GCC Press Review 16 Apr 2021

Front Page Headlines


Conflict in Ankara just before the five-party summit

Dendias-Cavusoglu forgot the diplomatic language and exchanged ‘compliments’. The Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs publicly accused Ankara at the joint press conference, of continuous violations of international law in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, but also of fake news on immigration. Mevlut Cavusoglu called on Athens and Nicosia to attend the 5 + 1 conference, with open minds and a constructive approach, after earlier describing the discussions for a federation as a waste of time. Nikos Dendias pointed out to his counterpart that the Treaty of Lausanne is valid whether Turkey likes it or not, and it must respect its obligations towards the Greek minority. According to diplomatic sources, Ankara is seeking to isolate the Cyprus and Greek-Turkish issues from all other open fronts in what has to do with Turkey’s future relationship with the EU.

  • Rex’ Cinema Larnaca: The municipality is asking EVKAF for it
  • Households: Struggle for survival (survey)
  • Shock: Six deaths, 690 cases yesterday – The situation is getting out of control.


They have upset schools

They were discussing all day whether to close primary schools and kindergartens and in the evening they quietly ended the discussion. Everyone disagreed with the education minister, strong reactions from parents.

  • Confrontation between Dendias-Cavusoglu: They did not conceal their disagreements and clashed on air
  • They (parties) will not even hear about election postponement


Attorney-general: If only we could have given more ‘golden’ passports

Full cover up to the DISY government for dozens of naturalisations that did not fulfil the criteria. Parliament was issuing laws on the ‘golden’ passports and the government was ignoring them and was giving citizenships by the dozen. When they submitted their applications, they were not directors at the (Ayia Napa) marina. They did not even fulfil the economic criteria.

  • Strong confrontation between Dendias-Cavusoglu live… on air
  • He is being prosecuted for acting in a humane way: The director of the immigrants’ detention centre in Menogeia faces an outrageous indictment because he behaves like a human being towards the prisoners and not as a concentration camp commander. He is accused because he allowed inmates to use extra sleeping mats, to play volleyball and wash their clothes… excessively!

Cyprus Mail

‘Herd immunity by end of June ‘

Ministers go for AZ jab to boost confidence, six more deaths amid 690 cases.

  • Cavusoglu and Dendias openly clash at news conference
  • Jiu Jitsu producers to pull out of Cyprus after its ‘tragic failure’


Six deaths and 690 cases!

A new shock: The epidemiological picture is getting worse. Another 64 patients, 34 of whom are intubated, are critical. The positivity rate has risen to 1.36%.

  • Clash on everything! – Tension at the joint statements of Nikos Dendias and Mevlut Cavusoglu. Dendias: Precondition for the improvement of bilateral relations, is avoiding actions and statements that torpedo the situation. Turkey insists on a two-state solution.
  • Cyprus Airways is changing hands, it will be sold to a European group of companies
  • “The auditor-general is ruining the audio-visual industry”, cancellation of the next film productions in Cyprus

Main News

Greek-Turkish spat on bilateral issues, divergent views on Cyprob

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process, EU Matters


The spat on camera between the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey in Ankara on Thursday on bilateral relations is among the main items in papers today.

The dailies also report on the contradicting positions of the two ministers on the Cyprus problem.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was in Ankara for meetings with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

After their meeting, the two ministers made statements to the press. Dendias said his meeting with Erdogan was “excellent”. According to Alithia, the meeting with Erdogan was a forerunner for a meeting between the Turkish President and the Greek Prime Minister. 

Phileleftheros reports that Dendias’ references to provocative actions by Turkey, violation of the European acquis, the Muslim minority in Greece, the need to put an end to the casus belli threat by Turkey on maritime disputes, the Turkish-Libyan MoU and fake news on migration, disturbed Cavusoglu and sparked an unprecedented for diplomacy dialogue.

