Front Page Headlines
Electricity price hike pains
The National Unity Party (UBP)-Peoples’ Party (HP) government has decided not to implement a ₺0.06 price hike on electricity prices due to fuel costs. The door on introducing new tariffs has not closed. General Director of the Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority (KIBTEK) Ahmet Dargın claimed that the authority was at a loss of ₺30-35 million as a result of the government’s decision.
- Candidacies for the presidency to be decided in the fall – While the political parties said they will decide who to nominate for the upcoming presidential elections in the fall, the Peoples’ Party (HP) said it would not support another party’s candidate. The Social Democratic Party (TDP) said it will be supporting Akıncı if he decides to run. While the National Unity Party (UBP) said the party will decide, UBP MP Zorlu Töre said that the party’s candidate should be decided by a congress. The Democratic Party (DP) refrained from making any comments.
- Sad farewell from mother and daughter –The death of a mother and daughter in South Cyprus with just an hour apart has caused great sadness.
Psychiatry ward a dead end
Hasan Karaokçu, head of the commission to fight substance abuse, stressed that drug addicts were not criminals! He added the state is to blame for the current situation at the psychiatry ward at the state hospital. Karaokçu said the state was 30 years behind when it came to the fight against drug abuse and reminded the Kalkanlı (Kalochorio) Old Folks Home was initially designed as a rehabilitation centre in 2016.
- Anastasiades is getting ready to accuse Akıncı of defying the “1 July agreement” – President Mustafa Akıncı, on the other hand, is putting pressure on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to organize a five-party conference.
- We did not have any contacts with KOP – Hasan Sertoğlu, head of the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation, refuted Politis’ allegations on putting pressure on the Cyprus Football Federation (KOP) via UEFA.
- “Turkey took the necessary steps for Turkish Cypriot interests” – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said.
Industrial areas left to their fate
The “Organized Industrial Areas” bill, which was expected to be a remedy for ongoing problems in Nicosia’s industrial zone was withdrawn from the parliament, leaving the area’s growing problems unsolved. Candan Avunduk, head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry asked the economy and energy ministry to improve the bill and resend it to parliament.
- Akıncı asks Guterres to intervene – President Mustafa Akıncı asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for an unofficial five-party meeting to clarify if all sides agree to seek a solution based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation (BBF).
Intervene for an unofficial five-party meeting
President Mustafa Akıncı’s letter sent to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been leaked to the media. Akıncı demands active involvement of Guterres in his letter, which was sent prior to his proposal to Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, on forming a joint committee on hydrocarbons.
- The saddest refugee news – Brought to TRNC by human traffickers and then abandoned. They asked the police for help but got arrested. Two refugees appeared at a court hearing in Nicosia on Wednesday.
- Turkmens who went home for a holiday cannot come back – Turkmenistan Immigration Services Department won’t allow its citizens to leave the country for unknown reasons even though their paperwork is in order and they are working or studying in the North.
They wanted €70,000 from Serhan
A 27-year-old Turkish Cypriot resident of Pile (Pyla) Serhan Şakir was kidnapped, beaten and robbed in Larnaca. One of the ten people who attacked him turned out to be Turkish Cypriot again.
- Constructive proposal – Former Greek Cypriot foreign minister Nicos Rolandis called on the Greek Cypriot administration to halt natural gas activities for a year.
Face to face with a heated conflict
The General Secretary of KTÖS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union) Şener Elcil said the Turkish Cypriot community was pursuing adventures instead of waging a struggle on the basis of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) which grants it a political status. Elcil said Turkey and its collaborators in Cyprus had brought the Turkish Cypriots face to face with a heated conflict again.
- Call from Akıncı to Guterres for a five-party meeting – Akıncı: “The rising tensions in the region have further highlighted the urgency to reach a comprehensive solution in Cyprus. Turkish Cypriots suffer from the status quo the most.”
