TCC Press Review 13 July 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Family tragedy: Four dead

The sea spelt the end of an entire family. Four people from the same family drowned. The sea between Kaplıca (Davlos) and Yedikonuk (Eptakomi) swallowed an entire family. Mother, father and two children lost their lives. Ramazan Katırcı, aged 48, Filiz Katırcı aged 40, Merve Katırcı aged 18 and Mert Katırcı aged 13 drowned in rough waters. 12-year-old Barış Katırcı was saved by citizens and taken to hospital for treatment. Osman Göztaş who almost drowned trying to save Barış Katırcı was transferred to the state hospital in Nicosia after receiving emergency treatment at Famagusta state hospital.

  • Communication important but rates expensiveYenidüzen spoke to the public on the implementation of the mobile phone interoperability across the island.

Kıbrıs Postası

There is an outbreak: Look out for foot and mouth disease!

Dr Remzi Gardiyanoğlu, head of the Private Practice Doctors’ Association warns of a foot and mouth disease epidemic in the country, adding that the disease is spreading faster than previous years due to mosquitoes.

  • Four drowned from the same family – One person is now hospitalized.
  • A big disrespect! – Former presidents of Chamber of Commerce paid a courtesy visit to President Akıncı.
  • Maraş (Varosha) inventory commission held its first meeting

Kıbrıs

They died for each other

Five-member Katırcı family went for a swim at a beach between Kaplıca (Davlos) and Yedikonuk (Eptakomi). When two of them were taken under by the waves the others dove in to save them only to be caught themselves in the riptide. Father Ramazan, Mother Filiz, 18-year-old Merve and 13-year-old Mert drowned. A fisherman rescued 12-year-old Barış.

  • Reactions against roaming – Speaking to Kıbrıs, members of the public said they were pleased with the linking of mobile phones between the two sides but were unhappy with the high rates.
  • Eleven people arrested in connection with the murder – Police continues with its investigation into the murder of 33-year-old Nigerian Obasanje Adeola Owoyale.

Havadis

Tragic and heartbreaking

Four of the five-member Katırcı family drowned at sea between Kaplıca (Davlos) and Yedikonuk (Eptakomi).

  • My goals have not changed – President Mustafa Akıncı, who was the guest of Havadis’ traditional lunch interview, said there is a need for a solution in Cyprus and it is obvious what that solution was! President Akıncı also talked about the content of the letter he sent to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Diyalog

No way to describe this tragedy

Four of the five-member Katırcı family who went in the sea between Kaplıca (Davlos) and Yenikonuk (Eptakomi) to cool off drowned. The only survivor was the family’s 12-year-old boy Barış Katırcı who was saved by Osman Göztaş. Göztaş himself almost drowned in the process and was taken to Famagusta state hospital for treatment.

Afrika

Four persons from the same family drowned

Biggest disaster at sea in years. This summer has been cursed. One of the biggest tragedies in years was experienced on Friday. Four members of the Katırcı family who went swimming at a beach between Kaplıca (Davlos) and Yedikonuk (Eptakomi) at 6:30pm were swallowed by the waves. The only survivor from the family was 12-year-old Barış Katırcı who was saved by a fisherman and taken to hospital.

  • The first shipment of S-400 missiles arrives in Turkey. What’s going to happen now? – The first shipment of the S-400 missiles which has created serious problems between Turkey and NATO allies, as well as the US, arrived in Turkey on Friday. Everyone is curious to see what will happen next. The situation hasn’t affected the value of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies yet. NATO officials have expressed concern about possible consequences. The issue has made headlines in the world press. US Senate has called on Trump to impose sanctions. 

Main News

Akıncı says his goals have not changed

Havadis
Negotiations Process, CBMs, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı said he remains committed to reaching a bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF) settlement.

Akıncı who was a guest of Havadis’ routine lunch interview, said he wanted to clarify what he believed was confusion over the Turkish Cypriot side’s position on the Cyprus Problem.

