GCC Press Review 25 June 2021

Front Page Headlines


We are dangerously surfing towards a fourth wave

Vaccinations are the only salvation, the health ministry and epidemiologists say. The rise in cases is causing a headache to the health ministry and the members of the epidemiological team. At the same time, the Indian variant is well established within the community and it attacks unvaccinated people.

  • Anastasiades-Tatar with Guterres “to square the circle”
  • Cyprus investment programme criteria: They were ignoring them
  • Giorgos Lillikas: End credits with… dowry to EDEK


Double message by the EU to Ankara

The wording of the conclusions was reinforced with references to the BBF, Varosha and Customs Union. The UN secretary-general is determined on the Cyprus problem.

  • Death mission with the Heavy Artillery Unit (funeral of  member of the unit Andreas Poyiadjis who was killed in 1974)


The ‘27’ decided on cooperation for a mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey

Readiness by the EU to cooperate with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner.

  • The case of Varosha before the ECHR shows special interest
  • Wrath by the TCs for the new 50,000 ‘naturalisations’ of settlers
  • PEO expresses support & solidarity with the TC trade unions
  • Cases rise, trips with a digital certificate

Cyprus Mail

UK ‘green list’ remains elusive

Britain adds Malta, Balearic Islands to green list, moves six to red, keeps Cyprus on amber.

  • Cyprus says it’s on target to accept EU digital certificates from July 1


Coronavirus is getting fierce again!

The health minister put the deterioration of the epidemiological indexes down to these three reasons: a) The resumption of all activities b) the non-meticulous observance of health protocols and c) the rapid spread of the Delta/Indian variant. Clusters at a wedding and a pupil graduation party.

  • Cyprus problem: All eyes are on Brussels – Guterres’ meetings today with Anastasiades and Tatar. What will be the European response to Turkey? The draft conclusions on the Cyprus issue have been improved. Tatar will explain to the UNSG how the circle is squared.
  • Developments at the ECHR: Turkey submitted its remarks on two (property) cases in Tymbou and Famagusta

Main News

EUCO regrets lack of progress on Cyprob, remains committed to BBF solution

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


The dailies report that the EU leaders are set to call for cooperation with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner but also reaffirm their commitment to a bicommunal, bizonal federation (BBF) in Cyprus with political equality.

Citing the final draft of the European Council’s (EUCO) conclusions, the dailies report that the EU leaders stand ready to enhance cooperation with Turkey in a number of areas of common interest “in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner”. This, according to the conclusions, is subject to the established conditionality’s set out in March and in previous EUCO conclusions.

The EUCO also welcomes the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean but stresses it needs to be sustained. It also notes the start of work at technical level towards a mandate for the modernisation of the EU-Turkey Customs Union and recalls the need to address current difficulties in its implementation ensuring its effective application to all member states. Such a mandate, it said, may be adopted subject to additional guidance by the European Council.
It also takes note of the preparatory work for high level dialogues with Turkey on issues of mutual interest, such as migration, public health, climate, counterterrorism and regional issues.

On the Cyprus problem, the EUCO said it remains fully committed to its comprehensive settlement based on a BBF with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. It underlines the importance of the status of Varosha and calls for full respect of UNSC resolutions, in particular 550m 789 and 1251.  EUCO regrets that the informal meeting in Geneva under the auspices of the UN did not pave the way for the resumption of formal negotiations. The European Union will continue to play an active role in supporting the process, the draft text said.

[Reviewer’s note: the dailies were sent to print before the EUCO adoption of the conclusions. According to the Cyprus News Agency on Friday morning, the EU27 leaders adopted Thursday night conclusions on Turkey, offering phased, proportionate and reversible positive agenda and calling for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a BBF with political equality, in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions.]

Alithia quotes an EU official saying during a press briefing, that on Turkey, the main thorny issues in the bloc’s relations with Ankara were Cyprus and the discussions on the Cyprus issue that have not been positive. The official said that a two-state solution does not exist for the EU, noting that they were also worried about Varosha.

Politis reports that Nicosia was aware of the positive climate as regards Turkey following recent contacts so it had focused its efforts on Ankara not getting any favourable treatment on issues other than that of migration. It also sought important references on the Cyprus problem, Varosha and Turkey’s obligations which it achieved to some extent, the daily reported.

According to Phileleftheros the EU is sending Turley two clear messages: that it remains committed to a BBF solution on the Cyprus problem and that on the Customs Union, control was given to the member states.

Alithia points out that the third draft was improved until last night as regards references to the Cyprus problem while efforts were underway for further improvement so that it includes clear rejection of a two-state solution and references to the Turkish president’s scheduled visit to the north on the invasion anniversary (July 20).

