TCC Press Review 17 Sept 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

Local transmission panic: Residents of Kyrenia not going out

Residents of Kyrenia are scared to go out after the number of local transmission cases rose in the area. Kyrenians who spoke to Yenidüzen expressed their concern and called on the authorities to take more precautions.

  • Guterres: “Efforts for Cyprus will be revived after elections” –The United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) called on the sides to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of these negotiations.
  • “I will approach the issue from the UN’s perspective” – President of the 75th UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkır said.
  • “It is in the joint interest of all of us to de-escalate the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean” –Head of the European Union (EU) Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
  • “Support must be given for stability in the region” – Head of the European Council Charles Michel in Cyprus.

Kıbrıs

A total environmental catastrophe

Kıbrıs went to the four industrial areas around the capital. The biggest problem in these areas, among others, is the waste issue. Even though those responsible clean the areas regularly, it has not been possible to put an end to the problem.

  • “I will initiate the political process following the elections in the north” – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.
  • Will the pandemic affect voter turn-out?  – The preparations are underway for the October 11 elections in line with the Covid-19 measures. The voters will have to vote under the shadow of the pandemic. In 2015, out of 176,096 registered voters, 110,303 had cast their ballots. The voter turn-out was measured at 62 per cent.

Havadis

“I am a long-distance runner”

Independent presidential candidate Kudret Özersay was the guest for the traditional Havadis lunch-meeting. He noted that it is not possible to guess which percentage of votes the candidates will receive but expressed confidence that he will make it to the second round. “I strongly believe the voters will make a healthy decision,” Özersay said, adding he is determined and that he never gives up.

  • Plenty of gas in the Mediterranean – Italian energy company ENI discovered 113bn cubic metres of natural gas reserves off the coast of Egypt.
  • Guterres gave a date for the negotiations
  • Michel made Anastasiades happy – Charles Michel, President of the European Council, met with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and promised action against Turkey.

Diyalog

Competition heats up

Posters of candidates went up on billboards as soon as the official campaigning period began. Many of the advertisement billboards which have been empty for months are now displaying posters of the presidential campaign. Of the 11 candidates, only posters of five of the candidates dominate the billboards.

  • Guarantors to attend as well – Guterres gave the green light for the Conference on Cyprus after the elections in the TRNC.
  • Search for dialogue – (Turkish) President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Avrupa

“That is done”

Journalist Can Ataklı on Turkish broadcast company Tele 1, said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is determined to topple down Mustafa Akıncı. Ataklı when reading the ‘Yeni Şafak’ headline, said he had been informed by a person close to AKP that “That issue is settled” but Ataklı added that he could not remember the name supported who will replace Akıncı.

  • 11 cases in the north, eight in the south – The number of patients in the ICU is on the rise.

Main News

UNSG keen to revive Cyprus talks, Çavuşoğlu agrees

Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his willingness to revive the diplomatic efforts with the informal meeting of the guarantor powers and the two sides following the October 11 elections, Turkish Cypriot dailies reported on Thursday.

Speaking before the 75th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Guterres recalled that there had been a consensus to wait for the elections in the north to be completed before launching diplomatic initiatives.

“It is very important to develop confidence-building measures and to avoid any unilateral actions that could undermine the future success of these negotiations,” Guterres concluded.

Concurring Guterres, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, speaking on a programme on CNNTürk, said it is necessary to hold the informal meeting for Cyprus following the October 11 elections.

“The informal meeting must be called to agree on the framework that will include political equality,” Çavuşoğlu said.

The Turkish foreign minister also said that it was necessary to have deadlines in the process and for any new talks to be results-oriented.

“Otherwise if the talks will end in failure as they did in Crans Montana and with the Annan Plan then this will be nothing more than a waste of time. There is no point in holding such talks,” he said.

Çavuşoğlu also said that Ankara supported a just and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

On the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha), Çavuşoğlu recalled that an inventory was currently being held of properties to determine what is what.

“We want to reopen Maraş, there is no point in keeping the city closed anymore,” he added.

