Front Page Headlines
“We don’t understand the statements. We can’t meet our needs”
Foreign students living in the north of Cyprus during the pandemic spoke to Yenidüzen. Many of the students of African origin complain that they are finding it difficult to meet their needs and are finding it difficult to keep up with developments because the majority of statements are issued in Turkish.
- UN: 5+1 meeting will be held in Geneva between April 27-29.
Very difficult to make a living
Retailers and the general public are experiencing the effects of the economic recession made worse by the pandemic. Retailers say have hit rock bottom due to the lockdown and have spent all their savings. Those who live on the minimum wage or work for daily wages are unable to buy food. Prices of goods in supermarkets keep going up but the people are helpless. Kıbrıs updated its regular list of prices of consumables, revealing that supermarket shopping has become more expensive during the lockdown period. Comparing the prices of 34 goods in September and November 2020 to February 2021, it is revealed that the prices of 26 of 34 items on the list have gone up.
- Protocol agreement to be signed on March 3 – Prime Minister Ersan Saner and Finance Minister Dursun Oğuz will fly to Ankara on Wednesday.
- 12,700 applications for the 1,500 (€172) salary support – Prime Minister Ersan Saner said 2,215 self-employed and 10,485 employees have applied for the salary support scheme. He said: “The numbers are within an acceptable range. The applications are being assessed.”
- Covid is within us, obey the rules – Health Ministry and the Turkish Cypriot Doctors’ Association Dr Özlem Gürkut highlighted that the pandemic is not over yet despite gradual relaxation of restrictions and urged people to strictly comply with the face mask, hygiene and social distancing rules.
Reactions are pouring in against Nur Nadir, who is the Vice President of Kıbrıs media group for her insolent remarks on the media. Despite the reactions, Nur Nadir continued to insult journalists by sharing a video on her Instagram account. She also ridiculed the Covid-19 call centre. BASIN-SEN (Turkish Cypriot Press Workers’ Union) said Nur Nadir is using Kıbrıs media’s TV station and newspaper to satisfy her ego and ambitions. The Turkish Cypriot Journalists’ Association (KTGB) said: Despite the culture of exploitation and abuse of employer rights at her own company, Nadir without any shame has attacked the press. KTGB also said Nadir’s words were unethical and constituted a criminal offence. The Platform of Unions said if Nur Nadir and her husband Asil Nadir are looking for a fascist mentality, they need to look in the mirror.
- April 27-29 Geneva – The day and place for the 5+1 UN meeting on the Cyprus Issue has been announced.
- One more step towards normal life – More Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted in the south.
Is this how we are going to succeed?
The health ministry is urging the public to adhere to health measures such as wearing masks and practising social distancing to avoid another lockdown but it seems very few are listening. Many people, seeing the sunny weather, flocked to the old Kyrenia harbour yesterday. However, very few were seen wearing masks or practising social distancing. Shopkeepers in the area spoke to Diyalog saying that those who obeyed the rules were fewer than those who didn’t. “What those who kept us shut for months should do is to ensure that the rules are followed and to penalize those who don’t,” they said.
- It’s serious this time – (UNSG Advisor) Jane Holl Lute will be visiting the island on April 9. The 5+1 meeting will be held on April 27.
- Last chance – DISY leader Neofytou is warning the Greek Cypriots on the solution of the Cyprus Problem.
- Feed support from TRNC – A ‘Congo’ flagged ship carrying 2,000 heads of cattle with bluetongue disease which was rejected by Egypt and South Cyprus has docked off the coast of Famagusta.
Procuring two morgue freezers
They are preparing the public for more deaths! KTÖS (Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union): The National Unity Party (UBP) – Democratic Party (DP) – Rebirth Party (YDP) coalition, which has failed to come up with a vaccination programme, employ new doctors or nurses, or provide the necessary economic support for businesses, is preparing the public for death…Health Minister Ünal Üstel’s first act was to announce a public tender to procure two morgue freezers.
