TCC Press Review 28 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

“90 per cent of citizens are in debt”

General Manager of the Cyprus Vakıflar Bank Cengiz Erçağ spoke to Yenidüzen. He said that over 85 to 90 per cent of the people in the country were paying some form of debt, many of them as a result of long term loans. He said that there was only ten per cent of the population which was debt-free.

  • Republican Turkish Party (CTP): “Our expectation from the tripartite meeting is for lasting results to emerge”

Kıbrıs Postası

Efforts underway to grant Turanlı a ₺100 million worth favour.

In addition to the ₺50 million VAT he has to pay by the end of 2019, Director of T&T (the company running Ercan (Tymbou) airport), Emrullah Turanlı has yet to pay his share of the tax on the “revenue sharing agreement,” in force since 2017. And now, according to information obtained by Kıbrıs Postası, a delegation from Turkey which held a meeting with the Tax Department at the Finance Ministry asked for Turanlı to be exempt from VAT in line with a similar practice in Turkey.  As a result, there is now the possibility of granting a ₺100 million tax favour to Turanlı.

  • Both the ruling and opposition parties give messages on the tripartite meeting to be held in Berlin – UBP: “We do not approve Akıncı of discussing the terms of reference.” CTP: “Our expectation from the meeting is for it to yield lasting results.”

Kıbrıs

The goal is to put an end to fatal workplace accidents

68 fatal workplace accidents occurred in the north in the past ten years. There has been a rise in such accidents in the past two years. The Labour and Social Security Ministry has launched an initiative to prevent fatal workplace accidents. Relevant regulations have been passed for the “Workplace Safety and Security law” to be applicable.

  • Tatar: Akıncı should not go to the tripartite meeting – UBP leader Ersin Tatar highlighted that UBP does not approve Akıncı going to the tripartite meeting to be held in Berlin on 25 November.
  • CTP: Our expectation from the tripartite meeting is for it to yield lasting results – CTP expressed its expectation from the tripartite meeting to be held in Berlin on 25 November.

Havadis

“I would like to keep hoping”

Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. In addition to talking on the CTP’s congress, Erhürman also evaluated the Supreme Court’s decision on Maraş (Varosha).

Diyalog

We’re divided

While leftist parties in the TRNC expressed support to the meeting on November 25, the right-wing parties have expressed pessimism and are opposed to the meeting. The Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and the United Cyprus Party (BKP) have welcomed the meeting. The National Unity Party (UBP), the Rebirth Party (YKP) and the Democratic Party (DP) have expressed opposition to the meeting.

  • Isabelle is very tough!  –French ambassador to Cyprus warned of action against Turkey if the need arises.

Afrika

They chased them away with tanks

Hunters in Yılmazköy (Skylloura) were denied entry into the area which is open for hunting. The hunters were chased off by military tanks. The hunters who were told to leave the area by soldiers watching from a distance of three kilometres complained about the incident to Afrika.

  • A campaign against tripartite meeting –Tatar: We are against Akıncı attending the tripartite meeting.
  • So Akıncı has lost his legitimacy! – Attacks against Akıncı continue. It was the Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) deputy leader İzzet Yönter this time who felt the need to speak following the response given to the MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli (MHP) by Akıncı’s spokesman Barış Burcu. He claimed that Akıncı had lost his legitimacy and that he should know his place!

Main News

MHP continues attacks against Akıncı

Kıbrıs Postası
Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

Attacks against President Mustafa Akıncı by political leaders in Ankara continued on Sunday.

Deputy leader of Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) İzzet Ulvi Yönter hit back at Akıncı’s spokesman Barış Burcu through a post on social media.

Burcu had issued an official response to earlier remarks by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli slamming Akıncı for his earlier remarks on Operation Peace Spring.

Yönter described Burcu as a “filthy spokesman” and claimed that Akıncı had lost his legitimacy as president.

He said that earlier remarks made by Bahçeli reflected the views and feelings of the Turkish nation.

“The sleeping communist not only woke up during this most sensitive time but has attacked our leader through his spokesman in the most immoral way. Akıncı has lost his legitimacy,” he said.

Yönter also accused Akıncı of betraying the Turkish nation and of knowing his place.


Political parties remain divided over tripartite meeting

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

OVERVIEW

Diyalog on Monday reported that the political parties in the north remain divided over the tripartite meeting scheduled to take place in Berlin on November 25.

It said that while the major left-wing political parties, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and United Cyprus Party (CTP) see the meeting as a positive development, the right-wing political parties don’t share that view.

The National Unity Party (UBP), the Rebirth Party (YDP) and the Democratic Party (DP) have either expressed opposition or their reservations, the daily reports.

