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Together for federation
Thousands of Cypriots across the divide marched in support of a federal settlement, chanting slogans for peace. The Turkish Cypriot demonstrators gathered at İnönü Square. The Greek Cypriots, on the other hand, gathered at the Eleftheria (Freedom) square in south Nicosia. Messages in Turkish and Greek were exchanged between the demonstrators in the north and south via video link.
Rüstem Tatar dies at the age of 90
President Ersin Tatar’s father Rüstem Tatar passed away yesterday. He was laid to rest with a modest ceremony held the same day. A ceremony was held at the parliament first.
- 60 locally transmitted, 72 coronavirus cases – 7336 PCR tests were carried out in the last 24 hours. 31 coronavirus patients had been discharged.
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Thousands on both sides march in support of a federal settlementYenidüzen, Kıbrıs
Thousands of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots marched simultaneously on both sides of the divide on the anniversary of the Annan Plan on Saturday, chanting slogans and carrying banners demanding a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) in Cyprus.
The Turkish Cypriot participants gathered at the İnönü Square, the main meeting point for rallies leading up to the referendum on the Annan Plan in 2004. The Greek Cypriots, south of the dividing line, gathered at Eleftheria (Freedom) square in Nicosia.
The demonstrators on both sides were linked via telephone as messages of peace in Turkish and Greek were exchanged. Around 3000 Turkish Cypriots, defied Covid-19 restrictions and warnings, as they gathered at the square, chanting slogans against the Turkish Cypriot leadership such as “the political will lies with the people, not the palace” and “Freedom not submission.”
Turkish Cypriot authorities revised Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday, limiting demonstrations held outdoors to 50 persons. Among those who took part were representatives of civil society organizations, political parties and MPs from the opposition.
Representatives from the “This Country is Ours Platform” which was in charge of organizing the rally also read out a joint declaration signed by 120 Greek and Turkish Cypriot organizations. Reiterating their demand for a BBF solution, the platform said that despite the widespread disappointment and lack of political will of the leadership on both sides, Cypriots have demonstrated an unprecedented resolution in their will for reunification and peace.
“Greek and Turkish Cypriots are marching together along the common route to reunification, rejecting all proposals leading all forms of partition. Walking together is the essence of success!” the groups said in the joint declaration. The event in the north was concluded with a concert.
Uniting for a federal solution, TC & GC parties issue joint statementYenidüzen
Pro-solution and pro-federation political parties on both sides of the divide expressed their support for a BBF ahead of the five-plus-one meeting, scheduled to take place in Geneva from April 27- 29.
The Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Social Democratic Party (TDP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the New Cyprus Party (YKP), the Left Movement from the north, AKEL, Workers’ Democracy (Εργατική Δημοκρατία), Left Wing (Αριστερή Πτέρυγα) and OPEK – Association for Social Reform from the south have issued a joint statement on Saturday calling on the two Cypriot leaders to take political steps ahead of the Geneva conference.
“The two leaders and all the relevant sides must enter into a constructive dialogue to reunify the island and launch an official round of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem on the previously agreed basis,” the joint statement read, adding that this goal can only be attained if the sides remain loyal to the statement issued following the Berlin trilateral; the February 11, 2014, dated Joint Statement and the June 30, 2017, dated Guterres framework.
“The past convergences must also be respected as reopening the issues for negotiations would only complicate the dialogue between the two sides and delay the goal of reaching a comprehensive settlement,” the statement read.
The statement noted that the goal for the negotiations process to be launched should be reaching a strategic political agreement that will open the way forward for a federal solution.
Akıncı and TC leadership exchange accusations ahead of GenevaYenidüzen, Kıbrıs
A new war of words erupted between former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and the current leadership in the north on Saturday after Akıncı called his successor Ersin Tatar the mouthpiece or puppet of Ankara.
Evaluating the upcoming five-plus-one Cyprus conference during a Bugün Kıbrıs (Cyprus Today) web TV programme, Akıncı said: “(Turkish Cypriot leader) Ersin Tatar will be acting as a (parrot) puppet of Ankara at the meeting in Geneva.” He also said he did not expect any positive outcome from the Geneva conference, adding that a historic opportunity was missed in Crans Montana. “The Turkish regime has thrown all the UN parameters to the bin and Mr Tatar has also adhered to the same rhetoric,” Akıncı concluded.
Tatar hitting back at Akıncı accused him of stirring tensions within the community. In a statement given to the Turkish Cypriot news agency TAK, Tatar reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side would defend its state and its sovereignty during the Geneva conference.
“Akıncı’s viewpoint and their understanding of a federation are clear. They want to abandon their state and agree to be administered by Greek Cypriots,” Tatar claimed, adding that there cannot be anything more dishonourable than abandoning one’s state.
Tatar, referring to Saturday’s rally, said that encouraging people to demonstrate in favour of a federal settlement ahead of the talks or sending letters to the UN Secretary-General was insulting to both his leadership and Turkey.
“Mr Akıncı also failed to reach a solution even though he made all sorts of concessions during the talks, bringing the process to the zero-troops, zero-guarantees level. He did not even secure rotational presidency despite all,” Tatar said.
Tatar also brought up the map that was submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side during the Crans Montana talks under the territorial adjustments chapter. “Whose parrot were you when giving the map to the Greek Cypriot side?” Tatar asked Akıncı, claiming that the map tabled in Geneva was nowhere to be found.
Also issuing a statement on Saturday, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner said Akıncı’s remarks were aimed at weakening the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions ahead of the five-plus-one conference in Geneva and to incite enmity against Turkey.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Saner urged Mr Akıncı to act with dignity and without political ambitions and respect the public’s will after the October 2020 elections. Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu claimed Akıncı has acted in a way that does not suit a former president. In a social media post on Saturday, Ertuğruloğlu claimed “Akıncı is acting like a parrot” himself.
Tatar’s father passes way
Rüstem Tatar, the father of Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, passed away early on Saturday morning.
He was laid to rest at a funeral later in the day attended only by close family in keeping with coronavirus measures. A ceremony was held earlier in the morning in front of the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
Rüstem Tatar was a member of the Turkish Cypriot delegation in the negotiations for the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC). He was also the first Auditor General of the RoC and represented the RoC in meetings abroad between 1960 and 1963.
After 1974, he represented the Turkish Cypriot side in the Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons between 1984 and 2005. Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades expressed his sincere condolences in a telephone conversation with Tatar earlier in the day.