TCC Press Review 24 July 2021

Front Page Headlines


N/A due to Eid Holiday


200 trucks full of garbage collected from Alayköy (Gerolakkos) and 20 from Famagusta

President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry Ali Kamacıoğlu highlighted the chronic problems in the industrial zones and launched a cleaning campaign to improve conditions in such areas.

  • Historical trains abandoned to their fate – Ten train engines, one crane and 20 rail cars were placed in various locations around Lefke (Lefka) only to be forgotten there.
  • Revoke the decision immediately – UN Security Council (UNSC) condemned the plan to reopen Maraş (Varosha) for settlement and called for the annulment of the decision.
  • The Maraş (Varosha) decision is in line with international law – TRNC and Turkish Foreign Ministries said.


Erdoğan does whatever he wishes

Turkish Cypriots are divided over the construction of a ‘presidential’ complex and a new parliament building. The announcement by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the TRNC needed a new presidential palace and that 500 dunams of land in the Metehan (Agios Dhometios) area had been demilitarized for the purpose stirred a new debate in the country. The majority of people who spoke to Diyalog on the matter expressed the view that Erdoğan always got his way. They believe it will be no different and therefore support the decision. Others disagree. Several people pointed out that the TRNC urgently needs new hospitals, new roads and investments in the field of energy. They believe that these problems can be overcome with the support of Turkey.

  • Reverse decision on Maraş (Varosha) –The UNSC called on Turkey and TRNC officials to reverse of steps taken on Maraş (Varosha).
  • A first after 47 years – President Ersin Tatar, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkoşa Ali Murat Başçeri attended prayers at the Bilal Ağa Mescid in the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha).
  • Measures are effective – 511,711 persons in South Cyprus have received their first dose, 448,882 people have received their second dose.
  • Test numbers on the rise – 135 new cases in the north, one loss of life, 895 cases in the south.


He’s worn the shroud

President Ersin Tatar, who attended the Friday prayers at the mosque in Maraş (Varosha) upon hearing the Greek Cypriot side’s plans to revoke Republic of Cyprus (RoC) IDs and passports of Turkish Cypriot officials, said: “What am I going to do with the passport. I have worn my burial shroud (meaning I have given up all earthly urges) and have launched a struggle.” Tatar, who has yet to return his RoC passport, added: “If (Greek Cypriot leader Nicos) Anastasiades wants to revoke it, he can.”

  • The Greek Cypriot side debated the closure of the crossings – The Greek Cypriot National Council also discussed the closing of the crossings alongside the idea of revoking some Turkish Cypriot politicians’ RoC passports.
  • UNSC condemns Erdoğan – UNSC condemned Turkey after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan remarks on Cyprus and especially on Maraş (Varosha).
  • Maraş (Varosha) belongs to Evkaf – Ersin Tatar returns to the very beginning. According to Tatar, there were some wrongdoings on Maraş (Varosha) during the British rule.

Main News

Turkish side reacts to UNSC condemnation of Maraş (Varosha)

Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Territory, Negotiations Process


The Turkish side was quick to react to a statement adopted unanimously by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday condemning the plan by Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders to partially reopen the abandoned resort of Maraş (Varosha).

“The Security Council calls for the immediate reversal of this course of action and the reversal of all steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) since October 2020,” the 15-member body said in a statement on Friday, adding that the UNSC underscored the need to avoid any further unilateral actions in violations of the relevant UN resolutions that could raise tensions and harm prospects for a settlement.

The Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry, which was first to respond to the UNSC statement, described the statement as unfortunate, claiming the UNSC members had been misled by the Greek Cypriot side.

It said that that the initiative launched by the Turkish Cypriot side was aimed at ending grievances concerning the abandoned property in Maraş (Varosha) and protecting the rights of Greek Cypriot property owners.

In a written statement on Friday, the ministry also said the Turkish Cypriot side’s decision to reopen a small portion of the fenced-off town had been well received by the Greek Cypriot community. Arguing that the Turkish Cypriot side is being constructive in its approach, the ministry reiterated that the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the north.

It also pointed out that all efforts to reach a federal settlement had failed and that a sustainable and lasting agreement could only be achieved with the recognition of the Turkish Cypriot side’s sovereign equality and the equal international status of the two sides.

“We urge the UNSC to display an attitude based on the realities of the island,” the ministry concluded. The Turkish Foreign Ministry, echoing similar viewpoints as its Turkish Cypriot counterpart, also condemned the statement issued by the UNSC.

“These statements are based on Greek-Greek Cypriot black propaganda and groundless claims, such as that Maraş (Varosha) is not TRNC territory, that the TRNC will confiscate the properties in Maraş (Varosha) and bring settlers there against the property rights,” Turkish Foreign Ministry statement read, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side’s decisions to demilitarize the area and to allow the former residents to return to their properties are in good gesture.

“All decisions taken by the Turkish Cypriot authorities, within the scope of the Maraş (Varosha) initiative, respect the property rights and are in full compliance with international law and contrary to claims, the relevant UNSC resolutions are not violated,” the statement read, adding that moreover, the UNSC resolutions are not above property and sovereignty rights.

