TCC Press Review 1 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Corruption has grown

The research carried out by experts Sertaç Sonan and Ömer Gökçekuş using the method adopted by the Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer has shed light once again on the level of corruption in the country. According to the North Cyprus Corruption Barometer, the first comprehensive report on corruption which focuses on the experiences and views of Turkish Cypriots, corruption is a great problem in the north of the island. According to 75 per cent of Turkish Cypriots, corruption has grown in the last year. 68 per cent believe the government is unsuccessful in tackling corruption. Seven per cent of participants said that they had to give a bribe in the last 12 months to receive a public service. 12 per cent said that they had been offered money in the last five years in exchange for votes.

  • “The goal is a federal solution and to be an actor – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) issues message on September 1, World Peace Day.

Kıbrıs

School expenses cost a fortune

The 2020-2021 education year is starting today through online education and will continue with in-class education on September 14. However, most of the parents have not been able to buy school uniforms, stationery and books for their children. The parents have not been able to go out for school shopping due to both economic reasons and to uncertainty over the pandemic. Kıbrıs newspaper looked into school expenses and found out that families will have to pocket out between ₺700 (€81) and ₺1,900 (€220).

  • “When Maraş (Varosha) is reopened, the port will become more valuable” – Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, who noted the majority of imports and exports are carried out from the Famagusta Port, said the gradual reopening of Maraş (Varosha) will commence in the coming months.
  • The applications for presidential candidacy will be done on September 4 – The finalised list of candidates will be announced on September 14.

Havadis

Republic of Taşyapı

The Taşyapı Construction company has been awarded the construction of the pandemic hospital by the government. The contractor companies are outraged by the government’s decision. Cafer Gürcafer, head of the Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Association, complained that Taşyapı is currently building the airport, roads and now the hospital. “Taşyapı might as well rule the north,” Gürcafer said.

  • The latest situation: North 331 cases, four deaths; South 1488 cases, 27 deaths; Turkey 270,133 cases, 6,370 deaths.

Diyalog

World of hope

A significant number of Cypriot politicians attach importance to prayers, astrology and fortune-telling. Former president Mehmet Ali Talat had visited the late Sheik Nazım. Fortune teller Abdullah Abdulaziz had read the fortune of Mustafa Akıncı in 2015. Speaking to Diyalog, Talat said that it was unfair to judge Prime Minister Ersin Tatar who was seen visiting a Dervish lodge in the old town of Nicosia on the weekend. “It’s normal for him to ask for the votes of people,” he said.

  • The gap is closing – According to the Gezici polling company’s latest opinion poll, Akıncı will win the first round while Tatar will win the second round.

Avrupa

Ritual of chants

The National Unity Party (UBP) has embraced religious cults to win brownie points from Ankara and to win votes. Şener Elcil, General Secretary of KTÖS (TC Teachers’ Union) said Ersin Tatar is taking part in “chanting prayer rituals” in a bid to win votes and at the same time, the government is paving the way for religious cults to infiltrate schools in its ‘school guidelines.’ Elcil said the Union will always stand against the efforts of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) whose mentality has forced Turkey to surrender to headscarves and religious conservativism to do the same to the Turkish Cypriot community.

  • “Corona is a hoax” – A protest was staged against covid-19 measures in the south. 2000 people attended the protest held outside the presidential palace without wearing masks or adhering to social distancing rule.
  • Nine times more cases in the north this time – 1749 tests were carried out in the north, identifying nine positive cases. In the south, 1916 tests were done finding only one positive case.

Main News

Turkish officials lambast Greece for its attempts to arm Meis

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/International Relations, Energy, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

Turkish officials have lashed out at Greece for deploying troops to Meis (Kastellorizio) Island, just two kilometres away from the Turkish shores, in violation of 1947 agreements that pledge a demilitarized status to it amid ongoing tension between the two neighbours in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking in the Black Sea province of Giresun on Monday said Turkey will not tolerate illegal actions in the Aegean and Mediterranean region.

