TCC Press Review 6 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Covid-19 out of control: 26 cases

Covid-19 cases in the north hit peak yesterday (Saturday) after the country opened its doors on July 1. 26 cases, including local infections, were detected in the north on a single day. 120 cases in the last ten days. The total number of cases has reached 397. It was 108 in July. 73 are being kept in pandemic hotels, 42 are receiving treatment in hospital. A total of 177 are receiving treatment. The government, following recommendations from the contagious diseases committee, adopted a series of new decisions. All arriving passengers from category B countries, including the UK and Turkey will be placed in quarantine upon their arrival. Only those who are to spend a shorter period than three days in the country will not be required to quarantine but will still be required to undergo double PCR testing. All mass events in Vadili (Vatili) and Akdoğan (Lysi) have been banned for 14 days. Tighter controls are to be implemented at all other open entertainment venues.

  • Turkey’s former Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe Daryal Batıbay: There is no opening Maraş (Varosha), just addressing losses.

Kıbrıs

Quarantine requirement for category B

Given the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the north, the High Board of Contagious Diseases, which convened with the participation of Prime Minister Ersin Tatar and Health Minister Ali Pilli, adopted new decisions. Announcing the decisions, Tatar said the passengers arriving from the category B list of countries including the UK and Turkey will be subjected to a seven-day mandatory quarantine. However, the passengers, who are arriving in the north for 72 hours maximum, will be exempt from the quarantine requirement provided that their PCR test upon arrival comes back negative. Passengers arriving from the category C list of countries will be subjected to a 14-day mandatory quarantine. Tatar added the decisions will be valid until September 20.

  • Eight local, 26 positive cases in total – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli announced 1395 tests were carried out identifying 26 positive coronavirus cases in the north. He added eight of these cases were local and contact-tracing is underway. It is also reported there were no new cases identified in south Cyprus.

Havadis

N/A

Diyalog

Seven days quarantine for those arriving from Turkey and the UK

Prime Minister Ersin Tatar announced the decisions taken by the High Committee for Contagious Diseases. Accordingly, those arriving from Category B countries will have to enter a seven-day mandatory quarantine period. Double PCR tests will be carried on for those only visiting the north for three days. Tatar said that the decision had been prompted by an increase in local transmission cases.

  • Fight grows – AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said he had been threatened twice by Nicos Anastasiades about the golden passport scheme.

Avrupa

You succeed with a joint effort. 26 (positive cases)

(The daily has the photographs of PM Ersin Tatar and DPM Kudret Özersay placed in the number 26)

  • No quarantine requirement for gamblers who come to the north for three days

Main News

North announces new measures after rise in Covid-19 cases

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

The government in the north on Saturday announced that all people arriving from category B countries will be quarantined for seven days due to the recent rise in coronavirus cases in the north.

The new measures were announced on Saturday evening after 26 new cases were announced by Turkish Cypriot authorities that expressed concerns over the rise in cases, including local transmission.

Those arriving from category B countries but who will be spending less than 72 hours will be exempt from quarantine, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar told reporters at a press conference.

He added the decisions will be valid until September 20.

On Saturday, 26 news cases were recorded in the north: seven are people who arrived from abroad, 11 were people in quarantine and eight local cases.

The total number of cases is now 397.

Gatherings and weddings in Vadili (Vatili), İnönü (Sinta) and Akdoğan (Lysi) have been banned for 14 days, starting Monday, due to increased cases found in these areas.

The opening of all schools in this region has also been postponed for 14 days.

It was also announced that, given that the number of positive cases was increased among people arriving from category B countries, including Turkey and the UK, all passengers arriving from abroad will be quarantined for seven days in centres monitored by authorities.

Students studying in Turkish Cypriot universities will too be quarantined for seven days upon their arrival in the north.

People arriving from category C countries must get tested up to 120 hours before their arrival and will be quarantined for 14 days.

Authorities also warned they would order restaurants, bars and other mass gathering areas to close if they do not take all necessary protection measures.

Meanwhile, the government in the north came under a barrage of criticism from the public, particularly on social media following the announcement of the measures.

Although many welcomed the decision to re-introduce mandatory quarantine for those arriving from category B countries, primarily Turkey, the government was accused of allowing the situation to spiral out of control.

People, posting on social media, lambasted the authorities for ignoring previous calls from different segments of the country to impose the quarantine rule and for allowing local transmission cases to grow to alarming numbers.

They also slammed the government for exempting those planning to spend less than 72 hours from quarantine, claiming that the move was aimed at satisfying greedy casino owners whose customers fly in from Turkey for weekend gambling trips.

President Mustafa Akıncı and other opposition members were also quick to react to the government measures, posting statements on social media

 “It is not right to weaken the already late decision by giving an exemption to passengers for three-days,” Akıncı said.

