Front Page Headlines
Businesses in serious debts to banks and loan sharks
President of the Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans Mahmut Kanber says there are around 30,000 businesses in the north which are in dire financial situation. He added the increase in Greek Cypriot customers due to the devaluation of the Turkish Lira has kept businesses afloat.
- Erhürman: “We reject a basis which disregards Turkish Cypriots” – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said a five-party conference in which the Turkish Cypriots will be disregarded is not something they will approve. He highlighted that the five-party conference requires serious preparation.
- Akıncı: “I will announce my decision regarding my candidacy in the first week of February.”
“I promised to stand with Tatar”
Economy and Energy Minister Hasan Taçoy, who said that the National Unity Party’s (UBP) sole agenda was the upcoming presidential elections, noted that he will give full support to Tatar in the days leading to the election. Taçoy added, “It will be an election of visions and not personalities. It will be an election about the future of the TRNC.”
- “New opportunities of trade could emerge in the post-Brexit era” – FM Özersay is in London.
- Akıncı: “I will announce my decision regarding my candidacy in the first week of February.”
- Erhürman: “Cyprus was important for us even before the discovery of hydrocarbons.”
Action being taken for olive oil exports
The harvest in olive oil has exceeded two thousand tons. The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers and Artisans and the Olive Oil Producers’ Marketing Cooperative have verified that the country’s olive oil is at global standards. They have contacted 100 countries for exports.
- “UN must adopt an attitude in line with the realities of Cyprus” – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar slammed the UN Secretary-General’s report to extend the mandate of its peacekeeping force on the island.
Who is telling the truth?
The X-Ray unit at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu state hospital has been out of order for a week now. Health Minister Ali Pilli says there is not enough personnel to operate the machine but the Chief Doctor of the hospital Adil Özyılkan says the hospital has run out of x-ray films.
Similar steps could be taken
Following the enactment of the law on tapping mobile communication in the south, Public Transport and Communication Minister Tolga Atakan argued that similar steps could be taken in the north in cases of national security and prevention of crime. He said his ministry will look into the issue.
- Toured five villages in one day – Akıncı said he will announce his decision on candidacy in the first week of February.
- No stopping – Ersin Tatar started from Karpaz (Karpas) and went all the way to Güzelyurt (Morphou)
- His agenda is Brexit – Özersay will address the House of Lords today (Monday).
- He talked about his projects – Erhürman met with GÜKAD (TC Güzelyurt/Morphou Development Society)
- We will be in the second round – Erhan Arıklı is confident of his candidacy.
Here is the Religious Affairs Department’s radio
The broadcasts of the radio station belonging to the Turkish Religious Affairs Department which has cast a dark shadow over Turkey can now be listened to in the TRNC. The Turkish Religious Affairs Department has completed its work on the establishment of the radio station and according to the information given by the Turkish Embassy attaché on religious affairs, the radio station can be tuned in to from the north as well.
- Mustafa Akıncı to announce his decision on his candidacy in the first week of February.
Tatar slams UNSG’s draft UNFICYP reportKıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar criticized the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres’s draft report, calling for the extension of the UN Peacekeeping Forces (UNFICYP) mandate for another six months.
In a written statement issued on Sunday, Tatar argued that it was high time UN acted in a way that recognized the current realities and conditions on the island.
He added that the report only served the continuation of the status quo on the island.
Tatar said that UNFICYP’s operations, which first started in 1964, was no longer suitable for the current conditions on the island.
Recalling that there was a single ceasefire line which ran from east to west on the island after 1974, Tatar said that UNFICYP’s mandate and duties should be shaped according to the current situation on the island.
“Furthermore, the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 186 dated March 4, 1964, refers to the so-called “Republic of Cyprus”. This partnership collapsed in 1963 following the armed attacks of Greek Cypriots against Turkish Cypriots which is why the resolution does not reflect the realities on the island and is a historical mistake,” he said.
Tatar pointed out that the UN had refrained from signing a status agreement with the Turkish Cypriot side despite having signed such an agreement with the Greek Cypriot side.
“The signing of such an agreement with the Turkish Cypriot side is a necessity both in term of fairness and legitimacy,” he said.
Tatar described the fact that half of UNFICYP’s expenses were covered by Greece and the Greek Cypriot side as unfortunate.
This, he added, cast a shadow on the UNFICYP’s impartiality.
Tatar blamed the Greek Cypriot side for the rise in tensions in the region due to hydrocarbons which the report referred to.
He said that the UNSG refrained from making this point in an attempt to adopt a balanced position between the two sides.
“It must not be forgotten. The reason why the process collapsed in Crans Montana and why it has not been possible to restart a new process is due to the Greek Cypriot side’s rejectionist stance and unchanged mentality. Furthermore, the UN is insisting on the framework which is the reason for the failure,” he said.
On the issue of hydrocarbons, Tatar recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side had made three constructive and sincere proposals since 2012 to overcome the crisis, all of which had been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.
This stance led to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side launching their own activities in the area to counter the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral moves, Tatar said.
Tatar pointed out that the UNSG’s report also failed to address the issue of embargoes imposed on Turkish Cypriots sufficiently.
He also criticized the views expressed in the draft report concerning the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha).
“The report which touches on the issue of Maraş (Varosha) continues to hold the Turkish government responsible for the status quo. We would like to use this opportunity to remind everyone that Maraş (Varosha) is part of the TRNC’s territory and that most of the city belongs to the Evkaf administration. The steps taken by our government has been documented in line with these realities and the current work is being carried out in a manner which will not bring any harm to those who have rights,” he said.
