TCC Press Review 28 May 2019

Front Page Headlines


Tensions high at prison

The aftershock of the death of 27-year-old inmate Mithat Can Çalık at the Nicosia central prison continues. The cause of death will become clear once the autopsy report arrives from Turkey.

  • He raised hopes for the future – First evaluations following Niyazi Kızılyürek’s election to the European Parliament.
  • Two-state solution under EU umbrella in government programme – Government programme of UBP (National Unity Party)-HP (Peoples’ Party) read out in parliament.

Kıbrıs Postası

Government’s priority is economic development

Ersin Tatar read out the UBP-HP government programme in parliament on Monday. The government will focus on economic development, promising to conclude the economic protocol agreement with Turkey, implement public reforms, revise the civil service laws and restructure public institutions such as the telecommunications department and Famagusta Port through public-private partnership models.

  • Latest preparations on GSM tabled – [Transportation and Public Works] Minister Tolga Atakan not invited to the meeting. Akıncı held a meeting on GSM interoperability.


Don’t make us pay for the state’s debts

As the UBP-HP coalition assumed duty and the new government programme was read out in parliament, members of the public urged the new government not to implement any more price hikes in their comments to Kıbrıs.

  • Economic development is new government’s priority – PM Ersin Tatar emphasized the government will make a new economic breakthrough and will refrain from populism.
  • Drugs everywhere – Not a single week passes without a drug-related incident. The efforts of the authorities are inadequate and new measures must be implemented to curb increasing drug-related incidents.


Shameful situation of beggars

Beggars, who arrive in Nicosia in the mornings, start begging around the Kyrenia Gate area and the old town. At the end of the day, they regather to split their earnings.

  • Government’s primary concern is economy – PM Ersin Tatar read out the government’s programme in parliament on Monday. Government programme heavily focuses on the economy.


The train has gone off the tracks

(HP leader Kudret) Özersay says funds from Turkey could not be obtained because a credible financial structure had not been established. He likened the country’s current situation to a derailed train. 

  • He’s very pleased – DISY leader Averof Neophytou said that Turkish Cypriot participation in European Parliament (EP) elections constituted a de facto recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.


Fascism’s EP victory

Greek Cypriot concerns regarding the EP elections turned out to be unwarranted. The expected flow of Turks did not take place. The participation of only 5,604 Turkish Cypriots in the elections pleased the politicians in the south but fascist ELAM objected to the participation of Turks in the election.

Main News

Kızılyürek continues to receive positive and negative reactions

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Kıbrıs Postası, Havadis, Diyalog
EU Matters


Niyazi Kızılyürek, the first Turkish Cypriot to be elected into the European Parliament (EP), continued to receive both positive and negative reactions in the north.

National Unity Party (UBP) Famagusta MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said on Monday that Kızılyürek was a product of the Greek Cypriot project for a unitary state.

Speaking on a TV programme, Hasipoğlu said Kızılyürek’s election did not reflect or represent the Turkish Cypriots’ political will. He noted that Kızılyürek will be representing AKEL, not Turkish Cypriots in the EP.

Hasipoğlu argued that Turkish Cypriot people have the right to elect and be elected through separate elections and should be allowed to hold separate elections to send two MEPs to the EP.

He added that the EP could at least grant observer status to two elected Turkish Cypriot MPs as does the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

Hasipoğlu also complained that both the public broadcaster BRT and the Nicosia Turkish Municipality aired or posted campaign ads for Kızılyürek. “Kızılyürek’s candidacy is even a threat to a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution based on political equality and the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in decision-making processes,” said Hasipoğlu.

All UN plans so far envisioned Turkish Cypriots to have the right to elect and be elected through separate elections, he added.

Yenidüzen newspaper gave room to positive reactions to Kızılyürek’s election.

Former President Mehmet Ali Talat, CTP (Republican Turkish Party) MP Fikri Toros, Spokesman for the Famagusta Initiative Okan Dağlı, head of the International Relations Department at the Eastern Mediterranean University Prof. Dr Ahmet Sözen and leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit all described Kızılyürek’s election as an important step.