The General Secretary of the CTP Erdoğan Sorakin said they perceived the process as positive.

“Our hope and wish are for the meeting to produce positive results. What we mean from a positive outcome is for the resumption of comprehensive negotiations as soon as possible. It is time an agreement is reached on the Terms of Reference (ToR),” he said.

The leader of the TDP Cemal Özyiğit said that they fully supported the process and President Mustafa Akıncı.

“No matter what the government says we support Akıncı,” said Özyiğit, adding that necessary work for preparing the ground for a five-party meeting.

“We are a community that yearns for peace. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the meeting is taking place in Berlin. As you all know Berlin was once a divided city and the fact that the meeting is taking place there is quite symbolic,” he added.

Özyiğit said they have not been informed on the latest progress achieved on the ToR but that they had full confidence in Akıncı.

The General Secretary of the BKP İzzet İzcan said that the meeting was an expected development.

He said his party supported the meeting and expressed the hope that it will yield positive results.

“We support a federal settlement and we will support any initiative in that direction.”

The UBP General Secretary Ersan Saner repeated his party’s opposition to Akıncı engaging in new talks with the Greek Cypriot side.

“We believe it is wrong to resume these negotiations. As we have stated before there is little time left before the elections. We believe that Akıncı should only engage in these talks if he wins the support of the people in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

Saner added that Turkish Cypriots were fed up of empty promises and delaying tactics.

“Any new process must be results-oriented but we don’t believe that Mr Akıncı should be leading this process. Previously in Crans Montana, Mr Akıncı had presented a map without consulting anyone. It is not possible to call this the peoples’ will. We are already stating that it is not possible to continue with the Guterres Framework,” he added.

Leader of the YDP Erhan Arıklı said that Akıncı planned to use the tripartite meeting to crack the door open for a new process which would get prepare the ground for his re-election.

“I believe that they are going to tell us at the end of the meeting that progress has been achieved on the ToR and Turkey will come under immense pressure at a five-party meeting,” he said.

Arıklı claimed that the greater powers wanted an Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey.

“That can only be achieved in the event Turkey is kicked out of Cyprus,” he said.

Democratic Party MP Fikri Ataoğlu expressed his view that it was not a coincidence the meeting was taking place in Berlin.

He said that the Cyprus Problem would have been solved at Crans Montana if the Greek Cypriots had the intention to do so.

“Too many concessions were made in Crans Montana. There was a map brought to the table and the parliament was not even informed about it. Nevertheless, the Greek Cypriots did not budge. I don’t believe we will reach an agreement even if they agree on the ToR,” he said.

Ataoğlu also expressed the view that Akıncı will be using the meeting as a tactic for his re-election.

In a separate statement on Sunday, the CTP said that it expected a lasting result from the leaders’ meeting scheduled to take place in Berlin on November 25. 

In a post on social media, the CTP stressed the importance of clear and lasting results for a comprehensive solution.

The CTP also said that past convergences, the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration, and the six-point framework presented to the two sides by the UN Secretary-General on 30 June 2017 needed to be accepted by both sides for negotiations to resume in a results-oriented and time-framed manner.

“We would like to stress once again that a rotating presidency and effective participation in decision-making processes are essential for a secure and stable federal settlement,” it said.

KEY ACTORS
Sorakin (CTP)
>> CTP supports the new process. We hope the meeting will produce a positive outcome which is for the resumption of comprehensive negotiations as soon as possible.
>> It is time an agreement is reached on ToR.
>> Past convergences, the 11 Feb 2014 Joint Declaration, and Guterres framework needs to be accepted by both sides for talks to resume in a results-oriented & time framed manner.
>> Rotating presidency & effective participation in decision-making processes are essential for a secure & stable federal settlement.

Özyiğit (TDP)
>> TDP fully supports process & Akıncı. 
>> Venue of the meeting is not a coincidence. Berlin is a symbolic venue.
>> Meeting will help prepare the ground for a five-party meeting.

İzcan (BKP)
>> Meeting was an expected development.
>> BKP fully supports the process & hopes the meeting will yield positive results.
>> BKP fully supports a federal settlement & we will support any initiative in that direction.

Saner (UBP)
>> UBP opposed to Akıncı engaging in talks with GC side.
>> Akıncı should wait for forthcoming elections to seek the support of the people before moving forward.
>> TCs fed up of empty promises & delaying tactics.
>> Any new process must be results-oriented but it shouldn’t be led by Akıncı should be leading this process.
>> Akıncı had made too many concessions in Crans Montana without consulting anyone.
>> It is not possible to resume talks with the Guterres framework.

