Front Page Headlines
“Banks to impose insurance”
Banks are removing the option of allowing you to choose your own insurance company when lending you money. Following the changes in Turkey concerning compulsory insurance, all eyes have now turned to the practice in our country.
- ‘Afrika’ in Europe: “Those responsible were tried and brought to justice” – National Unity Party (UBP) MP Özdemir Berova spoke at the Council of Europe on the “freedom of media”. He claimed that those who attacked Afrika newspaper had been tried and sentenced to prison.
At this pace, our prices will be the same with those in Turkey
The fuel oil prices in the north compared to Turkey were cheaper by 75 per cent ten years ago. Now the difference has gone down to 27 per cent. A decade ago, diesel was cheaper by 48 per cent but now is 29 per cent cheaper. In the past ten years, the petrol prices in the north have gone up by 150 per cent whereas, in Turkey, the prices have only gone up 83 per cent.
- “This is not how it works in Cyprus” – Kudret Özersay spoke at Cambridge University.
“Ahmet Gaf” goes silent
The fake account under the alias ‘Ahmet Gaf’ has not responded to the call made by the Prosecutor’s office to present more evidence. The account has been dormant since January 21. It was reported earlier that an investigation had been launched by the prosecutor’s office in the north to look into allegations involving high ranking security officers as well as civilians. The allegations had been brought forward through posts on a fake social media account under the alias Ahmet Gaf. Kıbrıs obtained information that a police officer has been appointed to investigate the claims made by the accuser.
The virus does not spread through cargo or mail
Both Health Minister Ali Pilli and Çiğdem Çağa, Director of the Health Services Department, spoke about the measures implemented in the north against the deadly coronavirus. Pilli called on the people not to panic as the necessary measures have been implemented. Dr Özlem Gürkut, head of the TC Doctors’ Association, on the other hand, argued that thermal cameras installed at the Ercan (Tymbou) airport would not be sufficient. She said the priority should be to prevent the virus from entering the north. She said the second priority was to introduce protocols to contain the virus should any cases emerge in the north. “Last but not least, a public awareness campaign must be launched on the virus,” Gürkut said.
₺15m of the money collected at the Local Labour Support Fund is to be spent on completing the Nicosia ring road. The Minister of Labour and Social Security told Diyalog that a portion of the money collected for the fund will be allocated for the project. He said that the Council of Ministers has taken the necessary decision.
- He gave important messages – Greek Cypriots who tried to prevent Özersay from speaking at King’s College London were unsuccessful.
He said the attackers were punished!
This is how we are deceiving Europe. The UBP MP Özdemir Berova who spoke at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on freedom of media claimed that the Afrika newspaper attackers had been tried and brought to justice. He, however, failed to mention that those who were sentenced were released early for good behaviour and that nine other attackers have still not been arrested.
Akıncı is the only true candidate for a federal solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing
“The steps taken by Mustafa Akıncı towards a federal solution are extremely important and as a result, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel today,” Social Democratic Party (TDP) MP Zeki Çeler said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a TV programme on Bayrak, Çeler claimed that the opportunity to reach a federal settlement in Cyprus would be lost if any other candidate other than Akıncı, including the pro-solution Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) candidate Tufan Erhürman, were to win.
He also acknowledged the contributions made by former Turkish Cypriot leaders to the Cyprus talks and added: “It is Mr Akıncı who worked the hardest to bring the process to the where it is today and I believe the people will give him the chance to conclude the process.”
Çeler noted that even though Mr Akıncı has yet to announce his candidacy, people want him in office for a second term.
“I do believe Mr Akıncı will decide to run,” Çeler concluded.
Meanwhile, National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Wednesday that whichever candidate wins will find the federation model before them in the negotiations process.”
Speaking during a TV programme on Wednesday, Hasipoğlu argued that while the Turkish Cypriot side headed by Akıncı was working for federal settlement, all the Greek Cypriot side wanted was to resume governing the Cyprus Republic and to grant minority rights to Turkish Cypriots.
Responding to a question on UBP’s candidate Ersin Tatar, Hasipoğlu argued that Tatar, just like former leader Derviş Eroğlu, will be able to display the necessary leadership to take initiatives at the negotiating table when needed.
Hasipoğlu also recalled Eroğlu’s practice of consulting with all segments of society and the parliament, expressed the belief that Tatar will do the same if elected.
Conditions on island not conducive for a solutionKıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Diyalog
“The reason why efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem have not been successful is not the negotiating methods or techniques but the incompatibility between the solution model and the current conditions on the island,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Wednesday.
Speaking to students at a panel organised by the Cambridge University’s Middle East and North Africa Forum, Özersay said that a federal settlement required trust and the political will to share power and wealth.
He added it was obvious that the Greek Cypriot side was not yet ready to share power or wealth with the Turkish Cypriots.
“There is a serious lack of trust between the two sides,” he said.
He argued that various steps could be taken to prepare the Greek Cypriot side to share power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots and change the current conditions on the island.
“Forcing Greek Cypriots to share the island’s offshore natural resources with Turkish Cypriots could be effective,” he stressed.
Other steps could include removing the isolations imposed on Turkish Cypriots, direct flights or direct trade, Özersay said.
“Such steps could encourage the Greek Cypriot community towards accepting a partnership based on sharing but unfortunately the international community does not seem too eager to take such courageous steps,” he said.
Özersay argued that if the current conditions on the island will not change, the best option would be to switch from a partnership based on sharing to a partnership based on cooperation.
“This is how the European Union (EU) was founded,” he said.
Özersay concluded by saying that the failure to introduce creative ideas to the negotiation process and resuming the Cyprus negotiations in the same way they have been going on for the past 50 years will only serve the continuation of the status quo.
