GCC Press Review 21 Dec 2021

Front Page Headlines


The new suggestions ‘cancel’ the vaccines

With tests, in the same ‘manger’ for the unvaccinated and vaccinated.

  • N. Christodoulides to be replaced – Is Kasoulides returning to the foreign ministry?
  • Terrorism case: Three were released due to weak testimony
  • Turkish lira: non-stop devaluation


A heavy file for the Syllouris case

It was delivered to the attorney-general with suggestions by the police for criminal prosecution in the Al Jazeera case. The final decision is in the hands of the legal services.

  • All eyes are on the Security Council
  • March is important for the elections
  • Not a single step back on the two states, Tatar says


Effortless calls on the one hand, obstacles on the other

The president and the interior minister are saying one thing from the podium of the municipalities’ general meeting, DISY is doing another. The president is calling for consensus but DISY refuses for the second time to table an amendment within the agreed deadline.

  • The president insists on the CBMs to break the deadlock in the Cyprus problem
  • 1974 murders: The remains of 11 children were buried yesterday in Maratha
  • EU Commission: €12.5m to support organisations within the TC community
  • The president does not deal with… those who deal with the elections… he says!

Cyprus Mail

Tougher Covid measures likely

More tests mulled likely as President says hopes to avoid a blanket lockdown.


Holidays with 20 people in home gatherings

Coronavirus: what measures did the members of the advisory scientific committee suggest – Cabinet will decide today.

  • Anastasiades: I don’t deal with those who deal with the elections – The president’s response when asked about Christodoulides-Kasoulides. Ioannis Kasoulides does not confirm that he has been asked to replace Christodoulides.
  • Turkey: The businessmen are protesting but Erdogan insists on the low interest rate policy

Main News

Anastasiades hopes international actors will soon realise current Cyprob situation cannot go on 

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, CBMs


President Nicos Anastasiades referred to his proposed confidence-building measures (CBMs) as a way of restarting the dialogue between the two communities, the dailies report.

In his speech at the 38th Annual General Assembly of the Union of Municipalities, Anastasiades wished for reunification conditions noting that the burden of the occupation no longer concerns just the GCs but the TCs as well.

He also said that Turkey’s claims for recognition of sovereignty, and the sovereign equality of the occupied areas before the commencement of a dialogue are neither terms nor preconditions to create the conditions for a dialogue.

The president also said he did not expect an appointment by the UNSG of a special envoy on the Cyprus problem before the end of the year.

He expressed hope however that, at some point, the UNSG, the EU and anyone else involved would realise that this unacceptable situation cannot go on, and that the unacceptable demands and the provocative actions of Turkey are in contrast with the UN resolutions and conventions.

He also referred to his suggestions to the European Council and the UN Secretary-General that the time had come “if we wanted to create the conditions to take some important steps in introducing some confidence-building measures (CBMs) that would begin to mend the climate of mistrust.” These measures, he added, concern entrusting the administration or protection of the status of the fenced area of ​​Famagusta to the administration of the UN in exchange for the airport of Tymbou being placed under the administration of the UN as long as the regulations are observed of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the protection of the FIR. He also said this would entail also the reopening of the port of Famagusta under the supervision of the EU in terms of duties and customs, while Turkey allows Cypriot ships enter Turkish ports. With regard to natural gas, the president said that there is no need for any other convergence than the proposals that are being transformed into legislation such as the National Hydrocarbons Fund, the proposal to set up a trust fund and deposit when and if there is any income, in proportion to population for the benefit of the TCs.  

Phileleftheros reports that the government is now focused on the UN Security Council resolution, towards the end of January on the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate since it is considered crucial on the Cyprus problem and the efforts for resumption of the talks. This concerns possible references on the non-resumption of the talks and the failed so far effort for the appointment of a special envoy, the daily said, adding that Anastasiades hopes that everyone will see what is going on.

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, during his meeting yesterday with US Ambassador Judith Garber, sent out the message that Nicosia counts on Washington’s support during the discussion at the UN Security Council, Phileleftheros reports.

The dailies also report that TC leader Ersin Tatar insisted on Monday, during an event, that the TC side will not back down on the policy on two sovereign, equal states on the island.

Haravgi reports that despite the objections and concerns also by ruling DISY, Anastasiades continues to promote his suggested CBMs.

Recalling an interview with Sunday’s Haravgi, the daily reports that DISY’s head of the Cyprus problem office Charalambos Stavrides said that the CBMs proposed by the president were not enough to singlehandedly create conditions for solving the Cyprus problem. AKEL’s head of the Cyprus problem office Stavri Kalopsidiotou, recalled of the unnecessary wandering and waste of time when Glafcos Clerides had followed a similar approach. Neither the Cyprus problem was solved, nor Varosha was saved, she said. The daily points out that none of them rejected the positive value of CBMs in solving small, day-to-day issues and for promoting rapprochement between the two communities.

