GCC Press Review 22 Sep 2019

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

UK ups stakes in Brexit push

Stephen Barclay in ‘scaremongering’ visit to pressure Brussels for better deal – halloumi, tourism and degrees at stake.


The issue of suicides goes immediately to parliament

(Parliamentary) question by the Greens, while the Solidarity Movement registered the issue with the House health committee for discussion.

  • Position: Talks addiction (Editorial on the insistence by the GC side for talks that end in failure)
  • The (2011) proposal-package on Famagusta and ‘Ercan’
  • Nicos Katsourides: Before it’s too late (opinion piece)
  • Savvas Iacovides: The murder of the Greeks’ national sentiment (opinion piece)
  • Titos Christodoulou: Blood and oil, the oil’s curse (opinion piece)
  •  Turkish lira: A time bomb in Erdogan’s hands


They are going to New York with a hot agenda

The Cyprus problem again in talks orbit. Antonio Guterres has launched contacts with the guarantor powers to clarify their intentions. The president will hold meetings with the FMs of the members of the Security Council. Turkey goes to New York with the aim of not being accused of deadlock on the Cyprus problem. The solution bet.

  • Chronicle: Cultural diplomacy during Makarios’ administration (free supplement given with Sunday’s Politis)


Next stop block 7

Ankara wants to have Nicosia, Paris and Rome undergo a stress test. Games with fire by Erdogan.

  • We are headed to the Security Council – Nicosia is ready for the appeal (on Varosha).
  •  Drums for the Taiwanisation of the pseudo-state – (The debate) is being revived in Brussels.
  • Three plus one Turkish demands on the table
  • Responses to Cavusoglu’s rowdiness
  • Constantia Soteriou: Art is trying to heal the wounds
  • Stefanos Constantinides: The crisis continues in the Middle East! (opinion piece)
  • Michalis Ignatiou: The trap is set (opinion piece)
  • Loukis Loukaides: Cyprus problem and values (opinion piece)
  • The Lernean Hydra of racism in schools – How can it be tackled. The ‘Code of conduct against racism and a guide for managing and recording racist incidents’ is the holy book on effectively dealing with the situation.


We will not back (DIKO leader) Nicolas (Papadopoulos) for president

Interview of (AKEL leader) Andros Kyprianou to Kathimerini. If there is intention for a joint candidate for the 2023 presidential elections we will discuss it when the time comes.

  • Cyprob: Game of chess on land and sea
  • Security Council: It all points to informal five-party (conference)
  • Famagusta: The Turks and Arabs dream of another Dubai
  • History: Political speculations on Varosha
  • Tufan Erhurman: Varosha to open under UN administration
  • (Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panayiotopoulos) New strategic agreement with the US – We are alert.


Investment of hope in New York

The weight of the Cyprus problem is being transferred to New York and the UN headquarters on Monday with reserved optimism for a rekindling of the procedure and any prospect. We recall that in the previous days the UN Secretary-General sent a message on a swift agreement on the Terms of Reference, expressing hope for substantive talks on the Cyprus problem, which this time will be different than in the past.

  • Hate turned to love and tears, peace (article on Mendil- To mantili documentary, created by GCs and TCs)
  • Famagusta: Threats, lost opportunities, prospects
  • Turkey: Diyarbakir’s mothers and Saturday mothers


Contacts for a final sorting out

Guterres met Mevlut Cavusoglu, he is waiting for the others. (DISY leader) Averof Neophytou: The UN Secretary-General was very clear – Find an agreement on the Terms of Reference and I am willing to take up an initiative. We must be convincing and clear in our goal.

  • Analysis: Are we in favour of agreements and resolutions?

Main News

Erhurman: Guterres should explain new process to Anastasiades

Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations, CBMs


In an interview with Kathimerini, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhurman said without political equality the functioning of a federal state cannot be ensured.

He said for his party, three points are important as regards the talks which are actually a point of reference for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and official UN documents: a results-oriented procedure, a non-open ended procedure, and completion of talks on political equality which Nicos Anastasiades had started.

He added that during the contacts with UN envoy Jane Holl Lute, Anastasiades had rejected the agreement on the issue of TC effective participation and positive vote. In addition, Anastasiades does not agree to talks that are not open-ended therefore this will not lead to results-oriented talks, he said. “In reality, on these issues, Mr Anastasiades is not negotiating with the TC side but with the UN itself,” he said.

Erhurman said he expects Guterres to explain to Anastasiades the realities, adding that the UNSG is referring to a new, different procedure.

He said Guterres needs to tell Anastasiades that he mentioned a result-focused process and not an open-ended one while the Security Council confirmed in July 2019 that political equality involved effective participation. Together with these, past convergences should be accepted, Erhurman said.

According to Erhurman, it was Anastasiades who, behind closed doors after the conference in Crans-Montana, hinted that he would be willing to discuss a confederation or a two-state solution, while publicly, he referred to the decentralised and loose federation.

“Mr Anastasiades himself started a discussion on the basis, the solution model. This was a move made to buy the GC side time,” Erhurman said.

He added that the TC side is willing to discuss a decentralised, loose federation but Anastasiades needs to explain what powers will remain with the central government. This, however, will not mean that in this case there will not be political equality, effective participation and a single positive vote in the central state, he said.

