Front Page Headlines
Lots of meetings, no outcome
The acting leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersan Saner announced that an outcome could not be reached at the end of his meetings with the political parties. He said, “the party’s authorised bodies will be giving the final decision today (Friday).” There has been no government for the past 45 days and no Prime Minister for the last 28. Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman said that he would convene the party assembly to discuss the possibility of forming a new government if his party received the mandate.
- Experts working at the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) for the past 14 years removed from office without a reason. They had served with Talat, Eroğlu and Akıncı.
No one has the right to do this!
The time granted to the UBP acting leader Ersan Saner to form a new government will expire tomorrow (Saturday). Saner’s strenuous efforts to form a government for nearly two weeks, unfortunately, failed to produce any results. Those who pushed aside the community’s interests to serve their own have left the country without a government.
- (People’s Party leader-HP) Yenal Senin –We did not see the need to get in touch again since we have given our answer.
- (Rebirth Party-YDP) Erhan Arıklı – Chances of a three-party coalition ended when Denktaş announced he would not support it.
- (Republican Turkish Party-CTP) Erdoğan Sorakın – We will re-evaluate if tasked.
- TKP-YG (Social Democracy Party-New Forces) – Some of the politicians are putting on a show but there are vital issues which need to be addressed.
- (Democratic Party) DP Youth Branch – Politics have never been so stained before.
- Kamu-iş (Public Sector Workers’ Union) – Problems are growing, a government focused on deliverables must be established.
- Memur-sen (Public Sector Employees’ Union) – Stop making calculations based on political interests.
UBP could not do it
UBP acting leader Ersan Saner, after efforts to set up a ‘government of action’, announced he had even failed to establish a minority government on the 12th day of being tasked with the mandate.
- Covid alarm at the Greek Cypriot Presidency – The Greek Cypriot Agriculture Minister tested positive for Covid-19. There are now three ministers in quarantine. Yesterday’s (Thursday) cabinet meeting was cancelled.
- Fully operational in one week – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli visited the ‘Emergency Hospital’ and talked to TAK about his plans.
- Tension in EU–Turkey relations – High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Josep Borell said the EU will decide on the direction to take on relations with Turkey during the EU leaders’ summit on December 10-11.
No results in two weeks
The leaders of HP and YDP announced they could reach an agreement with UBP on talks on forming a coalition government. Saner has been left with no choice but to hand back the task of forming the government. Speaking to TV2020, the leader of HP Yenal Senin said that they had proposed a broad government for early elections which would include CTP but were not successful. YDP leader Erhan Arıklı blamed (former) DP leader Serdar Denktaş for the failure to set up an UBP-DP-YDP government, accusing of him of adopting an inconsistent stance. Ersan Saner in a statement last night (Thursday) said that he had failed to set up a government and would produce a decision after convening the party assembly today.
Don’t you dare build a palace
An open letter to Ersin Tatar and valuable recommendations from a retired general, who had served as the commander of the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces (GKK).
- Saner will hand back the mandate.
- Finally released – Erdal Eryener, who is a kidney patient, managed to fulfil his bail conditions and was released from prison.
- A blow to the CMP – Gülden Plümer Küçük, who had been working for the CMP for nearly 15 years, has been removed (by the president) after her contract was not renewed. The contract of another Turkish Cypriot member of the committee Mine Balman, due to expire on December 31, was also not renewed.
- 226 positive coronavirus cases in the south with one death, five cases in the north.
Tatar insists TCs want a two-state solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Thursday renewed his warnings that a federal settlement would spell the end of the Turkish Cypriot community.
In an interview with the TAK news agency, Tatar argued that a federal settlement in practice would resemble a Greek Cypriot unitary state which would eventually reduce Turkish Cypriots to a minority.
He said the Turkish Cypriot community would be ‘swallowed’ up in the process.
“We will never accept such a thing, especially as a people who have established their state,” he said.
He reiterated his view that the Turkish Cypriots desired a two-state solution based on sovereign equality and cooperation with the Greek Cypriots.
Tatar said, “The international community may perceive the situation differently, but this is our position. We are supported by Turkey.”
Tatar, reminded that all past processes to reach a federal settlement in Cyprus had failed due to the Greek Cypriots’ rejection of the plans or proposals put before them. He added that the collapse of the process in Crans Montana was the latest example of this.
Drawing attention to the dangers of a federal settlement, Tatar warned that such a settlement would eliminate all previous legislation adopted in the north, thus weakening the Turkish Cypriot community’s existence.
