TCC Press Review 17 Nov 2020

Front Page Headlines


The ribbon has been cut but (the hospital) has not come into service yet

The Emergency Hospital is waiting for doctors, nurses to be assigned. Despite being inaugurated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a grand ceremony, the hospital has yet to become operational. It has been learned that only PCR tests are currently being conducted in the hospital. The head of the Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association Dr Özlem Gürkut told Yenidüzen that work within the hospital building has not been completed yet. She said they were still waiting for the Health Minister to issue a statement. Infectious Diseases expert Dr Emre Vudalı said, “You don’t have a hospital by just building one. The hospital needs to be equipped with supplies and doctors to be able to treat patients. 

  • Heading towards early elections – The National Unity Party (UBP) failed to achieve any success in its efforts to form a new government which lasted late into the night. Early elections on January 17 are now being discussed.


Government negotiations between UBP and HP

UBP acting leader (Ersan) Saner sat at the table with the People’s Party (HP) again as part of the efforts to establish a government. While HP is evaluating the matter internally, UBP evaluated all possibilities including an early election in its meeting yesterday (Monday) which went on late into the night.

  • Seven days of quarantine imposed on everyone crossing from the TRNC to the south – Turkish Cypriots working, studying or receiving medical treatment, Pile (Pyla) residents, and diplomatic mission personnel, UN, EU, personnel from the British Bases and peacekeepers are exempted from the decision.


I’m crying but I also want to keep going

There are serious problems in the efforts to establish a government. Prospects for a coalition between UBP, Democratic Party (DP) and Rebirth Party (YDP) failed due to disagreements over the  ‘committees.’ Then UBP turned to its old partner, HP. Even though HP is not willing to enter into a coalition and is demoralised, the dominant view within the party is that they have a moral obligation not to abandon the country which is currently without a government.

  • Relaxations and measures together – Turkish Cypriot Health Ministry Higher Committee of Contagious Diseases extended some of the measures in relation to the pandemic and relaxed others.
  • The south panicked over the IPC – The Greek Cypriot government spokesman (Kyriacos) Koushos warned about the threats of mass applications to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) regarding properties in Maraş (Varosha).
  • “Unprecedented provocation” – The Greek Cypriot leadership said Turkish President Erdoğan’s visit to Maraş (Varosha) is a violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions 550 and 789 and submitted complaints to the UN and the EU.


The tally for two months

Following operations carried out by police, it emerged that those involved in illegal betting sites withdrew ₺26m (€2.8m) from ATMs using 376 different bank cards. One individual traced from the bank records was caught red-handed. The individual was caught with ₺56,000 (€6000), eight ATM cards and six mobile phones in his possession at an ATM in Kyrenia.

  • Continuing with quarantine requirement – Health Ministry extends Covid-19 measures until November 30.


Turkey in the north, the Republic of Cyprus in the south

A warning from Mustafa Akıncı to the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities about a two-state solution. Akıncı said: “It is a fact that we are drifting towards a two-state solution, but one of the two states will be the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) under the control of the Greek Cypriots while the other will be the Republic of Turkey, where Turkish Cypriots will become increasingly dependent.”

  • Doctors’ Association: There are too many medical schools and dentistry faculties; there are no inspections and their standards are low…

Main News

Opposition slams Tatar & UBP, seeks clarification on Cyprob

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Governance and Power Sharing, Property, Territory


Statements made by Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan throughout Sunday dominated the Turkish Cypriot parliament’s agenda on Monday.

Opposition parties demanded clarifications on the Maraş (Varosha) initiative and the two-state solution proposed by Tatar. The opposition also slammed the National Unity Party (UBP) over its failed attempts at forming a government.

“Tatar is using the Office of the President to push for a two-state solution but in reality, no one knows what it entails,” Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman stressed, accusing the Turkish Cypriot leader of carelessly throwing around words without providing any substance.

Touching on Tatar’s statements on Maraş (Varosha), the CTP leader also underlined that the opposition has been asking for clarifications on the project.

“There is only talk of the return or reinstatement of properties to lawful owners through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) but no clarification has been given as to whether the properties in question will be returned to their lawful owners or compensation will be paid for them,” Erhürman said.

