TCC Press Review 29 Oct 2019

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

It has been pending for 140 days

The new draft law on citizenship which was expected to be sent to parliament not long ago hasn’t even been sent to the Council of Ministers yet. The draft law which was prepared during the four-party coalition government has been pending for months. The failure to send it to the Council of Ministers has drawn a reaction from opposition MPs who seek clarification.

Kıbrıs Postası

#We don’t want it #you can keep it

Representatives of the media have decided they longer want the state contribution given to media organizations. MP’s addressing parliament on Monday likened newspapers to beggars. In response, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association (KTGB), the Press Workers Union (Basın-Sen), the Turkish Cypriot Public Servants Union (KTAMS) and the Revolutionary Workers Union (Dev-İş) issued a joint statement rejecting any financial assistance from the current government.

  • Benter: “The attack on the banner proves we need to explain our cause better.”

Kıbrıs

17,000 tons of barley could go to waste

Last year’s harvest was very good as a result of abundant rainfall, yielding 76,000 tons of barley. However, due to lack of storage facilities, 17,000 tons of barley is currently being kept out in the open. Many in the agriculture sector are concerned the harvest will go to waste in the open.

Havadis

A military base at the heart of tourism

Rumours of plans to build a military base in Boğaz (Boghazi) near İskele (Trikomo), which is the country’s fastest developing tourism hotspot, dropped like a bombshell! The area supposedly reserved for a military base is marked as “forest land” in the Development Master Plan. The area stretches from the main road to the sea.

  • The ambassador wants a solution – During a speech to mark Turkey’s Republic Day, Turkish Ambassador to the North Ali Murat Başçeri emphasized Ankara will continue its efforts until a fair and a lasting solution is found on the island.
  • “Our agenda is the vision, not the candidate” – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman wants to focus on the vision for a solution rather than who will be nominated to run for presidency. He added as long as the debates focus on the candidate, it means that no one is talking about the real agenda.

Diyalog

Like a movie

Cengiz Ormancıoğlu who is being accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend has been arrested. The court released him on bail. The 52-year-old had kidnapped his former 39-year-old lover from her current boyfriend’s home while he was still at the house.

  • 22,000 maids – The number of foreign workers in South Cyprus has exceeded 134,000.
  • No joint vision – Kudret Özersay said news of the tripartite meeting was neither newsworthy or unexpected. 
  • Critical rendezvous – Greek Cypriot press announced a second meeting will take place on December 20.
  • Money laundering haven –It was announced that $5.5bn stolen from Ukraine had been smuggled to South Cyprus.

Afrika

The zealots have risen

Turkey’s Republic established on October 29, 1923, celebrates its 96th anniversary today. But not much of that original Republic remains. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s rule and his army of cults, mullahs and zealots have set on a path to seek revenge from Atatürk. Numerous busts and statues of Atatürk have come under attack, vandalised, destroyed or painted over. We decided to reserve our front page today, not to the celebrations but to this destruction.

Main News

Özersay says tripartite meeting nothing new

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

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay on Monday said that the outcome of next month’s tripartite meeting in Berlin will not be any different from previous meetings if the sides continue to ignore the real reasons behind the failure of negotiations for the past 51 years.

In a written statement, Özersay said the meeting between the two leaders and the UN Secretary-General in Berlin on November 25 was neither unexpected nor did it raise any excitement.

“We should stop repeating the same wishes and expectations that the next process should not be open-ended or that political equality should be safeguarded. Let’s openly talk about the real reason behind the problem,” Özersay said.

He argued that the true problem was that both sides lacked a joint vision for a settlement which was why the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres had avoided engaging in a new process since 2017.

Özersay said that efforts to draft the Terms of Reference (ToR) had failed due to the lack of this joint vision.

“A federal settlement envisages sharing power and wealth, neither of which the Greek Cypriots are willing to do. This is very clear,” he said.

Özersay went on to say that under the current circumstance there was no chance to persuade the Greek Cypriot side to act otherwise. 

“If you [Turkish Cypriot side] were an EU member, recognised as the legitimate government of Cyprus and allowed to drill for natural gas on your own would you share wealth and power with the Greek Cypriots?” asked Özersay.

He also argued that it was time the two sides abandoned efforts to reach a federal settlement because the conditions revealed that this was not a suitable model for Cyprus.

“A federation is not a bad model of government but since the conditions for a federation do not exist in Cyprus it is time we abandoned these efforts. Both sides say they support a federal settlement but have very different understanding and interpretations on what a federal settlement entails,” he added.

To insist on repeating the same discussions at the table will only serve to reinforce the status quo, Özersay said.

People’s Party (HP) MP Gülşah Sanver Manavoğlu on Monday adhered to Özersay’s views, claiming both the left and the right were well aware that prospects for a federal solution in Cyprus had died when the last round of talks collapsed in Crans Montana in 2017.

Speaking on a TV programme, Manavoğlu said she was not telling Akıncı not to attend the Berlin meeting but that it was highly unlikely something would emerge from that meeting.

