TCC Press Review | 20 Feb 2019 |

Front Page Headlines


Allegations of a betting gang

According to the Adana Prosecutor’s Office in Turkey, an illegal betting organisation with links to the TRNC has been laundering 30.2 million Turkish Lira.

  • 74 percent decline in Green Line potato trade – A fall recorded last year in the sale of potatoes to South Cyprus within the framework of the Green Line Regulation.

Kıbrıs Postası

Concerns over abortion tourism

There are serious concerns over increasing the threshold for abortion to 14 weeks in view of the abortion scandals in the past, as the threshold in the south is 12 weeks and 10 weeks in Turkey.

  • “We have had enough bloodshed, let’s seek peace” – Akinci spoke to the media following briefing to parliament.
  • Technical team to arrive today for protocol meetings – 2019-2021 Financial Protocol technical level meetings will be held today within the framework drawn.
  • “We have reached 1.2 million tourists” – Tourism Minister Ataoglu on tourist numbers.


26.4% increase in the retail prices of 13,000 medicines

Turkish Health Ministry’s price hike in Turkish-made medicine reflected in the TRNC as of Tuesday.

  • “I am trying to do what is possible” – President Akinci spoke to media following parliamentary briefing.


Not backing down from the tender process

Halil Talaykurt, president of the Central Procurement Commission, spoke to Havadis about KIBTEK’s tendering process for new power generators.

  • Akinci is ready for the [leaders’] meeting – Ahead of the leaders’ meeting, Akinci briefed the political parties and listened to their views and criticisms.
  • “Either danger or collaboration” – In the third instalment of the interview, Akinci responded to questions on energy issues.


Must be taken to court

The Electricity Authority, which for years has been on the agenda over ‘shady’ equipment purchases, has become the consumers’ nightmare.

  • This is Taksim – AKEL leader Kyprianou reacts strongly to Anastasiades’ remarks on statements excluding a federal settlement.
  • No different from the North – Greek Cypriots do not trust their political parties.


Bullet trap at shooting range

Despite the death of a child, the government and military continue to conduct exercises in areas with civilian settlement.

Main News

Akinci briefs parliament on latest developments

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
Negotiations Process


President Akinci briefed members of parliament on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem at a closed session on Tuesday. Speaking afterward, Akinci described the meeting as productive and fruitful, stating that he had listened and taken note of recommendations, views as well as criticisms.

Reminding that the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute was still in the process of drafting the Terms of Reference to see whether there is common ground for the restart of negotiations, Akinci said he would be holding a similar meeting with parliament as and when a result emerges.

Responding to a question regarding Anastasiades’ statements, Akinci said he was not closed to new ideas but reminded that a settlement in Cyprus will be reached through negotiations under the UN umbrella. He said he will be listening to Anastasiades’ proposals on a decentralised federation, or other proposals if there are any, when he meets with him later this month.

Akinci said it was not fair that he was being accused of “ignoring the realities and rejecting other options”, emphasizing that he was only talking about the Cyprus problem within the UN and international framework.
He added that his sole purpose and aim was to achieve peace in Cyprus, noting that a settlement would benefit all sides as well as the region.

Also speaking after the session, Parliamentary Speaker Teberruken Ulucay said that there was a strong consensus in parliament on the Cyprus Problem; particularly on issues pertaining to political equality, which he added was indispensable for Turkish Cypriots. He also said that all parties in parliament shared the view that any new process must not be open-ended, must be result-oriented and subject to a timetable.

>> Not against new ideas/options so long as solution reached through talks under UN umbrella.
>> The reality is the Cyprus Problem must be solved within UN & international framework.
>> Settlement will benefit all sides and region.

>> Strong consensus in parliament on Cyprus Problem, particularly on the issue of political equality, which is indispensable for TCs.
>> All parties agree that any new process must not be open-ended, must be result-oriented and subject to a timetable.

“Either danger or collaboration,” said Akinci on energy issues

Energy, Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations


In the third installment of the interview, President Akinci spoke on energy issues and urged for common sense. Akinci said: “What needs to be done is known. We will either be faced with danger or make this issue a matter of collaboration.”

Akinci noted that the Greek Cypriot side perceives the hydrocarbons issue as a matter of sovereignty and therefore, refuses to include the subject in the negotiations process. Given the Greek Cypriot side’s position, Akinci stated there are two options left – either stopping the hydrocarbon activities by force or reciprocal moves.

He added that there will be a time when two drilling vessels will be exploring for natural gas side by side in the same seas. Asked whether the issue would lead to a heated conflict, Akinci refrained from commenting further but said, “no one can know the course of the developments but our desire is to collaborate”.

Regarding the transfer of natural gas to Europe via Turkey, Akinci said that building the pipeline via Turkey will be in the best interest of all countries in the region. The distance to Turkey is far shorter than other options making the pipeline economically feasible.

