GCC Press Review 24 Apr 2019

Front Page Headlines


He used to kill… smile, and then take photographs

After the discovery of the first body he played the camera man at a political event. Nikos Metaxas was moving about with ease in public among personalities from the political scene. Possibility of appointment of independent investigators over possible negligence by police officers. The post mortem on the second body was completed without shedding light on the cause of death.

  • Cyprob: Spat between DISY-AKEL. Who wants progress the most?
  • TC Properties: Another one on the roof


Defining day for the horror show

A diver with a special diving suit will clarify whether the body of the six-year-old girl is in the lake. Investigations in Mitsero focus on (the search for) 30-year-old Maricar. Her profile matches that of the other victims.

  • A stop to the selling of occupied properties
  • After the ‘Blue Homeland’ the ‘Sea Dog’ follows
  • Hotelier threatened to jump off roof


Resign! Lives were lost

There are self-evident responsibilities and criminal negligence and there is enormous political responsibility for the Chief of Police and the Minister of Justice, confirmed daily by the new evidence that comes to light. Investigations continue, while it has been confirmed following identification that one of the two bodies belongs to Mary Rose Tiburcio (first body found).

  • Eighteen areas very close to the buffer zone will be cleared of mines

Cyprus Mail

Murder probes hit technical hurdles

Post-mortem on second body inconclusive, no sign of child in lake search.


Agonising investigations

New effort launched today at the Mitsero mineshaft without ruling out the possibility of finding more bodies. Serial killer ‘Orestis’ made front pages around the world.

  • Akinci: Guterres’ report is balanced but…

Main News

Akinci: UNSG reference to June 30 is an indirect warning to GCs

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process


TC leader Mustafa Akinci said the report of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was a balanced one but that this was also an injustice to TCs, the papers reported.

Haravgi reports that Akinci, commenting on Tuesday on the Guterres report said that the UNSG tried to keep a balanced position but this was an injustice to TCs. Akinci, the daily reported, accepts past convergences and the Guterres Framework as the basis for the talks but said that the GCs rejected a very important principle of past agreements, such as political equality and TC effective participation by saying such convergences don’t exist. GCs, he said, are trying to set as the basis the July 4 (clarifications) instead of the June 30, 2017 Framework. 

The fact that no clear reference was made in the report to the negative stance of the GC side in the UN report is a serious deficiency while it is regrettable to ignore the positive attitude of the TC side, he said, adding that this does not contribute to efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Nonetheless, he said, it is important that a reference was made to political equality in a bizonal bicommunal federation, while there is also reference to the June 30 Framework, which is an indirect warning to the GC side, he said.

Akinci added the TC side will continue its efforts for peace and a solution, noting that the continuing embargoes on the TCs are unfair.

The content of the report did not satisfy the TC side, reported Phileleftheros, adding that Akinci, after a long delay, issued yesterday a written statement with his positions on the report.

Based on his positions, it seems Akinci did not like the content of the report, the daily said, adding that the TC leader tried to play the blame game by focusing on points on which he believes the GC side ought to be blamed.

Clearly, he was expecting during the week that has elapsed since the preparation of the report and up to yesterday that something would change since Turkey was trying during this time to have changes made to some references in the report, Phileleftheros reported.

Alithia reports that Akinci said Guterres’ report is a balanced one but expressed complaints that the UNSG did not satisfy his demand to attribute responsibilities to the GC side, which serves as an injustice to the TCs.

Guterres tries to keep a balance in his report but failure to mention negative GC stance & positive TC stance is unfair to the latter & does not contribute to efforts for a Cyprob solution.
>> Accepts convergences & Guterres Framework as basis but GCs rejected convergences on political equality & TC effective participation and are now trying to set July 4 as basis for Framework.
>> Welcomes reference to political equality within bizonal bicommunal federation.
>> UNSG’s reference to June 30 Framework is an indirect warning to the GC side.
>> Embargoes on TCs are unfair.

AKEL-DISY spat over prospect of Cyprob developments

Alithia, Haravgi, Politis
Negotiations Process


A new spat broke out on Tuesday between ruling party DISY and main opposition AKEL over statements by DISY leader Averof Neophytou earlier in the week that he believes the UN would soon propose a new conference on Cyprus.

