Front Page Headlines
Here are those seven principles
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Ehürman announced the series of principles presented at the meetings with the political parties. The principles include the creation of separate crisis desks for health and the economy, amendment of the electoral law, fair and equal conditions for those applying to government jobs, public reforms in areas such as the political appointment of directors, setting measurable criteria for granting citizenship and sharing with the public the situation of public funds.
Beware of the fraudsters
Fraud through the internet and over the phone, which has turned into a big issue in the world, has become a problem in our country as well. Cybersecurity expert Arda Topal said many people in our country fall for these scams and made some recommendations.
- Fiasco in flu vaccines – The cold weather has arrived; flu season is at our doorstep but there is still no news on seasonal flu vaccines even though it was announced they were being delivered. Citizens are turned away from the pharmacies. Turkish Cypriot Health Ministry officials maintain their silence.
- “Sexist phrases” written on paper thrown into the fire – Protests were staged in Nicosia and in Güzelyurt (Morphou) to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
- Everyone agrees on early elections. The atmosphere in the first round is positive – Within the framework of efforts to form a government, CTP leader Tufan Erhürman has met with the National Unity Party (UBP), People’s Party (HP), Social Democratic Party (TDP), Democratic Party (DP) and Rebirth Party (YDP). Erhürman said the party assembly will convene to evaluate the developments tonight (Thursday).
- Tensions between HP and TDP.
HP must say “Yes”
CTP leader Tufan Erhürman, tasked with forming a government, completed his first round of meetings with the political parties. All the parties agree on holding early elections. There is only one alternative left for the government.
- Feminists burnt the ‘violence’ – Cyprus Feminist Initiative started a bonfire in north Nicosia to mark the November 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Hopefully, we will succeed one day
Erhürman, tasked with the duty of forming a government, said that the first round of talks was promising however different voices emerged from the other parties. He was able to complete the first round of talks in just five days. Erhürman met with DP and YDP yesterday (Wednesday), saying that the atmosphere was positive. However, while Erhürman spoke about a technocratic government, UBP MP Aytaç Çaluda said his party wouldn’t support that. TDP leader Cemal Özyiğit’s words that they wouldn’t be welcoming Kudret Özseray with open arms sparked a new row between the two parties. Acting HP leader Yenal Senin said that Özyiğit’s remarks were unacceptable.
In search of a government. (The headline is illustrated with a puppet on strings)
- Six coronavirus positive cases in the north, 254 in the south and one death…
Tatar says ‘every square metre’ of Maraş (Varosha) to openYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory, Energy, Regional/International Relations
The opening of Maraş (Varosha) will continue until every square metre is open, Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar said during an interview with Türkiye newspaper.
Tatar said over 300 applications have been submitted to the north’s Immovable Property Commission (IPC) by Greek Cypriots both in the south and those living abroad asking for their properties back in the fenced-off area.
He noted that so far Turkish Cypriots have been patient regarding Maraş (Varosha) but that those who opposed them had to realise they were not the holders of universal truth.
“So, from now on we will do what we think is right,” he said, adding that the time had come to draw a new roadmap.
“We don’t want to waste any more time, so the Greek Cypriots must sit down and reflect on their own mistakes.”
“We have proven to everyone that we want to do something about Maraş (Varosha), more than anyone else actually,” he added, saying that he would continue “until the last square metre” of Maraş (Varosha) was opened.
Tatar added that he would meet his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades again soon, although he did not reveal exactly when.
Regarding the Eastern Mediterranean, he said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have rights in that area, noting that no distribution of the region’s resources will take place without the participation of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side.
On Tuesday, EU Commission Vice President Josep Borrell said the issue of Maraş (Varosha) would remain a top priority for the bloc.
Speaking at a session to discuss a resolution concerning rising tensions as a result of the opening of Maraş (Varosha) and the urgent need to resume negotiations, the EU Commission Vice President expressed concern over developments.