Furthermore, Turkey’s need for natural gas is increasing by the day, therefore, Turkey will be the initial buyer of gas from Cyprus. Then the pipeline could be extended towards Europe via Greece. However, Akinci emphasized that a solution on the island is needed before establishing any one of these deals.

Highlighting the need for Greek Cypriots to develop amicable relations with Turkey, Akinci added that the Greek Cypriot side could benefit economically from the opening of the airspace as well as ports.

Akinci also expressed the need to develop amicable relations between the two communities on the island and between Turkey and Greece, adding that the two leaderships must develop approaches to display the benefits of good relations among all parties.

Finally, on the recent Tsipras-Erdogan meeting, Akinci said Cypriots on the island are the main players though both Turkey and Greece must assist Cypriots in this regard. Therefore, Turkey-Greece relations, Turkey’s relations with the EU, and energy policies in the Eastern Mediterranean are all important factors, and if only all sides can develop common benefits, these issues will assist the process on the island.

>> The issue of hydrocarbons must be an area of collaboration rather than tension.
>> If GCs won’t include hydrocarbons in talks, only 2 options left: stop hydrocarbon activities by force or reciprocate.
>> The latter could lead to having two drill ships exploring for gas next to each other.
>> Sending gas to Europe via pipeline to Turkey is in the best interests of all regional countries & economically feasible.
>> Turkey’s gas needs will make Turkey buyer of Cypriot gas.
>> Sending gas to Turkey and selling gas to Turkey can only happen after a solution.
>> Good relations among TCs, GCs, Turkey & Greece will benefit all.
>> Cypriots are the main players, though Turkey & Greece must assist them.
>> Developing common benefits in Greco-Turkish relations, EU-Turkey relations & energy policies will assist the Cyprus peace process.

Solution initiative from Cypriots in the UK

Negotiations Process


The Bicommunal Solution Initiative based in the UK held a meeting in London earlier this week with representatives of different organisations registered with the initiative.

Serious concern was raised during the meeting regarding the absence of negotiations in Cyprus for a long period of time.

Discussions focused on planning coordinated action to help assist the restart of a new process with the aim of reaching a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement on the Cyprus Problem on the basis of single sovereignty, single citizenship and single international legal personality.

Two unanimously agreed decisions emerged from the meeting: the creation of a deep-rooted movement with the aim of launching a campaign in support of a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus, as well as the creation of teams of representatives that will conduct visits to institutions and individuals in key decision-making mechanisms.

74 percent decline in Green Line potato trade



In an exclusive story, Yeniduzen gives coverage to the potato trade from North to South within the framework of the Green Line Regulation. The paper states that there was a decline in potatoes sold to the South in 2018, which was marked by shortages and high prices.

A 74 percent decline was seen in 2018 figures, compared to 2017. While 350,363 Euros worth of produce was sold to the South in 2017, only 90,888 Euros was sold in 2018.

President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Turgay Deniz argued that the desired level of trade within the framework of the Green Line Regulation had not been reached over the past 14 years. He stated that the EU’s Direct Trade Regulation should be implemented as Turkish Cypriot goods were not taking their place on shelves in supermarkets in the South. Deniz added that their request was conveyed to the EU Commission.

While figures show a drop in the sale of potatoes, statistics reveal that the trade of olives, cabbage, and lettuce have completely stopped. A rise was recorded in the trade of fresh fish, pomegranates, taro, wooden furniture, and baskets.

>> Green Line trade has not reached the desired level in 14 years. TC goods are not being sold in the South.
>> EU Direct Trade Regulation should be implemented.

Intercommunal organisation being set up in South Cyprus

Human Rights


A new intercommunal civil society organisation named ‘Commedia’ is being set up in South Cyprus with the aim of reflecting social problems experienced by different communities living in Cyprus through online media. Former journalist and activist Orestis Tringides, who is a founding member of the organisation, says that they will be preparing a number of projects in collaboration with other NGOs which will allow people from all communities, particularly the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities to work together.

Technical team to arrive today for protocol meetings

Kibris Postasi
Economy, Regional/International Relations


Kibris Postasi reports that a technical delegation from Turkey will arrive in Nicosia today to carry out three-day long meetings on the 2019-2021 Financial Protocol.

Noting that a framework has already been drawn, the paper also reports that a decision on when the financial protocol will be signed will be made following the technical delegation’s meetings.

Referring to PM Tufan Erhurman’s recent visit to Ankara, it is also reported that the Turkish Cypriot side wanted the financial protocol agreement to be like an annual work plan with additional financial support on reforms to be implemented. Economic protocol agreements are signed generally for a three-year period.

>> Economic protocol agreements should be like annual work plans.

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