TCC Press Review 21 Sept 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

“We don’t have enough beds for our patients’

Head of the cardiology service at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu state hospital Dr Gülgün Vaiz spoke to Yenidüzen. “We’ve been working under these conditions for the past ten years,” said Vaiz.

Kıbrıs Postası

Direct trade back on the agenda

It has been claimed the European Parliament (EP) could be bringing back to the agenda the “Direct Trade Regulation”, which was shelved after 2004. Important political actors of the time met the news with caution, stating that the development is a message for the Greek Cypriot side.

  • Clear messages were given during the “Last Word on Cyprus” panel – Erdoğan: “They will find our determination before them.” Tatar: “We do not want a new adventure 45 years later.” Oktay: “Maraş (Varosha) will be reopened through the return of properties.”

Kıbrıs

You’ll die of old age and us from climate change

Millions of children and young people took to the streets in the global movement against climate change. Protestors urged the authorities to implement measures to protect the environment.

  • Gang leader escaped again – Zahid Masood, the mastermind behind Gökhan Naim’s murder, escaped once again. The reports on Masood being severely injured while trying to escape from a police raid proved to be true despite the fact the Greek Cypriot administration denied the reports.

Havadis

Rhetoric in favour of partition

Both Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar raised the idea of a “velvet divorce”. The two also claimed Maraş (Varosha) belongs to the Evkaf and said the fenced-off town will be reopened.

Diyalog

Millions just evaporated

Bülent Fevzioğlu, Murat Zengin and Kenan Yeter were arrested after being implicated in the case involving forged title deeds. Some of those involved fled to the South with the money.

Afrika

The money has arrived… all happy

The first tranche of ₺750 million of financial assistance to be provided by Turkey following the signing of the Economic and Finance Assistance Protocol by the National Unity Party (UBP)-People’s Party (HP) government was transferred to the TRNC Finance Ministry’s accounts. Finance Minister Olgun Amcaoğlu said that part of the money was used to close the ₺225 million budget deficit created by the former four-party coalition government.

  • Feyzioğlu: Stop trying to reunify Cyprus – The “Last Word on Cyprus” panel in Turkey. The President of the Turkish Bar Associations Union Metin Feyzioğlu said that efforts to reunify the island should be abandoned and a new strategy formulated with Turkey.
  • Have they assisted suspect Zahid Masood to escape to Pakistan? – Claims are being made that the lead suspect in the Gökhan Naim murder who was being treated in hospital in the South escaped to Pakistan with an ambulance plane.
  • 43 of 422 applications accepted by Immovable Property Commission – 12 Greek Cypriot applications withdrawn.

Main News

Anti-federation rhetoric dominates conference in Ankara

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

OVERVIEW

“We are defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the island and in the Eastern Mediterranean just like we defend Turkey’s rights,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in his opening remarks on Friday at a conference in Ankara on the Cyprus Problem. Erdoğan added both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are determined to protect their rights against “those who believe they own all the resources.”

Also addressing the conference, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said “The fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) will be opened by returning properties to former residents in a fair manner in light of historical documents.”

Oktay said that efforts to reach a federal settlement in Cyprus have been unsuccessful because the Greek Cypriots saw themselves as the sole owners of the island.

He said the time had come to discuss other alternatives at the negotiating table.

“It’s clear that there is no change in the Greek Cypriot mentality which tries to portray Turkish Cypriots as a minority. The Greek Cypriot side’s insistence on ignoring the Turkish Cypriots’ equal rights over the island’s resources is concrete proof of this,” he said.

The Turkish vice president also said that any new talks should not be based on political equality but sovereign equality.

“This needs to be accepted before any new negotiations can begin. The Greek Cypriot side needs to openly state what it understands and wants from a solution,” he said.

On the issue of hydrocarbons, Oktay reaffirmed Turkey’s determination to continue its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and to do what it said was necessary for the protection of the rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots.

“We are defending the rights of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean with the same determination as we are defending our interests,” he added.

Also addressing the panel, Tatar said that Turkish Cypriots were not seeking new adventures on the Cyprus Issue.

He said preserving the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had become a must.

“The 1960 Republic of Cyprus and the Annan Plan referendum confirmed that there are two equal peoples on the island,” Tatar added.

On the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Tatar said the fenced-off city had to be reintegrated with Famagusta based on the rule of law and well-founded arguments.

“The Maraş (Varosha) initiative and launching direct flights to Ercan (Tymbou) airport are two important goals. If we succeed in doing both we shall give hope to the people. This is the foundation of stability in the region,” he said.

Tatar added that the Turkish Cypriot side’s goal was not political equality but sovereign equality.

“Our aim is not political equality but sovereign equality. We could have a two-state solution under the EU umbrella or a confederation,” he said, adding that a partnership in Cyprus was no longer attainable in Cyprus.

“The Greek Cypriots dream is Greece, we can only walk this path by upholding the TRNC with our people, our own culture and identity,” Tatar said.

Also addressing the conference on Thursday, the President of the Union of Turkish Bar Associations Metin Feyzioğlu claimed that chances of reaching a federal solution in Cyprus ended with the Greek Cypriots joining the EU.

