GCC Press Review 21 July 2019

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

5G: navigating the unknown

To business, it’s a revolution in technology, to others a concern.

  • 45 years since Turkish invasion Erdogan says Turkey would not hesitate to do it again if TCs threatened.
  • A sorry state The north’s ‘education paradise’ more ‘nightmare’ for African students.
  • Comment: We may all die in a divided Cyprus


(Kudret Ozersay:) “You turned down return of Famagusta”

There is risk of conflict over natural gas, says Kudret Ozersay.

  • Informal Crans-Montana: Three preconditions for start of talks
  • Last farewell to Alexis Galanos
  • Position: The ‘Barbaric Pirate’ (Editorial on the wrong way Nicosia is dealing with Turkey)
  • Androula Giourof: EU sanctions against Turkey, Russia and the US ‘wrath’ (opinion piece)
  • Andreas Angelides: The responsibility of the political leadership and the people (opinion piece)


Cyprob with Akinci or Kudret Ozersay

Natural gas will necessarily be on the table in a new round of talks on the Cyprob. The GC side is not willing to discuss it in advance, that’s why it unanimously rejected the proposal of TC leader Mustafa Akinci. Both Mr Akinci and Mr Ozersay seem to be accepted by Ankara, as Turkey declares it is ready for any agreed solution. The biggest problem for restarting talks in Cyprus is that no one  in the international community is in a hurry since everyone has other priorities. Support from Cavusoglu (to Akinci’s proposal on joint natural gas committee).

  • Interview: (Ioannis Kasoulides) The only way is the relaunch of the talks – We have reached a point where it is clear that the dilemma ‘we either solve the Cyprob or we remain as is’ no longer applies.
  • 45 years of invasion-occupation – The art that has become protest.
  • EU Commission President: Ursula (von der Leyen) is looking for commissioners – Who’s who on the new President of the Commission and decisions about the Cypriot name. The government suggests (EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos) Stylianides or (DISY vice-president & MP Stella) Kyriakides.
  • Chronicle: Attila’s wings over Cyprus in July 1974 (free supplement given with Sunday’s Politis)


Conference for strong players

Turkey will insist on a confederation and will throw the ball in the president’s court. Clarification of intentions will be sought at the five-party conference. A quarrel on the proposal (by Akinci in the occupied areas).

  • Foreign Office: The Treaty of Guarantee is illegal – What do the experts say.
  • Live testimonies: Open wounds for the children of the invasion –Events for memory and honour.
  • Ozdil Nami: It is the Cypriots’ responsibility to find a way out
  • Ioannis Kasoulides: We ought to submit a counterproposal to Akinci
  • EU: The targeted measures (against Turkey) from September
  • Academicians: We can follow France’s model (suggestion by academicians on looking into France’s semi-presidential system as regards the Cyprob solution)
  • Free book: A note pad of memories – A shocking document brought to light for the first time. The agony, fear, hope, desperation.
  • July 15, 1974 – August 25, 1975: Toula Liasis records daily moments in the shadow of the big tragic events.
  • Michalis Ignatiou: We must not be dragged into talks (opinion piece)
  • Marios Evriviades: Survival weapons against Turkish greed (opinion piece)
  • Christos Iacovou: Ayşe Tatile Çıksın (Ayshe should go on holiday) (opinion piece)
  • Yiannis Spanos: When crime remains unpunished (opinion piece)
  • Loukis Loukaides: Greece and Cyprus (opinion piece)


The Fatih did not find any (natural gas) reserves

The fake news was due to misunderstanding by Brussels on a ‘successful drilling’, that mobilised Nicosia and Ankara.

  • Andros Kyprianou: Anastasiades is leading us to partition
  • Akinci’s goals for the five-party conference
  • Main article: Our fury (on lack of progress on the Cyprob)
  • DISY-AKEL with new state of affairs – The two big ones are sending messages ahead of the Cyprob.
  • Turkey-US strategic relations are a minefield
  • Russian commandos for Erdogan (article on the offer by Putin to send Erdogan a group of Russian commandos based on Greek island during the coup attempt in Turkey)
  • The Turkish plans on Syria
  • (US Ambassador to Greece) Geoffrey Pyatt in Kathimerini: Reinforcement of defence relations with Greece.


Response with positions and not with rejection

AKEL’s letter to Mr Anastasiades on the position of the GC side on Akinci’s proposal on natural gas has suggestions, that, if adopted, may stir the waters.  The negative response to the TC leader’s proposal should be accompanied by an expression of readiness to resume negotiations, AKEL stresses, and calls on the president to do what’s necessary, so that the UN is convinced that the process will lead to meaningful progress.