Manavoğlu argued that the Greek Cypriot side will try to use the meeting as an opportunity to gain more concessions, particularly in light of Akıncı’s position ahead of next year’s presidential elections in the north.

“What’s left for the Turkish Cypriot side to give that I don’t know?” she said. 

She argued that both sides had a different interpretation of the term ‘federation’.

In the meantime, a statement of support for Akıncı came from the Communal Liberation Party (TKP) on Monday.

TKP leader Mehmet Çakıcı in a written statement described the UNSG’s invitation to the two leaders “a positive development towards the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

“We expect to see the tripartite meeting lead the way for the resumption of the negotiations process, which will be concluded swiftly,” Çakıcı said.

He added the Turkish Cypriot community’s desire for solution and peace continues.

Çakıcı also stressed that it was important that past convergences are accepted. “The remaining divergences, on the other hand, must be overcome in the best interest of the communities in Cyprus and their shared future,” Çakıcı concluded.

Smaller leftist movements such as Left Movement (Sol Hareket) also highlighted the importance of the meeting in Berlin.

Abdullah Korkmazhan who issued a written statement on Monday on behalf of the movement, that the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s invitation was an indication that the UN wanted to take on a new initiative.

“Guterres will call for an informal five-party meeting in December to reach an agreement on the terms of reference to pave the way for the commencement of a new process,” Korkmazhan added.

He argued that the tripartite meeting was crucial for the future of the island and the Cyprus problem.

Kormazhan urged the two leaders to prepare well for the meeting and asked them to be resolute and constructive for the resumption of talks.

“The negotiations will resume from where it left off in Crans Montana, based on the UN parameters and to reach a federal solution,” Korkmazhan said, adding that the new process could not be open-ended nor could it start from scratch!

“All relevant sides must respect the past agreements to conclude the negotiations in a foreseeable future with the desired solution,” Korkmazhan stressed. He said those who advocate for a two-state solution under the EU umbrella are mistaken and are attempting to deceive the Turkish Cypriot community. 

He urged all federal solution supporters to unite to represent the will for a solution in the community. “The recent influx of verbal attacks and threats against President Mustafa Akıncı only aim to suppress the Turkish Cypriots’ political will in favour of the solution and to slay the new negotiations process even before it commences,” Korkmazhan concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP)
>> The outcome of the Berlin meeting will not be any different from previous meetings if the sides continue to ignore the true reasons behind the failure of the negotiations.
>> The tripartite meeting is neither unexpected nor did it raise any excitement.
>> The real reason behind the problem should be discussed instead of repeating the same expectations of political equality.
>> The true problem is that both sides lack a joint vision for a settlement.
>> Efforts to draft the ToR has failed due to the lack of this joint vision.
>> No chance of persuading GC side to accept a federal settlement under current circumstances.
>> It is time the sides abandon efforts to reach a federal solution because the conditions reveal it is not a suitable model for Cyprus.
>> Both sides have a very different understanding & interpretations on what a federal settlement entails.
>> Insisting on discussing same issues will only serve to reinforce the status quo.

Manavoğlu (HP)
>> Both the left and the right are aware that prospects for a federal solution in Cyprus ended in Crans Montana in 2017.
>> It is highly unlikely something will emerge from Berlin meeting.
>> The GC side will try to use the meeting as an opportunity to gain more concessions from TC side.
>> Both sides have a different interpretation of the term ‘federation’.

Çakıcı (TKP)
>> UNSG’s invitation to the two leaders a positive development towards the solution of the Cyprus problem.
>> Expectation is to see the meeting lead the way for the resumption of talks which will be concluded swiftly.
>> TC community’s desire for a solution & peace continues.
>> Past convergences must be accepted.
>> The remaining divergences must be overcome in the best interest of the communities in Cyprus & their shared future.

Korkmazhan (Left Movement)
>> UNSG’s invitation is an indication that the UN wants to undertake a new initiative.
>> UNSG will call for an informal five-party meeting in December to reach an agreement on the ToR to pave the way for a new process.
>> The tripartite meeting is crucial for the future of the island & the Cyprob.
>> The two leaders should prepare well for the meeting & should be resolute & constructive for the resumption of talks.
>> The negotiations will resume from where it left off in Crans Montana, based on the UN parameters to reach a federal solution.
>> The new process cannot be open-ended nor can could it start from scratch.
>> All relevant sides must respect past agreements to conclude the negotiations in a foreseeable future with the desired solution.
>> Those who advocate for a two-state solution under the EU umbrella are mistaken & are attempting to deceive the TC community.
>> The recent attacks & threats against Akıncı only aims to suppress the TCs’ political will for a solution & to slay the new negotiations process even before it commences.


Benter: “Vandalism incident reveals the need to inform public better”

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Property, Territory, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

The head of the Evkaf Administration Prof Dr İbrahim Benter said on Monday that an attack on an Evkaf banner with “Maraş (Varosha) is Evkaf property” written on it proved that there was a greater need to inform the public on the Evkaf’s cause regarding the fenced-off city. 

