Front Page Headlines
Tense wait for the development plan
The development plan for Famagusta-İskele (Trikomo)-Yeniboğaiçi (Agios Sergios) is near completion. The mayors in the area are not happy with the plan. According to the draft, several areas in İskele’s (Trikomo) Long Beach area have been closed to construction. Others have been declared agricultural land. There are plans to move the industrial zone to Topçuköy (Agios Andronikos/ Topsioukeuy) and an area allocated for the construction of a university campus turned out to be forest land. The boundaries of the campus site will now be shifted. There are also plans to close parts of Mormenekşe (Limnia) and Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) to construction. A large section of Kuzucuk (Arnadi) and Ötüken (Spathariko) will also be closed to development.
Minimum wage discussions drowned in polemics
Following the first meeting of the commission to set the new minimum wage, the involved parties spoke to Kıbrıs Postası. The workers’ representative General Secretary of HÜR-İŞ (Free workers’ trade unions federation) claimed that the government which is suspiciously silent is in bed with the employers. HÜR-İŞ representative Hüseyin Yeltekin claims the labour minister Faiz Sucuoğlu will try to set the minimum wage at around ₺3,500 in line with the employers’ demands even though there should have been a process of give-and-take.
- Leaders expected to hold an unofficial meeting in the first week of August
- Have to be extremely cautious about the five-party meeting – Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said.
- A presidential system could be discussed – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said.
- Alparslan Türkeş’ home opened as a museum – One of the leading figures in Turkish politics, home of Turkish Cypriot Alparslan Türkeş (late leader of Nationalist People’s Party) opened as a museum.
11 draft bills scrapped, the fate of four unknown
Following the recent change in government, it is becoming clearer now how many of the draft bills will be scrapped and how many will continue to be discussed at the parliamentary sub-committee level. It has been decided by the National Unity Party (UBP)-People’s Party (HP) coalition that discussions on 33 pieces of draft legislation will continue.
- Alparslan Türkeş museum opened – The home in which Alparslan Türkeş was born in, inaugurated as a museum.
- Akıncı–Anastasiades expected to meet in the first week of August – It is expected that President Mustafa Akıncı and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades will hold an unofficial meeting.
- Different solution models must be tabled – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said there should be different solution models on the table in addition to the federal one during the unofficial five-party meeting.
Women MPs are not idle in parliament
Havadis conducts a sincere interview with People’s Party (HP) MP Gülşah Sanver Manavoğlu. They talked about Manavoğlu’s life as they cooked, brewed coffee while their children played in the background.
- Everyone to lose from tensions – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Fikri Toros responded to Havadis’ questions on the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Maraş (Varosha) initiative, and the Cyprus problem.
- Scrap metal problem will come to an end – Candan Avunduk, head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry said the chamber is determined to end the scrap metal and industrial waste problem at Nicosia’s industrial zone.
Municipalities will grow stronger
The Economic Protocol to be signed between Turkey and the TRNC does not envisage bringing the Theology College (Lycee) under the control of Ankara. The interim protocol which covers the next five months envisages the passing of various laws and preparing the ground for the new protocol.
- ‘It will be opened and developed’ – Özersay spoke to a Greek Cypriot newspaper saying: “You rejected the return of Maraş (Varosha).”
This is peace
In defiance of the statements of politicians at the top, relatives and families of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot victims of war in Cyprus embrace each another and lay flowers at the graves of the deceased. This should set an example for everyone.
- Towards an informal five-party conference – The five-party conference which will provide a clearer picture of the situation is expected to convene in September at the level of technocrats.
- Other models should be brought up – Kudret Özersay expressed caution over a five-party meeting. He said that reassurances should be given that alternatives to a federation model will be discussed at the meeting.
Özersay & Tatar express caution over an informal five-party meetingYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Energy, Property, Territory,Regional/International Relations
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Saturday that the Turkish Cypriot side needs to be very careful regarding a possible five-party meeting.
He said that the government did not support the idea of resuming negotiations on the same basis as the previous negotiating process.
