TCC Press Review 7 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

The system collapses at state hospital: “Appointments halt, no order left”

The coronavirus pandemic has further disrupted the broken order at the state hospital. Patients applying for tests or treatment at the State Hospital in Nicosia are complaining of the lack of order at the out-patient clinics. Patients have been complaining of delayed surgeries, shortage of medicines, postponed appointments or long waiting hours. Furthermore, the ward allocated for COVID-19 patients is almost full, with only five or six vacant beds.

  • Two positive cases at YDP (Rebirth Party), (YDP Leader) Erhan Arıklı in isolation for ten days.
  • One positive case in Türk Sigorta (Insurance) – The General Manager of Türk Sigorta told Yenidüzen that some employees were being placed in quarantine.
  • Vadili (Vatili) Mayor Adahan: “394 tests carried out in Vadili (Vatili) are negative.”

Kıbrıs

Our mental health is threatened

The Turkish Cypriot community, which is suffering from the consequences of the pandemic and the economic crisis, is going through difficult days. Many, concerned with the coronavirus, are struggling with financial problems. Experts warn that people could suffer from severe psychological problems as a result of these traumas.

  • “We have to solve the hydrocarbons issue first” – National Unity Party (UBP) leader and party’s candidate Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said he will suggest solving the hydrocarbons issue before the resumption of any new process on the Cyprus problem to the UN Secretary-General, relevant countries and to international organisations. Tatar spoke to Associated Press (AP).
  • “We will not make any concessions on Turkey’s and TRNC’s security priorities” – Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay announced the commencement of the “Mediterranean Storm” military exercise carried out jointly by Turkey and the north.

Havadis

Government licks what it spits

The government which often wavers between decisions regarding its efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic once again had to amend its quarantine decision granting exemption to gamblers within 24 hours. The government could not withstand the public’s outrage for giving exemption to gamblers who would come to the north for 72 hours or less. The decision was amended within 24 hours and the Turkish Cypriot health ministry announced the revised decision. “The exemption is only valid for those travelling to or from Turkey on official business,” the ministry said.

  • Covid-19 panic in politics – Head of the Women’s Branch and the head of the Nicosia district from the Rebirth Party (YDP) tested positive for coronavirus. Party leader Erhan Arıklı self-isolated himself. Independent candidate Serdar Denktaş reiterated his proposal to postpone the elections again.
  • No authority but huge effect – Independent candidate Serdar Denktaş said the president does not have any authority in the domestic matters but has a huge impact.
  • “They hit a brick wall” – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) candidate Tufan Erhürman criticized the government regarding its decisions on the coronavirus pandemic.
  • “We do not have the luxury to make mistakes” – Incumbent president, Mustafa Akıncı criticized the government regarding its efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Diyalog

All has gone sour

The health ministry changed the rules of entry into the country twice in the last 24 hours. It has been decided to apply mandatory quarantine for those arriving from the UK and Turkey. According to the new changes, even those who are visiting the island for three days will have to be placed in quarantine.

  • Arıklı self isolates at home – The head of the YDP’s women’s branch and the Lefkoşa District Office have tested positive for COVID-19.

Avrupa

Don’t send your children to school

KTÖS (TC Teachers’ Union) General Secretary Şener Elcil urged parents not to send their children to school until the number of coronavirus cases is under control. “It is safer to keep your children at home in this chaotic environment,” Elcil said.

  • Apparently not for gamblers – The Turkish Cypriot Health Ministry in a statement revised its ruling on quarantine exemption and said the exemption will only be for those travelling to or from Turkey on official business.
  • Covid shock at the YDP – Two senior members of the Rebirth Party (YDP) tested positive for coronavirus. Party leader Erhan Arıklı self-isolated himself. “All campaign activities have been suspended for ten days,” Arıklı said.
  • The latest situation: 14 new cases including 11 local infections, identified in the north. Two cases in the south despite many more tests.

Main News

Authorities in north revise Covid-19 measures, local transmission cases continue

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

OVERVIEW

The health ministry on Sunday announced it has revised its decision to grant an exemption to all those arriving from category B list of countries for a duration shorter than 72 hours from entering mandatory quarantine.

Health Minister Ali Pilli said that the exemption will only apply to those on special work permits and no other visitors.

The public was outraged with the decision taken on Saturday exempting anyone who will be staying shorter than 72 hours from entering quarantine.

The people had questioned the scientific reasoning behind the move, accusing the government of putting the interests of the casinos before the public’s health.

They argued that the government had put the general public’s health at risk for a handful of rich gamblers who fly into the north for a weekend getaway.

Meanwhile, the Rebirth Party (YDP) on Sunday announced that had suspended all election campaign visits for the next ten days after two of its members tested positive for Covid-19.

YDP leader and presidential candidate Erhan Arıklı confirmed the reports to Yenidüzen, stating that the head of the party’s women’s branch and Nicosia District Office had both tested positive.

He said a large number of party members including himself were self-isolating.

Asked how many people had come into contact with the two individuals, Arıklı avoided a straight response, stating that one of the persons had recently returned from Turkey.

In a related development, the Mayor of Vadili (Vatili) announced on Sunday that all 394 tests conducted in the village were negative.

A large number of local transmission cases had been detected in the village and surrounding villages on Friday and Saturday raising concern among authorities.

All public events and mass gatherings have been banned in the village for the next 14 days.


Tatar: First agreement on the hydrocarbons before the resumption of talks

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance and Power Sharing, Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

“Once elected, I will explain my position to the UN Secretary-General, to all the relevant countries and the international organisations on the hydrocarbons and will tell them there needs to be an agreement on the issue before the resumption of any talks or process on the Cyprus problem,” Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar said on Sunday.

