TCC Press Review 25 Feb 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

There are flights to all around the world but not Ercan (Tymbou)

Anadolujet’s shocking discount to international flights. A Turkish Airlines Brand, Anadolujet, is flying to 21 different destinations, except for Ercan (Tymbou) for symbolic prices such as €1, $1 or £1. Ercan (Tymbou) Airport was not included in the list of destinations or the discount campaign.

Kıbrıs Postası

“An Akıncı who is not on speaking terms with anyone will be worse for all”

Former president Mehmet Ali Talat, who argued nothing had been done over the past two-and-a-half years since the collapse of the Crans Montana process, said Turkey is the only one talking on the Cyprus problem. “Akıncı is quiet and he is not on speaking terms with anyone, therefore, nothing will happen if not all will be worse, should he get re-elected,” Talat said.

  • Tatar: Brexit could solve the problem on the island – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar spoke to Sunday Express and urged the British government to get behind a two-state solution in Cyprus and direct flights to start from London to North Cyprus.

Kıbrıs

We are starving

Devrimci Genel-İş (Revolutionary General Labour) trade union held a warning strike for three hours due to ongoing financial and administrative crisis at the Büyükkonuk (Komi Kebir) Municipality. Workers who expressed their outrage to Kıbrıs complained they have not been paid for four months.

  • Turkey purchased its third drillship from England – Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez announced. He added the ship will be docked at Turkish ports in a couple of weeks.

Havadis

What a favour!

The dentists, dental nurses and other personnel at the Dentistry ward at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu hospital are being assigned to the Final University so that the university may open its Faculty of Dentistry, the 8th in the country. There are already seven universities in the TRNC with dentistry faculties.

Diyalog

The economic crisis has no effect

It has emerged that in addition to the 1,494 new cars, 8,487-second hand cars were sold last year. Once again Mercedes brand cars topped the list of cars sold.

  • We continue to watch – The US, Israel, Greece and South Cyprus are holding a joint military exercise this time.

Afrika

Orders come from the top once again

The Bulut Akacan case is coming to its end. The attention of more than two thousand employees working for Akacan companies are turned to this case. What the famous businessman Vakkas Altınbaş and his relatives, who are close with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are experiencing is being watched with great awe and shock. The order for the operation launched against Altınbaş’s son-in-law is claimed to have come from Turkey. Everyone is curious to find out how this is possible considering the close relationship the family has with Erdoğan. Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in a recent statement had confessed Turkey’s involvement in the crackdown on the betting mafia in Cyprus.

  • Tatar says he is going to give away six per cent! –Tatar started bargaining. Ersin Tatar said he was willing to give away six per cent of the land to Greek Cypriots in exchange for a two-state solution and setting up committees to co-manage the island’s natural gas. He also asked the UK to support a two-state solution. Tatar, who called for direct flights to be launched from the UK to the TRNC pointed out that 300,000 Turkish Cypriots were living in the UK and 20,000 British ex-pats living in Cyprus.

Main News

Talat highlights need to focus on Cyprob

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası
Negotiations Process, Economy, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

Former president Mehmet Ali Talat warned that divisions within the Turkish Cypriot community between those who support a two-state solution and a federal solution could result in painful consequences.

Speaking to SİM TV on Monday, Talat said that the Turkish Cypriot side needed to focus on the Cyprus Issue, warning that as long as the Cyprus Problem remained unresolved relations with Turkey and the rest of the world will be turbulent.

Talat also drew attention to the difficulties of implementing confidence-building measures (CBMs).

“I have always believed that one-sided confidence-building steps will always be more useful. For example, introducing more Greek classes at schools,” he added.

Commenting on the possibility of direct flights to the UK, Talat said that this was a complicated issue.

“They’re talking about direct flights and new opportunities following Brexit. Let me remind you that while I was in office we had filed a lawsuit against the British government for not allowing direct flights to take place,” he added.


Tatar urges to get behind a two-state solution in Cyprus

Kıbrıs Postası
Negotiations Process, Economy, Territory

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister and the National Unity Party’s (UBP) presidential candidate Ersin Tatar urged the UK to get behind a two-state solution in Cyprus and direct flights to start from London to North Cyprus to boost its economy with tourism and business.

In an interview to the Sunday Express, Tatar reminded that around 20,000 British expats were living in the North

He expressed the view that Brexit has created the chance to break the current deadlock on the island.

Tatar also argued that Britain had been unable to make a decisive intervention earlier because of Greece’s and South Cyprus’s EU membership and fear that the two could wield a veto in retaliation.