Erhurman said Anastasiades needs to put an end to this vagueness.

He said he is 100 per cent of the opinion that there cannot be a federation without political equality.

“How could we believe the two communities could rule the federal state without TC effective participation?” he asked.

He referred to a possibility of partition in the case there is no political equality, arguing the federal state cannot be functional without it, since this would give the TCs the impression after a while that their state is the TC founding state and not the federal one.

Erhurman also said that the issue of guarantees must be discussed after talks on political equality conclude.

He added that he believes the TC leadership and Turkey agree on matters of principle, arguing that during the latest joint press conference by the Turkish foreign minister and Mustafa Akinci they both referred to the same issues: five-party meeting, political equality, clear Terms of Reference.

On the issue of natural gas, Erhurman said after the opportunity for a solution was lost before Cyprus’ EU accession, the opportunity is now being offered by hydrocarbons.

He asked whether the natural wealth would be used to lead to a solution, such as by setting up a committee, based on Akinci’s proposal, that would be transformed into a confidence-building measure, or whether it would be used to raise tensions in the area.

Unfortunately, he said, the second option seems to be gaining ground.

He said before New York, Anastasiades has set two terms; the termination of Turkish research in the EEZ and of works in Varosha. “I stress the following: As long as there is a non-open ended, results-oriented procedure then in any case, there will be positive results within a short period of time, while at the same time it takes many years for the Turkish operation in the EEZ and Varosha to yield results,” he said, according to Kathimerini.

On the opening of Varosha, he said that his party proposes taking initiative under the UN umbrella. Resolution 550 refers to ‘UN administration’, he said. “So let’s discuss with the UN the content of the term ‘administration’,” Erhurman said.

Erhurman (CTP)
For CTP a non-open ended, results-oriented procedure and completion of talks on political equality is a must.
>> Guterres needs to explain to Anastasiades what he meant by referring to a new, different procedure, meaning a results-oriented, non-open ended one with the SC confirming last July that political equality involves effective participation. Past convergences need to also be accepted.
>> Anastasiades’ references to various solution models such as confederation, two-state solution, decentralised or loose federation, was a mere stalling tactic.
>> TCs are willing to discuss the decentralised, loose federation idea but it must ensure political equality, effective participation and a single positive vote at central state level.
>> Calls on Anastasiades to explain what he means by a decentralised federation.
>> There cannot be a federation without political equality as this could lead to partition given that TCs will not feel they are co-founders of a federal state but that their state is the TC founding state.
>> First the issue of political equality must conclude before guarantees are discussed.
>> Believes the TC leadership and Turkey agree on matters of principle matters on the Cyprob; five-party meeting, political equality, clear ToR.
>> Hydrocarbons offer opportunity for Cyprob solution but instead of utilizing Akinci’s idea on a joint committee as a CBM, it is used to raise tensions in the area.
>> Instead of the GC side insisting on Turkey ending its actions in the EEZ and Varosha for the talks to resume, they could agree to a non-open ended, results-oriented procedure which would bring positive results within a short period of time. In any case, it will take many years for the Turkish operations in the EEZ and Varosha to yield results.
>> Suggests cooperation with the UN on the issue of Varosha.

Varosha plans will not proceed if talks start

Property, Negotiations Process, Internal Security


Kathimerini, in an analysis piece on the Cyprus problem, reports that the government reassured the Famagusta municipality last week that Turkey would not proceed with the announced plans on Varosha if the talks restart.

The daily reports that after obtaining relevant information from the secret service (KYP), President Nicos Anastasiades read to the delegation from the occupied municipality documents from KYP informing them that the Turkish foreign minister told TC political leaders during his last visit on the island that Turkey would not proceed to implement any plans on Varosha if the talks restart.

After the briefing by Anastasiades, the Famagusta Municipality and the Presidential Palace agreed that the only way is for the resumption of the talks, the daily reported.

Therefore, the position last week by the foreign minister that the effort by the Turks is to push Varosha GC property owners to turn to the immovable properties commission is not random, the daily said.

Turkey expected to send drillship to block 7

Energy, Regional/International Relations


Phileleftheros’ Costas Venizelos, citing sources in an analysis piece, reports that there are serious indications Turkey will send one of its drillships south of the island, to block 7. According to the daily, Ankara will try to test the already tense nerves of Nicosia but also the reflexes of the states whose companies are operating in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The French-Italian consortium Total-ENI that signed this week an agreement with the government on block 7 is expected to start drilling in January.

A possible dispatch by Turkey of one of its drillships to block 7 will be a serious test by Ankara of all stakeholders and will cause serious turbulence, the daily said.

Block 7 has been in Erdogan’s eyesight for a while now, whether it is included in Turkish energy maps or not, the daily said. It added that Turkey had informed the UN last April, on behalf of the pseudo-state, that she would carry out drillings in blocks within the Cypriot EEZ, south of the island covering the areas F and G which cover offshore blocks 1, 2, 8, 9, part of 13, and 12 (not Aphrodite).

The Cypriot government has reportedly already informed the two countries of this possibility, although there is no information on exactly when. It is believed it could be before January, the daily said.