Front Page Headlines
The Supreme Court proposed June 20, parliament did not respond
The puzzle concerning ‘early’ and ‘midterm’ elections continues. While the legal deadline for a midterm election has ended, the uncertainty over a date for early elections continues to linger.
- No initiative for international ‘vaccine portal’ – There is nothing clear as to what the north is doing about the vaccine portal which Europe is preparing to introduce in June for international travel. Jale Refik Rogers who is a member of the bicommunal technical committee for health said that there is no initiative yet in the north to become part of the portal which 16 EU countries, including the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) is preparing to implement soon.
Pity for the producers’ efforts
The livestock breeders are forced to bear the heavy burden caused by obstacles in marketing excess milk output. Due to a lack of planning, tons of raw milk go to waste each day. The citrus growers also suffer from a similar problem. Citrus growers said 45,000 tons of fruit was picked this year but around 8,000 tons are still waiting for buyers, stored in warehouses.
- Grey economy amounting to millions of Lira – The governments, unfortunately, have not been able to show any success in reducing the grey economy or preventing tax evasion. Tax expert Kemal Özçakır said the governments’ goal of fighting against the grey economy is limited to a few fancy lines in its annual programme.
Feud over arrogance
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades evaluated the informal conference held in Geneva in his message given over Easter, belittling the Turkish Cypriot side’s two-state proposal and attitude. Anastasiades said, “We witnessed the arrogance of those who envision a new Ottoman empire.” President Ersin Tatar and Prime Minister Ersan Saner slammed Anastasiades for his remarks. Tatar in response to Anastasiades’ remarks on “arrogance” told him to “look in the mirror to see who’s arrogant.”
- “Nothing will come out of this position” – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman argued that the Turkish side advocated for the ‘non-solution is the solution’ position in Geneva and warned that nothing will come out of this position.
- Vaccination for 40 and above – Health Ministry announced people aged 40 and above could get their AstraZeneca vaccines without any appointments as of today.
This is outrageous
While the country is struggling with dozens of problems, parliament ended its session only after convening for an hour and a half. A debate on the budget of the Turkish News Agency TAK which was supposed to take place yesterday did not take place. According to the Peoples’ Party MP Jale Refik Rogers, the MP who was supposed to deliver the opening speech left after telling everyone he had something to do. While corruption claims at KIBTEK (Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority) were discussed at the session, there was only a handful of MPs listening.
Here is an Ottoman grandchild
(Ersin) Tatar, who is exuberated over the two-state dream, remembered he is a grandchild of the Ottomans. Tatar, who could not accept (Greek Cypriot leader Nicos) Anastasiades addressing the Turkish Cypriots as “my compatriots,” regarded his remarks as an insult, claiming that we are only “TRNC citizens.” Tatar additionally, said, “We are grandchildren of the Ottomans, and Turks born from Turks.”
- Said no to domestic violence – Women gathered outside the parliament to demonstrate in favour of legislation for domestic violence.
- Elcil: The biggest obstacle is Turkey – In a statement issued and signed off by Şener Elcil, general secretary of KTÖS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union), it is noted that (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdoğan and the fascist Justice and Development Party (AKP) regime must be thanked for reminding the Turkish Cypriots that they are the biggest obstacle before a solution. The ‘Taksim’ (partition) proposal, which is a product of the Erdoğan-AKP regime, legitimizes dividing every country along the lines of ethnicity.
Tatar claims the GC side far from reaching an understanding on the islandYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Monday criticised President Nicos Anastasiades for having an “anachronistic and domineering mentality” over references in his Easter message to his Turkish Cypriot compatriots.
In a written statement, Tatar said that the Greek Cypriot side was carrying out propaganda aimed at spreading lies and false claims.
Anastasiades had said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side had recorded a new ‘historic’ performance in Geneva in defiance of UN resolutions, asking the UN Secretary-General to become an accomplice to their illegal actions.
Tatar said that Anastasiades’s remarks revealed once against the Greek Cypriot side’s arrogance and how far it was from dialogue or reaching an understanding. He said that the Greek Cypriot leader should look in the mirror to see who was truly arrogant.
