TCC Press Review 20 May 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

The cameras have been out of service for years

The fire detecting cameras which were installed at 13 different locations in 2009 within the framework of the ‘Natura 2000’ project and which can record at a 360˚degree angle have been out of service for years. The €1.5m camera system funded by the European Union (EU) has not been working since 2012. Nothing has been done since then to repair the system.

  • More fires – Fires break out at St. Hilarion, Altınova (Agios Iakovos), Kalecik (Gasteria), Boğaziçi (Periovlia).
  • South acquires two more fire fighting aircraft – Republic of Cyprus (RoC) adds two more planes to its fleet. The RoC now has two planes and two helicopters.

Kıbrıs Postası

Ceased Print/Online Only

Kıbrıs

We burnt to ashes

The north is struggling with fires for days. Yet another catastrophe was averted yesterday (Tuesday) following a fire that broke out near the St. Hilarion Castle. However separate fires in Altınova (Agios Iakovo) and Kalecik (Gastria) spread rapidly. The fire at the St. Hilarion area was caused by a short circuit in the cafe that belongs to Hüseyin Dayı. A catastrophe was averted after the fire was detected on time. In the Altınova (Agios Iakovo) and Kalecik (Gastria) fires, shrubs, barley fields and olive and carob trees were destroyed. In addition to the fire service, the civil defence teams, forestry department personnel and municipal workers and farmers worked to put out the fires.

  • He could be the arsonist of the Tepebaşı (Diorios) fire – Yusuf Sadrazam, who was spotted by an individual while trying to set fire to a forest area between Tepebaşı (Diorios) and Akdeniz (Agia Eirini) villages, was arrested by the court yesterday (Tuesday). The investigating police officer told the court Sadrazam is also the prime suspect in the big Tepebaşı (Diorios) fire on Sunday.

Havadis

We are burning in blazes

More fires broke out yesterday (Tuesday) before we could assess the extent damage of the Tepebaşı (Diorios) – Kalkanlı (Kalochorio) fire. Dönüms (dunams) of vegetation and crops burned to the ground. Another fire which broke out at the cafe near the St. Hilarion Castle raised panic but it was quickly put out, destroying only a small area of two dönüms (dunams). In another fire in Altınova (Agios Iakovo) barley, olive and carob trees in an area of 500 dönüms (dunams) burned to ashes.

  • He is also the main suspect for the Koruçam (Kormakitis) fire –Yusuf Sadrazam, who was spotted by an individual while trying to set fire to a forest area between Tepebaşı (Diorios) and Akdeniz (Agia Eirini) villages, was sent to prison yesterday (Tuesday) pending his trial. The investigating police officer told the court Sadrazam was also the prime suspect in the big fire on Sunday. The court ordered Sadrazam to be remanded for three more days.
  • There are 50,000 students and workers – Finance Minister Olgun Amcaoğlu responded to a question on the reasons for opening the casinos on June 1 when entry into the north is prohibited.
  • The latest situation: North 108 cases, four deaths; South 918 cases, 24 deaths; Turkey 151,615 cases, 4,199 cases.

Diyalog

All corners of the country on fire

Eight separate fires have broken out in the last three days including the one in Tepebaşı (Diorios). Fires which broke out in the İskele (Trikomo) area yesterday (Tuesday) caused great sadness. Fires broke out in Altınova (Agios Iakovos) and Kalecik (Gasteria) and the storage depot of a cafe at the St Hilarion Castle in Kyrenia which spread to the vicinity. Fields of barley, olive and carob trees were destroyed by the fires. The Mayor of İskele Hasan Sadıkoğlu said he suspected arson as the cause of the fires.

  • A strange situation – Yusuf Sadrazam who tried to set a forest area near Tepebaşı (Diorios) on fire denies his involvement with Sunday’s big fire in the same area.

Afrika

So what do you have to say about this?

It was revealed that the forest surveillance system, which was financed by the EU at a cost €1.5m, has been out of service for years. The surveillance system had been installed for early detection of forest fires. Ercan Poyraz, a board member of the Chamber of Forestry Engineers, said the system, which covers all the forests from Yeşilırmak (Limnitis) to Dipkarpaz (Rizokarpaso) has not been working since 2012.

