TCC Press Review 30 Oct 2020

Front Page Headlines


‘The country is adrift’

Shopkeepers in Güzelyurt (Morphou) spoke to Yenidüzen, highlighting the need for a new government to be set up as soon as possible. “The pandemic has made its presence felt at schools but we still do not have a Council of Ministers to take any measures,” they said.

  • Guterres thanks Akıncı
  • Pilli: “We have started work from home quarantine”


A 73 per cent drop in passenger numbers

Even though more than a million passengers arrived by air or by ferry in the first nine months of 2019, only 352,728 people arrived during the same period in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • “TRNC is a separate state whether they recognize it or not” – President Ersin Tatar said, “We have a coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean and we have rights.” Tatar was speaking to the Voice of America during his visit to Ankara.
  • Attempting to monitor through electronic bracelets – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli announced steps are being taken for home-based quarantine.


Ostentatious Mawlid, modest celebration

While the 97th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey was marked with modest celebrations due to coronavirus measures, the Mawlid al-Nabi (Prophet’s birthday) celebrations were held ostentatiously. President Tatar attended a prayer programme at the Hala Sultan Mosque (north Nicosia) side-by-side with the other invitees without adhering to the social distancing rule.

  • Home-quarantine to be launched – Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Dr Ali Pilli summarized the struggle on Covid-19 to date and advised the public to adhere to measures. 
  • Akansoy: Responsibilities at CTP do not end – Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Famagusta MP Asım Akansoy resigned from his duties at the CTP’s Central Executive Board.
  • Guterres thanks Akıncı with a letter – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a letter to fourth president Mustafa Akıncı to thank him for his constructive collaboration towards a comprehensive settlement. 


And there is no one asking either

Grooms before the pandemic would buy five pieces (a necklace made up of five pure gold coins) for their brides as traditional wedding gifts. Now it’s impossible. The economic crisis which is deepening in North Cyprus every passing day has also forced marrying couples to abandon the tradition of exchanging expensive gifts of jewellery. Jewellers say that no one even asks about the five-piece gold coin necklaces anymore. Jewellers say that the price of such necklaces cost around ₺18,000 (€1,860) and that even the price of simple engagement rings starts somewhere around ₺1,500 (€154). “Sales have gone down. The politicians need to address the country’s growing economic problems,” they said.

  • Historic message – Guterres who sent a letter to Akıncı said, “I find the belief you demonstrated for a better future for your community and island extremely valuable.
  • €26m to be spent – Approval has been given in the south for the construction of a 7.5MW solar farm.
  • Hospital experiencing difficulty – The spike in coronavirus cases in South Cyprus has health workers worried.



This is the point we have reached following the reopening of a section of the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha). The former inhabitants of the town were forced to add to their pain of having fled their homes 46 years ago after seeing a newly-wed couple having their wedding photoshoot in Maraş (Varosha). The photographs sparked a massive reaction on social media when shared. Many wrote: “I am ashamed.” 

  • Mawlid al-Nabi (Prophet’s birthday) with Atatürk’s adversary Erbaş – The head of the Turkish Religious Affairs Office Ahmet Erbaş, who detests secularism, and who poured out his hatred of Atatürk during his first sermon at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul after it was opened for worship earlier this year, attended the Mawlid al-Nabi programme at the Hala Sultan Mosque (north Nicosia) together with Ersin Tatar.

Main News

Tatar insists he will push for a two-state solution

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Territory, Property, Regional/International Relations


Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar said that any new negotiation process with the Greek Cypriot side should be based on a two-state solution.

He added it was important to insist on the recognition of the north.

Tatar, in an interview with the Voice of America (VOA) conducted during his recent visit to Ankara, said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to act together with Turkey on the issue of hydrocarbons.

He said it was out of the question for the Turkish Cypriot side to abandon this strategy and added that Turkish Cypriots had rights over the island’s hydrocarbon resources.

Tatar said that the Turkish Cypriot side had been working jointly with Turkey since 2010 on the issue of hydrocarbons.

