Front Page Headlines
“This virus is not coming here. All this exaggeration. We are shooting ourselves in the foot”
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar made interest remarks about the coronavirus in parliament.
- Important warning from (Tufan) Erhürman: Press statements are not enough. We need to get the UN and EU involved
The crossing closed, business stopped
The shopkeepers at the Arasta (Old town market) and Bandabuliya (vegetable market) are waiting for the Lokmacı (Ledra St.) crossing to reopen. The area has been dead quiet since its closure. Speaking to Kıbrıs Postası, many shopkeepers complain about lack of business now and express their concern.
- Akıncı: “Not possible to have two separate states in the EU in this conjuncture.”
- Erhürman: “The president-elect must seriously intervene in domestic issues as well.”
- Tatar: “We will not make any concessions on our freedom.”
Whatever burns down remains burned
The north’s track record is not very bright when it comes to restoring or repairing state institutions or buildings destroyed by fire. Almost none of the buildings recently destroyed by fires have been restored to its old condition.
- Lokmacı (Ledra St.) is dead silent – Following the closure of the four crossing points as a precautionary measure against Covid-19 (coronavirus), there is not much movement in the three crossing points in Nicosia. Silence prevails at theLokmacı (Ledra St.) crossing point and in the streets of the old town of Nicosia. Shopkeepers are worried about the lack of business.
Insurance is a mystery
The fire that broke out at the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital reminded us of the fire at the State Laboratory. It has been debated whether or not the insurance company “Mapfree Insurance,” will cover the damage caused by the fire at the hospital. Alişan Oşan, Director of Mapfree Insurance, said the hospital is insured for ₺85m and everything other than a terrorist attack and arson are covered by the insurance policy. “While waiting for the official report on the cause of the fire, we have already launched repairs so that the public is not affected,” Oşan said.
The Arasta (shopping street) is finished
Nicosia’s historical shopping area has never been so empty. No ever during the war. The Lokmacı (Ledra Street) crossing which sees hundreds of tourists pass through has been closed for the past four days. The checkpoint officers and local shopkeepers have been passing time idly. Shopkeepers talking to Diyalog said that the decision by the Greek Cypriot authorities to shut down the crossing point had harmed shopkeepers in the south as well but that they were the worst affected.
He wants their heads
While Turkey’s “Operation Peace Spring” which will impact Cyprus continues in Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increased the level of his threats. Erdoğan said, “They will lose their heads if they do not move out of the borders determined by Turkey.”
- A suspected case of coronavirus in Limassol – An Asian male is suspected of having contracted the virus.
TC parties slam GC decision to shut crossingsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Afrika
The shutting down of four crossing points by Greek Cypriot officials dominated discussions in the Turkish Cypriot parliament on Monday, with both the ruling National Unity Party (UBP)-Peoples’ Party (HP) coalition and the opposition slamming the move.
Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister and leader of the UBP Ersin Tatar pointed out Greek Cypriot officials had shut down the crossing points where economic activity between the two communities was the most intense.
“More importantly Mr Anastasiades has behaved shamefully towards Mr Akıncı. He treated him badly. Mr Akıncı was informed of the decision through the media,” he said.
Tatar argued that the decision had once again revealed the Greek Cypriot side’s mentality.
“There are no cases of the virus. What is more, the virus cases will fall with the arrival of the spring and summer. This virus is not going to hit us. All this commotion and exaggeration is for nothing. We do have a right to react but we are shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.
Tatar also said that the new
measures in force which were wrong should be brought to the attention of the
European Union (EU).
Also addressing Monday’s plenary, Turkish Cypriot Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay described the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral decision to shut down the crossing points as a move intended to harm relations between the two communities.
He said the decision lacked seriousness and was arbitrary.
Özersay explained that embassies in the south had been contacted and letters sent to EU officials informed them of the Turkish Cypriot side’s objection to the move.
“I believe the Greek Cypriot will have to take a step back very soon,” he argued.
Özersay also expressed the view that the move was intended to strangle the Turkish Cypriot economy.
“Similar measures had been taken earlier under the pretext of the Green Line Regulation. The latest move, using the coronavirus as an excuse, is aimed to further squeezing the life out of the Turkish Cypriot economy,” he said.
Özersay also argued that the south was at a higher risk from the virus as there were a higher number of suspected cases detected so far on the south side.
The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman also protested the Greek Cypriot side’s decision.
He argued that the reactions put forward through statements made to the press were insufficient and that it was necessary to get the UN and EU involved.
Erhürman said that the ‘measures’ introduced at the open crossing points did not go any further than screening temperatures of individuals crossings.
The leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit criticized the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades for shutting down four of the seven crossing points by paying heed to the provocative demands of the far-right political party ELAM.
“The Greek Cypriot leader needs to correct this mistake as soon as possible,” he said.
Also speaking, the leader of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Erhan Arıklı said that the decision was economically motivated.
He argued that Anastasiades had shut down the four crossing points in an attempt to curb the flow of cash to the Turkish Cypriot economy.
All dailies reported on Tuesday that the decision to shut down the four crossing points has hit the Arasta shopping area, accessed through the Lokmacı (Ledra Street) crossing, the worst.