  • We continue to burn the country – Not a single day goes by without a new fire. Fires broke out in St. Hilarion, in Altınova (Agios Iakovo) and Kalecik (Gastria) yesterday (Tuesday). 500 dönüms (dunams) of land was scorched in the Altınova (Agios Iakovo) fire.
  • Suspect Sadrazam to be remanded for three days – Yusuf Sadrazam, who was detained upon a call from an individual, appeared before the court yesterday (Tuesday). The investigating police officer informed the court, the voluntary testimony given by the suspect needs to be verified.
  • South Cyprus purchased two more fire-fighting aeroplanes – The two “air tractor” type American made planes were delivered on Monday. “Kamov” type Russian helicopters also ready and on standby.

Main News

Data to be exchanged, crossings to be discussed

Yenidüzen
Internal Security, CBMs

OVERVIEW

Director of the Cyprus epidemiological science team Dr Leontios Kostrikkis will be sharing data with the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health, Yenidüzen reported on Tuesday.

Speaking at a Covid-19 meeting in the South, Dr Kostrikkis said the reopening of the crossing points will be assessed based on the data to be presented to the committee by both sides.

Kostrikkis said that they will need to see all the tests carried out in the north before determining whether it would be safe to reopen the crossing points.

The bicommunal Technical Committee on Health will be presenting its assessment to the two leaders for further evaluation.


GCs transferring immovable properties in the north

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

OVERVIEW

More than 10,000 immovable property transfers in the northern part of the island, mainly among relatives took place in the past five years, Yenidüzen reported on Wednesday.

Citing Greek Cypriot media sources, the daily reported that among the 10,162 Greek Cypriot property title deed transfers, 9,900 of them occurred among relatives and in the form of a donation. 250 title deed transfers were sales of immovable properties to someone other than a relative.

Among the 250, 211 of them were Greek Cypriots, five of them foreigners and five were Britons.

The total area that was subjected to title deed transfers was 1,780.586 m² and with a total value of €3,047.

The Famagusta area is the most popular area for title-deed transfers among the other districts, it was reported. 


€1.5m in the trash, fire detection cameras obsolete

Yenidüzen, Afrika
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

It emerged on Tuesday that fire detecting cameras which were installed at 13 different locations in the north from the tip of the Karpas peninsula to Yeşilırmak (Limnitis) in 2009 within the framework of the ‘Natura 2000’ project and which can record at a 360˚ degree angle have been out of service for years.

The €1.5m camera system funded by the European Union (EU) has not been working since 2012.

It was reported that nothing has been done since then to repair the system.

Member of the board of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Forestry Engineers Ercan Poyraz said that two or three of the cameras had been in operation after 2012 and that work had been carried out to repair the cameras.

He said the project had been stalled due to a lack of funding.

“We asked the Turkish Forestry Department for assistance. They examined the cameras and told us that they were obsolete and beyond repair,” he said.

Poyraz also said that the Turkish tech firm which had installed the cameras had stopped providing services once the warranty of the cameras expired.

The head of the Forestry Department on Tuesday Cemil Karzaoğlu said the cameras had become obsolete as the government had not sent tech staff to keep the cameras operating.


Conservation of three fountains begins

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

Conservation work on three fountains from the Ottoman and British eras in the walled city of Nicosia has begun, the Turkish Cypriot co-chair of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage in Cyprus, Ali Tuncay announced on Tuesday.

The projects are being supported by UNDP and funded by the European Union (EU) as part of preservation works on monuments of historic significance.

The conservation works are to be completed by July.


“Financial outlook looks promising,” Amcaoğlu says

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

OVERVIEW

“We are hopeful of our financial future,” Turkish Cypriot finance minister Olgun Amcaoğlu said on Tuesday.

Speaking during a programme on Bayrak, Amcaoğlu added the latest financial outlook looked promising. He added the initial 57 per cent loss in revenues have now dropped to 41 per cent.

“We had gone down to as low as ₺250m (€33.3m) but the current value shows ₺580m (€77.3m). If we were to compare today’s figures with March and April, I can easily say I am hopeful of our future. We will altogether overcome the difficult times,” Amcaoğlu said.

He noted that it is too early to say whether or not the salary-cuts will continue.

“We need to be cautious,” the finance minister stressed.

Responding to a question regarding the flow of money from Turkey, Amcaoğlu said the discussions on the issue were still underway.

“We had asked for ₺3.3bn (€667m) until December…We have discussed our needs with Ankara.

Turkey is still on the side of the Turkish Cypriots but it must be understood that Turkey is also going through a difficult time,” Amcaoğlu noted.

He also said the Prime Minister Ersin Tatar will make the necessary statement on domestic borrowing when the on-going study on the issue is finalised.

Amcaoğlu announced that the finance ministry is working towards paying pensioners on May 22 or May 27 the latest.

The social security salaries will be deposited on May 29.