TCC Press Review 14 Feb 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

After 46 years

A solemn and emotional ceremony held at the Tekke Bahçesi (cemetery) after 46 years. Ecvet Yusuf was laid to rest with poems from Hüzün Ana. The remains of Yusuf were found in the grave marked with someone else’s name and identified with DNA testing. A military and religious ceremony was not held upon the request of the family.

Kıbrıs Postası

Deal easing terms of payment signed for T&T’s debt amounting to hundreds of millions of Liras

The mysterious team from Turkey negotiated on behalf of Turanlı like an ‘equity guardian.’ The finance ministry prepared a ‘payment plan’ for T&T, which Emrullah Turanlı is a majority shareholder in, for the ₺56m debts it owes in unpaid taxes and the €20m it owes to the contractor company. According to information obtained by Kıbrıs Postası, a team from Turkey negotiated with the state and companies, on behalf of Turanlı, for the money the T&T owes.

  • It will be possible to fly to England without switching planes – Ersin Tatar spoke upon returning to the north.
  • “We had fewer problems then and no embargoes” – Social Democratic Party (TDP) MP Hüseyin Angolemli talked about the Turkish Cypriot Federated State, which was founded on 13 February 1975. Angolemli has been in the parliament since then.

Kıbrıs

Municipalities are concerned

Municipalities are concerned about the ‘loss of revenues’ once a proposed bill that aims to transfer 15 per cent of the property taxes collected by the local administrations to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) is passed. Mayors complain the government did not consult with the local administrations when proposing the bill.

Havadis

We owe our success to you; we will continue to walk this path together

Your newspaper Havadis is celebrating its 11th proud year. A large number of guests attended the anniversary celebration held in north Nicosia.

Diyalog

Everyone to be registered

Finance Minister Olgun Amcaoğlu announced that (electricity) bills will be online as of June. “Once this new practice comes into force, no one will be able to say anything about unregistered consumers. No one will be able to cheat the system anymore, Amcaoğlu said.

Afrika

He was buried after 46 years

A day at the Tekke Bahçesi Martyrs’ Cemetery never to be forgotten. The first martyr of 1974 Ecvet Yusuf was laid to rest yesterday (Thursday) with a solemn ceremony. As a result, we came to the end to a 46-year-old lie. The remains of Yusuf had been found in a mass grave marked with the names of others who were killed. He was reburied at a ceremony attended by President Mustafa Akıncı. A military or religious burial did not take place upon the request of the family.

Main News

Bilateral agreements with Turkey on hydrocarbons aim to protect TCs’ rights

Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs
Energy, Regional/ International Relations

OVERVIEW

“It is very important for the TRNC to be a separate state given the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said on Thursday.

Speaking to Anatolian News Agency (AA), Tatar said that the TRNC has become more important for Turkey with the establishment of the Blue Homeland concept as well as the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Tatar recalled the TRNC has signed several agreements with Turkey and issued the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) licenses for hydrocarbon activities.

“Bilateral agreements with Turkey on hydrocarbons aim to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.

Tatar said that there was a separate state in the north which belonged to the Turkish Cypriots.

“There are two equal peoples on the island. As a result, Turkish Cypriots have as many rights as Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Tatar said.

Touching on his contacts in England, Tatar noted that more than half a million Turks are living in the UK. He stressed he aims to further develop the relationship with the diaspora.

Tatar noted that the Conservative Party in the UK has 109 newly elected MPs.

“We will be touch with each one of them to inform them about the TRNC and Turkey,” Tatar said.

Tatar also that Turkish Cypriots are expecting the UK to be more positive towards them in the new post-Brexit era.

He argued that the British parliamentarians have started to see the realities on the island and have realised that negotiations over the past 50 years aimed to reach a federal settlement has failed to produce the desired outcome.

In the old days, the parliamentarians would have asked us to work more for a federal solution and the island’s reunification but this time around, no one even mentioned federation!” Tatar claimed.

He also claimed that the international community was closer than ever to recognize the existence of the TRNC as a result of the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigent stance on the Cyprus Problem. 

Also touching on Mr Akıncı’s recent statements, Tatar claimed there was a consensus among the Turkish Cypriot electorate to elect a president who will act in the best interest of the country.

“The issue of annexation has never been raised either in the TRNC or Turkey. To the contrary, our agenda has always been based on strengthening the TRNC,” he said.  

“If elected, I will work hard to convince the world towards a solution based on two-states,” Tatar concluded.

In a separate statement on Thursday, Tatar claimed that it would be possible to start direct flights from the UK to the north.

Tatar, speaking to reporters at Ercan (Tymbou) airport following his return from the UK said that necessary steps in making direct flights will be possible following the completion of the new terminal building.

He pointed out that current security at Ercan prevented direct flights.

“Security needs to be strengthened. Following that the initiatives will be taken to launch direct flights,” Tatar said.

Tatar’s comments came hours after the UK’s Foreign Office said on Thursday that reports in Turkish Cypriot media that Prime Minister Boris Johnson would look into the issue of direct flights to the north were not true.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> the TRNC needs to be a separate state given the developments in the East Med.
>> TRNC has become more important for Turkey with the establishment of the Blue Homeland concept.
>> Bilateral agreements with Turkey on hydrocarbons aim to protect the rights of the TCs.
>> TRNC belongs to the TC people, which is one of the two equal peoples on the island. 
>> TCs have as many rights as the GCs in the East Med.
>> British MPs have started to see the realities on the island & have realised 50 years of talks for a federal settlement has not failed.
>> The int’l community closer than ever to recognize the existence of TRNC as a result of GC side’s intransigence.
>> There is consensus among the TC electorate to elect a leader who will act in the best interest of the country.
>> TRNC’s agenda is based on strengthening the TRNC not annexation with Turkey.
>> Possible to start direct flights from the UK.
>> Initiatives will be taken following the completion of the new terminal building at Ercan (Tymbou) airport.


