TCC Press Review 7 Dec 2021

Front Page Headlines


“Money that comes from the south breaths life”

From petrol station owners to boutique owners, from restaurant owners to supermarket owners, everyone is happy with Greek Cypriots spending in the north. “The Greek Cypriots contribute greatly to our economy. We need to encourage more spending. We need to refrain from provocative, hurtful and discriminatory policies, ease crossings for Greek Cypriots,” sector representatives told Yenidüzen.


We neither protect others nor protect ourselves

More than 200 coronavirus cases are identified in our country daily…However, vaccination, which is believed to be the most effective weapon against the virus, has not reached desired levels. According to health ministry data, many people despite calls for vaccination from the authorities have yet to get their booster shots.

  • People rushed to the petrol stations after hearing news of the rise in pricesFuel oil prices were increased by 10 per cent as of midnight last night.


Foreign currencies ravage the north

Olgun Önal, head of the Association for Banks, on Havadis web TV, talked about measures on bank loans, restructuring of the loans and switching to another currency.

  • “This operation will not be left unanswered” – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the arson attack on the Grand Mosque in Larnaca with threatening words.
  • Stewart is hopeful – The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Mr Colin Stewart, has arrived in Cyprus to formally assume his duties. In his first message, Stewart underlined lasting peace.
  • Mandatory PCR tests at airports – The Greek Cypriot administration, in its fight against Covid-19, adopted a new set of measures, which will be in force until January 10.


Hear our voice

Shopkeepers in Nicosia’s Arasta (pedestrian shopping street) say they will go bankrupt if crossings from the south stop. The importance of tourists and Greek Cypriots crossing from the south has further increased as the economic crisis in the TRNC deepens. Shopkeepers in Arasta who spoke to Diyalog said, “If Greek Cypriots and foreigners stop coming we will all suffer, we will all go bankrupt.” The shopkeepers point out those politicians should refrain from issuing statements that will hurt relations.

  • Syrian arrested It emerged that the arsonist behind the attack on the Grand Mosque in Larnaca was not Greek Cypriot.


The evil person behind the mosque attack

Those who have threatened the Greek Cypriot sides claiming that the arson attack on the mosque in Larnaca was carried out by a Greek Cypriot, were disappointed! It emerged that a Syrian national was responsible for the attack but Tayyip Erdoğan made his threats… He said, “This attack will not be left unanswered.”

  • The booster shot rate has not reached 30 per cent74.93 per cent received a single shot of vaccination; 74.06 per cent received two shots but less than 30 per cent of the people opted for the booster shot.

Main News

Embarrassing situation for Turkish officials emerge after mosque arsonist turns out to be Syrian

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security


An embarrassing situation emerged for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish officials on Monday after it emerged that the arsonist behind the attack on the Grand Mosque in Larnaca was a homeless Syrian migrant who had been refused lodging at the mosque.

Turkish and Turkish Cypriot officials had lined up on Sunday and Monday to issues of condemnation against Greek Cypriot officials, assuming that the culprits were racist and nationalist Greek Cypriots.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also condemned the arson attack at the Grand Mosque in Larnaca. Speaking to reporters on Monday before departing for Doha, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemned the attack and issued threats against the Greek Cypriot authorities.

 “This attack will not be left unanswered,” he said, warning the Greek Cypriot side not to try to “sabotage the places of worship.” “Otherwise you will be made to pay the price heavily,” Erdoğan said, adding that they have launched an investigation on who might be behind the attack.

Erdoğan also demanded assurances from the Greek Cypriot administration that the places of worship will be protected. Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Ömer Çelik also echoed the same messages on Twitter on Monday.

Çelik highlighted that the Greek Cypriot administration did not adopt sufficient measures to prevent such attacks in the past. “Those promoting animosity against Turks and hatred towards Islam are responsible for the attack,” Çelik stressed, urging the Greek Cypriot administration to find, arrest and punish the perpetrators as soon as possible.

Sotos Ktoris, a member of the bicommunal committee of cultural heritage, on Monday, said the attack did not have any “racist or nationalist motives behind it.” “It was an unfortunate incident in which a homeless Syrian immigrant tried to set fire to the mosque when the hodja did not allow him to spend the night in it, Ktoris wrote, adding that the damage was minimal. 

