GCC Press Review 29 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

More local communities to be incorporated into municipalities

The interior ministry’s plans for the reform are overturned. The ministry calculated that 25-28 local communities would be incorporated into municipalities but we are now looking at over 40. Kyperounta in a letter raised the issue of setting up rural municipalities in mountainous areas.

  • Cypriot bras de fer (on the Cyprus problem)
  • The pupils’ own will to parade – They defied the weather conditions and the education ministry.

Phileleftheros

Chaotic decision by the education ministry

They cancelled the parades just before their start and caused island-wide confusion. In some places parades did take place, elsewhere they were cancelled and in other areas they barely took place.

  • Binding elements in the letters to the UNSG  – Proposals and ideas by the leaders.
  • Turkey is carrying out exercises around the ‘Conqueror’ (Fatih) and the Yavuz (drillships)

Haravgi

The government’s responsibilities are self-evident

Nicos Anastasiades’ institutional and political responsibilities are self-evident when it comes to granting citizenships as the results have led our country to international ridicule. This is not about one or two ‘golden’ passports but many… with the president appearing nervous and calling for investigations…

  • They live among mould and waste water (refugees in Ayios Ioannis in Limassol)
  • They paraded in the absence of officials
  • The TCs’ reactions to Turkey’s policies during the last decade are many

Cyprus Mail

AKEL spotlight on Saudi link

President pressed over passport given to Saudi businessman.

  • Turkey must stop preconditions for talks (Anastasiades)

Alithia

The backstage of the parliamentary elections

Overturning of existing conditions and plans. For the parties, May 2021 and the parliamentary election is not far at all. Andros Kyprianou and Giorgos Lillikas seem to have second thoughts and will not step down from their parties’ leaderships. The developments within all parties.

  • Akinci’s percentage is rising as a result of his conflict with Turkey
  • October 28 (anniversary): Fear of lighting caused cancellation of parades

Main News

Anastasiades: Turkey needs to stop setting terms for participating in the talks

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

President Nicos Anastasiades called for appropriate representations by the UN Secretary-General to Turkey to stop setting conditions for participating in the talks arguing that the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem are a matter of the two leaders, the papers report on Tuesday.

According to the dailies, Anastasiades said on Monday that the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem would be dealt with by the leaders of the two communities.

“Despite this, I see one of the guarantor powers, Turkey, setting terms regarding the conditions that would make its participation in a dialogue possible,” he said, expressing hope the UN Secretary-General was aware of this, and eventually the necessary representations would be undertaken “so as some return back to earth”.

Asked about his planned meeting with TC leader Mustafa Akinci on November 25, Anastasiades said the talks were of Cypriot ownership “and under this condition it is always implied that issues relating to the internal aspects would be dealt with by the leaders of the two communities”.

He added that the international aspect such as issues concerning guarantees and the presence of troops, was part of the Cyprus problem and also relates to the existing guarantor powers. “Our objective is to continue on the same basis,” Anastasiades said.

He said the common objective was to create the conditions that would allow the Republic of Cyprus to evolve into a European, functional state that ensures everyone’s human rights and the conditions of peaceful coexistence, not turning it into the protectorate of any third power, he said.

According to Politis Lute is expected to return to the island for meetings with the two leaders on November 15 or a couple of days before the trilateral in Berlin which is to take place on November 25. The daily, citing information from New York, reports that the UNSG will attempt at the trilateral to finalise the issues to be discussed during the informal five-party meeting between the guarantor forces and the two sides.

Phileleftheros reports that the letters the two leaders were asked to prepare on the request of the Security Council are expected to be sent to the UN Secretary-General within the coming days. UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute had asked the two leaders to have their letter ready by October 26. Citing sources, the daily reports that Anastasiades’ letter is ready.

The paper reports that according to its sources, the letters will have three parts; what the leader has done since Crans-Montana as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem, what actions he has taken to promote confidence-building measures, and how the leader himself sees the process (what needs to be done from now on to lead things towards a solution).

The two letters will be included as attachments in the UNSG’s report to the Security Council and are expected to be made public just like the report, the paper reported.

