Front Page Headlines
Unanimous ‘No’ on EEZ, with demand on Cyprob
The crisis becomes permanent, making the restart of negotiations difficult. Lute’s arrival is now doubtful while Turkey increases her presence in the Eastern Mediterranean with a second exploratory vessel. Surprise and sorrow over GC ‘No’ by Akinci who believes his proposal would have helped the solution.
- They are knocking again on the CFA (Cyprus Football Association’s) door – Isolated, TC football returns to the 2013 (agreement). Not a single GC is playing football anymore in the occupied areas.
- Natural gas: The next steps
- Galanos: The funeral on July 22
Akinci: Madame Lute, don’t come
He used his phone call with the president to avert her arrival in Cyprus. Unanimous rejection of the ‘proposal’.
- (Turkey) Escalates tensions around Cyprus – Sending in a fourth vessel.
- Alexis Galanos will be buried on Monday
- Nicosia’s centre is a time bomb – Foreigners have carved it into zones. Drugs trafficking and protection rackets. The interior minister is asking for armed police officers and patrols on the streets. There are currently 15,000 with subsidiary protection status, another 15,000 who filed for protection and thousands who are illegal and no one knows how many they are.
Solution first, was the response to Akinci
The Leaders’ Council unanimously decided yesterday that the Akinci proposal is not accepted. AKEL made clear that the GC side’s response ought to be comprehensive and have as its main pillar the solution of the Cyprus problem as a priority. It will send a letter to Anastasiades on how to respond to the Akinci proposal.
- Fourth Turkish vessel in the Cypriot EEZ
Turkey to send in a fourth ship
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu says no need to take EU decision at all seriously.
- Akinci expresses regret at proposal rejection
Turkey takes it out on Cyprus
Following the EU measures against her and the rejection of Akinci’s proposal. Turkey’s first reactions are angry and full of threats of retaliation. They announced the dispatch of a fourth vessel in the Cypriot EEZ, proclaiming they will escalate tensions and carry on their illegal actions, declaring full contempt to the ‘silly’ and ‘vulgar’ EU decisions as they called them. A surprising statement by the Turkish foreign ministry that indirectly admits their actions in the Cypriot EEZ are illegal and recognises that only through the solution of the Cyprus problem will the energy issues be resolved.
- Unanimous ‘No’ to the Akinci proposal – The Leaders’ Council in rare unanimity, rejected the proposal as disorienting. They authorised President Anastasiades to respond with facts to the letter of the TC leader.
- Moscow angry over sanctions (against Turkey) on the EEZ
- Larnaca: They abducted, beat up and robbed a TC man from Pyla, asking him to give them the money he had for the purchase of an apartment
- Famagusta elects mayor on August 25
Parties unanimously reject Akinci proposal, see a disorientation attemptAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, Negotiations Process
Political leaders on Tuesday unanimously rejected the proposal by TC leader Mustafa Akinci to set up a joint committee on hydrocarbons arguing it distracts from the essence of the Cyprus problem, the papers report. Anastasiades is to send Akinci a detailed letter explaining the rejection while the TC leader expressed surprise and regret his proposal was rejected.
After an around three-hour meeting of the Leaders’ Council presided by Anastasiades, Undersecretary to the President Vassilis Palmas read a joint statement from party leaders saying the proposal from Akinci could not be accepted “as it distracts from the essence of the Cyprus problem and the need for immediate resumption of substantive negotiations with a view, if there is sufficient will from all concerned, to achieve a sustainable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of United Nations resolutions, and the principles and values of the European Union.”
“Moreover, the proposal of Mr Akinci contains provisions that do not serve the best interests of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people as a whole,” the statement added.
Palmas said the party leaders authorised the president to answer Akinci in writing and to send the answer to the recipients of his proposals such as the UN chief, and the EU leadership. He added that the president would prepare his response immediately in a comprehensive letter that would respond point by point.