Borrell said recent events around (Maraş) Varosha, including President Tayyip Erdogan’s visit and statements, come at a time when attempts are underway to create space for dialogue on Cyprus settlement issues and the wider Eastern Mediterranean.
“We are passing this message clearly to our Turkish interlocutors. I have also passed it personally to the new Turkish Cypriot leader: This is the time to support United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) Guterres in his efforts to resume the Cyprus settlement talks. Spreading distrust and stoking tensions help no one,” Borrell said.
He added that the EU was prepared to support efforts for the resumption of talks for a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) based on UN resolutions. “It is in our strategic interest for the establishment of a safe and stable environment in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as for cooperation and development of bilateral and multilateral relations between all actors in the region,” Borell added.
>> Opening of Maraş (Varosha) will continue until every square metre is open.
>> TCs have been patient regarding Maraş (Varosha) but that those who oppose us have to realise they were not the holders of universal truth.
>> The time has come to draw a new roadmap. TC side does not want to waste any more time, so GCs must sit down & reflect on their own mistakes.
>> Turkey & TCs have rights in the East Med. No distribution of the region’s resources will take place without the participation of Turkey & TC side.
Borrell (European Commission)
>> Time to support UNSG’s efforts resume peace talks.
>> On Varosha, stoking distrust & tensions not helpful.
>> EU prepared to support efforts to resume talks on BBF, based on UN resolutions.
>> In EU’s strategic interest to establish safe & stable environment in East Med, plus develop cooperation & bilateral/multilateral relations between all regional actors.
Insistence on ignoring realities reason for non-solutionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations, External Security
“Turkey will continue resolutely to defend the legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus,” Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) said.
In a statement issued, the MGK, which convened under the chairmanship of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday, said that it was unacceptable to disregard the presence of Turkish Cypriots on the island.
“The insistence to refuse to accept the reality of the two communities and two states on the island as well as disregarding the Turkish presence constitutes the basis of non-solution on the island,” the MGK statement read, adding that “such impositions will never be accepted.”
The MGK also noted that Ankara will continue to demand resolving the disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean in line with international law and demand the equitable sharing of the region’s resources.
“The tension in the region is caused by the parties that avoid dialogue and collaboration,” the MGK concluded.
In the meantime, Erdoğan touched on the Eastern Mediterranean issue during his address to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group on Wednesday.
“We maintain our patience and calm in the Eastern Mediterranean despite the provocations by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration,” Erdoğan said, pointing out that a civilian vessel headed for Libya was attacked in violation of international maritime law.
“The EU-led Operation Irini was headed by a Greek captain,” Erdoğan added.
A German frigate participating in the EU-led operation unlawfully stopped and searched a commercial Turkish cargo vessel, carrying food and paint supplies to Libya, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish Foreign Ministry protested the illegal interception of the Libya-bound Turkish vessel on Monday.
>> Turkey will continue resolutely to defend the legitimate rights of the TCs.
>> Disregarding presence of TCs on the island unacceptable.
>> Ignoring the realities on the island is the reason for non-solution.
>> Ankara will continue to demand resolving the disputes in the East Med in line with international law & demand the equitable sharing of the region’s resources.
>> The tension in the region is caused by the parties that avoid dialogue & collaboration.
>> We are maintaining our patience & calm in the East Med despite provocations by Greece & GC side.
Talat: A two-state solution not a realistic optionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
“The two-state solution model is not a realistic option. On the contrary, it is necessary to get back on the federal solution road with pressure from the international community,” former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat said on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Russian news agency Sputnik, Talat evaluated the developments in the Cyprus negotiations process vis-à-vis the changes in the Turkish Cypriot leadership and Turkey’s foreign policy.
“As a result of Turkey’s interference in the latest elections, Mr Ersin Tatar, who was advocating for a two-state solution and partition on the island, has won the elections,” Talat said.
He added this approach, in his opinion was “doomed to fail.”
Talat noted that all past Cyprus negotiations process had focused on a federal settlement based on two constituent states. He noted that the federal model is also referred to in countless UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.
