GCC Press Review 18 July 2021

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Countdown to Erdogan’s visit

Whatever he announces on Varosha will change the face of future talks, analysts predict.

  • Almost 70 per cent have received first jab dose, youth uptake increases


The ukase of Erdogan in Famagusta

Autocratic scheming through fighter jets made in Turkey, drones, aircraft carriers and bases.

  • Before Erdogan, Kasoulides ‘announced’ faits accomplis
  • Turkey: Remnant of the coup or Erdogan’s autocratic streak?
  • Arms diplomacy: Need for a shield from drones
  • The Cyprus File: Makarios, Callaghan, Ecevit
  • Attila invasion: Witness statements for the action of the infantry battalion 231
  • Savvas Iacovides (opinion): If Cyprus is an important strategic partner, why doesn’t the US support it?
  • Foivos Klokkaris (opinion): Cyprus 1974: The military leadership of destruction
  • Yiannakis L. Omyrou (opinion): Betrayal and the unyielding why
  • Maria Panayiotou (opinion): Six measures that deter Turkish plans for Varosha


While Varosha is being lost, the President is deliberating

The government is remaining vigilant while awaiting Erdogan’s happy announcements.

  • Feature: Famagusta, July 1978 ‘The great betrayal’
  • Cyprus in the red: Benefits and losses with rapid tests


Hard diplomatic rock

Interventions by third parties towards Ankara are increasing, Tayyip Erdogan appears to be… going deaf. Signs of strengthening of willpower and increasing of tension.

  • George Dalaras: I’m scared and saddened by what’s going on with Famagusta
  • The TC narrative and what ought to be the GC response
  • American j’accuse against Turkey
  • Disappointment from the USA’s tolerance
  • Adonis’ death in Larnaca in 1974
  • The coup and its implications
  • Nikos Moudouros (opinion): Tayyip the president and the commander in chief


Nicosia setting up a diplomatic front

The arrival of the Turkish president and plans for announcements in Varosha are reshaping the Cyprus problem.

  • The EU is following the UN’s recipe
  • Cyprus problem: Security, guarantees are a difficult equation
  • ‘Two states a realistic solution’: Fahrettin Altun to ‘K’


From ‘the best management’ to ‘deep red’

Eratic measures that lost trust.

  • Cyprus problem: St. Stephanou: Resumption of negotiations in the face of new challenges
  • R. T. Erdogan: What are the ‘three pieces of news’ that he will announce on Monday before the ‘parliament’
  • Double interview: Yiorgos Loukaides – Demetris Demetriou: The GC side must persuade internationally that it wants talks yesterday
  • Theatre: ‘Waiting for Godot’: Message of cohabitation of the two communities


Celebrations and reactions

Occupied areas: Erdogan’s visit divided Turkish Cypriots. Preparations in Varosha are continuing for the visit of the Turkish president. All the details regarding the programme of his visit. 15 trucks have already transferred materials for the visit. CTP: No to the interventions of Turkey in the internal affairs of the ‘TRNC’.

  • Political analysis: The final suggestions to the two sides: The UNSG’s report
  • Christos Panayiotides (opinion): The root of evil: 1959-1964, history’s yarn ball getting untangled…

Main News

Govt response will depend on content of Erdogan announcements

Alithia, Haravgi, Kathimerini, Phileleftheros, Sunday Mail
Negotiations Process, Territory


The main articles of the majority of papers published Sunday dealt with the upcoming visit to be paid to the north by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the announcements he is expected to make, particularly as regards Varosha.

Politis reports that the government is for the time being deliberating to work out the best course of action after Erdogan’s announcements. The paper writes that President Nicos Anastasiades said the government is remaining alert and monitoring developments, adding that the response will depend on the content of Erdogan’s announcements. Politis writes that political pundits understood this statement as proof of the dead ends to which Anastasiades’ policies have led, particularly as a result of the abandonment of talks at Crans-Montana.

Phileleftheros reports that intense diplomatic mobility has been developing in recent days with the aim of persuading Ankara to avoid actions in Cyprus that could create faits accomplis and arouse tensions. The paper writes that Ankara is receiving interventions by third parties, mainly by EU bodies and member states, but also from the UN and the USA. The paper notes that what remains to be seen is how Erdogan will react to this mobility. What is definite, Phileleftheros reports, is that Erdogan will move forward as regards Varosha.

Kathimerini reports that Nicosia is focusing its response on diplomatic and legal measures. On the diplomatic front, Nicosia is working on securing the support of London and Washington, while legal measures are also being examined through the input of international law firms. The paper writes citing information that Nicosia has already drawn up diplomatic plans of action, which could involve an appeal to the UN Security Council (UNSC) or to the UN General Assembly, an appeal to the International Court of Justice or to the European Court of Human Rights, or individual appeals against Turkey.

Kathimerini writes that it is to be expected that any Turkish moves will be met with verbal condemnation, but poses the question of how effective this response actually is. The paper also wonders what initiatives will follow any diplomatic or legal responses in view of deterring the worst-case scenario.

Citing the news outlet TURKIYE, Politis and Haravgi report that Erdogan is set to issue three pieces of ‘good news’ during his visit to the north. The first will relate to moves being taken for the recognition of the north by countries sharing friendly relations with Turkey. Citing information, Politis reports that Erdogan is expected to refer a visit he will pay to Azerbaijan, during which he will be accompanied by TC leader Ersin Tatar. Secondly, Erdogan will announce the reopening of Varosha as a residential area and will extend an invitation to GCs to return under TC administration, though Erdogan is also expected to argue that a large part of Varosha belongs to EVKAF. Thirdly, Erdogan is also expected to announce the launching of the operation of the Lefkoniko drone base.

Politis reports citing information that Erdogan is also expected to announce natural gas findings located to the north of Cyprus. Sunday Mail reports that those with connections in the north have heard whispers that the area within Varosha to be opened up for development might be Ayios Nicolaos – the town’s old industrial core, near the seafront, featuring some of the most lucrative real estate.

According to the detailed programme of Erdogan’s visit, which papers report on citing the Cyprus News Agency, Erdogan will arrive in the north at 3pm on Monday, before addressing the special session of ‘parliament’ at 4pm. At 5pm, Erdogan will hold a meeting at the ‘presidential palace’ before going to Buyuk Han at 6pm for a meeting with youth groups. Celebrations at Ataturk stadium will follow. On the following day, Erdogan will participate in prayers marking the beginning of the four-day religious holiday of Eid-al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) at a mosque in Mia Milia. He will then participate in a ceremony at the Ataturk monument before observing a parade to be staged along a main street in north Nicosia. Later on, Erdogan will hold several inauguration ceremonies.

Meanwhile, the papers also cite TC media that report on the ongoing preparations in Varosha ahead of Erdogan’s visit. Citing the TC paper Kibris Postasi, the papers report that 15 trucks loaded with materials to be used for ongoing preparations arrived in the north.

Politis and Alithia cite the TC paper Yeniduzen which reports on a symbolic action held in Varosha on Saturday by the reunification activist group Unite Cyprus Now, which saw GCs and TCs hold hands in a circle to send the message that former Varosha residents from both communities share a common struggle.

Sunday Mail reports that Hubert Faustmann, professor of history and political science at the University of Nicosia suggested that the opening of Varosha does not spell the end of the Cyprus problem, since there would still be the dispute over offshore hydrocarbons, UNFICYP, the non-recognition of the north, and so on. But he said that  it would freeze reunification talks for years to come. And whenever the talks do resume, they’d be based on new facts on the ground.

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