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A strange kind of lockdown
Nicosia has been shut down for seven days, Kyrenia for 14 following a surge in local cases and their contacts. As of midnight, it is forbidden to go on the streets in Kyrenia and Nicosia except to meet essential needs. Supermarkets, petrol stations and pharmacies will remain open. Restaurants will only offer takeaway services. Many sectors claim they will open on grounds that they are suppliers for other open sectors.
Here are the new measures!
A lockdown is implemented in Nicosia and Kyrenia due to an increase in locally transmitted cases. Entry and exit in and out of the two districts has been banned. The night-time curfew in all districts will start at 8pm.
- Everyone who heard about the lockdown fled – Following the announcement that Nicosia and Kyrenia will be shut down, many people rushed to abandon the cities to other districts.
- Drug smuggler caught red-handed – D.E., while trying to enter the TRNC from south Cyprus, was arrested in a military zone in Haspolat (Mia Milia) with 2.5kg of two different types of drugs in his possession.
A strange lockdown
The Council of Ministers implemented the decisions adopted by the Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases to curb the rise of locally transmitted cases after ‘amending’ them. The purpose of the lockdown was rendered ineffective, there was confusion and concern has grown. According to the decisions published in the official gazette, the night-time curfew in all districts will start at 8pm. A nationwide all-day curfew will be implemented from January 29 to February 1.
- Frightening situation – The health ministry in a haste transferred coronavirus patients to the newly completed pandemic hospital when the outpatient clinic, which was being used as a pandemic centre, became full. There are 264 persons receiving coronavirus treatment currently, 76 of them reported to be in serious condition.
- Slonim passed away at her home – 104-year-old Elsie Slonim, who is of Jewish origin, has passed away at her home since 1966, located in the buffer zone on Dereboyu (Shakespeare Avenue).
There is a panic
Hundreds of people rushed to Famagusta and the Karpaz (Karpas) peninsula following the lockdown decision. It was reported that more than 500 cars drove to Yenierenköy (Yialousa) as many people fled the cities ahead of the lockdown in Nicosia and Kyrenia. Speaking to Diyalog, the Mayor of Yenierenköy (Yialousa) Emrah Yeşilırmak said that 500 cars had arrived in their area alone. He said that some members of the public who had summer homes or who had relatives in the area flocked to the village. Yeşilırmak added that they had been forced to warn residents. “We can’t ask people visiting our area why they are here. We are just telling everyone to adhere to the rules,” he said.
- Who is the boss? – More than two kilograms of drugs were found on D.E who was caught while trying to cross to the north from the south illegally.
Residents fled Nicosia and Kyrenia one after the other
Following the implementation of a lockdown in Nicosia and Kyrenia, people fled to Famagusta, İskele (Trikomo) and Karpaz (Karpas) villages. Long queues of cars formed on the main road to Famagusta. Yenierenköy (Yialousa) Mayor Emrah Yeşilırmak warned the villagers about outsiders arriving in the village.
Tatar conveys TC side’s readiness to attend 5+1 meetingYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Details of Monday’s videoconference meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres emerged on Tuesday.
Tatar was reported to have conveyed to the UNSG the Turkish Cypriot side’s readiness to attend the 5+1 informal meeting expected to take place in early March. According to a statement issued by Tatar’s spokeswoman Berna Çelik Doğruyol, the Turkish Cypriot leader repeated his position in favour of a two-state solution.
Tatar said that there were two separate administrations on the island ever since the collapse of the 1960 partnership, which had equal status. He pointed out that the fact there were two autonomous administrations on the island had been reaffirmed at a meeting held on July 30, 1974, in Geneva in the presence of the guarantor countries.
Tatar thus argued that a two-state model was the only viable option to ensure a fair, realistic and sustainable settlement on the island. He also accused the Greek Cypriot side of being responsible for the failure of all past negotiations processes due to its reluctance to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots.
For his part, UN Secretary-General Guterres noted the Turkish Cypriot side could raise their position during the informal 5+1 conference, expressing his hope that the parties will reach a common basis for the resumption of official talks during the conference.
