TCC Press Review 5 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Frightening picture

Experts have warned. Local cases are on the rise and hospitals will not be able to cope with the arrival of fall. According to figures, Covid-19 cases in the north have spiked. Doctors say that the strength of health personnel is draining as cases arise. They are drawing attention to vulnerable groups and are calling on the government to take serious steps. 

  • Election race, officially… – Eleven candidates have applied, the process has begun.

Kıbrıs

Election with eleven candidates

The candidates submitted their official applications to the High Electoral Council (YSK) yesterday for the October 11 presidential elections. The final list of candidates will be announced by the YSK on September 14. The temporary list of candidates in the order of applications are Mustafa Akıncı (Independent), Tufan Erhürman (Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ersin Tatar (National Unity Party (UBP), Kudret Özersay (Independent), Alpan Uz (Independent), Erhan Arıklı (Rebirth Party (YDP), Fuat Çiner (Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP), Mustafa Ulaş (Independent), Arif Salih Kırdağ (Independent), Serdar Denktaş (Independent), and Ahmet Boran (Independent).

  • They have swindled the state ₺37,500 (€4,285) – Halit Sancak and an unnamed public notary are accused of collecting ₺1,500 (€171) salary support payments from the state by presenting forged documents in the name of a closed-down cleaning company.

Havadis

N/A

Diyalog

Difficult decision

While Health Minister Ali Pilli refrained from giving a date as to when primary and secondary schools can open, universities have spoken about implementing a week-long quarantine for all arriving university students. The decision to open primary and secondary schools in North Cyprus is expected to be postponed. Minister Pilli said that the decision will be made on September 11 at a meeting with the education ministry and the Contagious Diseases Higher Committee.

  • The process has begun – 11 candidates will be contesting in the presidential election on October 11.

Avrupa

11 candidates

We now have enough candidates who applied to the Higher Electorate Board (YSK) to form a football team. The YSK announced the temporary list of candidates in the order of applications. In this regard, Mustafa Akıncı (Independent), Tufan Erhürman (Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ersin Tatar (National Unity Party (UBP), Kudret Özersay (Independent), Alpan Uz (Independent), Erhan Arıklı (Rebirth Party (YDP)), Fuat Çiner (Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP), Mustafa Ulaş (Independent), Arif Salih Kırdağ (Independent), Serdar Denktaş (Independent), and Ahmet Boran (Independent) will be contesting in the October 11 elections.

  • Local-level infections started – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli said. It will be decided whether or not to open schools on September 11.
  • “Some are making programmes against me on BRT” – President Mustafa Akıncı complains that “some people are trying to create the perception that Akıncı is an enemy of Turkey on Bayrak.”  However, he added it is Turkish Cypriots who know the importance of Turkey the best…
  • Ten cases of coronavirus in the north, four in the south – 1940 tests were carried out in the north and 1810 tests in the south.

Main News

Eleven candidates to run for the presidency in the north

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

The countdown for the presidential elections in the north officially launched on Friday as eleven hopefuls submitted their candidacies to the high electoral council.

Among the candidates, four are backed by parties and the rest are running as an independent.

The elections, which were initially set to take place in April but were postponed due to the pandemic will take place on October 11.

Running as independent is current Turkish Cypriot President Mustafa Akıncı, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister’ and former head of the People’s Party (HP) Kudret Özersay, former head of Democratic Party Serdar Denktaş (DP), lawyer Alpan Uz who, at 37 is the youngest candidate, Arif Salih Kirdag, teacher Mustafa Ulaş, and doctor Ahmet Boran.

The head of main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman, leader of Rebirth Party Erhan Arıklı and head of the Nationalist Democracy Party (MDP) Fuat Türköz Çiner, are also candidates. They are backed by their parties.

All the candidates made brief statements about their goals if elected after submitting in their applications.

With no surprises, Akıncı said he remains committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution (BBF) based on the political equality of the two constituent states and that, if he is elected, he will try to do more than his last five years in office based on a multidimensional policy.

He stressed the importance of staying true to the sought solution and referred to the statements by the UN Secretary-general after the meeting in Berlin with the two leaders last November on an informal meeting between the two communities on the island, the three guarantors – Greece, Turkey, UK – and the UN, when the time is right, in this case, after the elections.

Akıncı also said that he will work to create a relationship based on respect and character.

The UBP’s candidate, Tatar said if he is the new leader he would strive for the north’s economic development, and its integration with the world and give it the place it deserves in the world. What’s important, he said, is the well-being of the Turkish Cypriots.

Özersay stated that his goal was to advance the Turkish Cypriots’ struggle for existence, to defend their rights in the best way and to be able to say ‘we are here’ in the region, referring to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The CTP’s candidate Tufan Erhürman expressed his view that the outcome of the election will be determined in the second round.

“What is important is for the democratic culture to win,” he added.

Denktaş said this election was ‘a test of history for the Turkish Cypriot voter’ based on who they will choose as their next leader.

Denktaş also said that none of the candidates running in the elections was pro-Greek or traitors.

The YDP’s candidate Erhan Arıklı arrived at the courts in Nicosia where the high electoral council is based to the company of drums and pipes.