He said that reassurances must be given that a partnership model other than that of a federation can be discussed at the meeting.
Speaking to Bayrak TV, Özersay said that the Greek Cypriot side needed to show with action, not words that it was ready to share power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots.
“Failure to do so will make it a waste of time to sit at the negotiating table,” he said.
The way to do this is to sit down with us and discuss how we are going to co-manage and share the island’s hydrocarbons without having to wait for a solution, he added.
Özersay said the issue of natural gas must be discussed as a second heading in any informal five-party meeting.
“The Greek Cypriot side is saying that it is ready to cooperate with Turkey on the issue of natural gas. We are calling on the Greek Cypriots to cooperate. Turkey is already cooperating with us. That is why this issue must be discussed as a second issue at the informal five-party meeting. This has to be agreed by the sides before the meeting takes places,” he said.
Özersay added that the delineation of maritime zones also needed to be addressed.
On the five-party meeting, Özersay said that there was no common ground for negotiations to resume. He said that contacts held by the UN Secretary General’s special envoy Jane Holl Lute revealed the Greek Cypriot leadership rejected even the most basic parameters of a federal settlement.
“How are we to believe there is a common vision or understanding to restart talks? Are we to fool ourselves? There is no common ground if the Greek Cypriots cannot even accept the most basic principle of political equality which forms the basis of a federal settlement. There is no point in restarting talks based on a federal model if this is the case. We will just be trapped in the status quo again,” he said.
That is why we need to hold talks based on an alternative and new solution model, one that will be realistic and in line with the present conditions on the island, Özersay added.
Also speaking to Bayrak TV, Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said that the hydrocarbon issue should be discussed during the informal five-party meeting.
“To restart negotiations without doing this could lead to serious consequences for the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.
Tatar also said that other solution models apart from a federation need to be brought to the table and discussed during the informal five-party meeting.
“A federal settlement in Cyprus is no longer possible,” Tatar said, warning that the Turkish Cypriot side needed to be careful during the informal meeting not to be tricked into entering a new round of endless talks to achieve a federal settlement.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Fikri Toros expressed the view on Monday that the most logical and reasonable method of transferring the region’s natural gas to Europe was via Turkey.
In an interview with Havadis, he added the issue of sharing the resources in the Eastern Mediterranean had political, economic and security implications and that the biggest political issue was the Cyprus problem.
Toros added that high security risks, drilling in very deep waters and the need to use advanced but expensive technology were among the other challenges for hydrocarbon exploitation in the region.
“The island’s deposits will either bring peace or deepen problems in the region,” he said.
Ruling out the possibility of a heated conflict, Toros said commercial feasibility studies have revealed three possible methods for marketing of the resources.
The first is to collect all the natural gas in one centre and pump it to Turkey through pipelines from Cyprus. The natural gas will then be liquefied in Turkey. The cost of the first option is approximately five billion US dollars. The second option is to build an LNG plant in South Cyprus or Egypt. The cost of this option is approximately $12.5 billion. The third one is the EastMed pipeline project that covers Israel, South Cyprus, Crete, and Italy. Such a project would cost $19 billion. “The cost-effectiveness of the first option highlights the urgent need to solve the Cyprus problem and to normalize relations between Turkey and Cyprus,” Toros said.
He added that failure to do so will result in a continued struggle for power and sovereignty between the two communities.
Toros also recalled the Greek Cypriot side has been rejecting the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals since 2011 to co-manage hydrocarbon resources.
Toros, responding to a question on government’s Maraş (Varosha) decision, said: “There are ways to reopen the town without having to wait for the solution if it is going to generate the necessary leverage towards a solution.”
He recalled that returning Maraş (Varosha) has been on the table since 1994 and added that he is in favour of reopening the town for settlement as it is a huge missed opportunity for Cyprus.
Toros also linked the Maraş (Varosha) issue to pending property cases at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
He added that despite Ersin Tatar’s and Kudret Özersay’s speculative and conflicting statements, the only legitimate title deeds which are recognized by the ECHR were the ones dating back to 1974.