“The TRNC is a separate state, whether they like it or not or whether or not they choose to recognize it. All the activities that have been taking place have been extensively planned in consultation with various departments and institutions in Turkey. We have our people, our land, our state and our coastline,” he said.

Tatar added that the Turkish Cypriot side’s actions were part of Turkey’s Blue Homeland policy and were thus accepted by international law.

“I believe that we will be able to obtain our share of the region’s resources by acting together with Turkey. I believe we shall be discovering natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean soon, just like the recent discovery made in the Black Sea,” Tatar stressed.

Regarding a settlement, Tatar said that the time had come for the international community to stop insisting on a federal solution.

He added that Greek Cypriots had made it clear, time and time again, they did not see Turkish Cypriots as their equals.

Tatar argued that a federal partnership would lead to the assimilation of Turkish Cypriots into a Greek Cypriot state.

“That is the [Greek Cypriot side’s] plan, the game. I shall be working with Turkey to tell this to the whole world,” he said.

Reminded about his words that the five-party conference was the last chance for a solution in Cyprus, Tatar said that all hopes for a federal settlement had been dashed when the talks collapsed in Crans Montana.

“It seems very obvious that the Greek Cypriot side will not accept a solution based on political equality. My view that a federal settlement is no longer attainable in Cyprus and that a two-state model should be brought to the table has received wide coverage in the Greek Cypriot press,” he said.

Tatar claimed that there were plenty of Greek Cypriot opinion shapers who agreed with his views even if they did not approve of a two-state solution, stating that this was the only realistic option.

The newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader said that the Greek Cypriot side was reluctant to share power and wealth with Turkish Cypriots because they enjoyed the advantages of international recognition and EU membership.

He said that the Greek Cypriots ultimately believed that a new federal partnership will be somewhat the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) which will allow them to dominate Turkish Cypriots and break off their ties with Turkey.

“The freedom of movement of people and capital in the EU will slowly push us away from Turkey and we will be assimilated,” he said.

Asked what he plans to do if the Greek Cypriot side rejects the idea of reaching a two-state solution, Tatar said, “this work requires patience. It may not happen overnight.”

He added that both Greece and the Greek Cypriot side were using their EU membership to their advantage to prevent the process from working in the interest of the Turkish Cypriot side.

“We will do what is right. We will see when it will be possible to achieve our goal. But we will not give up our goal. We will lose the minute we give up,” he said.

Reminded of claims by some that the north had become Turkey’s 82nd province, Tatar said that the north had unique relations with Turkey but dismissed arguments that annexation was on Ankara’s agenda.

He said it was wrong to confuse the strong bond that existed between the two countries with annexation.

On the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Tatar said that public areas such as the beachfront and playgrounds first needed to be freed of the status of military zones through cabinet decisions.

He said the ultimate plan was to reopen the entire fenced-off area.

“We plan to return a large section of the civilian area to their former inhabitants or rightful owners through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). But to do this we must first form a new government,” he said.

>> Any new negotiation process with the GC side should be based on a two-state solution.
>> It is important to insist on the recognition of the north.
>> TC side will not abandon its strategy to pursue its rights over the island’s hydrocarbons.
>> TRNC is a separate state, whether or not it is recognized is irrelevant.
>> TC side’s activities are carried out as part of Turkey’s Blue Homeland policy & is in accordance with international law.
>> TC side’s intention to obtain its rights & share of hydrocarbons by acting jointly with Turkey.
>> The time has come for the international community to stop insisting on a federal solution.
>> GCs have made it clear they did not see TCs as their equals.
>> A federal partnership will lead to the assimilation of TCs into a GC state. That is the plan.
>> GC opinion shapers agree with me that a federal solution is not attainable even if they do not approve of the idea.
>> GC side is reluctant to share power & wealth with TCs because they enjoy advantages of international recognition & EU membership.
>> Turkey’s support to the north should not be confused with attempts of annexation.
>> Ultimate plan is to reopen entire fenced-off area of Maraş (Varosha) starting from public areas. But the area’s status as a military area should be removed by cabinet first.
>> We plan to return a large section of the civilian area to their former inhabitants or rightful owners through the IPC.