Arıklı (YDP)
>> Akıncı plans to use the tripartite meeting to prepare the ground for his re-election.
>> Turkey will come under immense pressure at a five-party meeting.
>> Greater powers want an Eastern Mediterranean free of Turkey. The only way to achieve is this by kicking Turkey out of Cyprus.

Ataoğlu (DP)
>> Venue of the meeting is not a coincidence.
>> Cyprob would have been solved at Crans Montana if GCs had a real intention to so.
>> Too many concessions were made in Crans Montana. GCs did not budge despite the map presented at the table.
>> Agreement is unlikely even if sides agree on ToR.
>> Akıncı will be using the meeting as a tactic for his re-election. 


Erhürman: “I would like to maintain hope”

Havadis
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory, Governance & Power sharing

OVERVIEW

“The main responsibility falls on the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the tripartite meeting in Berlin as his determined position on protecting the relevant UN Security Council resolutions will be definitive,” CTP leader Tufan Erhürman told Havadis.

In an interview with Havadis published on Monday, Erhürman said that political equality together with a rotational presidency and effective participation in decision-making processes will be the main issue that will be discussed at the meeting in Berlin.

“If these issues are clarified and an agreement on a results-oriented process that is not open-ended is reached, a very important step towards a solution will be taken,” Erhürman said.

He added the CTP desired to see this step taken in Berlin. 

“In this respect, I wish to maintain my hopes regarding the tripartite meeting,” Erhürman underlined.

He also reminded that CTP had pointed out that the positions defended by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades were in contradiction and outside of existing UN parameters.

“This is the reason why we call on Guterres to protect the basis for the talks because this is, in fact, the UN’s basis,” Erhürman concluded.

Responding to a question on the recent Supreme Court ruling on Maraş (Varosha), Erhürman said he needs to see the detailed decision before he could comment.

He, however, added, “it is nonetheless very important to see a ruling from the Supreme Court on the fenced-off town.”

Erhürman said he believed the detailed ruling will act as a guide on the debates on Maraş (Varosha).

He repeated the CTP’s view that any steps taken regarding the fenced-off town must be in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.

the CTP leader went on to say that relevant resolutions call for the fenced-off town to be returned to it’s lawful owners under the control of the UN.

“The Turkish Cypriot side should not be expected to do anything about Maraş (Varosha) if there is no foreseeable solution in the near term,” Erhürman said.

He added that the former Greek Cypriot residents, on the other hand, continue to apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) claiming that the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) is no longer a legitimate domestic remedy for property disputes regarding properties in Maraş (Varosha).

Erhürman said that the Maraş (Varosha) initiative could be put on hold should a results-oriented and time-framed process begins after the tripartite meeting and a possible five-party summit.

“However if such a process does not begin and a comprehensive settlement is unlikely in the near future, no one should expect the Turkish Cypriot side to sit back and do nothing on Maraş (Varosha),” Erhürman added.

Erhürman, in response to a question on relations with Turkey, said the CTP has always advocated for the relations with Ankara to be established on the “proper foundations” based on mutual respect.

“What we need is a self-sufficient, self-governing structure to achieve this,” he said.

He emphasized the importance of maintaining good relations with Turkey both for the solution of the Cyprus problem, for confidence-building measures (CBMs); for proactive foreign policy and economic development.

“If the basis is not structured correctly, the initiatives, meetings, agreements, and all others will be questioned and in such times, the good personal relations will be insufficient,” Erhürman concluded. 

KEY ACTORS
Erhürman (CTP)
>> The main responsibility falls on the UNSG Antonio Guterres during the tripartite meeting in Berlin.
>> SG’s determined position on protecting the relevant UN Security Council resolutions will be definitive.
>> Political equality together with rotational presidency & effective participation in decision-making processes will be the main issues discussed at the Berlin meeting.
>> An important step towards a solution will be taken once issues are clarified & and an agreement on a results-oriented process that is not open-ended is reached.
>> I wish to keep maintain my hopes regarding the tripartite meeting.
>> Supreme Court’s ruling on Maraş (Varosha) will be an important guide for debate on the fenced-off city.
>> Moves on fenced-off town must be in line with the UN Security Council resolutions.
>> TC side should not be expected not to do anything about Maraş (Varosha) if there is no foreseeable solution in the near term.
>> If a new process were to resume, Maraş (Varosha) could be put on hold.
>> CTP has always advocated for the relations with Turkey to be established on proper foundations based on mutual respect.
>> This is only possible through a self-sufficient, self-governing structure.
>> Maintaining good relations with Turkey is important for the solution of Cyprob, CBMs, proactive foreign policy and economic development.
>> If the basis is not structured correctly, the initiatives, meetings, agreements, and all others will be questioned and in such times, the good personal relations will be insufficient.