TCC Press Review 11 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Yenidüzen was on the streets talking to the public “We are worried. We don’t feel safe”

The rise in Covid-19 cases, the government’s wavering stance when managing the crisis has the public worried. Ordinary citizens, shopkeepers and students speaking to Yenidüzen said that they were extremely uneasy about the developments and did not feel safe in terms of health.

Kıbrıs

The water to start flowing again on September 25

The repair work on the water supply pipes from Turkey is almost completed. Prime Minister Ersin Tatar and Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay inspected the on-going work and briefed by officials on board the repair ship. Oktay gave the good news that the water will start flowing on September 25.

  • Unilateral steps violate the rights of the TRNC – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, who spoke following the meeting between the Turkish and Greek delegations at the NATO headquarters, said: “NATO saw that Greece is not part of the solution.”
  • Five local, 22 new cases in the north – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli said 22 positive cases had been identified through the tests carried out yesterday (Thursday) and added 15 patients had been discharged. Pilli said one case came by air, 16 had been in contact with previously identified positive cases and the remaining five are new local transmission cases.

Havadis

Fear and chaos

The government was late in adopting measures. The local transmission cases are being identified from all over the north. It is the first time the medical workers have been infected. Three nurses tested positive for Covid-19. Assistant to the President of the Supreme Court is at the hospital now. Civil society organisations are uprising.

  • “Pipeline show” amid the election – Inspections was carried out on the repair work for the water supply pipeline as if it was an inauguration ceremony. The repair work will cost ₺700m (€79.5).
  • Life comes to a halt in the public sector – Four trade unions with members in the public sector demanded from the government to implement work hours on a rotational basis. The unions will be on strike today (Friday) due to government’s callousness to their call.

Diyalog

Life water to start flowing on September 25

(Turkish) Vice President Fuat Oktay and Prime Minister Ersin Tatar gave the good news during inspections held at the site of the repairs off the coast of Anamur. The two announced the date for the flow of the water. Oktay said, “Turkey is by the side of Turkish Cypriots no matter what.” Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said the project was important for the island’s agricultural activities and drinking water needs, adding that the pipeline supplies 75 million cubic meters of fresh water on an annual basis. He thanked (Turkish) President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people.

Avrupa

Accusations against Akıncı being pro-Greek Cypriot sets tongues wagging

Enmity against Mustafa Akıncı rose as a result of slandering reports from Tayyip Erdoğan’s media companies. Here is yet another example of insults and defamatory accusations towards Akıncı. Turkish daily Yeni Şafak claimed, “TRNC President stands by the Greek Cypriots, backstabbing Turkey.” According to the daily, Akıncı has built his election campaign on “enmity against Turkey.” According to the daily, Akıncı had said: “the TRNC can be swallowed by Ankara.” Turkish Cypriots become more estranged to Turkey due to Tayyip Erdoğan’s attitude.

  • 22 new cases in the north, three in the south – 1210 tests were carried out in the north and 2452 in the south.
  • The water will start flowing on September 25 – Yet another good news for the water. Fuat Oktay and Ersin Tatar inspected the on-going repair works.

Main News

Ankara slams Macron’s statement as arrogant

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

OVERVIEW

Turkey on Thursday slammed French President Emmanuel Macron’s remarks targeting the country and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

French President Emmanuel Macron is blindly ‘playing the lawyer’ for Greek Cypriots and Greece, the Turkish foreign ministry said on Thursday as an EU Med 7 seven conference got underway in Corsica, where Turkey’s violations in the Eastern Mediterranean were being discussed.

“Macron’s statements are the reflection of his incompetence and despair,” read a statement issued by Ankara on Thursday, in response to Macron’s remarks on the occasion of a meeting with the participation of the EU’s Mediterranean countries.

“We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people, who deserve more than the Erdoğan government,” Macron said at the press conference as he urged the EU to adopt a tougher stance regarding Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Macron described the Turkish activities in the Eastern Mediterranean as illegal and called on the Turkish government to end its operations in the area.

“Macron is jauntily attacking our president every day as we have disrupted their dirty games and dashed their sneaky plans in foreign policy,” read the Turkish foreign ministry’s statement.

Erdoğan is one of the leaders elected with one of the most votes in Europe while Macron’s popular support is in decline, it said.

Macron has no authority to define the maritime jurisdiction zones in the eastern Mediterranean and should promote dialogue between Turkey and Greece instead of lending blind support to Greece and South Cyprus, the ministry added.

Also on Thursday, Spokesperson for Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) Ömer Çelik slammed Macron on Twitter.

“Macron continues colonialism, while our president continues to defend the interests of the oppressed people, protect peace and discourage colonialists’ games,” wrote Çelik, in a series of tweets.

Çelik added that he is proud “that the colonialist mentality targets our president.”

“If you are part of the problem, how can you mediate between Turkey and Greece? Or, between Turkish and Greek Cypriots,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu asked on Thursday.

Addressing the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Relations via video conferencing, Çavuşoğlu added Ankara expects the European Union (EU) to act as an “honest intermediary” in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Çavuşoğlu, touching on the tension with Greece, said Athens did not allow the dispute to be solved through diplomacy.

“Greece continues to violate the Turkish Cypriot side’s rights with its unilateral steps. This is why we want the EU to take deterring steps to protect Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereign rights,” Çavuşoğlu said.