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said on Tuesday that the information leaked by DISY and the government are nothing but an attempt to convince part of the public opinion that developments are expected on the Cyprus problem and keep the hope alive until after the Euro-elections.

Kyprianou, according to the dailies, referred to what President Nicos Anastasiades said to the National Council during the advisory body’s last meeting that there is no possibility of a new conference since Lute’s efforts have borne no fruit.

In response, Neophytou told Politis that AKEL must decide if it wants developments on the Cyprus problem or not, adding that he would expect Kyprianou to welcome the prospect and his assessment that defining developments are on the cards.

Neophytou reiterated that he truly believes that there will be developments based on the things Antonio Guterres said in his report to the UN Security Council on his Good Offices in Cyprus.

Instead of welcoming the prospect, is Kyprianou criticising the assessment that there will be developments, Neophytou asked.

Politis repeated what sources within the UN told the daily last week that, regardless of how the sides feel about it, the UN would like to see a conference on Cyprus with the participation of all stakeholders within the summer with the aim of clarifying all aspects and issues concerning the Cyprus problem.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
DISY & government deliberately trying to keep hope alive of developments on the Cyprob ahead of Euro-elections, despite fact Anastasiades told political leaders there is no such possibility.

Neophytou (DISY)
>> AKEL must decide whether it wants developments on Cypro or not.
>> Truly believes there will be developments on the Cyprob based on the Guterres report.

Parties mark 15th anniversary of Annan plan referendum

Negotiations Process


Phileleftheros reports on announcements by political parties to mark the 15th anniversary since the Annan plan referendum.

Fifteen years since the majority of GCs rejected the Annan plan,  the daily said, DIKO sends out the message it will remain true to the clear command the people gave in 2004 and will continue to fight against Annan-type destructive proposals.

DIKO stressed that it will fight with all its strength so that the next solution presented to the people would ensure the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus, satisfies the expectations of GCs for a viable, lasting and functional solution that will be governed by the principles of democracy and respect for human rights and will be fully compatible with the European acquis.

DIKO reminds that under the guidance of Tassos Papadopoulos, GCs said ‘NO’ to Turkey’s vague promises, the implementation of which was not secured and to the serious possibility of becoming beggars at some point and searching for a state and sovereignty, the gradual Turkification of Cyprus and being turned into second-class European citizens.

EDEK, on the occasion of the anniversary, re-pitched its proposal on an international conference on Cyprus with the participation of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and to prioritise discussion on the international aspect of the Cyprus problem.

The party stressed that the solution should strengthen cooperation between GCs and TCs for their common future and not divide the people. It also notes that the solution should be ratified by a single referendum, with a common electoral list on the basis of the unified list adopted for the forthcoming European elections.

For EDEK, the only possible, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem is a democratic solution, fully safeguarding the civil and human rights of all citizens, of the European acquis and one that creates conditions for Cyprus to remain an independent European state and not a protectorate of Turkey.

The Citizens Alliance called for a referendum to probe the form of solution people want, adding that the political leadership ought to act based on its results, set a new strategy and reverse the result of the occupation. This way, the party said, national unity will be achieved based on the popular will.

Vows to remain true to people’s will of 2004 & continue to fight against Annan-type destructive proposals.
>> Wants solution to ensure continuation of RoC & satisfy expectations for a viable, lasting and functional solution, respecting human rights and compatible with the European acquis.

>> Proposes international conference on Cyprus with participation of P5 that prioritises discussion on the international aspect of the Cyprob.
>> GCs and TCs ought to ratify the solution in a single referendum, based on common electoral list as adopted for Euro-elections.
>> Solution should strengthen cooperation between GCs & TCs, safeguard rights of all citizens and create conditions for Cyprus to remain an independent European state, not Turkish protectorate.

Citizens Alliance
>> Calls for referendum to probe form of solution people want, which government & parties must respect and act accordingly, thereby achieving national unity.

Man threatened to jump off roof over repossession of TC property

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis


The manager of a hotel in Paphos spent more than nine hours on the roof of his establishment threatening to jump on Tuesday after the Guardian of TC properties decided to reallocate adjacent premises he was leasing as extra space to the Paphos Municipality, the papers reported.