Accusing Tatar over the current state of governance, Erhürman said Tatar was responsible for the current “anomaly” in the north.

“Tatar’s departure from the government following his election without nominating anyone in his place has left the north without a government,” Erhürman concluded.

Also on Monday CTP MP, Fikri Toros urged Tatar to adhere to the provisions of the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Maraş (Varosha).

Toros, speaking during a TV programme, argued that the unilateral steps taken in the fenced-off town will only create more problems for the Turkish Cypriot side in the negotiations process.

“At a time when the sides are preparing for the informal five-party conference, taking steps that contradict UNSC resolutions will only push the Turkish Cypriot side into a corner,” Toros said.

Toros added that the UNSC will refrain from tasking the UN Secretary-General to convene a conference because it will not want to launch such a new process whilst its resolutions are being violated.

“Tatar needs to come to terms with the UNSC and the EU before taking any steps on Maraş (Varosha),” Toros concluded.  

“Turkey has drawn a new roadmap following the Crans Montana process and elected a president in line with that mission,” Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Özyiğit said.

Also addressing the plenary on Monday, Özyiğit pointed out that Tatar’s statements only helped strengthen the perception of the north being Turkey’s subordinate administration.

“It was nothing but a show,” Özyiğit said as he referred to Sunday’s controversial “picnic” in Maraş (Varosha).

He expressed the view that the unilateral steps taken on the fenced-off town violate international law.

“The lawful property owners are being asked to apply to the IPC however it is not yet clear whether the applicants will be given their properties back or will be compensated,” Özyiğit said.

He argued that the international law aspect of the so-called Maraş (Varosha) project had not been discussed at all.

Leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) İzzet İzcan on Monday also rejected the two-state solution ideas presented both by Tatar and Erdoğan.

“It is not possible to accept Erdoğan’s demand of a two-state solution based on sovereign equality,” İzcan said.

He argued that such statements will “end the negotiations process even before the process resumes.”

The BKP leader, in criticism of the government in Ankara, said, “We are now faced with a mentality that disregards the UN resolutions.”

İzcan did not spare Tatar from criticism, saying: “Tatar’s bootlicking attitude will not help protect the Turkish Cypriot community’s identity or existence on the island.”

He concluded by urging those who are in favour of a federal solution to unite their forces in their struggle for peace on the island.

Meanwhile, leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı expressed support for and approval of the developments in the fenced-off town.

“The cabinet without further delay must adopt a decision to lift the military status of Maraş (Varosha),” Arıklı stressed and said that allowing the IPC to start accepting applications for properties in the fenced-off town was a decision in the right direction.

“It is also necessary to open all the public spaces and properties in Maraş (Varosha) for the use of TRNC citizens. We would be able to put insurmountable pressure on the Greek Cypriot side by doing so,” Arıklı argued.

The YDP leader said that Tatar and Erdoğan had given an important message to the world with the Maraş (Varosha) project.

He urged the Turkish Cypriot authorities to carry out publicity campaigns on the issue to further create positive awareness on the reopening project.

Arıklı also said that the steps taken in Maraş (Varosha) had drawn the highest amount of attention among all the other activities carried out on Sunday.

Referring to Erdoğan’s suggestion that Tatar should pay an official visit to Azerbaijan, Arıklı urged that Tatar should not be limited to Baku only.

“Tatar should also carry out official visits to other countries as well. It will only then be possible for the Greek Cypriot side to start accepting the two-state solution idea,” Arıklı concluded.

Nonetheless, among all the statements, the most striking one regarding the developments on Sunday came from the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akıncı.

In a post on social media, Akıncı warned about the threats faced by the Turkish Cypriot community.

“It is a fact that we are heading towards the end by repeating the idea of a two-state solution. However one of these two states will be the Republic of Cyprus under the rule of the Greek Cypriots and the other one will be the Republic of Turkey, where Turkish Cypriots will become a fully dependent entity,” Akıncı stressed.

He recalled that he had warned the Greek Cypriot side a long time ago of the threat that it will eventually end up becoming neighbours with Turkey on the island unless a solution was reached.

“The most disturbing fact is that the Turkish Cypriot community has not accepted this reality, even though without doubt the Greek Cypriot administration has played a big role in this development,” Akıncı said.