Akıncı asks Guterres to call an informal five-party meetingYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power sharing, Energy
President Mustafa Akıncı has asked UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to call for a five-party informal meeting as soon as possible to clarify if all sides agree to seek a solution based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation (BBF), all six dailies reported on Thursday.
In his letter to Guterres, dated July 10, the content of which was published by TAK news agency, Akıncı asks for an informal meeting to eliminate the “turbulent landscape caused by the statements of the Greek Cypriot leader.”
Akıncı argues that there has been confusion as to whether there is a real will from the Greek Cypriot side for a comprehensive settlement since its leadership sent out mixed messages on the basis of the solution to different interlocutors on various occasions.
He said it must be made clear if everyone agrees on a BBF on the basis of political equality.
For that reason, he called on Guterres to convene an informal five-party, UN-sponsored meeting, including representation from the EU, to confirm whether all parties have the same goal.
He adds that if this was confirmed, there must be a process of talks under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General with a clear timetable, and focused on a solution.
Akıncı said he felt the need to address Guterres since his special envoy Jane Holl Lute’s contacts had hit a dead end while at the same time tensions were increasing in the Eastern Mediterranean.
He also said the Turkish Cypriot side was constructively working with Lute and argued that the two sides needed to reaffirm their commitment to the convergences reached at the talks since the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side show that they went back on convergences already reached.
Akıncı also pointed out that it was the Turkish Cypriots which were the most affected from the non-solution of the Cyprus Problem and the continuation of the status quo.
He added that he had conveyed to the UN Secretary-General that the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus’ (UNFICYP) mandate should not be used as a tool for the continuation of the status quo.
Akıncı reiterated his commitment to a comprehensive settlement as well as implementing confidence-building measures to bring the two communities closer.
He pointed out the biggest obstacle to a settlement was that the Greek Cypriot side opposed the issue of political equality and had backtracked on the issue.
He said the Greek Cypriot leader had backtracked from the convergence that a minimum of one positive vote from the Turkish Cypriot side would be required in decisions taken by the federal cabinet. He said that Anastasiades later changed his position, proposing that the positive vote should only be granted to Turkish Cypriots on decisions of ‘vital importance’ for the Turkish Cypriot community.
“The principle of political equality which is accepted by the UN does not mean numerical equality in all federal government organs or institutions. It means the effective participation of both communities in decision-making processes, measures ensuring that neither community has the means to take decisions against the interests of the other community and for the two constituent states possessing equal powers and authorities,” Akıncı said.
He added that political equality, could not be limited to areas of ‘vital interest’, as suggested by the Greek Cypriot leadership.
“In other words, it is argued that a simple majority of Greek Cypriot votes would be sufficient when making decisions concerning important issues such as hydrocarbons or the federal budget despite objections raised by the Turkish Cypriot community. I asked the Greek Cypriot leadership to clarify which issues would be categorized as issues of ‘vital interest’ but failed to receive a proper response. As the Turkish Cypriot side, we maintain our position that any authorities which fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, in principle, should be matters related directly with the rights and interests of the two communities and constituent states,” he said.
He said the proposal for a decentralized structure with less power given to the federal government was always an approach of the Turkish Cypriot side in the talks but that this could not be used to ignore their political equality.
He said the proposal by the Greek Cypriot side for a parliamentary system with a permanent Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot vice-president and rotating prime minister and deputy prime minister was contrary to Guterres’ six points.
This proposal was discussed in the early stages of the last round of negotiations and was rejected by both parties, he said. Thus, by setting this as a new idea to overcome the deadlock, it clearly shows that the Greek Cypriot leadership was trying to get rid of the rotating presidency, Akıncı argued.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Akıncı warned that the latest developments coupled with the deadlock in the Cyprus negotiations process had raised tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean to dangerous levels.
Akıncı recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side has been tabling proposals since 2011 for cooperation between the two sides on the island’s wealth.
“Our proposals and offers are still valid but the Greek Cypriot side continues to ignore them. They [Greek Cypriots] continue their unilateral actions while blaming the Turkish side, which is left with no choice but to take similar steps to maintain its legitimate rights and interests,” he concluded.