On the issue of confidence-building measures (CBMs), Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriot side has always been positive towards the creation of cooperation mechanisms between the two sides.
“It has always been the Greek Cypriot side which has dragged its feet on this issue or created obstacles for the implementation of CBMs,” he said.
Tatar added that it was out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot government to accept any reports or resolutions which refer to the institutions of the so-called “Republic of Cyprus”.
Regarding the negotiations, Tatar argued that the UN insisted on repeating the same framework which has been unsuccessful to this date. “The draft report says that this time should be different but it fails to explain how it will be different,” he added.
>> UN needs to adopt a stance recognizing the realities & conditions on the island.
>> The report only serves the continuation of the status quo on the island.
>> Resolution 186 does not reflect the realities on the island & is a historical mistake.
>> The signing of a status agreement with the TC side is a necessity both in terms of fairness & legitimacy.
>> The fact that half of UNFICYP’s expenses are covered by Greece-Greek Cypriot side removes UNFICYP’s impartiality.
>> UNSG’s report fails to address the issue of embargoes imposed on TCs.
>> TC side has always been positive towards the creation of cooperation mechanisms between the two sides.
>> TC government will not accept any reports or resolutions which refer to the institutions of the so-called RoC.
>> The report states the new process will be different but fails to explain how it will be different.
Unofficial campaigning for April election beginsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process
The upcoming presidential elections continued to dominate the north’s agenda’s on the weekend.
The candidates, potential candidates and political parties started warming up for the elections by visiting towns and villages as well as issuing statements to win the support of the public.
The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and presidential hopeful Tufan Erhürman visited GÜKAD (Society for the development and improvement of Güzelyurt/Morphou) on Saturday night.
Addressing a large group, Erhürman provided information about his vision for the next five years should he be elected as the new Turkish Cypriot leader.
He recalled that the CTP has been working for a comprehensive solution in Cyprus for the past 49 years and that his priority will be to work towards convening a five-party conference as soon as he is elected.
Erhürman said that it was out of the question to start the talks from scratch as this would mean losing valuable time.
“We support a results-oriented process which is not open-ended. We need to prepare well for a five-party conference and we need to be active during this period. In other words, we shouldn’t be experiencing what we have been experiencing for the past two years since the collapse of talks in Crans Montana,” he said.
The CTP leader said that the Cyprus Problem needed to be brought to the world’s attention once again through proactive diplomacy.
Meanwhile, President Mustafa Akıncı said on Sunday that he shall be announcing his decision regarding his candidacy in the first week of February.
Akıncı was speaking during visits paid to Yiğitler (Arsos), Erdemli (Tremetousia), Kırıkkale (Melousha), Dilekkaya (Agia) and Meriç (Mora) on Sunday where he met with locals, briefing them on the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem.
Despite not having announced his candidacy yet, Akıncı has been touring villages and towns across the north for the past month as a sign of his intention to run for a second term.
Speaking during the visits, Akıncı pointed out that the trilateral meeting in Berlin had removed any ambiguity regarding the issue of political equality.
He repeated his view that a solution had become a necessity not only for the two communities on the island but the region as well.
Akıncı also said that steps towards a five-party conference will be taken following the elections in the north.
“The new process will be different from previous processes in that it will be results-oriented and will not be open-ended. Furthermore, a strategic agreement will be targeted. This has been reaffirmed by the UN,” he said.
Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue its efforts to be a respected party as a result of the political will and determination it shows towards a solution.
In a written statement on Sunday, the leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) and presidential candidate Erhan Arıklı said that his party’s priority was to make it to the second round of the elections.
“We have the potential to achieve this as long as we work hard and sincerely,” he said.
The statement came following a party meeting held in Kyrenia.
>> My priority will be to work towards convening a five-party conference as soon as I am elected.
>> Out of the question to start the talks from scratch as this would mean losing valuable time.
>> CTP supports a results-oriented process which is not open-ended.
>> Need to prepare well for a five-party conference.
>> The TC side needs to be active during this period unlike the past two years since the collapse of talks.
>> The Cyprob needed to be brought to the world’s attention once again through proactive diplomacy.
>> The trilateral meeting in Berlin had removed any ambiguity regarding the issue of political equality.
>> A solution had become a necessity not only for the two communities on the island but the region as well.
>> Steps towards a five-party conference will be taken following the elections in the north.
>> The new process will be different from previous processes in that it will be results-oriented and will not be open-ended.
>> A strategic agreement will be targeted which has been reaffirmed by the UN.
>> TC side will continue its efforts to be a respected party as a result of the political will and determination it shows towards a solution.
Brexit may present new opportunities for TCs, says ÖzersayKıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Economy, Regional/International Relations
“It is imperative that several issues are raised in London in light of the developments that are taking place as a result of Brexit,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Sunday.
Özersay, speaking to the TAK news agency before departing for London on Sunday to deliver a conference, said that Brexit could allow Turkish Cypriots to re-establish trade relations with the UK which it enjoyed in the past.
“I believe that Brexit presents us with new opportunities. We must raise this issue with UK based think tanks. In the meantime, we shall continue to voice Turkish Cypriots’ positions at international platforms at every opportunity we get,” said Özersay.
>> Brexit could allow TCs to re-establish trade relations with the UK which it enjoyed in the past.
>> Brexit presents us with new opportunities.