Front Page Headlines
“Our mother is dead. So who is going to question this system?”
Attila Hancıoğlu, whose mother passed away from Covid-19 in hospital after being infected while receiving treatment in ICU for another illness, asks: “Does a son not have the right to be informed of his mother’s death before everyone else?” Hancıoğlu told the paper how the family learned of their mother’s death after a relative saw her name in the media and called them.
- Early, early elections – Republican Turkish Party (CTP): Elections should be held in April. National Unity Party (UBP) leader Ersan Saner has been permitted to set a date for early elections.
All the (political) parties discussing (early) election
Prime Minister Ersan Saner’s call for an “early election” shifted the country’s agenda suddenly. Political parties are evaluating Saner’s call. However, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the fact the 2021 state budget has not been approved yet, and the fact the necessary amendments have not been made on the election law has led to uncertainties on when it will be possible to hold an early election.
- 11th death from coronavirus in the TRNC – Health Minister Ali Pilli announced 84-year-old male patient passed away from coronavirus. He also noted 10 local cases have been identified in the last 24 hours.
- Nothing will be left standing by the summer – KTEZO (Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Artisans and Shopkeepers) said nearly 4,000 businesses have shut down and nearly 50,000 people are unemployed. The number of employed people is now less than 100,000. While people are battling with problems, political feuds create more and bigger problems.
- University students will be brought back gradually – Ziya Öztürkler, Director of the Higher Education and Foreign Affairs Department at the Education Ministry said their plan to bring back Turkish university students in the second semester was ready even though the way forward has not yet been identified.
Resmiye couldn’t, so it should be Önder
Intense efforts are being made to solve the crisis in parliament and the issue of early elections that erupted after UBP candidate Resmiye Eroğlu Canaltay failed to get elected to the post of speaker of parliament. Even some UBP MPs voted against her. Various circles that intervened after UBP leader Ersan Saner’s call to the opposition to identify a date for an early election, proposed that İskele (Trikomo) UBP MP Önder Sennaroğlu should be nominated as a candidate to replace Resmiye Eroğlu Canaltay. Senneroğlu’s impartial stance in the feuds within the party is regarded as an advantage.
- People’s will in favour of federation – “This Country is Ours” Platform sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute expressing their views and expectations on the Cyprus problem.
- There will be nothing left standing – KTEZO warned the government, revealing the current situation in the economy. It said that nearly 4,000 businesses have shut down and nearly 50,000 people are unemployed since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of employed people is now lower than 100,000. Only one-third of the population have jobs.
- UNFICYP report is the agenda – UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar will meet with (Greek Cypriot leader) Nicos Anastasiades at 9am and with Ersin Tatar at 11:30am.
Elections in April
CTP and YDP (Rebirth Party) gave a lightning response to Prime Minister Ersan Saner’s call for early elections. CTP has proposed to hold early elections in April, with the party leader Tufan Erhürman saying there was no choice left but to seek the public’s political will. Deputy Prime Minister and YDP leader Erhan Arıklı said his party was ready for early elections and proposed April as a date. The issue was discussed within UBP yesterday (Tuesday). UBP leader Ersan Saner was given full authority at the end of the meeting to hold contacts on the election and to set a date.
- The goal is to open up early – South Cyprus requests additional vaccines from Israel.
We are fed up
New election ploys in North Cyprus, which is under Turkey’s occupation. Failure to elect the speaker of parliament sparked a debate on an early election… CTP proposed the month of April to hold an election, UBP has not decided yet…UBP’s Central Executive Board fully authorised Ersan Saner to identify a date for an early election.
- No to privatisation – EL-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority Workers’ Union) president Kubilay Özkıraç said the attitude displayed by some circles on the privatization of KIBTEK (Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority) means betrayal of the community.
- All will be levelled to the ground – KTEZO announced 4,000 businesses have shut down to date and nearly 50,000 people are unemployed.
