GCC Press Review 19 Nov 2019

Front Page Headlines


A probe is underway for something they already knew

(Police chief) Kypros Michaelides: “As police, we know very well what is going on.” AKEL leader: We know more than what we say in public about the van and the Israeli company.  Gov. Spokesman: The company had received a permit in Cyprus during the Christofias administration.

  • Pompeo: BBF solution and the visa issue (were discussed)
  • The Pope is coming next year to Cyprus
  • Wave with good names (New movement)


Ankara is a headache

Concerns also in Washington on Turkish behaviour. Turkey is intransigent also on the Cyprus problem.

  • Turkey is now seeking to take credit for the missing
  • The passenger in Paphos the luggage in ‘Ercan’ (Tymbou) – From Berlin, they sent Paola Hadjilambri’s luggage to the occupied areas. The actress was forced to go to Tymbou to pick it up.
  • GC visits in the occupied areas have tripled this year
  • A brazen hotel ad in the occupied areas
  • The Pope will visit Cyprus in the coming year


The Israeli was carrying a gun with ministerial permission

The competent police committee had twice rejected the Israeli’s request to carry arms… Finally, however, there was a positive suggestion by former Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou and, following approval by Cabinet the licence to carry arms was granted to the official of the company which owns the spy van confiscated by the police.

  • The president ought to go to the trilateral with clear goals and very well prepared
  • Bi-communal mobilisation on November 22

Cyprus Mail

Whitewash fears in ‘spy van’ probe

Police ‘looking at all angles’ as AKEL says it knows more than it can say.

  • Pope Francis welcomes Anastasiades to Vatican, will visit Cyprus in 2020


Advertised Espionage!

The curious case of the spy van in Larnaca. The company was registered during the AKEL administration, while last February it had advertised its product in the media. The AKEL leader says that he knows a lot more…

  • The Turks are spoiling the climate – Admittance by Mevlut Cavusoglu on the Turkish intentions. They want political equality first and then talks. Anastasiades: Threats and conditions set by Turkey infect the UNSG’s effort.
  • Mike Pompeo: The US see no other solution to the Cyprus problem other than the BBF
  • The Pope is coming to Cyprus

Main News

Anastasiades: Turkey spoils UNSG’s efforts

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


President Nicos Anastasiades expressed his sorrow on Monday over statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who called for clarifications on the issue of political equality before Turkey would agree to sit at the negotiations table, the papers report.

According to the dailies, Anastasiades, who was on an official visit at the Vatican, said in a written statement that he was saddened by the latest statement by Cavusoglu who said the matter of political equality must be clarified before any new process could start.

“I want to make it clear that under the threats and terms set by Turkey, not only the necessary climate cannot be created, but the effort underway by the (UN) Secretary-General is also being spoiled,” he said.

He reiterated the GC side’s political will to engage in a creative dialogue so as to agree on a functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem without guarantors and the presence of foreign troops.

“Our aim was and still is the creation of a fully independent and sovereign state, that fully safeguards the human rights of the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, based on the principles and values of the EU,” he said.

Cavusoglu said Turkey was not prepared to negotiate under the current conditions and would not sit at the negotiating table again just for the sake of negotiating. He added that they have told their interlocutors that before a new negotiating procedure can start all vagueness regarding political equality between the two sides must first be clarified.

The dailies also report that AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said that as regards the meeting next week between the two leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, it was important for the GC side to get there with clear goals and very well prepared.

He said the GC side needed to be convincing of its readiness for the restart of the talks based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF).

Phileleftheros reports that EDEK on the other hand, said it disagreed with developments on the Cyprus problem and with the content of the Terms of Reference

The party expressed its concerns over acceptance by Anastasiades of the ToR and that the trilateral will have an open agenda arguing this would create additional dangers.

EDEK said that the Cyprus problem was not an issue of a bicommunal energy arrangement but one of invasion and ongoing occupation and such be addressed as such through an international Conference on Cyprus  which would discuss the international aspect which is the essence of the problem.

The dailies also report that a bicommunal rally organised by more than 80 organisations, trade unions and parties is to take place on Friday afternoon as a way to put pressure on the two leaders to push for the continuation of the negotiations procedure for a solution the soonest possible.