Cavusoglu said he did not make any provocative or negative statements on Greece but that his Greek counterpart had made negative statements. He also said Turkey was not in agreement that it was violating Greece’s rights in the Aegean. He also pointed out that it recognises as Greek Orthodox the minority living in Istanbul but that Greece does not tolerate those living there saying they are Turkish. Cavusoglu said this was a violation of human rights, Phileleftheros reported.

Politis reports that Dendias said in response that the Treaty of Lausanne (the 1923 treaty that recognises the sovereignty of the new at the time Republic of Turkey and which also provides for the protection of the Greek Orthodox Christian minority in Turkey and the Muslim minority in Greece), was fully in effect and recalled that the minority in Greece is Muslim and not Turkish as Ankara calls it. He also said Turkey has made 400 overflights over Greek soil and that if it wants to be an EU member it must accept the UN Convention on the law of the sea (UNLCOS). Referring to the migration issue, he said Turkey was not in a position to preach.

Phileleftheros also reports that on the Cyprus issue, Dendias expressed the hope that all sides would go to the forthcoming five-party summit in a constructive spirit. The only solution acceptable by the entire international community is the bi-zonal bi-communal federation in Cyprus, he said. He also called for abstention from actions that violate the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and said Greece supports Turkey’s accession process as long as Turkey wants it but that as for any candidate country, there is an inviolable rule of respect for the territorial sovereignty of a member state.

Cyprus Mail reports that Cavusoglu had said prior to the meeting, that there was no point discussing a federal solution. “There is no sense to negotiate the impossible again, it is a waste of time,” Cavusoglu told Turkish channel NTV. He added that this waste of time works to the benefit of the GC side, which enjoys international recognition and EU membership. Cavusoglu also said that Turkey had said in 2017 on the way to the talks in Crans-Montana that it would discuss a federation for the last time, the daily reported. Politis reports that Cavusoglu also called on Athens and Nicosia to go to the talks with an open mind for new ideas and constructive approach.

Haravgi reports that the ministers were forced to respond to each other, after their initial statements, as Cavusoglu reacted to a series of issues that were raised referring to “provocative statements” by Dendias.

Politis reports of ‘public arm-wrestling’ between the two ministers just before the five-party summit.  Citing sources from Athens, Politis reports that Dendias was given the green light by the Greek prime-minister to respond if provoked. Diplomatic sources told the daily that Ankara’s efforts are now focused on showing it is willing to improve relations but at the same time its aim is to isolate the Greek-Turkish and Cyprus issues from the issues that are a condition for a positive agenda from the EU. Turkey’s repeated references to the EU as a third party as regards Ankara’s actions in Cyprus and Greece , are not a coincidence, the daily reported.  At the same time at EU level, Ankara wants to upgrade issues on the agenda such as Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan, and human rights in Turkey. This is a fragmental, gradual tactic by Ankara to achieve progress in relations with the EU in specific aspects without resolving issues with Greece and Cyprus in the near future becoming a prerequisite.  At the same time, Ankara insists on a proposal for a conference on the Eastern Mediterranean, conveyed to Dendias by Erdogan, while at the same time trying to improve relations with Egypt, the daily reported.

According to Phileleftheros, the two ministers’ public statements also showed the tense climate in Greek-Turkish relations.

Dendias (Greece)
If Turkey wants to be an EU member it must accept UNCLOS but also respect the RoC’s territorial sovereignty.
>> Hopes that all sides will go to five-party summit in a constructive mood to discuss a BBF which is the only solution international community accepts.

Cavusoglu (Turkey)
Discussing a federal solution is a waste of time because it is impossible to happen & lack of solution benefits GCs who enjoy international recognition & EU membership.
>> Turkey had warned back in 2017 it would discuss a federation for the last time.
>> Calls on GCs, Greece to go to the talks with an open mind for new ideas & constructive approach.

Parties take action ahead of five-party summit

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, EU Matters


Alithia and Phileleftheros report that DISY leader Averof Neophytou stated the GC side’s readiness for a solution to the Cyprus problem, during a teleconference on Thursday with Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.