A vandal or vandals sprayed over a banner in front of Kyrenia Gate in Nicosia, replacing its wording with “Maraş (Varosha) belongs to its owners.”

“It’s interesting. We are saying the same thing as the person or persons who sprayed over the banner. Maraş (Varosha) should be given to its owner. Land in the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) belongs to the Evkaf. The plots of land are owned by the Abdullah Pasha Foundation, the Lala Mustafa Pasha Foundation and the Bilal Ağa Foundation. We struggle to win back these Evkaf properties,” he said.

Benter said that the incident revealed that the Evkaf had not been successful in informing the public well enough about the facts.

He said he wished the person or persons who had committed the act should have examined the information and documents before attempting to do such a thing.

“I would like to ask the person who sprayed over the banner. Maraş (Varosha) has been the property of the Evkaf for 400 years. How were these properties suddenly transferred to individuals? How was ownership of these properties transferred? For example, would we not object if the ownership of the Great Inn or the Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia cathedral) were to be transferred to individuals? Why do you not support such a move when the issue is about Maraş (Varosha)? Are you opposed to the fenced-off city being used for the service of the community?” Benter asked.

Benter said that the Evkaf Administration will be stepping its information campaign and added that the Evkaf was prepared to provide anyone seeking more information with the assistance they require.

KEY ACTORS
Benter (Evkaf)
>> The vandalism incident proves there is a greater need to inform the public on the Evkaf’s.
>> Evkaf is saying the same thing as the vandal/s. Maraş (Varosha) should be given to its owner which is the Evkaf.
>> Land on which Maraş (Varosha) sits on belongs to the Evkaf. Evkaf’s struggle is to win back these properties.
>> The incident revealed that the Evkaf has been unsuccessful in informing the public well enough about the facts.
>> Evkaf will be stepping its information campaign & is prepared to assist anyone seeking more information.


Başçeri: “Turkey to continue efforts for a fair & lasting solution”

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

OVERVIEW

“Turkey is standing with all its might alongside the Turkish Cypriots until a fair and a lasting solution is reached on the island,” Turkish Ambassador to the North Ali Murat Başçeri said during a televised address on Bayrak on Monday to mark the beginning of celebrations for Turkey’s Republic Day.

Among other issues, Başçeri touched upon Turkey’s military operation in 1974, stating it was one of the greatest turning points in Turkey’s history.

He said the operation had been launched to protect the Turkish Cypriots and to safeguard their rights and interests as one of the island’s equal partners.

“The same effort will be shown until a comprehensive settlement is established,” Başçeri noted.

He added those who wish to sever the inseparable ties between the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot people will be disappointed.

Başçeri also commended the support given by Turkish Cypriots to Turkey’s Peace Spring operation in north-eastern Syria.

“The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will continue its development in peace with the support of Turkey,” Başçeri concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Başçeri (Turkey)
>> Turkey is standing with all its might alongside TCs until a fair and a lasting solution is found on the island.
>> Turkey will show the same effort it did in 1974 until a solution is found.
>> Those who wish to sever ties between the Turkish & TCs will be disappointed.
>> The TRNC will continue to develop with the support of Turkey.


Rumours of military base near İskele (Trikomo) sparks public reaction

Havadis
Property, Territory, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

Havadis reported on Tuesday that rumours of the Turkish army’s plans to build a military base in Boğaz (Boghazi) near İskele (Trikomo), one of the fastest developing tourism areas in the north, sparked angry reaction from the public. 

According to the claim, the Turkish military has already acquired the necessary permits from the Department of Roadworks, the Water Board and the Town Planning Department.

The military is expected to fence off the area before commencing work.

The paper reports that a section of the area where the military area is planned is marked as “forest land” in the Development Master Plan.

Due to its proximity to the shore, the masterplan restricts constructions of buildings taller than two storeys for the exception of hotels which can build to a maximum of four storeys.  

The paper adds the rumours have raised concerns among local shopkeepers as well as foreign home-owners from Sweden, Finland and Norway.

The alleged plan has also raised safety concerns due to its proximity to a densely populated tourist area, the paper reports.

It gave the example of an explosion earlier this summer at a munitions depot near a resort in Çatalköy (Ayios Epiktitos).

Speaking to Havadis, the head of the Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors Association Cafer Gürcafer expressed his disapproval of the rumoured plans.

“It’s disturbing to hear of such plans particularly when we were expecting the military to move its bases to less densely populated areas,” Gürcafer said.

He urged the authorities to discuss the issue with the military and to convince them not to build a base in the area which is important for the country’s economic development and the tourism sector.

Gürcafer accused the authorities of simply approving the military’s application without even examining it. He noted that the Famagusta-İskele (Trikomo)-Yeniboğaziçi (Ayios Sergios) development plan envisages uninterrupted cycling and pedestrian lanes from Famagusta to İskele (Trikomo).