GCC Press Review 11 Feb 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Akıncı on Turkey’s black list…

Çavuşoglu urges T/Cs not to vote for him again. Turkish Foreign Minister sends message that Akıncı is not worthy of the “T/C people”. G/C parties evaluate T/C leader’s statements positively.

Phileleftheros

Heavy metals inside a dam

Polution at Kalavasos – Dangerous waste flows ın through old mine galleries. Analysis has shown high levels of heavy metals such as calcium, magnesium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel.

  • Swearwords from Çavuşoglu: Ankara’s attack vindicates Nicosia
  • National strategy for refugees (displaced)

Haravgi

Regards… from Cambodia, Malaysia etc.

None of the 26 illegal naturalisatiοns revoked. Authority of Council of Ministers in doubt. New censures and recommendations from Moneyval.

  • Open attack by Ankara to Akıncı

Cyprus Mail

Çavuşoglu joins anti-Akıncı tirade

Turkish foreign minister says Akıncı is most ‘untrustworthy politician’.

  • Cyprus: Minister in Israel as part of arms upgrade push

Alithia

Time 20:56 : End of suspense

Coronavirus did not… visit us this time either. Alert by state services ended late at night and everyone’s heart went back to its place – Analysis showed that the Chinese (woman) had not been infected with the deadly disease. US president predicted that the new coronavirus epidemic – that has cost more than 900 people in China their lives – will possibly end in April because of the heat.

  • Ankara escalates attack against T/C leader with Çavuşoglu as the lead violin: Knives out against Akıncı – Turkish Foreign Minister says that T/cypriot leader “is the most untrustworthy politician” and stresses that he will bring up a lot of examples against him in the next days
  • Occupied areas: CTP, small parties and Teachers Union a shield for Akıncı – UBP and settlers tow the Ankara line
  • Migration problem: Cyprus – Greece, same policy
  • About Holocaust: Mrs Eri Ritsou also angry with Sepos

Main News

Divergent readings of Çavuşoglu’s attack on Akıncı

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing, Regional/ International Relations

OVERVIEW

All dailies report on Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu’s attack against Mustafa Akıncı regarding the T/C leader’s recent statements against the possibility of annexation by Turkey. Çavuşoglu’s statement is the latest in a series of attacks by officials connected to the Turkish government who have reacted to Akıncı’s interview in the Guardian.

Politis points out that Akıncı’s statements are nothing new since the T/C leader has repeatedly expressed his disagreement with the prospect of annexation of the north to Turkey, and that most potlical parties in the north have said similar things.

The newspaper cites as examples similar statements made by Kudret Özersay to Euronews that T/Cs do not want to live under G/C governance nor to be annexed to Turkey, as well as statements by Tufan Erhurman that federation is the only acceptable solution. Neither of these statements, it is noted, caused an outcry from Turkey.

Politis also notes that Ankara seems to be coordinating its attacks on Akıncı, as he has insisted on not following Turkey’s hardening position after Crans Montana. The newspaper notes that the T/C leader disagrees with Ankara also on the issue of Famagusta as well as on Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria.

Phileleftheros reports that the government feels vindicated in its analysis after the statements by Akıncı and the attack that followed from Turkish officials. According to a source that talked to the newspaper, the situation confirms the G/C position that Turkey should have no role in post-solution Cyprus.

Cyprus Mail points out that AKEL defended Akıncı on Monday with an official statement. AKEL said that the attacks against the T/C leader highlight Turkey’s long standing de facto bid to annex the occupied areas.

Politis reports on statements made on Alpha TV by DISY MP Xenia Constantinou, who said that Akıncı has sent a clear message and that if he is reelected then that will be a clear indication that the T/C community desires a federal solution. Constantinou added that the reason for Ankara’s reaction is that Akıncı is undermining the narrative that Turkey is acting on behalf of the T/Cs.

Politis also quotes DIKO spokesperson Pavlos Mylonas, who said that Akıncı’s statement is excellent and should be used internationally to expose Turkey’s strategic aim of annexing the occupied areas. Solidarity said in a statement that the T/C leader “is only differentiating in order to win the pseudoelections” and that if he does he will then return to the Erdoğan’s hard line.

Alithia reports that Citizens’ Alliance said in a statement that the T/C leader has “publically admitted that Turkey’s plan is the annexation of our occupied lands” and expressed the hope that this is not an empty slogan for the sake of elections. DIPA expressed the same sentiment.

Cyprus Mail reports that Çavuşoglu said on Monday that he had never worked with such an “untrustworthy politician” such as Akıncı. He was speaking during a joint news conference with his Slovenian counterpart.

In his interview to the Guardian ahead of the announcement of his candidacy for reelection, Akıncı had said that the T/Cs do not want to become a minority under the G/Cs nor to be ruled by Turkey.

Çavuşoglu said that neither he nor any T/C could expect “a politician in the TRNC would use Turkey as election material”. “We (Turkey) are talking about the political equality of the T/Cs and he… prefers to attack Turkey. We have been through a lot in the negotiation process. I have never worked with such an untrustworthy politician. I’ll give examples in the next few days” he said.

The Turkish FM added that he saw “a lot of things, unreliable actions” relating to the T/C leader’s behaviour after the conference in Crans Montana. “Such an unreliable politician does not fit with the Turkish Cypriot people” he also said.

