GCC Press Review 23 Sep 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Giant municipality in Greater Nicosia

Local authority of 180,000 residents with geographic limits from Aglandjia to Engomi. Co-existence under the same administration of geographically unconnected areas. A major municipality in Nicosia for one third of the population, while Limassol’s population will be a bit lower.

  • Fight… also from a distance – Anastasiades put dynamite under New York (meetings) from London. The Terms of Reference were not sealed due to Ankara, the president claimed.
  • MEPs: Agenda beyond the Cyprob

Phileleftheros

New Golgotha for the Cyprus problem

The picture on Ankara’s intentions will be made clear within the coming days. The president sent messages from London.

  • New moves for faits accomplis on the ground – Provocations abound. After the pergola (at the Ledra Street crossing) a sign saying ‘Welcome to TRNC’. Passive approach by the UN. This move is basically a new advance by the occupation power.
  • Cavusoglu does not want two states (opinion piece)
  • Mosaics of rare beauty come to light ( article on completion of works on the mosaics of Ayia Triada and Ayios Filon in Karpsasia)

Haravgi

The ‘thorn’ of political equality going to New York

On the way to New York the blame game has started. The president has reiterated his known positions on political equality, which is a ‘thorny issue’ for agreeing on the Terms of Reference. Mr Akinci replied that political equality and effective participation are UN parameters.

  • Two unique Karpasia monuments

Alithia

New York is graying

Revelations by President Anastasiades on the background of the non-agreement on the Terms of Reference. With Akinci we agreed on the document Lute prepared, but Ankara stopped it. I want and I seek dialogue, he is saying, but I will not enter in one while Turkey continues her illegal activities in the EEZ and Famagusta.

  • Tatar and Akinci in the trenches – Hard conflict between the TC leader and the ‘prime minister’ ahead of New York. Akinci: The majority in the occupied areas is in favour of a BBF (bizonal bicommunal federation).
  • Ayios Filon and the Ayia Triada mosaics were delivered
  • Michalis Papapetrou: Only the solution will rid us of the dangers

Main News

Anastasiades: Ankara’s demands for political equality sunk ToR effort

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The dailies report on statements by President Nicos Anastasiades during an event by the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK where he said that it was due to Turkey’s insistence to enforce political equality that there was no agreement on the Terms of Reference (ToR), provoking a reaction from TC leader Mustafa Akinci.

Speaking in London on his way to New York for the UN General Assembly, Anastasiades said that while he had agreed to the text presented to him and the TC leader by UN envoy Jane Holl Lute, based on what they had agreed on August 9, Akinci had to get Ankara’s approval which did not come.

Instead, Ankara submitted some comments that attempted to predetermine the outcome of what would be put on the negotiating table for discussion, he said.

He added, however, that the Turkish side demanded that its claims be included in the ToR. One claim would imply a rotating presidency but also a positive vote for any decision of either the government or the institutions of the new regime while a second claim sought to be included in the ToR was that new ideas had to be submitted, regardless of what would be the final outcome of the solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.

Anastasiades also referred to the meeting between Antonio Guterres and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in New York on Friday, expressing hope the Turkish official did not insist on the preconditions set by Turkey to agree on ToR.
 
He also wondered how could the necessary trust between the two communities in Cyprus be restored “under such provocations, such violations of international law and such disregard of the UN Charter and the EU acquis.”
 
Referring to his upcoming contacts in New York, such as the meeting with the representatives of the five permanent Security Council member-states, Anastasiades said he will convey his determination for a new start which would enable the creation of peaceful coexistence and a functional and viable state. He noted, however, that conditions which undermine the efforts to build a functional and viable state or provide the right to a third country on how Cyprus will be governed are “unacceptable and inconceivable.”

“We acknowledge and accept political equality, what we reject is political inequality. Because what Turkey demands through a positive vote for the TCs on all issues, is nothing but a right to a veto,” Anastasiades said.

He recalled that he has repeatedly asked his interlocutors to present one such example “where one community has such rights that enable it to determine the fate of the other.”
 
“Our aim is a dialogue which could deliver functionality, viability, mutual respect and peaceful coexistence,” he said.
 
He also noted that during his address to the UN General Assembly he will deplore Turkey’s illegal actions that violate international law.

He added that he will go to his meeting with the UN Secretary-General with a clear view on the prospects of the resumption of the talks but that he would not do go to talks while under the threat of gunboats. This is also the unanimous position of all political parties, he said.

“As determined as I am to enter a sincere and creative dialogue, I am equally determined not to engage in talks while Turkey continues its illegal actions, violating international law or threatening to settle Famagusta,” Anastasiades said.