Meanwhile, a group of 30 Greek Cypriot students tried to prevent Özersay from speaking at King’s College London on Wednesday night.
The group had sent a letter to the university’s administration demanding that the event be cancelled on grounds that Özersay would be speaking at the panel as ‘TRNC Foreign Minister’.
The university administration turned down the request and the panel went ahead as planned despite a protest held outside by the small group of students.
In a post on social media, Özersay said that no one will be able to prevent efforts to voice the views and positions of Turkish Cypriots.
“We are in the 21st century. We shall speak, we shall explain ourselves and defend our rights at every platform,” he said.
>> There is incompatibility between the solution model & current conditions on the island.
>> A federal settlement requires trust & political will between the sides for sharing power and wealth.
>> Steps could be taken to prepare the GC side to share power & wealth with TCs.
>> Unfortunately, the int’l community does not seem too eager to take such courageous steps.
>> If the current conditions on the island do not change, the best option will be to switch from a partnership based on sharing to a partnership based on cooperation.
>> The failure to introduce creative ideas to the negotiation process & resume the Cyprus negotiations in the same way, will only serve the continuation of the status quo.
Turkey ranks second in ECHR casesYenidüzen
Turkey became the second country in 2019 following Russia with the highest number of cases filed against it at the European Court of Human Rights, Yenidüzen reported on Thursday.
Citing a report published in Strasbourg, Yenidüzen said that there were currently 59,800 legal cases filed at the ECHR, 9,250 of which were filed against Turkey.
The cases constitute 15.5 per cent of the court’s workload, it said.
7,274 of the cases are in due process while another 4,880 have been dismissed or rejected.
The Turkish government has been served 1,075 cases so far, most of them dating before 2019.
According to the same report 113 of the 884 cases finalized in 2019 belong to Turkey.
97 of the decisions announced found Turkey guilty of violating at least one article of the European Convention of Human Rights.
Turkey was acquitted from five cases and another five cases were concluded through pacific settlement.
Most of the cases filed against Turkey concerned the freedom of expression. This was followed by violations of the Right to Safety and Security, Right to Property, Right to a Fair Trial, Inhumane Treatment and Respect for Private and Family Life.
Çavuşoğlu: Greece and GCs need to be ready to shareKıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday they will not remain a bystander to efforts aimed at excluding Turkey or Turkish Cypriots from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Erdoğan, speaking to Stav Magazine in Bosnia and Herzegovina on hydrocarbon activities, said that Turkey had achieved important strategic gains with the maritime boundary agreement signed with Libya.
He said that plans to exclude Turkey from the Eastern Mediterranean had been foiled with the steps taken.
The Turkish President also pointed out that the agreements signed with Libya were in accordance with UN conventions.
“The owners of the Aegean and the Mediterranean are countries which have coastlines along these seas. Turkey which has one of the longest coastlines along the Mediterranean is determined to protect its rights to the very end,” he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Wednesday said that the only way to solve the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean was for the Greek Cypriots and Greece to be ready to share offshore resources with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking during a meeting with board members of the Global Journalists’ Council, Çavuşoğlu reminded that Turkey was taking steps to protect its rights and those of Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We shall not allow anyone to usurp our rights as long as the Greek Cypriots refuse to work for a solution. We shall continue our activities with determination,” he said.
Çavuşoğlu also argued that Turkey had successfully foiled the plans of countries working against its interests.
“The agreement signed with Libya upset all plans in the Mediterranean. We all know that it is Israel that is behind the conflict in Libya. Turkey is foiling all these ill-intended plans whether it is in the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya or Syria,” he said.
>> Ankara will not remain a bystander to efforts aimed at excluding Turkey or TCs from the East Med.
>> Turkey has achieved important strategic gains including foiling plans to exclude Turkey from the region, with the maritime boundary agreement signed with Libya.
>> The agreements signed with Libya are in accordance with UN conventions.
>> The owners of the Aegean & Med are countries which have coastlines along these seas.
>> Turkey which has one of the longest coastlines along the Med. is determined to protect its rights to the very end.
>> Only way out of current situation in East Med is for GCs & Greece to become ready to share offshore resources with Turkey & TCs.
>> Turkey is taking steps to protect its & TCs rights in the Med.
>> Turkey will not allow anyone to usurp its right as long as GC refuses to work for a solution.
>> Turkey’s activities will continue with determination.
>> Turkey has successfully foiled all plans in East Med.
MEPs need to question the situation in the East MedYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
EU Matters, Energy, Regional/International Relations
“We would be very happy if we could get MEPs to start questioning the hydrocarbon issue in the Eastern Mediterranean,” People’s Party (HP) MP Erek Çağatay said on Wednesday.
Speaking on a programme on Bayrak regarding a recent visit to the European Parliament (EP) by a Turkish Cypriot parliamentary delegation Çağatay said the MEPs’ understanding of the situation was shaped and influenced by Greece’s and the Greek Cypriot side’s one-sided views on the issue.
He said that both Greece and the Greek Cypriots were using their EU membership to their advantage.
“They only have a one-sided account of the issue and we have to overcome this problem. When the United Nations (UN) pointed to collaboration on the hydrocarbons in its statement, we saw the European Union blatantly taking sides,” Çağatay noted.
Çağatay also noted that the EU failed to keep its promises of implementing direct trade and direct flight regulations.
“We as Turkish Cypriot MPs reminded MEPs of their promises and will continue to do so. We are also waging a political and legal struggle on the issue of direct trade,” Çağatay added.
The Turkish Cypriot parliamentary delegation consisted of National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Fikri Toros and HP MP Erek Çağatay.
>> We need to get MEPs to start questioning the hydrocarbon issue in the East Med.
>> Greece & GC side uses its EU membership to shape & influence MEPs’ views on the issue. This is a problem.