Talat said the election of a Turkish Cypriot by Greek Cypriot voters to represent them at the EP was very important.

“I don’t think Kızılyürek’s election will have a negative effect on the rights of Turkish Cypriots. What we need to be vigilant about is making sure we continue to emphasize the importance of the solution of the Cyprus Problem,” he said.

Dağlı said that the election was important as it showed that a federal Cyprus was possible.

“Kızılyürek was elected with votes from both communities and Kızılyürek did not face any violent reactions while campaigning,” he said.

CTP’s Toros expressed happiness over Kızılyürek’s election and the failure of the far-right ELAM from making it into the EP.

“Turkish Cypriot politicians who have opposed a settlement for years argued that Greek Cypriots cannot be trusted or would not vote for Turkish Cypriots. Kızılyürek’s election has brought the two communities together and given a strong message that the two communities can accept each other,” said Toros.

Professor Sözen also welcomed Kızılyürek’s election but warned that we still are far from having solved the Cyprus Problem.

He said that two of the six seats in the EP would have been allocated to Turkish Cypriots if there was a solution.

“Kızılyürek’s election is a positive tick for AKEL’s tab but let’s not forget that AKEL has made some moves in the past which have not been very positive, such as supporting the ENOSIS decision (at schools),” he said.

TDP leader Cemal Özyiğit said he was very pleased to see a Turkish Cypriot at the EP but reminded that he will still be representing AKEL at the end of the day.

“He is not directly representing Turkish Cypriots,” he said.

Hasipoğlu (UBP)
Kızılyürek is a product of GC unitary state project.
>> TCs have right to elect & be elected through separate elections, as included in all UN plans to date.
>> TCs should be allowed to elect their own 2 MEPs to EP, or at least send 2 MP observers as they do in PACE.
>> Kızılyürek can only represent AKEL’s viewpoint in EP.
>> Kızılyürek’s candidacy is a threat to BBF solution based on political equality & effective participation.

Talat (CTP)
>> Election of a TC by GCs to represent them at the EP is very important.
>> Will not have a negative impact on TC rights but need to continue to emphasise need for Cyprob solution.

Toros (CTP)
>> Kızılyürek’s election & ELAM’s failure to get into EP positive developments.
>> Kızılyürek’s election disproved arguments of anti-solution politicians that GCs can’t be trusted & would never vote for a TC.
>> Kızılyürek’s election brought two communities together & gave strong message that they can accept each other.

Özyiğit (TDP)
>> Pleased to see a TC in the EP but Kızılyürek will not be directly representing TCs, but AKEL.

Emphasis on two-state solution in new coalition programme

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations


Prime Minister Ersin Tatar emphasized on Monday the strategic importance of the Cyprus problem while reading out the new government programme in parliament.

Tatar noted the government’s foreign policy will be carried out by the Foreign Ministry.

He said that precautionary measures needed to be taken to prevent anyone from usurping the rights of Turkish Cypriots on hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Relations between Turkey and the North had become more important than ever due to this issue, he said.

Tatar added that the main aim of the government’s foreign policy will be to protect the Turkish Cypriot people’s legitimate rights and interests in international platforms by engaging in a proactive approach in line with the international conjecture and other developments. International law, democracy, secularism, human rights and freedoms will be taken into consideration when implementing the government’s foreign policy, he said.

Tatar said the government will work to make the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people heard in the world in the best possible way.

Regarding the Cyprus Problem, Tatar said the federal partnership model has been exhausted. The federation model, under current circumstances, was no longer a realistic option, he said.

It has become obvious the Greek Cypriot leadership does not want to share governance or wealth with the Turkish Cypriot people. Not only do the two sides not share a common vision on the basis for the resumption of talks, but a federal partnership based on sharing also does not seem possible unless the Greek Cypriot mindset changes, said Tatar.

He emphasized the time had come to bring different alternative and realistic models to the table based on collaboration, such as a two-state model under the EU.

“Such a model is more realistic and suitable for the current conditions,” he added.

