Front Page Headlines
A dead-end street
While the world condemns the steps taken by the “Turkish Side” concerning steps taken in the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha), Turkish Cypriot academics have described this process as a “dead-end” process.
- Cyprus passport threat to Tatar and other ministers – The Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades raised the possibility of imposing sanctions such as stripping the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) citizenship of high-ranking Turkish Cypriot officials following the latest statement issued by the UN Security Council (UNSC).
Money collected from fines not used for traffic
Our roads have tons of potholes, but the speeding tickets issued by the speed cameras on the roads are now being utilised for other expenses than improving road conditions. In an amendment made in the law, it can easily be said the state, which has laid its eyes on the money collected from the speed cameras, has not utilised the ₺16m (€1.6m) collected from fines in the last six years for road safety.
- 127 locally transmitted, a total of 147 new (coronavirus) cases were identified in the TRNC – There are 727 positive cases in the South.
We are paying a fortune to communicate
The Information Technologies and Communication Authority (BTHK) published its first quarterly report for 2021 on electronic communication. There are 655,758 active GSM subscribers and 82,031 land-line users. The electronic communication providers in the TRNC earned ₺97,05m (€9.7m) in revenues in three months.
- Return to the basis for a solution – The UNSC’s statement on Maraş (Varosha) left its mark on the bairam (Eid al-Adha) break. The main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) called on the president and the government to return to the basis for the solution.
161.7 kgs of various drug substances were seized in the TRNC in the last 40 months; 1,453 people were arrested. Among those being arrested are TRNC citizens, followed by Turkish nationals and Nigerian nationals.
- Everyone should be vaccinated – Cases in the north 147, 727 in the south. The Greek Cypriot administration’s “safe pass” implementation was protested for the second time yesterday.
- Those who are unhappy can apply to the court – Anastasiades said they were preparing a list of Turkish Cypriot politicians including Ersin Tatar who supports partition to cancel their passports.
- Seven major opportunities were missed – Former Greek Cypriot foreign minister Nicos Rolandis’ book caused reactions.
The list of passports to be cancelled is ready
The Republic of Cyprus (RoC) passports belonging to secessionist, racist and pro-partition Turkish Cypriot politicians will be revoked. When asked, Nicos Anastasiades said, “There is a comprehensive list including Ersin Tatar,” and added: “Anyone who does not recognize RoC, claims to have his/her state; is secessionist and is carrying out propaganda to divide the country cannot have the RoC passport.”
Coalition parties evaluate UNSC statementYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory
The latest statement issued by the UN Security Council (UNSC) condemning Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership over plans to reopen Maraş (Varosha) for settlement continued to occupy the north’s agenda on Sunday.
The National Unity Party’s (UBP) General Secretary and Famagusta MP Oğuzan Hasipoğlu, who is also a lawyer by profession and the Rebirth Party (YDP) leader Erhan Arıklı, who is also a Famagusta MP, harshly criticized the UNSC statement on Maraş (Varosha), arguing that the UN’s statement disregarded the realities on the island.
“The UNSC statement is detached from the reality on the fenced-off town as the process to lift the military status of a section of Maraş (Varosha) is to allow the town’s pre-1974 inhabitants to return and resettle in the area,” Hasipoğlu argued.
In a statement issued from the UBP on Sunday, Hasipoğlu also argued that the Turkish Cypriot side’s decision on demilitarisation complied with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings and the UNSC resolution 550 adopted in 1984.
Hasipoğlu also highlighted that 37 years have passed since the adoption of the resolution 550 and four major developments have taken place on the island since then. He explained that the fenced-off town was reopened for visitors only after October 2020.
“In 2005, the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) was established and there are already 36 applications in place with the IPC for properties concerning the demilitarized area. He pointed out the property mechanism did not exist 37 years ago,” he said.
Hasipoğlu also noted that the Evkaf Administration of Cyprus has been included as a party to the applications made to the IPC to protect their rights.
The UBP General Secretary recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side had offered Maraş (Varosha) as a concession eight different times throughout the history of the talks, all of which had been flatly rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.
Hasipoğlu stressed that none of the decisions adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side violates the UNSC resolution 550, which was initially adopted to protect the property rights of the lawful inhabitants. “Moreover, Maraş (Varosha) like the adjacent open parts, is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the TRNC,” Hasipoğlu reiterated.
“Moreover, the UNSC resolutions are not binding nor are they above the property or sovereignty rights,” Hasipoğlu stressed, adding that since the IPC is recognized as a domestic legal remedy by the ECHR, the property applications made would have to be resolved sooner or later. He also argued that the UN’s political approach could not have more weight than the IPC.
“What the UN needs to do is to respect the IPC and its processes, instead of trying to satisfy the baseless claims made by the Greek Cypriot and the Greek sides,” Hasipoğlu stressed. The UBP general secretary also asked the UN not to “adopt decisions solely to protect the rights of the Greek Cypriots but also lift the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.
