TCC Press Review 6 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

“While the private sector can’t find people to employ, the public sector becomes popular again”

According to a survey carried out by the State Planning Organisation official unemployment figures in the country stand at 9,873. But the private sector is complaining it can’t find people to hire.

  • CTP General Congress today

Kıbrıs Postası

“If only the intentions are clear…”

President Mustafa Akıncı gave an interview to Kıbrıs Postası Editor-in-Chief Rasıh Reşat about the current situation, his expectations and risks as well as details of his contacts in New York. He also warned Anastasiades.

Kıbrıs

Inadequate sewage treatment turning into a disaster

The heart of the country’s tourism sector Kyrenia, which is currently overpopulated, is struggling with a wastewater problem. The current sewage treatment plant has a capacity of up to 20,000 people but the town’s population has exceeded 80,000. Untreated wastewater is being pumped into the sea, which poses a serious public health threat and a growing environmental problem.

  • Fatih drilling ship to drill more than four thousand meters – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Havadis

The real source of concern is the undetected

10,486kg of illegally smuggled meat was confiscated in the last 21 months. The main preferred routes for meat smugglers from the south to the north are Nicosia and Beyarmudu (Pergamos). 1,612kg of illegally smuggled meat was found from January 1 to September 30 in 2019.

  • Drilling efforts underway – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sends a message to the Eastern Mediterranean. 

Diyalog

They finished us off

Mukhtars of villages in the Karpaz (Karpas) peninsula complain of drought, the poor condition of the roads, the cutting down of olive and carob trees and the decline in livestock farming. They complained that no proper investment has been made in the area since 1974.

  • They’re going crazy – The Greek Cypriot administration has issued international arrest warrants for all workers on board the Yavuz drillship.

Afrika

Akıncı will also not be attending

No eco-day at Büyükkonuk (Komikebir)… only a boycott. Mustafa Akıncı announced that he will not be attending this year’s eco-day festival at Büyükkonuk (Komikebir) just as he didn’t last year. He said he refused to attend a festival organised by those who orchestrated a mob attack on a newspaper and then instructed municipal employees to lay a black wreath in front of this office.

  • Yavuz ready for drilling – Yavuz drillship expected to conduct drilling in the Mediterranean until 2020.

Main News

Akıncı says GC side needs to clarify its intentions

Kıbrıs Postası
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı highlighted the importance of the two sides seeing each other as future partners rather than competitors in an interview with the Editor-in-Chief of Kıbrıs Postası Rasıh Reşat published on Sunday.

Akıncı shared his views and expectations regarding the Cyprus Issue as well as the details of his recent meetings in New York.

He said both leaders needed to inform their respective communities about the stark realities on the island instead of dwelling on efforts to create incorrect perceptions.

 “It is wrong to claim that Akıncı insists on certain issues because these issues are imposed by Turkey,” Akıncı said.

He pointed out the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was eager to see the acceptance of past convergences as a prerequisite for holding a tripartite meeting with the two sides.

“At this point, if we do not start helping each other, no one will come to our assistance,” Akıncı stressed.

He added it was out of the question to reject issues of a positive vote in the council of ministers, effective participation or rotational presidency when accepting past convergences.

Akıncı also pointed out that the Secretary-General had started showing interest in the Cyprus Problem following a two-year break.

He said that they had gained the impression that Guterres would first like to hold a three-way meeting before holding a broader five-party meeting.

Regarding his last meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on August 9, Akıncı said that they had discussed three main issues.

“These were the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration, past convergences and the Guterres framework. However, the Greek Cypriot leader refused and still refuses to accept the June 30 dated Guterres framework,” Akıncı said.

He said instead Anastasiades insisted on discussing the six articles in the framework document without referring to any date.

“I pointed out to him that the UN Security Council resolution only recognized one framework document which was dated June 30. I also warned him that there has to be a date otherwise speculations will continue.”

Akıncı explained that discussions following the arrival of the UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute focused on ending differences on the issues of effective participation in decision-making processes as well as political equality despite no change in Anastasiades’ stance on the Guterres framework.

“Another point that was taken up during the meetings with Lute was on ensuring that the new process will not be open-ended,” he added. 