>> Five-party informal meeting with participation of EU needed to clarify if all sides agree to seek a BBF solution based on political equality.
>> If confirmed, the process of talks must be under the leadership of the UNSG with a clear timetable and focused on a solution.
>> Sides need to reaffirm their commitment to past convergences since latest GC proposals show that they backtracked on earlier convergences.
>> TCs are most affected by the non-solution of the Cyprob & continuation of the status quo.
>> UNFICYP’s mandate should not be used as a tool to preserve the status quo.
>> Biggest obstacle to a settlement is fact GC side is more opposed to the issue of political equality & has backtracked on the issue.
>> GC leader backtracked on convergence requiring at least one positive vote in federal cabinet.
>> Anastasiades changed his position, proposing positive vote should only be granted for areas of ‘vital interest’ to TCs.
>> Political equality does not mean numerical equality in federal organs.
>> Political equality means effective participation in decision making, measures ensuring decisions against either community are not taken & constituent states have equal powers/ compentences.
>> Political equality cannot be limited to areas of ‘vital interest’.
>> GC leadership refrained from clarifying what it categorized as areas of ‘vital interest’.
>> Proposal for a decentralized structure with less power given to the federal government cannot be used to ignore political equality of TCs.
>> GC proposal for parliamentary system with permanent GC president & TC VP with rotating PM & deputy PM contrary to UNSG’s six points.
>> GC ‘decentralization’ proposal clearly shows GC leadership trying to get rid of rotating presidency.
>> Latest hydrocarbon developments coupled with the deadlock in Cyprus talks has raised tensions in the East Med to dangerous levels.
>> GCs continue to ignore TC calls for cooperation & continue with unilateral activities.
>>TC side left with no choice but to take similar steps to maintain its legitimate rights & interests.
Manavoğlu claims hydrocarbon proposal first proposed by ÖzersayYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Diyalog
Energy, Negotiation Process, Regional/International Relations
People’s Party (HP) MP Gülşah Sanver Manavoğlu claimed on Wednesday that President Mustafa Akıncı’s latest proposal on setting up a joint committee for hydrocarbons originally belonged to the HP leader and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay.
In a written statement, Manavoğlu said the latest developments on the hydrocarbon issue proved how justified Özersay’s argument for the need to find new ways of cooperating with the Greek Cypriot side was.
She said that the initial proposal for the co-management of the island’s hydrocarbon resources had been drafted by Özersay in 2011 during his term as a negotiator for former president Derviş Eroğlu.
“Turkey’s drillships would not be operating around the island today had the Greek Cypriots accepted Özersay’s proposal back then. Their rejection of that proposal has been to their disadvantage. It also confirmed that our strategy was right. Turkey had started its preparations back then,” Manavoğlu added.
She also said the latest situation revealed that the Greek Cypriot side has blocked all prospects for a settlement in Cyprus.
“Unlike the north, the church in the south still has a negative grip on the Greek Cypriot community. Even the slightest concession to Turkish Cypriots is unacceptable and this is why these issues are not discussed. The majority of Greek Cypriots are strongly opposed to the idea of making any concessions or privileges to Turkish Cypriots. It is not possible to solve the Cyprus Problem under these circumstances,” she said.
Manavoğlu claimed that the Greek Cypriot and Greek lobbies within the EU were exerting great pressure on the bloc.
The Greeks and Greek Cypriots are abusing their EU membership and veto power to convince other member countries to act with them, she said.
Manavoğlu argued that the EU shouldn’t have allowed the Greek Cypriots to join the EU after they voted against the Annan Plan.
Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party (TDP) expressed its disappointment on the rejection of Akıncı’s proposal for a joint committee on hydrocarbons.
A written statement issued on Wednesday by the TDP’s central executive committee said that the rising tensions in the region were not in the interest of anyone.