Tatar also picked on Anastasiades’ reference to Turkish Cypriots as “my citizens” and said, “The world and Mr Anastasiades should understand that the Turkish Cypriot people will never accept being a minority in the Greek Cypriot state nor are they citizens of the Greek Cypriot side.” He added, “They are citizens of the free and sovereign TRNC.”
Tatar also hit back at Anastasiades for describing his vision tabled for a two-state solution based on sovereign equality as the “arrogance of those who envision a new Ottoman empire.”
“We as Turkish Cypriots are proud to be descendants of the Ottomans who conquered Cyprus in 1571 and of being Turkish,” he said, adding that the two-state solution model he had tabled in Geneva was a reflection of the political will of a majority of Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot leader also referred to Anastasiades’ statement that the solution must provide for the withdrawal of guarantees and Turkish troops from Cyprus, as “a dream that will not come true.”
Recalling the atrocities committed against the Turkish Cypriots from 1963 to 1974, Tatar said the Turkish Cypriots had “been forced out of the 1960 partnership republic.” Tatar also said that Anastasiades was still chasing the false hope of seeing an end to Turkey’s guarantees on the island and the withdrawal of the Turkish armed forces from the island.
“Turkey’s guarantees and the presence of Turkish troops on the island are our redlines,” he said, repeating his view that negotiations for a federal settlement in Cyprus were no longer possible. Referring to Anastasiades’ remarks on EU membership, Tatar urged the bloc to stop its biased stance in favour of the Greek Cypriot side.
He added that the EU’s wrongful stance was only serving to further encourage Greek Cypriot intransigence. Tatar concluded by stating that the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal tabled in Geneva was the most realistic solution for Cyprus and the region.
Joining Tatar in expressing his outrage, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner said Anastasiades’ remarks were nothing but “insults to the Turkish Cypriot community.” Issuing a statement, Saner said the Turkish Cypriot state is equally sovereign and independent as the Greek Cypriot state.
“The TRNC will remain independent and eventually will also receive its well-deserved place internationally,” Saner stressed. He also argued that the Greek- Greek Cypriot duo has not given up on their goals to turn Cyprus into a Hellenic island.
“The Greeks and the Greek Cypriots reject every plan to date that have closed the path towards Enosis,” Saner argued, adding that the Turkish Cypriots will never surrender to the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo.
“Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side are only working on protecting our rights, and we do not intend to make any concessions on our sovereignty or independence,” Saner said, noting that they will continue to work for a peace accord on the island.
Touching on the Geneva conference, Saner argued that the conference did not yield any results due to the “Greek Cypriot side’s expansionist policies and due to the Greek Cypriot side seeing itself as the sole sovereign of the entire island.”
He added as long as the Greek Cypriot side continues to usurp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, it will continue to be held responsible for the lack of solution on the island. “I urge the Greek Cypriot administration to become realistic and recognize the Turkish Cypriot side’s sovereignty,” Saner warned, adding that the Greek Cypriot side will be responsible for the negativities on the island should they continue their aggressive attitude.
Reaction to Anastasiades’ remarks also came from Ankara on Monday. The spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Ömer Çelik condemned Anastasiades’ remarks given during Easter and said: “What they are trying to do is to grind away the rights and gains of Turkey and the TRNC through negotiations.”
Speaking after the party’s Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting on Monday, Çelik said “We are returning the disrespectful statements directed at Turkey and the TRNC back to Anastasiades.” He argued that the Greek Cypriot side has always resorted to sitting at the negotiating table while refraining from any solution agreement.
“This has been going on for years. This is a tactic which they resort to regularly. Let’s sit and negotiate…. let’s pick at Turkey’s rights and interests and then when the Turkish Cypriots object let’s complain to the EU, this is the tactic they resort to,” he said.
Çelik added that Anastasiades’s latest remarks revealed the true mentality of the Greek Cypriot side. “We return to the insult made by the Greek Cypriot leader,” he added. The AKP spokesman reminded that Turkey refused to sit at the negotiating table just for the sake of sitting at the table.
He also said that the EU must revise its position on the Cyprus Issue and acknowledge that it is the Greek Cypriot side that is running away from meaningful negotiations. “What needs to be done is to launch official negotiations based on the realities of the island,” Çelik concluded.