“We shouldn’t have to pay compensation for Maraş (Varosha)”

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Territory, Negotiations Process


“The Turkish Cypriot side cannot be held responsible for keeping Maraş (Varosha) fenced off for the past 46 years and should therefore not be obliged to pay any compensation for the loss of use of the properties in question,” National Unity Party (UBP) Famagusta MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu said on Thursday.

The UBP MP, speaking during a morning programme on Kıbrıs TV, recalled that the Greek Cypriot side to date had rejected all the proposals put forward for the return of the town.

“It is out of the question to hold the Turkish Cypriot side accountable for the loss of property use. The Immovable Property Commission (IPC) will only return the properties,” he argued.

Hasipoğlu also reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side on numerous occasions had presented the Greek Cypriot side with proposals to return the fenced-off town as a confidence-building measure (CBM) but that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected them.

Responding to another question on the opening of the fenced-off town, Hasipoğlu said that the opposition parties in the Turkish Cypriot parliament did not approve of the opening of Maraş (Varosha), claiming that the talks for federation would be harmed and that the town must be returned to its rightful owners under UN control.

“The UN does not have the mandate to provide municipal services to the inhabitants of Maraş (Varosha) or to deal with the property claims made by the people,” Hasipoğlu argued, adding that the area fell within the jurisdiction of the Turkish Cypriot authorities and should therefore be opened under the Turkish Cypriot sovereignty.

He added that the IPC, which is recognized by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as a domestic remedy, will process the property applications and return them in line with international law.

Hasipoğlu explained further that the IPC offers three remedies – exchange, compensation, and restitution.

He added the ‘loss of use’ value is included in the total amount of compensation paid by the IPC and that the property is purchased from the lawful owner, transferring its deed ownership to the north.

“The main goal behind the re-opening of Maraş (Varosha) is to start turning the wheels of the economy and with the reopening, investments will certainly be made in the opened sections of Maraş (Varosha),” Hasipoğlu stressed.

He added that the north will gain significantly from the reopening project economically.

Hasipoğlu explained that the project was made up of three legs.

These are the humanitarian aspect, which will be addressed with the return of the properties; the economic aspect which will be addressed with the revitalization of the town; and finally the political aspect which gives the message that the town cannot be “held hostage” any longer over talks for a federal settlement, he said.

Asked whether Tatar has identified his negotiations team, Hasipoğlu said there need to be negotiations underway for the negotiations team to be formed. 

He also argued that the Greek Cypriot negotiations team had also been dissolved.

“What needs to be done first is for the two leaders to get to know each other. They need to meet over an informal meeting, which is now scheduled for November 3. It needs to be followed with the informal five-plus-one meeting during which the sides will agree on what to discuss at the negotiations table,” Hasipoğlu said.

He noted that it will take at least three to four months before a full-scale negotiations team is ready, provided that the sides agree on what to negotiate for during the five-plus-one meeting.

“In the meantime, working groups on Maraş (Varosha), hydrocarbons and other issues could very well be formed,” he said, reminding that these are the current issues that affect everyone’s lives on the island.

“President Tatar and his negotiating team will have the responsibility to convince the Greek Cypriot side to collaborate with the TRNC without the fear of political recognition,” Hasipoğlu stressed.

He added that the Greek Cypriot side must accept the reality that the Turkish Cypriots are equal partners on the island and that the era of talks for a federal solution is over.

Referring to the bi-annual UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) UNFICYP reports, he said these reports also identify that the Greek Cypriots refrain from collaborating with the north due to the fear of recognition.

“It must be accepted by all and we as the Turkish Cypriot side must demand from the UN to publicly announce that it is not possible to reach a federal solution on the island because the two sides interpret the details and concepts of a federal solution very differently,” Hasipoğlu argued.

He added that the UN also must recognize the fact the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share the wealth or power with the Turkish Cypriot side.

Hasipoğlu recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side submitted a co-management proposal to the Greek Cypriot side and after it was rejected, the Turkish Cypriot side together with Turkey launched its hydrocarbon exploration activities.

“We need to introduce a new dimension to the Cyprus problem. The Turkish Cypriot side must take steps that are not subjected to the Greek Cypriot side’s will,” Hasipoğlu concluded.

