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There is a message for Geneva
Joint message from the historic rally held on both sides of Cyprus ahead of the Geneva summit on the anniversary of the Annan Plan referendum. Turkish Cypriots gathered at İnönü Square despite the pandemic giving a message for the future of the island. Attention was drawn to convergences reached to date.
President Ersin Tatar, Prime Minister Ersan Saner and their accompanying delegations, who will attend the five-plus-UN conference in Geneva from April 27 to 29, will be departing from the country today. President Tatar will first fly to Ankara where he will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan before moving onto Geneva. Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu will also be accompanying Tatar. Speaking to (Turkish news agency) Anadolu, Tatar reiterated he is advocating for a ‘two-state solution’ in Cyprus. “I put forth this new vision and position with a clear conscience because Turkey fully supports it,” Tatar said.
According to the statistics, 1044 workplace accidents were recorded in the TRNC from January 2015 to January 2020. As a result, 29 workers died, 1017 were injured. The highest number of workplace accidents occurred in 2019. Five workers died, 383 were injured in a total of 388 workplace accidents in 2019.
- Federation is the solution – Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots gave a message to both the two leaders and the international community on the 17th anniversary of the Annan Plan referendum just days before the informal five-plus-one conference in Geneva.
The support given by the Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association (KTTB) to the federation rally attended by thousands drew harsh reactions from other medical associations. The Doctors’ Association is being accused of putting the public’s health in danger. The head of the pandemic hospital Dr Erol Uçaner questioned how justified it was to organise such a rally. “I hope we won’t regret this meeting 14 days from now,” he said. The head of the Private Sector Doctors’ Association Remzi Gardiyanoğlu called on the KTTB board to resign. The head of KTTB Özlem Gürkut for her part said, “Our jobs as doctors is to protect and save lives, to “support peace.”
- Official ceremony held – Final farewell given to former Finance Minister and father of President Ersin Tatar, Rüstem Tatar.
- What’s going to happen now? – Former Presidential Undersecretary Gürdal Hüdaoğlu says he handed over the map put on the table in Crans Montana to his successor Okan Donagil. Donagil says he did not receive anything.
The squares belong to us but political will still in their hands
The daily publishes photographs showing Turkish Cypriots in thousands filling İnönü Square in north Nicosia. The photographs of the rallies published are from February 27, 2003, March 2, 2011 and April 24, 2021.
- 71 coronavirus cases in the north, 895 cases and one death in the south…
Hüdaoğlu responds to Tatar’s claim on the missing mapYenidüzen
The war of words that erupted between former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı and his successor Ersin Tatar continued on Sunday after Akıncı’s former undersecretary Gürdal Hüdaoğlu responded to a claim made by Tatar that the map tabled by the Turkish Cypriot side was missing.
Hüdaoğlu, in a post on social media, said that he had personally handed over the map to his successor Okan Donangil in a sealed envelope. He also said that all documents, minutes and other materials from Akıncı’s term in office was accessible at the archives at the presidential palace.
Tatar on Saturday had claimed that the map brought to the talks in Geneva in 2017 was missing, implying that Akıncı had deliberately gotten rid of it. In a written statement later on Sunday night, Tatar’s Research and Archives Advisor Aydın Akkurt refuted Hüdaoğlu’s claim that the map had indeed been handed over to the Office of the President.
“The map given to the UN by former President Mustafa Akıncı is not in our archives”, he said, adding that not only was the map missing but also other documents and reports dating back to Akıncı’s term. “The map in question, other documents and reports were either destroyed or taken by Akıncı and his team when they left,” he concluded.
UK urged to use Brexit to recognise the north as a sovereign countryYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The UK could help deliver “a historic opportunity” to bring a peaceful settlement to the Cyprus Problem in talks in Geneva next week, the UK-based Sunday Express reported in an interview with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
According to the interview, published in the Turkish Cypriot press, Tatar urged Boris Johnson’s government to get behind his plan for a two-state solution. He said he believed that after Brexit freed the UK from the EU it can now fulfil its role as a guarantor country, ensuring that both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots are treated in a balanced way.
The paper also citing Whitehall sources, claimed that UK ministers were considering officially recognizing the north. Tatar told the paper that the two sides had wasted valuable time trying to agree on an unattainable solution on the island.
He pointed out that the discovery of hydrocarbons around the island had only served to increase the tensions. Tatar said: “They [the Greek Cypriots] pray for time because they believe all these years that Turkey will change its priorities, give up and pull out.”
“With the developments in the eastern Mediterranean, the island has become even more valuable. Turkey will never give up or change its mind. It will continue probably increasingly to support the Turkish Cypriots.”
