TCC Press Review 30 July 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Their concern is something else

The British pound has exceeded nine Turkish Lira, concerns over the public’s health is growing and economic indicators are scary. The government is being rocked by “new coalition talks.” It has been claimed that the National Unity Party (UBP)-Peoples’ Party (HP) coalition government is to be replaced by a UBP-DP (Democratic Party)-YDP (Rebirth Party) coalition. Citing reliable sources, Yenidüzen said that the three parties are at a stalemate concerning ministries. It’s been claimed that the DP and the YDP will either receive two or one of the ministries each. The government must reach the 26 seats required which is only possible if UBP MP Hüseyin Özgürgün returns from Istanbul where he has been staying ever since facing corruption charges. It is said Özgürgün demands the charges be dropped if he is to return. 

  • Is Denktaş’s candidacy a political move?Yenidüzen which inquired about Serdar Denktaş’s candidacy for the presidential electionıs learned that the DP had told the UBP that Denktaş will be an independent candidate.

Kıbrıs

We are among the least successful countries combating human trafficking

Today is the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. The Refugee Rights’ Association provided information on the “Trafficking in Persons Report” to Kıbrıs. Managing the European Union financed COMMIT project, which aims at preventing human trafficking, Fezile Osum said as a result of the amendments made in the penal code, “human trafficking” is now classified as a heavy crime. However, she added there is still plenty the Turkish Cypriot authorities needed to do. She also noted that the crime of ‘human trafficking’ is often confused with ‘human smuggling’. Osum said the crime of human trafficking includes the victim being forced into labour, being deceived and includes the human trafficker taking advantage of the victim’s vulnerability. Başak Ekenoğlu, also from the Refugee Rights’ Association, said the north is listed in the US State Department’s report on trafficking of persons amongst the worst countries in combatting human trafficking. “This is embarrassing,” she said and added the report clearly states that the north does not comply with the Palermo Protocol, which was adopted by the Turkish Cypriot parliament in 2018. Ekenoğlu also added that the report notes there is trafficking in agriculture, construction, domestic services, and retail sectors in addition to stating that women are forced into prostitution at night clubs.

  • Four new cases in the north and 13 in the south – The increase in the number of coronavirus cases continue. It is claimed that the ward allocated for the covid-19 patients at the hospital is full therefore the asymptomatic patients are being transferred to quarantine hotels.

Havadis

Value of the foreign currencies sours the celebratory mood.

The devaluation of the Turkish Lira against other foreign currencies continues since the beginning of the week. The increase in the value of foreign currencies against the lira has caused concern among the public.

  • Verdicts announced for the North Cyprus leg of FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Organisation) – Ankara heavy crimes court issued its verdict on the ten perpetrators who were serving in the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus during the failed coup attempt in Turkey.
  • The latest situation: North 142 cases, four deaths; South 1,080 cases, 27 deaths; Turkey 228,924 cases, 5,659 deaths.

Diyalog

Happy Bayram (Eid-Al Adha)

These scenes do not upset anyone. While high overgrowth on the sides of the roads all across North Cyprus is an invitation for fires it is also a source of environmental pollution. In addition to the tall grasses, piles of rubbish and littler fill the shoulders on the Nicosia-Kyrenia main road. Irresponsible people have been dumping everything on the sides of the roads, including old furniture. People talking to Diyalog claim that the Department of Environment and municipalities have become growingly ineffective in stopping or preventing such actions. “How do we expect tourism to develop when this is the situation,” they asked.

  • Old ones are valid – South Cyprus will be putting into use new type biometric passports as of today (Thursday).
  • There is an increase – Four new cases in the north, 14 in the south.

Avrupa

Renewed risk of a lock-down

Four cases in the north and 13 in the south. While people were hoping for the pandemic to be over, four new cases of coronavirus in the north and 13 cases in the south were detected yesterday (Wednesday). People are concerned and asking whether there will be a new lock-down or not. The number of cases on both sides of the island is on the rise since the launch of the reopening process on July 1.

  • Turkey earns €1bn annually through flights over the TRNC – Retired Lieutenant General Dr Erdoğan Karakuş claimed that Turkey earns €1bn annually for allowing the use of the TRNC airspace. He spoke on Turkish broadcaster HaberTürk last week.

Main News

Ankara slams UN decision on Cyprus peacekeeping force

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Internal Security, External Security, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The Turkish Foreign Ministry late on Tuesday slammed a decision by the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) that extended the mandate of a peacekeeping force on Cyprus Island. 

The ministry said extending the mandate for six months, unanimously adopting Resolution 2537 (2020) without the consent of Turkish Cypriots is against the rules and principles of the U.N.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) needs to make a legal arrangement with Turkish Cypriot authorities regarding its presence on the island, it said.

Turkey reiterated that despite legal deficiencies, UNFICYP continues its activities on the island only through the well-intentioned approach of the Turkish Cypriot side.

The Turkish foreign ministry added that Ankara supports the statement of Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry on the issue.

It said it is a thought-provoking situation that while the Security Council is calling for cooperation between the two parties on the island, it also ignores the issue of fair sharing of hydrocarbon resources as one of the areas of cooperation.

