GCC Press Review 28 Nov 2020

Front Page Headlines


Forget the slaughterhouse, I have passports for you!

Attorney General on show by Odysseas: I will act to protect public interest. An attempt by Auditor General to deflect from discussion over his responsibility on Cypra case. Investigation without naturalisations for casino. G. Savvides: Despite recommendations, Auditor General publicised a special report thus acting outside his constitutional jurisdiction. In Odysseas’ report is the word “possibly”, something that indicates he is not aware of the elements of the case and gets involved in speculation.

  • Occupied areas: New facts concerning checkpoints
  • Another 310 cases: Key in the door from 9 at night
  • Varosha: The resolution brought shocks and reactions


Reversal with harshest measures

Epidemiological data of last few days led to horizontal measures for all of Cyprus. Ban on movement from 9 at night, food and drink establishments will close at 7pm. Relaxations in Limassol.

  • 400 migrants in quarantine at Pournara – Flows to Cyprus continue, 6,214 arrivals this year
  • Erdogan insists on the same recipe
  • Together while talking, apart in understanding in (Holy) Synod


Virtual sales with Cabinet approvals

“Golden” passports without taking laws into account! Their residence on… field street, number thorns. Abuse of powers over 64 naturalisations.

  • New measures the finishing blow for small-and-medium-sized businesses

Cyprus Mail

Wide curfew, Xmas ‘relief’

Ioannou details two stages, stricter rules from Monday with some exceptions during the holidays.

  • People: Student leader in the north leading the fight against racism


Curfew from 9pm

Christmas… under conditions and contingent on epidemiological data. Cases in Cyprus reached 388 yesterday with both methods, PCR and rapid tests – Minister for Health apologised for mistakes and oversights. Blocks in Limassol and Paphos to be taken apart on Monday, ending hassle.

  • War of statements: Turkey-pseudostate reacted with rage over European Parliament resolution on Famagusta
  • Occupied areas: They give Kyrenia land to Qatar for investments
  • Turkish government has hidden more than 40,000 cases per day

Main News

RoC, Turkey, T/Cs react to European Parliament Varosha resolution

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Territory, Property, Negotiations Process


The dailies report on the reactions of the Cypriot government, Turkish government and T/C administration regarding the non-binding resolution on Turkey’s behaviour in Varosha approved by the European Parliament on Thursday.

Government spokesperson Kyriakos Koushios said in a written statement that the government is pleased, pointing out that the European Parliament condemns Turkey’s illegal actions in Varosha and calls the country to reverse its actions. Koushios also added that the resolution calls on the Turkish side to return to the table to continue reunification negotiations from where they stopped at Crans Montana.

Koushios particularly notes the fact that the European Parliament calls on the European Council to maintain a unified position against Turkey’s unilateral and provocative actions and impose strict sanctions. He also said that the negative reactions of the T/C leader and the Turkish Foreign Ministry do not assist the effort to return to negotiations.

The spokesperson said that President Anastasiades calls on the T/C leadership and the Turkish government to respond in a positive manner. He added that if Turkey really means what it says about its future being in Europe, then the country should respect and follow European principles and values.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the country rejects the resolution adopted by the European Parliament and points out that it is not binding. The Foreign Ministry added that the resolution was doubtless written with instructions from the G/C side and shows that the European Parliament is biased on the Cyprus issue.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also adds that making Turkish-EU relations hostage to the Cyprus Problem does not serve the EU’s interest, the efforts towards a solution or good neighbourly relations.

The T/C “presidency” said in an announcement that decisions on Varosha can be taken only by the “TRNC”, adding that the EU has become a tool in the games played by the G/C side.

Greek Cypriot political parties also welcomed the European Parliament’s resolution. DISY said that the approval of the resolution sends clear messages, and thanked the DISY and New Democracy MEPs that submitted the amendment including the call for sanctions.

AKEL drew attention to the fact that the body rejected efforts towards a two-state solution and reiterated the EU’s support for a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality. AKEL also notes that it was first in asking for the issue to be discussed for three months.

DIKO MEP Costas Mavrides said that the resolution gives the European Council the opportunity to align with the will of the European people. EDEK said that the G/C side should add this resolution to a new, lasting strategy. The Greens said that the approval of the resolution is a positive development but that words and acts are different things. Democratic Alignment said that the resolution is an important tool to help put sanctions on Turkey, and notes that the MEPs also asked for the resumption of negotiations.

