GCC Press Review 30 August 2020

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Virus keeping couples apart

Category C and not married, you cannot be reunited with your partner living in Cyprus.

  • Turkey to hold more exercises, day after EU prepares sanctions
  • Comment: The East Med’s gathering storm


The double-game diplomacy of the Italians and a scent of sanctions from the EU

What is the game behind the sanctions list of the EU based on the logic of mutual benefit. Why Rome did not give its consent to the last diplomatic leg of the Four Party cooperation and why it didn’t want to bother Turkey.

  • We were late…: The appeasement of Turkey and history’s forgotten lessons
  • Analysis: Lessons from the “blue homeland” of the Byzantines
  • Naturalisations affair: Curse and blessing
  • Double game: Ankara sets up a new “Greek-Turkish Burgenstock”
  • Survival problem: Our strategy in the Cyprus Problem is seriously deficient
  • Initial message: The effects of the extension of Greece’s territorial waters in the Ionian sea
  • Andreas Theophanous (opinion): The UN and Cyprus
  • Andreas S. Angelides (opinion): The EU’s lack of boldness, our stance and Turkey


From Panama Papers to Cyprus Papers

How Cyprus gained a prominent position on corruption lists? Our honourable fellow citizen, armoured Ajmal Rahmani: Investigation over European passport we gave since July 2016 to Afghani politician which demands to be examined. Jho Low’s mansion to be auctioned, money to be returned to Malaysia. Corruption.

  • Eastern Mediterranean: De-escalation through consultations
  • Analysis: Makarios Droushiotis: Our national problem is corruption and not the Cyprus Problem


Erdogan goes all in

He got a deadline from the European Union, but he is determined to impose faits accomplis. Ankara constantly plays with fire.

  • EU gave her four weeks: Ball on Ankara’s court to de-escalate tensions
  • 46 years later: The killers of Doros (Loizou) are still free
  • Cyprus on the chessboard of the Eastern Mediterranean


Towards freezing citizenships

Following the disclosures, the Commission presses for measures, while government examines new scenarios to deal with situation. Possibility of sending Cyprus to Court of Justice of the EU for breaking European legislation.

  • Naturalisations: The persons who exposed the programme
  • James Kleinfeld (interview): Passports were given to fugitives
  • A month of sensitive balances for Eastern Mediterranean: Checkmate by NATO over crises between members
  • Natasa Pelides (interview): Drilling plans have not changed
  • Missing: Kucuk permanently buried 80 people from Ashia
  • Settlement ahead: Famagusta: Perhaps the last opportunity


Continuous checks and no time for classes!

  • 33 slaps over “golden” passports
  • The prospects for a Greco-Turkish dialogue, Famagusta and the solution of the Cyprus Problem
  • South-eastern Mediterranean has entered the psychology of “national survival”
  • Government hacks away at refugee (displaced) policy


Gradual EU sanctions against Turkey

How the Borrell list will be applied. Turkey undeterred threatens Greece with war over 12 nautical miles in Aegean. New Turkish NAVTEX at Kormakitis for exercises with real fire. EU has started recording new names of persons involved in Cypriot EEZ

  • They went to take care of them: Foreigners attacked the crew of ambulance in Nicosia
  • Tragically magisterial and alone: Famagusta. Return?
  • Analysis: Greco-Turkish dialogue before it’s too late

Main News

Moves for de-escalation through negotiations rather than sanctions

Phileleftheros, Politis, Simerini
Energy, External Security, Regional/ International Relations, EU Matters

Politis reports that the EU and all other actors involved in the Eastern Mediterranean retain de-escalation and opening the path to negotiations as the principal aim of all decisions and measures taken or planned so far.

The newspaper notes that the EU Foreign Ministers made clear on Friday that sanctions will be discussed in next month’s European Council only if Turkey takes no steps towards de-escalation or dialogue.

Diplomatic sources told Politis that if there is no de-escalation by September 24th when the EU’s leaders are due to meet in Brussels, this could lead to sanctions and a strong reaction by Turkey. The same sources also note the increased involvement of the US, citing the separate telephone conversations between President Trump, the Greek prime minister and the Turkish President, as well as NATO’s increased involvement.

Phileleftheros reports that according to diplomatic sources, the European Council is expected to call Turkey to respond to the RoC’s invitation to discuss the delineation of the two countries’ EEZ and to explore the possibility of a joint appeal to the International Court of Justice at the Hague.

Simerini reports that Turkey is imposing its own terms on how it will return to dialogue with Greece, by insisting on continuing its seismic research in contested waters while signalling it is ready to negotiate. The newspaper reports that the Cypriot government is worried that there will be an effort to add the Cyprus Problem into a package of issues to be discussed between the EU and Turkey or between Greece and Turkey.

Simerini also adds that Italy plays a double game regarding Turkey, despite the fact that it participated in the military wing of the cooperation with France, Greece and Cyprus. According to the report, Italy pulled out of an agreement that the Defence Ministers of the four countries would be present at the end of the military exercise that took place during the past week in the seas south of Cyprus. The newspaper points out that Italy is trying to maintain a balance and notes that the country was due to have a military exercise with Turkey right after.

T/C member of CMP argues that case of Ashia missing is closed

Human Rights, CBMs

Kathimerini reports that T/C member of the Committee on Missing Persons, Gulden Plumer Kucuk, has said she considers the investigation into the mass grave of 80 people found near the village of Ashia can be considered closed.

The newspaper reports that the statement was made on August 18th and that no representative of the G/C side has responded to the statement since. According to the report, this case is considered a strong card for the RoC against Turkey since it clearly involved an attempt by the Turkish army to cover up the crime by moving the remains of the victims in 1995 from their initial burial place to a location that has yet to be identified.

Kucuk is reported to have made this statement speaking to T/C agency TAK on August 18th. Kucuk had wondered how the RoC’s plans regarding the issue of the missing could help the CMPs efforts. She also added that 77 out of the 80 people found in the mass grave in Ornithi, near Ashia, have been identified. Kathimerini notes that Kucuk failed to mention that these identifications were carried out using small pieces of the victims’ remains that had been left in the mass grave after they were moved.

Kathimerini reports that there has been no reaction to Kucuk’s statement by the G/C side. However the newspaper notes that according to the government’s official statements, the RoC does not consider the matter to be closed. The newspaper cites statements by government commissioner for human rights, Photis Photiou, who had said that the government is pushing for determining what happened to the remains of the missing persons in questions.

Kathimerini accuses Kucuk of not prioritising the full investigation of what happened to missing persons but to cover up war crimes perpetrated by the Turkish army. The newspaper recalls that the T/C side has coordinated with Turkey to promote cases of war crimes against T/Cs in order to feed into the narrative for the reasons the invasion took place, while not allowing any of Turkey’s crime to be fully investigated.

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