TCC Press Review 26 Sept 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

An investigation into $5.6 million “illicit money”

M.A claimed that he used money won from gambling to purchase two flats four months ago from businessman M.E who is currently on trial for forging title deeds. Following his testimony to police, the issue was transferred to the financial crimes unit and an investigation into money laundering was launched.

Kıbrıs Postası

Either a federal or two-state solution

According to Özdil Nami, the only way to end the status quo is to present the Greek Cypriot side with two options.

  • UBP sacrificed its former leader for government – The National Unity Party (UBP) convened under the possibility of the collapse of the coalition government. The party decided to vote in favour of lifting the political immunity of Hüseyin Özgürgün.
  • Erdoğan-Guterres meeting was the main issue in Cyprus

Kıbrıs

Wanted for theft in the TRNC and rape in Russia

Russian national Alexander Satlaev was arrested in Kyrenia on charges of assaulting a woman before stealing her belongings. The Russian media reported Satlaev had been sentenced to four years in prison for being a ‘serial rapist’.

  • A historic day for politics – The parliamentary sub-committee tasked with evaluating the lifting of political immunity for National Unity Party (UBP) MP Hüseyin Özgürgün will announce its decision on Thursday.

Havadis

₺76 million in three months

The Information Technologies and Communication Authority’s second quarter report reveals we have spent a fortune on mobile communication. We have clocked a total of 326 million minutes talking on our mobile phones. The bills we pay are shocking!

  • Özgürgün sacrificed – 14 National Unity Party (UBP) MPs participated in the meeting held to decide whether or not Hüseyin Özgürgün’s political immunity should be lifted.

Diyalog

Five absent

While 15 of 21 National Unity Party (UBP) MPs voted in favour of lifting Hüseyin Özgürgün’s political immunity, one gave support from abroad. Five MPs did not attend the meeting and did not provide an excuse for their absence.

Afrika

UBP shows Özgürgün no mercy

UBP unanimously approves the lifting of Hüseyin Özgürgün’s political immunity. The UBP’s party assembly convened on Wednesday night to discuss how to proceed on the issue of Hüseyin Özgürgün. The party unanimously approved the decision to lift his political immunity. The meeting was not attended by Özgürgün, Özdemir Berova and Kutlu Evren and Önder Sennaroğlu. The parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the claims made against Özgürgün is expected to make a decision today whether or not to lift his immunity. 

Main News

Akıncı to meet Guterres on September 30

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı will be meeting with the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, September 30, Akıncı’s spokesman Barış Burcu announced on Wednesday.

As part of his contacts in New York, Akıncı met with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Frederica Mogherini on Wednesday.

He also addressed a meeting organized by the Socialist International.

Earlier this week, Akıncı met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the Slovakian Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak whose country currently holds the term presidency for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay who is also in New York met with Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and the General Secretary of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Yusuf el-Useymin on Wednesday.

Özersay and Mammadyarov in addition to discussing bilateral relations evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.


China highlights importance of balanced settlement

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

Beijing said on Wednesday that any settlement of the Cyprus Problem should serve the interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

Speaking in Beijing, Spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang said that China from the very beginning supported a just solution in Cyprus based on UN Security Council resolutions.

 “We call on relevant parties to exercise restraint from unilateral actions that might hinder a just and peaceful solution and to create conditions for resuming negotiations. As a permanent member to the Security Council, China stands ready to play a positive role in this,” Shuang added.


Parties’ expectations from New York low

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

“The Greek Cypriot side needs to decide on what they want to negotiate,” National Unity Party (UBP) MP and UBP Foreign Relations Secretary Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said during a programme on Bayrak on Tuesday night.

He added that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s response to the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides during a brief exchange in New York was “spot on.”

Hasipoğlu said he did not expect any results to emerge from the meetings held in New York.

He added that the contacts being held in New York by President Mustafa Akıncı and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay were nothing more than a routine annual visit.

Commenting on the government’s initiative on Maraş (Varosha), Hasipoğlu pointed out that previous Turkish Cypriot administrations had all neglected the fenced-off town because it had always been seen as a territory that would be conceded to the Greek Cypriot side in the event of a settlement.

“What we are saying is that we no longer need to wait for the Greek Cypriot side to be forthcoming! We need to make the Greek Cypriot side feel uneasy both with our policy on Maraş (Varosha) and the issue of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Hasipoğlu added.

Leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit on Wednesday said that his party’s position on the Cyprus Problem was clear.

Speaking to Bayrak, Özyiğit said that the majority of the Turkish Cypriot community supported a federal settlement as did other leftist parties such as the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

He said that there was no deviation from his party’s position in support of a bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF) settlement.