Saddened by Turkey’s demand for clarifications on political equality before any new process could start which spoils the effort underway by the UNSG.
>> Reiterates GC side’s political will to engage in a creative dialogue aimed at a functional & viable solution without guarantors & foreign troops.
>> GC side’s aim remains the creation of a fully independent and sovereign state that safeguards the human rights of GCs & TCs based on the principles and values of the EU.

Cavusoglu (Turkey)
Turkey will not negotiate under the current conditions & will not sit at the negotiating table again just for the sake of negotiating.
>> Before a new negotiating procedure can start there must be clarifications on the issue of political equality.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
The GC side must go to the Berlin meeting with clear goals & fully prepared & must be convincing of its readiness for the restart of the talks based on a BBF.

Disagrees with developments on the Cyprob & the content of the ToR.
>> Warns that agreement by Anastasiades to the ToR & an open-agenda trilateral would create additional dangers.
>> Calls for an international Conference on Cyprus to address the essence of the Cyprob which is one of invasion & occupation and not one of bicommunal energy arrangement.

US-Cyprus reaffirm bilateral cooperation

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, Energy, External Security


The dailies report that Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed in Washington on Monday bilateral relations but also Turkeys’ provocative actions off Cyprus.

The meeting took place on the occasion of one year since the signing of the Statement of Intent between the two countries aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the wider security sector.

Christodoulides and Pompeo welcomed the progress achieved so far in joint actions in areas such as maritime security, combating terrorism and trafficking of illicit substances and cooperation in humanitarian operations.

They also discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus issue and the escalating illegal Turkish activities within the maritime zones of the Republic of Cyprus, with an emphasis on the ongoing effort to relaunch substantive negotiations that will lead to a bizonal bicommunal federation (BBF). During the meeting Christodoulides expressing hope that Ankara would demonstrate the necessary constructive stance, the papers report.

Pompeo briefed Christodoulides on his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu last week in Washington.

The dailies report that diplomatic sources told the Cyprus News Agency that Pompeo conveyed the message that the US is not contemplating any other solution other than a BBF and lent his support to the Republic of Cyprus on the issue of rising tensions caused by Turkey.

Sources also told CNA that the US and Cyprus are to start discussions on abolishing visas for Cypriots visiting the US on holiday and conclude an agreement to avoid double taxation.

They also discussed on an agreement on information security and other programmes that will bypass the current arms embargo on Cyprus until it is lifted in Congress, the dailies report.

Phileleftheros reported that Washington did not conceal its concerns on Turkey’s behaviour which was apparent also at yesterday’s meeting between the two ministers.

Pope discusses Cyprob with Anastasiades, to visit the island next year

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, Human Rights


The dailies report that Pope Francis has accepted an invitation by President Nicos Anastasiades to visit the island during the president’s and the First Lady’s official visit to the Vatican on Monday.

The Pope is expected on the island next year.

Anastasiades and his wife arrived at the Vatican on Monday morning together with Cypriot ambassador to the Holy See Giorgos Poullides, Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis and government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou.

Pope Francis welcomed the Cypriot delegation in a private meeting, where they exchanged gifts. Anastasiades presented Pope Francis with a traditional Cypriot silver incense holder and a book entitled Multireligious Cyprus, while Pope Francis presented Anastasiades with a miniature bronze copy of St Paul’s cathedral.

Anastasiades said later in a statement the meeting with Pope Francis was a complete success. They discussed among other things the Cyprus problem, in which according to Anastasiades the pontiff expressed interest “and understands the difficulties caused by Turkey’s invasion and illegal occupation”.

The Pope’s visit next year and will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and 10 years since Pope Benedict’s visit to the island, he said.

Anastasiades said the presence in Cyprus of a leader such as the Pope, a person of profound humanity and with modern vision of the world, is very important given the effort Cyprus is undertaking through interfaith dialogue to achieve global peace and stability, he said.

Anastasiades also discussed the Cyprus problem with the Vatican prime minister and foreign minister, the dailies report.

Pope Francis’ visit to the island is very important given the effort Cyprus is undertaking through interfaith dialogue to achieve global peace and stability.

Turkey calls for recognition of her assistance on missing persons issue

CBMs, Human Rights


According to the daily, Turkey, after being told off last March by the Council of Europe for not cooperating with the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), briefed the human rights organisation that not only she does provide information but also asks to be applauded over her stance.

