GCC Press Review 28 Oct 2020

Front Page Headlines


T. Papadopoulos firm also a passport “agent”

Global Citizen: The firm will help us in acquiring the Cypriot citizenship. For the past few weeks N. Papadopoulos presented himself as leader against corruption. It is proven however that his firm participated fully in passport “game”. He himself claims he has no relation with “Tassos Papadopoulos & Associates” firm, but he has never said where his shares have been transferred. To quote Francois Mitterrand, governance and policy-making are not a typical legal process, and what is legal is not necessarily also right and moral.

  • Cyprus Problem: Anastasiades-Tatar meeting “locked”
  • Use of properties: Compensations for refugees became… studies
  • 181 new yesterday: We approach barrier of 200 cases


Americans to place cameras

After 13 years of back and forth, tender closed for 34 million. 90 traffic light systems placed on streets.

  • They also attacked the French embassy: Muslims of free Cyprus obeyed Erdogan – Turkish President continues to provoke: France calls for measures against Turkey
  • Coronavirus also hits government: Two ministers, a deputy minister and a mayor in isolation
  • Anastasiades-Tatar meeting scheduled
  • Cooperation an antidote to Turkish aggression
  • We celebrate OHI (NO) without parades
  • Each to his own ahead of meeting: Attorney and Auditor (General) insist on investigations


Two leaders meeting in heavy climate

Uproar over Erdogan-Tatar statements. Continuous resignations of T/Cs from bicommunal committees. T. Erhurman: Federation is a clear model for a solution.

  • 101 new cases and new reference hospital
  • Crisis rages, rage flares up (passports)
  • Turkish boycott of European products further distances Turkey from the EU
  • Empty pre-election promises for compensation over loss of use of occupied properties

Cyprus Mail

Cars stranded at Limassol port

Sudden decision to pay for their release as tax fraud investigated.

  • President to meet T. Cypriot leader Tatar next week
  • Cyprus: Turkey slammed as threat to stability at trilateral


200,000 antigen rapid tests against the coronavirus!

Another weapon in arsenal of responsible authorities. Cyprus ordered rapid COVID-19 antigen detection tests, aiming to block spread of virus. Another 181 cases announced yesterday. Two ministers and one deputy minister in quarantine.

  • United Nations announced unofficial Anastasiades-Tatar meeting on November 3rd: First meeting on Tuesday – Meeting for acquaintance and also to detect intentions – Trilateral: Turkey’s actions undermine UNSG efforts to restart negotiations
  • Clash of institutions: Supreme Court the only way
  • Because of Turkey: Another withdrawal amid accusations in occupied areas
  • 28 October 1940: With church ceremonies but no parades
  • Commission warns Tayip Erdogan: Boycotting French products distances Turkey from EU

Main News

First Anastasiades-Tatar meeting to be held on November 3

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Oikonomiki Kathimerini, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing, Regional/ International Relations, Territory


The United Nations announced that the first unofficial meeting between President Anastasiades and new T/C leader Ersin Tatar will take place on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 3. According to an official announcement reproduced by all dailies, the meeting will take place at the residence of UNSG special representative Elizabeth Spehar.

Phileleftheros reports, citing diplomatic sources, that the UN is concerned after the surprise election of Ersin Tatar and that UNSG Guterres will need to assess the situation before taking his next steps.

The dailies also note that Turkish President Tayip Erdogan announced he will be visiting the north on November 15. Erdogan added he could also have a picnic with Tatar in the fenced-off city of Varosha and posed a rhetorical question as to whether there was any reason not to.

Government spokesperson Kyriakos Koushios told the Cyprus News Agency that these statements were provocative and a part of a generalised destabilisation policy by Turkey in Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, Greece and Cyprus.

Koushios also said in an announcement that President Anastasiades had a telephone conversation with UK prime minister Boris Johnson regarding the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cyprus Problem.

According to Koushios, Johnson condemned Turkey’s illegal actions in Cyprus and the region and said that the UK intends to take a more active role in the region. Anastasiades informed Johnson of the diplomatic efforts carried out by the Republic of Cyprus to counter Turkey’s illegal drilling in its EEZ, and briefed him on Turkish actions regarding Varosha.