BBF is the only solution model for CyprusYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
“This Country is Ours” platform stressed in a letter addressed to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and his Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute that the bicommunal, bizonal federal solution (BBF) based on political equality of the two communities with a single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international personality is the only solution model for Cyprus.
Members of the platform delivered the letter to UN officials on Tuesday.
The platform said it rejects a two-state solution model and argued that the proposed model does not represent the Turkish Cypriots’ political will, reminding all those arguing in favour of a two-state solution that the federation solution model was initially a Turkish proposal.
The platform also expressed grave concern regarding the risk of permanent partition of the island and the escalating tension in the region.
Demanding Lute to take on the initiative to launch the talks in line with UN resolutions, the platform stressed that the negotiations process must be based on the Guterres framework, and must resume from the point it had left off by respecting the convergences achieved in Crans Montana and by respecting the agreements reached in Berlin.
The platform’s letter was signed by KTÖS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union), KTOEÖS (Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Union), KTAMS (Turkish Cypriot Public Servants’ Union), TÜRK-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Federation for Workers’ Trade Unions), DEV-İŞ (Revolutionary Workers’ Trade Unions’ Federation), KOOP-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Cooperative Workers’ Union), GÜÇ-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Customs’ Workers’ Union), BES (Municipal Workers’ Union), ÇAĞ-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Public Sector Employees’ Union), TIP-İŞ (Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Union), BASIN-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Media Workers’ Union), CTP, TDP (Social Democratic Party), BKP (United Cyprus Party), YKP (New Cyprus Party), TKP-YG (Communal Liberation Party – New Forces) and Bağımsızlık Yolu (Independence Road).
Tatar stresses two-state solution is the only solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Tuesday reiterated his known stance in favour of a two-state solution, stating that this was the only model the Turkish Cypriot side could approve.
Tatar, speaking at a conference organised by the Girne American University (GAU), said that the Turkish Cypriot community expected him to deliver such an agreement.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of not wanting to share governance or wealth with the Turkish Cypriots, he argued that the Turkish Cypriot side changed its policy following developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Cyprus is no longer the old Cyprus,” Tatar said, pointing to the Turkish Cypriot side’s hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Maraş (Varosha) initiative.
In the meantime, National Unity Party (UBP) Famagusta MP and member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu claimed the Turkish Cypriot side will come up with proposals that will also please the Greek Cypriot side.
Hasipoğlu, speaking during a programme on Kıbrıs TV, said that the Turkish Cypriot side was planning to propose steps that will create a win-win situation for both sides on the island. He added, however, that the Turkish Cypriot side will not agree to negotiate a federal solution.
Hasipoğlu also reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposals on hydrocarbons were still on the table. The UBP MP said a solution to the hydrocarbons issue was important in terms of decreasing tensions in the region.
“This could be an agreement on sharing or agreeing not to share. Either way would be beneficial to both sides,” Hasipoğlu said.
Responding to a question on the two-state solution model, Hasipoğlu did not dismiss the possibility of a “single international personality.”
“The Greek Cypriot side will be sovereign in their area and the Turkish Cypriot side in theirs and if the two states reach an agreement, it is possible to have a single international personality,” Hasipoğlu argued.
He repeated what Tatar said after meeting with Lute, that UN officials were not closed to the idea of a two-state solution in Cyprus. Referring to the upcoming five-party meeting, he added that the UN is willing to listen to the Turkish Cypriot side and to assess whether or not there was common ground for new talks.
In response to a question on Maraş (Varosha), Hasipoğlu said the Turkish Cypriot side put an end to the understanding that the fenced-off town would eventually be returned to the Greek Cypriot side as part of territorial concessions in the event of a solution.
“Maraş (Varosha) is within the TRNC, so is Güzelyurt (Morphou). We do not intend to return either of these areas,” Hasipoğlu said, adding that the area’s military status will be lifted soon.
“The Maraş (Varosha) initiative has strengthened the Turkish Cypriot side’s arguments for the two-state solution,” Hasipoğlu concluded.
>> TC community expects me to deliver a two-state solution.