According to the daily this UN venture carries several risks since on the one hand, the content of the letters can be used as a binding text for each leader to the Security Council itself. On the other hand, it can be a source of new public confrontations between the two sides on the eve of crucial meetings with the Secretary-General since the suggestions made for continuing the process will certainly include references that will stir reactions from the other side.

KEY ACTORS
Anastasiades
>>
Wants the UNSG to make Turkey stop setting terms to participate in the dialogue given that the talks are of Cypriot ownership & the internal aspects of the Cyprob are up to the two leaders to tackle.
>> Wants the talks to be on the same basis as before whereby the two leaders discuss the internal aspects while the guarantor powers participate in talks on the international aspect of the Cyprob.
>> The common objective is the evolution of the RoC into a European, functional state that ensures peaceful coexistence & everyone’s human rights & not turning it into the protectorate of any third power.

Averof
>> Our aim is to reach to a bizonal bicommunal federal with political equality based on the relevant UN resolutions, the values and principles of the EU and the EU acquis. A solution that will trully reunite Cyprus, establishing it as a modern European state with one single sovereignty, one single international personality and one single citizenship.


RoC reserves for exercise areas near Turkish drillships

Phileleftheros
External Security, Regional/International Relations, Energy

OVERVIEW

According to the daily the government is responding to the two new naval exercises by Turkey near the drilling sites where the Yavuz and Fatih are operating to the southwest and west of the island, through the announcement of a multinational exercise.

The exercise is to take place in November 6,11-14 and 16 in offshore blocks 2,3 and 13 in an area also covering the Soupia drilling target where Turkish frigates had prevented Italian energy company ENI’s drillrig from carrying out exploratory drilling in February 2017, the daily reported.

Cyprus has also reserved a sea area west of the island near the area the Fatih drillship is located, for back to back exercises.

Turkey’s Navtex messages concern an area near the Fatih for a naval exercise on Wednesday and another within the Republic’s offshore blocks 1,2,6 and 7 reaching up to where the Yavuz is located, the daily reports. It added that the Fatih has completed its drilling in its second target off Paphos and is expected to soon move.

Though there was no confirmation, given that the Republic’s exercises are taking place in areas near where the Fatih is expected to move next assumptions that this is a precautionary action are reasonable, the daily said.


Achna launches Refugee Theme Park

Phileleftheros
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

Schools from all districts have expressed interest in visiting a theme park on the experience of being a refugee set up by the Dasaki tis Achnas community council which hosted in 1974 thousands of refugees who were living in tents in the nearby forest area, the paper reported.

The Refugee Theme Park will be operating at the village’s main square and will start receiving schools and other visitors from Wednesday.

Achna’s local community leader Nicos Vasilas told Phileleftheros that visitors will be able to enter the various tents which will host a photo exhibition and video material on the situation of refugees the first days and weeks after the 1974 invasion including the equipment refugees were using such as cooking utensils, kerosene lamps and camp beds. One tent was turned into a hospital similar to the one operating in the area where the refugee tents had been set up in 1974 and another into a school.

The theme park also includes makeshift hygiene areas such as the ones refugees were using and tents that used to house services.

Vasilas said the aim is for visitors to get a full picture of the conditions at the Achna forest at the time. It is estimated that around 80,000 refugees had stayed in tents in the Achna forest, he said, according to the daily.


Ministry called off school parades due to fear of lightning

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

All dailies report that the school parades scheduled to take place on Monday to mark Ochi Day, the anniversary of Greece’s entry into the second World War, were called off by the education ministry at the very last moment after consultations with the meteorological service over fears of extreme weather conditions.

The news wreaked chaos since pupils were already at the areas where the parades were to take place. Following the decision of the local authorities, the parades in Limassol, Paphos and Paralimni went ahead as planned. The ones in Larnaca and Nicosia were cancelled but some pupils in Nicosia decided to parade after all since they were there, even in the absence of state officials, the papers report.