- She declared all progressive circles as members of FETÖ (Fetullah Gülen Terrorist Organisation) – Platform of Unions and media organisations slam Nur Nadir.
- The five-party conference will be held in Geneva on April 27-29 – The UN will bring together the guarantor powers Turkey, Greece and the UK together with the two sides in Cyprus.
- Some of the restrictions lifted in the south – Students in Grade 9 and 10 to start face-to-face education on March 1.
- 64,000 people vaccinated in the south.
Informal 5+1 meeting to take place in Geneva in late AprilYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
The UN on Thursday announced the date for the much anticipated informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus Issue.
“The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres intends to convene an informal five-plus-one meeting on the Cyprus issue in Geneva, Switzerland, from April 27 to 29, 2021,” spokesperson for the Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said in a written statement on Thursday.
Dujarric noted that the decision was taken “following the consultations conducted on behalf of the Secretary-General by a senior UN official, Ms Jane Holl Lute”.
Furthermore, he said that “the purpose of the meeting will be to determine whether a common ground exists for the parties to negotiate a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem within a foreseeable horizon.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Thursday welcomed the UN’s announcement. He said the time had come to change the basis of the talks and to focus on achieving a two-state solution based on sovereign equality.
“Decades of negotiations on an unsuccessful basis are behind us. We need a new basis for the talks,” Tatar said, adding that a fair and permanent solution was possible on a realistic basis. He said that the Turkish Cypriot side will be tabling its vision for a two-state solution in Geneva.
Also on Thursday, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said that the aim of the informal five-plus-one meeting was not to resume talks from where they left off in Crans Montana in 2017 but to determine whether or not there is ground to launch a new negotiations process.
Speaking to the Anadolu News Agency, Ertuğruloğlu also ruled out the possibility of tabling confidence-building measures (CBMs) at the meeting. “The meeting will not include issues of chapters which have been discussed during the 52 years of unsuccessful negotiations processes, nor will it be the start of a new process without timetables,” he said.
Ertuğruloğlu also warned against attempts to divert from the meeting’s purpose of exploring whether or not there is ground for new talks. He said that a single meeting may not be sufficient to determine whether or not there is mutual ground for a new process but also warned it would not be very healthy to prolong such a process.
Regarding the participation of EU officials at the meeting, Ertuğruloğlu said that the Turkish Cypriot side will not accept the EU representative being at the table. “They will most probably be in Geneva. They are free to carry out bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit,” he added.
>> 5+1 meeting aims at determining whether a common ground exists to resume the negotiations process for a lasting solution within a foreseeable horizon.
>> Talks should resume on a new & realistic basis.
>> TC side will table vision for a two-state solution in Geneva.
>> 5+1 meeting aims to determine whether or not there is ground for a new process & not a continuation of the previous process.
>> No CBMs will be tabled at meeting.
>> A single meeting may not be sufficient but not healthy to prolong the process.
>> TC side will not accept the EU at the table during the meeting in Geneva.
TC & GC political parties express support to resumption of talksYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties expressed their wish for the upcoming informal five-plus-one meeting on Cyprus to be successful opening the way forward for the resumption of negotiations.
In a joint communique issued following a bicommunal meeting under the auspices of the Slovak Embassy, the leaders and the representatives of the political parties also urged the two communities to cooperate and display solidarity in fighting against the coronavirus pandemic.
The political parties support and encourage the work of the bicommunal technical committee on health, especially in the speedy and proportionate delivery of the vaccines to both the communities, the joint communique read.
“Federal talks exhausted,” says UBP’s HasipoğluYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
National Unity Party (UBP) MP, legal advisor and member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu on Wednesday said that efforts to achieve a federal settlement in Cyprus have been exhausted.
Hasipoğlu was speaking during the second webinar titled “Future of Cyprus” organised by the Council of Turkish Cypriot Associations in the UK (CTCA) and British Turkish Cypriot Association (BTCA) in coordination with the London School of Economics Turkish Think Tank Circle Foundation and hosted by the former UK Government Minister Brooks Newmark.