Akinci expressed regret that his proposal was rejected. He said he was surprised by the reasons of the rejection since his proposal aimed at turning the hydrocarbon sector to a field of cooperation between the two sides and to diffuse tensions. Akinci rejected the reasons cited by the GC side to reject the proposal, arguing that it was the TCs who wanted a solution more, who paid the higher cost because of the status quo. He said his proposal on hydrocarbons concerned cooperation and mutual benefit, instead of the current situation of the GC side handling the matter unilaterally.
Politis cites government sources that said that the primary concern at this stage, is to find a way for talks to resume from where they left off in Crans Montana. President Anastasiades is expected to invite the UN Secretary-General to take action toward this direction, the daily reported.
Phileleftheros reports that Anastasiades told the leaders during the meeting that UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute’s arrival in Cyprus was now up in the air due to reluctance by Akinci to engage in a new round of contacts and consultations with her. He told leaders that Akinci told Lute during their latest telephone conversation that he and Anastasiades agreed to meet therefore there was no reason for her to come to Cyprus.
According to the daily Anastasiades was furious by this reference and told Lute that he was waiting for her to return to the island so that he can convey his dismay for the stance of the Turkish side and that Akinci is not his guardian and cannot speak on his behalf. Lute did not say if she would come after all. She was scheduled to be on the island around August 2 or 3 after she completed her round of consultations with the guarantor powers, Phileleftheros reported.
Political leaders said after the meeting they were covered by the joint announcement, though some urged for caution so as not to get entangled in Turkey’s games.
DISY leader Averof Neophytou called for immediate resumption of talks within a bicommunal bizonal federal framework within the Guterres parameters so as to reach a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem. Akinci’s proposal disorients from this national goal, she said.
According to AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou, the GC side ought to respond in a comprehensive manner to Akinci’s proposal and that his party would send Anastasiades a letter with its proposals on how he should respond to all points raised.
DIKO head Nicolas Papadopoulos said Akinci’s proposal was a worse version of the proposal former TC leader Dervish Eroglu had submitted in the past. He added the Cyprus problem was at a critical point and that a new strategy was in order.
Chairman of EDEK Marinos Sizopoulos said Anastasiades ought to be very careful in the way he will handle this issue citing the risk of being trapped in Ankara’s tactical moves.
Giorgos Lillikas, head of the Citizens’ Alliance, said Akinci’s proposal was part of the wider strategy by Turkey on the cancellation of the Republic’s energy programme.
Deputy head of the Solidarity Movement Polys Pallikaros, warned that the GC side must not fall in Turkey’s trap and start discussing the parameters of natural gas management instead of the substance of the Cyprus problem.
Greens’ leader Giorgos Perdikis said the proposal was aimed at averting EU measures against Turkey. He too warned that the GC side must be careful in its handlings so as not to get caught up in Turkey’s PR trap.
Leaders’ Council (GC political parties)
>> Reject Akinci’s proposal which they find as a distraction from the substance of the Cyprob and the need for immediate resumption of talks to reach a solution.
>> Believe the proposal contains provisions that do not serve the best interests of the RoC but also of GC and TCs.
>> Regrets that his proposal was rejected & is surprised by the reasons of the rejection given it aimed at turning the hydrocarbon sector to a field of cooperation between the two sides and to diffuse tensions.
>> Rejects the reasons cited by the GC side against the proposal, arguing that it was the TCs who wanted a solution more & who pay the higher cost because of the status quo.
>> His proposal aimed at promoting cooperation and mutual benefit, instead of the GC side handling the matter unilaterally.
>> Akinci’s proposal disorients from the national goal of a comprehensive solution of the Cyprob.
>> Calls for immediate resumption of talks within a BBF framework & the Guterres parameters.
>> Believes the GC side ought to respond in a comprehensive way to Akinci’s proposal & is willing to advise Anastasiades on how to go about it.
>> Believes Akinci’s proposal is a worse version of the one Eroglu had submitted in the past.
>> Calls for a new strategy on the Cyprob that is at a critical point at the moment.
>> Urges Anastasiades to be very careful in the way he will handle this issue so as not to be trapped in Ankara’s tactical moves.
Lillikas (Citizens’ Alliance)
>> Akinci’s proposal was part of the wider Turkish strategy to see the RoC’s energy plans cancelled.