“Unilateral activities on the issue of hydrocarbons and disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people only serve to raise tensions, not cooperation,” it added.
TDP said that the reasons given for the rejection of the proposal were not realistic or convincing.
It pointed out that the joint committee would not serve as a distraction from the Cyprus talks but would have been a motivating factor.
TDP expressed the view that the most rational course of action would be to cooperate for the common interest of the island’s communities. “The ultimate goal remains a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement, and a result-oriented process which is not open-ended needs to start as soon as possible,” the statement read.
>> Hydrocarbon proposal first tabled in 2011, originally belongs to Özersay.
>> Turkish drill ships would not be in the region had the GC’s accepted that proposal. Now, GCs at a disadvantage.
>> Majority of GCs opposed to granting concessions to TCs. All prospects for a settlement are blocked.
>> Greece & GC side abusing EU membership and forcing other EU countries to act with them through the threat of veto.
>> Rejection of Akıncı’s hydrocarbon proposal disappointing.
>> Unilateral activities on hydrocarbons & disregarding the rights of TCs only serve to raise tensions, not cooperation.
>> Reasons provided for the rejection of the proposal are not realistic or convincing.
>> Joint committee would not serve as a distraction from the Cyprus talks but would have been a motivating factor.
>> Most rational course of action would be to cooperate for the common interest of the island’s communities.
>> Ultimate goal remains to achieve a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement
Elcil says solution must be found through the Republic of CyprusKıbrıs, Afrika
General Secretary of Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) Şener Elcil on Wednesday said that the Turkish Cypriot community was chasing new adventures instead of striving to reach a solution based on the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), which actually granted Turkish Cypriots an internationally recognized political status.
In a written statement, Elcil argued that Turkish Cypriots now faced the threat of a heated conflict as a result of the diplomatic blunders of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials.
Elcil claimed that the policies to promote partition on the island, which included the bombing of mosques, resulted in strengthening Greek Cypriot nationalism and racism and finally resulting in the outbreak of intercommunal fighting in 1963.
Elcil, providing a chronological account of historical developments, said that Turkish Cypriot politicians had used the Greek Cypriot fascists’ attacks on the Turkish Cypriots as an excuse not to return to their seats in the RoC and to claim their constitutional rights.
He added the Greek military junta’s coup d’état was seen as an opportunity for Turkey to carry out a military operation in Cyprus.
“However, Turkey has overstepped its role as a guarantor state to maintain the territorial integrity and restore constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus. More importantly, it is implementing assimilation and integration policies to occupy the northern part of the island,” Elcil said.
He stressed the Turkish Cypriots’ rights emanating from the RoC have been foregone completely with the 1983 unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).
Elcil also underlined the facts that the Tansu Çiller government in Ankara had approved the RoC’s European Union accession process and that the Bülent Ecevit government then officially affirmed its EU accession at the summit in Helsinki.
Elcil claimed that the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots had voted against the Annan Plan in 2004 in reaction to the process which was led by Turkey and its Turkish Cypriot collaborators.
He noted that the politicians in the process that followed had chosen to shelve the Annan Plan and launch new negotiations.
Elcil also said instead of implementing confidence-building measures (CBMs) to improve and ‘normalize’ the relations of the two communities, Turkish Cypriot politicians chased after a comprehensive settlement goal.
Elcil further argued that as a result of the aggressive political regime in Ankara, Turkey has been alienated in the region whilst the Greek Cypriot side, with the support from the EU and the US, has distanced itself from a solution.
“The Greek Cypriot leadership also utilized the mistakes made by Turkey and its collaborators within the Turkish Cypriot leadership to diminish the status of the Turkish Cypriot community and to adopt an official policy based on ostracizing them,” Elcil argued.
He accused Ankara of insincerity, claiming that Turkey was pushing hard to assimilate Turkish Cypriots by implementing religious, cultural and economic policies while hiding behind the pretext that it was defending their rights.
Elcil also alleged that Turkish officials have been carrying out direct meetings with the Greek Cypriot leadership on hydrocarbons, leaving the Turkish Cypriots out.
