GCC Press Review 19 July 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Guterres waits for a joint signal from the leaders

The UN is putting forth preconditions for convening a five-party conference. (TC leader’s spokesman Barish) Burcu told Politis the proposal for a private meeting came from the TC side. For now, the UN Secretary-General is not actively involved.

  • Moscow’s stance over measures against Turkey sparks moans

Phileleftheros

He is throwing the ball in Akinci’s court

The president declares he is ready for a meeting and refers to the June 14 letter. Message to Turkey that she must end her unlawful actions.

  • (Greek FM Nikos) Dendias asked for a clear stance by (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo – Main focus is on Turkey’s provocations.
  • Government officials check the legs of disabled persons to see if they ‘grew back’ – Buildup of bitterness and exasperation.
  • No F-35 programme for Turkey

Haravgi

Informal five-party conference to break the deadlock

The President of the Republic expressed satisfaction yesterday over the fact Mustafa Akinci is proposing an informal conference with the same composition as in Crans-Montana. The aim, AKEL stresses, would be the creation of preconditions for the talks to resume from where they left off in Crans-Montana and based on the UNSG’s framework.

  • They bowed the knee before Limassol’s Resistance during the 1974 treasonous coup
  • A meeting was immediately arranged between the labour minister and those injured during the 1974 war so that the government is not exposed

Cyprus Mail

‘We’ve turned into an open-air club’

Ayia Napa mayor ‘saddened’ over state of affairs as 12 Israeli tourists remanded in gang rape case.

Alithia

Warning by Moody’s

It is pointing out the possible risks and adventures from the new legal framework on foreclosures the majority of the House plenum ‘passed’. The president refers, possibly even today, the law but the harm has been done since our credibility has taken a blow by this sudden change to “the rules of the game”.

  • First a meeting and at the end of the tunnel… Crans-Montana? – The president did not let the opportunity of Akinci’s letter go unutilised. The president calls on Turkey to actively contribute to the creation of a conducive climate.
  • AKEL: Lukewarm reaction to the Russian ‘backstabbing’
  • Turkey is off the F-35 programme – Trump did not do Erdogan a ‘favour’.
  • Golden Dawn trial – Fyssas’ murderer was provocative: “It was just a homicide.”

Main News

Anastasiades says ready to meet Akinci

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Energy

OVERVIEW

All papers report that President Nicos Anastasiades expressed readiness to meet TC leader Mustafa Akinci to discuss the details of an informal five-party conference on the Cyprus problem in the hope that it could lead to the resumption of talks.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Thursday Anastasiades expressed satisfaction over Akinci’s request to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene 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.

Prodromou said Akinci’s proposal was essentially adopting a proposal made by Anastasiades in a letter to the UNSG on June 14. He said Anastasiades was ready to meet Akinci to discuss the details and the date of convening an informal conference of a procedural nature with the same lineup as in Crans-Montana “with the hope that such an informal conference, properly prepared, would lead to the resumption of talks.”

Prodromou said a resumption of talks would mean that Turkey too would actively contribute towards the creation of the suitable climate by ending her illegal actions, either in the Republic’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or through plans relating to the closed-off area of Famagusta.

Most papers also cite a government source that told the Cyprus News Agency that the ball now is in Akinci’s court and that, depending on developments, it will be seen whether the TC leader is acting on his own or in cooperation with Ankara. Akinci’s response is expected to clear the picture as regards the arrival of UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute to Cyprus.

Politis, reported that Akinci’s spokesman Barish Burcu, told the daily that given that the idea of a meeting between the two leaders for preparation ahead of the informal five-party conference was the TC leader’s, he naturally does not object.

The daily also reports that a UN source said they are welcoming the statements but they are not enough to justify the involvement of Guterres at the moment. The source reiterated the call to the two sides that they must find common ground and agree on the next steps and jointly call on Guterres to take initiative with more specific data for resuming the negotiations.

Haravgi reports that Akinci said in a twitter message that the road to cooperation with Turkey first goes through cooperation with the TCs in response to  the GC side’s contention that cooperation with Turkey would benefit everyone.

Alithia reported that ruling DISY, main opposition AKEL and newly-established DIPA have welcomed Anastasiades’ willingness to meet Akinci, while DIKO said the response to the new PR stunt by the occupation leader annuls what Anastasiades himself has been saying on the termination of the Turkish provocations in the Cypriot EEZ as a precondition for convening a five-party conference.

The Citizens’ Alliance, the Greens and ELAM were against a five-party conference, the daily reported.

Haravgi wondered if the call to Akinci for a meeting meant that the ice is breaking. Is there a crack to the deadlock the Cyprus problem is in? That is the question but also hope after Anastasiades’ satisfaction with the fact that Akinci suggests an informal conference on the Crans-Montana model, the daily said.