>> TC side preparing proposals that will create a win-win situation for both sides.
>> TC side will not negotiate a federal solution.
>> TC proposals on hydrocarbons still on the table. The issue needs to be solved to decrease tensions in the area.
>> Hydrocarbons solution could be an agreement on sharing or agreeing not to share. Either way would be beneficial to both sides.
>> Single international personality possible if two sides, each sovereign in their respective areas, agree on it.
>> Maraş (Varosha) initiative ends understanding that the town will be returned to GC side in event of a solution. No intention to return either Maraş or Güzelyurt.
Realistic alternatives should be discussed on Cyprob, says ErdoğanYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Tuesday, stressed it was not possible to talk about regional peace if Turkey and the north were excluded from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking during a meeting with EU ambassadors, Erdoğan said Ankara’s goal was to transform the Eastern Mediterranean into a “basin for cooperation” rather than competition.
“We’re not demanding anything we’re not entitled to,” he said, adding that Turkey protects its legitimate interests and those of Turkish Cypriots.
Erdoğan said that Ankara’s goal was to “set a positive agenda with the EU.” He laid out his expectations from the ambassadors to support Turkey “in turning a new page” in Turkey’s relations with the bloc.
Also touching on the Cyprus problem in his address, the Turkish president urged the parties “to focus on new and realistic alternatives” instead of insisting on “failed models” for the solution of the Cyprus issue.
He, nonetheless, questioned the EU’s role in the Cyprus talks and pointed out that the EU has disregarded the Turkish Cypriot community on the island.
“Turkey was subjected to a serious injustice in the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, as we have witnessed the ‘strategic blindness’ attitude,” Erdoğan said in his speech, adding that he hopes the new round of exploratory talks with Greece would be fruitful.
Erdoğan argued that Turkey’s interactions with the EU in 2020 were unproductive due to the artificial problems created by certain EU members.
Also speaking during the meeting, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reiterated Ankara’s message towards the bloc and said: “We see our future in Europe.”
Referring to disputes with Greece, Çavuşoğlu underlined that the main reason why there have been disagreements between Turkey and the EU over the past few years is the fact that some members of the union have transferred their feuds with Ankara to the bloc.
“They tried to force the EU and Turkey to oppose each other,” he said, noting that threatening rhetoric does not deliver solutions.
Expressing hope in the launch of the exploratory talks, Çavuşoğlu argued that the EU countries are also aware of Turkey’s importance for the bloc.
>> Not possible to talk about regional peace if Turkey & north are excluded from East Med.
>> Ankara’s goal is to transform East Med into a “basin for cooperation” rather than competition.
>> Turkey is not demanding anything it’s not entitled to & is protecting the rights of TCs.
>> Parties need to focus on new and realistic alternatives for Cyprob solution instead of insisting on failed models.
>> Turkey sees its future in Europe.
More than 100,000 people visited Maraş (Varosha) since opening
A total of 103,118 people have visited the opened sections of Maraş (Varosha) since October 8, 2020, some dailies report on Wednesday.
A section of the beachfront of the fenced-off town and two main avenues were opened for visitors in a hasty move by Ersin Tatar ahead of the presidential elections in the north on October 18, as part of a campaign manoeuvre.
Since then, new roads have been built and landscaping in public spaces has been carried out.
The authorities have even placed bicycles, donated by a Turkish Municipality, for visitors to rent.
There are now eight kiosks and food stands within the opened parts of the town serving the visitors as well. The reopening, visits and even wedding photography sessions are regarded as blatant disrespect on the memories of the past inhabitants of the town and are harshly criticized by many both in the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot communities.
GC police seize drug-carrying drone near crossing point
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Police in the South on Tuesday evening seized a drone carrying drugs that was spotted hovering in Metehan (Agios Dhometios), near the crossing point.
Greek Cypriot police were tipped off by a resident who noticed the drone. Around 60 grammes of cannabis were found on the machine, reports said.
There was no information as to whether the drone had come from the north or not.