>> TC side ready to attend informal 5+1 meeting.
>> Two-state solution only viable option to ensure a fair, realistic & sustainable solution.
>> TC side can raise their position at 5+1 meeting in favour of a two-state solution.
Nicosia and Kyrenia in lockdown following surge in casesYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Following weeks of confusion and ever constantly changing decisions, the cabinet in the north finally announced a partial lockdown for Nicosia and Kyrenia on Tuesday in line with recommendations made by the Higher Committee for Infectious Diseases.
The committee for the past two weeks has been trying to convince the government to take stricter measures, including a lockdown, as local cases steadily continued to rise. The surge is attributed to contacts of people who tested positive. Health authorities repeatedly warned that people who have come into contact with positive cases have been hiding out of fear of being placed in quarantine for two weeks.
According to the decisions taken, Kyrenia will remain in lockdown for 14 days while Nicosia for seven. However, a decision as to whether or not to extend the lockdown measures will be made on Tuesday, February 2, following an assessment of the epidemiological situation.
A night-time curfew starting at 8pm and ending at 5am will also be implemented in all districts. A nationwide lockdown will be in force in all districts on the weekend to prevent people from moving around.
All entry to and exit from Kyrenia and Nicosia will also be prohibited during the lockdown. All businesses, shops and establishments except for essential services will remain closed. Those exempt include pharmacies, supermarkets and petrol stations, law enforcement, electricity authority and municipal workers providing basic services. Banks will also be open but providing limited services. Restaurants which have delivery services on the other hand will be allowed to operate well past the 8pm curfew until midnight.
Some public offices will remain open as well but will be working at limited capacity with staff on a rotating working system. Schools have also ceased in-class education and will resume through online or distance learning. The earlier measures regarding the crossing points continue to remain in force until further notice.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Saner said the stricter measures were introduced as a result of an alarming rise in locally transmitted cases and the unbearable burden on the contact tracing teams.
Saner complained that the contact tracing teams were on the brink of losing control as many positive cases were hiding their contacts. He also noted that the goal was to relieve the load on the medical facilities in the north.
EU holds off on sanctions against TurkeyYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
EU’s top official Josep Borell on Tuesday said the “bloc has decided to hold off on the sanctions against Turkey” but added that the EU had not given up on the idea completely.
Speaking to reporters, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy stressed that Ankara must deliver on its diplomatic overtures as the work on sanctions was ongoing.
Borell, nonetheless, expressed his pleasure in seeing last year’s “irritants that poisoned life” disappear in line with his agreement with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu to keep the positive momentum.
He also expressed hope that Cyprus settlement talks can resume by the end of February.
Echoing Borell’s message, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the bloc decided not to impose any sanctions on Turkey due to the positive developments.
“There are no ships in the contested areas in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Maas said, pointing to the launch of the exploratory talks between the two neighbours Turkey and Greece. Maas noted the bloc had waited for a long time for the small but positive steps, stressing that “they need not be strained by sanctions.”
TC CMP member refutes GC media claims on missing persons
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus Hakkı Müftüzade on Tuesday refuted claims made by a Greek Cypriot daily that there were remains of Greek Cypriot missing persons under the painted ‘TRNC’ flag located on the skirts of the Beşparmak (Pentadakylos) Mountain.
He added there was no decision taken by the CMP to carry out excavations at the location of the flag. Noting that the issue of the missing persons is a humane and sensitive one, Müftüzade said the publication of “unfounded” news serves no purpose other than creating mistrust between the two communities.
Drug smuggler caught red-handed
Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
An African man was arrested in a military zone in Haspolat (Mia Milia) on Tuesday as he attempted to enter the north from south Cyprus with 2.5kg of drugs in his possession.
The police officer in charge of the investigation told the court that 600 grams of ‘synthetic cannabinoid’ and 1.8kg of ‘cannabis’ had been found in his possession at the time of his arrest.
The suspect was taken to a hospital for a PCR test to be carried out. The court ordered the suspect to be remanded in police custody for an additional day.