“A solution in Cyprus is necessary and what that solution will be is also obvious,” he said.

He added that unlike his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades he did not have a habit of writing frequently to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“I have however been repeatedly explaining the Turkish Cypriot side’s position regarding a settlement to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar and to the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute. Just recently I found the need to send a letter to the UNSG on the issue of hydrocarbons,” he said.

Akıncı stressed the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean must come to an end. “The Greek Cypriot side must stop being obstinate and instead adopt an attitude in favour of partnership,” Akıncı said.

Responding to a question on the possibility of a heated conflict, Akıncı said: “No one wants to see a heated conflict in the region.”

He added the Turkish Cypriot side has always insisted on collaboration over conflicts. “In order to be able to collaborate, it is vital to discuss the matter,” Akıncı recalled that he had discussed the natural gas issue with Anastasiades soon after being elected into office.

He noted that Anastasiades had asked to put off the issue and focus on the Cyprus talks which they had agreed to conclude by the end of 2016.

“I had said it back then and am saying it now, the logical approach to the issue of hydrocarbons is to set up a joint committee,” Akıncı said. He added that should the Greek Cypriot side continue to perceive the hydrocarbons issue as a matter of sovereignty, the Turkish Cypriot side will be forced to mirror what the Greek Cypriot side does.

Akıncı added that there are only two ways of stopping the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral hydrocarbon activities: either Turkey will use force or will retaliate with its own drilling activities.

Akıncı also underlined the importance of continuing diplomatic efforts in order to prevent a heated conflict.

“We will continue our efforts to find a way out of this situation by establishing a dialogue with the Greek Cypriot side,” Akıncı said. He added the Turkish Cypriot side will also continue producing substantive proposals on the issue to discuss these matters with the Greek Cypriot leader.

Responding to a question as to why the Greek Cypriot leader does not accept a joint committee on hydrocarbons while he proposes to set up one on Maraş (Varosha), Akıncı said: “The Greek Cypriot side sees the hydrocarbons issue as a matter of sovereignty.”

He argued the Greek Cypriot side sees the right to grant licenses in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) it unilaterally declared.

“While it accepts the Turkish Cypriots’ rights it says it will hold on to our share until after a solution. The Turkish Cypriot side is ready to reach an agreement on finding a joint formula for both sides taking their rights. The Greek Cypriots must abandon efforts to exclude Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots’ out of the energy equation,” Akıncı said.

Asked to comment on his relations with Turkey, Akıncı said the mentality in the country needs to change. “We all have to defend and advocate for a relationship with Turkey based on mutual respect,” Akıncı said. He added it is necessary to stand against what was believed to be wrong while preserving respectful relations with Turkey.

“Our relations with Turkey did not start today nor will they end tomorrow,” Akıncı underlined.

He added that any solution in Cyprus will eventually need Turkey’s support.

Akıncı reiterated he is working for a solution as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community but added it is not possible to vest all hopes on one leader. “We have to find ways to make our presence as a community felt. My goals for my community have not changed. The need of a solution in Cyprus is obvious. The solution model is obvious,” Akıncı emphasized.

Akıncı, in response to a question on Maraş (Varosha) said the government had announced its intention to carry out an inventory study of the fenced off city even though it was agreed two years ago during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to focus on the Maronite Initiative (allowing members of the Maronite community to return to their villages). He also reminded that the United Nations resolutions on the fenced off city were clear.

“The government did the opposite and took a decision calling it the Maraş (Varosha) initiative. It is not possible to achieve progress while being at odds with the United Nations,” Akıncı underlined.

Asked to comment on the property case before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in which Turkey had asked for an extension, Akıncı said he has not seen a detailed report on the reasons for the extension and recalled the Evkaf Administration’s property claims in Maraş (Varosha). “My position on the Evkaf is plain and simple, the Evkaf is free to try as long as it wants, as long as it can prove its claims within international law.