“Turkey won’t allow piracy or banditry in the Mediterranean and the Aegean…and neither will Turkey be confided to its shores,” Erdoğan stressed and noted that Turkey with the longest coastline in the region cannot be disregarded. 

Citing the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty, Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy had argued the attempt to arm the said island reveals the true intentions of Greece regarding the Eastern Mediterranean on 30 August.

“We reject the illegitimate attempts of changes on the status of the Island. We also underline that Turkey will not allow such a provocation immediately across her coasts to attain its goal,” Aksoy stated and reiterated Turkey’s determination to defend its rights and interests stemming from international law.

Also responding to the French President Emmanuel Macron, Aksoy said France is in the wrong by declaring support to Greece in its efforts to explore energy resources.

“Those who think to have drawn red lines against the righteous cause of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean will only face Turkey’s firm stance. If there is a red line in the region, this can only be Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ rights stemming from international law,” Aksoy stressed.

The Spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey Ömer Çelik slammed Greece on Monday for its attempts to build up arms on the island of Meis.

“Greece’s attempt to build up arms on the island of Kastellorizio (Meis)   is the latest example of piracy,” Çelik tweeted.

He said that directing weapons on Turkey’s shores was foolishness.

Çelik also said that Greece’s attempts will fail. 

“If Greece wants to solve this issue through dialogue then Turkey is a reliable interlocutor. However, if Greece chooses to conduct a military exercise with France instead of talking with Turkey then they will see that they are in the wrong. Greece will learn that we have a strong response for every step it takes,” the AKP spokesman said.

Moreover, Turkey’s main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP) on Monday warned the European Union (EU) “not to fall for Greek designs in the Mediterranean.”

“Athens’ goal is to isolate Turkey in the Mediterranean,” the CHP Spokesman Faik Öztrak stressed.

Öztrak said Greece’s recent military deployment on the island of Kastellorizio (Meis)   was a blatant violation of the 1974 Paris agreement.

“The Turkish government should not allow violations of international deals but should take essential measures against Greek political designs while strengthening Turkish ties with regional countries,” Öztrak said.

“The EU should not be fooled by Greek plans and act with responsibility, underlining that the disputes should be resolved in accordance with the international agreements and shared interests of countries in the region,” Öztrak concluded.

In another development, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had a telephone conversation with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Turkish media reported on Monday.

The report said the two discussed the issue of the eastern Mediterranean.

EU’s foreign ministers last Friday decided to prepare sanctions against Turkey for its illegal activities in the eastern Mediterranean. The sanctions will go to the EU Council for approval late next month if Turkey does not stop its illegal drilling, the bloc has said.

In a related development, Turkey announced late on Monday that it has extended the duration of its navigational telex (Navtex) in the Eastern Mediterranean until September 12.

The Turkish Naval Forces (DzKK) Office for Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography (OHNO) said Turkey has issued a Navtex to extend the energy exploration activities of the Oruç Reis, Cengiz Han and Ataman ships in the Eastern Mediterranean until September 12.

KEY ACTORS
Erdoğan (Turkey)
>> Turkey will not tolerate illegal actions in the Aegean & Mediterranean region.
>> Turkey won’t allow piracy or banditry in the Mediterranean & the Aegean. Neither will Turkey be confided to its shores.

Aksoy (Turkey)
>> Turkey rejects the illegitimate attempts of changes on the status of the Kastellorizio (Meis) island.
>> Turkey will not allow such a provocation immediately across her coasts to attain its goal.
>> Turkey is determined to defend its rights and interests stemming from international law.

Çelik (AKP-Turkey)
>> Greece’s attempt to build up arms on the island of Kastellorizio (Meis)  is the latest example of piracy.
>> Directing weapons on Turkey’s shores is foolishness.
>> Greece’s attempts will fail.
>> Turkey is a reliable interlocutor if Greece wants to solve this issue through dialogue but will face strong response from Turkey if it ignores these calls.