Tatar said that a two-state plan is now the only way forward and one which has the full backing of the Turkish government. “It is the facts on the ground,” he noted. “What we have at the moment is peaceful coexistence with two neighbouring states.
He described the solution as “a win, win” situation which will allow the two states to start cooperating properly, sharing resources while easing tensions between Greece and Turkey.
Tatar also told the daily that he had “positive talks” with UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Europe Minister Wendy Morton but said it was the British sense of fair play which can help drive a solution.
In another interview with the Turkish Anadolu news agency published on Sunday, Tatar said that there was no hope of reaching a federal settlement in Cyprus. He said that the collapse of the talks in Crans Montana was the final draw after decades of failed negotiations to reach a federal settlement.
Tatar argued that Greek Cypriots had rejected all plans or proposals for a federal settlement since the idea was first tabled in 1968.
Whilst stating that Ankara fully supported a two-state solution in Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot leader said that the duty of the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) was to bring the sides together to seek common ground not to impose a settlement on any of the parties.
Responding to a question on EU presence in Geneva, Tatar said the “bloc will not be at the table during the five-plus-one conference,” adding that the EU cannot be impartial on the Cyprus issue due to Greece and the Greek Cypriot side being members of the bloc.
>> UK should support TC side’s views in favour of a two-state solution.
>> UK free from EU can act as a neutral guarantor & treat TCs-GCs in a balanced way.
>> Discovery of hydrocarbons has only raised tensions.
>> Turkey will never change its position in the East Med.
>> A two-state solution will be a win-win situation for all.
>> No hope for an agreement on a federal basis.
>> EU will not be at the table in Geneva as it cannot be objective.
TC academics agree that a two-state solution is not possibleYenidüzen
Leading Turkish Cypriot academics in the north who follow the Cyprus Problem closely say a two-state model is not possible, Yenidüzen reported on Sunday.
Speaking to “Μαζί/Birlikte” on CyBC, Turkish Cypriot academics Prof Dr Ahmet Sözen, Assoc Prof Dr Bülent Evre, Prof Dr Erol Kaymak, Assoc Prof Dr İlksoy Aslım, Assoc Prof Dr Muhittin Tolga Özsağlam and Prof Dr Yücel Kemal Vural also agree that the only peaceful solution that will please the two communities on the island is a federation.
Sözen said that the federal solution is the only feasible and acceptable model on the island. “It is the second-best acceptable option, the middle ground, which will not harm either of the two communities,” he added, arguing that it was too soon to claim that the federal model was dead.
Regarding the 5+UN meeting, Sözen said that the informal nature of the meeting was to allow the parties to express their viewpoints openly. He added he did not have high expectations from the meeting as there was no indication that common ground existed.
Expressing similar views, Prof Kaymak said he did not also have any expectations from the Geneva conference. He also pointed out that due to the informal nature of the conference, the sides are not meeting with a specific agenda either.
Kaymak argued that no matter what the model of the solution is, political equality is of crucial importance for the Turkish Cypriot community.
Prof Evre on the other hand argued that there should have been initial discussions on a common basis before heading to Geneva especially now that there was a new Turkish Cypriot leader at the table.
“It is thought-provoking to see the UNSG organising a five-plus-one meeting even though there is a leader in the north advocating for a two-state solution,” Evre said, raising speculations that the UNSG might have indications that the Turkish Cypriot side might change its arguments in Geneva.
“There are two options. Either the UNSG has been given assurances that the Turkish Cypriot side will change its position on the Cyprus problem, or that the UNSG will opt for a period of confidence-building measures (CBMs) on the island,” Evre said, adding that a solution plan including all past convergences will be brought back to the table after five years.
Evre also expressed his belief that Ankara will return to the federal basis. “I believe the Turkish side is using the two-state arguments to push the Greek Cypriot side to accept Turkish Cypriots’ political equality in a federal solution,” Evre concluded.
Professor Vural for his part said the strongest possible outcome from the meeting in Geneva will be more meetings. He pointed out that the UNSG in the meantime will make attempts to bring the two sides closer.
“The second option is that the UNSG will write a report to the UN Security Council (UNSC) stating it is not possible to bridge the gap between the two sides,” Vural said, adding that the UNSC will launch efforts to develop new approaches to the Cyprus problem. Responding to a question on the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions, Vural stressed federation is the only peaceful model that can be accepted by both sides.
Professor Özsağlam expressed his hopes that the Geneva conference will lead to the launch of an official round of negotiations for the solution to the Cyprus problem.
On the issue of the two-state model, Özsağlam pointed to the UNSC resolutions on Cyprus, adding that it is not possible. Prof Aslım for his part said the two-state model will put the Turkish Cypriot side in a tight corner and the UN will try to find ways out of the deadlock during the Geneva conference.