TCC Press Review 30 July 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

We also brought down the historic walls

A large chunk of Nicosia’s old Venetian walls on Cephane (Guerini) bastion collapsed. A large part of the old walls, which are a symbol of Nicosia’s history and culture, collapsed. The public reacted to the neglected state of the old walls.

  • “We’ve been waiting for our test results for the past 12 days. What would happen if we die?” – Family of 69-year-old Kasım Aktaş who has been fighting with West Nile virus expresses anger over delays.

Kıbrıs Postası

Let’s show the world how comfortable Anastasiades is with the status quo

Main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman spoke to Kıbrıs Postası on issues ranging from the economic protocol to the Cyprus problem.

  • “I hope for new and constructive progress from the Akıncı-Anastasiades meeting” – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed his wishes during his first official visit to South Cyprus.
  • “If the methodology is wrong, then we will do it through legislation” – The government’s decision to cut two per cent from cost-of-living allowance rejected by the Supreme Court.

Kıbrıs

Two per cent cost-of-living allowance against the constitution

The Supreme Court ordered the cancellation of the government’s decision to slash two per cent from the cost-of-living allowance reflected on public servants’ salaries. The court said that the decision could not be taken by political decree and that such a move would be a gross violation of the TRNC constitution. Government spokesman Kudret Özersay said the government retained its political will and that the two per cent cut will be implemented through legislative action.

  • The historical wall collapsed in Nicosia – A section of the 16th century Venetian walls in Nicosia collapsed. Ali Tuncay, TC chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage said trees and other bushes growing on and around the walls are damaging the structures.
  • €36,000 withdrawn – Police discovered €36,241 had been withdrawn from Obasanje Adeola Owoyale’s bank account days before he was murdered. The Nicosia court ordered the five suspects to be remanded in police custody for an additional four days.

Havadis

Planned development is a must

Cafer Gürcafer, head of the Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors’ Association, said there is little disagreement with the government regarding the Famagusta-İskele (Trikomo)-Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios) development master plan. Gürcafer added that planning and development have to go hand in hand. He said a false perception has been created against the building contractors but in reality, they are the ones pioneering the efforts for a development master plan.

  • Disappearing history – While the derelict and abandoned structures within Nicosia’s walled city continue to pose serious risks, the old Venetian walls encircling old Nicosia have started to collapse.
  • “Turkey will be given a response” – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis threatened Turkey the moment he arrived in the south for his first official visit abroad.

Diyalog

He started with threats

Greece’s new Prime Minister Mitsotakis unexpectedly gave harsh messages on the Cyprus Issue. “We shall respond if provoked,” he said. Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay responded: “If Mitsotakis is looking for an invasion he should first look at the Cyprus Republic which was occupied by Greek Cypriots.”

  • Haven’t seen anything like this – Firetruck which went to put out a fire was engulfed and burned by flames. 
  • It will be a determining factor– Greek Cypriot government spokesman Prodromou says they are focused on the leaders’ meeting on August 9.

Afrika

They’re collapsing

This is what we have become. Our walls are crumbling. A section of the walls on the Guerini bastion in Nicosia has started to collapse. Serkan İlseven from the Environmental Protection Foundation (ÇEKOVA) warned that more of the old Venetian walls could collapse due to their neglected state. He said that the roots of shurbs and bushes growing within the cracks of the walls were constantly expanding and growing, putting pressure on the stones.

Main News

Greek PM’s remarks anger TC officials

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot officials were angered by remarks made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during his recent visit to Cyprus.

Mitsotakis’ remark that the north was under Turkish occupation was met with fierce criticism on Monday by Prime Minister Ersin Tatar who accused Greece and the Greek Cypriots of failing to see the realities on the island.

“They act as if there are only Greek Cypriots living on this island,” Tatar said.

Tatar pointed out that Greek and Greek Cypriot officials were constantly issuing statements ignoring the rights, interests and sensitivities of Turkish Cypriots.

He added that Turkish Cypriots couldn’t look at such statements positively.

“Such statements prove that it is not possible to reach a settlement in Cyprus. We shall continue on our path which is the path of the TRNC,” Tatar concluded.

In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay described the Greek prime minister’s statements as outdated.

“Mitsotakis can look at the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral activities which usurp Turkish Cypriots’ rights if he is looking for unlawful activity in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Özersay said following a cabinet meeting on Monday.

“No one should attempt to discount the fact the Turkish army’s presence on the island is the result of Greece’s coup d’état. The Turkish armed forces had intervened to put an end to an occupation,” Özersay stressed.

He said that if the Greek Premier was looking for an occupation, the Republic of Cyprus was the best example.

“I recommend he looks at the Republic of Cyprus which is under the occupation of the Greek Cypriots.”

Also commenting on Mitsotakis’ remarks concerning Maraş (Varosha), Özersay recalled that Maraş (Varosha) wouldn’t have been an issue had the Greek Cypriots seized the opportunity presented by the solution plans or confidence-building measure proposals put before them.

He added that the former residents of Maraş (Varosha) are no doubt stakeholders but neither the Greek Cypriot political leadership nor Greece had the right to say anything about Maraş (Varosha) under the current circumstances.