Ready for enhanced cooperation with Turkey in areas of common interest in a phased, proportionate but also reversible manner, subject to the conditions EUCO previously set.
>> Welcomes de-escalation of tensions in East Med which must be sustained.
>> Turkey needs to apply Customs Union with EU with all member states. Adoption of a mandate for updating Customs Union agreement is subject to additional guidance by the EUCO.
>> EUCO regrets that the Geneva summit did not pave the way for the resumption of formal Cyprob talks but remains fully committed to a BBF solution with political equality. EU will continue to play an active role in supporting the process.
>> Calls for full respect of Varosha UN resolutions on its status.

UNSG to meet leaders in Brussels while divergent positions remain

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, EU Matters, CBMs


President Nicos Anastasiades is scheduled to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Brussels this morning, the dailies report.

According to Politis Anastasiades as scheduled to meet Guterres at 10.30 am for around 30 to 40 minutes to discuss what’s to come on the Cyprus problem given that there seems no change to the TC and Turkish positions.

Cyprus Mail reports Guterres is scheduled to meet Tatar at 12.30 pm, Cyprus time.

Guterres met with the EU leaders on Thursday.

The dailies, citing statements by government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos, report that Guterres assured the 27 EU leaders that despite any difficulties he will continue his efforts to create the right conditions for a meaningful dialogue on the Cyprus problem on the basis of the clear mandate given by the Security Council.

Koushos said that Anastasiades reiterated its readiness to work constructively with the UNSG on Cyprus’ reunification efforts. Anastasiades stressed the need for the de-escalation of tensions in the Cypriot seas to be maintained as well as the importance of avoiding provocations in Varosha that are in violation of the relevant Security Council resolutions. He also referred to the forthcoming illegal visit of the Turkish President to the occupied areas and the dangers that would be created by any announcement on the creation of new faits accomplis.

Anastasiades also took part in the Summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) taking place in Brussels, on the sidelines of the Summit of the European Council and briefed participants of the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. Among other things, he referred to the proposals he has submitted for confidence-building measures (CBMs) with the aim of launching a meaningful dialogue that will lead to a lasting solution to the problem, provided that the other side also shows goodwill.

The dailies also refer to statements by TC leader Ersin Tatar who said on Thursday before travelling to Brussels that he was going there to try show Guterres, in what way he could “square the circle”, referring to what the UN secretary-general had said after the end of the informal five-party summit in Geneva last April. Tatar reiterated that the recognition of the pseudo state’s sovereignty was a pre-requisite before substantive talks can start.

According to Phileleftheros the expectations from the meetings are very low due to the prevailing climate in the Cyprus issue but also to the behaviour of the TC side, which extorts the demand for the acceptance of its own terms to go to talks. The daily also said that two months after the Geneva informal summit, the possibility of a new informal summit is not a visible one.

It is believed that two issues will dominate the Anastasiades-Guterres meeting: the prospect of a direct resumption of substantive talks and CBMs. Regarding the first issue, Anastasiades is expected to reiterate his readiness to attend a joint meeting with Tatar to be convened by the UNSG. In relation to the CBMs, he is expected to reiterate his proposal for Famagusta and Tymbou airport. For the GC side, and this is expected to be clarified by the president, it goes without saying that if direct talks are to begin, there must not be any fait accompli (by Turkey). Anastasiades is expected to raise during the meeting the Turkish actions in Famagusta, Phileleftheros reported.

Politis reports that Nicosia hopes that Guterres will, during the meeting show willingness for a continuation of the process while a positive scenario would be him agreeing to a meeting with Anastasiades and Tatar even in September in New York or elsewhere, the daily reports. The Presidential Palace finds that the previous trilateral meetings – in 2019 in Berlin and in 2017 – were very important so another one will be a development in the right direction.

It adds that Guterres has not been briefed yet by his special envoy Jane Holl Lute on her recent meetings with the two leaders in Nicosia.

Politis also reports that Nicosia believes that the north must not be asking for recognition of its sovereignty as a pre-requisite without even discussing important aspects of the Cyprus problem on which the TC side has to make concessions.

Reaffirms keen interest in seeing progress on Cyprob based on his mandate.

Reiterates readiness to work constructively with UNSG on Cyprus’ reunification efforts.
>> Necessary for Turkey to maintain de-escalation in Cyprus’ EEZ & avoid provocations in Varosha.
>> Warns against any announcement by Erdogan during his north visit on new faits accomplis in Cyprus.
>> The CBMs he suggests could lead to a meaningful dialogue & a lasting Cyprob solution if TC side also shows goodwill.

There cannot be substantive talks if the north’s sovereignty is not recognised.
>> His suggestions on Cyprobwill help ‘square the circle’.