Pallikaros (Solidarity Movement)
>> The GC side must not fall in Turkey’s trap and start discussing the parameters of natural gas management instead of the substance of the Cyprob.
>> The proposal was aiming at averting EU measures against Turkey.
>> Urges GC side to be careful in the way it will handle the matter to avoid to being caught up in Turkey’s PR trap.
Fourth Turkish vessel to be sent to Cyprus after EU measures announcedAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, EU Matters, Regional/International Relations
The dailies report that Turkey plans to send a fourth ship in the sea area off Cyprus to search for gas following the measures the EU announced it would take over Ankara’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ.
The papers report on statements by a number of Turkish and TC officials on the matter but also on Russia’s disagreement with the EU measures against Turkey.
The Turkish foreign ministry said that the EU decisions would not affect in the slightest the country’s determination to continue hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said that there was no need to take those measures very seriously, adding that they would not impact Turkey.
He also announced Ankara would be sending a fourth ship to the region.
Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said in a tweet that the seismic research vessel Oruc Reis would also be sent to the area.
Alithia analysed the Turkish foreign ministry’s statement that it is not possible for Turkey to start talks with the GCs to delimit maritime jurisdiction areas before the settlement of the Cyprus issue.
According to Alithia, the Turkish foreign ministry indirectly admitted in its statement there is no agreed delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas, therefore, Turkey is operating illegally in these areas while it refers to negotiations on this issue only after a solution. Therefore, Ankara, with this position, on the one hand, admits the illegal activities and, on the other hand, shares the position that only by resolving the Cyprus problem can the energy issues of the region be settled, the daily said.
Politis, Phileleftheros, Haravgi and Alithia also report that Moscow expressed opposition to EU measures against Turkey.
They report that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told Izvestia newspaper that such moves worsen the long-standing unresolved dispute in the region.
According to Phileleftheros and Haravgi, the minister said that this does not mean that Russia supports Turkey’s activities to send ships for drillings in Cyprus.
Haravgi reports that a government source told the Cyprus News Agency that this type of reaction was expected given that the EU has imposed sanctions also on Russia.
Politis reports that Moscow supports Turkey while Cavusoglu is mocking Brussels’ decisions.
The daily’s political sketch is also relevant. It depicts a man standing outside a building where a Turkish flag is hoisted who asks in bewilderment: “But… Turkey has an embassy in Cyprus?”. A woman passing by responds that it is the Russian embassy.
Alithia said this was another stab in Cyprus’ back by Russia.
Phileleftheros reported that TC ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar has issued threats of a hot episode after the Brussels decision for measures against Turkey and declares that the wish of Turkey and of the TCs is a two-state solution. He explained that in the case of a warm episode in the Eastern Mediterranean it is the GC side that must worry, the paper reports.
Cyprus Mail online reported on Wednesday morning that Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy reiterated his country’s opposition to EU sanctions as a general rule, stressing that Moscow’s position on the Cyprus problem remained unchanged.
Osadchiy told the Cyprus News Agency it was well known that Moscow was and remains against any sanctions that do not go through the UN Security Council.
“Only this body has the authority to use such weapons,” he said.
Osadchiy said sanctions usually yielded the opposite result and ultimately made the situation worse.
“All disagreements can be resolved at the negotiating table. Russia supports the continuation of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem,” he said, the news portal reported.
>> Turkey does not take EU measures against her seriously as they cannot impact her.
Turkish foreign ministry
>> EU decisions against Turkey do not affect in the slightest the country’s determination to continue hydrocarbon activities in the East Med.
>> Turkey cannot start talks with the GCs on the delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas before the Cyprob solution.
Grushko (Russia’s deputy FM)
>> Russia believes that EU-imposed measures worsen prospects for solving Cyprob but it does not mean it supports Turkey’s actions.
>> It is the GCs that must be worried in the case of a hot episode in the East Med.
>> Both Turkey and TCs want a two state solution.
Osadciy (Russian Ambassador)
>> Russia is against EU sanctions as a general rule as only the UN Security Council has the authority to do this.
>> Moscow’s position on the Cyprob remains unchanged & continues to support continuation of talks.