He said that the dominant view within the Greek Cypriot society was that the new partnership state will evolve from and function as a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC).
“Turkish Cypriots would be reduced to a minority in such a situation. This is something we cannot accept,” he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot people wanted to determine their future by exercising their right to self-determination.
Tatar also said that the Turkish Cypriot people desired the continuation of Turkey’s effective and active guarantees, expressing doubt that the EU’s security mechanisms would have been successful in addressing the security needs of Turkish Cypriots had the Annan Plan been accepted by the Greek Cypriots in 2004.
“Much has changed since the 2004 Annan Plan, most importantly, the status of the island in the Mediterranean. Time has been working in our favour,” he said.
Tatar added that the support of Turkey, which Turkish Cypriots enjoyed, was a game-changer in the region.
“Turkey with its population of 85 million is the most powerful country in the region. Ankara’s Blue Homeland Policy, its determination to protect its rights over its continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone have strengthened the Turkish Cypriot side’s hand,” he said.
Tatar argued that as a result, the north’s importance in the region has grown.
He also drew attention to the unjust embargoes and isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people, stating that this was a gross violation of human rights.
“We are not asking for much as there are already two separate states in Cyprus. All we want is for this to continue. But Turkish Cypriots should no longer be subjected to such injustices,” Tatar said.
On the issue of Maraş (Varosha), he said that none of the steps taken on the fenced-off town were in violation of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
“Human rights come before everything else. If we have been unable to reach a solution or sign an agreement for the past 46 years then there is no point in keeping Maraş (Varosha) closed for another 46 years,” he said.
Tatar pointed out that a large section of Maraş (Varosha) was already open and that the newly opened section was only a 5km stretch of the seafront where most of the hotels and shops were located.
He explained that Evkaf also had serious property claims in the area which the charity foundation was prepared to back up with documents.
“Nevertheless Evkaf will have to apply to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) with its documents,” he said.
Tatar also pointed out that there were currently 300 applications filed by Greek Cypriots regarding properties in Maraş (Varosha) pending at the IPC, adding that there were also British and US nationals who had property in the area.
“Maraş (Varosha) has been opened for the good and service of humanity. Our good intentions and justification cannot be questioned. We have not done anything that might be considered a violation of international law,” he argued, adding that the section opened within the fenced-off town were the public spaces.
Tatar repeated the view that Maraş (Varosha) was located within the borders of the TRNC and that the town was within its area of sovereignty and jurisdiction.
He said that former residents will either be allowed to return to or sell their properties.
“The property claims will be evaluated and assessed. Everyone’s grievances will be addressed. Title deeds will be legitimised and the properties will become valuable assets.
All these steps are being taken in the name of human rights. There is nothing politically contradictory either,” Tatar said.
While adding that it would be unreasonable to hand over the authority over Maraş (Varosha) to others after all these years, Tatar said that the area was important for the security and defence of the north.
He explained that the steps taken were part of a proactive policy, arguing that the move has not only brought significant changes to the political climate but that the message it gave to the world strengthened the north’s political argument.
Also touching on the issue of a project to supply the north with electricity and natural gas from Turkey, Tatar pointed out that energy costs in the country were high and that such a project would significantly reduce energy costs.
He noted that the European energy authority perceived the north as being under the sovereignty of the RoC thus disallowing Turkey to lay cables under the sea to supply the north with electricity.
“President Erdoğan said he would deliver on this promise if it was a feasible investment and in the best interest of the Turkish Cypriots,” Tatar said and added that Turkey is trying to do what is right for the Turkish Cypriots.
“The message Erdoğan gives is very important. He is saying that Turkey will always be on the side of the Turkish Cypriots,” Tatar stressed.
“Even though the TRNC is not recognized by the world, it does exist as an entity in the eyes of the international community. The reality of the Turkish Cypriots is now acknowledged by the whole world. The Turkish Cypriots have become a community that can look to the future with hope with the support of Motherland Turkey,” he concluded.
Tatar repeated his views regarding a federal settlement during a visit paid to him on Thursday by members of the Beşparmak (Five Finger) think tank group.
Speaking to the organisation’s members, Tatar said that he had also conveyed to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades during their meeting on November 3, the Turkish Cypriot side’s views regarding the unfair isolations and embargoes on Turkish Cypriots.
Tatar also claimed that the Greek Cypriot side continuously puts down the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriot state.
“The Greek Cypriot side’s mentality as such is unacceptable. Moreover, this attitude makes the Turkish Cypriots question the Greek Cypriot side’s sincerity towards a settlement agreement,” Tatar argued.