Akıncı published a written statement later on Sunday in which he pointed out that the policy that “Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish” is a 1950s slogan that doesn’t reflect reality. In his statement, Akıncı insists that “Turkish Cypriots do not want to become a minority on the Greek Cypriot side or live in permanent dependency on Turkey”. A federal Cyprus, Akıncı added, would become friendly to Turkey and that would be to everyone’s benefit.

He stressed that T/C society does not embrace the idea of annexation and that the principle that should be supported is “for the TRNC to be transofermed into one of the equal constituent states in a federal Cyprus”.

Greek Cypriot dailies point out that attacks against Akıncı have come in the past few days both from the Turkish vice president Fuat Oktay as well as from the country’s governing AKP party and the far right MHP party. T/C “prime minister” and candidate for the community’s leadership Ersin Tatar accused Akıncı of preelection tactics and YDP leader Erhan Arıklı said that the interview was a trap and that the T/C parties should not fall for it.

Haravgi reports that according to Yeni Duzen, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the United Cyprus Party (BKP) defended Akıncı, together with leftisti movement Sol Hareketi (SH) and the union of T/C teachers (KTOS). In a statement, CTP said that it rejects any intervention that aims at undermining the identity and the will of the Turkish Cypriots.

KEY ACTORS
Çavuşoglu
>> Akıncı has proven himself an untrustworthy politician in Crans Montana
>> Turkey protects political equality but Akıncı prefers to attack Turkey
>> No one could expect a T/C politician to use Turkey as pre-election material

Akıncı
>> T/Cs do not want to become a minority under the G/Cs or live in permanent dependence on Turkey
>> The slogan that Cyprus is Turkish and will remain Turkish is from the 1950s and does not reflect reality
>> A federal Cyprus would be a friend of Turkey and that would be to everyone’s benefit

AKEL
>> Attacks on T/C leader highlight Turkey’s long standing de facto bid to annex occupied areas

Constantinou (DISY)
>> Akıncı has sent a clear message and his reelection will indicate that T/Cs want a federal solution
>> Ankara was angered because Akıncı undermines the narrative that Turkey acts on behalf of the T/Cs

Mylonas (DIKO)
>> Akıncı’s excellent statement should be used by RoC and promoted at every opportunity to expose Turkey’s strategic aims

Solidarity
>> Akıncı is only differentiating himself from Turkey to win the elections and will then return to Ankara’s hard line

Citizens’ Alliance
>> Akıncı has publically admitted that Turkey plans to annex the north
>> We hope this is not just a statement made for the sake of elections


Defence Minister discusses research and innovation in Israel

Cyprus Mail
External Security, Internal Security, Regional/ International Relations, Energy

OVERVIEW

Cyprus Mail reports on the Defence Minister Savvas Angelides’ visit to Israel on Monday, during which he met with his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennet and discussed the enhancement of bilateral security and defence cooperation, as well as regional issues and energy security.

The newspaper reports that shortly before leaving the country, Angelides told a local television station that his trip is part of Nicosia’s broader policy of maintaining military and defence cooperation with Israel.

It is well known that the countries cooperate in “joint air force, special forces, naval and cyberdefence exercises” said Angelides. He added that the added value of this relationship with Israel for the National Guard’s operational capabiity is immense.

Angelides noted that Cyprus can learn a great deal from Israel in the areas of research and innovation, and that Nicosia expects positive results in the immediate future in relation to developing “defence industry products, in relation to high tech, smart weapons, surveillance systems and others”.

Angelides also said that the acquisition of weapons systems or technology from other countries was part of forging alliances with these nations, namely Israel, France and the US.

Cyprus Mail recalls that Angelides had said on Sunday that the lifting of the US arms embargo on Cyprus opened the way for purchase of US-made military material. The newspaper points out that in December Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides had said that Cyprus had no intention of purchasing American arms.

In another development, Cyprus Mail cites a Sunday report by the Cyprus News Agency that Turkey has purchased a third drillship, named “Sertao”. Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) is reported to have bought the “Sertao”at an auction in Britain for 37.5 million dollars. The drill, which is bigger than the “Yavuz” and the “Fatih”, was build in South Korea in 2012 and was used by Brazilian company Petrobras until 2015.

KEY ACTORS
Angelides (Defence Minister)
>> The added value of joint exercises between the Cypriot and Israeli military forces has been immense for the National Guard
>> Cyprus can learn a great deal from Israel when it comes to research and innovation
>> Acquisition of technology from other countries a part of alliance building, such as in the case of France, Israel and US


RoC revamping its policies on support of G/Cs displaced in 1974

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights, Property, Economy

OVERVIEW

The government intends to create an overall strategy regarding issues affecting G/C refugees, i.e. persons displaced during the 1974 Turkish invasion. Haravgi quotes a statement made by Minister of the Interior Nikos Nouris after a meeting with President Anastasiades and the Pancyprian Refugees Association (PEP).

Nouris said that the study over the Equal Distribution of Burden Regulator’s functions will be completed in about a month. The ministry intends to present a new national strategy on the issue by June.

PEP president Christos Hadjimanolis also sais that the government should have an overarching strategy on addressing damages caused to G/Cs due to loss of use of their properties in the north.