In a social media post, Akıncı said despite warnings from many people and institutions including him, the government has adopted a half-hearted decision.

“The government will be remembered with its late decisions in the pandemic process,” he stressed and expressed hope that the coronavirus pandemic in the north will not worsen any further.

“We do not have the luxury to make any mistakes or to be delayed in adopting the necessary measures,” Akıncı said and urged the people to strictly adhere to their measures.

Main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman questioned the scientific basis for the decision to grant an exemption to passengers who are arriving in the north for 72 hours.

“What is the scientific basis for this decision? Is it a recommendation from the Contagious Diseases Board?” he asked.

In a social media post, Erhürman, expressing distrust in the authorities’ capabilities, also questioned how they will be monitoring the passenger’s 72-hour duration in the north when they cannot even monitor ‘the self-isolation requirement’ properly.

“The government instead of finding solutions is creating more problems,” Erhürman concluded.

Independent candidate Serdar Denktaş also took a swipe at the government and said: “such late decisions are proof of the government’s inability and incapability.”

“The quarantine decision imposes shows that the north cannot be left in the hands of the people in the government,” Denktaş said and added that the government is a threat to public health.

“The coalition members in the government are not able to adopt the necessary decisions on time because they are solely focused on the upcoming elections,” he argued.

Denktaş reiterated his earlier call to postpone the October 11 elections again and urged the people to strictly adhere to personal hygiene measures to protect themselves from coronavirus.


No such thing as reopening Maraş (Varosha), only addressing losses,” says former Turkish ambassador

Yenidüzen
Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

Turkey’s former permanent representative to the Council of Europe retired ambassador Deryal Batıbay said that there was no such thing as reopening the fenced-off Maraş (Varosha) but only addressing the losses of people who had to abandon their properties in 1974 according to European law which would be through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC).

“This can only be done through good diplomacy,” Batıbay said in an interview with Yenidüzen published on Sunday.

He added that there was this false perception that people who abandoned the town 46 years ago were now going to return as tenants.

Batıbay said that Maraş (Varosha) should also be seen as a laboratory to test whether or not Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots can live together and cooperate.

The retired Turkish ambassador who was serving in Strasbourg when the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has recognized the IPC in the north as an effective domestic remedy for property cases claimed that Turkish Cypriot authorities should abandon the argument that Maraş (Varosha) is Evkaf property.

He recalled that the ECHR had rejected a claim presented by Turkish authorities in 2005 in the Xenides-Arestis case that the property in question belonged to the Evkaf charity foundation on grounds that it only recognised 1974 title deeds

Batıbay pointed out that the return of the fenced-off town to the Greek Cypriot side had come up on several occasions between 1974 and 2005.

“It was proposed as part of mini-solution package during periods where efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement failed. It was last proposed by the late Rauf Denktaş during the period leading to the Annan Plan. If Maraş (Varosha) was Evkaf property why did Turkish Cypriot authorities propose it as a mini package? How would the late Denktaş do this?” he asked.

Batıbay added that any attempt to instate other property owners in Maraş (Varosha) would only be violating UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and providing ammo for Greek Cypriot propaganda.

Responding to a question related to Crans Montana, Batıbay said that everyone was no aware that Turkey and Turkish Cypriot side showed flexibility for a solution.

“Turkey showed flexibility on the issue of security and guarantees. Akıncı showed flexibility on several other issues but the Greek Cypriot side abandoned the negotiating table”, he said.

Batıbay argued that the Greek Cypriot side did not see a bizonal, bicommunal solution to their advantage because the current status quo is working to their advantage.

“Coupled with the problems Turkey has with the US and EU, the Greek Cypriots decided to abandon the negotiating table,” he said.

The Turkish Cypriot side needs to take steps to change the Greek Cypriot side’s perception, to prove that time and the status quo is not working in their interest, he said.

“This can be done through the effective operation of the IPC, proper steps to be taken on Maraş (Varosha) and allowing to enable Maronites to return to their villages in the north,” he said.

The former permanent representative argued that by using the IPC effectively, the Turkish Cypriot side will effectively render invalid all Greek Cypriot claims on property in the north put forward at the negotiating table.

“This is by the far the most important tool and means at the disposal of the Turkish Cypriot side.


Turkish & TC forces hold joint military exercise

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

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot Security Forces (GKK) and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will carry out a five-day military exercise, starting on Sunday, September 6 and ending on September 10, the dailies report.

The annual military exercise, which is named “Martyr Captain Cengiz Topel Mediterranean Storm 2020,” is aimed at improving mutual training, cooperation, and interoperability between the Turkish Cypriot Peace Force Command (KTBK) and the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces (GKK).

The exercise, which will focus on air-raid combat action and search-and-rescue operations, will be held with the participation of the ground, air and naval forces from Turkey.