Front Page Headlines
Schism saga continues in the Church of Cyprus
Three bishops respond to the Archbishop over Ukraine in ‘Cyrillic’ script. The Bishops of Limassol, Kykkos and Tamassos by the side of Moscow. They raise an issue of violation of impartiality by Chrysostomos II.
- They talked like two good friends – Peace message by Anastasiades-Akinci.
- Drones: They take tensions to the max
- Israel-Turkey: No intention of conflict
Close to an agreement with clinics
The HIO (Health Insurance Organisation) suggested a three-year guarantee to private hospitals to join GESY. Specialist doctors are upset over changes in their compensation.
- Bicommunal event on education: Messages from Anastasiades-Akinci without response
- The drones are an invisible danger to Cyprus – They were set up at the Lefkoniko airport.
- Ankara seeks a crisis and cancellation of the EastMed (project)
Electronic auctions galore
Banks and asset management companies proceed with the first electronic auctions tomorrow Wednesday, December 18. Another auction is expected on December 30 and two more in the new year, on January 10 and 31. It is expected that 30 properties worth around €4.9m will be put up for sale at the four auctions.
- Education, peace and inter-culturalism
- The first Turkish drone in Lefkoniko
Fury over drone landing in north
Drones in north provide ‘a crucial role in providing support’ for Turkish vessels.
- Leaders boost work of bicommunal education conference as 100 headteachers show up
“My friend Mustafa” – “My friend, Nicos”
Meeting of two friends from the (good) old times. Relaxed and in good mood at the bicommunal conference, Anastasiades and Akinci showed that their relations have been fully restored and jointly sent out messages of peace and reunification.
- The first Turkish drone has arrived yesterday in Lefkoniko
Anastasiades to Akinci: Peace is the only optionAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
CBMs, Human Rights, Negotiations Process
The two leaders, who met at the opening of a bicommunal conference in the Nicosia buffer zone on Monday, stressed the importance of peace education and called for also peace on the island, the papers report.
According to some dailies the two leaders met like two old friends. UN special representative Elizabeth Spehar, as well as a representative of the German embassy, also attended.
Around 100 GC and TC school principals participated at the event organised by the Technical Committee on Education entitled ‘Transformational Leadership for Peace’.
President Nicos Anastasiades said such events were a step in the right direction but not enough for a solution to the Cyprus problem since, first and foremost, respect was needed for a state that no longer has to be a subsidiary of any third country.
He also said Cypriots have coexisted peacefully until others intervened adding that interventions by third parties, without exception, created the problems that followed. The current status quo was not the choice of any of the two communities and it does not allow them to enjoy the same rights, freedoms and level of prosperity as other EU citizens enjoy, he said.
The only way to achieve this, he said, is through creating a viable and functional bi-communal state, with respect for democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms, “safeguarding our common future in a united Cyprus within the European Union away from any dependencies from third parties.”
He added his and Mustafa Akinci’s presence at the conference “aims to convey the message that we actively support the actions and initiatives of the bi-communal Technical Committee on Education.”
Addressing Akinci, Anastasiades said there is no other option or alternative “but to bring peace to our country.”
In his address, Akinci also referred to the importance of cultivating a culture of peace in Cyprus, while stressing the contribution of education to this.
He also that people have different views and goals, but it is important to have a culture of peace when dealing with these issues. He referred to the importance of dialogue in trying to resolve disputes and spoke about the need to respect equality, multiple identities and pluralism. All these are elements necessary for a federal government to function, he added.
The two chairs of the Committee two addressed the event.
GC head Michalinos Zembylas said the two leaders’ presence at the conference shows their strong interest in education and its important contribution in the reunification of the country. He also said the two leaders are called to carry the heavy burden of showing everyone what transformational leadership is in practice and how it is applied at the political level.
TC head, Meltem Onurkan Samani, said they were determined to continue with their efforts as a Technical Committee on Education, adding that without the demonstration of leadership and determination by the two leaders all this could not have been achieved.