Politicians, legal experts and academicians, Member of UK Parliament Sir lain Duncan Smith, Parliament Leader of Democratic Unionist Party and Member of UK Parliament Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, International Lawyer, Member of Queens Council and Cyprus Mail Columnist Alper Ali Rıza, and Assistant to the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of the Republic of Cyprus in 1963 Dr Christian Heinze, were also speakers at the seminar.
“Sovereignty is not a problematic issue,” Hasipoğlu stressed, noting that the Turkish Cypriots were already exercising their sovereign rights.
“We are now stressing equality and bringing the concept of equality to the table,” he added. Hasipoğlu also noted that the two sides are fully aware of each other’s red lines as every aspect of the Cyprus Problem had been negotiated.
He said even though the federal model is based on sharing, the Greek Cypriot side has refused to share power or wealth with the Turkish Cypriots to date.
>> The federal talks have been exhausted.
>> TC side will bring equality to the table. Sovereignty is not the problem as TC side is already exercising its sovereignty.
>> GC side refuses to share power & wealth with the TC side even though the federation model is based on sharing.
Efforts to acquire Covid-19 vaccines for TC community continue
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
The co-chair of the bicommunal technical committee on health, Dr Cenk Soydan on Thursday said that the Turkish Cypriot side was continuing its efforts to acquire more doses of Covid-19 vaccines earmarked by the EU for the Turkish Cypriot community.
Speaking to the TAK news agency, Soydan said that the initiatives were being carried out by Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar as well as by the coordinator of the technical committees and by Tatar’s special representative.
He also recalled that Tatar had raised the issue twice with the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as well as with Mario Nava, Director-General of the Structural Reform Support division of the European Commission. “As a result of these initiatives, the vaccine delivery to the north commenced, nonetheless, only 4,500 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines and 2,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines have been delivered so far even though more than 70,000 doses were delivered to South Cyprus,” Soydan said.
“This is way below the amount earmarked for the Turkish Cypriot community,” he complained, adding that the EU informed that supply problems had been overcome and that the new vaccine delivery plan would be presented to them.
“The said plan is also overdue by two weeks,” Soydan added. He also noted that 75,000 rapid tests promised to the Turkish Cypriot community have also not yet been delivered.
Turkey & north to ink financial protocol agreement on March 3
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
The 2021 Financial and Economic Cooperation Protocol for the north will be signed in Ankara on Wednesday, March 3, the Turkish Cypriot authorities announced on Thursday. The protocol will be signed by Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay and Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ersan Saner.
Turkish Cypriot Finance Minister Dursun Oğuz will also be in Ankara next week for the signing ceremony. Saner and Oktay are also expected to meet face-to-face before the ceremony. A press conference is expected to follow.
The cooperation protocol is set to include financial support to the north’s struggling budget to be used to mitigate the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic as well as help revive the real sector and fund infrastructure projects. Grants and schemes will also be included in the agreement.
Meanwhile, the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Tufan Erhürman, slammed the government for not sharing a draft of the protocol agreement with the parliament.
“An agreement will be signed but no one knows whether or not the provisions in the agreement will ensure that the Turkish Cypriot economy will be allowed to stand on its feet,” Erhürman said. The CTP leader also pointed out that the agreement needed to focus on the retail and private sectors.
In the meantime, Saner, addressing parliament on Thursday said that 12,700 people had applied for the government’s ₺1,500 (€172) salary support scheme. Saner said the relevant authorities have started to check the applications for compliance and eligibility.
Group of Syrian migrants caught trying to cross south
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog
Migration and Citizenship
A group of undocumented Syrian migrants were discovered as they attempted to cross over to the South through a military zone near Zümrütköy (Katokopeia) in the early hours of Thursday morning.
According to a police statement, seven migrants, two men, three women and two children were charged with violating a first-degree military zone. A 21-year-old man was also arrested for assisting the group to cross to the south.