He added that 45 years of trying to bring the two sides together in a federal solution had failed and argued: “a forced marriage will not succeed.”

“We are different. We speak Turkish, they speak Greek. We are Muslims, they are Christians. The new generation does not know each other at all. A child who was 10 in 1974 is now 55, he has grandchildren. We are two separate entities,” he said.

Tatar pointed out that the UK, now out of the EU could use some initiatives to make the Turkish Cypriots more comfortable.

“If we have direct flights, especially from the UK, we will enjoy tourism and growth. More than 300,000 Turkish Cypriots are living in Britain. We have a lot of English people who would like to fly in and out of Cyprus. If we have direct flights it will benefit our economy because it will increase our competitiveness,” he added.

Tatar also expressed the belief that the Cyprus issue could be solved on a two-state basis.

He said he would be willing to reduce the north’s territory from 36 per cent 30 per cent if an agreement could be reached and set up joint committees to manage the island’s natural resources.

Former negotiator and Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Özdil Nami on Monday argued that direct flights to the north was not possible and called on the Prime Minister not to mock the people.

Speaking to Kıbrıs Postası web TV, Nami reminded that Azerbaijan, despite being willing, had failed to launch direct flights to the north.

“Just like the Maraş (Varosha) issue, the government is talking about impossible tasks. It is impossible to launch direct flights to the UK without reaching a comprehensive settlement with the Greek Cypriot side,” Nami said.

In the meantime, the leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) and presidential candidate Erhan Arıklı has vowed to launch efforts for the recognition of the north should he be elected as the next Turkish Cypriot president.

Addressing party members at a campaign event in Alsancak (Karavas) on Sunday, Arıklı said that he would launch work immediately for the recognition of the TRNC based on the Turkish Cypriots’ right to self-determination. 

He said that voters will either elect a leader who will work to protect the TRNC and improve relations with Turkey or will be content with wasting another 50 years waiting for a federal settlement.

Arıklı argued that the era of federations as an effective model of governance was over.

“Over the past 30 years we have seen numerous federations dissolve and the creation of 40 new states. The age is one of the nation-states. Are we going to dissolve this state just because some of us want to live together with Greek Cypriots or are we going to experience the pride and honour of owning a state which we will work for its recognition? The decision is yours,” Arıklı told a packed hall of supporters.

He said that the voters would give the appropriate response to Akıncı who had stated he did not need the votes of those who supported lynch culture.

Arıklı vowed to work for the removal of the embargoes imposed on the TRNC.

He also claimed that according to the TRNC constitution people were not electing the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community or a negotiator but a president.

Arıklı also vowed to bring to life the Republic’s Security Council, the Maraş (Varosha) initiative and work towards introducing the presidential system in the TRNC.

The YDP leader concluded his remarks by directing criticism at the other candidates.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> UK should get behind a two-state solution in Cyprus.
>> Direct flights should start from London to North Cyprus to boost TC economy with tourism & business.
>> Brexit has created the chance to break the deadlock on the island.
>> A forced marriage will not succeed in Cyprus.
>> UK, now out of the EU, could use some initiatives to make TCs more comfortable.
>> A solution can be reached on a two-state basis.
>> Ready to make territorial concessions for an agreement & set up joint committees to manage the island’s resources.

Nami (CTP)
>> The PM should stop mocking the people with promises that can’t be realized.
>> The government is talking about impossible tasks as if they can be achieved just like the Maraş (Varosha) issue.
>> It is not possible to launch direct flights unless a comprehensive settlement is reached.

Arıklı (YDP)
>> Will work towards the recognition of the TRNC, based on TCs’ rights to self-determination if elected.
>> Voters will either elect a leader who will protect the state or someone who will waste their time for another 50 years seeking a federal settlement.
>> Era of federations is over. It is the era of nation-states.
>> According to TRNC constitution, voters will not be electing a community leader or negotiator but a president.
>> Priorities, if elected, will be Republic’s Security Council, the Maraş (Varosha) initiative & presidential system.


Need to rescue Maraş (Varosha) from the unsolved Cyprob

Kıbrıs Postası, Diyalog
Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

“The government’s Maraş (Varosha) initiative is the right move ahead,” former negotiator and former presidential undersecretary Ergün Olgun said on Monday.

Speaking on Güneş web TV programme, Olgun urged all relevant parties, including the Office of the President, the government and Ankara to adopt a joint position and produce a joint policy on the fenced-off town.