In an interview with the Associated Press (AP), Tatar argued the hydrocarbons issue is a test to see whether or not the two sides can reach an agreement.

“If we cannot reach an agreement on the hydrocarbons issue, how will it be possible to reach an agreement on the issues which we failed to resolve since 1968?” Tatar asked.

He pointed out the UBP is in favour of reaching an agreement, based on sovereign equality between the two states and that the said agreement will safeguard the security of the Turkish Cypriots; and will warrant socio-economic standing of the Turkish Cypriots under the property and the territory chapters.

“I sincerely believe if we can reach an agreement on the issue, it will act as a catalyst to ensuring regional peace, Greek-Turkish friendship, as well as to resolving the Cyprus problem,” Tatar said.

Responding to a question on what the basis of the talks should be, Tatar recalled that the efforts to establish a federal solution have been underway for 43 years since 1977.

“It has not been possible to achieve any conclusion in 43 years thus it is necessary to table alternative models to overcome the problem,” he stressed. He argued that it is not realistic to claim ‘the only way is the federal solution’ at this day and age.

“Velvet divorce is an option if the two sides agree they cannot reach a solution under the federal roof. The unification then could be achieved under the roof of the European Union (EU) as two independent states. We can ensure better days for the island through the agreements we will sign as two separate states,” Tatar said.

Asked to elaborate on the principles of political equality and effective participation in decision-making processes, Tatar reiterated the partnership model the UBP is proposing, is based on sovereign equality.

“The Turkish Cypriots will be as sovereign as the Greek Cypriots,” Tatar stressed.

“The rotational presidency is a red-line for the UBP. In this respect, the Turkish Cypriots must be included in all aspects of the decision making processes otherwise the decisions adopted by one side would upset the other and the partnership will not last,” Tatar argued.

Tatar, responding to a question on the reopening of Maraş (Varosha), recalled that the fenced-off town had been kept behind barbed-wires for decades with the hopes of a comprehensive settlement and that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected every solution plan on Maraş (Varosha) to date.

“The Greek Cypriot administration owes a big apology to the property owners in Maraş (Varosha), not only have they rejected all the solution plans but also rejected every confidence-building measure (CBMs) on the fenced-off town,” Tatar said.  

He noted that the Turkish Cypriot side wants to produce solutions on certain issues since the Greek Cypriot side does not come forth for a solution and Maraş (Varosha) is one of them.

Tatar, in response to a question on his reasons for demanding the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees, recalled the past events from 1963 onwards.

“It would not have been possible to talk about a Turkish Cypriot community on the island today if Turkey did not have the unilateral right to intervene through the treaty of guarantees,” Tatar stressed, adding that a significant majority of the Turkish Cypriot people today want the continuation of Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island.

In response to a question on the current escalation of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, Tatar said the Turkish Cypriot side wants the natural resources to unite the island and not to lead into a conflict.

“While the Turkish and Cypriot side put forth proposals for collaboration, Greece and the Greek Cypriot side together with the EU disregard both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots,” Tatar said.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to exert its sovereignty over the Turkish Cypriot side.

“If we can sit at the negotiations table as two communities for the solution of the Cyprus problem, we should also be able to discuss the hydrocarbons issue as two communities but it has not been possible,” Tatar underlined.

He also expressed disbelief in Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal of setting up an escrow account.

“The Greek Cypriot administration is not sincere in its proposal because they claim they will give the Turkish Cypriots their share after the solution but at the same time rejects the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals on collaboration, claiming it is a matter of sovereignty,” Tatar said.

“Turkish Cypriots can’t have their rights kept in a freezer with the hope that one day the Greek Cypriots will come forth for a solution. We must be able to claim our rights without a comprehensive settlement. We can sit down and discuss the hydrocarbons issue. Justice and the law necessitate that,” Tatar concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Tatar (UBP)
>> Agreement on the hydrocarbons will come before the resumption of Cyprus talks.
>> I will make my position known to the UNSG, other countries & int’l organisations.
>> The hydrocarbons issue is a test to see whether or not the two sides can reach an agreement.
>> The UBP is in favour of reaching an agreement, based on sovereign equality between the two states.
>> The said agreement will safeguard the security of the TC; & will warrant socio-economic standing of the TCs under the property & the territory chapters.
>> An agreement on the issue will act as a catalyst to ensuring regional peace, Greek-Turkish friendship, as well as to resolving the Cyprob.
>> Necessary to table alternative models to overcome the problem because it has not been possible to achieve a solution in 43 years.
>> Not realistic to claim ‘the only way is the federal solution’ at this day & age.
>> Velvet divorce is an option if the two sides agree they cannot reach a solution under the federal roof.
>> The unification then could be achieved under the roof of the EU as two independent states.
>> The partnership model the UBP is proposing is based on sovereign equality.
>> The TCs will be as sovereign as the GCs.
>> The rotational presidency is a red-line for the UBP.
>> The TCs must be included in all aspects of the decision-making processes otherwise the partnership will not last.
>> The GC administration owes a big apology to the property owners in Maraş (Varosha).
>> GCs rejected all the solution plans & every CBM on the fenced-off town to date.
>> Would not have been possible to talk about a TC community on the island today if Turkey did not have the unilateral right to intervene through the treaty of guarantees.
>> A significant majority of the TCs today want the continuation of Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island.
>> The TC side wants the natural resources to unite the island & not to lead into a conflict.
>> GC side should discuss hydrocarbons with the TCs in a similar way the two communities participate in the negotiations process. 
>> TC can’t have their rights kept in a freezer with the hope that one day the GCs will come forth for a solution. 
>> TCs must be able to claim their rights without a comprehensive settlement.
>> Two sides should sit down & discuss the hydrocarbons issue.