“Nothing has changed today either,” Talat stressed, adding, “Turkey’s new attempt via Tatar, would only mean abandoning the established UN parameters.”
Talat argued that it was the Greek Cypriot side that abandoned the UN’s parameters and the Turkish Cypriot side should have forced the Greek Cypriot leader “to return to the UN parameters instead of the Turkish Cypriot side trying to abandon them.”
Asked to elaborate on this view, Talat said the Greek Cypriot side could have been convinced by the international community to be loyal to the UN parameters.
“Nonetheless, when the process collapsed in 2017 in Crans Montana, Mr Akıncı adopted an emotional approach and said it was his generation’s last attempt for a federal solution,” Talat said.
He added that Turkey as a result jumped on this view even though Akıncı did eventually return to his original position in favour of a federal solution.
“It is known that it was Mr Nicos Anastasiades who shied away from a solution. The Turkish Cypriot side should have exposed Mr Anastasiades then and should have put him in a difficult position within the eyes of the international community,” Talat argued.
He noted that instead of cornering the Greek Cypriot leader, Turkey decided to distance itself from the solution model approved by the UN Security Council (UNSC).
“The promises made, or the statements delivered by the newly elected leader of the Turkish Cypriot community are far from being plausible. In my opinion, the Turkish Cypriot side cannot challenge the UNSC resolutions,” Talat argued.
“The Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey’s decision to distance themselves from the UN parameters is exactly what the Greek Cypriot side wanted. In my opinion, the Turkish side has abandoned its 15-year-old pro-solution stance now and come to the point that makes Mr Anastasiades very happy,” Talat concluded.
Erhürman completes first round of talks with visits to DP & YDP
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance & Power Sharing
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhürman continued his efforts on forming a new coalition government on Wednesday, visiting the Democratic Party (DP) and the Rebirth Party (YDP).
The CTP leader thus completed his first round of visits and talks with the five other parties in the Turkish Cypriot parliament.
Erhürman, speaking to reporters following a 45-minute meeting with DP officials, said that he shared his position in favour of forming an election government.
He said that there was a general agreement between the two parties on the principles he had proposed.
“The meeting was positive. There is room to work,” Erhürman added.
DP leader Fikri Ataoğlu for his part said the principles Erhürman presented would be for the benefit of the country.
“We are ready to do our part,” he added.
The CTP’s next and final stop was YDP.
In a joint press conference held with Erhürman after the meeting, YDP leader Erhan Arıklı said that they welcomed the principles proposed at the meeting.
He pointed out that his party was in support of a broad-based coalition government from the very beginning.
Turning to Erhürman, he said, “The YDP would like you to form the broadest based government possible. It could be a four-party, five-party or six-party coalition. It can be a minority government as well. We as the YDP would be ready to support a minority government.”
Erhürman for his part said that his efforts to form a government will continue.
He pointed out that there was a consensus among the parties on the need to hold early elections.
“We shall be discussing our contacts with the political parties at the party assembly tomorrow (Thursday) to determine a roadmap forward,” Erhürman added.
Meanwhile, a new row erupted between the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and the People’s Party (HP) after TDP leader Cemal Özyiğit said his party couldn’t welcome the founder of HP and former leader Kudret Özersay with open arms.
Özyiğit said that Özersay had wasted the four-party coalition for the sake of his political ambitions in becoming the Turkish Cypriot president.
Acting HP leader Yenal Senin hit back at Özyiğit, describing his remarks as unfortunate and unacceptable.
Meanwhile, the principles put forward by Erhürman were made public on Wednesday.
The principles include the creation of separate crisis desks for health and the economy, amendment of the electoral law, fair and equal conditions for those applying for government jobs, public reforms in areas such as the political appointment of directors, setting measurable criteria for granting citizenships and sharing with the public the situation of public funds.