He noted that everyone was fully aware of how the results of the last elections in the north were achieved, by usurping the political will of the Turkish Cypriots.

“The Turkish Cypriot community can only put an end to this drift, if only it realizes that the strength to do so lies within the community itself,” Akıncı concluded.

Aksoy: EU disconnected from reality, ignores TCs

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Governance and Power Sharing, EU Matters, Property, Territory


The recent statements by the EU’s top foreign policy chief show that the bloc is disconnected from reality on the island of Cyprus, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said, criticizing the bloc for disregarding the will of Turkish Cypriot voters in the north.

Aksoy said Borrell’s statements on Sunday about the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) and the Cyprus issue, in general, disregarded the realities on the island.

“The sides of the Cyprus issue are clear. A fair, permanent and sustainable solution is only possible if the will of the two common owners of the island are taken into consideration,” Aksoy said, adding that the EU is completely ignoring the will of the Turkish Cypriots.

Accusing the bloc of ignoring the existence and rights of the Turkish Cypriots, the spokesperson continued by saying that the EU does not even mention them in official statements.

He further criticized the bloc for rewarding the Greek Cypriot side by granting it EU membership – even though they rejected the UN-led sponsored Annan Plan – and said the EU cannot contribute to peace on the island.

Aksoy also said the Turkish Cypriot authorities’ decision to partially open Maraş (Varosha) was intended to relieve past grievances rather than create new ones.

“UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions do not predominate over property rights,” Aksoy said, adding that everyone, including the EU, needs to respect the Turkish Cypriots’ decision to find a solution based on a two-state model.

“If the EU wants to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue, then it needs to take into consideration the existence and will of the Turkish Cypriot people and fulfil its pledges made in 2004,” Aksoy added.

Borrell on Sunday had criticized the Turkish Cypriot authorities and Turkey for partially opening Maraş (Varosha).

“The EU’s message is very clear: there is no alternative to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem other than based on relevant UNSC Resolutions,” Borrell said, adding that the town’s opening will cause greater distrust and tension in the region and should be urgently reversed.

Aksoy (Turkish MFA)
>> Recent EU statements show that the bloc is disconnected from realities in Cyprus.
>> The bloc disregards the will of TC voters in the north.
>> Borrell’s statements on Maraş (Varosha) & the Cyprob in general disregards the realities on the island.
>> A fair, permanent & sustainable solution is only possible if the will of the two common owners of the island are taken into consideration.
>> The EU ignores the existence & rights of the TCs & the bloc does not use their name in official statements.
>> The EU cannot contribute to peace on the island.
>> The decision to partially open Maraş (Varosha) is intended to relieve past aggrievances rather than create new ones.
>> UNSC resolutions do not predominate property rights.
>> Everyone, including the EU, needs to respect the TCs’ decision to find a solution based on a two-state model.
>> If the EU wants to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue, then it needs to take into consideration the existence & will of the TC people & fulfil its pledges made in 2004.

New Covid-19 rules at crossing points

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security


The Higher Committee on Infectious Diseases on Monday announced the extension of various coronavirus measures in place given the spike in the number of positive cases in South Cyprus, Turkey and Europe.

In addition to extending the general mandatory quarantine requirement for those arriving via Turkey, from November 16 to November 30, the committee also introduced new rules for those using the crossing points.

According to the new rule, those crossing from the north to the south, except for exempt groups, will have to enter mandatory quarantine at a designated facility for seven days.

Those wishing to cross from the south to the north but who plan to stay longer than three days will also have to spend seven days in quarantine.

All those crossing north and south will be required to present negative PCR tests carried out in the last 72 hours.

Those exempt from this rule include Turkish Cypriots studying, working or receiving medical care in the south, residents of Pile (Pyla), EU, UN and British Bases personnel as well as the diplomatic corps.

These individuals will be subjected to random PCR testing upon entry into the north.

The committee also decided to extend a ban on close contact sports such as boxing, wrestling and martial arts until November 30.

Clubs and discos will also continue to remain closed until that day.

However, cinemas and theatres can operate, provided that the operators fulfil the necessary hygiene and social distancing rules, seating audience members at least 1.5m apart from each other.

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