Welcoming Guterres’ statement, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said the UNSG’s statement is an important step towards the solution of the Cyprus problem.

In a social media post, Erhürman added he and his team will be ready to launch a new round of talks that will be results-oriented and will not be open-ended.

“It is very important for the UNSG Guterres to renew his call for a five-party conference to find a solution to the Cyprus problem in line with the UN parameters,” Erhürman concluded.


TCs will not accept being disregarded in the East Med.

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

OVERVIEW

“The Turkish Cypriot side will continue to advocate for collaboration, diplomacy and dialogue as the way for solution for all the issues including the hydrocarbon resources, that concern the entire island,” Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said in a letter sent to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper on Wednesday.

Özersay in his letter responded to the baseless allegations on the hydrocarbon exploration activities made by members of the US congress Frank Pallone, Gus Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney, which he said were well known for their positions close to Greece and the Greek Cypriot side.

“Turkish Cypriots are equal owners of the natural resources on and off the island, therefore, all the decisions to be adopted on the issue must be taken both by the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots,” Özersay stressed.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side in violation of the Turkish Cypriot side’s rights has insistently continued its unilateral and unlawful hydrocarbon activities since the early 2000s.

“The reason behind the tension on the island and in the region is the Greek Cypriot side’s provocative actions and attitude,” he underlined.

Özersay recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side had to take certain steps to protect its rights and interests.

“The Turkish Cypriot side first signed a continental shelf delineation agreement with Turkey and then granted hydrocarbon exploration licenses to Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) as a result of the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral actions and their decision to exclude the Turkish Cypriots from the decision making processes,” Özersay said.

Özersay also recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side had submitted proposals for collaboration on natural gas in 2011, 2012 and 2019 but that the Greek Cypriot leadership had rejected all of them.

“It has not been possible to find a solution to the Cyprus problem for 52 years because the Greek Cypriot side refuses to share governance, power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots,” he noted.

Özersay emphasised that the support given by the members of the US congress will only encourage the Greek Cypriot side to continue with its intransigent and irreconcilable attitude.

“The Turkish Cypriot side, nonetheless, will continue to advocate for collaboration, diplomacy and dialogue as the only way for the solution of all the issues that matter to the island,” Özersay concluded.

“The Turkish Cypriot community will not accept being disregarded in the Eastern Mediterranean and will continue to fight to be part of the solution process,” the Turkish Cypriot economic organisations platform said on Wednesday.

Issuing a written statement, the platform, which includes the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KTSO), Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers’ Association (KITOB) and Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors’ Association (KTIMB), urged Turkish Cypriot political parties and civil society organisations to join forces in giving out a joint message to the world regarding the maritime jurisdiction issue in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

“The platform is in favour of finding a swift solution to both the Cyprus problem and the maritime jurisdiction issue in the Eastern Mediterranean through dialogue,” the statement read.

It added that the expired Navtex and the withdrawal of the Oruç Reis seismic research vessel from the region should create the needed opportunity for the dialogue between the parties to commence.

“One of the most important parties in this dialogue process is the Turkish Cypriot community,” the platform stressed.

The platform also noted that the recent developments initiated by the US and France bear the potential to harm the efforts to find a solution to the issue through dialogue.

“It is necessary to protect the UN Secretary-General’s ability to launch initiatives to find a bicommunal, bizonal federal (BFF) solution to the Cyprus problem, however, actions undertaken both by France and the US are, on the one hand, hindering the UNSG’s ability and encouraging the Greek Cypriot side, on the other hand, to move outside established UN parameters,” the statement read.

The platform also drew attention to the efforts from the leading powers of the international community to force the launch of a dialogue process between the Greek Cypriot side and Turkey.

“This is a serious threat to the Turkish Cypriots’ political existence on the island. Turkish Cypriot people will not accept being disregarded in the process and will continue to fight to be part of the solution process,” the Platform concluded.