More diplomacy required for Cyprob, says Erhürman

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

“We have to express our will for a solution through diplomacy,” Tufan Erhürman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and presidential candidate said on Thursday.

Speaking in Famagusta, Erhürman shared his three-pronged road map for the period ahead.

“We are going through a critical phase and under the current conditions, we do not have the luxury to lose more time,” Erhürman said, arguing that valuable time had been lost since the process collapsed at Crans Montana.

Erhürman emphasised the five-party conference must convene shortly after the elections in the north. He argued everyone has seen the reasons why the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had left the negotiating table and why the Cyprus conference had failed.

“Anastasiades had claimed he could not persuade his community to accept political equality and we ended up debating this issue for the next two-and-a-half years. However, we did not get to discuss the (chapter on) security and guarantees even though Turkey had offered proposals on the matter,” Erhürman said.

He recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side displayed its desire and will for a solution both with the Annan Plan and in Crans Montana. 

“Despite that, the Turkish Cypriot has been on the losing end…Our desire for a solution is clear. Despite this, we are still not able to conduct direct trade nor do we have direct flights to the north. Our athletes are still not able to compete at international events,” Erhürman complained.

“We have been sitting and waiting even though we should have been explaining our positions and our will for a solution through diplomacy to all relevant sides and actors. We have to take the steps that will pull Anastasiades to the playing field again,” Erhürman concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Erhürman (CTP)
>> TCs need to express their will for a solution through diplomacy.
>> TCs do not have the luxury to lose more time under the current conditions.
>> A five-party conference must be convened following the elections in the north.
>> TC side should have been explaining its positions & will for a solution through diplomacy to all relevant sides.
>> Have to take the steps that will pull Anastasiades to the playing field again.


Roundtable on Maraş (Varosha) has a political agenda, says Özyiğit

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

“The venue of the meeting, participants and those who are not invited are clear evidence indicating that the roundtable meeting on Maraş (Varosha) is being held with a political agenda,” Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Özyiğit said on Thursday.

In a written statement, Özyiğit said that the exclusion tactics were not welcomed by the Turkish Cypriot community.

“Considering the timing of the meeting and the participants taking part are taken into consideration, it is clear that the roundtable, which is being organised by the Turkish Union of Bar Associations, entitled ‘Legal, Political and Economic Aspects of the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative’ will be nothing but a reflection of a certain political viewpoint,” Özyiğit said.

He added that there could be no excuses not to invite the president and representatives from the opposition parties in the north.

“It is not acceptable for the government to try to advance its so-called initiative by ostracizing the president and the political parties,” Özyiğit said.

He argued that Maraş (Varosha) falls within the jurisdiction and responsibility of the Office of the President.

He highlighted that any step to be taken on Maraş (Varosha) must comply with international law and with relevant United Nations (UN) resolutions.

“Any decision to be taken on the fenced-off city must contribute to the solution, otherwise the Turkish Cypriot side will suffer,” Özyiğit concluded.

Meanwhile, the Famagusta Initiative criticized the meeting in a statement issued on Thursday.

“The meeting is the latest attempt by the anti-solution camp to change the community’s will for reconciliation through conflict-oriented rhetoric,” the Initiative’s statement said. 

Initiative reiterated its view that the fenced-off Maraş (Varosha) could be used as an opportunity for rapprochement between the communities.

The Initiative also noted that the fenced-off town could only be reopened to enable the return of the former residents in line with the relevant UN resolutions.

“The Turkish Union of Bar Associations which is organising the meeting and which only includes a certain political viewpoint cannot produce any decision in line with international law,” the statement read.

The Famagusta Initiative also criticised the authorities’ attempt to reduce the issue of Maraş (Varosha) to just a problem of abandoned and derelict buildings.

“The town is still a vivid memory in the minds of the former residents of Maraş (Varosha) and Famagusta, therefore, the only way to win the hearts of the former residents is to form multidisciplinary teams from the two communities,” the statement stressed.

The initiative noted that such an approach could set the example for other conflict-hit towns in the region.

KEY ACTORS
Özyiğit (TDP)
>> The Maraş (Varosha) roundtable meeting has a political agenda.
>> TCs do not welcome exclusion tactics.
>> The timing & participants show that the meeting will only reflect a certain political viewpoint.
>> There can be no excuses not to invite the president & representatives of opposition parties.
>> It is not acceptable for the government to try to advance its so-called initiative by ostracizing the president and the political parties.
>> Maraş (Varosha) falls within the jurisdiction & responsibility of the Office of the Presidency.
>> Any step to be taken on Maraş (Varosha) must comply with the int’l law and UN resolutions.
>> Steps must contribute to a solution otherwise the TC side will suffer.

Famagusta Initiative
>> Roundtable is the latest attempt by the anti-solution camp to change TCs’ will for reconciliation through conflict-oriented rhetoric.
>> Maraş (Varosha) could be an opportunity for rapprochement between the communities.
>> Maraş (Varosha) can only be reopened for the return of former residents in line with UN resolutions.
>> The meeting cannot produce any decision within framework of int’l law.
>>The only way to win the hearts of the former residents is to form multidisciplinary teams from the two communities.