized the EU’s biased stance in favour of the Greek Cypriot side. “The EU has proven once again that it cannot be impartial,” Töre stressed.
Töre stressed the TRNC has legitimate rights over the hydrocarbon reserves around the island.
“It is not possible to disregard the Turkish Cypriot people when talking about the sovereign rights of Cyprus,” he said.
He reminded that the Turkish Cypriots were co-founders of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) which has been under Greek Cypriot control since 1963. “Turkish Cypriots’ partnership rights have been usurped by the Greek Cypriots,” Töre said, adding that the Greek Cypriots and Greece were responsible for the existence of two separate states and sovereignties on the island today.
Töre said neither the Greek Cypriot side nor other countries would be able to benefit from the natural gas in the region by ostracizing Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
>> EU sanctions against Turkey will further encourage GC’s spoilt behaviour
>> EU has proven it cannot be impartial in Cyprus.
>> TRNC has legitimate rights over the hydrocarbon reserves around the island.
>> Not possible to disregard TCs when talking about sovereign rights of Cyprus.
>> Greece & GC side are responsible for the existence of two separate states and two sovereignties on the island today.
>> Neither GC side or other countries can benefit from natural gas by ostracizing Turkey & TCs.
GC police to probe complaint against TC bus attack in LarnacaKıbrıs Postası
Kıbrıs Postası reported on Friday that Greek Cypriot police are to investigate a reported attack against a Turkish Cypriot bus at Larnaca airport where it was picking up tourists to take to the north.
The paper says that the probe was launched after the incident was raised by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı during a meeting with Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar on Wednesday.
Citing a report on Bayrak TV (BRT), Kıbrıs Postası said that the Greek Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou had announced that the police will be investigating the attack. According to BRT, the Turkish Cypriot bus driver was contacted on Friday through the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal matters and asked to file a complaint with Greek Cypriot police.
It was also reported that the Greek Cypriot police had not been informed of the incident at the time.
Akıncı on Wednesday had condemned the incident, stating that such attacks were carried out at a time when steps were being taken to reinstate confidence between the communities on the island.