“It is vital that we rescue Maraş (Varosha) from the unsolved Cyprus problem,” Olgun said, arguing the fenced-off town fell within the TRNC’s borders.

 “It is not in the buffer zone, therefore, is not an area under the control of the United Nations,” he noted.

Olgun reminded that the decision to fence-off the city after 1974 and keep it as a military zone had been taken by the Turkish Cypriot side.

He also argued that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Maraş (Varosha) were not binding.

Olgun explained that the purpose of the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative was to allow the Greek Cypriots to apply to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) to settle disputes concerning their properties in the fenced-off town.

The former negotiator argued that the Maraş (Varosha) initiative has caused discomfort within the Greek Cypriot administration.

“The government’s initiative is telling the Greek Cypriot side they need to reassess the issue Maraş (Varosha) issue which was perceived all these years as a done deal,” Olgun said.

Urging the Turkish Cypriot side to produce “clever policies”, Olgun argued that it will not be possible to bring the Greek Cypriot side back to the negotiations table unless the Turkish Cypriot side pushes the boundaries of the status quo on the island.

Olgun, commenting on the Evkaf administration’s property claims over Maraş (Varosha), said that the legal arguments on this issue must be concluded.

“The best option is to tackle the property issue through the IPC and legal means,” Olgun said.

Olgun urged the authorities in the north to come up with a comprehensive approach on the re-opening of Maraş (Varosha) and following the technical study currently underway, to start thinking on infrastructure and foreign investments as well as other aspects of the fenced-off town.

“A comprehensive plan is needed. Subject-specific meetings must be held. There are human resources, marketing aspects of the issue. There is the issue of how the former inhabitants will return to the town. There is also the aspect of opening Ercan (Tymbou) airport to direct flights,” Olgun concluded.

Meanwhile, the issue of Maraş (Varosha) was also brought up on Monday by the Turkish Cypriot Minister of Economy and Energy Hasan Taçoy.

“Maraş (Varosha) will no longer be a place infested by mice and rats but a hotspot for people. It will be transformed into a new Dubai, a new Monte Carlo and a new Monaco… We will take important steps in Maraş (Varosha). We are determined,” Taçoy said in his address during an energy summit in Istanbul.

Taçoy said the Turkish Cypriot government will take necessary steps to open the fenced-off town rather than keeping it as a bargaining chip in the negotiations process.

He repeated that steps to be taken will not harm the property rights of former residents but to the contrary, will be in line with international law.

“Rather than waiting for the Greek Cypriot side for another 50 more years, as a result of our determination, we will open Maraş (Varosha),” Taçoy concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Taçoy (UBP)
>> TC government will take necessary steps on Maraş (Varosha) rather than keeping it as a bargaining chip for the talks.
>> No harm will be made to property rights of former residents. All moves will be in line with international law.
>> Government will open Maraş (Varosha).


Turkey procures its third drilling vessel from UK

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Turkey has procured its third drilling vessel form the UK which is set to arrive in Turkey in a few weeks, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Dönmez has said.

Turkey will continue to work unabated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, he said on Monday at an energy and natural resources summit in Istanbul.

“We got the third drilling vessel from the UK. The process for the vessel’s port operations continues. It will begin sailing in a few days and I can say it will be in Turkey within a few weeks,” the minister said.

“The vessel is likely to operate in the Mediterranean, but we may send one of our vessels to the Black Sea, where we halted work for a long time. Also, friendly countries are requesting to receive technical services from us. We can evaluate these too,” he said.

Also speaking at the conference, the Turkish Cypriot Minister of Economy and Energy Hasan Taçoy pointed out that efforts were being made to exclude Turkey from the Eastern Mediterranean.

“International forces are working against Turkey whether it is on the Cyprus Problem or the issue of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean. Making use of this opportunity, the US, France, Israel, Egypt and Greece are taking unilateral steps,” he said.

“We need to make it clear to everyone that steps taken in the Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey cannot be successful,” he stressed.

Taçoy also argued that the most logical and feasible way of transporting the Eastern Mediterranean’s natural gas to European markets is through Turkey.

“That is why Turkey’s presence and consent are required in steps to be taken. Our stance against the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral steps is strong,” he said.

KEY ACTORS
Dönmez (Turkey)
>> Turkey will continue to work unabated in the eastern Med. Sea.
>> Turkey’s third vessel may operate in the Med but one vessel may be sent to Black sea from drilling.

Taçoy (UBP)
>> Steps taken in the East Med without Turkey cannot be successful.
>> Most logical & feasible way of transporting East Med gas to Europe is via Turkey.