Olgun: “Guterres is looking for a way out”Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar’s Special Representative Ergün Olgun said the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is seeking a way out of the current deadlock by pushing the boundaries on the Cyprus problem based on what was proposed to him.
Speaking during a programme on Bayrak, Olgun said that Guterres was taking on a personal initiative beyond UN Security Council resolutions to see how he can bring the two sides to reach a common understanding. He added this was his personal evaluation of the Geneva conference.
Olgun argued that the frequently referred UN parameters are dynamic and depend on the consent of the two sides. “The Turkish Cypriot side in its evaluation of the parameters has concluded that they do not fit in today’s conditions on the island,” Olgun added, arguing that “UN resolutions cannot be outside of Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides’ political will.”
He also added that the Turkish Cypriot side no longer gives its consent to the existing parameters since the collapse of the Crans Montana process. “Following Crans Montana, former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı also confirmed that when he said it was the last attempt (on federal solution) of his generation,” Olgun said.
He also argued that the UN’s role is to assist the two sides to reach a mutually acceptable agreement and not to impose a set model unto the two sides. Olgun described the six-point proposal submitted in Geneva by the Turkish Cypriot side had made a move to break the status quo, arguing that the proposal which suggested a solution based on two states with equal sovereignty and equal international status, could establish a relationship based on collaboration.
“This is the only way to reach a realistic and sustainable solution on the island,” Olgun claimed, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side went to Geneva with realistic ideas that were beyond failed federal talks.
Responding to criticisms, Olgun also argued that the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal is not against the UN’s mandate. “We, as the Turkish Cypriot side, are ready to negotiate with the Greek Cypriot side on how to build a relationship based on collaboration between the two sides,” Olgun concluded.
>> UNSG is seeking a way to end the deadlock by going beyond UNSC resolutions.
>> UN parameters are dynamic and depend on the consent of the two sides.
>> TC side believes current UN parameters do not fit in today’s conditions on the island.
>> UN resolutions cannot be outside the will of TCs & GCs. TC side does not give its consent to current UN parameters.
>> UN’s role is to assist the two sides, not to impose a settlement on them.
>> TC side’s six-point proposal aimed at ending the status quo & not against UN mandate.
>> TC side ready to negotiate with GC side on building a relationship based on collaboration.
TC side determined to maintain its two-state position at second 5+1Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu has said the Turkish Cypriot side’s two-state model, which was put forth during the Geneva conference, is a struggle for the north’s independence and sovereignty.
In separate interviews with Turkish daily Milliyet and Azeri Bayraqdar.info Ertuğruloğlu said the five-plus-one informal meeting in Geneva was a milestone in the 58-year-old Cyprus problem. He added that the Turkish Cypriot side returned happy from Geneva.
“What needs to be scrutinized is the international community’s policy on the Cyprus problem,” Ertuğruloğlu said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side will not change its position in the second 5+1 meeting either.
“We demand the equal international status of the two sides,” Ertuğruloğlu said, stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side’s position with Turkey’s support has now been recorded officially.
He also noted that the Greek Cypriot side acted “just as they expected” and did not table anything new. Responding to a question on the possibility of the second 5+1 meeting, Ertuğruloğlu said the Turkish Cypriot side will attend the second conference but added that the Greek Cypriot side has put forth certain conditions already.
He recalled that the Greek Cypriot side announced they will not attend the second 5+1 if the Turkish side were to take new steps on Maraş (Varosha) or hydrocarbons. “The Greek Cypriot side has once more displayed its irreconcilable attitude against the risk of losing its toy which has played with to date as a spoilt side on the island,” Ertuğruloğlu argued.
He added that the north desires political recognition and was determined to take the necessary steps if the talks fail. “We want the UN Security Council to ensure the equal international status of the two sides on the island,” Ertuğruloğlu said, adding that this is also how the EU will be involved in the process on the island.
“It is out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot side to continue from the point the talks had been left off in Crans Montana. The era of talks for federation is over. We do not have any options but turn a new page,” Ertuğruloğlu concluded.
