TCC Press Review 5 Mar 2021

Front Page Headlines


“They did not yield to temptation, they did it knowingly”

The verdict in the trial on forged documents in Kyrenia was announced. Businessman Mehmet Eminoğlu who illegally transferred ownership of properties in Kyrenia with 13 forged letters of attorney and Serdar Özbekoğlu who approved the transfers were sent to prison. While Eminoğlu was sentenced to ten years in prison, Özbekoğlu will serve a five-year sentence.

  • Here is the action plan (economic protocol): 1. The law on trade unions to be amended; 2. The law on public sector administrators to be amended; 3. The A/B ranking system for teachers to be scrapped; 4. An inventory of all Evkaf properties in the north and south will be made; 5. The burden on public expenditure caused by overtime payments will be removed; 6. Taxes on casinos and betting offices to be raised.


Nightmares over debts and interest rates

Thousands of businesses are struggling to ‘survive’ due to the latest lockdown imposed as a result of the pandemic. Businesses crushed under the heavy burden of debts are experiencing fear of sequestration (due to unpaid debts). Sector representatives have decided to raise their voice to save themselves from economic depression. They demand new legislation that will allow the restructuring of loans and regulation of bank interest rates on debts.

  • Turkish Minister for Commerce Ruhsar Pekcan coming to the TRNC today – Economy and Energy Minister Erhan Arıklı spoke about the visit saying: “We want to be able to lift the obstacles on commercial activities between the TRNC and Turkey and harmonise customs regulations.”


Ended up in jail

Kyrenia High Criminal Court announced its verdict on the case which the public was following closely. Mehmet Eminoğlu was found guilty of unlawfully transferring title deeds of 27 properties to his company and sentenced to ten years in prison. Serdar Özbekoğlu, the public notary who approved the transfers was also found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.

  • The goal is to conclude vaccinations by the spring – The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) submitted its recommendations on the management of the pandemic to Health Minister Ünal Üstel.
  • “I don’t know the details either” – Deputy Prime Minister, Economy and Energy Minister Erhan Arıklı in response to questions from the opposition in parliament admitted that he too did not know the details of the protocol agreement signed with Turkey.
  • Vaccination plan from scratch – Health Minister Ünal Üstel, in response to criticisms from the opposition, said he will announce a new vaccination plan on Monday.
  • 100,000 vaccines in 34 days – Turkey sent 20,000 more Sinovac vaccines with its ambulance plane to the TRNC.


The burden caused by overtime payments to be eased

Important changes are envisaged in public sector laws as part of the protocol signed with Turkey. The action plan within the protocol aims to amend the law governing public servants and administrators in the public sector as well as overtime payments for public sector employees. The laws will be amended and passed through parliament before the end of the year. Additional taxes will also be levied on betting offices and casinos. The action plan includes amending the law on Teachers and the inspection of universities.


₺14m (€1.5m) for the new (presidential) palace

Look at what came out of the bag for Tatar in the new Turkish (economic) package… According to the ‘2021 Economic and Financial Cooperation Agreement’ signed between Turkey and the TRNC, ₺14m (€1.5m) has been allocated for the construction of a new presidential palace in the TRNC… (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan, during a visit to the island, asked Tatar to find a plot of land where the new presidential palace could be built.

  • Elcil: Tatar represents Turkey at the (negotiating) table – (Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) General Secretary) Şener Elcil said the meeting to be held in April will not be a 5+1 but a 4+1 meeting because (Turkish Cypriot leader) Ersin Tatar will only be participating as a puppet for Turkey. He said: “Both Tatar and (Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister) Ersan Saner are good examples of how to be the AKP’s (Justice and Development Party) servants.”
  • The fire at St Hilarion put out with difficulty – The wooden floor and roof of the café burned to ashes, but the fire did not spread to other parts of the castle. It was also announced that the fire was caused by a lightning strike even though there is a lightning rod nearby.

Main News

Tatar: UNSC resolution 186 is main cause of non-solution

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Thursday slammed UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 186 adopted on March 4, 1964, claiming that the resolution was the main reason behind the non-solution of the Cyprus Problem and what he described as Greek Cypriot intransigence throughout the history of the settlement talks.