Touching on the recent elections, Tatar urged everyone to respect the outcome of the elections, which was concluded by Turkish Cypriots exercising their democratic rights.
“Following the elections, a new page has been opened in the Cyprus problem,” Tatar said, adding that he has raised the two-state solution model based on sovereign equality and collaboration with the Greek Cypriot side.
“In this regard, the messages given during the November 15 ceremonies are very important and both the Greek Cypriot side and the world must read these messages correctly,” Tatar concluded.
Also on Thursday, Tatar, speaking to Azerbaijan’s TV5 news channel, congratulated Azerbaijan for its victory in Nagorno Karabakh and expressed the hope that their two countries will further develop relations.
Tatar criticized the silence of various international organisations over what he said were atrocities committed against Azeri civilians in the region, noting they could not go unanswered.
He said that they will not remain silent over injustices committed against Turkic states by foreign countries which are motivated by joint religious interests.
“We shall continue our struggle on our just causes,” he said.
Tatar also argued that Azerbaijan, Turkey and the north will be stronger as long as they remain united. He said while Azerbaijan possessed great potential, the north has become an important state in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We are on the right path. We are at a more important place today because of the discovery of hydrocarbons in the region. It is my strong conviction that we will be successful. It is important that we act on the notion of one nation… three states,” Tatar concluded.
>> TCs will be reduced to a minority if a federal settlement is reached.
>> TCs will never accept being a minority as they have already created their state.
>> TCs’ desire a two-state solution based on sovereign equality & cooperation with the GCs.
>> Past processes to reach a federal settlement in Cyprus have failed because GCs’ have rejected all plans & proposals put before them.
>> TCs’ desire the continuation of Turkey’s effective & active guarantees.
>> EU’s security mechanisms would have been unsuccessful in addressing the security needs of TCs if the Annan Plan been accepted by the GCs.
>> The island of Cyprus has become more important in the region since the Annan Plan.
>> The support of Turkey which TCs enjoy is a game-changer in the region.
>> Turkey’s determination in the region has strengthened the TC side’s hand. As a result, the north’s importance in the region has grown.
>> The federal settlement would eliminate all previous legislation adopted in the north to date.
>> The dominant view within the GC society is that the new partnership in practice will be a continuation of the RoC.
>> TCs want to determine their future by exercising their right to self-determination.
>> The embargoes & isolations imposed on the TC people are violations of human rights.
>> None of the steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) violate UNSC resolutions.
>> No point in keeping Maraş (Varosha) after failing to solve the Cyprob for the past 46 years.
>> The Evkaf will have to apply to the IPC with its documents for its property claims in Maraş (Varosha).
>> Maraş (Varosha) has been opened for the good & service of humanity.
>> The areas opened within the fenced-off town are public spaces thus not constituting a violation of international law.
>> Maraş (Varosha) is within the TRNC & falls under its sovereignty & jurisdiction.
>> Former residents will either be allowed to return to or sell their properties in Maraş (Varosha).
>> The property claims will be evaluated & assessed. Everyone’s grievances will be addressed. Title deeds will be legitimised & the properties will become valuable assets.
>> Unreasonable to hand over the authority over Maraş (Varosha) to others after all these years.
>> The Maraş (Varosha) area is important for the security & defence of the north.
>> The steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) are part of a proactive policy.
>> European energy authorities perceive the north being under the sovereignty of the RoC thus disallowing Turkey to lay cables under the sea to supply the north with electricity.
>> Erdoğan will honour his promise if he sees the cable project as a feasible Project.
>> Turkey is trying to do what is right for the TCs.
>> The message Erdoğan gives, which is that Turkey will always be on the side of the TCs, is very important.
>> Even though the TRNC is not recognized by the world, its existence is accepted.
>> The TCs have become a community that can look to the future with hope with the support of Turkey.
Aerial photos of Maraş (Varosha) takenYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The Turkish Ministry of Defence assisted in taking aerial photographs of Maraş (Varosha), the dailies reported on Friday.
In a post on social media, the Ministry of Defence said the Ministry’s Department of Mapping has taken aerial photographs of the fenced-off town to assist the ongoing inventory study on Maraş (Varosha), upon a request by the Turkish Cypriot authorities.
A mini-UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) equipped with photogrammetric survey equipment was used for the purpose, the Defence Ministry said.
Contract of CMP member Küçük not renewedYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
CBMs, Human Rights, Governance and Power Sharing
The Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) Gülden Plümer Küçük announced on Thursday that she would be stepping down from her post at the end of the year after being informed that her contract will not be renewed.