“Risks of a heated conflict which is the result of the mistakes made are now being used as a cover for political blunders,” Elcil said, adding that civilians are always the victims of war.
“It is vital for the two communities to launch new initiatives to seek their rights on the basis of the Republic of Cyprus and its constitution,” Elcil added. He concluded, “Cypriots need peace and not war.”
>> New adventures being pursued instead of striving to solve problem on the basis of the RoC.
>> RoC grants TCs international political status.
>> TCs face threat of heated conflict again as a result of diplomatic blunders by Turkish & TC officials.
>> Partition policies on the island resulted in strengthening GC nationalism eventually leading to intercommunal conflict in 1963.
>> TCs did not attempt to claim their rights in RoC due to secessionist policies & using GC attacks as an excuse.
>> Turkey has overstepped its role as a guarantor state & is implementing assimilation & integration policies to occupy the north.
>> The rights emanating from the RoC have been foregone completely with the 1983 UDI.
>> Past Turkish governments had approved RoC’s EU accession process.
>> GCs voted against the Annan Plan referendum in 2004 in reaction to Turkey and its TC collaborators.
>> Politicians chased after a comprehensive settlement goal instead of implementing CBMs to improve & normalize relations between two communities.
>> As a result of the aggressive political regime in Ankara, Turkey has been alienated in the region.
>> GC side, with support from EU & US, has distanced itself from a solution.
>> GC leadership also utilized mistakes made by Turkey & its collaborator TC leadership to diminish the status of the TCC and adopted an official policy based on ostracizing the TCs.
>> Ankara is insincere, pursuing assimilation policies under the pretext of defending TC rights.
>> Turkish officials meeting directly with the GC leadership on hydrocarbons, leaving the TCs out.
>> Vital for the two communities to launch new initiatives to seek their rights on the basis of the RoC & its constitution.
>> Cypriots need peace and not war.
Lacroix to visit Cyprus next weekYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
All six dailies report that the UN Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix is due in Cyprus next week, within the framework of his regular contacts with peacekeeping missions.
The papers report that the senior UN official is also expected to meet separately with President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.
Lacroix is expected in Cyprus on July 23 and will meet with the UNSG’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar.
Lacroix is expected to depart from Cyprus on July 25.
He is visiting Cyprus as part of a regional tour for contacts with peacekeeping missions. Before visiting Cyprus he will visit the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Possible candidates for upcoming TC elections warm upYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Governance & Power Sharing
While there are still eight months to go before the presidential elections in the north, possible contenders have started warming up for the race.
National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Wednesday said he could consider running for president in next year’s elections if his party nominated him as a candidate.
Speaking to Bayrak, Hasipoğlu reminded that he had served as a legal advisor in the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team during former Turkish Cypriot president Derviş Eroğlu’s term in office.
“I was present at numerous summits and am still following all developments related to the Cyprus Problem closely. Many of UBP’s constituents are telling me to run. The reason for this is the announcement by our party leader Tatar that he will not be running and my experience in foreign policy,” he said.
Hasipoğlu said that it was a fact that the public supported and wanted to see new faces in politics.
“I have yet to decide. I will evaluate my candidacy should my party’s relevant bodies approve and endorse my candidacy,” he said.
Yenidüzen’s Mert Özdağ on Wednesday compiled a review of the political parties’ positions regarding the upcoming presidential elections in his daily column.
He wrote that more or less all the major political parties will be deciding who to support or who to nominate for president in the autumn.
While the People’s Party (HP) has already stated it will not be supporting another party’s candidate, the Social Democratic Party (TDP) said it will be supporting Akıncı if he decides to run for a second term. Özdağ wrote that things were a little more complicated within UBP. While the party announced that the authorized bodies will decide who to nominate, UBP MP Zorlu Töre said that the party’s candidate should be decided by a congress. The Democratic Party (DP) on the other hand refrained from making any comments.