Haravgi also reports on a statement made by Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhurman on social media on Tuesday, regarding the need for a federal solution as the model that is clearly outlined in UN Security Council resolutions. Erhurman said that for the two-state solution to be an option that is not limited to maintaining the status quo, then the “TRNC” would have to be recognised, which would have to be accepted by the Security Council.

Erhurman pointed out without naming Tatar, that if one were to promote a two-state solution they would have to explain how that would be pursued in practical terms. He added that it also needs to be clarified how the principle of bizonality which protects the continued existence of the T/Cs, which is enshrined in the federal model, could be addressed by a two-state solution, particularly when it comes to property and population.

Former T/C leader and former CTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat also commented on Turkish VP Fuat Oktay’s statement on the need for a two-state solution. Talat said that this is a policy that is dangerous and will take the process backwards. He also noted that this effort has no potential of success. It opposes UN parameters and endangers everything achieved so far by the T/C community during negotiations, he added.

Meanwhile, a representation from the Famagusta Municipal Council met with Russian ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy to discuss the situation with Varosha. According to an announcement issued by the Municipality, Osadchiy told the group that Russia continues to support UN Security Council resolutions on the issue.

T/C members of Technical Committee on Gender Equality also quit

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
CBMs, Human Rights, Governance & Power Sharing


The dailies report that even more T/C members of the bicommunal Technical Committees are withdrawing due to Ersin Tatar’s election. On Tuesday, the five T/C members of the Technical Committee on Gender Equality quit. In a statement, the five members said that the outcome of the recent elections in the north was a blow to democracy and to the T/C will.

Alithia reports that the five members (Mine Yucel, Omur Yilmaz, Derya Beyatli, Umut Bozkurt and Mine Atli) said in a statement that during the recent elections the will of the T/Cs was undermined. Seeing this, they added, there is no reason for them to continue working in a Technical Committee where the new T/C leader will be represented.

The dailies recall that on Monday, the T/C members of the Technical Committee on Culture quit. G/C head of the committee, Androulla Vassiliou, told the Cyprus News Agency that the cooperation between G/C and T/C members was friendly and without problems, but added she is certain that the G/C members will be able to cooperate just as effectively with the members that will be appointed by the new T/C leader.

Vassiliou said that despite the fact that members often started with different perspectives, they always found a way to agree through cooperation and mutual understanding. She added that culture is something that goes beyond parties and politics, and expressed hope that the new T/C leadership will appoint people that can cooperate with the G/Cs.

Responding to a question on plans that are currently pending, Vassiliou said that the Technical Committee has prepared an application to the UNDP and the EU for funding an event that would take place during the upcoming Buffer Fringe festival in December. The event would bring together people from the culture sector and present the work of musical artists. Vassiliou admitted that it is unclear what will happen now, adding that she has called for a meeting of the G/C members and will ask whether the UN and the EU will give their go ahead given that the initiative had been approved by the former T/C members of the committee.

Cyprus-Greece-Israel Foreign Ministers meet in Athens

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Oikonomiki Kathimerini, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/ International Relations, Energy, External Security


The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Greece and Israel, Nicos Christodoulides, Nikos Dendias and Gabi Ashkenazi, met in Athens on Tuesday in a trilateral ministerial summit, the dailies report.

Ashkenazi said that the trilateral is important in securing stability in the region and underlined the need for creative diplomacy,. He said there are currently new opportunities for cooperation between different countries and cultures. He added that the normalisation of Israel’s relations with a series of countries shows that the country is ready to move ahead with cooperation. He also said he believes that the trilateral will help move ahead with cooperation on multiple levels on the basis of international law and mutual respect.

Christodoulides said that Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean undermine security and peace in the region. Such actions (including recent moves in Varosha) also undermine efforts to restart the dialogue that was interrupted in Crans Montana for a solution based on a bizonal bicommunal federation.

Dendias said that Greece does not want the region to return to the 19th century, and noted that this meeting is taking place under the shadow of new illegal acts by Turkey that undermine the prospect of a dialogue. Dendias focused on a series of NAVTEX issued by Turkey recently, as well as its actions in Varosha. He also said Greece is pleased with statements by Russian FM Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday that Greece has the right to extend its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.

