TCC Press Review 28 Apr 2021

Front Page Headlines


Search for common ground in Geneva

The Geneva summit kicked off yesterday. The UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres met separately with the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar and Greek Cypriot leader Nicosia Anastasiades. No statement was issued to the press. Prof. Dr Ahmet Sözen: “the steps for a new negotiations process could be taken. Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Foreign Relations Secretary Fikri Toros: “I am worried that the status quo will continue in Cyprus. Former negotiator Özdil Nami: “It will be documented in the reports if there are serious differences between the two sides. Former political advisor İpek Borman: “The UNSG could ask for the continuation of talks officially if he sees a constructive stance.” Former negotiator Erhan Erçin: “The Turkish Cypriot side might need to revise its position if the south renews its commitment to a federal solution.”


Critical phase

The sides will meet around the same table today to present their positions. The five-plus-UN meeting, which had been debated for months, officially commenced yesterday. UN Secretary-General, who held separate meetings with the leaders, listened to the viewpoints of the sides and took notes. President Ersin Tatar relayed the Turkish Cypriot side’s position on sovereign equality and equal international status.

  • Informal talks an opportunity for the official negotiations to resume – British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.
  • We support a solution based on UN resolutions – Greek Foreign Minister Dendias said.


Devlet’s “state seriousness” is based on insults

Leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahçeli during a parliamentary group meeting, spew his venom against the Turkish Cypriot community as he has called the fourth President Mustafa Akıncı a ‘fool.’

  • First attempt and testing of waters from the Secretary-GeneralThe informal Cyprus conference commenced in Geneva yesterday. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held separate meetings with the two leaders and then brought all the relevant sides together at a reception later at night.


We’re waiting for good news

The TRNC delegation that went to Geneva is made up of 35 persons, each costing the state 3,000 Swiss Francs. No one is allowed to leave the hotel due to quarantine rules. The Peoples’ Party (HP) MP Gülşah Sanver said that in addition to the President’s 12-member negotiator team, there is a 23-person delegation made up of politicians and journalists. The leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı who did not go to Geneva despite being invited told Diyalog that there was no need to go as they would be spending most of their time inside a hotel.

  • They will pray – The religious leaders expressed their good wishes for the conference in Geneva.
  • PCR is not required either – South Cyprus will be accepting all tourists with proof of vaccination as of May 10.


F… off fascist Devlet

Heavy insults through Mustafa Akıncı to Turkish Cypriots who refuse to bow to Ankara’s will. Yet another dirty outburst from (Turkish President) Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s favourite (Nationalist Movement Party leader) Devlet Bahçeli, whose enmity towards Akıncı never subsided. Bahçeli said: “This fool’s remarks are nothing but delirium of a pro-EOKA person…Those who are on the Greek Cypriot side’s leash are paid agents by the Greek Cypriots and imperialist circles.” He was attacking all circles that refused to submit (to Erdoğan).

  • Tatar tabled Taksim (partition)President Ersin Tatar in a statement issued following his meeting with UN Secretary-General, said he has put forth the Turkish Cypriot side’s position and their goodwill. He also said the Turkish Cypriots have always been victims of the Cyprus Problem. According to Tatar, the UNSG Antonio Guterres knows the Cyprus problem very well!

Main News

5+UN informal meeting gets underway in Geneva

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


The UN is taking another crack at the Cyprus problem as the informal 5+1 meeting got underway in Geneva on Tuesday to assess whether or not there is common ground between the parties for the resumption of negotiations to reach a comprehensive solution.

Delivering the opening remarks on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General’s UNSG spokesman Stephane Dujarric reiterated that the Secretary-General had convened the meeting after months of preparation carried out on his behalf by his special envoy Jane Holl Lute.

Responding to a question Dujarric noted the purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether a common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue within a foreseeable horizon.

“The Secretary-General will move forward based on the outcome of the informal talks,” the spokesman said, adding that the parties are welcome to be creative. He noted the UNSG will be encouraging them to use diplomatic language in a sincere and frank manner as the talks in Geneva are informal.

Dujarric, in response to another question whether the SG was pessimistic or optimistic about the outcome of the informal five-party conference, said the Secretary-General knows the Cyprus issue very well. “The Secretary-General is a realist,” Dujarric concluded.

The UNSG on Tuesday met separately with the two leaders, listening to both their views and positions. A joint meeting of all five parties is scheduled for Wednesday. Tatar, speaking briefly to the Turkish Cypriot media after he met with the UNSG on Tuesday, said he found the opportunity to relay the Turkish Cypriot side’s positions and goodwill to the UNSG.

In a separate statement, Tatar’s spokeswoman Berna Çelik Doğruyol said the meeting with the UNSG was constructive and sincere. She said that the Turkish Cypriot leader had once again conveyed to the UNSG the inconclusive talks on reaching a federal settlement only ensured the continuation of the status quo on the island which was unacceptable and a detriment to the Turkish Cypriot community.

“Tatar expressed that under these conditions, the two-state model based on sovereign equality and with equal international status is the most realistic basis for reconciliation and for the way forward in Cyprus,” the spokeswoman said.

Doğruyol said Tatar has opened a new page in the history of the negotiations and put the Turkish Cypriot side’s position based on a two-state model with sovereign equality and equal international status on record for the first time.

>> Meeting with UNSG constructive and sincere.
>> Talks for federation only prolonged the status quo which was against the interests of the TC community.
>> Two-state model is the most realistic basis for reconciliation.

Saner reiterates Tatar’s viewpoint on the two-state model

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner said on Tuesday that the Turkish Cypriot side’s expectation from the 5+1 was for the emergence of a new roadmap on the Cyprus Problem.