He recalled that in addition to Ankara’s repeated calls for dialogue, the Turkish Cypriot side had asked for equitable sharing with assistance from the United Nations (UN) in 2011 and 2012.

“The hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean could be the basis for regional-scale collaboration and Turkey is ready for it,” Çavuşoğlu concluded.

Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry issued a statement on Thursday expressing its support to Ankara

“France is acting in a way to disrupt peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said on Thursday.

In a written statement, Özersay argued France is abusing its UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent membership by utilising its right to veto because of its national interests.

“France, which is not directly related to the Eastern Mediterranean, is carrying out military exercises in the region and working on arming one of the sides of a conflict.

This is nothing more than France abusing its position both at the UN and the European Union (EU),” Özersay stressed.

He noted France’s attempts to show its presence in the EU by supporting Greece and the Greek Cypriot side hurt regional peace.

“Following Brexit, France has realized that it cannot be a match to Germany in the EU. Therefore it seems France wants to use its UN membership in order not to be crushed under Germany. It is, for this reason, they are trying very hard to become active and to have a say in the Eastern Mediterranean region as well,” Özersay argued.

Özersay concluded by urging France to stop favouring one side of a conflict over the other as a permanent member of the UNSC.

Meanwhile, Turkish and Greek military delegations met at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Thursday to discuss methods for reducing risks of incidents in the eastern Mediterranean.

The meeting between the delegations of Greece and Turkey was first scheduled to be held Tuesday at the NATO headquarters but was later postponed to Thursday.

The Turkish and Greek sides, amid tensions, discuss measures aimed at preventing possible military engagement in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Defence Ministry said.

Announcing the end of the technical meeting between Turkish and Greek military delegations, the ministry noted that another meeting is expected to be held however did not give a date.

Another meeting is expected to be held, the statement added. The “military de-confliction” talks, initiated by NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, aim to prevent any confrontation in the eastern Mediterranean between the Turkish and Greek militaries, such as a collision last month between Greek and Turkish warships.

KEY ACTORS
MFA (Turkey)
>> Macron is blindly ‘playing the lawyer’ for GCs & Greece.
>> Macron’s statements are the reflection of his incompetence and despair.
>> France has no authority to define the maritime jurisdiction zones in the East Med & should promote dialogue between Turkey & Greece instead of lending blind support to Greece & South Cyprus.

Çavuşoğlu (Turkey)
>> EU cannot mediate between Turkey & Greece or between TCs & GCs because it is part of the problem.
>> EU should act as an “honest intermediary” in the East Med.
>> Athens is not allowing diplomacy to overcome the dispute.
>> Greece continues to violate the TC’s rights with its unilateral steps.
>> The EU should take deterring steps to protect Turkey’s & TCs’ sovereign rights.
>> Hydrocarbon resources in the East Med could be the basis for regional-scale collaboration & Turkey is ready for it.

Özersay (HP)
>> France is disrupting peace & stability in the East Med.
>> France is abusing its UNSC membership by utilising its right to veto because of its national interests.
>> France, which is not directly related to the East Med, is working on arming one of the sides of a conflict. France is abusing its position both at the UN & EU.
>> France should stop favouring the GC side.


Oktay: The freshwater pipeline repairs to be completed by September 25

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

OVERVIEW

Repair work for the water pipeline carrying fresh water from Turkey to the north will be completed by September 25, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay announced on Thursday.

The nearly 106-kilometre (66-mile) pipeline is one of the most important projects in the world, said Fuat Oktay during his visit to Skandi Seven ship, one of the vessels participating in repair work in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, Turkish Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli and Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar inspected the repair site by helicopter first before being briefed by project engineers on board the supply ship named ‘Skandi 7’.

The nearly 106-kilometre (66-mile) pipeline is one of the most important projects in the world, Oktay said and added that Turkey will always stand by the Turkish Cypriots.

He said that Turkey will also continue to defend its rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar thanked Ankara for the project and Turkey’s determined stance in its support.

He said the project is important for the island’s agricultural activities and drinking water needs, adding that the pipeline supplies 75 million cubic metres of fresh water on an annual basis.

Tatar also said that it was a great privilege for Turkish Cypriots to act together with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and to be part of the Blue Homeland.


Health experts must lead the efforts to contain the pandemic, says Akıncı

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

President Mustafa Akıncı held a meeting on Thursday with the Health Advisory Board, which is established under his office as well as representatives from health organisations.

In a statement issued by his office, Akıncı emphasized the importance of health experts and scientists to lead the efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus pandemic.

Akıncı noted that the struggle to contain the pandemic in the second wave will be more difficult than the first one.

“We as the north still have a lot to do but it is possible to overcome the current strife through solidarity and collaboration,” Akıncı concluded.

Representatives of health organisations, during the meeting, pointed to the lack of organizational skills of the authorities.

“The health organisations highlighted that the decision-makers need to increase their capacity to manage the pandemic in a more organized manner in light of scientific data,” the statement read.

The health organisations, additionally, urged the authorities to increase the number of tests carried out; to complete the infrastructure needs without further delay and to open polyclinics in all areas immediately.

The organisations underlined the need for the authorities to utilise technology in contact-tracing as well.

In the meantime, the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot co-chairs of the bicommunal Technical Committee on Health held a telephone conversation on Wednesday to discuss the recent spike in the number of coronavirus cases in the north.

They discussed and exchanged opinions on the measures taken in the north.