Nouris: Compensation for occupied territory very difficult

Alithia, Haravgi, Politis
Property, Human Rights, Economy


Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said during a meeting of the parliamentary committee on refugees (G/C internally displaced persons) that it will be difficult to compensate the owners of properties in the occupied areas for loss of use, multiple newspapers report citing the Cyprus News Agency.

Nouris said that the situation should be approached realistically, but also that the government is committed to finding solutions without resorting to simplistic approaches or causing further inequality.

Politis recalls that the government had promised that there would be an annual compensation for loss of use of properties in the north.

Nouris presented data from the Interior Ministry and the Central Agency of Equal Distribution of Burdens (which is dedicated to assisting displaced G/Cs after the invasion) showing that about 313 million euros will be spent in the period 2021-2023 on programmes related to the displaced, and that the Interior Ministry and the Finance Ministry will spend 58 million euro and 28 million euro respectively in 2020.

The Interior Minister pointed out that this is a difficult exercise and that the involved Ministries will have to also take into account existing programmes that cannot be left unfinished.

Nouris also explained that the total value of occupied territory amounts to 82 billion euros in 2009 prices and that out of these 65 billion euros is the value of G/C properties. On the basis of the same data, the cost of loss of use amounts to 16 billion euros and loss of property (as a result of the destruction of a building) could amount up to 23 billion euro. The Interior minister added that the effort to improve the recently created inventory of owners of occupied properties is ongoing.

After the meeting, president of the committee, AKEL MP Skevi Koukouma said that the data shows that government’s pre-election promises on the matter have proven empty, and accused the government of trying to gain time by invoking excuses, studies and scenarios. DISY MP Mariella Aristidou said she was pleased by the creation of an inventory of owners of occupied properties. DIKO MP Zaharias Koulias said that the Minister’s briefing was very informative but that he does not expect more specific actions to be taken due to the difficult financial situation and EDEK MP Elena Lymbouri said that her party submitted a proposal on a fund to support the displaced owners in 1978.

Muslims protest in front of French embassy over Muhammad cartoons

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Internal Security, Human Rights, Migration & Citizenship, Regional/ International Relations, EU Matters


Phileleftheros reports that a large group of Muslim protesters gathered in front of the French embassy in Nicosia to protest over the recent controversy in France. The protesters, who had arrived from Nicosia and Limassol, brought down the French flag and destroyed it, according to the report. Two persons were arrested.

The controversy began with the murder of a teacher who had shown the Charlie Hebdo cartoons to his students, French President Emmanuel Macron’s statements on the issue and the display of the cartoons in public places, and statements on the issue against Macron by Turkish President Tayip Erdogan.

Phileleftheros pointedly connects the protest with Erdogan’s recent statements on the issue without presenting more particulars about the protest itself and essentially accuses the protesters of following Erdogan’s orders.

Phileleftheros reports, citing information, that the police has been taking increased security measures in sites connected to French interests, after an incident that reportedly took place in Cyprus three days ago. The newspaper does not give further details. According to the same information, police have increased patrols near the French embassy and the residence of the French ambassador, and are assessing the measures on a daily basis.

The newspaper also reports that the police are assessing information reportedly brought to the attention of President Anastasiades by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. According to this information, which Phileleftheros notes has not been confirmed, jihadist extremists could reach Cyprus and Greece posing as migrants to carry out an attack. Phileleftheros also draws attention to recent statements by Interior Minister Nicos Nouris according to which people that had been pursued by Europol or the police of foreign countries had been detected among migrants.

The Cyprus News Agency reports that the European Commission has warned Turkish President Erdogan that his call for a boycott on French goods, as an answer to the Muhammad controversy, will result in Turkey distancing itself even further from the EU.

A Commission spokesperson said that agreements signed by Turkey and the EU provide for the free movement of goods and that Turkey has committed to respect these agreements.

Phileleftheros also reports that French Trade Minister Franck Riester has told French MPs that the EU should consider measures against Turkey during the next European Council.

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