In a written statement issued by his office on the 57th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution which resulted in the deployment of UNFICYP on the island, Tatar argued that the resolution had paved the way for the recognition of the Greek Cypriot side as the legitimate and internationally recognised government in Cyprus.

UNFICYP was deployed to put an end to the hostilities between the two communities which broke out in December 1963. The UN peacekeeping force has been stationed in Cyprus since then.  

Tatar said that since the resolution’s adoption, the Greek Cypriot leadership rejected the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality and sovereignty, reducing the Turkish Cypriot community’s status to that of a minority. He also said the 1964 resolution was adopted as a result of political deliberations and that after that the Greek Cypriots have refused all efforts to reach a settlement since 1968.

Tatar argued that the latest failed attempt in Crans Montana to reach a federal solution proved to the world that the federal solution model is exhausted. “Therefore, the only realistic model on the island is a two-state solution based on sovereign equality,” he said, adding that Ankara is also fully supportive of this view. Tatar stressed the Turkish Cypriot side will table the two-state solution during the five-way conference in Geneva at the end of April.

Also commenting on the issue on Thursday, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said the resolution was an obstacle in the way of achieving a negotiated settlement on the island. He argued that the Greek Cypriots, whose actions had led to the collapse of the 1960 partnership, were now sitting at the UN General Assembly on behalf of the whole island, casting a shadow over the UN’s impartiality on the Cyprus Issue.

Ertuğruloğlu also reiterated that neither Ankara nor the Turkish Cypriot side will abandon their demand for equal sovereignty. He added that the five-plus-one meeting will in no way be a continuation of the talks which collapsed in Crans Montana.

>> UNSC resolution 186 (1964) reason for non-solution of Cyprob & GC side’s intransigence.
>> Failure of talks in Crans Montana proved that a federal model is exhausted.
>> Only realistic option in Cyprus is a two-state solution based on sovereign equality.
>> Ankara fully supports a two-state solution & the TC side will table this model at the 5+1 meeting in Geneva.

Ertuğruloğlu (UBP)
>> UNSC resolution 186 is an obstacle in the way of a solution in Cyprus.
>> Ankara & TC side will not abandon their demand for sovereign equality.
>> 5+1 meeting will not be a continuation of the previous process.

Turkish MP visits while Tatar accused of giving up power to Ankara

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/International Relations


Turkish Cypriot officials continued to advocate for a two-state solution on Thursday with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar claiming that the international community had started to accept the realities in Cyprus.

He repeated his view that the only realistic option on the island is a two-state solution in which the states will co-exist side-by-side and collaborate.

During a meeting with the visiting head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament, Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Tatar said the dynamics on the island and the region had shifted in the Turkish Cypriots’ favour.

Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner, who also met with Kılıç on Thursday, underlined that his government and Ankara were in full harmony on the Cyprus Problem. Kılıç also paid a courtesy visit to the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu.

Speaking during the visits, Kılıç said the Turkish Parliament’s foreign affairs committee was fully behind the Turkish Cypriot side’s stance on the Cyprus problem.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) Şener Elcil on Thursday claimed that the upcoming informal 5+1 meeting will be between four, not five parties.

He said that Tatar will be participating as Turkey’s obedient servant after handing over the reins on the Cyprus Problem to Ankara.

He argued that both Tatar and the current government in the north were Ankara’s puppets and that the Turkish Cypriot leader will be taking orders from Turkey during the 5+1 meeting. Elcil also accused the politicians of destroying the political will of the Turkish Cypriot community.

>> International community starting to accept realities in Cyprus.

Saner (UBP)
>> TC side & Ankara in full harmony on Cyprob.

Kılıç (AKP)
>> Turkish parliament’s foreign affairs committee fully behind TC side’s position on Cyprob.

Elcil (KTÖS)
>> Informal meeting will be ‘4+1’ because Tatar will attend meeting as Ankara’s servant.
>> Politicians in the north have destroyed the will of the TC community.

