TCC Press Review 2 May 2020

Front Page Headlines



Kıbrıs Postası

Ceased Print/Online only


Unemployment at the door

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to the economy in the north. Economists point out the north’s economy will not be able to recover from the crisis before 2021. They also point out the economic fallout will raise other issues. Economist Göksel Saydam emphasized the effects of the coronavirus crisis on tourism and higher education sectors will result in a rise in unemployment. He added the cabinet must inject cash into the market to prevent unemployment. Saydam also recommended lowering taxes on basic consumables to make life more affordable for the people. He also urged the cabinet to force the banks to reduce their interest rates on loans.

  • 148,750 citizens could fall below the poverty threshold – The economy advisory board at the office of the president prepared a report titled “Restructuring the public revenues.” The report outlines measures to be adopted to prevent an increase in poverty in the north. 
  • Banks to return to their normal working hours on Monday – The Association of Banks announced in a statement they will resume their work without making any concessions from the health and safety measures.




History will not forget this

Diyalog TV’s satellite broadcasts were stopped by RTÜK (Turkey’s Radio and Television Supreme Council) without any warning or notice. North Cyprus blocked independent broadcaster Diyalog TV’s satellite broadcasts without any warning or notice, bypassing all relevant and authorized bodies in the TRNC. Türksat, the platform from which all local channels broadcasts from, cut Diyalog TV’s broadcasts at 5:17 pm, drawing the reaction from the public. Immense public support poured in on Friday to the channel’s Editor-in-Chief Reşat Akar and journalists. Speaking on a programme later Akar said, “History will not forget this.” He criticised the government which chose to remain silent on the decision which silenced the TRNC.

  • This should make us all think – President Mustafa Akıncı criticized RTÜK’s decision to end Diyalog TV’s satellite broadcasts.
  • This is unacceptable –The Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Society, Bayrak Workers’ Union (BAY-SEN), The Turkish Cypriot Public Servants Union (KTAMS), The Revolutionary Workers’ Union (DEV-İŞ), the Turkish Cypriot Cameramen’s Association and the Turkish Cypriot Sports Writers’ Association (KTSYD) reacted to the decision to cut Diyalog TV’s broadcasts.
  • 862 tests carried out – No cases of coronavirus have been detected in the north for 14 days.
  • Nicosia ranks first – Seven new cases were reported in South Cyprus bringing the total number to 857.
  • Death toll 3,258 – Turkey’s figures rose to 112, 392 with an increase of 2,188 cases.


Here is the snake you have been nourishing in your bosom

It is now the turn for those who have been sleeping with the enemy. Those who remained callous and silent over the attacks on Afrika, initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, are now ‘shocked’ over Turkey’s decision to block Diyalog TV’s broadcasts. RTÜK decided to cut Diyalog TV’s satellite broadcast on grounds a guest on a programme on the channel had insulted the Turkish president. While (Prime Minister) Ersin Tatar and (Deputy Prime Minister) Kudret Özersay kept quiet about the development, (President) Mustafa Akıncı in a statement underlined the need for relations with Turkish institutions to be redefined.

  • TC Journalists’ Association and many other organisations condemned RTÜK
  • TC Higher Board of Broadcast (YYK) said it will look into the decision to remove Diyalog TV from the satellite broadcast – The Board said the YYK should have been informed in advance.

Main News

Akıncı presents cabinet with recommendations on preventing poverty

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


A report on restructuring public revenues to prevent poverty prepared by the Economic Advisory Board of the Office of the President was relayed to the cabinet, all dailies reported on Saturday.

The report presents the cabinet with a set of recommendations to first slow down the sharp increase of poverty due to a recession in the economy and then to reduce poverty in the mid-term.

According to the findings of the report, which was based on the State Planning Office (SPO) 2015 Household Budgetary Research and Consumer Price Index, the poverty threshold is ₺3,769 (€503).

“There are 52,500 TRNC citizens living below the poverty threshold, and in the event, the economy shrinks by 20 per cent, this figure will go up 96,250 and in the event, the economy shrinks by 40 per cent, the number would go up to 148,750,” the report warns.

It also noted the analysis is based on the latest population figures presented in the north which stand at 350,000.

The report also drew attention to the possibility of a rise in social unrest and other social problems as the poverty level grows substantially.

“In addition to harming the concept of social justice, the children of the families in difficulty will also fall behind their peers in education and in health,” the report said.

The report also highlighted that the disproportionate distribution of wealth would mean the weakening of the labour force in the north thus giving bigger harm to the economy indirectly.

“In view of the possible economic shrinkage, the required financial assistance to be provided to those below the poverty threshold would range from ₺300 (€40) – ₺2243 (€299) depending on their income if the economy shrinks by 40 per cent; and from ₺754 (€100) to ₺1734 (€231) in the event of a 20 per cent shrinkage,” the report stressed.

In light of the available data, the report also said that an average additional income of ₺1,244 (€166) is required to pass the poverty threshold, suggesting a revenue transfer from the wealthy towards the poor in line with the principle of social solidarity.

“The only way to do that is to increase income tax levied on higher income groups and to raise property or asset taxes,” the report recommends.

It adds that the financial burden of the crisis should be put on the wealthy people rather than the low-income groups.

