Front Page Headlines
More taxes less wages
The new draft bill on taxes prepared by Sucuoğlu’s government will raise taxes and thus lower salaries. While ten per cent is cut from current gross salaries at the moment, this figure will be raised to 20 per cent. Most public servants will be in the group who will have 40 per cent in taxes.
Increase in insurance fees at our doorstep
Foreign currencies and high prices wreak havoc in all sectors. All the sectors, which are faced with a sharp rise in initial costs and are unable to meet them, are increasing the prices of the goods they sell and the services they provide. And now the insurance companies are considering a 20-25 per cent increase in insurance premiums for home and vehicle insurances.
Sterling pound value to be fixed at ₺12, setting its interest at four per cent
Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) leader Faiz Sucuoğlu was the guest at the traditional lunch meeting organized by Havadis. Sucuoğlu talked about the steps planned to mitigate the effects of the foreign currency crisis. He said the people are unable to bear the burden of the crisis, most unable to pay their debts. “We are meeting with the banks and have achieved a lot of progress on fixing the value of the Sterling point at ₺12,” Sucuoğlu said.
- Start by switching to the Euro – Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) and Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) shared their 27-point proposals to preserve the public’s purchasing power.
Everyone is in shock
The prices of some staple foods have doubled in the past month. The price of almost everything from flour to water has gone up following the tumble of the Turkish Lira against foreign currencies. This has only made the economic crisis caused by the pandemic even worse. The price of a kilo of chicken wings has surpassed ₺60 (€3.83). The public is outraged over the fact that the price of sugar, cooking oil, pasta, rice and other staple foods has doubled.
From Vahdettin (last emperor of the Ottomans) to total ruin
Fuel oil prices have increased by 71 per cent since June; milk prices increased by 45 per cent in the same period; bottled gas by 56 per cent; bread by 78 per cent. Turkish lira devaluated by 66 per cent against the US Dollars since September 1. Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) and Secondary School Teachers’ Union (KTOEÖS) said the economy is in ruins, adding that a majority of the people are being crushed under bigger burdens each day whereas a small circle of people continue to live their ultra-luxurious lives in our country, which is managed by a group of corroborators who are used to taking orders.
- We will be organized for a boycott campaign – Federal Cyprus Movement said.
IPC bill approved, its importance emphasized againYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Negotiations Process
The bill to extend the mandate of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) for another two years was approved by the parliamentary assembly on Thursday.
Speaking first, National Unity Party (UBP) MP and member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiations team, Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu stressed the IPC had become an effective domestic remedy for property cases since its establishment 16 years ago.
He also noted that the IPC has also become an important instrument in moving forward with plans to reopen Maraş (Varosha). “The Turkish Cypriot leadership has eliminated the concept of territorial adjustments with its new position vis-à-vis the Cyprus problem adopted,” Hasipoğlu said, adding that it is out of the question for the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) to be returned to the UN administration.
Responding to Hasipoğlu, Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Fikri Toros said “The Cyprus problem and the absence of a solution were the root causes for the collapse of the Turkish Cypriot economy.
He also noted that the current state of the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) was the product of a human tragedy caused by the Cyprus problem, pointing out that thousands had been deprived of their properties and rights over the past four decades. Toros argued that contrary to what the UBP claims, the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Maraş (Varosha) were binding.
Touching on the IPC bill on the agenda, Toros underlined that the UBP is contradicting itself. “On one hand, the UBP argues the efforts for a federal settlement have been exhausted and on the other is promoting the IPC,” Toros said.
He also underlined that as long as the IPC remains an effective remedy, the property cases will not be taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), saving Turkey from paying exorbitant compensation to property owners.
Toros stressed the IPC has so far resolved nearly 300 applications, paying £325m (€422.5m) in compensation payments. He also urged the authorities to speed up the processing of the applications and said there are applicants from 2013 and 2014 still waiting for their compensations.