“Neither Greece nor the Greek Cypriot side are our interlocutors on the issue of Maraş (Varosha),” Özersay concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> Greeks & GCs fail to see the realities of the island.
>> They act as if only GCs are living in Cyprus.
>> Greek & GC statements ignore rights, interests and sensitivities of TCs & prove it is not possible to reach an agreement on the island.
>> TCs continuing on path of the TRNC.

Özersay (HP)
>> GC side’s unilateral activities which usurp TC rights is a good example of unlawful activity in the East Med.
>> No one should forget the Turkish army’s presence in Cyprus is the result of Greece’s coup d’état.
>> RoC is a good example of occupation if Greek PM is looking for one.
>> Maraş (Varosha) issue would not have existed if GCs had accepted settlement plan or confidence-building measure on town.
>> The former residents of Maraş (Varosha) are no doubt stakeholders.
>> Neither the GC political leadership nor Greece have a right to say on Maraş (Varosha). Neither are TC side’s interlocutor on the issue.


Erhürman: Anastasiades comfortable with status quo

Kıbrıs Postası, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory, Governance & Power Sharing, Energy

OVERVIEW

Main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said on Monday that the world needs to see how comfortable the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades is with the continuation of the status quo.

Erhürman also highlighted the need to be proactive in foreign policy.

Speaking on Kıbrıs Postası TV, Erhürman said several steps from different directions were needed to create momentum on the Cyprus Problem. “We have to take steps to generate economic dynamism, drive the negotiations process and to let the world see who is comfortable with the status quo,” he said.

Touching upon the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Erhürman said he supported action being taken on the issue of Maraş (Varosha), particularly at times such as these when there was a deadlock on the Cyprus Problem and a federation was not being discussed at the negotiating table.

He said that it was better than sitting around and waiting for something to happen.

Erhürman in response to a question on the hydrocarbon crisis accused the Greek Cypriot side of acting irrationally and questioned why the Greek Cypriot side refrained from forming a joint committee on hydrocarbons when it agrees to work together in committees on other issues.

“Turkish Cypriots are not beneficiaries on this island, they are co-owners,” Erhürman stressed.

Asked to comment on the possibility of his nomination for the upcoming presidential elections, Erhürman said this is a matter for CTP to discuss and decide.

“It is unnecessary to launch a new debate on elections where there are so many other issues which require urgent attention,” Erhürman said.

National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Monday said that the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) was no longer part of a comprehensive settlement.

He argued that the Greek Cypriot side has missed its chance on five different occasions in the past.

In a written statement, Hasipoğlu stressed that any formula on the issue of Maraş (Varosha) must be in the best interest of the town’s rightful owners and the entire island.

“I believe we will be able to find such a formula,” Hasipoğlu added.

Hasipoğlu also argued that the Greek Cypriot side was responsible for the fenced-off city remaining closed through various excuses but most importantly by rejecting a comprehensive settlement. Hasipoğlu recalled in chronological order all five times the Greek Cypriot side rejected proposals on Maraş (Varosha), whether it was through the rejection of comprehensive solution plans or confidence-building measure packages

KEY ACTORS
Erhürman (CTP)
>> TC side must show the world GC leader is comfortable with the status quo.
>> TC side needs to be proactive in foreign policy.
>> TC side must take steps to generate economic dynamism, drive the negotiations process.
>> Action on Maraş (Varosha) good, particularly at times when the Cyprus talks process is in deadlock & when federation is not foreseen.
>> GC side is acting irrationally on hydrocarbons issues. GCs oppose joint committee on hydrocarbons when they cooperate in committees on other issues.
>> TCs are co-owners of island, not beneficiaries.

Hasipoğlu (UBP)
>> Maraş (Varosha) is no longer part of the comprehensive settlement plan.
>> Maraş (Varosha) formula must be in the best interest of rightful owners & Cyprus.
>> GC side responsible for keeping Maraş (Varosha) closed through different excuses & by rejecting its return on five different occasions through comprehensive solution plans & CBM packages.


A section of Nicosia’s Guerini Bastion collapses

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

All six dailies reported on Monday on the collapse of a section of the Cephane (Guerini) bastion which makes up part of Nicosia’s historic Venetian walls.

Akıncı’s office is located on the Guerini Bastion while a nursery belonging to the Forestry Department is situated at the base of the walls in what used to be the old city’s moat.

The news broke out as people posted pictures of the collapsed section of the wall on social media.

Ali Tuncay, Turkish Cypriot co-chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Cultural heritage on Monday said that experts from both the technical committee and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) had inspected the site and decided to take urgent action to repair the walls which had collapsed.

“We are adopting urgent measures which include a study and a report to be drafted and then a contractor hired to undertake the repairs by autumn,” Tuncay wrote on social media.

The Environmental Protection Foundation (ÇEKOVA) warned that more parts of Nicosia’s old Venetian walls could come down.

It reminded that the foundation had warned the authorities three years ago about the situation but that no action was taken.

“More importantly, they kept on watering the garden located at the top of the bastion. The situation we have reached is saddening. To see our cultural heritage damaged has hurt us deeply,” a statement by ÇEKOVA read.

The head of the Chamber for City Planners Merter Refikoğlu accused the Turkish Cypriot authorities of neglecting the restoration of historical monuments and buildings in the north. He said that the restoration of these building should be made a priority.

“The old Venetian walls have been neglected for a long time. Just as we travel to other countries to see their historical and cultural sites we must restore our own so that visitors can find a reason to visit us,” he said.