TCC Press Review 29 Feb 2020

Front Page Headlines


Our souls burned

We woke up with the fire at the State Hospital. A fire broke out at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital at 06:45 am. Two people lost their lives and 103 of the 291 patients receiving treatment at the hospital were transferred to four different hospitals. 74-year-old Asım Uyguroğlu who was receiving treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and 62-year-old patient Erdoğan Kalaycılar lost their lives in a private hospital. The hospital’s cardiovascular surgery department and intensive care wards were gutted by the fire. An offer of help came from the south. The fire broke out in a room where there was an uninterrupted power source.

  • Crossings at four crossing points closed for a week – Lokmacı (Ledra), Derinya (Dheryneia), Bostancı (Astromeritis) and Aplıç (Apliki)

Kıbrıs Postası

And this also happened!

We woke up to a fire at the hospital. Two people died and 11 babies were rescued at the fire which broke out at the cardiovascular surgery department of the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital. It took firefighters five hours to put out the fire.

  • Closed the crossings without asking – In line with a cabinet decision in the south, it was announced some of the crossing points would be closed as a precautionary measure against coronavirus. President Mustafa Akıncı said he reminded Nicos Anastasiades that such measures if and when needed should be adopted by the bicommunal technical committee on health.


Such a big shame

A fire caused catastrophe at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital which had been neglected for years and its improvements had been delayed. As a result of the measures not being implemented, the repairs were not done, two people died and hundreds suffered.


What a shame!

The only fully equipped state hospital in the north became a victim of a series of mistakes. Hundreds of people were rescued in great difficulties. Two people died. Equipment worth millions of Turkish Lira destroyed and the main building of the hospital is not usable any more.

  • Anastasiades closed the crossings, Akıncı got upset – Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades informed President Mustafa Akıncı that the operations at Lokmacı (Ledra), Derinya (Dheryneia), Bostancı (Astromeritis) and Aplıç (Apliki) crossing points will be suspended. Akıncı pointed to the committee. 


Here is our situation

The worn-out Nicosia hospital which hasn’t undergone repairs or maintenance due to years of negligence, irresponsibility and a lack of seriousness burned down. Around 300 patients experienced a true nightmare.

  • Europe hear our voice! – Anastasiades, in a unilateral move, sidelined the bicommunal technical committee on health and ordered four of the seven crossing points to be shut down with the excuse of coronavirus.


We were burned

Two dead. Two inpatients in intensive care died at the NEU hospital which they were transferred to following the first which broke out in the Nicosia State Hospital.

  • Crossings closed – The Greek Cypriot side shut the Lokmacı (Ledra), Derinya (Dheryneia), Bostancı (Astromeritis) and Aplıç (Apliki) crossing points for a week. The practice started this morning. The Coronavirus was shown as the excuse to shut down the crossings. Tighter monitoring and screening at existing crossing points are set to be in place as well. Health experts will check people crossing in and out.

Main News

Four crossings shut for seven days as a measure against Covid-19

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Internal Security


All six dailies reported on the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to temporarily close the crossings at Lokmacı (Ledra Street), Bostancı (Astromeritis), Aplıç (Lefka) and Derinya (Dheryneia) for seven days as of Saturday as part of measures to prevent a possible spread of the coronavirus.

Republic of Cyprus (RoC) Health Minister Constantinos Ioannou announced on Friday the temporary suspension, starting on Saturday at 6:00 am, was one of the government’s additional measures to combat the coronavirus.

The Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on Friday informed the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı of the decision to close down the four crossings.

The rest, Metehan (Agios Dhometios), Ledra Palace and Yeşilırmak (Kato Pyrgos), Beyarmudu (Pergamos) and Akyar (Strovilia) will remain open to continue to serve their purpose and will be additionally manned by trained staff, such as nurses and ambulance staff, to help with screenings of those crossing.

In the meantime, Akıncı told Anastasiades he was against “unilateral measures that spread panic among the communities.”

He urged the Anastasiades to allow the bicommunal technical committee on health to implement decisions on the coronavirus instead of taking unilateral decisions that might cause panic among the communities, all six dailies report on Saturday. 

Presidential spokesman Barış Burcu, in a written statement issued on Friday, said the decision was relayed to Akıncı by the Greek Cypriot leader through a telephone call.

Burcu noted that given the fact that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on either side of the island, the bicommunal technical committee during its meeting on 3 February, had agreed to implement measures on ports of entry into the island and not on the crossing points.