The pedestrianised shopping area in the heart of the old town, usually crowded with tourists and Greek Cypriots, has been dead quiet for the past four days, the dailies report.
Shopkeepers talking to the press are worried about the developments and complain that business has stopped since Saturday, the day the Greek Cypriot authorities shut the crossing points.
They are demanding the authorities to take action on the matter.
Meanwhile, the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health will be convening on Tuesday afternoon for its third meeting, Akıncı’s office announced on Monday.
The committee will resume work on the joint struggle launched against the spread of the coronavirus or Covid-19.
Akıncı on Sunday had urged the Greek Cypriot leader to re-evaluate his decision to shut four crossing points and for efforts to introduce joint measures against the virus to be taken up by the Bicommunal Technical Committee on Health.
He had pointed out that the decision to close the crossing points had no scientific basis.
Tuesday’s meeting will be the committee’s third since the two leaders had instructed the committee to work on joint measures at a meeting which they attended on February 3.
An agreement had been reached by the committee to take measures not at crossing points but at all ports and points of entry into the country.
>> Decision to shut down four crossing points demonstrates GC side’s mentality hasn’t changed.
>> Threat of coronavirus is being exaggerated. No need to for such a commotion.
>> New measures in force are wrong & should be brought to the attention of the EU.
>> Move aimed at harming relations between two communities & strangling the life out of the TC economy.
>> Initiative launched with foreign missions in the south & EU.
>> GC side will be forced to take a step back soon.
>> Reaction given through press statements insufficient. Affirmative action needed.
>> The GC leader needs to correct this mistake as soon as possible.
>> The decision is economically motivated & is an attempt to curb the flow of cash to the TC economy.
TCs must compete under their flag, Akıncı saysYenidüzen, Kıbrıs Postası, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Governance and Power Sharing, Negotiations Process
“One of our biggest objectives is to accomplish the Turkish Cypriot youths’ goal to compete in the international arena, under their flag and representing their own identity,” independent candidate Mustafa Akıncı said on Monday.
During a meeting with the senior management of all the sports federations in the north, Akıncı added he was determined to work towards achieving this goal if elected for a second term.
He also argued that the sports community felt the pressure of the embargoes the most and as a result, some of the more successful Turkish Cypriot athletes were, unfortunately, competing in teams of other countries.
“It is our goal to find ways that the Turkish Cypriot youth will compete under their flag with their Turkish Cypriot identity and in the international arena,” Akıncı said.
Touching on the Cyprus negotiations process, Akıncı said the Berlin trilateral meeting revived the collapsed negotiations process and removed ambiguities concerning the bizonal, bicommunal federal solution (BBF).
He also noted that the goal of a strategic agreement in a results-oriented process that will be restricted to a timetable was reaffirmed in the statement issued after the meeting
“The two-state model that is sovereign, independent and is internationally recognized under the European Union (EU) is not possible in this conjuncture,” Akıncı stressed.
He noted that Turkish Cypriot teams were even unable to play friendly matches with Turkish teams even though Turkey recognized the north.
“As long as the problem remains unsolved, the efforts to find a solution will continue,” Akıncı stressed
“Either the two constituent states will unite as politically equal entities with effective participation in decision-making processes, with a rotational presidency and in a manner in which neither side will exert authority on the other or partition become permanent,” Akıncı warned.
Prime Minister and National Unity Party (UBP) presidential candidate Ersin Tatar was also campaigning on Monday.
“The Turkish Cypriots will not make any concessions on their freedom or their security,” Tatar told supporters during a visit to Tatlısu (Akanthou) and nearby villages.
He argued that the Greek Cypriot side will not agree to any solution unless the solution model was exactly like what they wanted.
“If we were to say ‘yes’ to their solution model, we would have to give up on Turkey’s guarantees; will have to give up on Güzelyurt (Morphou), and we will not have the right to veto. We will be worse off than we were in 1960!” Tatar claimed.
He added that the UBP has adopted a proactive stance on the Cyprus problem. “The drilling activities in the Blue Homeland, the re-opening of Maraş (Varosha) through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and demanding to table alternative solution models in the negotiations process are products of this proactive stance,” Tatar concluded.
>> One of the biggest objectives is to accomplish the TCs’ goal to compete in the international arena, under their flag & their identity.
>> The sports community feels the pressure of the embargoes the most in the community.
>> The Berlin trilateral meeting revived the collapsed negotiations process & removed any uncertainty concerning a BBF solution.
>> The two-state model that is sovereign, independent & is internationally recognized under the EU is not possible under this conjuncture.
>> As long as the problem remains unsolved, the efforts to find a solution will continue.
>> Either the two constituent states will unite as politically equal entities or partition will become permanent.
>> The TCs will not make any concessions on their freedom or their security.
>> Saying ‘yes’ to a GC solution model will result in giving up Turkey’s guarantees; Güzelyurt (Morphou); & our right to veto.
>> The UBP has adopted a proactive stance in the Cyprob.
>> The drilling activities, re-opening of Maraş (Varosha) through the IPC and asking to table alternative solution models in the negotiations process are products of this proactive stance.