In a letter to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe ahead of discussion next month on the cases concerning Cyprus VS Turkey and Varnavas and others VS Turkey, Ankara mentions that she is doing her bit for ensuring that investigations into missing persons continue.

The letter also said that the Missing Persons Unit, which operates under the instructions of the ‘Attorney-general of the TRNC’ continues to conduct effective investigations for missing persons who have been identified as such by the CMP.

Turkey, in its letter, calls on the Committee to welcome the assistance by the Turkish side to the CMP, the creation of a new research department at the ‘presidency of the TRNC’ in support of the work of the TC member of the CMP, and for authorising investigations in another 30 military areas.

In addition, Turkey asks that the CoE Committee of Ministers examines the issues on missing persons once a year and not every nine months, as is the practice today. It also calls on the Committee to take into account the fact that both the work of the CMP and the Missing Persons Unit (set up in the occupied areas) have a time-consuming task to carry out.

The Turkish side also records in its letter a series of actions that have been carried out mainly at CMP level to ascertain the fate of the missing Cypriots, the daily reported.

Luggage arrives in airport in north instead of Paphos

Human Rights


The daily reports that the ordeal of the luggage of GC actress Paola Hadjilambri that ended up at the Tymbou airport instead of that of Paphos raises questions on the role of international organisations such as IATA but also on how could airport systems allow such a transfer.

Hadjilambri told the daily that after a trip from the US to Cyprus with various airlines and with stops to Berlin and Budapest before arriving to Paphos, her luggage was lost. It later emerged it was still in Berlin and, after consultations with Easy Jet which was the air carrier she had travelled with between Germany and Hungary, she was told the luggage would be sent to Cyprus with one of the company’s flights to the island.

On Monday however, she received a call from Ercan ‘airport’ with someone telling her the luggage had arrived there and she could go pick it up. The luggage travelled to the north via Turkey on a Turkish airlines flight. She asked to have it delivered to her but was told they don’t deliver to the south so she was forced to travel to the occupied areas for the first time to go pick up her luggage, the daily reported.

Phileleftheros reported that the ground handling services company at the Berlin airport that cooperates with Easy Jet put the luggage on the first flight to Cyprus which was one bound for Ercan via Turkey.

Bicommunal protest against the use of cyanide in mining

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Human Rights


The dailies report that 30 GC and TC parties and organisations will stage a protest on Saturday morning at end of Ledra street to demand the banning the use of cyanide in the mining industry in the Skouriotissa and Lefka areas.

According to a representative of the initiative against the mining of gold, Athena Karyati, the Skouriotissa mine is using cyanide despite two votes in 2010 and 2017 at the European Parliament for the banning of the use of cyanide.

She said that Cyprus has yet to comply with this resolution and as a result, the island risks becoming a dumping site of metal waste from all over the world since Hellenic Copper Mines, along with another company, have started importing tens of thousands of tonnes of metal even from African countries, for process without prior environmental studies, approvals and permits.

She said that in the area of ​​Lefka and Xeros there are 12 million tonnes of waste that has significant impact on human health, flora and fauna.

The same effects are also observed in the Skouriotissa area, to the extent that HCM is obliged to pay compensation to farmers, she said.

Protesters will also demand the restoration of the already polluted areas of Skouriotissa, Lefka, Xero, Mitsero and the protection of forests and sites of archaeological value.

Visits of GCs to north almost tripled since last year



The paper reports that there has been a 63% increase so far this year as regards visits to the occupied areas by GCs almost triple compared to 2018.

Citing data the justice ministry gave parliament, there have been 1.776,343 visits by GCs to the occupied areas between January this year and the end of September. Last year the number was 658,741 visits for the same period, the daily reported.

The paper also reported that up to end of September, 928,221 GC vehicles crossed to the north recording a 66.7% increase compared to the corresponding period last year when 309,374 vehicles has crossed.

An increase has also been recorded in visits by TCs to the free areas, the daily reported, with 970,510 crossing until the end of September compared to in 791,103 last year.

During the same period 376,835 vehicles with TC plates crossed compared to 308,420 in 2018.

The statistics do not include the number of people and vehicles crossing between the two sides from the crossings of Pergamos and Strovilia which are controlled by the British bases, the daily reported.

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