“Akıncı expressed his belief that it would be more appropriate for the bi-communal technical committee on health to adopt such decisions instead of unilateral decisions causing panic among the communities,” Burcu concluded.

The Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry slammed the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to shut the four crossing points.

In a written statement issued on Friday, the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry said that the move was ill-intended and aimed at creating negative perception of the north.

It pointed out that no cases of coronavirus have been seen on either side and that such “one-sided moves aimed at creating negative perception of the north” only served to harm relations between the communities.

The ministry also pointed out that there was even a higher number of suspected cases in the south than in the north.

In a separate statement on social media, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay denied reports that the Turkish Cypriot side was going to shut its the crossing points.

“A rumour has been circulating following the Greek Cypriot leadership’s one-sided and incomprehensible decision to shut down four crossing points as of 6 am tomorrow (Saturday) morning. We have been receiving numerous inquiries and questions from foreign missions that we have decided to shut down the crossing points. I am clearly stating that there is no such decision. Please do not pay heed to speculations and manipulative reports,” Özersay posted.

The leader of the Republican Turkish Party and presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman also criticized the Greek Cypriot side’s decision to shut the crossing points.

“It is not possible to understand this decision taken by the Greek Cypriot cabinet,” he said, adding that the issue of coronavirus needed to be addressed and dealt with by the bicommunal health committee rather than taking such rash decisions,” Erhürman posted on social media.

On Friday night, Greek Cypriot members of the UnitedCyprusNow initiative staged a protest while the Lokmacı (Ledra Street) crossing point was being closed.

According to Yenidüzen, the protestors demanded that the Greek Cypriot leadership revoke its decision.

Meanwhile, Anastasiades called Akıncı earlier on Friday to express his sorrow after two men died following a fire at the Nicosia State Hospital in the north and to offer help.

Akıncı thanking Anastasiades for the offer, said that the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health had been in contact and that assistance would be requested if the need arose.

The fire reportedly erupted at around 6.45 am in the hospital’s angiography department, located on the second floor and was put out at around 9 am.

Around 300 patients from the cardiovascular surgery, gynaecology and general surgery clinics, the intensive care unit but also new-borns being treated in the neonatal clinic were taken to other hospitals.

Two male inpatients, 74 and 62, were transferred to a private hospital where they died.

The 74-year-old man was an inpatient at the hospital’s intensive care when the fire erupted.

>> Both sides need to refrain from unilateral measures that spread panic among the communities.
>> Anastasiades must allow the bicommunal technical committee on health to implement decisions on the coronavirus.

Özersay (HP)
>> GC decision aimed at creating false & negative perception of the north.
>> The move to shut crossing points is ill-intended & will harm relations between the two communities.
>> Rumours that the TC side will also shut its crossing points are false.

Erhürman (CTP)
>> Not possible to understand GC leadership’s decision.
>> The issue of coronavirus should be dealt with by bicommunal health committee.

Turkey slams EU sanctions due to off-shore activities in the east Med

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis , Diyalog, Afrika
Energy, Regional/International Matters, EU Matters


“Imposing sanctions on two Turkish Petroleum officials (TPAO) due to Turkey’s off-shore activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is the latest example of European Union’s (EU) biased and unlawful attitude,” the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a written statement on Friday.

The statement came in response to EU sanctions imposed against two high ranking TPAO officials, Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and Ali Çoşkun Namoğlu

The restrictive measures consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze. Moreover, EU persons and entities are not allowed to make funds available to the two listed persons.

In a written statement issued, the Turkish foreign ministry said the sanctions under the pretext of solidary among member states had no value for Turkey and were null and void.

“The unfair policy against Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ legitimate rights not only contradicts international law but is also a violation of the EU acquis communautaire,” the statement stressed.

The EU’s attempt to dictate the Greek-Greek Cypriot maximalist maritime jurisdiction claims is futile, said the ministry, adding: “The EU cannot act as an international court. It cannot portray un-delimited and disputed maritime jurisdiction areas as final maritime boundaries.”

“It is most unfortunate to see that the EU still keeps ignoring the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots,” said the statement.

“The EU should have rather supported dialogue and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

The sanctions “will not affect Turkey’s determination to protect its rights and that of Turkish Cypriots’ in the Eastern Mediterranean. On the contrary, it will further strengthen our resolve,” the ministry concluded.

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