Öztrak (CHP-Turkey)
>> EU should not fall for Greek designs in the Med.
>> Athens’ goal is to isolate Turkey in the Med.
>> Greece’s recent military deployment on the island of Kastellorizio (Meis) is a blatant violation of the 1974 Paris agreement.
>> The Turkish government should not allow violations of int’l deals but should take essential measures against Greek political designs while strengthening ties with regional countries.


Tatar says Famagusta’s importance will grow once Maraş (Varosha) reopens

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Property, Territory, Economy

OVERVIEW

The leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and presidential candidate Ersin Tatar on Monday said that the port of Famagusta will become even more important once the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha) is opened.

Tatar, speaking during a visit to Famagusta port on Monday, said that the port was the north’s window to the world.

He said that the phased reopening of the town will bring with it great potential, not only for the port but the city itself.

“Once Maraş (Varosha) opens, Famagusta will grow even more. It will achieve great potential in terms of tourism. The port will become even more important. That is why we attach great importance to the port and its workers,” he said.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> Reopening Maraş (Varosha) will raise the importance of Famagusta Port & with it bring great tourism potential.


Importance of solution of Cyprob highlighted in Sept 1 messages

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

Messages highlighting the importance of a solution to the Cyprus Problem as well as dialogue in de-escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean were issued to mark September 1, World Peace Day.

The Republican Turkish Party (CTP)’s Central Executive Committee (MYK) on Monday said that reaching a federal solution to the Cyprus Problem remained the party’s priority.

“The non-solution of the Cyprus Problem continues to poison all relations in the region. Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will only harm regional countries and peoples,” read the MYK’s statement.

The CTP emphasized the importance of the fair distribution of the region’s resources and setting a good example to the Eastern Mediterranean.

It added that it was important to find solutions to the island’s conflict and problems based on international law and peacebuilding.

The CTP’s MYK said that the party continued on its long-running path towards achieving peace in Cyprus and the world, building confidence between the two communities, introducing confidence-building measures (CBMs) and achieving a comprehensive federal settlement.

It said the CTP thrived to achieve a bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF)  Cyprus Republic based on political equality as well as creating an independent EU member island free of all military presence and based on social European values.

It concluded by stating that the Covid-19 pandemic had once again revealed how necessary and important it is to achieve a comprehensive solution in Cyprus.

Meanwhile, a group of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot trade unions which are members of the World Trade Unions Federation also issued a message on Monday to mark the day.

The unions, in their joint statement, said that the region’s natural wealth should not be used to serve foreign interests through conflict or tensions but for the benefit of the people through cooperation.

Expressing concern about growing tensions in the region, the unions said that being drawn into geopolitical games in the Eastern Mediterranean was against the interests of the people of the region.

The unions added that disagreements or disputes could only be settled based on international legal principles and mutual dialogue, understanding and cooperation.

The statement pointed out that the tensions in Cyprus and the region once again highlighted the importance of solving the Cyprus Problem.

The trade unions reiterated their commitment and determination to continue their joint struggle for a BBF, with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international identity, free of guarantors, demilitarized and independent.

The unions also said that the talks should resume from where they left off at Crans Montana as soon as possible.

“Cooperation and solidarity are the only option Cypriots have to solve their problems,” the statement read.


Gezici poll predict’s Tatar to win in second round of presidential elections

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance and Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

The Turkish polling company Gezici announced the results of its latest poll on Monday, carried out with 4,530 participants on August 21,22 and 23.

According to the results, incumbent President Mustafa Akıncı and the Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, who is also the National Unity Party’s (UBP) candidate are in the lead.

Announcing the poll results, Murat Gezici said the presidential elections will be concluded in two rounds.

“33.4 per cent of the poll participants said they will vote for Akıncı whereas 32.1 per cent will vote for Tatar, qualifying them both for a second round,” Gezici said.

According to the poll, Tufan Erhürman is ranked in third place with 16.6 per cent of the votes followed by Kudret Özersay with 9.2 per cent of the votes.

