TCC Press Review 4 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

The reservoir will last until September 20’

Repairs are taking longer than planned, water levels have dropped. Only 20 days of water left! The Minister of Agriculture Dursun Oğuz who initially had given August 30 as a deadline is now talking about a 20-day delay. The municipalities are calling on the public to conserve water.

  • Erhürman announcing his vision – The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman will be announcing his vision on Monday at 8 pm. The event titled, ‘Doğrusu Geliyor’ (The right/correct way is coming) will be streamed and broadcast live.

Kıbrıs

Overwhelming support for Turkey’s guarantees

The COMAR polling company, which is also owned by the Kıbrıs Media Group, is carrying out a series of public opinion polls ahead of the October 11 presidential elections. The periodical polls reveal what the people think about the Cyprus problem, relations with Turkey as well as reflect the public opinion on the upcoming elections. In the first instalment of the poll results, revealed that an overwhelming majority are in favour of the continuation of Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island. 86.3 per cent of the participants want Turkey’s guarantees compared to 8.2 per cent who object to the idea.

Havadis

We were clear and now we are infected

The government has refused to change quarantine requirements despite coming under strong criticism. The number of local Covid-19 infections is growing. The number of patients receiving treatment has gone up to 106.

  • Strong criticism against the US from Özyiğit – The leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit said the US was not serving peace by tensions in the region.

Diyalog

Only in our country

Cars queued up for motor inspections under 45 degrees heat. Officials for years have been unable to solve the long-standing problem at the motor inspection department in the Industrial Zone in Nicosia. Citizens who have been forced to wait in long lines under the sweltering heat recently called and complained to Diyalog newspaper. Citizens speaking to the daily said that the problem was not only due to staff shortages but also because there was only one such facility which carried out the inspections.

Avrupa

Quarantine condition for in-class education

The teachers’ unions set forth conditions for face to face education to resume at schools. The Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union (KTÖS) and the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) is demanding that entry into the country without quarantine should be ended and that schools should be opened only after the necessary health measures are taken.

  • 17 cases in the north, 3 in the south – 17 cases were detected in the 1265 tests carried out in the north and three cases were detected in the 2149 tests carried out in the south.

Main News

US decision will create conflict, not peace, say Turkish & TC officials

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Energy, External Security, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

“The United States does not care at all whether or not a solution is found in Cyprus,” Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Thursday.

Evaluating the US’s decision to lift the arms embargo on the Greek Cypriot side to Turkish broadcaster TRT, Özersay said patting one of the two sides of a conflict on the back will have dangerous consequences.

He also noted that the move was the latest in a long line of injustices carried out against the Turkish Cypriot community by the international community.
He said a good example was the admittance of the Greek Cypriot side to the European Union before a solution and allowing the Greek Cypriot side to fully explore the natural resources around the island before a solution was reached.

“The US administration is making the Greek Cypriot side more comfortable in their existing comfort zone,” Özersay noted, adding that such moves were making the Greek Cypriot side less willing for a solution.

“The Greek Cypriot side had been unwilling to share governance and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots in the first place and now they will be more emboldened not to do so. In short, the US decision to lift the embargo does not contribute at all to peace or stability in the region,” Özersay stressed.

He also noted that even though the US administration claims the decision was aimed at weakening Russia and China’s influence in the region, the Greek Cypriot side perceives the decision in a way that the US is supporting them on every aspect. 

He said Washington was trying to increase its presence in the region. ExxonMobil is the US’s commercial presence in the region and now the US is increasing its military collaboration with the Greek Cypriot side while it is trying to prevent the Russian navy ships from docking at the Limassol port for supplies.

“The US had imposed the embargo 33 years ago in an effort not to hinder the negotiations process on the island but today’s decision to lift the embargo means that the US does not care at all about finding a solution on the island,” Özersay concluded. 

Also slamming the decision, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit said that the move will not serve peace but will only lead to further raising tensions in the area.

He added that the same applied for the joint military activities being carried out by France and South Cyprus.

“We need steps that will serve peace and prosperity in the region, not raise tensions,” Özyiğit warned in a written statement issued on Thursday.

“The most logical way to solve this problem is through dialogue,” he added.

“Turkey is 100 per cent right regarding the issues in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday. 

Speaking to the media following the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Central Executive Board meeting, he added that Ankara is ready and willing to table the Eastern Mediterranean issue with the regional countries.

“Ankara is open for dialogue with all parties except the Greek Cypriot administration. That does not mean we would compromise on our rights but find a common ground whereby everyone could win,” Erdoğan concluded.

Turkey is going after its rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, not seeking tension, the country’s defence minister said on Thursday.