TCs working in the south outraged with news reports
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
“We are also children of this country,” a group of Turkish Cypriots employed in the south said on Wednesday after reacting angrily to a lynch campaign launched on social media following reports that a Turkish Cypriot working in the south had tested positive for coronavirus.
Issuing a written statement, the group slammed those who accused them of “bringing the virus to the north” and those who used foul language on social media.
The workers also drew attention to the fact they are complying with the Covid-19 measures implemented by the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) health officials at workplaces.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Cypriot Health Minister Ali Pilli during a daily briefing had announced that one of the coronavirus patients was a Turkish Cypriot employed in the south.
Pilli also noted that the contact-tracing team will investigate whether the Turkish Cypriot person was infected in the south or the north.
He also said that additional measures will be implemented without stopping the Turkish Cypriots from crossing to the south for work, study or medical treatment.
“Domestic violence bill” handed to parliamentary speaker
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) led by KAYAD Community Centre under the leadership of Mrs Meral Akıncı presented the “domestic violence bill” to Teberrüken Uluçay, speaker of the Turkish Cypriot parliament on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
Uluçay received Akıncı together with the representatives of other CSOs on Wednesday.
Speaking during the meeting, Akıncı drew attention to the fact that violence against women was a global problem and noted that the effort to curb violence against women was an uphill battle.
She pointed out that “psychological violence, verbal violence, sexual violence and economic violence” were the main issues women struggled with daily.
Akıncı added that the “domestic violence bill” has been prepared in consultation with legal experts, judges and following in-depth research.
Uluçay for his part expressed gratitude for the CSOs’ efforts in preparing the bill and added that he will do whatever is necessary to bring the bill to the attention of the plenary.
Meanwhile, the Cyprus Feminist Initiative held a separate demonstration in north Nicosia to mark the day.
Speaking during the event on behalf of the group, Fezile Osum stressed the “struggle to achieve gender equality is continuing” and pointed out that the initiative raised its voice against growing violence against women both in the north and in the world.
“According to statistics, 40 per cent of the women in the country suffer from physical violence; 60 per cent from psychological violence; 25 per cent from sexual violence,” Osum said.
Osum also highlighted that women’s access to support mechanisms had been drastically limited due to Covid-19 restrictions while violence against women is on the rise due to restrictions.
She noted that the economic crisis also resulted in making women weaker economically thus making them vulnerable to male violence.
“It is unacceptable that the gender equality law under the Department of Gender Equality (TOCED) is not being implemented,” Osum stressed. She added that gender equality has not become a priority issue among state policies so far.
“We are not giving our consent to the increasing nationalist-conservative politics in the north that have hijacked the community’s political will recently. The pressure of authoritarian politics is being felt more strongly amongst women,” Osum said.
She concluded by rejecting any policies that disregard women, who make up half of the community.
The Cyprus Feminist Initiative also laid out their 10-point demands from the authorities.
In addition to implementing the TOCED Law with all its provisions, the initiative demands that the authorities reflect a gender equality approach in the budgeting processes.
Among other things, the initiative demands an immediate end to the ongoing human trafficking based on sexual exploitation at the night clubs, amendment of the abortion law, which sets the upper limit of 10 weeks of pregnancy for abortion, and granting women free access to all contraceptive means.
The initiative also demands school curriculums be redesigned with gender equality in mind with subjects including sexually transmitted diseases, rights to giving birth and protection against sexual violence.
Free nursing, old folks homes and kindergartens to be opened throughout the north are also listed among the demands.
On the Cyprus issue, the initiative demands that the negotiations process must resume from the point it had left off within the framework of UN parameters, ensuring equal representation of women at the negotiating table.
It also demands mechanisms to be established to allow women to directly express their demands and viewpoints at the negotiations table.
Among the initiative’s demands is the creation of a hotline which will operate 24/7, offering services in different languages. Legal aid services must also be broadened.
And finally, the initiative demands authorities to ensure that all women who are working without official registration at public institutions to be protected under a collective labour agreement to safeguard their wages, their leave and to provide job security.