Akıncı said: “There is a goal of a strategic agreement in Guterres’ reports. This is what we have been saying since Crans Montana. If we can reach a strategic agreement with the help of the six articles in the Guterres framework, the rest of the negotiations can be held at the technical level. Therefore, a results-oriented process that requires determination and political will are needed,” Akıncı said.

Akıncı pointed out that it was possible to reach an agreement on the Terms of Reference (ToR) document as long as both sides had a sincere will.

He added: “We have not given up on our insistence for a results-oriented process. If there is real will in place, it is possible to reach an agreement on the ToR.”

Responding to a question on the issue of effective participation in the decision-making processes, Akıncı said both effective participation of Turkish Cypriots and rotational presidency were elements that complemented the overarching principle of political equality.

He noted that Anastasiades’ actions will show whether he has the required will or not.

“I am not going to claim he does not have what is needed to end the process. Today is not the day. We should not engage in a blame game,” Akıncı said.

Regarding claims that he was defending Turkey’s positions at the negotiating table, Akıncı denied the claims.

He said Turkey had expressed its desire to hold a five-party meeting before concluding the ToR.

“Turkey says that the sides need to clarify what will be negotiated before the resumption of the talks,” Akıncı said.

Responding to a question on the past convergences, Akıncı said it was necessary for the sides to openly declare that they accepted and remain committed to past convergences.”

He recalled the notion of a rotational presidency was a convergence agreed upon during talks between the former leaders Talat-Christofias.

Akıncı said that he, on the other hand, had negotiated the concept of a weighted vote with Anastasiades.

“Would it have been possible for us to discuss voting if the Greek Cypriot side had not accepted the notion of a rotational presidency?” Akıncı asked.

Akıncı reminded that 22 federal competencies have been agreed upon so far.

He argued that one positive vote in the Council of Ministers was required from either side when adopting a decision.

“It is necessary to explain further that both the president and his/her deputy will decide on foreign affairs, security and defence issues together,” Akıncı said. “This has been already agreed,” he noted, adding that the two sides had worked on a mechanism to overcome any deadlocks in the decision-making processes.

“In any UN statement on effective participation or political equality, there is an emphasis on the presence of the two sides in all the federal organs,” Akıncı said.

He highlighted that there needs to be political equality in every organ but this does not necessarily mean numerical equality.

It means representation and effective participation in all decisions, he underlined.

“When I questioned Anastasiades why he accepted a positive vote at the highest executive level which is the Council of Ministers but rejected it when it came to other institutions, he told me he rejected the concept of a positive vote in all institutions including the Council of Ministers,” Akıncı said.

He complained that Anastasiades, therefore, was not helping launch a new process.

“If we are going to walk towards a federal solution based on political equality, we need clarity on these issues,” Akıncı stressed.

He said Anastasiades needed to clarify three points: his stance on political equality; whether he accepts the 30 June Guterres framework; and whether he is willing to agree on a strategic agreement or not.

“If he says, he is working for a federal solution, why would he not accept the strategic agreement?” Akıncı asked.

He said that should Guterres decide to take on a new initiative, the two sides must help Guterres in his efforts by remaining within UN parameters and accepting past convergences.

“We have always underlined three elements. The 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration, past convergences and the 30 June Guterres framework. For two years, we could not agree on the date of the Guterres framework and now we are experiencing problems over past convergences. We see all these as delaying tactics but if all is agreed, the Terms of Reference document can be finalized and it would give the sides a new starting point. There is no reason for not agreeing on the ToR if only the intentions were clearer…,” Akıncı said.

Also responding to a question on the hydrocarbons issue, Akıncı argued the only way to overcome the crisis was to solve the Cyprus problem.

“It would even be better if we could achieve progress on these issues before the solution of the Cyprus problem but obviously it’s not the case,” Akıncı added. He stressed the two sides then must focus on the solution of the Cyprus problem more and start by agreeing on the ToR document.