The man, Giorgos Gregoriou, a refugee from Morphou, went up on the roof of the hotel at around 7.30 am after members of the TC properties administration went in the morning to take possession of the establishments in question and was convinced to come down at around 5pm, after he was promised an appointment with the permanent secretary of the interior ministry on May 5 to discuss the problem.

Gregoriou, who rents a hotel in the city centre that belongs to a GC, had leased some TC properties next to his premises but the interior ministry that manages TC properties has made an agreement to lease the premises in question to the Paphos Municipality.

The man took the interior minister and the Paphos municipality to court seeking a reversal of the decision but his request was rejected last week.

The director of the department for the management of TC properties in Paphos, Maria Savvidou, said that the eviction was being done by the book and that the man did not sign any contracts for the use of the establishment. Sawidou said that the space in question has now been given to the Paphos municipality and that contracts have already been signed with the local authority.

According to Politis, the Guardian did not renew the lease contract of the space that expired some two years ago because the municipality had expressed interest in redeveloping the square located near the hotel and behind the buildings in question. The district administration however, says that Gregoriou never went to sign the new lease contract when the previous one expired, the paper reported.

Paphos Municipality said, according to the papers, it wants to redevelop the space and construct in a covered square to support surrounding shop owners who also lease TC establishments and encourage growth of the restaurant businesses. It said that it will not be earning any proceeds from this project but rather it will spend a substantial amount on the redevelopment.

Attempt to sell GC properties in Lithuania foiled



The foreign affairs ministry recently foiled attempts by a company to sell GC properties in the north to Lithuanians, the paper reports.

According to the paper, Cyprus’ embassy in Lithuania acted promptly after it was informed by Cypriot and Greek participants of an international tourism exhibition that took place in Vilnius last January that Lithuanian company KIPRO NT, was advertising the sale of property in the occupied areas.

The embassy of Cyprus notified the Lithuanian foreign ministry that had the company pulled out of the exhibition and issued a statement informing its citizens that before buying, renting or promoting the sale of property in Cyprus, in areas not under the control of the Republic they ought to first secure legal advice and make sure that the property is not owned by GCs. It also warned that buyers could face legal measures against them over the violation of the right to ownership.

Phileleftheros said that the occupation regime is reaching out in every direction to seek buyers for GC properties in the north and is promoting this property for sale either directly or through its representatives.

Work starts on demining 18 areas on both sides of the divide

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
CBMs, External Security


The papers report that 18 suspected hazardous areas, nine in the free areas and nine in the occupied areas, which may be contaminated with mines, have been identified for clearing as part of confidence-building measures on demining agreed in February between the two leaders in Cyprus.

A UN source told the Cyprus News Agency that the 18 areas were identified last week by UNFICYP and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in cooperation with the National Guard and with military forces in the north, the papers report.

The identified areas follow the ceasefire line, and are really close to the edges of the buffer zone, the sources said, adding that a survey is to start soon at the sites to see how big these areas are, what the terrain is like, whether there are people living nearby, how many military officers, what equipment and how much time would be needed for the work to be completed.

This will all be written down, discussed with the two sides and once they agree with the scope of work and the start and stop date of this project, the UN will organise a demining team to come to Cyprus and conduct this work, the sources said.

The important thing is that progress is being made and both sides are cooperating, the source said, adding that this is something that is good for both GCs and TCs since nobody wants to see anybody die because of landmines.

According to UNFICYP data, there are 47 suspected hazardous areas in Cyprus that may be contaminated with mines or explosive remnants of war, amounting to approximately 1.7 million square metres of land, the papers reported.

UN police introduce bicycle patrols in buffer zone

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
External Security


UN police (UNPOL) launched bicycle patrols in the buffer zone in Nicosia aimed at making its regular rounds within the narrow streets and old buildings. So far, due to the dense vegetation and narrow tracks, UNPOL was monitoring these areas through foot patrols.

The first four-cyclist patrol which included Acting Senior Police Adviser Dongxu Su started from Ledra Palace Hotel and ended at the Ledra Street crossing point. The UN said in an announcement that the patrols are intended to boost the capacity of UNPOL.