Stresses importance of reunification since impact of occupation now affects not only GCs but TCs as well & hopes UN, EU and others realise that current unacceptable situation cannot continue while Turkish demands and actions violate UN resolutions.
>> Turkey’s claims for recognition of north’s sovereignty before talks can resume, do not set the tone for a dialogue, whereas GC side’s CBM proposals on Varosha, Famagusta port and Tymbou airport & natural gas moves, can help heal mistrust between communities.

TC side will not back down on the policy on two sovereign, equal states on the island.

Funeral of 11 children killed in the Maratha-Sandalaris murders

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Governance & Power Sharing, CBMs, Human Rights


Haravgi reports that the remains of 11 children murdered by GCs in August 1974 were buried on Monday in the villages of Maratha and Sandalaris.

The remains had been exhumed by the Committee on Missing Persons, from a mass burial site.

Citing reports in the north, the daily reported that Turkish flags and those of the ‘TRNC’ were placed on the coffins with the remains of the 11 children before handed over to the families to bury. The victims were buried as martyrs, the daily reported.

Head of the martyrs association of Maratha, Sandalaris and Aloa, Ahmet Asir, said that 47 years after the murders, the value of peace and the bitterness of war are more easily understood. He also said that tanks to Turkey, the Turks of Cyprus live peacefully, without a war.

TC leader Ersin Tatar said that Turkey’s guarantees were necessary under any circumstances for peace and the TCs’ security. He said that if a solution is imposed, there will be a genocide again expressing his belief in the effective guarantees of motherland Turkey and the presence of the Turkish army, the daily reported.

Dailies mark ‘Bloody Christmas’ anniversary

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Governance & Power Sharing


The dailies report that today is the anniversary of the ‘bloody Christmas’ of December 21, 1963.

Phileleftheros reports that the incident started when a police patrol tried to search a car in which TCs were passengers on Ermou street on the border of the TC quarter of the old part of Nicosia. The TCs refused, following the instructions of the TMT and the incident turned into a fracas between the TC crowd that gathered and the GC police officers leading to the death of two TCs. This was the spark for the long thought ought and well planned insurgency of the TCs, the daily reported. It added that the incidents continued the next day as TC crowds, among them many armed, started roaming without any control the streets of the old town, ignoring the heeds by President Makarios and Vice President Kucuk and by afternoon the fights broke out in other neighbourhoods of the capital while the next day they started also in Larnaca. This was the beginning of the partition, Phileleftheros reports.

Haravgi reports on bicommunal troubles and that the beginning of the December 21 crisis was sparked on November 30 when President Makarios presented Vice President Kucuk with 13 points for the revision of the Constitution. They included the abolition of the separate majority for voting on laws, setting up unitary municipal councils, and abolishing the vetos both of the president and the VP.

Though Makarios’ goal was to shape a unitary administration in Cyprus the ensuing crisis is the beginning of the partition of the two communities. In the early hours of December 21, 1963 the bicommunal troubles started in Nicosia between GCs and TCs. During the fights atrocities are carried out by both sides that poisoned irreparably the relations of the two communities, Haravgi reports.

Speculations about FM Christodoulides’ replacement with Kasoulides over 2023 elections

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing


With more than a year to the 2023 presidential elections, speculations grow on whether Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, who might run as candidate, will be replaced by former incumbent Ioannis Kasoulides, the dailies report.

President Nicos Anastasiades, when asked on Monday to comment on reports in Sunday’s Kathimerini that he asked Kasoulides if he would be interested in replacing Christodoulides in case the latter left his post, said: “What I do know is that I will be president until February 28, 2023. Beyond that, I do not deal with those dealing with the presidential elections.” He added that decisions would be made in due time.

Kathimerini did not clarify if this meant removal of the FM from his post or if he would be stepping down, Alithia reports, citing also Kasoulides’ statements to Haravgi that he was not responsible for such reports while refraining from confirming what has been reported.

Politis, citing sources, reports that it is certain Anastasiades had a meeting with Kasoulides. The same sources told the daily that Kasoulides is eyeing positively his return to the foreign ministry since he acknowledges that it would be difficult to have a new face to the ministry since it takes an adjustment period. He also recognises that his possible return to the ministry could bring calm to the party, following the uncertainty caused by what Christodoulides’ moves will be, and allow it to head to the elections process without any distractions. It is clear, however, that such a comeback would have to be coupled with a change to the priorities set in foreign policy that will change today’s logic, mainly on Nicosia’s goals at EU level as regards Brussels’ stance vis-à-vis Turkey.

Of course, the current policies of the foreign ministry have Anastasiades blessings’, Politis reports, while also citing sources within DISY saying that Kasoulides’ possible presence, even for 13 months, will allow for restoring foreign policy to a more rational course.

The daily also reports that, the way things are, Christodoulides will have to resign his post either way: if he decides to run as DISY candidate or right after the January 10 deadline set by the party for express of interest for candidacies, since he did not clarify if he was interested in the presidency.

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