“We ought to set things in their correct dimension to avoid an unnecessary and damaging fight relating to the two sides’ religious monuments,” he said on his Facebook page. “As Cypriots, we respect all religious monuments and places of worship. It is a matter of culture, and the monuments are part of the common cultural heritage of the country.”

SRSG Colin Stewart assumes his duties in Cyprus

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


The new Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Mr Colin Stewart, has arrived in Cyprus to formally assume his duties, the UN announced. 

In a statement issued on Monday, the UN also noted that Mr Stewart will also be the Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General (DSASG) on Cyprus. 

Stewart succeeds Elizabeth Spehar, who completed her assignment on 30 November 2021. Speaking upon his arrival, Stewart said: “I am honoured to be here in Cyprus as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Special Adviser.  I am keenly aware of the importance of UNFICYP’s mandate for the lives of all Cypriots and I look forward to working with all of you and our partners in Cyprus. 

He also took the opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor, Elizabeth Spehar, for her stalwart leadership of UNFICYP and the Good Offices mission.  “I look forward to continuing the work of the United Nations in Cyprus and hope to forge strong working relationships with all stakeholders and learn from them so that, together, we can hopefully bring a lasting peace to the island,” Stewart concluded.

Stewart will meet with the two leaders, other senior officials, civil society representatives, members of the diplomatic community, and the United Nations family across the island over the coming weeks.

CHP MP raises issue of banned TCs again

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/ International Relations


Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Utku Çakırözer on Monday once again raised again the issue of Turkish Cypriots being blacklisted by the Turkish government.

Around two dozen Turkish Cypriots, mainly politicians known for their anti-Turkish stance is currently banned from entering Turkey on grounds they pose a ‘national security’ threat.

Speaking during the meeting of the Turkish Parliament’s foreign affairs commission, Çakırözer wanted to know the exact number of banned Turkish Cypriots as well as the reasons why they were prohibited from entering the country

He also noted that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s claim the Turkish Cypriots were a threat to national security is not plausible.

“This answer is not acceptable. Moreover, it is not possible to conceal such an undemocratic move with one sentence,” Çakırözer stressed, reiterating his demand to know the exact number of individuals who are banned.

Çakırözer pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot dailies reported a list of 42 people, who are vocal critics. “You, on one hand, want the TRNC to be an independent state but on the other hand interfere in their domestic matters,” Çakırözer stressed, adding that prohibiting Turkish Cypriot intellectuals, journalists, and politicians from entering Turkey contradicts with Ankara’s claims of wanting to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

“It is not possible to evade answering the questions by claiming it’s a sovereignty right,” Çakırözer said, demanding an explanation for “the unlawful treatment of the Turkish Cypriots.” He also pointed out that the drama series “Once upon a time in Cyprus” on Turkish broadcasting company TRT is “tactless and has offended the Turkish Cypriots.”

Çakırözer emphasized that if Ankara were to carry out cultural collaborations with the Turkish Cypriots, it must be done in a way that does not distort their history.

The minimum wage is ₺511 (€33) below the poverty threshold

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Economy, Governance & Power Sharing


Turkish Cypriot Public Servants’ Union (KTAMS) on Monday said the minimum wage in the north continues to remain below the poverty threshold and the gap between the two figures widen by the day.

In a statement issued by the union, Güven Bengihan, head of KTAMS, argued that the minimum wage is melting before the price hikes in the marketplace as well as against the increasing value of the foreign currencies. He added that as of November 30, 2021, the poverty threshold for a family of four stands at ₺4,835 (€312), however the net minimum wage with the latest increase is still ₺4,324 (€279).

Bengihan argued the recently established minimum wage contradicts the provisions of the law on the minimum wage making it mandatory for the wage paid to the employee to meet certain standards set by both international treaties and domestic legislation.

He added that the research carried out by KTAMS proved that the net minimum wage is below the poverty threshold.

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriots woke to new price hikes on Tuesday with a ₺1 (€0.064) increase in the rise of petrol and diesel. Having expected the increase in prices many petrol stations shut down early on Monday evening.

The north has been experiencing shortages at petrol stations for the past week after the two companies supplying fuel refused to supply them on grounds they were concurring losses due to the fall in the value of the Turkish lira.

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