  • In Cyprus’ long history never have so few people caused this much harm (editorial on the 1974 events)


Equitable share in the framework of a comprehensive solution

The American Ambassador, in her interview with Alithia, shows the way on natural gas. The US is worried about Turkish actions in the Cypriot EEZ, recognizing the right of the Republic of Cyprus for explorations in the EEZ and strongly supports the process of resolving the Cyprus problem based on a bizonal bicommunal federal solution.

  • Giorgos Vassiliou: Talks with a timeframe!
  • 45 Black July’s
  • Sickening Erdogan: Our army will do the same to you again, he threatens
  • AKEL to the president: We should respond to Akinci with countermeasures
  • Article-intervention by Christos Panayiotides: The Russian Ambassador underrates the IQ of the Cypriot people
  • Analysis: 45 years since our great military and political defeat

Main News

Erdogan: Turkey will do the same as in 1974 if TCs threatened

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Sunday Mail
Negotiations Process, External Security, Regional/External Relations


The dailies report that a series of events took place to mark the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened his country would not hesitate to do the same again if necessary.

According to the papers, Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, representing President Anastasiades at a memorial service in Phaneromeni in Nicosia, said that the GC side wanted the termination of the current unacceptable destabilising conditions and threats and the return to the negotiating table from where they left off in Crans Montana.

He added there was no room for guarantees and foreign armies but for the implementation of human rights, international law, and the principles of the EU for all its citizens.

Christodoulides said that there was no better way to honour the fallen and injured of the invasion than by reuniting Cyprus.

Meanwhile, Erdogan said Ankara would not hesitate to take the same actions as in 1974 if the TCs were threatened. He said Turkey conducted the ‘peace operation’ in order to protect the rights and interests of the TC people.

“No one should doubt that the glorious Turkish military, which does not consider Cyprus any different from its own homeland, will not hesitate, if needed, to once again take the step it took 45 years ago when it comes to the TCs’ lives and security,” Erdogan warned.

He added that the TCs were an integral part of the great Turkish nation. Those, who dream of changing that fact, will sooner or later realise that their efforts are in vain, he said.

Phileleftheros referred to celebrations of shame in the occupied areas, reporting that Turkish F16 jets flew for the first time over Pente Mili beach in Kyrenia while wreaths were laid in memory of Rauf Denktash who was among the leading figures of the TC terrorist group TMT, the paper reported.

Alithia reported that Erdogan was cynical, provocative and menacing. The paper also reported that the occupied areas celebrated this sad anniversary with fanfare, parades and overflights of Turkish fighter jets.

The Sunday Mail reported that celebrations were also held in the north to mark the invasion, with Turkish fighter jets flying over Nicosia and parades. In turn, political parties in the government-controlled areas condemned Erdogan’s provocative statements on the anniversary of the invasion, saying they were aimed at ratcheting-up tensions, the paper reports.

GCs want an end to unacceptable and destabilizing Turkish actions & to restart talks from where they left off in Crans-Montana.
>> There is no room for guarantees and foreign armies in Cyprus but only for the implementation of human rights, international law, and EU principles for all its citizens.
>> The best way to honour those who died and were injured is by reuniting Cyprus.

Erdogan (Turkey)
The Turkish army that does not distinguish between Cyprus and Turkey will not hesitate to take the same actions as in 1974 if the TCs’ lives and security are threatened.
>> TCs are integral part of the Great Turkish Nation & those who want to change  that will eventually realise their efforts are in vain.

Security Council concerned over lack of talks

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis, Sunday Mail
Negotiations Process, External Security


The papers report that UN Special Representative and head of UNFICYP Elizabeth Spehar briefed the UN Security Council in New York on Friday night on the latest developments and activities of both the peacekeeping force and the UN’s Good Offices in Cyprus.

Following the briefing, Spehar expressed hope the two leaders would meet soon, adding that UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute is looking to return to the island in the very near future though there is no information on that at the moment.

She also said that the Security Council remains interested and engaged on the Cyprus issue.

Spehar said, however, that despite the confidence-building measures achieved, the Council still shared concern over the lack of talks to settle the Cyprus issue.

“I underlined that we have just passed the two years since the end of the conference on Cyprus, and this is surely an issue of concern. They also shared my concern over the tensions in the area, including those off the coast of Cyprus.”