KEY ACTORS
Akıncı
>> The two sides need to see each other as future partners rather than competitors.
>> Leaders need to inform their communities about the stark realities on the island instead of creating incorrect perceptions.
>> Claim that Turkey is imposing positions on TC side at the negotiating table is not true.
>> UNSG wants to see sides accept past convergences before setting up a tripartite meeting.
>> Out of the question to reject positive vote, effective participation or rotational presidency if accept past convergences.
>> Anastasiades still refuses to accept June 30-dated Guterres Framework.
>> Lute visit focused on effective participation, political equality & ensuring new process will not be open-ended.
>> Guterres’ reports set a goal for a strategic agreement. If sides reach strategic agreement with help of 6 articles in Guterres Framework, after which talks can be held at the technical level.
>> A results-oriented process that requires determination and political will is needed.
>> Possible to reach agreement on the ToR if sides are sincere.
>> Both effective participation & rotational presidency complement overarching principle of political equality.
>> Turkey wants five-party meeting before concluding ToR to clarify what will be negotiated before talks resume.
>> On past convergences, would not have been possible to negotiate weighted voting with Anastasiades, which he did, had rotational presidency not been accepted.
>> Political equality in all bodies does not necessarily mean numerical equality. It means representation & effective participation in all decisions.
>> Anastasiades is not helping create the ground for a new process by rejecting positive vote concept in all institutions, including cabinet.
>> Clarity is required if sides are to move towards a federal solution based on political equality.
>> Anastasiades needs to clarify his stance on: political equality; 30 June Guterres framework & whether or not he is willing to agree on a strategic agreement.
>> Agreeing on ToR would give the sides a new starting point.
>> The only way to overcome the hydrocarbon problem in East Med is to solve the Cyprob.


Fatih reaches a depth of 4000 meters

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Tensions over hydrocarbon drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean have been escalating since last Thursday after Turkey’s drillship, the Yavuz, joined the Fatih off the western coast of the island to commence new drilling operations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Saturday that Turkey will continue her drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

We are looking to buy a third drillship so that we won’t have to rely on international companies, Erdoğan said during a meeting of his AKP party in Kızılcahamam in Ankara province.

“With three drilling rigs that will be entirely ours we will have no problem looking for drill rigs from the international market to rent,” he added.

He said the Fatih drillship, that has been carrying out drilling off Paphos since May 3, had reached a depth of 4,000 meters so far.

Erdoğan added that Turkey’s second drillship, the Yavuz, was now in the Güzelyurt-1 (Morphou) area, after completing its mission in Karpaz (Karpas).

In the meantime, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay on Saturday lambasted the Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsodakis for his earlier remarks accusing Turkey of a fait accompli in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“If the Greek prime minister is looking for a fait accompli he is looking in the wrong place. He should look at the actions of the Greek Cypriot leadership. The Greek Cypriot side has been issuing licences in areas which fall within Turkey’s continental shelf. These actions violate international law. There is nothing more natural than Turkey carrying out drilling activities within the boundaries of its continental shelf,” Özersay said in a written statement.

Özersay said that the Greek prime minister’s efforts were in vain as Athens did not have the right to say anything about Turkey conducting such activities within its continental shelf.

“We shall continue to support Turkey and its activities,” Özersay added.

He also questioned why Greece did not raise the same questions when ENI and TOTAL were usurping the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

Özersay also said that Turkish Cypriots had legitimate rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He pointed out that cooperating on the issue of hydrocarbons was the only way out of the current crisis.

“Everyone must show a willingness to cooperate to serve peace and stability in the region,” he said, adding that international actors needed to acknowledge this. “We invite the Greek Cypriot leadership to take steps towards cooperating with Turkish Cypriots on the island’s natural resources,” he said.

KEY ACTORS
Erdoğan (Turkey)
>> Turkey to continue drilling activities in East Med.
>> Turkey looking to buy third drill rig so as not to be dependent on international companies.

Özersay (HP)
>> It is the GC side that has been creating a fait accompli on energy issues, issuing licences in Turkey’s continental shelf & violating international law.
>> Natural for Turkey to carry out drilling in its continental shelf.
>> Greece’s efforts in vain. Athens has no right to say anything about Turkey’s activities in its continental shelf.
>> TC side shall continue to support Turkey’s activities.
>> TCs have legitimate rights & interests in East Med.
>> Only way out of hydrocarbon crisis is for two sides to cooperate.
>> GC leadership should take steps towards cooperation on natural resources.