“We are not seeking tension or bullying. We clearly and explicitly chase our rights and interests with belief, knowledge, logic, science, and law. Nobody can prevent this,” Hulusi Akar said.

His remarks came during a visit for inspections at the air operations centre in the central Eskisehir province.

On the recent US decision to partially lift the arms embargo on Greek Cypriot side, Akar said it will cause “conflict and deadlock,” not bring “peace and a solution.”

On Tuesday, the US announced that it is partially lifting the embargo on South Cyprus.

The US announcement came amid markedly strained tensions in the region between Turkey and several nations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, Turkey has issued two new navigational telex (or Navtex) alerts in the Eastern Mediterranean where the Russian navy will conduct military drills.

The announcement made late on Wednesday advises sailors not to enter the drilling zone and in areas where ships are conducting research, the Turkish Naval Forces Hydrography and Oceanography Department said in a statement.

According to naval alerts, Russian forces will conduct two separate shooting exercises on both sides of the island. The two-phased live fire exercise in the eastern Mediterranean will take place from September 8-22 and the other from September 17-25.

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP)
>> The US does not care at all whether or not a solution is established on the island.
>> Patting one of the two sides of a conflict on the back will have dangerous consequences.
>> The US administration is making the GC side more comfortable in its existing comfort zone.
>> As a result, the GC side becomes less willing for a solution.
>> The GC side had been unwilling to share governance & wealth with the TCs in the first place & now they will be more emboldened not to do so.
>> The US decision to lift the embargo does not contribute at all to peace or stability in the region.
>> The GC side perceives the decision in a way that the US is supporting them on every aspect even though the US says they have done so to weaken Russia’s & China’s influence.

Özyiğit (TDP)
>> The move will not serve peace but will only lead to further raising tensions in the area.
>> The same applies to the joint military activities being carried out by France & South Cyprus.
>> We need steps that will serve peace & prosperity in the region, not raise tensions.
>>The most logical way to solve this problem is through dialogue.

Erdoğan
>> Turkey is 100 per cent right regarding the issues in the East Med.
>> Ankara is ready & willing to table the East Med. issue with the regional countries.
>> Ankara is open for dialogue with all parties expect the GC administration.
>> Not a compromise on Turkish rights but attempt to find a common ground whereby everyone could win.

Akar (Turkey)
>> Turkey is going after its rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, not seeking tension.
>> US decision to lift the arms embargo on GC side will cause conflict & deadlock, not bring peace & a solution. 


Re-opening Maraş (Varosha) to bring economic benefits for both sides

Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Economy, Property, Territory, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

“Both the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot sides will benefit from the re-opening Maraş (Varosha),” independent presidential candidate Serdar Denktaş said on Thursday.

Speaking during a visit to the Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors’ Association as part of his campaign visits, Denktaş added the steps taken in line with the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and mutual steps to be taken on commerce and tourism would create significant opportunities for the contractor companies.

“The key at this point is to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot contractors will be tasked with the necessary work instead of contractors coming from abroad like today,” Denktaş concluded.

“October 11 will be about the future of the TRNC,” Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) candidate Ersin Tatar said on Thursday.

During a campaign visit to Gönyeli (Geunyeli), Tatar added he promises for an economically stronger north which will be in full harmony with Turkey.

“The current conjectural developments have removed the possibility of a federal solution from the table,” Tatar argued and emphasized that the UBP had always advocated for a solution based on sovereign equality.

“If the United Nations were to invite us, we will go. We will also negotiate if there is a need. We are also in favour of a negotiated settlement but we will go to the talks to reflect the viewpoints of our people and not to give a map like what Mr Mustafa Akıncı did in Switzerland,” Tatar said.

“The election will be between those who advocate for our nation and motherland Turkey and those who create uncertainty in our future with the lie of a federation,” Tatar concluded.

“The bicommunal nature of Pile (Pyla) is a very good example of the solution in Cyprus,” Teberrüken Uluçay said.

A delegation from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) led by Uluçay visited the mixed village of Pile (Pyla) as part of the party’s campaign visits on September 1.

Meeting with the Turkish Cypriot mukhtar Veysal Güden, Uluçay noted that the Pile (Pyla) village has severe problems that remain unsolved to date.

“Nonetheless, attempts to cut off the Turkish Cypriots living in Pile (Pyla) from the rest of the north during the coronavirus pandemic was not acceptable,” Uluçay stressed.

He concluded by outlining that the coming five-year term in the office of the president will be extremely important for both domestic and foreign policies.

KEY ACTORS
Denktaş (DP)
>> Both the TC & the GC sides will benefit from the re-opening Maraş (Varosha).
>> The steps are taken in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions & mutual steps to be taken on commerce & tourism would open significant opportunities for the contractor companies.
>> The key at this point is to ensure that the TC contractors will be tasked with the necessary work instead of contractors coming from abroad like today.