Akıncı, in response to a question on the Immovable Property Commission (IPC), said it has not been possible to implement a system in which the Turkish Cypriots contributed to the commission’s funding. He recalled that there are about seven to eight thousand pending applications and that something around five to six hundred applications have been solved. “Compensation payments though for many completed cases have not been made,” Akıncı reminded.

KEY ACTOR
Akıncı
>>
Remain committed to reaching a BBF settlement.
>> A solution is necessary for Cyprus and the type of solution to be reached is known.
>> The letter sent to UNSG aimed at clarifying the TC side’s position following confusion.
>> The GC side must stop being obstinate & instead adopt an attitude in favour of partnership.
>> No one wants to see a heated conflict in the region.
>> TC side has always insisted on collaboration over conflicts on dialogue in order for collaboration.
>> Important to continue with the diplomacy to prevent a heated conflict.
>> TC side is ready to reach an agreement on finding a joint formula for rights of TCs & GCs.
>> Necessary to abandon efforts aimed at excluding Turkey and TCs from the energy equation.
>> All must defend and advocate for a relationship with Turkey based on mutual respect.
>> It is necessary to stand against what is wrong while preserving relations with Turkey.
>> Any solution in Cyprus will eventually need Turkey’s support.
>> Government chose to conduct an inventory in Maraş (Varosha) despite an earlier agreement to focus on the Maronite Initiative.
>> Not possible to achieve progress against UN decisions on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Evkaf can try as long as they want if they can prove their claims within international law.
>> It has not been possible to ensure TCs contributions to IPC funds.


Çavuşoğlu says EU’s move against Turkey on Cyprus futile

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, EU matters, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The European Union’s steps against Turkey would not yield any results on Cyprus issue, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Friday.

“The steps that it [EU] would take towards us would be useless, it would backlash,” Çavuşoğlu told a joint news conference alongside his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis in Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

On Wednesday, European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: “Despite our best intentions to keep good neighbourly relations with Turkey, its continued escalation and challenge to the sovereignty of our Member State Cyprus will inevitably lead the EU to respond in full solidarity as agreed by #EUCO.”

Çavuşoğlu said the EU should not “stand behind the wrong” in the name of so-called solidarity, and added that Turkey would take additional steps if it was acted against.

“No one can prevent it,” he warned, stressing that Greek Cypriots have been violating Turkish Cypriots’ rights by continuing drilling activities without ensuring the latter’s share.

He reiterated that Turkey only then started its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean as a guarantor country when the warnings did not bear any result.

KEY ACTOR
Çavuşoğlu (Turkey)
>>
EU’s steps against Turkey will not yield any results.
>> Any steps against Turkey would backlash.
>> EU should not “stand behind the wrong” in the name of solidarity.
>> Turkey will retaliate with additional steps if acted against.
>> No one can prevent Turkey’s drilling. GCs violating TCs’ rights by continuing drilling activities without ensuring the latter’s share.
>> Turkey only started drilling after GC side ignored warnings.


Akıncı says those involved in TC bus assault should be swiftly brought to justice

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı said that those involved in the recent assault against a Turkish Cypriot bus at Larnaca airport where it was picking up tourists to take to the north should be swiftly brought to justice.

We will be following up on developments closely, Akıncı told a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Public Transport Operators Union (Kar-İş) on Friday.

The driver of the bus which was attacked was also present at the meeting.

Akıncı said that such attacks were unacceptable, particularly when efforts were underway to build trust and confidence between the two communities on the island.

He reminded that he had raised the issue with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar at their meeting on Wednesday.

“I informed her in detail of the incident. We protested the attack and asked her to convey our request to the Greek Cypriot authorities. We were informed that she did so. As a result, the complainant was contacted through the bicommunal technical committee on crime and asked to file a complaint with Greek Cypriot police. We shall continue our efforts to ensure that such incidents do not reoccur. There is enough room on this island for everyone as long as everyone is respectful of each other, Akıncı said.