Speaking to Bayrak from Geneva on Tuesday, Saner reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side has adopted a two-solution model based on sovereign equality. “The Turkish Cypriot side’s new position and vision are fully supported by Ankara,” Saner said, arguing that Turkey’s support to the Turkish Cypriot people and in the Eastern Mediterranean region has strengthened the Turkish Cypriot side’s hand at the negotiations table.

Also accusing the Greek Cypriot side of the failures in the negotiations processes to date, Saner said the Greek Cypriot side refused to share wealth and power with the Turkish Cypriot side for 53 years. “The arguments for federation had been exhausted,” Saner stressed.

Saner (UBP)
>> TC side expectation from 5+1 is the emergence of a new roadmap on Cyprob.
>> TC side’s two-state vision fully supported by Ankara.
>> Arguments for a federation are exhausted.

In search of a basis in Geneva

Negotiations Process


Former members of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team and experts spoke to Yenidüzen about expectations from the five-plus-one conference in Geneva.

The daily sought the views of Prof. Dr Ahmet Sözen, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP and Foreign Relations Secretary Fikri Toros, CTP MP and former negotiators Özdil Nami and Erhan Erçin and İpek Borman who was a member of the former Turkish Cypriot leader’s negotiating team.

Prof Dr Ahmet Sözen from Famagusta’s Eastern Mediterranean University pointed out that the positions tabled at the summit will not be binding for either of the sides and the meeting was merely an exercise where the sides could express their positions freely. He however said that the meeting could be the first step in launching a fresh round of talks.

Sözen said that no matter what the outcome of the meeting will be, the sides will continue their dialogue and that the UN will not throw in the towel on the Cyprus Problem.

CTP Foreign Relations Secretary Fikri Toros expressed a more concerned view on the summit, stating that the Turkish Cypriot community will be condemned to the status quo if the Turkish Cypriot side insists on the two-state model based on sovereign equality.

He noted that in addition to the Greek Cypriot side, the international community was also objecting to the Turkish Cypriot side’s secessionist policies. Toros also warned that problems on the island will grow and tensions in the region will escalate if the two sides fail to reach an understanding.

“The international community and the UN to prevent such a risk will continue with their diplomatic initiatives in search of a common ground between the two sides,” Toros said, repeating that the Turkish Cypriot side’s position on the two-state model is unacceptable.

Former negotiator and CTP MP Özdil Nami said that the UN will document the positions of the sides should there be no change in the official standing points. He said, under such circumstances, the UN will be faced with two options. “The UN will either continue its efforts to find common ground between the sides through shuttle diplomacy or will take the matter to the UN Security Council (UNSC),” Nami said.

He added that either way, the Turkish Cypriot side will be labelled as intransigent should it insist on its position. Nami reminded that the basis of the talks can only be changed with the consent of the two sides.

İpek Borman, who was a senior member of Akıncı’s negotiating team drew a bleaker picture, stating that chances of launching a new round of talks were slim if the two sides insisted on their positions.

“In my view, if the UNSG were to see enough flexibility from the sides, he might want the informal talks to continue,” Borman concluded. Former negotiator Erhan Erçin for his part said the five-plus-one was being held with the belief that the Greek Cypriot side might accept a new solution model but if the Greek Cypriot side were to reaffirm its position for a federation, the Turkish Cypriot side might end up having to review its position.

“In this regard, a new five-party might be called in the name of continuing with the dialogue among the parties,” Erçin concluded.

CJU – BASIN-SEN joint appeal to the two leaders

Yenidüzen, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


The Cyprus Journalists’ Union (CJU) and BASIN-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Press Workers’ Union) jointly welcomed the five-plus-one conference on the Cyprus Issue, which began in Geneva on Tuesday.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the two unions call on the leaders of the two communities, Nikos Anastasiades and Ersin Tatar, to do their utmost so that the torch of hope for a solution and the reunification of Cyprus remains lit. “Cypriot journalists, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots express their readiness but also their anticipation for recording positive developments and positive results from Geneva,” the statement read, urging the political leadership across the divide not to miss the opportunity.

A new war of words between Akıncı and Bahçeli

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


Almost the entire Turkish Cypriot community rallied against Turkey’s Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli on Tuesday after he insulted former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı.

The ailing Bahçeli, who has recently been heavily criticized for being a prop for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s policies, lashed out at Akıncı for his remarks on his successor Ersin Tatar. Bahçeli claimed “Akıncı was speaking on behalf of EOKA in the northern part of the island” calling him a fool.  

Mayor of the Nicosia Turkish Municipality Mehmet Harmancı in response slammed Bahçeli for his comments.

Harmancı wrote on Facebook that Turkish politicians were deliberately stepping up their attacks on the Turkish Cypriot community but added the Turkish Cypriots will resist such ignorant, fascist and ill-intended attacks.

The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) also issued a statement condemning Bahçeli for his remarks on Akıncı. The CTP said Bahçeli’s insults were not acceptable and urged him to respect the Turkish Cypriot people, Turkish Cypriot politicians and the Turkish Cypriot institutions.

People’s Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay in a social media post on Tuesday said no one has the right to insult a former president even if one might disapprove of his or her policies. “Not only uttering such words constitutes a crime, but the phrases also used today are disgraceful and blatantly disrespectful of the Turkish Cypriot community,” Özersay said.

While many more politicians condemned Bahçeli’s insults, Akıncı response to Bahçeli was the most dignified.

In a social media post, Akıncı said there could have been a basis for discussions if only Bahçeli had uttered ideas and not insults. “This is not the first for him. He is attacking everyone with insults other than the only person whom he had submitted to. Of course, everyone still remembers what he used to say against the person whom he so openly submits to today,” Akıncı said, adding that it would be unfitting of him to stoop to Bahçeli’s level.

Akıncı in his post also thanked everyone that supported him.

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