The ministry said Turkey has repeatedly stressed issues related to the Eastern Mediterranean can be resolved through cooperation on hydrocarbon resources of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots sides as equal partners of the island.

It added that with the same understanding, it is possible to establish a direct contact mechanism between military authorities indicated in the council decision between Turkish Cypriot Security Forces Command and its Greek equivalent.

The ministry said as noted in the last UNFICYP report of the UN Secretary-General (UNSG), the main obstacle to the lack of effective cooperation between the two parties is the concern of the Greek Cypriot side to recognize the Turkish Cypriot side, in other words, to accept it as an equal partner.

It underlined that the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side is the reason why efforts for the solution on the island have been inconclusive for more than 50 years. It added that biased statements regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue in the decision, unfortunately, encourage the irreconcilable attitude of the Greek Cypriot side.

KEY ACTORS
MFA (Turkey)
>> Extension of UNFICYP mandate without the consent of TCs is against the rules and principles of the UN.
>> UNFICYP needs to make a legal arrangement with TC authorities regarding its presence on the island.
>> Despite legal deficiencies, UNFICYP continues its activities on the island only through the well-intentioned approach of TC side.
>> Ankara supports the statement of TC MFA on the issue.
>> The fact that UNSC ignores the issue of fair sharing of hydrocarbon resources as one of the areas of cooperation while it calls for cooperation is thought-provoking.
>> Ankara believes that issues related to the East Med can be resolved through cooperation on hydrocarbon resources of the TC & GC sides as equal partners on the island.
>> With the same understanding, it is possible to establish a direct contact mechanism between military authorities as indicated by UNSC between TC & GC forces.
>> The main obstacle to the lack of effective cooperation between the two sides is GC side’s refusal to recognize the TC as an equal partner.
>> The biased statements regarding the solution of the Cyprus issue in the decision, unfortunately encourage the irreconcilable attitude of the GC side.


East Med energy projects will fail without Turkey: Akar

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

OVERVIEW

Any energy project that proceeds in the Eastern Mediterranean without Turkey’s participation is “doomed to fail,” Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar warned in late on Tuesday.

“Turkey, as a country with the longest continental coastline in the eastern Mediterranean has sovereign rights in its maritime areas,” Akar said during a virtual conference hosted by the Washington-based Turkish Heritage Organization.

“Turkey’s hydrocarbon-related activities in the eastern Mediterranean are completely based on her legitimate rights and international law. Energy projects in the eastern Mediterranean that exclude Turkey from the energy equation are doomed to fail. We strongly believe peace and stability in the region can be achieved through dialogue,” Akar concluded.


NGOs demand more effective fight against trafficking

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The Turkish Cypriot non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the north fighting against various aspects of human trafficking, issued a joint statement on Wednesday to draw attention to the need for a more effective fight against the problem.

Marking the “World Day Against Trafficking” on July 30, the NGOs acknowledged that the recent amendments made in the Turkish Cypriot penal code classifying human trafficking as a serious crime punishable up to ten years in prison were a positive and promising move.

“Nonetheless, imprisonment is only one aspect of the fight against trafficking. The Turkish Cypriot authorities should establish mechanisms for prevention, collaboration and protection,” the statement read.

The NGOs argued that trafficking victims must be provided protection once filing complaints with the police.

The organisations added that the police in collaboration with the NGOs must investigate the case thoroughly and punish the perpetrators appropriately in accordance with the law.

The NGOs also demanded the authorities must establish mechanisms to provide social, economic and psychological support to the victims of human trafficking.

“Failure to take any steps towards protecting the victims and the uncertainties that follow are strengthening the hands of the human traffickers,” the NGOs.

They argued that the lack of control mechanisms in the north prevents identification of various cases of human trafficking.

“Human trafficking is one of the worst crimes to be committed with many violations of human rights therefore we demand the Turkish Cypriot authorities to implement our recommendations without any further delay,” the NGOs concluded.

The NGOs that issued the joint statement are Turkish Cypriot Refugee Rights’ Association, Queer Cyprus Association, Universal Patients’ Rights Association, SOS Children’s Village Association, Turkish Cypriot Bar Association Human Rights’ Committee, Turkish Cypriot Human Rights’ Foundation, Turkish Cypriot Journalists’ Association and the Nicosia Turkish Municipality (LTB).

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot Refugee Rights’ Association which carries out the Coordinated Measures and Mechanisms for Anti-trafficking (COMMIT) project funded by the EU, spoke to Kıbrıs.

The association’s coordinator Fezile Osum told the daily that the crime of ‘human trafficking’ is often confused with ‘human smuggling’.

She explained that human trafficking was the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, sexual slavery, or commercial sexual exploitation for the trafficker or others.

“This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal, Osum added.

Another member of the association Başak Ekenoğlu told Kıbrıs that North Cyprus was included in the US State Department’s annual human trafficking report among the list of countries with the worst record.

“This is embarrassing. The report states that North Cyprus is not implementing the Palermo Protocol approved by the Turkish Cypriot parliament in 2018,” she said.

Ekenoğlu adds that human trafficking is common in farming, construction and other domestic sectors.

“At night clubs women are being forced into prostitution and sex,” she stressed.