It is hoped that bicycle patrols will enable community members on both sides to have greater interaction with UNPOL officers as required, the announcement said, adding that this is part of an approach that relies on community-oriented policing practices.

Haravgi said the measure is welcomed but that UN members should take initiatives to clean up the area both from weeds and rodents, for a better quality of life for GCs and TCs whose homes are right next to the buffer zone.

Gender Equality Committee supports TC journalist’s Nobel candidacy



The Technical Committee on Gender Equality said on Tuesday it welcomes the Nobel Peace
Prize nomination of their “courageous colleague and friend” journalist Sevgul Uludag.

Uludag has worked hard to determine the fate of the missing of Cyprus, helping uncover and heal the deep pain experienced by all Cypriot communities and has contributed  greatly for reconciliation on the island, the Committee said in a written statement.

It added that Uludag was also one of the first women peace activists and gender
experts on the island and deserves credit for her work on gender equality as well. 
Everybody living in Cyprus had their share of pain, the announcement said, adding that it is crucial to acknowledge this pain and take steps to reconcile it.

“We have a firm belief that Sevgul Uludag’s work, as well as her courage, empathy, resilience,
and humanism is a great step towards this acknowledgement and well deserves the Nobel Peace Prize,” the Committee said, adding they strongly support her candidacy.

New massive Turkish naval exercise on the cards

External Security


The paper reports that Turkey is planning a new demonstration of its might within the sea area of the Eastern Mediterranean with a new large-scale nautical exercise dubbed ‘Sea Dog 2019’ which is even bigger than the ‘Blue Homeland’ exercise that took place earlier in the year.

The ‘Sea Dog’ exercise of the Turkish navy that is being organised every two years, will take place between May 13 and 25 and will include war scenarios and scenarios on crises and tense episodes.

Phileleftheros, cites Turkish daily Yeni Safak saying that very few countries in the world can pull off a second exercise of this magnitude within two months.

In this way, the Turkish daily said, the Turkish naval forces will consolidate their power and sovereignty in the seas and will give the biggest response to policies aiming to constrain Turkey especially as regards the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to Phileleftheros, this new demonstration of power in the Eastern Mediterranean comes at a stage when Erdogan is under internal and external pressure and while energy-related developments are under way. The exercise is also being promoted as a response to US pressure against the Russian missile system that Turkey uses as a counterweight against Washington, the daily said.

Protest over the demolition of Ktima Makenzie



Friends and relatives of the former managers of Ktima Makenzie that is being demolished on court orders since it sits on what was initially deemed as TC land, staged a protest on Tuesday outside the establishment.

The group, joined by far-right ELAM members and Larnaca Municipal Councillor Soteris Ioannou, said they are against the decision.

Some of them hoisted the Turkish flag as a protest against the government act to reclaim the property from the former managers of the business who are refugees, arguing that this deprives them of their living.

One of the former managers, Andreas Matolis, said that the government’s claims that he and his business partners were trespassing were not true and presented documents which prove, he said, that it was state services that had given them permits to operate Ktima Makenzie.

Ioannou said that this decision was to serve the interests of those who exploit to date GC properties and destroyed GC monuments. He wondered whether the government would also demolish a church located within the same property.

The property was managed by the government after 1974 as it was believed to be abandoned TC land but a few years ago it emerged that its owner, a TC man, had in fact migrated to the UK in the 1950’s and had become a British citizen, thus the government had no right to allocate it to refugees for use.

Following a long legal battle, a court ordered the interior ministry to demolish the establishment that sits on the land.

Concerns over mass arrivals of migrants through north

Migration & Citizenship


Another 37 immigrants arrived on two separate occasions through the occupied areas with authorities expressing concerns about the extent of this phenomenon, the paper reports.

This year, the occupied areas have been the main route of arrivals of undocumented immigrants compared to last year when most had arrived by sea, the daily said.

The 37 immigrants ( 15 adults and 22 minors) were located last night by the police in Nicosia and the Morphou area and have been already taken to the reception centre in Kokkinotrimithia.

In total 19 persons (17 men, one woman and one minor) were located in Morphou and 18 persons (four women and 14 children) in Nicosia. The persons located in Nicosia crossed to the free areas through the Ledra Palace crossing, Phileleftheros reported.

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