Tatar (UBP)
>> October 11 will be about the future of the TRNC.
>> The current conjectural developments have removed the possibility of a federal solution from the table.
>> The UBP had always advocated for a solution based on sovereign equality.
>> If the UN were to invite us, we will go to the negotiations as we are also in favour of a negotiated settlement.
>> We will go to the talks to reflect the viewpoints of our people and not give a map like what Akıncı did in Switzerland.
>> The election will be between those who advocate for our nation & motherland Turkey and those who create uncertainty in our future with the lie of a federation.

Uluçay(CTP)
>> The bicommunal nature Pile (Pyla) is a very good example of the solution in Cyprus.
>> Attempts to cut off the TCs living in Pile (Pyla) from the rest of the north during the coronavirus pandemic was not acceptable.
>> The coming five-year term in the office of the president will be extremely important for both domestic and foreign policies.


COMAR poll reveals overwhelming support for Turkey’s guarantees

Kıbrıs
External Security, Negotiations Process, Energy, Governance and Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

A total of 86.3 per cent of Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island, according to the latest opinion poll conducted by COMAR.

The results of the survey were published by Kıbrıs which owns COMAR polling company, The survey was carried out with 1588 participants through face-to-face interviews over six months.

Compared to the overwhelming support for the continuation of the guarantees, the poll results reveal that 8.2 per cent of the participants are against Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island, its military presence in the north as well as its unilateral right of intervention.

3.8 per cent said they are neither in favour nor against the idea whereas 1.6 per cent said they do not have any opinion on the issue.

It was also revealed that 87.8 per cent of the participants were in favour of the continuation of the guarantees in the first poll six months ago while 7.4 per cent had objected to Turkey’s guarantees then.

Responding to a question on the solution model of the Cyprus problem, 24.6 per cent of participants said they want to see the “recognition of the north” whereas 20.1 per cent believe the solution on the island can be established through a “confederation model based on two separate and independent states.”

In addition, 19.7 per cent of participants are in favour of a “bicommunal, bizonal federation (BBF)”, while 9.8 per cent chose the option of “two separate states under the roof of the EU,” and 9.8 per cent said they wanted “integration with Turkey”.

Meanwhile, 7.7 per cent of participants said they want the continuation of the current situation, while 1.8 per cent said they believe the Cyprus problem can only be solved through the “unitary Republic of Cyprus (RoC)” model, and one per cent said they did not believe there was a Cyprus problem. From those polled, 5.5 per cent said they do not have any opinion on the issue.

When the poll results from six months ago compared, there is a 9.6 per cent decrease in the support for a BBF model, dropping from 29.3 per cent to 19.7 per cent at present.

Support for the confederation model has also dropped from 25.7 per cent six months ago to 20.1 per cent in the latest poll.

When the participants were asked to compare Mustafa Akıncı’s performance with his predecessors on various issues, 59.7 per cent of the participants found the incumbent president to be unsuccessful in his attempts to lift the embargoes imposed on the north.

The poll revealed that 52.3 per cent found Akıncı unsuccessful in his efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem compared to 26.1 per cent, who found him to be successful.

At the same time, 15.9 per cent of the participants said he was “neither successful nor unsuccessful” and 5.7 per cent said they do not have any idea on the issue.

Asked to evaluate Akıncı’s efforts in uniting the Turkish Cypriot community, 51.2 per cent found him unsuccessful compared with the previous community leaders, whereas 27.3 per cent found him to be successful.

Just over half, 50.8 per cent, deemed Akıncı unsuccessful in collaborating with Turkey in all aspects compared to 29.8 per cent of participants who said the contrary.

Under half, 43.9 per cent of participants, said Akıncı is unsuccessful in defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriots whereas 38.8 per cent he is successful.

In response to a question on whether Akıncı has given enough support to Turkey’s ongoing exploration efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean, 53.5 per cent of the participants said he did not, compared to 25.9 per cent who said the contrary.

A further 15.6 per cent said they do not have any idea on this question whereas 4.9 per cent said: “neither enough nor inadequate.”

Under half, 46.7 per cent, said they did not believe Akıncı contributed to the representation of the Turkish Cypriots in international platforms, compared to 28.6 per cent who believe he did.

When asked about their expectations from the next president, 31.4 per cent said they want the president-elect to establish collaboration with Turkey on every aspect; 24.1 per cent said they expect the president-elect to solve the Cyprus problem; 17.4 per cent said they expect the president-elect to defend and protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, whereas 14 per cent expect the president-elect to work towards lifting the embargoes imposed on the north, and 9.5 per cent ticked the option of “establishing communal unity” as their expectation from the president-elect.