Also echoing similar views as Toros, CTP MP Teberrüken Uluçay said the IPC was founded by the CTP-Democratic Party (DP) coalition 16 years ago as a temporary fix until a comprehensive settlement was reached on the Cyprus problem. He stressed the IPC is the only instrument to overcome the property disputes in the north.
Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Özyiğit on the issue, highlighted the problems regarding fund allocations and compensation payments. “The authorities must create the necessary funds for compensation payments at the IPC for the commission to remain as an effective domestic remedy,” Özyiğit stressed.
Rebirth Party (YDP) leader Erhan Arıklı in his address described the IPC “as the biggest success since the 1974 Peace Operation.” He however pointed out that Turkey has stopped allocating funds for compensation payments.
“The TRNC can’t pay the compensations but a new taxation system based on the value increase of the property (once the Greek Cypriot property becomes Turkish title deed) should be implemented to contribute to the funds,” Arıklı said.
CTP leader Tufan Erhürman responding to Arıklı said he had discussed the taxation issue with Ankara, and it was decided that additional tax could only be imposed when the property in question was back on the market. CTP MP Asım Akansoy on the other hand accused Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar of rendering the IPC ineffective.
“The main reason behind the IPC’s failure is Tatar and his two-state policies,” Akansoy argued, adding that respect for the Turkish Cypriot institutions would only be given if the institutions remain within their scope.
He also reminded that nearly 80 per cent of the properties in the north are originally owned by Greek Cypriots. The Legal, Political and Foreign Affairs Committee at the Turkish Cypriot Parliament approved on December 2, the bill to extend the mandate of the IPC for two more years.
The approval by the parliamentary assembly, which is mainly a legislative procedure, allows the IPC to continue accepting applications from property owners regarding their immovable properties.
Human Rights Association demands the UN to recognize the northYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The ‘TRNC’ Human Rights Society, which is known for its aligned political position with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, asked the UN and the EU to politically recognize the ‘TRNC.’
In a message published on the occasion of Human Rights Day on December 10, Hasan Yılmaz Işık, head of the society, said the international community must respect the Turkish Cypriots’ independence, within the scope of universal human rights.
“The only way to maintain peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean goes through the political recognition of the TRNC,” he said, noting that it is unacceptable to see the international actors insisting on a federal settlement.
“The attempts to impose Republic of Cyprus (RoC), which is a Greek Cypriot state now unto the Turkish Cypriots are against human rights and UN principles,” Işık claimed, arguing that the recognition of the north conflicts with the interests of the members of the UN Security Council.
Işık concluded by arguing that the peace talks which started in 1968 failed due to the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence and irreconcilable attitude.
Federal Cyprus Movement to boycott upcoming elections in the northAvrupa
Governance & Power Sharing
Members of the Federal Cyprus Movement on Thursday announced they will boycott the general elections on January 23, 2022, and will actively organize a campaign encouraging others to join the ‘boycott-front.’
Speaking at a press conference, Nidai Mesutoğlu stressed that efforts to unite the left-wing political parties under one roof failed.
“The left-wing in the north is shattered into many smaller groups whereas the right-wing is a united front,” Mesutoğlu said, adding that trying to win representation in the parliament in such a situation would not bring any solutions to the public’s problems.
Mesutoğlu underlined that they will actively work in the period ahead telling people that the only way to save the Turkish Cypriots from the current economic, social and cultural problems is a federal settlement.
“We will tell the people that solution is what the Cypriots need,” he stressed, adding that the Turkish Cypriots have been held hostage in the northern part of the island.
GC arrested in the north after unfurling Greek flag
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
A Greek Cypriot man was arrested on Thursday after he unfurled a Greek flag over a monument located on a roundabout in Famagusta.
Passers-by who noticed the man prevented him from fleeing with his car. He was then taken into police custody for questioning at the Famagusta Police Station.
It is noted that he will be charged with the crime of ‘conducting unbecoming and defamation.’