Nonetheless, according to the survey, most participants chose Tatar over Akıncı in the second round.

After distributing the undecided votes among the two candidates equally, 50.8 per cent of the poll participants said they will vote for Tatar in the second round whereas Akıncı will receive 49.2 per cent of the votes.

In response to a question on the elected president’s approach to the Cyprus problem, 78.2 per cent of the participants ticked the two-state option compared to 21.8 per cent opting for a federal settlement.

Asked what they think of Turkey’s guarantor status over the island, 81.1 per cent of the participants said they wanted Turkey’s guarantor status to continue while 4.1 per cent said they wished to see the system scrapped.

4.9 per cent of the participants expressed the view that the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) should provide some form of guarantees.

9.9 per cent of the participants said they are undecided on the issue.

In response to a question on what to expect from the president which the participants could tick more than one of options, 77.1 per cent expressed the viewpoint that the president-elect should establish and maintain good relations with Turkey.

62.9 per cent expressed the expectation that the president-elect should find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

58.6 per cent of the participants said they want the president-elect to know and understand the dynamics of the economy as well.

Protecting or preserving the Turkish Cypriot culture ranked fifth with 53.5 per cent.

Tackling some of the structural problems in the north came in lower ranks.

53.6 per cent said the president-elect should work in close cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot state; 40.1 per cent said the president-elect should find solutions to infrastructure problems and 39.2 per cent expressed hope that the president-elect should solve health issues in the north.

On the issue of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, 76.8 per cent of the participants said they support Turkey’s hydrocarbon exploration activities to protect the Turkish Cypriots’ rights, compared to 13.4 per cent saying otherwise.

9.8 per cent of the participants said they did not have an opinion on the matter.

The polling company, which has an abating reputation in the north, did not fall short of taking a swipe,

In response to a question to evaluate his performance on the Cyprus issue during his five-year term, 54.3 per cent of the participants found the incumbent president, Mustafa Akıncı to be “unsuccessful,” compared to 45.7 per cent finding him “successful.”

Additionally, 58.3 per cent of the participants said Akıncı contributes to worsening relations with Turkey whereas 31 per cent said the contrary.

10.7 per cent said they do not have an opinion on the issue.


Life-line support for the TC F&B sector

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
EU Matters, Economy

OVERVIEW

“Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue” Project, which part of the European Union (EU) financed economic support package, had launched a grant scheme entitled ‘Life-line support for F&B operators’ on Monday.

The grant scheme has earmarked ₺18,000 (€2,110) for micro and/or small and medium-sized enterprises in the food and beverage sector. The goal of the scheme is to minimize the negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and to assist the businesses in overcoming the cash-flow problems experienced due to the pandemic.

The grant scheme will be collectively managed by the Turkish Cypriot Investment Agency (YAGA), Turkish Cypriot Shopkeepers and Artisans (KTEZO), the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Turkish Cypriot Restaurateurs’ Association (RES-BIR) within the scope of the EU financed Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue Project, which has an overall budget of €3m and is implemented by the Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) to continue EU’s support for economic development in the Turkish Cypriot community. 

The three-year project aims to open up shared spaces for innovation, inclusive and entrepreneurial engagement, community dialogue and knowledge sharing.

The interested businesses can apply for the grant scheme until 16 September 2020.


13 Syrian migrants found in Kyrenia

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

13 irregular Syrian migrants who arrived by boat at a beach in Karşıyaka (Vasileia) early on Monday morning were apprehended by police, the dailies reported on Tuesday.

According to a police statement, all 11 men were placed in police custody for unlawful entry into the north after undergoing health checks.

Police who launched an investigation also found two other Syrians in the area.

In another development, the police also detained three Syrian migrants, who attempted to enter the north illegally.

The migrants were caught red-handed while hiding behind a truck, which arrived in the north onboard a freight ship.

The migrants have all been placed in quarantine.

It is reported the police investigation is still underway on the case.