Regarding Akıncı’s visit to New York, the TDP leader said he did not expect a three-way meeting to take place in New York.

“Our expectation is for the Secretary-General to meet separately with the two leaders and to sound out a possible date for a three-way meeting. He will also probably seek the sides’ commitment to the terms of reference,” he said.

The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman on Wednesday night accused the government of diverting the country’s agenda away from the country’s social and economic issues by using the Cyprus problem and the Maraş (Varosha) initiative.

Addressing party members in İskele (Trikomo) at an event to promote candidates for the upcoming CTP general congress, Erhürman said his party supported a federal solution and was working towards a self-sustaining Turkish Cypriot community.

“The CTP’s road map is to work towards reaching a comprehensive settlement and to implement the confidence-building measures that will bring the country closer to a solution while creating an economic model that will be able to stand on its own feet,” Erhürman concluded.

CTP MP Özdil Nami on Thursday argued that the only option that could save the Turkish Cypriot community from the status quo was to push the Greek Cypriot side to choose between a federal or a two-state solution.

In an interview with Kıbrıs Postası, the CTP MP and former economy and energy minister said, “the Greek Cypriot side must be asked to decide between a federal solution and a two-state solution with a referendum. Only then will they show a tendency in favour of a federal solution.

He added that the Turkish Cypriot community would have an argument in favour of a two-state solution only after the Greek Cypriot community were to reject a federal settlement.

Nami also underlined the need to restart talks in a results-oriented manner.

“A structure that will save the Turkish Cypriots from the status quo is needed,” he said, adding that the Greek Cypriot side must accept past convergences and the Guterres framework.

“Only then could it be possible to resume talks from where they left off, of course on the condition of a time frame,” Nami said.

He added that any divergences remaining once the deadline was reached could be settled through UN arbitration or other means.

Nami also accused the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastastasiades of distorting the Terms of Reference and creating a meaningless debate on its content.

KEY ACTORS
Hasipoğlu (UBP)
>> GCs need to decide what they want to negotiate on.
>> No longer need to wait for the GC side to be forthcoming on a settlement.
>> Need to make the GC side feel uneasy both with TC policy on Maraş (Varosha) & the issue of hydrocarbons in the East Med.

Özyiğit (TDP)
>> TDP’s position on the Cyprob is clear. It supports a BBF settlement.
>> A three-way meeting not expected in NY.
>> UNSG to sound out a possible date for a three-way meeting & seek the side’s commitment to the ToR.

Erhürman (CTP)
>> Government diverted attention away from social & economic issues by using the Cyprob & Maraş (Varosha) initiative.
>> CTP supports a federal solution, working towards a self-sustaining TC community & implementing CBMs.

Nami (CTP)
>> Only option to save TC community from the status quo is to push the GC side to choose between a federal or a two-state solution.
>> TC community would have an argument in favour of a two-state solution only after the GC community were to reject a federal settlement.
>> Talks need to start in a results-oriented manner.
>> GC side must accept past convergences, Guterres Framework & a timeframe. Only then can talks resume from where they left off.
>> Remaining divergences can be settled through UN arbitration or other means once the deadline is completed.


TC & GC parties agree on need for collaboration

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
CBMs, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The leaders and the representatives of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties met on Wednesday for their regular meeting at Ledra Palace, Nicosia, during which they expressed their views on the issue proposed by the hosting Turkish Cypriot party, People’s Party (HP): “Gradual Cooperation: an evolutionary piecemeal approach for Cyprus”.

“Despite differing views on the issue, political parties acknowledged the importance of developing further collaboration mechanisms between the two sides on the island, enhancing existing initiatives and increasing joint efforts on a number of issues ranging from criminal matters to humanitarian ones in order to build trust among the members of the two communities with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable comprehensive solution,” read the Joint Communique, issued by the Embassy of the Slovak Republic which organises the regular meetings.


[Turkey’s] Drilling activities come to a grinding halt due to embargoes

Yenidüzen
Energy

OVERVIEW

The Turkish main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul MP Mustafa Balbay claimed on Wednesday that Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean had come to a grinding halt because of its failure to acquire the necessary technical and engineering services from the US, France or the UK.

In his column in the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, Balbay said Turkey had not experienced any problems in acquiring materials or services when it carried out drilling in uncontested areas but that the situation had changed once it commenced offshore drilling in Cyprus.

“The situation is dire! The US, the UK and France are imposing embargoes on Turkey. It has been almost two months now that Turkey has been denied technical and engineering services,” Balbay noted.

Balbay also pointed out that companies such as “Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, Weatherford (US), and Geo-log (Italy) had all revoked their contracts with Turkey.