Later in the day, Neophytou departed for Berlin for meetings with German state and parliament officials on the Cyprus problem and the five-party summit in Geneva.

Prior to his departure, Neophytou said that Germany and other European countries would like a positive agenda on EU-Turkish relations and especially for Turkey’s customs union with the EU. He said that during his contacts he will stress that progress in the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations will help advance the European agenda of the EU-Turkey agenda.

Haravgi reports that AKEL called for unity between GCs and TCs in support of the effort for the restart of the talks from where they left off in 2017 with the aim of achieving a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality “for a free and united Cyprus, a common homeland for all of its children.”

The call was part of a statement by the party’s spokesman Stefanos Stefanou condemning the latest threats by the Turkish president against Cyprus. The fact that Erdogan’s threats were expressed a few days before the informal five-party summit also undermines the prospects of the meeting and the climate in which it should take place, he said.

Everyone knows that the legal rights of GCs and TCs are ensured through the solution of the Cyprus problem on the agreed basis and framework “through the liberation and reunification of our island,” he said.

Larnaca municipality asked EVKAF’s permission to use old cinema



The daily reports that the Larnaca municipality is waiting for a response by EVKAF, to a request it submitted in writing some two months ago for permission to renovate Rex Cinema that belongs to the TC foundation, and which sits in an area the local authority wants to turn into a cultural hub.

The municipality has already renovated and repurposed other buildings in the same area which is Larnaca’s historic centre and aspires to turn the area into a culture central.

Rex Cinema, a building constructed in the 1950’s is the only one in the area not revamped. An 18th century building formerly known as the Larnaca Club was recently restored and turned into a museum, while in the same area are is the Pierides Museum, housed in a 19th century colonial style mansion, the former Ottoman Bank, built in 1906 that now houses the Phivos Stavrides Foundation, a historic building housing the CTO’s tourist information office, and the former Officer’s Club which now houses the municipality’s cultural services and operates also as a museum.

Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras told Politis he sent a letter to EVKAF’s director two months ago for permission to upgrade the building to be used for cultural purposes and museum exhibitions but has yet to receive an answer. He added that recently he also had a telephone contact with them on the same issue but there have been no developments yet.

‘Rex’ is located behind Sun Hall hotel in close distance from the Phinikoudes beachfront and if EVKAF grants permission for its redevelopment, it will be incorporated in the scheduled projects for which funding will be requested from the EU structural funds, the daily reports.

Mina Sampson reports death threats due to Turkish TV series on EOKA

Internal Security


The daily reports that Nicos Sampson’s daughter, Mina, who is running as a DISY MP candidate, said she has been receiving hundreds of threats against her from TCs and Turks due to the propaganda TV series Once upon a time in Cyprus.

Mina Sampson told Phileleftheros that she and her family have received around 800 threats, including death threats, through messages on social media, her email even her mobile phone. She said she reported this to the police on Saturday.

Sampson said online hecklers, even found a photo of her son who is doing his military service and put Turkish flags on it. She said they even know he is serving at the Green Line.

The candidate MP expressed concerns for her and her family’s safety fearing that when crossings open they will be afraid to get around. She said she cannot cross to the north because she is persona non-grata because of her father. “I too want a solution, but I am a receiver of all this bullying and threats because of my name,” she said. She added she had TC friends but that she is afraid of fanatics.

She said that the government ought to do something about this TC series because it is distorting the EOKA struggle. “These young people were hanged, and they are presenting them as cold blooded murderers of TCs. No TC was killed during 1955-59,” she said, according to Phileleftheros.

Sampson said that in the first episode of the TV series, an actor playing her father is seen killing a Turkish soldier who was begging him to spare him and after the soldier is dead, he laughs. She said the state did not react against this propaganda series that was filmed in Famagusta and incites hatred and fanaticism, the daily reported.

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