KEY ACTORS
Prodromou
>>
Anastasiades is satisfied with Akinci’s request to UNSG for a five-party informal meeting Crans Montana style to see if everyone is on board for a BBF solution & is ready to meet the TC leader to discuss details in hope that the five-party meeting if properly prepared, would lead to resumption of talks.
>> Akinci, in fact, adopted Anastasiades’ proposal in his June 14 letter to the UNSG.
>> For the talks to resume it would mean that Turkey must actively contribute towards the creation of the suitable climate by ending her illegal actions, either in the RoC’s EEZ or through plans on Varosha.

Burcu (Akinci’s spokesman)
>>
 Given that the idea of a meeting between the two leaders was Akinci’s, the TC leader is not negative to meeting Anastasiades.

Akinci
>>
Wants GC side to know that cooperation with Turkey first goes through cooperation with the TCs.

DISY, AKEL, DIPA
>>
Welcome Anastasiades’ willingness to meet Akinci.

DIKO
>>
Criticises Anastasiades that he annuls what he has been declaring on the termination of the Turkish provocations in the Cypriot EEZ as a precondition for convening a five-party conference.
>> Akinci’s suggestion for a meeting with Anastasiades is his latest PR stunt.

Citizens’ Alliance, Greens, ELAM
>>
Not in favour of a five-party conference.


AKEL: Government’s choices caused Russia’s reaction to EU measures on Turkey

Alithia, Haravgi, Politis
Energy, EU Matters, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Reactions continue against Russia’s support to Ankara over the EU measures imposed on Turkey, according to the papers.

Politis cites government sources saying Russia’s arguments on the matter do not hold ground since Turkey is an EU accession candidate and the measures taken are at that level and not at sanctions level as Russia maintains.

The same sources said that what’s important is that Russia does not seem to change her stance on the Cyprus problem and continues to criticise Turkey’s moves in the Cypriot EEZ, the paper reported.

Haravgi reports that AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said Russia’s stance on the issue of EU measures against Turkey was a negative development but accused the government that it was Nicosia’s strategic choice to tether itself to the USA-NATO chariot and the fact it aligned itself with western aggression against Russia caused this reaction. The choices of the government have harmed Cyprus-Russia relations, he said.

He noted that Russia however continues to support the resumption of talks and a solution based on the UN parameters.

Stefanou called on the government to restore relations with Russia.

Alithia is criticising AKEL over its lukewarm stance over Russia’s reaction to measures against Turkey and Moscow’s clearly anti-Cypriot stance.

The paper said AKEL is blaming the government.

Both Alithia and Haravgi report that Russia’s permanent representative to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, told Sputnik that the EU’s position was understandable but those sanctions do not solve any problems.

He also recalled that the EU has an agreement with Turkey on the migration issue which is effective therefore the EU ought to tread carefully. Chizhov also said that Turkey’s actions in the Cypriot EEZ do not help in efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The Russian diplomat said his country wants a solution to the Cyprus problem and that dialogue was the way to go, the papers report.

KEY ACTORS
Stefanou (AKEL)

>> Russia’s stance on the issue of EU measures against Turkey is negative development but it is the government’s fault for tethering Cyprus to the USA-NATO chariot and for aligning with western aggression against Russia.
>> Calls on the government, whose choices have dealt a blow to relations with Russia, to restore these relations.
>>  Finds positive that Russia continues to support the resumption of talks and solution to the Cyprob based on UN parameters.

Chizhov (Russia’s EU perm rep)
>>
Russia can see why the EU imposed measures on Turkey but sanctions do not solve any problems.
>> Urges the EU to be careful not to disturb relations with Turkey given the bloc relies on her on the migration issue.
>> Turkey’s actions in the Cypriot EEZ do not help in efforts for the solution of the Cyprob, which Russia wants to see solved. Dialogue is the right way to go.


New Greek defence minister on first visit to Cyprus

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
External Security, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

According to the papers, Defence Minister Sawas Angelides will receive his Greek counterpart Nicos Panagiotopoulos on Friday to discuss among other things Turkey’s activities in Cyprus’ EEZ.

Angelides told the Cyprus News Agency that during their talks Panagiotopoulos would be briefed on the cooperation between the two ministries, as well as between the National Guard General Staff and the Hellenic National Defence General Staff. He also noted that even though the intergovernmental defence council will not convene during Panagiotopoulos’ visit, they would touch upon issues discussed in the framework of the Council, which met in May.

Angelides said Panagiotopoulos would be briefed on Turkey’s activities in Cyprus’ EEZ and the actions undertaken by the government at the political level, to address the moves. “We will exchange views and we will listen to the positions of the new Greek government on this,” Angelides added.

Panagiotopoulos will also represent the Greek government at the events organised on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion on July 20.

Phileleftheros, in another article, reports that the Turkish aggression in the Republic of Cyprus’ sea area was the focus of a meeting by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias with his American counterpart Mike Pompeo.

 Dendias said after the meeting that, as regards Turkish threats in the Aegean and the Cypriot EEZ, he asked Pompeo that the US keep a clear stance expressing support to Greece against Turkish aggression, the daily reported.

