TCC Press Review 16 Oct 2020

Front Page Headlines

Yenidüzen

“Opening (Maraş-Varosha) means to be able to enter my own house freely”

They visited their home in Maraş (Varosha) after 46 years. Zoe Paschalidou Demetriou and her son Andreas Demetriou who visited their home in Maraş (Varosha) said, “We need to be able to live together on this island. This island is very small, a piece of land in the middle of the sea which is which we cannot remain divided. Zoe was only able to see her home from a distance as it stands behind the barriers. She stood and looked from a distance. Speaking to Yenidüzen she said was finally able to piece together her childhood memories after 46 years. “I don’t see this as opening Maraş (Varosha). To open Maraş (Varosha) means that I will be able to go in and out of my house freely. Enter through the door freely and roam about the house. All this is just permission to visit,” she said.

  • 104 Covid-19 cases in the South
  • Call from Talat to defend political will – Former President Mehmet Ali Talat called on the people to defend their political will.

Kıbrıs

Stamp once for a valid vote

44.6 per cent of the invalid 5,051 votes in the first round of the presidential elections were discarded after voters stamped the boxes more than once. In the meantime, according to Supreme Electorate Board (YSK), the number of voters increased by 72.

  • The increase in the positive cases in the south is concerning – 104 positive cases of coronavirus identified in the south yesterday (Thursday). Health Minister Ali Pilli warned not to cross to the south unless it is necessary and added that those who must cross to the south must adhere to the hygiene and social distancing rules.
  • Not possible to solve anything by fighting with Turkey – National Unity Party (UBP) candidate and Prime Minister Ersin Tatar said.

Havadis

The answer is Akıncı

48 hours left to the second round of the presidential elections. Thousands of voters from different political parties expressed their reaction on social media to National Unity Party (UBP) candidate Ersin Tatar’s abuse of state resources and allowing unprecedented interference by Turkey, stating said they will vote for Mustafa Akıncı.

  • Europe reacts to meddling in elections – European Parliament’s “European United Left” group urged all to respect the Turkish Cypriot community’s political will and to end election meddling.

Diyalog

Political earthquake in the South

Following AKEL MP Giovanis, the Greek Cypriot House Speaker Demetris Syllouris also resigned. The report by Al Jazeera TV on the Greek Cypriot Administration’s ‘Gold Passport Scheme’ and how documents were forged for individuals with criminal records has triggered a political earthquake in South Cyprus. Following the resignation of AKEL MP Christakis Giovanis who was implicated in the incident, the Greek Cypriot Speaker of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris also resigned. His office computer and other files are currently being investigated. A group of protesters demonstrated in front of the House of Representatives last night (Thursday).

  • It was the happiest day of my life – Zoe Paschalidou accompanied by her son visited Maraş (Varosha) after 46 years. She expressed her happiness.
  • Greek Cypriot hospital fills up – Five cases in the North and 104 in the South.

Avrupa

YDÜ puts pressure on its staff to win votes for Tatar

Suat Günsel gets involved for Ersin Tatar to win. Owner of the Near East University (YDÜ/NEU) Suat Günsel published a message towards the elections. He then asked all its subsidiaries linked to the NEU to share the message. In his message, Günsel said: “The appreciative people of Cyprus; it is your responsibility to cast your vote in the election. May the unity of Turkey and Cyprus win!” According to information Avrupa obtained, some of the staff members were asked to change their preference from Mustafa Akıncı to Ersin Tatar as a result of pressure put by the administration. Additionally, Günsel asked his staff to share his message on their social media platforms within 30 minutes and threatened there will be consequences should they not share it.

  • 104 cases in the south – The increase in the number of cases in the south caused panic. Ali Pilli warned people not to cross to the south unless necessary. There were five cases identified in the north.

Main News

Denktaş Jr meets with Tatar, expresses support amid rumours of a new coalition on the horizon

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

OVERVIEW

Son of former Democratic Party leader Serdar Denktaş and grandson of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Raif Denktaş, Rauf Denktaş met with the National Unity Party’s (UBP) candidate Ersin Tatar on Thursday, ripening rumours that the two parties might be forming a new coalition government after the presidential election which would also include the Rebirth Party (YDP).

Both the DP and the YDP had announced that they will be supporting Tatar in the second round.

Rumours have been rife that both parties have been engaged in backdoor negotiations with the UBP in exchange for supporting Tatar.

Rauf Denktaş’s meeting with Ersin Tatar has raised questions about the future of the DP, particularly because his father Serdar Denktaş who served as party leader for over 20 years quit the party on Wednesday over what is believed to be a disagreement with the party’s governing board over whom to support in Sunday’s second round.

Speaking after the meeting, Tatar reiterated his view on the importance of maintaining good relations with Turkey.

He also said that he supported a settlement in Cyprus based on two sovereign states.

Tatar added he was opposed to a polarisation within the Turkish Cypriot community and promised that relations with Ankara would be back on track once he is elected on Sunday.

For his part, Rauf Denktaş said he was happy to be visiting the UBP which his grandfather had founded.

The late Turkish Cypriot leader had left the UBP to form the DP.

Rauf Denktaş also highlighted the importance of good relations with Turkey.

He expressed the view that Tatar will be a good negotiator for the Cyprus Problem.

“We should no longer waste time at the negotiating table. I believe that we shall be walking to a brighter future with Turkey’s support,” he added.

Meanwhile, the leader of the DP Fikri Ataoğlu on Thursday slammed Serdar Denktaş for his remarks while submitting his resignation from the party.

He said that Denktaş’s remarks that he was quitting to save his honour were truly disappointing.

