Front Page Headlines
We’ve turned our back to the world
The Turkish side’s unilateral step on Maraş (Varosha) has moved Turkish Cypriots back to the pre-Annan Plan era. The decision on Maraş (Varosha) was condemned by the UN Security Council (UNSC) and received reactions from the international community.
- Republican Turkish Party (CTP): “Turkish Cypriot side should return to the basis of a solution” – Tufan Erhürman: “Turkish Cypriots want to become part of the international community and internal law. Every step is taking us further away from international law and the international community.”
Within an inch of a disaster
Five people were injured when a cement mixer truck collided with a car at the Kyrenia – Değirmenlik (Kythrea) road, which is known publicly as the ‘Mountain Pass’. The road is frequently the scene of fatal traffic accidents.
Akçay (Argaki) mukhtar did what the state could not do in nine years for Rauf Denktaş. Nine years have passed since the death of TRNC’s founding President Rauf Denktaş, who was buried in the (north) Nicosia Republic Park. A mausoleum project was drawn but it was never completed. Moreover, the park where Denktaş is buried is not maintained regularly. On the other hand, Uğur Dereliköylü, Mukhtar of Akçay (Argaki) under the jurisdiction of the Güzelyurt (Morphou) municipality, in one year completed the park project and restored the old school building converting it into a museum for Denktaş.
- Submitted a proposal to the House of Representatives – Three MPs from DIKO and one from EDEK mobilized to revoke the Republic of Cyprus passports for the politicians that advocate for the TRNC.
- The implementation is wrong – Akıncı, Erhürman, Özersay and Özyiğit criticised the Turkish side’s Maraş (Varosha) policies.
- Intense efforts – (Greek Cypriot leader) Anastasiades is expecting another condemnation on Maraş (Varosha) from the EU.
They supposedly don’t recognize the UNSC decision
Turkey, which does not recognize the UNSC decision, proved once again that it does not comply with international agreements and with UN resolutions… This is what would have happened in the Annan Plan…If both sides had approved the plan, the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) would have been annulled in 24 hours, however, Turkey making up various excuses would not have honoured its promises again…
- Maraş (Varosha) was the last straw – The passports belonging to secessionist Turkish Cypriot politicians is on the South’s agenda. Four Greek Cypriot MPs submitted a proposal to the Greek Cypriot parliament to prevent those recognizing the so-called state in the north from being granted RoC citizenship.
- Akıncı: Isolation and becoming a province – Mustafa Akıncı said.
- CTP: Comply with UNSC decision – The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) said.
Opposition criticizes TC leadership on Maraş (Varosha) following UNSC resolutionKıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory
The opposition in the north blasted the Turkish Cypriot leadership on Saturday after the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted a statement calling for the immediate reversal of all steps taken on the fenced-off city since October 2020.
The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman, who is a professor of law by profession, said that the correct steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) would end the status quo and could act as a motivation for a settlement on the island.
He said that it was possible to reopen Maraş (Varosha) for settlement before a federal solution was reached in Cyprus. “Both steps should be taken together. While the area should be demilitarized and conditions to return properties to owners through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) created, talks should begin simultaneously with the UN on how to facilitate the return within the framework of UNSC resolutions,” Erhürman said in a written statement issued on Saturday.
The CTP leader reminded that Turkish Cypriots desire to become part of international law and the international community. He added that his party did not approve of such steps which pushed Turkish Cypriots further away from international law and the international community.
In a separate statement, the CTP pointed out that the UNSC resolutions made steps that need to be taken for a mutually acceptable and comprehensive solution in Cyprus clear. It said that the international community’s will in favour of just and lasting federal settlement based on political equality was important for Turkish Cypriots.
The CTP added that steps to be taken in Maraş (Varosha) should not shadow efforts to solve the Cyprus Problem. The party expressed the view that the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) will neither attract international investments to the north nor contribute to improving Turkish Cypriots’ international interests.
“It will only serve to satisfy a mentality that favours conquest,” it said, adding that the UNSC statement was a stern warning against unilateral moves. The CTP also called on the Turkish Cypriot leadership to return to the framework set by the UNSC for a solution in Cyprus.
The CTP’s General Secretary Erdoğan Sorakin repeated his party’s warning that Ankara’s and the Turkish Cypriot leadership’s policy on Maraş (Varosha) will only serve to further isolate Turkish Cypriots from the international community and international law.
He said that Turkish Cypriots desired a place within the international community and that this was only possible through dialogue and negotiations.
Cemal Özyiğit, leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) also condemned the steps taken on the fenced-off town, adding that the Turkish Cypriot leadership could not even convince the Turkish Cypriots regarding the Maraş (Varosha) initiative.
“Opening of Maraş (Varosha) before a federal solution could have been implemented as a confidence-building measure (CBM) and not part of secessionist plans,” Özyiğit stressed, adding that the fenced-off town should have been utilised in exchange for direct flights to Ercan (Tymbou) airport and direct trade at the Famagusta Port.
The leader of the Peoples’ Party (HP) Kudret Özersay posted on social media late on Friday that the government had managed the Maraş (Varosha) initiative poorly. He said that despite the fact his party supported the reopening of the fenced-off town the process was not planned properly.
Özersay said the Turkish Cypriot leadership had not carried out the necessary preparations or carried out diplomatic contacts which were extremely important. He said he had prevented UNSC statements in the past by carrying out various diplomatic contacts.
In a social media post on Saturday, the TDP leader called on the Turkish Cypriot leadership and the Turkish President to “respect the Turkish Cypriots and abandon any attempts that might result in Turkish Cypriots losing all the gains achieved to date.”