“The proposals in the report will in addition to coping with the increasing poverty, assisting the public finances to establish a sustainable and a fair structure,” the statement concluded.

Echoing a similar warning, Economist and finance expert Göksel Saydam said the immediate consequence of the economic crisis will be mass unemployment.

Evaluating the economic situation to Kıbrıs, Saydam argued the economic fallout due to coronavirus crisis on tourism and higher education sectors will be in seen in the form of unemployment.

“Both tourism and higher education sectors are the primary sectors that turn the wheels of economy in the north,” Saydam said, adding that nearly 40 thousand university students left the north, some who would not be returning in the near future.

He added the cabinet must inject cash into the market to prevent unemployment.

Saydam also recommended lowering taxes on basic consumables to make life more affordable for the people and urged the cabinet to force the banks to reduce their interest rates on loans.

“The cabinet, instead of focusing on the little details of finance, should establish a board made up of academics, economists, finance and tax experts, for economic planning,” Saydam concluded.

In another development, Labour Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu said 56,000 people have so far applied for the ₺1500 (€200) to be paid by private-sector employees under the salary support scheme.

Speaking to Turkish Cypriot News Agency (TAK) on Friday, Sucuoğlu added the ministry expects the number to reach 60,000 people by the next week.

Sucuoğlu noted the lists of the people will be sent to the banks on Monday, May 4 onwards and the payments will be issued from May 8 onwards.

In the meantime, Saturday marked 14 days since the last positive case of Covid-19 had been reported in the North.

The last case was reported on April 17.

While the North prepares to ease restrictions and reopen the economy as of Monday, May 4, 13,502 tests were carried out to date including 373 on Saturday.

Only one patient receiving treatment in hospital remains as of Saturday.

RTÜK blocks Diyalog TV’s broadcasts sparking strong reaction

Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Human Rights


Turkey’s top body for radio and television broadcasting, RTÜK, cut s Diyalog TV’ satellite broadcasts on Thursday afternoon on grounds that a guest on a programme made insulting remarks about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

The TV channel, like all other channels in the north, carries out its satellite broadcasts over Türksat, Turkey’s satellite service provider.

The channel’s broadcast was cut off in the middle of a live programme at 7:15 pm, Thursday without any warning or prior notification.

The move drew strong reactions from the Turkish Cypriot community as President Akıncı, media associations, trade unions and the public criticized the move, claiming that it was a direct attack on the north’s freedom of expression.

The National Unity Party (UBP)-Peoples’ Party (HP) coalition government has remained silent over the issue.

Akıncı, in a statement on Friday, slammed the decision, stating that it was wrong to block the broadcasts of a station just because of remarks made by someone on the air.

He said that the incident had revealed the need for Turkish Cypriot authorities to review their relations with RTÜK.

Akıncı underlined the importance of not steering away from the fundamental principles of democracy and freedom of expression.

“If there was an insult made than of course this is unacceptable but even so, this would not justify blocking a channel’s broadcasts completely from the satellite platform,” he said.

Akıncı also highlighted the importance of the establishment of healthier relations with institutions in Turkey and to redefine these relations.

He pointed out that his remarks should not be misconstrued as anti-Turkish views.

The Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Society, Bayrak Workers’ Union (BAY-SEN), the Turkish Cypriot Public Servants Union (KTAMS), the Revolutionary Workers’ Union (DEV-İŞ), the Turkish Cypriot Cameramen’s Association and the Turkish Cypriot Sports Writers’ Association (KTSYD) issued a joint statement condemning RTÜK’s move, describing it as the latest attack on the Turkish Cypriot press.

The organisations called on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to discuss the issue with their Turkish counterparts as soon as possible.

The associations pointed out that the expression of different views and ideas was essential for the freedom of the press.

“The remarks made during a programme on Diyalog TV was claimed to have insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and harmed Turkey’s independence and territorial integrity. However, it is clear that RTÜK, sees itself as a court of justice when it comes to many TV, radio and online broadcasts and seeks to silence different views and voices,” the statement read.

The organisations accused RTÜK of violating agreements signed with its Turkish Cypriot counterpart, YYK (the Turkish Cypriot Higher Broadcasting Council) and of by-passing it in the process.

“We are curious to see what the reaction of Turkish Cypriot authorities which established the institutions in question and which passed the relevant laws will do. More importantly, Turkish Cypriot authorities must urgently seek alternative platforms which will allow Turkish Cypriot channels to broadcast from,” the associations added.

It concluded by calling on Turkey to respect the Turkish Cypriot community’s culture of tolerance and democratic values.

“No attempt to silence Turkish Cypriot media associations or journalists will go unanswered no matter which view

s they defend. We shall carry the issue to all international platforms and other official institutions,” the statement concluded.

UNFICYP unites mother with her newborn

Kıbrıs Postası
Internal Security, Human Rights


An Indian police officer at the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) assisted in reuniting a Turkish Cypriot mother with her prematurely born baby who remained in a hospital in the south while she had to return to the north of the island after giving birth, Kıbrıs Postası reported on Saturday.

In a social media post, the UNFICYP added both the mother and the baby are doing well.

“Continuing humanitarian assistance remains a top priority for UNFICYP during the coronavirus crisis,” the UNFICYP concluded.

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