Phileleftheros reports that the election climate seems to affect the Cyprus problem as regards the statements by the two leaders since Anastasiades, more relaxed, was more at ease at making references also to the political issue while Akinci, feeling the pressure of the ballots on his shoulders, did not say much and did not follow his GC interlocutor when he raised the delicate issue of guarantees.
According to Politis, the two leaders behaved like two old friends each calling the other as such, in a bid to send out the message there is no need for tension between the two sides, especially after the trilateral in Berlin when such an attitude started gradually to emerge.
Alithia too reports that Anastasiades and Akinci kept calling each other “friend” and that they sat next to each other at the event during which they were seen having a pleasant conversation. This was proof that their relations have been fully restored, for whatever that means, the daily said.
>> Bicommunal events are a step in the right direction but not enough for a Cyprob solution since most importantly, the island needs to be rid of the guarantees system.
>> The problems Cypriots experience today was due to third-party interventions which led to the current status quo which was not the choice of any of the two communities & does not allow them to enjoy the same rights, freedoms and level of prosperity as other EU citizens enjoy.
>> The only way to safeguard a common future in a united Cyprus is within the EU and away from any dependencies from third parties.
>> Reminds Akinci there is no other option or alternative but to bring peace to the country.
>> Education is important in cultivating a much needed culture of peace in Cyprus.
>> There is need to respect equality, multiple identities & pluralism which are necessary elements for a federal government to function.
GCs lambast decision for Turkish drone base in northAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
External Security, Energy
The government and parties condemned on Monday the arrival of the first Turkish drone in the north, a Bayraktar TB2, and news that the Lefkoniko airport would serve as their base, the dailies report.
Phileleftheros, citing statements by Defence Minister Savvas Angelides to Alpha TV, reports that according to the minister, Turkey is trying to thwart all efforts and especially of the GC side for the resumption of a substantive dialogue for the Cyprus problem solution.
He said Cyprus would not engage in this game seeking to raise tensions and which creates instability and possibly affects third parties. This is not the first time Turkey’s actions affect not only the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus but also of other countries in the region.
He added that Ankara could have kept these aircraft within Turkey and not bring them to Cyprus. Such a move aims at sending out the message that Turkey is the main actor in the region and does not take into consideration anyone else.
The dailies report that political parties but also Lefkoniko refugees have condemned what they called the latest Turkish provocation.
Main opposition AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said it constituted “a new challenge at the expense of our homeland” and another act of undermining peace, security and stability in the wider region. He said the new development was a reminder that the occupation and the status quo did not remain stationary but is sliding daily into a new phase with increased risks for the country and its people, GCs and TCs.
EDEK said in a statement Turkey was deliberately creating a crisis that it could use as a bargaining tool at the negotiating table when it comes to hydrocarbons. The answer to Turkey’s provocative actions is to strengthen the defensive deterrent power of the Republic of Cyprus by upgrading the National Guard’s defensive capability by acquiring modern weapons systems and by re-activating the unified defence dogma with Greece, the party said.
The head of the Citizens’ Alliance, Giorgos Lillikas said that the Cypriot government should not in any way be carried away by Turkey’s blackmailing and provocative actions and freeze its energy programme.
The Solidarity Movement said that in the case of attack, the Hellenic people would fight back, regardless what its prudent, wise and sombre government will do.
ELAM said that this ‘dogma of appeasement’ followed by the successive Cypriot governments have only encouraged Turkey which the party likened to a “voracious monster”.
The municipality of Lefkoniko also issued a statement on Monday expressing its “disgust for the latest provocative action of the occupying force”. They called on the EU to act appropriately to put an end to this and to other unlawful acts.
Phileleftheros reports that the capabilities of these drones make them an invisible danger for the Republic of Cyprus since they can hit any target in the free areas from a distance and without being noticed. The daily reported that these unmanned aircraft are not used solely for research since the Turkish army has already successfully used them to hit targets in Iraq with absolute success. Something it may very well repeat, if the circumstances demand, also in the case of Cyprus, the paper said.
Politis reported that this move by Ankara is a sign of its determination to continue provocations in the Cypriot EEZ.