Spehar also said she informed the Security Council about UNFICYP’s critical role for keeping balance, especially on and around the buffer zone.

Asked about Lute’s efforts in Cyprus, Spehar said that they had not failed, and were continuing, and that the Secretary-General was clear in his report about wanting Lute to continue her consultations. She added that the Security Council wanted to know when talks might start, which Spehar said was in the hands of the parties involved.

Spehar (UN)
Hopes two leaders would soon meet.
>> UN Security Council remains interested & engaged on Cyprus issue but is concerned over lack of talks & tensions in the area including off Cyprus.
>> Proof Lute’s efforts have not failed is that Guterres wants her to continue her consultations.
>> It is up to the sides involved to decide when the talks will start.

AKEL shares ideas on ‘counterproposal’ to Akinci

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/External Relations

Haravgi, Alithia and Phileleftheros report that AKEL made public the letter it sent Anastasiades with its suggestions on how he should respond to Mustafa Akinci concerning his proposal on a joint committee on hydrocarbons which political leaders unanimously rejected earlier in the week.

The party urged Anastasiades in its letter to think through how he will respond, warning that the hourglass was running out while the risks are massive both for the country and the people.

AKEL called on the president to declare that if there is a strategic agreement to lead to a solution, then the involvement of the TCs in natural gas issues can be discussed.

The party also suggests reconfirming the Talat-Christofias convergences on maritime zones, natural resources and sharing of federal proceeds, as well as a commitment that after the solution, federal Cyprus will start talks with Turkey on delimitation of their EEZs based on the Law of the Sea, and that regardless of these negotiations, talks would start with Turkey also on the transfer of natural gas through a pipeline to Turkey.

AKEL also proposed the creation of a joint hydrocarbons fund.

Concerning the prospect of a five-party informal conference, Phileleftheros, in an opinion piece and citing secure sources, reports that Ankara will insist on the confederation model during the five-party conference, putting forth a two-state solution as an alternative. Well-informed sources told the daily that Turkish diplomacy is preparing ‘new ideas’ on the Cyprus problem while it will attempt to include in the agenda the natural gas issue as part of de-escalation efforts.

The paper also reports in the same piece that it is obvious from the UN procedures on UNFICYP, that the British predominantly attempt to promote the cooperation of two entities on the island, hence references in the report of the UN Secretary-General on the establishment of a mechanism for resolving the Cyprus problem, as well as the suggestions to the GCs to overcome their phobias over the recognition of the pseudo-state. This is a dangerous approach and plan that refers to two states, a model that clearly does not serve the interests of Britain on the island. This, however, has not been understood by technocrats of the Foreign Office who are promoting policies affecting the Republic of Cyprus, the paper said. It is clear they make use of the political vacuum in London to move freer and openly against Cyprus, Phileleftheros said.

In an opinion piece, Politis, citing political analysts, reports that the true dilemma of the GC side is not the management of natural gas but whether to engage at the moment or not in a serious negotiation on the Cyprus problem and with whom.

Citing a foreign diplomatic source, the daily reports that Mustafa Akinci declares he is willing to start talks and agreed to a five-party conference on Cyprus while on the other hand, Kudret Ozersay is sending out the message that once elected, a new round of talks would be launched based on new ideas.

Ankara seems to be fine with both of them since Turkey declares a willingness to accept any solution.

According to a European diplomat, the GC side, before the dilemma, seems undecided as to what it wants. In the case of a five-party conference everyone knows that natural gas will necessarily be the seventh chapter of the Guterres Framework given Turkish drillings and drilling programme within the Cypriot EEZ, matching that of the Republic of Cyprus, the paper said.

In such a case, President Anastasiades, according to those close to him, will attempt a give-and-take negotiation concerning governance chapters and effective TC participation, but also security and guarantees so that the negotiations are short and substantive, the daily reported.

Calls on Anastasiades to carefully consider his response to Akinci keeping in mind time is running out, to the detriment of Cyprus & its people.
>> Suggests the GC side express willingness to discuss the involvement of the TCs in natural gas issues after a strategic agreement is achieved that would lead to a solution.
>> Suggests reconfirming the Talat-Christofias convergences on maritime zones, natural resources and sharing of federal proceeds.
>> Suggests letting Turkey know that after the solution, federal Cyprus will start talks with her on EEZ delimitation based on Law of the Sea but also talks on the transfer of natural gas through a pipeline to Turkey, regardless of EEZ talks.
>> Suggests the creation of a joint hydrocarbons fund with TCs.

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