>> Disagreements must be resolved at the negotiating table since usually, sanctions yield the opposite result and make things worse.
TC football clubs probe possibility of cooperation with CFAPolitis
According to the paper, TC football clubs have been putting pressure on their federation to approach the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) for cooperation.
Six years after the agreement between former CFA chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis and former Cyprus Turkish Football Association (CTFA) chairman Hasan Sertoglu for the incorporation of the latter in CFA until the Cyprob solution, TC football clubs have started now pressuring for talks between the two authorities. The 2013 agreement signed in Zurich in the presence of FIFA and UEFA representatives aimed at lifting the isolation of the TC teams.
Politis, citing sources, reports that the aim of TC clubs is to be able to initially organise friendly matches with GC teams and with teams of other countries after CFA’s approval. Such a prospect would increase their proceeds, the daily said. Even though there has been no official move by CTFA, TC clubs have approached CFA officials recently on this issue, the daily reported.
It added that the 2013 agreement was not implemented because the CTFA decided not to join arguing that its establishment document, issued in 1956, was nowhere to be found in CFA’s archives. Koustokoumnis at the time had said that the CTFA did not join CFA due to pressure from the TC leadership. As per the agreement, the CTFA’s logo that bears the flag of the pseudo-state had to change while another provision provided for harmonisation with the CFA’s association code, Politis reported.
The daily also reports that while between 2012 and 2017 on average four GC footballers were playing in TC teams per year, after the financial problems due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira this is not the case anymore.
Things today have changed with young TC footballers choosing academies of GC teams such as the talented Erk Eseler who is playing at the Omonia academy, the paper said.
Organised attack and robbery of TC man in LarnacaAlithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
According to the papers, a 42-year-old man was remanded on Tuesday for eight days for the attack and robbery of a 27-year-old TC man from Pyla.
The 27-year-old reported to the police that on the evening of July 12 while in Larnaca, a man he didn’t know asked him to take him with his car to a supermarket and that along the way, they were intercepted by two cars. Ten persons came out of the cars, among them a suspect the TC man knew. One of the men was holding a gun.
He told police they forced him to get out his car, beat him up and stole €3,600 in cash and jewellery worth €4,000. They then took him to the hotel he was staying and searched for money. After failing to find anything they asked him to deliver €20,000 within the week after beating him up again, and threatened they would kill him if he didn’t.
The perpetrators had initially asked the 27-year-old to give them the €70,000 they knew he had in his possession and which were aimed for the purchase of real estate in the free areas.
One of the suspects was arrested on Tuesday while €2,275 in cash was located in his house. Police are also looking for the whereabouts of a second person, the papers report.
American investor expressed interest in restoring Ledra Palace hotelIkonomiki (Financial) Kathimerini
The weekly paper reports that Archbishop Chrysostomos has been approached by an American investor who wants to restore and operate Ledra Palace hotel.
The Archbishop told Ikonomiki Kathimerini that the investor has suggested paying a big amount of money for the restoration of the hotel that sits on the Nicosia buffer zone and whose major shareholder is the Church of Cyprus.
The Archbishop told the paper that he informed the investor he ought to first get permission from the government and the UN. He also said he told the investor they had to assume all restoration costs because the Church cannot.
The Archbishop suggested for the investor to restore and start operating the hotel and start paying rent after a few years.
He said the final decision would be taken following contacts through the foreign affairs ministry, the paper reported.
Kythrea refugees call on Guterres to help give talks process a pushHaravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Human Rights
The dailies report that refugees from Kythrea called on the UN Secretary-General to intensify efforts to end Turkish illegal actions in Cyprus’ sea and land so that a push is given to the stagnant negotiations procedure.
The refugees said in a memo the aim should be to find a solution soon that is sustainable and functional, in line with international and European laws and UN decisions and principles, which would allow for their return under safe conditions in their ancestral land.
The memo also said that it must be understood by all that the Cypriot people as a whole can and have the right to live peacefully without patrons and guarantors with intervention rights which are incompatible with a state which has been a full member of the European family since 2004, the papers report.