UNSG thanks Akıncı for his sincere & constructive approach

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


UNSG Antonio Guterres expressed in a letter his gratitude to former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı for his efforts to solve the Cyprus problem during his tenure, all Turkish Cypriot dailies reported on Friday. 

Wishing Akıncı the best in his future endeavours, Guterres thanked him for his constructive collaboration, courage and sincerity throughout the negotiations process.

“Your determination and faith for a more peaceful future of the island and your community throughout your term are incredibly valuable for me,” Guterres wrote in his letter. 

“I appreciate the unprecedented progress achieved during the negotiations process from 2015 to 2017, which includes the Cyprus Conference in January and in June of 2017 even though the obstacles remain on the path towards a comprehensive settlement,” Guterres wrote.

The UNSG also stated his belief that Akıncı will continue to support the efforts for the resumption of the talks to reach a comprehensive settlement within the UN parameters.

Guterres concluded his letter by expressing his deep gratitude and respect for Akıncı, expressing hope that their paths will cross again one day.

The UK cannot be impartial in Cyprus, says top CTP official

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process, Energy, External Security


“The UK cannot be impartial either on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem or on resolving the disputes over hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Asım Akansoy said.

Speaking to Russian news agency Sputnik regarding the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) President Nicos Anastasiades’ discussion with the British PM Boris Johnson, Akansoy said the UK will continue to protect its interests as long as it maintains its military presence in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBA).

According to media reports, Johnson on Wednesday assured Anastasiades he was willing to take on a more active role in the Cyprus problem and condemned Turkey’s actions towards Cyprus and in the wider region.

Johnson also reaffirmed the enduring ties between the UK and Cyprus.

Anastasiades told Johnson of Cyprus’ diplomatic efforts to stop Turkey’s drilling activities and seismic research in disputed areas.

Akansoy warned that the UK, which is one of the three guarantor powers on the island, must be additionally careful when adopting a position on the Cyprus issue.

“The UK must be extra careful because the main priority on the island is to reach a lasting and fair peace agreement that is based on political equality,” Akansoy stressed.

He added that the disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean can only be solved within the context of the solution of the Cyprus problem.

Akansoy pointed out that the UK is the only guarantor nation with bases and sovereign land on the island.

“Neither Turkey nor Greece have any territory on the island but the UK does. This is not acceptable. For the UK to be impartial, it must be at an equal level with the other guarantor nations,” Akansoy noted.

Arguing that the UK’s Cyprus strategy is based on ensuring the continuation of its military presence, Akansoy argued the UK’s support shifted from one side to the other from time to time.

“The UK’s territorial advantage over the other guarantor nations is also one of the main issues that create an imbalance,” Akansoy concluded. 

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, Akansoy announced his resignation from CTP’s Central Executive Board (MYK).

Announcing his resignation publicly through a post on social media, he said he has shared his reasons for his resignation with the party’s leader Tufan Erhürman.

“I will continue to work for a stronger CTP in line with the people’s expectations,” Akansoy concluded.

Quarantine to be monitored with electronic bracelets

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Internal Security, Human Rights


The Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli on Thursday announced that they will start using electronic bracelets or cuffs to monitor people who are supposed to be self-isolating as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

In a statement made to the Turkish News agency (TAK), Pilli said 250 people will be included in the first trial phase.

The electronic tags will be placed on passengers arriving in the north by plane as of Monday.

So far, people who test positive and their contacts are placed in quarantine hotels for better monitoring.

He reminded that violating quarantine regulations were subject to up to a two-year prison sentence.

Also touching on the positive coronavirus cases recorded in schools, Pilli reassured the public that additional measures have been implemented to curb the further spread of the virus at schools.

“We are currently not considering the closure of schools. The measures are sufficient. The situation regarding Covid-19 is not ‘scary’ at the moment, he added.

Pilli noted that even if there are local transmission cases, timely measures and diligent contact tracing have helped to keep numbers at manageable levels.

He also noted that a 56-year-old coronavirus patient was taken to intensive care on Wednesday morning.

Translate »