GCC Press Review 31 August 2020

Front Page Headlines


Total return to reforms

The 21 aims of the national plan for recovery and resilience. Four important reforms, of the education system, public administration, local governance and justice system, are basic elements of Cyprus’s National Plan for Recovery and Resilience that is being put together.  Implementation of projects and actions to be submitted by Cyprus to draw on 1.090 billion euro from the European Recovery Facility will have to begin almost immediately, since 70% of funds will be assigned during 2021 – 2022.

  • Refugees: Packed into shacks


With our hearts in our mouths

Questions and concerns remain just before the beginning of the school year. Teachers rush to Education Ministry at noon.

  • Eastern Mediterranean: The “Gray Wolf” howls threatening Greece and Cyprus
  • Council of Europe: Next stop Strasbourg for properties of enclaved
  • Time for the reconstruction of Zouhouri square


Education Ministry still finding its footing at the last moment

Wide emergency meeting today in Education Ministry. Plans made on paper cannot be implemented. Pedagogic aspect secondary.

  • Oruc Reis will remain in Eastern Mediterranean for 90 days, Cavusoglu announced
  • Pandemic intensifies refugee crisis, European reaction brutal
  • Number of cases in single digits also yesterday, four new cases of COVID-19


New great headache

They’re looking for the instigators. Why the police did not move ahead with arrests during the event outside the Presidential Palace? How the authorities will handle new events by anti-vaxxers while relevant decrees are in effect? Dr. Karagiannis: “I hope the coronavirus doesn’t knock on the door of anyone that participated in the event”.

  • “Greece will defend its sovereign rights with all legal means”: Dendias: Not now EEZ with Cyprus – We will move towards an EEZ with Cyprus “in due course and when conditions permit”
  • Counterfeiter again: Erdogan: The Greeks invaded and invade our country!
  • Low numbers again: Four new cases of coronavirus yesterday in Cyprus
  • Investment programme: Many safety measures for naturalisations

Main News

Tensions persist after EU Foreign Ministers’ decision on sanctions

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


Turkey continues to react to Friday’s agreement between the 27 Foreign Ministers regarding the possibility of sanctions due to its behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean.

According to Phileleftheros, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Oruc Reis will be remaining in the Eastern Mediterranean for 90 days. Cavusoglu told Turkish A Haber TV that Turkey will continue issuing Navtex for seismic research in the area.

Cavusoglu also pointed out that if Greece decides to extend its territorial waters to the east this will be a cause of war. He pointed out that Turkey is not interested in Greece’s actions in its west, referring to the extension of its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea. He underlined though that Turkey will not allow a similar action to be taken in the Aegean.

In a statement on Sunday, Turkish President Tayip Erdogan said that Turkey will not give in to threats in the Eastern Mediterranean and will continue to defend its rights in the region according to international law and bilateral agreements, Phileleftheros reports.

Haravgi reports that Greek Foreign Minister Nicos Dendias told Greek newspaper Real News that Greece does have the possibility of EEZ delineation with Cyprus on its agenda, but that this will happen “in due course and when conditions allow”.

Dendias added that for the delineation of EEZs to happen in the Eastern Mediterranean, a series of actions need to be taken in a specific succession. He pointed out that these actions need to be precise, and cited the recent agreement between Greece and Egypt, and said that the time for EEZ delineation with Cyprus will come.

Dendias also responded to statements coming from Turkey by pointing out that no one can expect Turkey to accept faits accomplis and to accept illegal actions against its interests. He welcomed Germany’s effort to mediate, and pointed out that Turkey’s behaviour so far shows that its statements regarding the need for dialogue are made for appearances.

Dendias pointed out that for dialogue to take place there needs to be de-escalation and the two countries need to respect international law as a common framework.

Phileleftheros reports that the threat of measures could help Angela Merkel’s efforts to mediate between Greece and Turkey. Government sources also told the newspaper that it is important that the possibility of sanctions against Turkey is tied to any decision regarding Belarus.

Alithia reports that Devlet Bahceli, the leader of national party MHP, which supports Erdogan’s government, said that a possible extension of Greece’s territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean will be a cause of war for Turkey. He also said that Merkel’s call to EU member states to support Greece was essentially a call to a Crusade.

Mevlut Cavusoglu (Turkish Foreign Minister)
>> Oruc Reis will continue its work in the region for 90 days
>> Greece extending its territorial waters in the east would be a cause of war

Tayip Erdogan (Turkish President)
>> Turkey will not give in to threats and will continue to defend its rights under international law and bilateral agreements

Nicos Dendias (Greek Foreign Minister)
>> EEZ delineation must be done in precise successive steps
>> Delineation with Cyprus will come in due time and when conditions allow

Council of Europe to discuss G/C enclaved inheritance rights

Property, Human Rights, CBMs, EU Matters


Phileleftheros reports that the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is due to examine the issue of the property and inheritance rights of the enclaved G/Cs on Tuesday, as part of its review over whether Turkey is honouring the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Cyprus vs. Turkey.

The ministers will also inspect whether Turkey is honouring its obligations regarding the compensation to be given to G/C owners of property in the occupied areas.

The Republic of Cyprus informs the Committee of Ministers in a letter that it expects Turkey to give answers on whether it will recognise the rights to inheritance of the children of the enclaved, that left the north and moved to the south.

Turkey’s position is that these cases should be closed by the ECHR since the applicants can appeal to the Immovable Property Committee.

Reconstruction of Zouhouri mosque complex begins

CBMs, Property


Politis reports that the reconstruction of the Zouhouri complex, in the center of Larnaca, is set to begin at the end of September.

The plans include the reconstruction of the yard around the Zouhouri mosque, including the reconstruction of the area of the old Turkish Cypriot market, as well as the repair of the hostel on the first floor of the building next to the mosque.

The works are expected to take about 18 months and will cost 2,300,000 euro, during which the Zouhouri parking space will be closed.

Translate »