Anastasiades’ statements prompted a response by Akinci who said through his personal Facebook profile that political equality and effective participation of TCs in decision-making is now a parameter of the UN and certainly included among past convergences.

He added that Anastasiades should explain to the UN Secretary-General that he doesn’t accept that.

The TC leader also said that Anastasiades’ statements in London were, again, very far from an approach of a partnership based on political equality. He said Anastasiades continues his statements of denial of past convergences and demonises effective participation. He described the latter as a fair request by the TCs which has existed for years and which the GC leader now presents as something insisted on by Turkey.

Politis reports that Anastasiades arrived in New York with the worst omens after accusing Akinci of going back on what was agreed on August 9 due to Ankara’s intervention. The daily reported that the two leaders had set a conflictual stage ahead of talks in New York with Anastasiades making the first move, prompting Akinci to respond. The daily said Anastasiades put dynamite under the New York efforts from London.

Haravgi reports that Anastasiades has followed the same tactic as in Crans-Montana. Halfway to New York the president chose to ‘publicly announce’ the reasons why Lute failed to reach a conclusion on the ToR, clearly attributing responsibilities to the Turkish side and Akinci.

He reiterated his famous positions on political equality that has been and remains a thorn in concluding the ToR, implying that he would hold on to this position until the end for bargaining purposes on issues vital to the GC side, such as guarantees and security, the daily said.

Alithia reports that based on Anastasiades’ revelations last Saturday in London that Lute was not able to achieve an agreement on the ToR due to Turkey’s intervention, the prospects of Guterres’ efforts are quite ominous.

According to Phileleftheros, Anastasiades, through his speech in London, basically drew the line on how he will move in New York. It seems that Nicosia wants to make it clear to the international community that it is determined to engage in constructive dialogue and to help resume substantive negotiations, but that it cannot be done under threats by the Turkish side and its illegal actions both on land and at sea.

KEY ACTORS
Anastasiades
>>
Ankara’s demands to include in the ToR issues such as political equality, TC effective participation, rotating presidency & new ideas hampered agreement on the ToR.
>> Will not engage in talks while under gunboat threats as there can be no trust between the two communities while Turkish provocations are underway that violate international law and disregard the UN Charter and the EU acquis.
>> Determined for a new start to enable the creation of peaceful coexistence and a functional and viable state but will not accept conditions which undermine the efforts to build a functional and viable state or provide the right to a third country over how Cyprus will be governed.
>> GC side accepts political equality but rejects political inequality since Turkey’s demands through a positive vote for the TCs on all issues, is nothing but a right to a veto.

Akinci
>>
Political equality & TC effective participation are now a parameter of the UN & included in past convergences. Urges Anastasiades to explain to the UNSG that he doesn’t accept that.
>> Anastasiades continues to be very far from a partnership approach based on political equality. He denies past convergences & demonises effective participation, a fair request by TCs which existed for years and which the GC leader now presents as Turkey’s demand.

Trouble at Ledra Street crossing

Phileleftheros
CBMs, External Security

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that the Turkish side is launching new moves to consolidate their presence in the buffer zone at the Ledra Street crossing. Last Saturday, they placed a welcome sign on the pergola constructed there in the summer to provide shade for those standing in queues, waiting to enter the occupied areas.

This, according to Phileleftheros, is a move by the Turkish side to further advance in the buffer zone as the UN watches on in apathy. The daily said that the peacekeeping force did not act after the erection of the pergola in question last August.

Because there was no reaction to the erection of the pergola, they have proceeded with placing a sign welcoming those crossing to the occupied areas ‘to the TRNC’. The sign also says it was made with the contribution of the so-called ‘ministry of tourism and environment’ and bears the signature of Dr. Unal Ustel, the daily reported.

It said that this comes at a time when political and diplomatic attention is shifting to New York in view of the planned contacts on the Cyprus issue.

When the pergola was built in early August there were intense protests to the UN which have once again shown that they are neither ready nor able to intervene, said the paper.

The occupation of territory within the buffer zone constitutes a new advancement of the occupying forces and their consolidation, and this is obviously the Turkish objective, which is being gradually implemented, the daily said.

It added that this was not unrelated to other simultaneous actions. The daily also refers to advancements of the Turkish military in Strovilia that started in 2000, and at the Ledra Palace hotel area when last May, occupation forces placed barrels at the area used to access the building which houses UNFICYP’s District 2 administration, claiming it is under their control. A few days ago they installed fences in an attempt to reach the dead zone (located behind the hotel).

There were also moves by the occupation army in Wayne’s Keep cemetery, in ​​Agios Dometios, with the claim that it is in the occupied area, the daily reported.