Echoing a similar viewpoint as the other political party representatives, Democratic Party (DP) MP Serdar Denktaş in a social media post, said the developments on Maraş (Varosha) are on the wrong path. “If the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative had been done properly, we have neither received any international condemnation nor have we been polarized as a community,” Denktaş concluded.
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı warned that the Turkish Cypriot side was plunging into a process of isolation through policies that were being condemned by the international community.
In a post on social media on Saturday, Akıncı said that the Turkish Cypriot leadership’s policy on Maraş (Varosha) which was doomed from the beginning, was far from any rationality and part of efforts to turn the north into a province of Turkey.
The former Turkish Cypriot leader also said that the move had given the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades breathing space which he did not deserve. “This understanding which only serves those who have no other interest but profits are doomed to fail,” he said.
>> Steps on Maraş (Varosha) should be taken in consultation & dialogue with the UN in line with UNSC resolutions.
>> It is possible to reopen Maraş (Varosha) before a federal settlement in Cyprus.
>> CTP does not approve of steps that will further isolate TCs from the international community or law.
>> Steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) should not overshadow efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus.
>> UNSC statement a stern warning against unilateral moves.
>> TC leadership should return to the framework set by UNSC for a solution in Cyprus.
>> TC leadership prepared poorly for the reopening process.
>> Maraş (Varosha) could have been used as a CBM instead of becoming part of secessionist plans.
>> TC leadership & Turkey should respect the will of TCs & abandon any attempts that might strip them of their gains achieved to date.
>> TC side received condemnation because of wrong moves on Maraş (Varosha).
TC leadership remains defiant over Maraş (Varosha) initiative, says no backing outKıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory
The Turkish Cypriot leadership remained defiant over its position regarding the Maraş (Varosha) initiative despite a statement adopted on Saturday by the UNSC condemning plans announced to reopen part of the fenced-off town.
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said the “UNSC statement is an attempt to create obstacles to prevent the right holders from returning to their properties in the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha). In a statement issued from his office on Saturday, Tatar dismissed the UNSC statement claiming that it was adopted under pressure from the Greek Cypriot side and Greece.
Recalling the provisions in the UNSC resolution 550 (1984) and 789 (1992), Tatar said in line with the provisions, the Turkish Cypriot side is not allowing anyone other than the former inhabitants to settle in the fenced-off town.
“Since the Turkish Cypriot side will open Maraş (Varosha) to its former inhabitants exclusively, the town’s handover to the UN as stipulated by the relevant UNSC resolutions are irrelevant now,” Tatar argued, adding that the July 23 dated UNSC statement is nothing but an obstacle before the true intentions of returning the properties to lawful owners.
Tatar, also objecting to the references to the federal settlement, noted that the sides are yet to reach common ground to launch a new round of talks for a comprehensive solution. He added that the Turkish Cypriot side will with determination continue to advocate for a two-state solution based on the sovereign equality of the two sides for a sustainable settlement on the island.
Earlier in the day, Tatar’s first response to the statement came during a ceremony to remember Turkish Cypriots who were killed in Beyarmudu (Pergamos) during intercommunal clashes. Tatar said that Maraş (Varosha) was not free for the taking as the Greek Cypriots had squandered numerous opportunities in the past.
He repeated his known argument that a partnership could not be successful in Cyprus because the Greek Cypriots had no intention of sharing power with Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish Cypriot leader said that the return of Maraş (Varosha) had been considered in the past as part of a comprehensive settlement but that this was no longer a realistic option given the Greek Cypriot side’s stance regarding a settlement of the Cyprus Problem.
“We needed to reopen Maraş (Varosha) which has been closed for 47 years to the service of humanity. That is what we did. Property owners will be allowed to resettle under civilian authority following our decision to demilitarize 3.5 per cent of the area,” he said, adding that title deeds dating to 1974 were to be recognized even though there was proof that the land in the area had been transferred unlawfully during the island’s British colonial rule.
Tatar added that the issue will be handled through the IPC which proved that the move was in line with international law.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner on Saturday condemned the UNSC statement, stating that his government will not recognize it. He said that the Turkish Cypriot side’s plans on Maraş (Varosha) were in line with decisions adopted by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Saner added that the initiative aimed to revive the town which had been abandoned after the Greek Cypriots rejected all solution proposals and that the UN had played along with the Greek Cypriot side.
He said the UNSC statement was biased in favour of the Greek Cypriots and contradicted the realities on the island as well as common sense. Saner said that the property applications would be processed through the IPC, a domestic remedy instrument recognised by the ECHR since its ruling on the Xenides-Arestis case.
He reminded us that a total of 6,877 applications have been filed with the IPC to date, 1,277 which has been solved through friendly settlement, and 34 through the courts. Saner added that the initiative will not allow the 335 applications made for properties in Maraş (Varosha) to be settled.
He argued that the initiative will contribute greatly to solving the Cyprus Problem and property dispute if the UN stops overshadowing the Turkish Cypriot side’s efforts.
“We do not recognize and condemn the latest statement issued by the UNSC. The UN so far has failed to contribute positively to achieving a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus Problem. It will never be able to do so if it continues to pursue its wrong mentality on the issue,” he said.
>> Maraş (Varosha) is not free for the taking because GCs squandered numerous opportunities in the past.
>> Title deeds dating back to 1974 to be recognized. Applications will be processed through IPC proving that move is in line with international law.
>> Government will not recognize UNSC statement.
>> TC side’s move in line with ECHR decisions & international law.
>> UNSC statement biased in favour of GCs contradicts common sense & realities on the island.
>> UN should stop creating obstacles to the initiative which will contribute to the solution of the Cyprob.