Toros drew attention to the risks involved with the government’s decision to conduct an inventory study. He said should the inventory study confirm the Evkaf administration’s property claims, the Turkish Cypriot side could face the risk of losing its ground on the property chapter. “We will reach a deadlock at the ECHR and the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) might even be annulled as a result,” Toros stressed.
Responding to a final question on the Cyprus talks process, Toros said the Turkish Cypriot community continues to suffer economically as a result of the non-solution of the Cyprus Problem.
He added, “the people’s desire for a solution is there but they have lost their belief and hopes.”
>> TC side needs to be very careful about an informal five-party meeting.
>> Government does not support resumption of talks based on the previous negotiations process.
>> Reassurance should be given to discuss other models than a federation.
>> GC side needs to show it is ready to share power & wealth with TCs not with words but with action.
>> Failure to do so will be a waste of time.
>> Hydrocarbons should be part of discussions at the five-party meeting. Sides need to sit down & discuss how to co-manage & share the island’s hydrocarbons without having to wait for a solution.
>> Delineation of maritime zones also need to be addressed at the five-party meeting.
>> No common ground for negotiations on federal partnership. GC leadership rejects most basic principle of federal settlement, TC political equality.
>> New discussions should focus on alternative & new models which are realistic & in line with current conditions.
>> Hydrocarbons need to be included in five-party meeting discussions.
>> Failure to include hydrocarbons in discussions will have serious consequences for TCs.
>> Other solution models need to be brought to table.
>> A federal settlement is no longer possible.
>> TC side must be careful not to be tricked into new process of endless talks on federation.
>> The most logical & reasonable method is to transfer the natural gas via Turkey to Europe.
>> The issue of sharing the resources in the East Med has political, economic & security aspects.
>> The biggest political issue in the hydrocarbon crisis is the Cyprob.
>> Reserves will either bring peace or deepen the political problems in the region.
>> Commercial feasibility studies have shown three ways to market resources & most feasible option is to transfer the natural gas to Europe via Turkey.
>> The cost-effectiveness of transferring natural gas via Turkey highlights the urgent need to solve Cyprob to normalize relations between Turkey & Cyprus.
>> If Cyprob is not solved, the island will continue to suffer from the continuing struggle for power and sovereignty between the two communities.
>> There are ways to reopen Maraş (Varosha) without having to wait for a solution if it is going to generate the necessary leverage towards a solution.
>> Despite speculative statements by Tatar & Özersay, the only legitimate title-deeds are dated 1974. ECHR only recognizes these.
>> If inventory study confirms Evkaf administration’s property claims, the TC side could lose its ground on the property chapter.
>> A deadlock could be experienced at the ECHR and IPC might even be annulled as a result.
>> TCC continues to suffer economically as a result of the non-solution.
>> The people’s desire for a solution is there but there is a loss of belief and hope.
Oktay says Turkey determined to continue drillingYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Turkey will continue its drilling activities with determination, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Sunday from Kyrenia.
“Whoever intends to limit the Turkish continental shelf in the Gulf of Antalya should be aware that Turkey will pursue its exploration and drilling activities with determination,” Anadolu News Agency quoted him as saying.
“Every centimetre of our land is valuable and essential,” he added during the launch of a rescue ship called Gemi Kurtaran.
The rescue ship will be used in possible sea accidents in the Mediterranean and also to prevent pollution, Oktay said.
“Turkey defends the eastern Mediterranean so it is a sea of peace and it is right to extract the natural resources and thus to share them”, he added.
>> Turkey will continue drilling activities in East Med. with determination.
>> Every cm of land is valuable and essential for Turkey.
>> Turkey defends the East Med so it is a sea of peace & it is right to extract the natural resources & thus to share them.
Leaders set to meet early AugustYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
President Mustafa Akıncı is set to have a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades before the middle of August, Turkish Cypriot dailies reported on Monday.
Citing reliable sources, the papers reported that the meeting will take place as soon as Anastasiades recovers from his recent hip surgery.