>> TC side returned happy from Geneva after its views were documented by the UN.
>> TC side will not change its position at second 5+1 either.
>> North desires political recognition& is determined to take necessary steps if talks fail.
>> Not possible for TC side to resume talks from where they left off in Crans Montana.
>> Era of talks for a federation is over.
CTP leader says claims that the UK is considering recognizing north a meaningless debate
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhürman on Monday said that claims that the UK was considering recognizing the north as an independent state were part of a baseless and meaningless debate.
Speaking on a TV programme, Erhürman reminded that the UK was one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) which had adopted the UN resolution preventing the recognition of the north.
He questioned how it would be possible for the UK, a permanent member itself, to recognize the north when the UNSC resolution was still valid. “Was it EU membership that was preventing the UK from recognizing the north? Has the UK now decided to recognize the north after leaving the EU?” he asked.
Commenting on a report by the BBC that the UK proposed a decentralised federation in Cyprus that would allow the north to become part of the EU without international recognition, Erhürman said this was not a new idea and had been expressed by the UK in the past.
“The Turkish Cypriot people shouldn’t be recognised and they shouldn’t be integrated with the world but should be accepted as part of the EU. If the Turkish Cypriot community is to be downgraded to such a status and those advocating for sovereignty think that this is a brilliant idea then we are truly doomed,” he said.
Commenting on the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ proposal regarding the return of Maraş (Varosha) in exchange for allowing Ercan (Tymbou) airport and Famagusta Port to operate under UN and EU supervision, the CTP leader said that this proposal had been made to the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) months ago and leaked to the press.
“This issue was repeatedly raised during (Mehmet Ali) Talat’s and (Mustafa) Akıncı’s terms. The Turkish Cypriot side was not very open to the idea but this is an issue which can be negotiated,” he added.
Meanwhile, Erhürman on Genç TV on Monday evaluated the outcome of the informal five-plus-one Cyprus conference. Reiterating his argument that the Turkish Cypriot leadership acted for not finding a solution on the island, Erhürman also noted that Turkish Cypriot leader ErsinTatar hid his six-point proposal from the other Turkish Cypriot political parties.
He also warned that the second 5+1 conference might not even take place should Tatar continue to insist on his positions. Erhürman argued it is not possible to speak about the equal international status of the two sides, reminding that the negotiations table provides the equality demanded by Tatar to negotiate as two community leaders.
He added nonetheless, the Turkish Cypriot side wants a UN Security Council (UNSC) decision equalizing the two sides’ international status ahead of the negotiations.
“There are two ways for something like that to happen. Either the TRNC will be recognized internationally or the Republic of Cyprus’ status will be demoted,” Erhürman said, stressing that “Neither option looks likely!”
He also underlined that as long as the Turkish Cypriot side’s precondition remains in its six-point proposal, the official round of talks will never be launched.
Arguing that Tatar is advocating for non-solution on the island, Erhürman warned that the Turkish Cypriot community will lose out in the long run due to his policies. “The Turkish Cypriot side will eventually be labelled as the irreconcilable side and will be alienated both by the UN and the EU eventually,” Erhürman warned.
TC CSOs demand legislation on domestic violence
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
23 Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations (CSOs) are demanding the adoption of legislation that will prevent domestic violence and protect victims. A bill prepared is still pending approval by the relevant sub-committee so that it might be ratified in parliament.
Reading a joint statement on behalf of the 23 CSOs, Berna Yılmazoğlu Özdoğa said currently incidents of domestic violence in the north were being dealt with through the penal code because of the absence of a specific law.
“As a result, it fails to adequately punish the perpetrator’s act,” she said. Özdoğa added that the 23 CSOs want the bill to be taken up immediately by the parliamentary sub-committee.
The organisations also gave a letter to each one of the MPs in the parliament. The “Prevention of Domestic Violence and Protection of Victims” was prepared by KAYAD and was submitted to the parliament by the Social Democratic Party (TDP) MPs.
The bill provides the legislative basis for the police, social services, health ministry, local administrations and the education ministry to work in collaboration and efficiently to prevent, and stop domestic violence. It was published in the official gazette on April 14 launching the public consultation process.