Arıklı told reporters that they had just read a federal solution its final rites.

The MDP’s candidate Fuat Türköz Çiner said that if elected he will set up a negotiating table with representatives across the political spectrum, ranging from those who defend a two-state solution to those who advocate a federal solution.

While independent candidates Mustafa Ulaş and Alpan Uz vowed to work for social harmony in the north, Ali Sanatkar failed to submit his application because his documents were not in order.

The final candidate to apply was Arif Salih Kırdağ who has somewhat become a mascot of the elections in the north.

Kırdağ has run for office, including the general and presidential elections for 12 times.

Kırdağ among other things vowed to bring social justice to the country if elected. 


Ankara urges France to set aside colonial dreams in East Med

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

OVERVIEW

Turkey reiterated Friday its earlier warning to France to end its provocative and colonialist stance in the Eastern Mediterranean, one of the main sources of tension in the region, according to Ankara.

“Who is agitating Greece against Turkey? France. But it has another agenda. Once its plans to establish a terror state in Syria collapsed, it adopted an insolent attitude (against Turkey). Do I need to ask for permission from France while I am waging a war against terrorism?” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a speech in Ankara on Friday, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron’s meetings with Kurdish representatives in Paris to offer his support.

Regarding recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said that Greece has shown that once again it is not suitable for dialogue by not being honest about NATO’s mediation.

“Greece’s denial of the NATO general-secretary is noteworthy. It first agreed to the talks with Turkey (over the Eastern Mediterranean), then backed out. It was Greece that lied,” Çavuşoğlu said.

“It was the Greek side that refused to start negotiations without preconditions,” he added.

On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey and Greece agreed to enter talks to establish “deconfliction mechanisms” in the Eastern Mediterranean. In a tweet, Stoltenberg said he had discussions with the leaders of both countries, and they will engage in technical talks at NATO to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the region.

However, later that day, Greece denied that it had agreed to hold NATO-brokered talks with Turkey.

“Published information claiming Greece and Turkey have agreed to hold so-called ‘technical talks’ on de-escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean do not correspond to reality,” the Greek foreign ministry said.

Responding to a question on Borell’s attempts, Çavuşoğlu noted he had been working on the Eastern Mediterranean issue since the beginning.

“We had a meeting in Malta and in fact, we were informed about Greece’s agreement with Egypt while we were meeting and I could observe he was sincerely saddened by the development,” Çavuşoğlu said.

Borell had been an honest mediator so far, Çavuşoğlu said and added that he had relayed the developments during NATO and EU meetings to all the foreign ministers clearly and accurately.

“We know we are in the right both politically and from the viewpoint of the international law,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He added that Turkey will continue to defend its & TC’s rights in the East Med.

Turkey has not laid eyes on anyone else’s rights.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a videoconference call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday over regional issues and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“It is unacceptable that some countries support Greece’s selfish, unfair attitude,” Erdoğan told Merkel.

He added that Turkey supports solution based on equitable sharing in the Eastern Mediterranean that will create a win-win situation for all while protecting the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

Erdoğan, on the other hand, accused Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, together with the countries backing them, of taking steps to escalate tensions and contributing further to the deadlock.

Erdoğan also welcomed Merkel’s contributions to finding a solution to this problem that harms regional peace.

“Ankara did not desire an escalation in its dispute with other countries in the region,” was the message given by Turkey’s Presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın during a telephone conversation with U.S. National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien.

“Ankara supports a model under which all sides could equitably share the region and its resources fairly,” Kalın stressed.

The spokesman also underlined that Greece’s unilateral and maximalist policy, which has served to escalate tensions and ignored international law, is unacceptable and that such approaches should be avoided for there to be a political solution.

Stressing Turkey’s determination to protect its and Turkish Cypriots’ rights, Kalın underlined efforts will be made to make the Mediterranean a “sea of peace.”

KEY ACTORS
Çavuşoğlu (Turkey)
>> France should end its provocative & colonialist stance in the East Med.
>> Greece has shown that once again it is not suitable for dialogue by not being honest about NATO’s mediation.
>> Ankara is in the right both politically and from the viewpoint of the int’l law.
>> Turkey will continue to defend its & TC’s rights in the East Med.
>> Turkey has not laid eyes on anyone else’s rights.

Erdoğan
>> It is unacceptable that some countries support Greece’s selfish, unfair attitude.
>> Turkey supports solution based on equitable sharing in the East Med.
>> It will create a win-win situation for all while protecting the rights of Turkey & TCs.
>> Greece & GC side, together with the countries backing them, are taking steps to escalate tensions and contributing further to the deadlock.

Kalın (Turkey)
>> Ankara did not desire an escalation in its dispute with other countries in the region.
>> Ankara supports a model under which all sides could equitably share the region & its resources fairly.
>> Greece’s unilateral & maximalist policy, which has served to escalate tensions & ignored int’l law, is unacceptable.
>> Such approaches should be avoided for there to be a political solution.
>> Turkey is determined to protect its and TCs’ rights.
>> Ankara will continue with its efforts will be made to make the Med a “sea of peace.”