Tatar said the government will continue to pursue the current policy on hydrocarbon activities with the goal of protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots.

“The new government, in full harmony with Turkey, will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean and will raise Turkish Cypriots’ righteous position on the issue at every international platform,” he said.

Tatar also pointed out that the new government will be supportive of collaboration between relevant institutions of the two sides in the absence of a comprehensive settlement, on issues such as economy, commerce, tourism and humanitarian issues.

The government will also adopt a positive approach to confidence-building measures as long as they will not be detrimental to the Turkish Cypriot side’s basic positions, he said.

Main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman on Monday described the government’s position regarding a two-state solution under the EU umbrella as an unrealistic and far-fetched idea.

Erhürman told public broadcaster BRT, that such a solution would mean that all EU member countries, including the Greek Cypriot side and the UN Security Council, would have to recognise the TRNC. All UN resolutions would need to be lifted.

“Now how realistic would that be?” Erhürman asked.

He said that he did not believe the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades was sincere about a federal settlement but to declare a federal settlement as an unrealistic option is something else.

“I don’t think there is one person within the Turkish Cypriot community who believes Anastasiades would relinquish the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), recognize two separate states on the island, allow for international recognition and approve a two-state solution under the EU umbrella,” he said.

Tatar (UBP)
Precautionary measures must be taken to protect TC rights on gas in East Med, making Turkey-TC relations more important than ever.
>> Coalition foreign policy aim is to protect TC legitimate rights & interests internationally, make TC voices heard, while taking into account international law, democracy, secularism, human rights & freedoms.
>> Federal partnership model no longer realistic option unless GC mindset changes.
>> ObviousGC leadership does not want to share power or wealth with TCs.
>> No common vision on basis for resumption of talks.
>> Alternative models based on collaboration and new ideas such as two-state solution under EU umbrella must be brought to the table. Latter is more realistic & suitable for current conditions.
>> TC side and Turkey in full harmony & collaboration on hydrocarbons in the EastMed.
>> In absence of solution, coalition will support collaboration of institutions from both sides on economy, tourism, commerce, humanitarian issues, etc.
>> Will also support CBMs as long as they do not harm TCs’ basic positions.

Erhürman (CTP)
>> Two-state solution under EU umbrella is unrealistic and far-fetched.
>> Unrealistic for TRNC to be recognized by EU, GC side & UNSC.
>> All UN resolutions on Cyprus would need to be lifted for two-state solution.
>> Not a single TC believes Anastasiades would relinquish RoC, recognize two separate states on island, allow its international recognition & approve a two-state solution under EU umbrella.

Akıncı holds a meeting on GSM interoperability

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog


President Mustafa Akıncı held a meeting on Monday to review the latest developments regarding the implementation of the confidence-building measure (CBM) on mobile phone interoperability.  The meeting was attended by Günay Çerkez, the Turkish Cypriot head of the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Economic and Commercial Matters, Associate Professor Dr Kadri Bürüncük, President of the Information Technologies and Communication Authority as well as GSM operators in the north.

According to a statement released by Akinci’s office, mobile phone interoperability had been agreed and announced by the two leaders in 2015 but its implementation was prevented due to a number of obstacles presented by the Greek Cypriot side. These obstacles were overcome when the Greek Cypriot side agreed to implement the model proposed by the Turkish Cypriot side from the very beginning. In this respect, Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot GSM operators will sign separate agreements with a centre in Europe in order to establish interoperability, said the statement.

During the meeting on Monday, representatives of the GSM operators informed Akıncı that they will be signing agreements in the near future with a Swiss-based company named Comfone. Mobile telephones are expected to be usable on both sides of the island once the deals are signed.

Akıncı was accompanied by his Undersecretary Gürdal Hüdaoğlu, General Coordinator of Technical Committees Meltem Onurkan Samani and his economy adviser Professor Dr Ömer Gökçekuş.

>> Mobile phone interoperability delayed since 2015 due to obstacles raised by GC side.
>> Obstacles were overcome when GC side agreed to implement model proposed by TC side from the very beginning.

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