“We strongly reject claims made by Serdar Denktaş that we are protecting our honour,” he said in a written statement.

Ataoğlu added that the DP has never strayed away from democracy, the path set by the founding leader Rauf Raif Denktaş and Turkey.

He said that the DP had decided to support Tatar in the second round because it supported the view that maintaining good and strong relations with Turkey was essential for the future of the Turkish Cypriot community.

In a separate development, Mustafa Akıncı announced on Thursday that his rival Ersin Tatar had refused to take part in a live debate with him on Bayrak on Friday night.

“It is for this reason that there will be two separate programmes on Bayrak,” he said in a written statement.

He said that it would have been good to hold such a debate in terms of creating a platform where the two candidates could defend their views and vision for the future.

Speaking at a meeting with representatives of economic organisations earlier on Thursday, Akıncı said that relations with Turkey was more than just a bond of communion but of mutual benefits as well.

He underlined the importance of redefining relations between the two countries.

Akıncı added that respect to be shown to the political will of the Turkish Cypriot people will open all doors and create new opportunities after the elections.

On the Cyprus Problem, Akıncı said that the Greek Cypriot side should not be allowed to continue to be granted the title of being an internationally recognized government on the island.

He also said that efforts to reach a federal settlement on the island based on two politically equally constituent states needed to continue.

“The alternative to a federal solution is not political recognition but growing dependency (on Turkey). To abandon the goal of a settlement will only place Turkish Cypriot at odds with the international community. The only viable option is a solution based on UN parameters,” Akıncı said.

Also touching upon the issue of hydrocarbons, Akıncı said that Turkey was not a country which could be excluded from the energy equation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

He repeated his earlier argument that it will more logical, economically feasible and sustainable to transport natural gas discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean via Turkey.

“The way out is through dialogue and agreement, not tension,” he concluded.

Also on Thursday, the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group within the European Parliament issued a statement expressing support to Mustafa Akıncı.

The statement said that the over the past few months, they had been witnessing unprecedented interference by Turkey on Turkish-Cypriot affairs, and this rose dramatically during the recent elections for the Turkish-Cypriot leader.”

“In an attempt to support a candidate who openly denounces a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem, based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation (BBF) as the UN parameters foresee, Turkey opened a part of the sealed-off city of Maraş (Varosha). The UN Security Council and the EU have already condemned this move,” the statement read.

The group also pointed out that Turkey has been openly challenging the candidacy of the current leader Mustafa Akıncı, who believes in a federal state and peaceful co-existence of the two communities.

It said Turkish authorities used and are still using all possible means to make sure that he loses these critical elections.

“As GUE/NGL, we call upon Turkey, before the second round of the elections (18th October), to stop intervening and to respect the political will of the Turkish-Cypriot community. “We also urge the EU to take all necessary actions towards Turkey – an EU candidate country – so that the Turkish government respects the UN Security Council resolutions regarding Maraş (Varosha),” the statement said.


Pilli: Don’t cross to the south unless necessary

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security

OVERVIEW

Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli on Thursday warned the public against crossing to the south unless necessary in light of the spike in the number of positive cases.

104 new cases had been identified in the south on Thursday according to media reports whereas only five cases were identified in the north out of the 1915 tests carried out.

The Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association (KTTB) has issued a similar warning on Tuesday demanded authorities introduce additional measures at the crossing points.

Pilli announced that the health officials have started to carry out random PCR tests at the crossing points from Thursday onwards. He also noted that none of the random tests carried out at the crossing points have come back positive.

Pilli concluded by urging those who are obliged to go to the south for work or schooling purposes to strictly adhere to the personal hygiene and social distancing rules.


Opening only means going back to my home freely

Yenidüzen
Property, Territory

OVERVIEW

“This is nothing but a permission to visit Maraş (Varosha) because in my opinion reopening means being allowed to go back to my home freely,” a former resident of Maraş (Varosha) Zoe Paschalidou Demetriou said.

Visiting the reopened avenues in Maraş (Varosha), Demetriou, who came with her son, was only allowed to look at her old home from a distance as her house remained behind fences.

The reopening of the coastal area of the fenced-off town continues to draw visitors however these visits are overwhelmed with sadness and longing.

“It is now possible for me to bring the pieces of my childhood memories in my mind together as a result of today’s (Thursday) visit,” Demetriou said.

“The island of Cyprus is too small. It is nothing but a piece of rock in the middle of the sea. That’s why we must live together. We cannot remain divided,” Demetriou added. 

Nevertheless, she said she was still happy to be able to enter the fenced-off town and roam in the streets where she once spent her childhood.


The second phase of the EU financial aid scheme to be launched in November


Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
EU Matters, Economy

OVERVIEW

The “Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue” Project, which part of the European Union (EU) financed economic support package, following the completion of the grant scheme for F&B operators which amounts to a total of €3m, launched its second phase for hairdressers and beauty parlours.

The second phase of the grant scheme, which will start accepting applications as of November, has earmarked ₺18,000 (€1,935) per establishment.

The goal of the scheme is to minimize the negative economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and to assist the businesses in overcoming the cash-flow problems experienced due to the pandemic.

The grant scheme will be collectively managed by the Turkish Cypriot Investment Agency (YAGA), Turkish Cypriot Shopkeepers and Artisans (KTEZO), the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Turkish Cypriot Restaurateurs’ Association (RES-BIR) within the scope of the EU financed Innovative Entrepreneurship and Dialogue Project, which has an overall budget of €3m and is implemented by the Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas (NI-CO) to continue EU’s support for economic development in the Turkish Cypriot community.

The three-year project aims to open up shared spaces for innovation, inclusive and entrepreneurial engagement, community dialogue and knowledge sharing.