According to Alithia, the decision for the cancellation of the parades was out of fear of lightning activity and the risk this would pose to the pupils and everyone attending since electric equipment would be in use. The decision comes after a 20-year-old man was critically injured after being hit by lightning on Sunday in Ayios Georgios Alamanos area in Limassol while out hunting.


A timeline of crises between TCs & Turkey

Haravgi
Governance & Power Sharing, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The daily published a review of the crises between TCs and Turkey over the past decade. Citing TC news portal Gazeddakibris, the daily reported that this is a reminder of 10 years of interference within the TC community.

According to the paper after 2004, tensions between TCs and the Turkish government started escalating and increasing. The result of the AKP’s social, cultural and economic imposition and policies, which has increased its influence in Cyprus since 2010, was to create serious unrest against the ruling Turkish party, the paper reported.

Gazeddakibris presents a timeline of the instances of crises and the TCs’ resistance to Turkish intervention.

In 2019, two such crises were recorded with the latest being TC leader Mustafa Akinci’s comments against the invasion of Syria by Turkey when, Erdogan, among other things, reminded Akinci that he was in his post as leader because of Turkey. The second crisis this year was that of the education protocol, and the attempt to enforce the creation or religious schools.

Last year, Gazeddakibris recorded the attacks against Afrika after the daily called in January Turkey’s attack on Afrin as a “second invasion”. The events sparked the ‘Shoulder to Shoulder against fascism’ movement by TCs.

In 2016, there was the ‘We Reject’ movement and the coordination office crisis whereby the youth reacted to the attempt by Turkey to set up a coordination office for youth and sports. The strong reaction led to the abortion of this plan.

The ‘water crisis’ took place in 2015 after the completion of the water pipeline from Turkey to Cyprus following reaction by opposition to further dependence on Turkey and the creation of a platform with the participation of political parties.

The ‘daughter-motherland crisis’ also broke out in the same year when Akinci had said that this type of relationship between TCs and Turkey ought to come to an end. The appropriate relationship should be that of sisters, Akinci had said, causing Erdogan’s ire.

The ‘Hala Sultan college crisis’ took place in 2013 following reaction for the opening of the religious school bearing the same name.

Another crisis recorded for 2013 is the ‘Alo Beshir’ one when Turkish ruling party AKP’s Minister for Cyprus Affairs, Beshir Atalay, called the leader of TC Republican Turkish Party (CTP) pointing out that he should form a coalition with the National Unity Party  (UBP) and not the Democratic Party (DP). After news of the telephone call got out there was strong reaction by the TCs who felt that Atalay was interfering in the people’s will.

Three crises were recorded in 2011. In July it was due to the violence police exercised on people protesting Erdogan’s visit in Cyprus.

During the same year there were also reactions to the appointment of head of charity Halil Ibrahim Akca as Turkey’s ambassador to the north despite that the TC leader at the time had expressed his opposition to his appointment.

The third crisis came after a protest in January by the TCs due to the economic package which led to Erdogan saying they had no right to protest after everything Turkey was doing for them.

In 2010, a crisis was sparked after Erdogan asked the then TC ‘prime minister’ Irsen Kucuk how much his salary was during a joint press conference. TC unions reacted strongly arguing TCs were not for sale.


Works coming up to redevelop Larnaca’s TC neighbourhood

Politis
EU Matters, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The daily reports that the Larnaca municipality is carrying out studies for the redevelopment of the TC neighbourhood of the part of town which is now also known as the artists’ quarter since it houses workshops of painters, sculptors and ceramic artists.

The project is part of nine new projects that the municipality wants to implement with EU funds from the new programming period, 2021-2027.

The municipality, however, will carry out some redevelopment works within the coming months to upgrade the area before it secures the EU funding for infrastructure works for the entire TC quarter. These will concern installing artworks on Ak Deniz and Bozkurt streets as well as new benches, flower pots and rubbish bins, and a map with the boundaries of the artists’ quarter.

Other works include underground utilities, paving of roads and sidewalks, installation of modern street lighting and urban equipment as well as the creation of an artist park across Ak Deniz, Bozkurt and Bozdag streets, and the parking space of the old TC cinema, the daily reported.