The minister said Greece has asked for a direct communication line in the case of any issues concerning relations with Turkey where the US stance would be useful, according to the paper.

Haravgi and Phileleftheros also report on the illegal visit to the occupied areas on Friday by Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay to attend events for the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.


Ozersay: informal five-party conference should discuss type of solution

Politis
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that TC ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay said he has informally discussed his ideas on the Cyprus problem with GC politicians.

The paper reports on Ozersay’s interview with Sigma TV during which he said he was against an informal five-party conference for the sides to agree to resume negotiations from where they left off in Crans Montana. The only way he would back such a meeting is if sides discuss the basis of the desired solution.

He reiterated that there are no suitable conditions for a federal solution, noting that he has discussed his ideas for some type of cooperation between two states with GC politicians.

According to Politis, Ozersay said he feels that the problem is not about GCs accepting any changes but the attitude of the international community. There are specific issues that cannot be discussed publicly and it is necessary at least in principle, to have an informal dialogue and debate so that one does not need to defend their ideas later, he said. Therefore, this is why sometimes being in the same room as the United Nations is not beneficial, he said according to Politis.

KEY ACTORS
Ozersay
>>
Not in favour of informal five-party conference to discuss resumption of talks from where they left off. Prefers discussion to focus on the type of solution sought.
>> Suitable conditions for federal solution do not exist.
>> Discussed ideas on two-state cooperation model with GC politicians.
>> The problem is not GCs accepting any changes but the attitude of the international community. It is best not to discuss publicly some issues, but have informal dialogue instead so that one does not need to defend their ideas at a later stage. That is why sometimes being in the same room as the UN is not beneficial.


Injured war veterans fed up with state callousness

Phileleftheros
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

Persons who were amputated due to war injuries or suffer from other serious conditions due to injuries sustained at the battle field, complained that they are being treated poorly by state services dealing with their cases, the daily reported.

The Pancyprian Organisation for the Rehabilitation of War Disabled Persons, said they would not attend Saturday’s event at the Presidential Palace to mark the July 20,1974 invasion in protest.

The group’s chairman Giorgos Groutides, told Phileleftheros that state services continue to demand to check the amputated legs of some of these people to confirm their disability.

He wondered if they want to check if they grew back, the paper reported.

He said the last straw was an incident concerning a man with an amputated leg who almost died after he was administered an intravenous antibiotic for a wound in his cut limb. The man in question was an army officer who fought in the Omorfita battles and had saved many soldiers, Groutides told the paper.

He added that three disabled men who are waiting for approval for their artificial limbs to be changed are facing difficulties because the competent state service lost their applications, while there are also delays as regards travel arrangements for these people to travel abroad to the centre where they will have their limbs changed.

He said that another man is waiting for months for special shoes; another person, whose jaw was injured by a bullet, has been waiting for two years to tackle the problems in his mouth.

Another man was called in by officials to verify if one of his legs was still shorter than the other.

“Did they really think it would improve?” Groutides asked.


‘Turkey’s policy on GC properties is a form of ethnic cleansing’

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Property, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

According to the dailies, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the Council of Europe Spyros Attas said Ankara is investing political capital in an effort to end supervision of the Titina Loizidou case which is pending before the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Attas told the Cyprus News Agency the case was not closed during the Committee’s last session in June as Turkey wanted, but the way ahead is expected to be difficult, the papers report. The ambassador described Nicosia’s effort in Strasbourg as difficult, saying Cyprus often fights uneven battles on a range of issues concerning property rights of displaced GCs, missing persons and the enclaved. The continuation of the supervision of those cases puts intense pressure on Turkey and that is why Ankara is in such a haste to terminate this procedure, without being successful so far, he said.

In relation to the property cases, Attas says that Turkey’s main goal is to persuade others that the only way to solve the issue, before or after a Cyprus settlement, is through the Immovable Property Commission. He added that, by using the highly problematic and ineffective modus operandi of the IPC, in practice, Turkey continues systematically her policy to wipe out and ultimately Turkify GC properties. This is a way for Turkey to continue ethnic cleansing through ‘civilized’ means, which is being enforced in the occupied areas since 1974, he said.

In relation to the Loizidou case, Attas said that Ankara shows particular persistence, investing also a great deal of political capital at a higher level in a bid to terminate the supervision of the case. Turkey not only failed to implement the ECHR decision of 1996, but on the contrary, it has been particularly keen in usurping Loizidou’s property and distributing it to so-called TC refugees, he said.

In this case, he said, Turkey did not manage to persuade the Committee of Ministers yet that it did everything possible and that it acted in good faith in order to provide restitution of Loizidou’s property rights. This is why the case was not closed in the Committee’s session last June, he adds.

Asked about cases in the European Court of Human Rights, which concern GC properties within the fenced-off part of Famagusta, the ambassador said the issue was ongoing and is being handled by the competent authorities, the papers report.