Front Page Headlines
“I still don’t know who infected me”
The Gündoğar couple who were infected with Covid-19 spoke to Yenidüzen after their treatment. Sertap Yaman Gündoğar said she was shocked when she learned she had Covid-19. She says she woke up one August morning shivering but that her symptoms had been mild. She is more worried about the psychological effects of her experience. Evren Gündoğar said that people should not be scared to go to the hospital. He also wished the country had a better health system.
- We believe the Turkish Cypriot people should be an actor – Presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman was a guest on Bayrak’s Basın Odası (Press Room) programme.
An important investment in health
Prime Minister Ersin Tatar stressed that the emergency hospital will not be of current service but will be adequately equipped to meet future needs as well. He said the 1,500m2 hospital will house a total of 100 beds, two observation rooms, 64 single-patient rooms and 24 ICU rooms. The hospital will be capable of conducting angiographs or other complicated medical procedures.
Stop fighting, focus on Covid!
While a spike in positive cases is being experienced in the country, the National Unity Party (UBP) and Peoples’ Party (HP) coalition party continue to bicker about whether or not to reintroduce a quarantine requirement. The issue has been carried to election rallies and visits. The number of coronavirus cases reached 120 after 19 need cases were announced on Wednesday. The majority of health experts say that it is necessary to take urgent measures against those arriving from abroad. Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, on the other hand, accused coalition partners HP of populism.
- Navtex wars heat up –Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean are escalating after the sides keep issuing new Navtex and hold military drills. Turkey issued two separate Navtex yesterday (Thursday), one for survey ship Oruç Reis and the other for a naval exercise.
There are tensions
Head of the police task force for violence against women Mehmet Sözmener said that violence against women rose by 11 per cent during the coronavirus pandemic. He said that 765 women had applied for police assistance in the last two years. Sözmener also warned married men that forcing a spouse to have intercourse without her consent still classifies as rape.
Alaatin Çakıcı buys Cratos (hotel)
Alaatin Çakıcı, a known mafia boss and head of an organised crime syndicate, has operations in Cyprus now. Çakıcı who served a long prison sentence in Turkey after being caught and extradited from France for crimes he committed is now free. It has been learned that he has purchased Cratos Hotel in Kyrenia. News has raised eyebrows within the Turkish Cypriot community. It has not been possible to verify the reports that he purchased the hotel.
Ankara slams French jets’ presence in South CyprusYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Energy, Regional/International Relations
The temporary or continuous deployment of French military jets to South Cyprus under the pretext of a drill held with the participation of Greece and Italy is against the 1960 Agreements on Cyprus, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said early Thursday.
“The landing of the French military aircraft to the Greek Cypriot administration on the pretext of an exercise carried out with the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and Italy, and the temporary or permanent deployment of these aircraft on the island is against the 1960 Treaties,” Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
Aksoy said that with this attitude, France, which is not the guarantor of Cyprus Island, dangerously encourages the Greek Cypriot side and Greece, which are responsible for the current tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, to escalate tensions further.
He reiterated that every attempt at trying to exclude Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean will result in frustration.
In an earlier interview with Anadolu News Agency, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersin Tatar blasted the joint military drill being conducted by Greece, France and Italy in the Mediterranean as “against the international law.”
“This drill is wrong, and it is against international law. Where is Italy, where is France geographically? How can they come here and attend a drill and claim rights?” he asked.
Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay also slammed the Greek Cypriot side, Greece, France and Italy for conducting the military drill, stating that both Greece and Greek Cypriot side were displaying a show force which was not proportionate to their actual strength.
Özersay told Turkish private broadcaster NTV, that the drill and joint military action was only raising tensions in the region.
“Such actions will not serve peace in the region. Our vision is for all the stakeholders to sit at the table to and work together in dialogue for the fair distribution of the resources discovered,” he said.
Özersay argued that a paradigm shift has taken place in the Eastern Mediterranean in terms of Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriot side’s foreign policy.
He said that the Turkish side has balanced the playing field with its drilling and exploration activities as well as licensing of blocks.
Özersay underlined the importance of raising a voice against attempts to usurp the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
“In parallel to this, we are taking steps to exercise active control in the region commercially, economically and politically. We have become a playmaker and an actor in the region,” he said.
Özersay also drew attention to the shift in the balance of power in the region.