Touching on the negotiations processes, the statement argued despite all the goodwill of the Turkish side, decades of efforts could not lead to a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement due to the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriot administration. The ministry added that the UNSC’s reputation and credibility are only further tarnished by its insistence on a federal settlement given the realities on the island.

“A new negotiation process towards a just, lasting and sustainable settlement to the Cyprus issue could begin only by securing the equal sovereignty and equal international status of the Turkish Cypriot people,” the statement stressed, urging the UNSC to elude itself from the misleading propaganda of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo and to support the lawful steps taken by the north regarding the fenced-off town as well as their constructive and realistic proposal submitted in Geneva.

Also accusing the EU, the ministry said the EU is being hypocritical in its stance on the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) as well as on its positions on the Cyprus issue.

“We once again call on this group and the international community to face the realities on the Island, to end the injustice they have caused to the Turkish Cypriot people, to respect the will of the Turkish Cypriot people as well as their sovereign equality and equal status which they achieved in 1960,” the statement concluded.

Former negotiator and People’s Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay who also commented on the UNSC statement argued that the second phase of the Maraş (Varosha) had been launched prematurely without carrying out the necessary diplomatic initiatives thus drawing international condemnation.

In a post on social media on Friday, Özersay reminded that his party had been advocating and supporting for years a move to reopen the fenced-off town and returning properties to the former inhabitants under the Turkish Cypriot administration.

“It is equally important for a policy to be current and consistent on paper and for it to be explained to the international community correctly,” Özersay stressed, adding that the current reactions are the result of the Turkish Cypriot administration’s failure to inform international actors before taking action.

He pointed out that the UNSC’s latest statement is proof that no one on the Turkish Cypriot side has made any effort to explain the Turkish Cypriot side’s intentions to the international community. “The UNSC decision is a statement and not a resolution and is therefore not binding but the international community will try to impose sanctions on Turkey and the TRNC unless the decision is reversed,” Özersay argued.

He added he had no hope from the current Turkish Cypriot leadership of taking measures to mitigate possible actions from the international community.

Ertuğruloğlu (UBP)
>> UNSC statement unfortunate as TC side’s initiative is aimed at property dispute in Maraş (Varosha) & protecting the rights of GC property owners.
>> Contrary to claims TC side’s decision to reopen Maraş (Varosha) was welcomed by GCs.
>> A sustainable & lasting solution in Cyprus is only possible through recognition of the TC side’s sovereign equality & equal international status.
>> UNSC urged to display an attitude based on the realities of the island.

Çavuşoğlu (Turkey)
>> UNSC statement based on GC propaganda & groundless claims.
>> TC side’s decision to demilitarize the area & allow former residents to return to their properties is a gesture of goodwill.
>> All decisions are taken by the TC authorities, within the scope of the Maraş (Varosha) initiative, respect the property rights & are in full compliance with international law.
>> UNSC resolutions are not violated, Resolutions are not above property & sovereignty rights.
>> UNSC’s reputation & credibility are only further tarnished by its insistence on a federal settlement.
>> A new negotiation process can begin only by securing the equal sovereignty & equal international status of the TCs.
>> International community should face realities in Cyprus & end injustice to TC people.

Özersay (HP)
>> Second phase of the Maraş (Varosha) initiative launched prematurely drawing international condemnation.
>> It is necessary for the TC side to be consistent in its policies & inform the international community correctly.
>> UNSC statement is proof that no one on the TC side has made any effort to explain its intentions to the international community.
>> Statement not binding but the international community will impose sanctions on Turkey & the north unless the decision is reversed.

Tatar says second phase of Maraş (Varosha) initiative is to go ahead as planned

Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Territory, Negotiations Process


The Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Friday said the second phase of the Maraş (Varosha) initiative, which he added was being carried out in line with international law was aimed at putting an end to old grievances.

In a statement issued from his office just hours before the UNSC condemned the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaderships on their moves concerning the fenced-off town, Tatar said the Greek Cypriot authorities would do everything to prevent the reopening process from going ahead, including issuing threats to its citizens not to apply to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) as well as prevent third-country nationals from crossing to the north.

“The Greek Cypriot side’s attitude is what is against human rights,” Tatar argued. He accused the Greek Cypriot side of preserving its mentality of exerting its control over the whole island.

Tatar also repeated that the Turkish Cypriot side had tabled its position in favour of a two-state solution after it was convinced that a federal settlement was not possible on the island. He said that the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative must be perceived in line with the Turkish Cypriot side’s position vis-à-vis the Cyprus problem.

Tatar added that Greek Cypriot property owners will be able to return to Maraş (Varosha) by applying to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and that the decision to lift the military status of a section of the town was to allow the commission to process applications.

The Turkish Cypriot leader said that the process to reopen Maraş (Varosha) would go ahead as planned and that the Turkish Cypriot leadership would not be deterred by threats or blackmail from the international community. “Ankara fully supports this initiative. There is no turning back now,” he added.

Meanwhile, Tatar attended the Friday prayers at the recently reopened Bilal Ağa Mosque in the fenced-off town. Tatar repeated similar messages after the prayers when speaking to the reporters.

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