AKEL supports TCs fighting against Ankara’s tight grip  

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Human Rights, Migration & Citizenship


Haravgi and Phileleftheros report that AKEL has lend its support and expressed its solidarity with various progressive groups in the TC community that are mobilising against issues that threaten the community’s existence through the policies imposed by Turkey.

The party cites the recent revelation by Yeni Bakis daily of plans for granting ‘citizenships’ to 50,000 settlers which stirred reactions among a large number of TCs. Head of AKEL’s rapprochement office, Elias Demetriou, said that the TCs’ wrath intensified by the attempt to silence three journalists of the newspaper who revealed the issue and were accused of allegedly disclosing personal information.

He said that the continuous mass ‘naturalisations’, the systematic persecution of voices that resist the attempt at the alteration of the secular character of the TC community are political aspirations aimed at the multifaceted assimilation of the TCs by Turkey.

Demetriou also said that TC leader Ersin Tatar, “like a genuine pawn of Turkey, not only promotes these policies but proceeds to new fait accompli in the Cyprus problem and insists on the anachronistic doctrine of a two-state solution.”

AKEL, he said, condemns Turkey’s sovereign policies that threaten the existence of the TC community. “We especially express our solidarity with those TCs who are also targeted and persecuted for their views.”

Demetriou also called on Turkey and the TC leadership to cease the implementation of new faits accomplis on the ground and to enter an honest dialogue on the Cyprus issue on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions. He also called on the GC side take initiatives to put pressure on Turkey and the TC side to either return to dialogue on the basis of the agreements of the two parties or become solely responsible for the ongoing unacceptable status quo.

Haravgi also reports that PEO expresses its support and solidarity to the Turkish Cypriot unions that are once again on the street and protesting against the anti-labour methods of the TC  administration.

Alithia, in a comment said: “We have left our TC compatriots struggling to shake off the Turkish hegemony imposed to them by the Turkish army, all by them selves.

The daily also cites the Republic Turkish Party (CTP) stating they will not accept Turkey’s hegemony and that they will be out in the streets to resist the violations of the ‘law’ and freedom and defend the TCs’ will for self-rule.

Developments on ECHR lawsuits against IPC by GCs

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Human Rights


The dailies report that Turkey has submitted its observations on two cases brought against it before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning GC properties, one in Tymbou, the other in Varosha.

The two applicants who are asking for restitution of their properties and compensation for the loss of use, were given until September 2 to respond and file their claim for damages. Turkey will then submit its response in about six weeks.
Both cases are handled by lawyer Achilleas Demetriades. On the Varosha property, EVKAF claims to be a party in the case.

Demetriades told the Cyprus News Agency that the Turkish positions are the first reaction to the applications before the ECHR, concerning the ineffectiveness of Turkeys’ Immovable Property Commission (IPC), operating in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Demetriades said the Varosha property case is of great interest as EVKAF lays claims to it. EVKAF, he said, claims ownership of a great part of Varosha, despite a compromise reached in 1960 through compensation of 1.5 million sterling as a full and final settlement of all its claims.
Both cases concern complaints to the ECHR about the protracted length and ineffectiveness of the proceedings before the IPC. In January 2020, Turkey issued a unilateral declaration, offering applicants a total of €11,000 as compensation for the delay, in a bid to close the process before the Court but the applicants refused the offer.

Head of UN peace operations in Cyprus

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
External Security


The dailies report that the head of Peace Operations for the UN, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, is on a four-day visit to Cyprus.

Lacroix’s visit was announced by Stéphane Dujarric, spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General during Wednesday’s international press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. He said Lacroix would visit Cyprus after wrapping up his trip to Russia.

Lacroix arrived in Cyprus on Thursday to visit the UN peacekeeping mission on the island and is expected to meet with representatives of the two communities.

The UN official met with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP, Elizabeth Spehar. Lacroix is to visit various key locations where the mission is deployed along the buffer zone.

Phileleftheros, in the meantime, in a comment, reports that Spehar is preparing to be transferred to Western Sahara.

It added that Cypriots will remember her for the unbearable policy of equal distances but also for her suspicious stand on all those committed by Turkey and the occupying regime. They will also remember her for her obsession with the supposed dialogue at military level (National Guard -occupation army) and by attributing responsibilities -to everyone-on the crossing points issue and -to no one- on the campaign for the settlement of Varosha.

The comment also said that throughout her term in Cyprus, Spehar, following the example of the UN as a whole, was suffering from an incomprehensible need to acquit Turkey of the crimes of invasion and occupation.

It posed the question of whether Spehar will do the same in Western Sahara and if she will denounce the Polisario Front that struggles for national liberation against Mauritanian occupation and Morocco that unilaterally occupied the northern part and other territories.

Translate »