Providing the example of the US government’s decision to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus in an attempt to curb growing Russian influence in the area, Özersay said the real reason for this move was to prevent Russian vessels from using Greek Cypriot ports.
He also said that France had also assumed a new role after the United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union (EU).
The drill which began on Wednesday is expected to continue until Friday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump talked on the phone on Wednesday to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including the Mediterranean.
Erdoğan reminded Trump that Turkey is not a party creating instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Communications Directorate said in a statement.
He stressed that Turkey proved with “concrete actions” that it wants to reduce tensions and establish a dialogue on the matter.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere also touched on Trump’s phone call with Erdoğan.
“President Trump reaffirmed that Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue, which is the only path to resolving their differences. The two leaders also discussed important bilateral and regional issues,” he said on Twitter.
Separately, Deere also said that Trump spoke with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and discussed bilateral and regional matters.
He said Trump “expressed concern” over the increased tensions between NATO allies Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey’s energy and natural resources minister said on Thursday that more “good news” may come in two months in the Black Sea, referring to potential discoveries of natural gas reserves.
“It is highly probable that we will make new discoveries in the layers below the area of discovery. Their depth and length are similar. New good news may come in two months,” Minister Fatih Dönmez told private broadcaster CNN Türk.
Dönmez underlined that seismic data was also being evaluated in the Mediterranean Sea.
Emphasizing that drilling activities will continue in the potential regions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Dönmez said Turkey has the chance to find both oil and natural gas.
“The natural gas research was mainly conducted in the [Eastern] Mediterranean. There are points in the same field where oil and natural gas are produced. Our expectation looks like [discovering] gas, but this will become clear according to the drilling to be made.”
Meanwhile, Turkey on Thursday issued a new navigational telex (Navtex) to carry out live-fire gunnery exercises in Eastern Mediterranean through Sept. 1-2.
Antalya Navtex station made the statement on Thursday, according to the Turkish Naval Forces Office for Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography (OHNO).
“Turkey’s recent Navtex alert is about ensuring safety for navy drill off the coast of Iskenderun, Eastern Mediterranean,” Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told the Anadolu Agency’s Editor’s Desk.
He said that everyone must know that Turkey has become a player at the international stage.
“Turkey has no designs on anyone’s land or sea but we will not allow any attack on us from our neighbours’ lands or seas,” Akar added.
The Turkish defence minister also said that Ankara was open to the idea of holding talks with their Greek counterparts in the coming days.
He said that Turkey wanted dialogue over maritime issues.
“We want peace but we also want our rights,” he said.
>> Landing/temporary deployment of French aircraft & military exercise is against the 1960 Treaties.
>> France, which is not the guarantor in Cyprus, dangerously encourages the GC side& Greece, which is responsible for the current tensions in the East Med.
>> Every attempt at trying to exclude Turkey & TCs in the East Med will result in frustration.
>> This drill is wrong & against int’l law. France & Italy are not part of East Med geography.
>> Greece & GCs are displaying a show force which was not proportionate to their actual strength.
>>The joint military action is only raising tensions in the region. Such actions will not serve peace in the region.
>> TC side’s vision is for all the stakeholders to sit at the table & to work together in dialogue for the fair distribution of the resources discovered.
>> A paradigm shift has taken place in the East Med in terms of Turkey’s & TC side’s foreign policy.
>> The Turkish side has balanced the playing field with its own drilling & exploration activities as well as licensing of blocks.
>> It is important to raise a voice against attempts to usurp the rights of TCs.
>> Turkey is not a party creating instability in the East Med.
>> Turkey has proven with “concrete actions” that it wants to reduce tensions & establish a dialogue on the matter.
>> New discoveries in the Black sea are probable. More good news to come.
>> Drilling activities will continue in the potential regions in the East Med. Turkey has the chance to find both oil & natural gas.
>> Turkey’s recent Navtex alert is about ensuring safety for navy drill off the coast of Iskenderun, East Med.
>> Everyone must know that Turkey has become a player at the international stage.
>> Turkey has no designs on anyone’s land or sea but we will not allow any attack on us from its neighbours’ lands or seas.
>> Turkey wants dialogue on maritime issues. It wants peace but also it wants its rights.