He said there was no point in holding talks for a federal settlement.

Also touching upon Maraş (Varosha), Feyzioğlu argued that the fenced-off area was located under the TRNC’s sovereign areas and that the Union was prepared to provide all necessary legal support needed to prove that Maraş (Varosha) was Evkaf property.

KEY ACTORS
Erdoğan
>> Turkey defending the rights of the TCs on the island and in the eastern Med.
>> Turkey and the TRNC are determined to protect their rights against “those who believe they own all the resources.”

Oktay (Turkey)
>> Maraş (Varosha) to be opened by returning properties to former residents fairly in light of historical documents.
>> Time has come to discuss other alternatives at the negotiating table.
>> Any new talks should not be based on political equality but sovereign equality.
>> Turkey determined to protect rights & interests of TCs in East Med.

Tatar (UBP)
>> TCs not seeking new adventures on the Cyprus Issue.
>> Preserving the TRNC is a must.
>> Maraş (Varosha) has to be reintegrated with Famagusta based on the rule of law & well-founded arguments.
>> Maraş (Varosha) initiative & launching direct flights to Ercan (Tymbou) airport are two important goals.
>> Achieving this will give hope to the people. This is the foundation of stability in the region.
>> TC side’s goal is not political equality but sovereign equality.
>> A partnership in Cyprus is no longer attainable in Cyprus.

Feyzioğlu (Turkey)
>> Chances of reaching a federal solution in Cyprus ended with the GCs joining the EU.
>> No point in holding talks for a federal settlement.
>> Maraş (Varosha) located within TRNC’s sovereign areas & his Union ready to provide all necessary legal support on the issue.


Önen confirms key suspect in Naim murder case escaped

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

The co-chair of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters Hakkı Celal Önen confirmed on Friday that the key suspect in the Gökhan Naim murder, Zahid Masood had succeeded in escaping to Pakistan with an ambulance plane.

Masood who is a Pakistani national is believed to be the mastermind behind the murder of foreign exchange office owner Gökhan Naim who was gunned down in front of his house in Nicosia in March 2019.

Several media outlets had reported that Masood was receiving treatment at a hospital in South Cyprus for serious injuries which he sustained whilst trying to escape a police raid on illegal immigrants.

Speaking to Yenidüzen and Kıbrıs, Önen said that they had received word that Masood was currently in Pakistan but Greek Cypriot authorities had refrained from confirming the reports.

“The individual had not committed a crime in the South so there wasn’t an investigation being carried out. When we informed the Greek Cypriot authorities he was wanted in the North, they told us that they would hand him over once they caught him. He ran away and fell off a building when police finally found where he was staying. He sustained fracture injuries and was hospitalised. Then one day we heard he was in Pakistan,” Önen said.

Önen said Masood had once escaped to Germany but had returned to the island for a second time.

“We lost him again… this is the second time,” Önen said.


Direct trade back on the agenda

Kıbrıs Postası
Economy, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

The European Parliament (EP) is thinking of bringing back to the agenda the “Direct Trade Regulation”, which was shelved after 2004, Kıbrıs Postası reported on Saturday.

Citing reports in Phileleftheros, Kıbrıs Postası spoke with the important political actors of the time regarding the possibility of the EP revising its work on the issue.

Highlighting the importance of such a development, former President Mehmet Ali Talat claimed that re-tabling the direct trade regulation could give the Greek Cypriot side a much needed message.

He noted that the direct trade regulation had only been shelved and was not withdrawn.

“However, there is the pretense that the regulation never existed! Even if the regulation is not enacted, it is still important that it is remembered,” Talat concluded.

Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP and former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Fikri Toros said keeping a third of the island excluded from the European Union (EU) does not contribute to the solution efforts on the island.

He recalled that the Greek Cypriot side had given assurances in its EU accession agreement they would not object to the Turkish Cypriot side’s economic development nor would they obstruct it.

“Nonetheless, the Greek Cypriot side is being insincere. On the one hand, it claims to be negotiating for a federal solution but works for the withdrawal of the direct trade regulation on the other,” Toros complained.

He stressed, “The EP must keep this regulation on its agenda and give priority to it.”

Ali Erel, who was the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce back in 2004 claimed that Turkish Cypriot officials were also not in favour of the regulation because if passed, it would bypass their authority.

“Bringing the regulation back to the agenda proves that the issue has not been forgotten,” he added, but said it was unlikely the direct trade regulation would be implemented.

“The legal office of the European Parliament states the direct trade regulation does not comply with the EU acquis,” Erel concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Talat
>> Re-tabling the direct trade regulation could be a message for GCs.
>> It is important that the regulation is remembered.

Toros (CTP)
>> Keeping a third of the island excluded from the EU does not contribute to the solution efforts.
>> GC side is being insincere by working against the regulation whilst claiming to work for a federal solution.
>> EP must keep this regulation on its agenda and give priority to it.

Erel
>> EU institutions have always been disturbed by this issue.
>> TC officials don’t favour regulation as it’ll bypass their authority.
>> Highly unlikely that regulation will be implemented.
>> EP legal office states regulation does not comply with the EU acquis.