Angelides (defence minister)
>> Believes that Turkey, with these acts, is trying to thwart all efforts for the resumption of talks for the Cyprob solution while they create instability in the region & possibly affect the sovereign rights also of other countries.
>> The RoC will not engage in this game Turkey is playing.
>> Dispatching the drones to Cyprus aims at sending out the message that Turkey is the main actor in the region & does not take into consideration anyone else.
>> Turkey’s latest move is another act of undermining peace, security and stability in the wider region & a new challenge at the expense of Cyprus.
>> Warns that the status quo did not remain stationery but is sliding daily into a new phase with increased risks for the country and its people, GCs & TCs.
>> The RoC needs to respond to Turkey’s provocative actions by strengthening its defensive deterrent power by upgrading the NG’s defensive capability & re-activating the unified defence dogma with Greece.
>> Believes Turkey is deliberately creating a crisis that it could use as a bargaining tool at the negotiating table when it comes to hydrocarbons.
Lillikas (Citizens’ Alliance)
>> Calls on the government not to even consider freezing its energy programme over Turkey’s blackmailing and provocative actions.
>> Believes GCs will respond to any attacks by Turkey even if their government chooses not to react.
>> The dogma of appeasement followed by the successive Cypriot governments has only worked up the appetite of the voracious monster that is Turkey.
Defence Minister: Israeli research vessel incident should not be exaggeratedAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, External Security, Energy
The dailies report that the government confirmed an incident that took place about a month ago when a Turkish warship instructed an Israeli research vessel to leave an area inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) but said it should not be blown out of proportion.
According to the papers, Defence Minister Savvas Angelides told CyBC an incident did take place on November 18 when an Israeli research vessel, commissioned by Ben Gurion University, was carrying out research with prior permission from Cyprus’ Geological Survey Department.
The Israeli vessel was hailed by radio by a Turkish ship, which instructed it to abandon the area. The captain of the former complied and headed on to another location, where the vessel continued doing research. Cypriot authorities were informed he said.
Angelides said similar incidents occur throughout the world and that calling this particular one a ‘standoff’ or ‘harassment’ would be an exaggeration. The minister attributed media coverage inflating the significance of the episode to possible ‘hybrid warfare’ being waged by certain parties.
The papers also cite sources saying the survey had nothing to do with Cyprus’ energy exploration programme and as such Cypriot authorities need not have taken further action.
They also cite a report on Sunday by Israeli news outlet Globes that said the recent maritime accord between Libya and Turkey is intended to thwart the EastMed pipeline project. Globes also said that so far Tel Aviv has not responded to Turkey’s ‘maritime annexation’ but that two weeks ago, Israeli government sources said that the gas pipeline project would soon begin.
Angelides told Politis that the reports on the same incident and other issues by Israeli, Cypriot and Turkish media are a series of unrelated actual events that were put together to compose fake news to give the impression of a heated incident.
Cyprus Mail reports that Nicosia sought to downplay the incident.
According to Phileleftheros, Turkey is trying to create a crisis in the region with the involvement of other countries too, in this case by taking advantage of the power vacuum in Israel. The aim is to put into question the trilateral agreements in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone, the paper said.
>> Media ought to not blow the whole incident out of proportion.
>> Inflated media coverage of the incident is part of possible hybrid warfare being waged by certain parties.
Akinci receives teen with highest mark in the world in Turkish language IGCSEAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
TC leader Mustafa Akinci and his wife Meral congratulated on Monday a year 10 student, Meral Berilsu, for receiving the highest mark in the world for her Turkish language IGCSE, the papers report.
According to the Cyprus Mail, the teen attends a high school in the north and is of Turkish origin. This prevented her from crossing to the government-controlled areas to receive her award, along with TC classmates of hers, despite reports in TC media that arrangements had been made for her to cross, the daily reported.
Akinci said the girl’s success in the examination opened doors for her but failed to open the door to the south part of the island, the papers report. He added the reason was political and that it stood in the way of humanitarian reasons. He also urged the girl not to feel sad as it reflects the situation in Cyprus. “And for this reason, we need to struggle, and change the mindset to promote a culture of peace,” he said according to the papers.