KEY ACTORS
Özersay (HP)
>> The TC side will continue to advocate for collaboration, diplomacy & dialogue as the way for solution for all the issues including the hydrocarbon resources, that concern the entire island.
>> TCs are equal owners of the natural resources on & off the island.
>> All decisions to be adopted on the issue must be taken both by the TCs & the GCs.
>> The GC side in violation of the TC side’s rights has insistently been continuing with its unilateral & unlawful hydrocarbon activities since the early 2000s.
>> The reason behind the tension on the island & in the region is the GC side’s provocative actions & attitude.
>> The TC side had to take certain steps to protect its rights & interests.
>> It has not been possible to find a solution to the Cyprob for 52 years because the GC side refuses to share governance, power & wealth with the TCs.
>> The support given by the US congress members will only encourage the GC side to continue with its intransigent & irreconcilable attitude.

Economic Organisations Platform (EOP)
>> TC community will not accept being disregarded in the East Med.
>> TCs will continue to fight to be part of the solution process.
>> TC political parties & CSOs must join their forces in giving a joint message to the world regarding the maritime jurisdiction issue in the East Med.
>> A swift solution to both the Cyprob & the maritime jurisdiction issue in the East Med. through dialogue must be reached.
>> The expired Navtex & withdrawal of the Oruç Reis seismic research vessel from the region should create the needed opportunity for the dialogue between the parties to commence.
>> One of the most important parties in this dialogue process is the TC community.
>> The recent developments initiated by the US & France bear the potential to harm the efforts to find a solution to the issue through dialogue.
>> Necessary to protect the UNSG’s ability to launch initiatives to find BBF solution to the Cyprob.
>> Actions undertaken both by France & the US are hindering the UNSG’s ability & encouraging the GC side to move outside established UN parameters.
>> Any dialogue between the GC side & Turkey, which the int’l powers are pushing for, would be a threat to TCs’ political existence on the island.


Turkish, Greek military talks over east Med held at NATO HQ

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

OVERVIEW

Turkish and Greek military delegations met on Tuesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss ways to reduce the risk of an incident amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to the Turkish Defence Ministry.

The technical talks were planned after a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

An initial meeting was held last Thursday.

A follow-up meeting is planned for Friday on September 18, the ministry said in a statement after the meeting ended.

Also on Wednesday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel over the phone, urging for dialogue to come up with a solution for tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to a statement by the Turkish Presidency Erdoğan stressed that disagreements over the Eastern Mediterranean could be resolved through negotiations and settlements, provided that a constructive approach, based on fairness, prevails.

Noting that European states ought to adopt a fair and consistent position on the issue, President Erdoğan also said that he will decisively continue to pursue Turkey’s rights with an active policy.

Meanwhile, the new President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkır on Tuesday told the Anadolu News Agency that problems between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean should be settled peacefully through dialogue and diplomacy.

Bozkır who assumed office with a ceremony on Tuesday said that he would remain impartial on the issue and would not reflect his country’s position.

He said he believed that Turkey and Greece, as two NATO member allies which had strong cultural and economic ties, could iron out their differences through cooperation.

In the meantime, the head of the European Commission on Wednesday praised the return of Turkish seismic vessel, Oruç Reis, to port, saying it would help lower tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“De-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean is in our mutual interest,” Ursula von der Leyen said in her annual State of the Union speech to the European Parliament in Brussels, calling the return of the Oruç Reis “a positive step in this direction.”

The ship’s return was “necessary to create the much-needed space for dialogue,” von der Leyen added, voicing solidarity with Greece and South and pledging to protect “their legitimate sovereignty rights.”

KEY ACTORS
Bozkır (UN)
>> Problems in East Med should be settled peacefully through dialogue & diplomacy.
>> NATO members Turkey & Greece, which had strong cultural & economic ties, could iron out their differences through cooperation.

Van der Leyen (EU)
>> Return of Oruç Reis to port will help lower tensions in the East Med.
>> De-escalation in the East Med is for everyone’s interest.
>> Return of Oruç Reis a positive step taken in the right direction.
>> The ship’s return was “necessary to create the much-needed space for dialogue.