Election race picks up pace, Cyprus Issue still on the agendaYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing, EU Matters, Energy, Property, Territory, Regional/International Relations
Independent presidential candidate Serdar Denktaş on Thursday said it was not possible to achieve anything through an understanding that the Turkish Cypriot community is condemned to a settlement of the Cyprus Problem which has been negotiated for 50 years.
Denktaş, speaking in Famagusta as part of campaign tour, expressed the view that tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean could de-escalate if the parties involved signed a moratorium.
“This is what common sense dictates,” he said, adding that the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call for dialogue was important.
“We have rights stemming from the 1960 agreements. These rights have been usurped but this does not change the fact that we have a 50 per cent share of all of the island’s resources as equal founding partners. The 70 to 30 only applies to representation,” he said.
Denktaş said that foreign actors aimed to contain Turkey to its territorial waters in the Mediterranean and that Ankara’s reactions were justified.
“How are these problems going to be solved with the South? We first need to sit down and come to an understanding that a bicommunal, bizonal federal settlement (BBF) which we have been discussing for the past 50 years is not possible. Can we form a partnership with a weak central government, we can discuss all these things,” he said.
Denktaş said that otherwise, it will be necessary to convince the public through a referendum that these talks will not yield the desired result.
“No country can object to the decision and will of the Turkish Cypriot community,” he said.
“We need to feel that we have alternatives, we need to be courageous. It is not possible to achieve anything with the belief that the Turkish Cypriot community is bound to a settlement.”
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader and presidential candidate Tufan Erhürman said on Thursday reiterated his support for a comprehensive solution in Cyprus.
Erhürman, speaking on a debate programme on Bayrak, said that his priority remained a federal settlement in Cyprus.
“Some of the candidates are trying to create the impression that there are alternative methods or models for a settlement out there. If we are talking about a comprehensive solution, the options are clear. We can either talk about a unitary state, a confederation, a federation or two-state solution,” he said.
Erhürman pointed out that any settlement to be reached needed to include EU membership.
“Since a unitary state would mean Turkish Cypriots would be a minority, this option is not even on the table. A two-state solution or confederation would require recognition of the North which seems unrealistic under the current conditions. That only leaves one other option…a federal solution,” he said.
The CTP leader said that it was important to discuss the formula.
Any new talks would need to be results-oriented and subject to deadlines, he added.
Erhürman argued that the issue of hydrocarbons will be the determining factor in any negotiations.
“We need to follow developments closely,” he said, adding that the CTP supported the idea that Turkish Cypriots are actors in the region.
Erhürman also said that the Greek Cypriots which enjoy international recognition and European Union (EU) membership should see that they too are moving away from being political actors.
On the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Erhürman criticized the government’s plans to reopen the fenced-off town.
“What the government is trying to do is break down a steel-reinforced door by ignoring the existence of a keyhole,” he said.
He recalled UN resolutions on Maraş (Varosha) which stated that the town should be returned to its rightful owners under the control of the UN.
Erhürman also pointed out that military areas were outside the jurisdiction of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and that such cases involving properties in areas controlled by the military can only be settled through exchange or compensation.
“The first thing that needs to be done is to lift the area’s military status,” he said.
Erhürman added that much was needed to be done in terms of building confidence between the two communities before a settlement is reached on the island. He gave the examples of a peace university or hospital constructed in the buffer zone.
>> Tensions in the East Med can de-escalate if the parties involved signed a moratorium.
>> Half of the island’s resources belong to TCs.
>> Foreign actors trying to contain Turkey to its shores which is why Ankara’s reactions are justified.
>> Sides need to reach an understanding of whether or not BBF is possible. If not it is important to discuss other alternatives & to hold a referendum.
>> Not possible to achieve anything believing that the TC community’s hands are tied by a settlement.
>> Priority for CTP remains for a comprehensive federal solution.
>> Options for a solution are clear. A federal solution is the only realistic option for the TC community.
>> Any solution needs to include EU membership.
>> New talks need to be results-oriented & subject to deadlines.
>> Issue of hydrocarbons will be the determining factor in any negotiations. TC community needs to follow developments closely & be political actors.
>> Government’s method on reopening Maraş (Varosha) wrong. UN resolutions state that the town.
>> Military areas are outside jurisdiction of IPC.
>> Cases involving properties in areas controlled by the military can only be settled through exchange or compensation.
>> First thing government needs to do is to lift the area’s military status.
>> More CBMs needed between two communities such as the construction of a peace university or hospital in the buffer zone.