She said she was leaving her post feeling certain she had done her duty to serve her country and the missing persons’ families based on principles and international scientific standards.
She added that from 2006 to date, the remains of around half of the missing persons in Cyprus had been located and the committee, in which a Turkish Cypriot member, a Greek Cypriot member and a UN representative have equal representation, has worked to provide answers to relatives of the missing who have been waiting for half a century.
The CMP has won the respect of the scientific, international community, she added.
Küçük thanked the three Turkish Cypriot leaders she had worked with, Mehmet Ali Talat, Derviş Eroğlu and Mustafa Akıncı and the organised groups of Turkish Cypriot relatives of missing persons and those who helped her perform her duties all these years. She also wished best of luck to whoever will be appointed by the new Turkish Cypriot leader, Ersin Tatar.
She had been serving as the Turkish Cypriot member of the committee since 2006.
Meanwhile, Küçük’s colleague Mine Balman also announced she was leaving her post after being informed that her contract will also not be renewed.
In a statement posted on social media, Balman said that the decision by Tatar’s office not to renew her contract was unfortunate and would pose a problem in terms of ensuring that the CMP’s work continued unhindered.
She said that the replacement of the entire Turkish Cypriot CMP’s administrative team was greatly problematic.
Balman said that CMP, which had been shielded from political influences by former Turkish Cypriot leaders in the past was now witnessing politicisation at a scale never witnessed before.
She added that the CMP’s institutional memory was thus being ignored.
Balman thanked all those who worked with her during her 15 years at the CMP.
Shutting crossings possible if cases spiral out of control
Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli said on Thursday that shutting the crossing points was a possible scenario should the number of Covid-19 cases in the south spiral out of control.
Pilli, in an interview with the TAK news agency, said that the recent spike in cases in the south was the result of poor management of the crisis and lack of measures.
He said that the Turkish Cypriot community’s health came before everything else.
“You can’t have an economy if you don’t have health,” he said.
Pilli also said that they had stepped up random testing at the crossing points.
The Turkish Cypriot health minister also did not rule out the possibility of introducing stricter measures should the current situation in the north change as the colder weather sets in.
Regarding the rejection of a proposal by his ministry to Greek Cypriot authorities to treat a hundred Greek Cypriot Covid-19 patients in the north, Pilli said that politics should be kept out of health.
UBP throws in the towel on coalition talks
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Governance and Power Sharing
Efforts by the National Unity Party (UBP) to form the new coalition hit a dead end on Thursday after a final attempt to set up a minority government with the Democratic Party (DP) and Rebirth Party (YDP) failed.
Attempts by acting UBP leader and General Secretary Ersan Saner to convince the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) or Peoples’ Party (HP) earlier last week had also failed.
The only other remaining party in the Turkish Cypriot parliament, the Social Democratic Party (TDP) which only has three seats had turned down talks with the UBP from the very beginning.
Evaluating the process to reporters at the UBP headquarters in Nicosia, Saner said that despite holding sincere talks with HP they had been unable to “pick the fruits” of their efforts.
He added that talks with DP and YDP had also ended without success despite having come very close to reaching an agreement.
Saner explained that a government of action with CTP was not possible.
“It seems we have exhausted all options. We do understand everyone’s sensitivities. I shall be taking the matter to the party assembly tomorrow (Friday) to decide on our next course of action,” he said.
Saner will now have to hand back the mandate to form the new government to Ersin Tatar as his 15-day deadline ends on Saturday.
Responding to a question on statements made by several UBP MPs criticizing his efforts, the acting UBP leader reminded that the party’s top governing bodies had granted him full authority to form the government.
He criticized those for trying to stır trouble within the party’s ranks.
Meanwhile, the leader of CTP Tufan Erhürman said on Thursday that he would convene the party assembly to discuss the possibility of forming a new government should Tatar hand his party the mandate.
Talks to set new minimum wage to convene on Nov 25
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Economy, Governance and Power Sharing
The Committee to identify the new minimum wage will convene on November 25, the dailies report on Friday.
The Turkish Cypriot Ministry of Labour announced the meeting amid severe concerns voiced by various trade unions on the devaluating Turkish Lira and decreasing purchasing power of the workers.
In another development, the dailies also report that the retail price of flour, which is considered among one of the stable consumables in the north, has increased thus making all products with flour more expensive.
The price of one loaf of bread, which is generally accepted as one of the main parameters of measuring purchasing power has been increased by ₺0.50 (€0.05).