Akıncı also pointed out that the driver’s paperwork for the bus was in order and that the assault was unlawful and inhumane.

Head of the Kar-İş Bekir Akandere said that efforts to prevent them from operating in South Cyprus were unacceptable and those responsible should be brought to justice.

“This is essential if the confidence-building measures adopted and the solution we hope for can be realized in a healthy manner,” he said.

Akandere pointed out that it was economic cooperation which will bring the real solution in Cyprus. “If we can cooperate economically, then both communities can gain and we can all live in prosperity,” he said.

KEY ACTOR
Akıncı
>>
Those responsible for the assault on TC bus in Larnaca must be brought swiftly to justice.
>> Developments will be followed up closely. Efforts will continue to make sure such incidents do not reoccur.
>> Such attacks at a time when confidence-building efforts are underway are unacceptable.
>> The island is big enough for everyone as long as everyone respects each other.


Maraş (Varosha) Inventory Commission holds first meeting

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

OVERVIEW

The Maraş (Varosha) Inventory Commission tasked with conducting a scientific inventory of immovable properties in the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) convened on Friday for its first meeting under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay.

According to a statement issued by the foreign ministry’s press bureau, the meeting was attended by Özersay’s undersecretary Güneş Onar, Foreign Ministry General Coordinator Mustafa Kendir and representatives of relevant institutions.

A decision was taken at the meeting to form sub-committees on areas that require views of experts and to invite additional representatives from other public institutions to join the commission.

The commission is scheduled to hold two more meetings next week, it was reported.

On Friday, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that it was out of the question for Maraş (Varosha) to be returned to the Greek Cypriot side.

Tatar said that reopening the fenced-off town will contribute greatly to the TRNC economy and that a formula that will benefit everyone will be found.

“We believe that Maraş (Varosha) should belong to the Turkish nation,” he said.

Tatar also said that it was illogical to keep Maraş (Varosha) closed any longer because there was neither a negotiations process underway nor was there any prospect for a settlement on the horizon.

“Reopening Maraş (Varosha) will allow legal owners to exercise their right and access their property. It will be beneficial for both the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and its former residents,” he added.

KEY ACTOR
Tatar (UBP)
>> Out of the question to return Maraş (Varosha) to the GC side.
>> Reopening fenced-off city will contribute greatly to TRNC economy. A formula that will benefit everyone will be found.
>> Maraş (Varosha) should belong to the Turkish nation.
>> Illogical to keep Maraş (Varosha) closed any longer due to the absence of negotiations and zero prospects for a settlement.
>> Reopening Maraş (Varosha) will allow legal residents to exercise their right and access their property.


TCs say mobile phone link important but rates too expensive

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs
CBMs, Economy

OVERVIEW

Although most Turkish Cypriots welcomed the long-awaited implementation of mobile interoperability across the island, many found the new call rates expensive, Yenidüzen and Kıbrıs reported on Saturday.

The papers sought the views of the general public on the issue.

Many complained that the move aimed at bringing the two communities closer together would, in fact, be serving to do the opposite because of the high call rates.

Some argued that having to pay international rates to make calls across the same city was ridiculous and defeated the purpose of the whole deal.

“Am I going to pay ₺4 (approx. €0.62) to make a call from one side of Nicosia to the other?” asked one citizen.

“I would be paying the same amount if I were calling someone on the other end of Europe. And for what. Making a call from a distance just 15 minutes away from Ledra Street,” said another.

One citizen said he wished the move had been realized without roaming rates, while another expressed her frustration over the sense that GSM operators had exploited the deal agreed between the two leaders for profits.

“It’s like an agreement was made not between the two leaders but the GSM operators of both sides,” she said. One citizen argued that the reason why the rates were so high was because of the high taxes and costs Turkish Cypriot GSM operators had to pay.