‘Only Cypriots and their leaders can decide on change in Cyprus

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Energy


Maria Olson, Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, said the US expects the two sides in Cyprus to display flexibility and approach each other with the goal of reconciliation during the five-plus-one meeting. She reiterated Washington’s support for a bicommunal, bizonal federal (BBF) solution, which she says is in the best interest of the Cypriots and of the region.

Olson held a virtual meeting with the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry Undersecretary İsmet Korukoğlu, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar’s Special Representative Ergün Olgun, representatives of some civil society organisations and a group of Turkish Cypriot academics.

Speaking to HaberKıbrıs following the meeting, Olson said the US will continue to support the peace process on the island.

“Nonetheless, change in Cyprus can only be decided by Cypriots and by the Cypriot leaders,” Olson stressed, reiterating that the hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean must also be shared equitably between the two communities.

She noted that the natural resources should be an encouraging factor for dialogue among the countries in the region including Turkey. Olson noted that the US is very much interested in Turkey regarding the potential to diversify the energy supply to central Europe.

Olson (US)
>> Two sides should display flexibility & work towards reconciliation.
>> Washington will continue to support BBF in Cyprus, which is in Cypriots’ best interests.
>> Change in Cyprus can only be decided by Cypriots & their leaders.
>> Hydrocarbon resources in East Med must be shared equitably & used as an encouraging factor for dialogue in the region.
>> US interested in Turkey’s potential to provide alternative energy supply to central Europe.

Tatar says EU to send new batch of Covid-19 vaccines to north

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security


Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Thursday announced that a new batch of 2,500 doses of Pfizer BioNTech vaccines reserved by the EU for the Turkish Cypriot community will be delivered in the coming days.

The announcement came following the latest batch of 20,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from Turkey on Thursday morning. The latest shipment brings the total number of vaccines donated to the north by Turkey to 100,000.

Tatar said that the latest delivery of Pfizer vaccines will bring the total number of vaccines obtained from the EU to 10,000, one-tenth of the 100,000 vaccines received by the south.  

He added that he will be raising the slow delivery of vaccines from the EU during his meeting with the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell on Friday. “This is unfair,” Tatar said, adding 35,000 doses should have been sent at least.

TC side protests obstruction of supply convoy to Erenköy (Kokkina)

Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Internal Security


The Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry on Thursday protested against the Greek Cypriot authorities preventing a supply convoy destined for the military camp at the village enclave of Erenköy (Kokkina) from crossing through the Yeşilırmak (Limnitis) crossing point. 

Under the provisions of the ‘Yeşilırmak’ (Limnitis) agreement that exists between the two sides, vehicles supplying non-military supplies to the enclave are allowed to travel through the Yeşılırmak (Limnitis) crossing point. Prior to the agreement, supplies to the enclave used to be delivered by boat which posed various difficulties. 

The ministry said that the Greek Cypriot authorities, without probable cause had prevented a supply convoy destined for the military camp at Erenköy (Kokkina) from crossing on March 3 despite being informed in advance of the delivery. 

The “obstruction of the military supply convoy is a blatant violation of the agreement,” the statement read, adding that this was not the first time such violations had occurred. 

It reminded that the Greek Cypriot forces have placed 258 prefabricated concrete bunkers or positions, 35 of which were in the UN-controlled buffer zone.  The ministry said the moves were part of a policy pursued by the Greek Cypriot side to escalate tensions on the island and noted that the necessary initiatives have been launched with UNFICYP.

“The Yeşilırmak (Limnitis) agreement must be respected otherwise the Turkish Cypriot side will be forced to take reciprocal steps,” the ministry warned. 

Erdoğan urges ECO countries to step up cooperation with north

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday urged member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) to enhance their relations with the north in all areas and support the Turkish Cypriots against the injustices they face.

Addressing the 14th ECO summit virtually on Thursday, Erdoğan underlined the importance of strong regional and global cooperation in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and in achieving sustainable economic development.

The Economic Cooperation Organization or ECO is an Asian political and economic intergovernmental organization that was founded in 1985 in Tehran by the leaders of Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. It provides a platform to discuss ways to improve development and promote trade and investment opportunities.

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