Phileleftheros meanwhile reports in an analysis that Turkish President Erdogan is attempting to convince the European Union that Turkey’s disagreements with Greece and Cyprus are only bilateral, and that the country is on the verge of important changes. According to the analysis, these moves are attempts by Erdogan to deal with economic problems at home and the upcoming European Council.

The newspaper also cites reports from Turkish newspapers translated by the Press and Information Office regarding a telephone conversation between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg.

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reportedly wrote that there is a plan to include the Greek Cypriots in NATO, and that Germany and France have suggested with a report to invite non-NATO members to NATO summits, such as Austria and Cyprus. Phileleftheros cites Cypriot sources that say this news is not true.

The Cyprus News Agency reports that lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, who represents G/Cs at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding their properties in Varosha, sent a letter to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (which monitors the application of ECHR decisions), pointing out that despite Turkey’s call to G/C refugees to return, Turkey tends not to return properties through the decisions of the Immovable Property Commission.

Hundreds of migrants put in quarantine upon arrival via north

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Migration & Citizenship, Human Rights, Internal Security


Phileleftheros reports that a total of 400 migrants had to be quarantined at the Pournara Reception centre and that another 400 are currently at the centre outside of quarantine, noting that the centre is nearing its full capacity.

According to the report, the centre has had to add six additional prefabricated structures in order to house new arrivals, as a result of the increased flows of asylum seekers through the occupied areas. The Asylum Service told the newspaper that this measure is intended to limit the possibility of spreading the coronavirus by new arrivals to the rest of the migrants in the centre.

The report also notes that all persons arriving in the government-controlled areas and found to have entered the RoC illegally is tested for coronavirus and isolated, and that migrants found positive are moved according to protocol. Positive cases were recently found in Kofinou reception centre, Phileleftheros reports, added that as a result staff had to be removed.

Phileleftheros notes, citing a statement by the Interior Ministry’s spokesperson, that arrivals of migrants continue and that the government cannot see prospects of solving the issue since that does not depend on Cypriot authorities, especially since a significant number has arrived from Turkey where the epidemiological situation is not clear.

According to data provided by the Interior Ministry, 5,834 migrants arrived from the beginning of 2020 up to October, and another 380 persons arrived in November. Until October, applications for international protection had reached 5,456.

Out of a total of 5,834 asylum seekers, 2,090 entered the RoC illegally and 3,750 irregularly. The processing of a total of about 16,995 asylum applications (for a total of 18,225 persons) is currently pending.

The report notes that the Ministry uses the returns process to relieve overpopulation at the reception centre since any new arrival needs to be quarantined for 14 days. Irregular and economic migrants are being returned, while recognised refugees or people needing humanitarian protection are not returned.

According to the Interior Ministry’s data, about 1,200 migrants from Georgia and other countries were returned this year. Most arrivals are from Georgia, India, Bangladesh, Syria and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Alithia reports on a statement by Eleni Theocharous’s Solidarity party, claiming that it has been informed that the free movement of unidentified foreigners of unknown nationality in the government-controlled areas poses national security risks. The party points out that this information has been shared with the Ministry of Defence and the National Guard.

The party also refers to statements made by Turkish officials (the report does not cite specific statements) regarding efforts to destabilise the government-controlled areas and its social cohesion. Solidarity also connects the issue with the actions of terrorists in European and Middle Eastern countries.

The head of the party’s farmers association, Lambros Achilleos, brought up the issue during a discussion in the parliament’s committee on labour. Achilleos said that tens of foreigners were seen walking outside an ELDYK camp, and that some are Turkish Cypriots.

Journalist associations consider creation of multilingual news platform

Alithia, Haravgi


Journalists from both sides are considering new ways to continue and deepen their cooperation, Alithia and Haravgi report citing an announcement by the OSCE on a teleconference including the office of the OSCE’s representative for Freedom of the media and representatives of the Cyprus Union of Journalists, T/C press union Basin Sen and the T/C Association of Journalists.

During the three-hour teleconference, which took place on November 26, the representatives assessed the progress of bicommunal cooperation in journalism and talked about further ways in which this cooperation can take place.

One of the ideas which is being examined with the help of the OSCE, is the creation of a bilingual or trilingual news platform focused exclusively on Cyprus.

During the meeting, 15 G/C and T/C journalists that participated in this year’s exchange programme presented the work they produced during a week of working in media in the other community.

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