Also touching on the references made to the bizonal, bicommunal federal (BBF) solution model in the UNSC statement, Hasipoğlu claimed that the UNSC statement contradicted the UNSG, who had openly said there were two different positions on the island thus continuing with the efforts to find common ground between the two sides to launch an official round of talks.
“We expect the UN to respect the Turkish Cypriots’ political will, which is based on sovereign equality and equal international status of the two sides, as tabled by the Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar during the informal five-plus-one meeting in Geneva,” Hasipoğlu concluded.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı on Sunday also criticized the UN for issuing a statement on the Turkish Cypriot side’s latest decision on Maraş (Varosha). In a social media post, Arıklı recalled that they did not recognize the UNSC’s statement and reminded that all previous proposals by the Turkish Cypriot side on the fenced-off town had been rejected.
“Nonetheless, there is not a single statement from the UN or any one of the international actors condemning the Greek Cypriot side for its actions,” Arıklı said. He also recalled the report written by Kofi Annan urging the UNSC to lift the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots and added that the UNSC has not done anything on the issue to date.
“We will take the UN as seriously as Israel takes it,” Arıklı said, adding that as a result of the Turkish Cypriot side’s decision, the former inhabitants of the fenced-off town Maraş (Varosha) will be allowed to take their properties back.
In the meantime, Turkish Cypriot academics have described the Turkish Cypriot side’s latest decision as a “dead end”. Speaking to Yenidüzen, Prof Dr Yücel Vural said that any moves to be made in Maraş (Varosha) needed to be carried out in consultation with the UN.
He said that failure to do so will only deepen the clash Turkey is already experiencing with the international community. Assoc Prof. Dr Umut Bozkurt told Yenidüzen that the steps taken by Turkey was extremely dangerous and carried the risk of creating a deadlock in the negotiations process.
Prof Dr Ahmet Sözen for his part said that the decision adopted by the Turkish side was a precautionary move aimed at blocking new cases to be filed at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). He also said that the decision was aimed at intimidating the Greek Cypriot leadership.
International Relations expert İpek Borman said that the current policies ignoring UNSC resolutions can only result in violations of international law.
>> The UNSC statement is detached from the reality of Maraş (Varosha).
>> Lifting the military status of a section of Maraş (Varosha) is to allow the town’s pre-1974 inhabitants to return and resettle in the area.
>> Maraş (Varosha) like the adjacent open parts, is located within the territorial jurisdiction of the TRNC.
>> The UN needs to respect the IPC and its processes.
>> UN should not adopt decisions solely to protect the rights of the GCs but also lift the embargoes imposed on the TCs.
>> UN needs to respect the TCs’ political will, which is based on sovereign equality & equal international status of the two sides.
>> We will take the UN as seriously as Israel takes it.
Benter: “Property rights are about the buildings & not the land”Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory
İbrahim Benter, General Director of the Evkaf Administration of Cyprus on Sunday said the Evkaf did have property rights in Maraş (Varosha) but that these concerned buildings and not land. Speaking to an online news site, Benter questioned how ownership of these properties owned by charitable foundations had been transferred to private individuals.
Drawing attention to the opening of the Bilal Ağa Mosque in Maraş (Varosha) following its restoration, the Evkad director said the administration had launched the process to regain the fenced-off town by claiming back non-commercial property.
“The town is built on land that was donated to foundations,” Benter said, adding that the land was leased to both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots while the revenues from the lease agreements had been donated to the needy.
“This lasted for 300 years and all of a sudden, 300 years later during the island’s British colonial rule, people came up and said the properties they were using belonged to them,” Benter said. He also argued that the Evkaf Administration today has documents showing the plots of land owned by the Abdullah Paşa Foundation had been leased to Greek Cypriots and then the leaseholder rented the plot to another.
“Now the last user of the properties in question claims that the property belongs to him/her and is seeking compensation,” Benter said, stating that British colonial records show that it was only a lease agreement. “It is not possible for the leaseholder to become the owner of the property. Yes, it is possible to invest in the land and then claim rights over the investment but not the land itself,” Benter stressed.
Benter also argued that both the Greek Cypriots and the British accepted the fact that Maraş (Varosha) town was built on the land owned by foundations. He added, “However contrary to the British, the Greek Cypriots claim they own the land today.” “The claims made by the Evkaf Administration are based on documents and evidence,” Benter stressed, adding that usurping properties belonging to foundations is a crime against humanity.
>> Evkaf’s claims over Maraş (Varosha) are based on buildings, not land.
>> Foundation land was illegally transferred to private individuals.
>> Evkaf has launched a process of regaining its properties in Maraş (Varosha) by focusing on non-commercial property.