TCC Press Review 31 Oct 2020

Front Page Headlines


‘We have no respect for ourselves’

Contractors outraged about Maraş (Varosha). The Chamber of Civil Engineers (IMO) which operates under the Union of the Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects (KTMMOB) expressed anger over the initiative to rebuild the fenced-off city of Maraş (Varosha). Claims that Maraş (Varosha) which has been under the control of the military since 1974 will be rebuilt through a collaboration between Konya (Turkey) Municipality and TOKİ (State-run Housing Development Administration of Turkey) sparked strong reactions from IMO.

  • All eyes on the negotiating table – The UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres responded to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’ letter: “The negotiations will restart within the framework of the UN, we are ready for the five-party conference, let us refrain from actions which will sabotage peace.”


Recover soon Turkey

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Seferihisar hit Izmir, Turkey. It was followed by a tsunami in Sığacık district. AFAD (Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) announced the epicentre of the earthquake was 17 kilometres off the coast of Seferihisar. At least 20 people have died and one drowned due to the tsunami. 170 aftershocks were recorded, 21 of which were above four on the Richter scale. AFAD launched search and rescue efforts in 17 buildings that collapsed due to the earthquake.

  • UBP electing its new leader – The first round of the National Unity Party (UBP) congress is to be held today (Saturday). The voting will end at 8pm at the congress in which five candidates are competing. 




The country’s ugly truth

In the last 27 days in the TRNC, one person has died of the coronavirus, nine from heart disease and seven from traffic accidents. The real danger lies elsewhere. While the coronavirus has led to panic as in other countries in the world, figures for October reveal a different picture. According to police reports, 25 people between the age of 20 and 83 lost their lives between October 1-27. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death in the country while traffic accidents come second. Only one person has died of the coronavirus which everyone is dreading.


Two years of marriage condition for kidney transplants

Something like this is unheard of in the world but it is the case in the TRNC. Erdal Eryener has been suffering from kidney failure for some time. One of his kidneys has stopped working while the other is failing as well. His wife is ready to donate her kidney but the Turkish Cypriot Health Ministry refuses to carry out the transplant stating that law is clear that couples need to remain married for a minimum of two years before such a donation can be made. Although Eryener has been living together with his wife for three years, they got married recently. He took the required marriage certificate to Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli but he has yet to be given a clear answer regarding the transplant.

  • Earthquake and tsunami in Izmir – 17 people have died in the earthquake at a magnitude of seven according to global sources even though Turkish sources said 6.6. Many buildings collapsed. The streets were flooded with sea water… 709 people were injured. More than 80 aftershocks were recorded.
  • 166 cases of coronavirus in the south and four in the north

Main News

UNSG congratulates Tatar on his election

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process


The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has congratulated newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar for his victory in the recent elections in the north, according to a statement issued by the Office of the President.

In a letter sent to Tatar’s office, Guterres pointed to the November 3 meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and expressed his wish for the two to have “a productive meeting.”

Guterres also expressed his desire and readiness to discuss the details of the five-plus-UN meeting with the two leaders “at a suitable time.”

The two leaders are scheduled to meet for the first time on November 3 under the auspices of the Special Representative/Deputy Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, in the Chief of Mission’s residence in the United Nations Protected Area at 7pm.

Engineers angry over being excluded on Maraş (Varosha)

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Economy, Property, Territory, Regional/International Relations


The announcement last week by Turkey’s Environment and Urban Planning Minister Murat Kurum during a visit to Maraş (Varosha) that the fenced-off city will be revived and rebuilt through a collaboration of Turkey’s Konya Metropolitan Municipality and Turkey’s state-run, Housing Authority (TOKİ) has angered contractors in the north.

The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Civil Engineers (IMO) which operates under the Union of the Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects (KTMMOB) issued a statement slamming Kurum’s statement.

A statement by IMO President Gürkan Yağçıoğlu slammed the Turkish Cypriot authorities for failing to respect its own institutions.

“To expect the world to respect us while we fail to respect our own institutions only shows the world that we do not respect ourselves,” Yağcıoğlu said.

He said that IMO had expected Maraş (Varosha) to be opened or opened to us as part of a comprehensive and lasting solution in line with UN parameters and international law.

Yağcıoğlu also criticized UBP for reopening a section of the town without prior notice just days before the presidential elections through a PR stunt.

He reminded that in a matter of days, the asphalt on two main streets within the area was renewed while the main artery in Famagusta, the Eastern Mediterranean-Salamis road, the centre of the city’s economic activity, had been waiting for a new layer of asphalt for the past three years.

Yağçıoğlu said that IMO couldn’t remain silent over the latest announcements made by Kurum.

He questioned the legal basis on which institutions from Turkey could operate in the north, particularly in light of the fact there was currently no government in place.

Yağçıoğlu slammed the authorities for excluding IMO from such a large-scale undertaking and of usurping the job opportunities of their members.

Crossings becoming a real torture

Economy, Human Rights


Shopkeepers in the north are protesting against the obligation imposed by the Turkish Cypriot health ministry on those wishing to cross to the north to present a document from the police or the court proving that they have not travelled abroad in the last 14 days.

Yenidüzen on Friday cited the head of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Turgay Deniz, saying that most of the complaints come from Greek Cypriots who want to cross over to the north for shopping. 

He said that they would intensify their contacts on the issue from Monday.

Deniz expressed the view that a negative PCR test not older than three days should be enough for Turkish Cypriot authorities to allow people crossing to the north similar to the practice introduced for those arriving from Turkey for visits no longer than three days.

The Head of the Association of Shopkeepers within the Walled City of Famagusta area, Serdar Atai, told the daily that this practice was an obstacle especially for Greek Cypriots who want to shop in the north.

He called for a review of the practice, citing the benefit to the north’s economy.

The daily said that Greek Cypriots were experiencing difficulties obtaining such a document from their respective authorities.

The Turkish Cypriot health ministry, however, has said that there has been no change in the policy and that people who live more than 14 to 15 days in the south must present a document that they have not travelled abroad during the last two weeks.

It said that this applies to all those who wish to cross to the north and is not a new practice.

31 grams of cocaine for €2,250

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Internal Security


Three unnamed men were caught red-handed while trying to cross to the north through a military zone with 130 grams of cannabis and 31 grams of cocaine, the dailies report on Saturday.

The police officer in charge of the investigation told the court that one of the suspects testified voluntarily and admitted to purchasing the cocaine for €2,250 and cannabis for €2,000 from the south.

The suspect also said they had paid someone €400 for “translation services.”

The court ordered the suspects to be remanded for four more days until the police complete its investigation.

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