Front Page Headlines
Local contractors react to decision to launch tenders in Ankara: “Disgraceful”
Local contracts said that the tenders launched in Ankara were a disrespectful act against the country’s economy, particularly Turkish Cypriot contractors.
- Our hearts burned…may you recover soon Cyprus!
Flames erupted in Limassol, burning our hearts
The fire that started in Arakapas village in Limassol in South Cyprus raged out of control in a short period, burning many homes and cars. Seven villages were evacuated. People who watched their homes engulfed by the flames wept. Firefighters tried to put out the fire from the ground and the air.
- Coalition partners have different opinions on the early election – The senior member of the coalition government, the National Unity Party (UBP) wants to hold the early election on April 3, 2022, but the Rebirth Party (YDP) is in favour of December 2021.
The damage is extensive
The fire which broke out in the village of Arakapas in Limassol District spread out of control quickly. Greek Cypriot authorities called for help from Israel and the EU. Tatar who was in Istanbul proposed to help. The blaze spread to ten villages. Peoples’ Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay was the first Turkish Cypriot politician who proposed to help the Greek Cypriots.
- No loss of life – 66 cases in the North, 583 in the South.
A catastrophe caused by the fire… Villages were burnt! Yet another painful day in the history of fires in Cyprus…The fire, that started in Arakapas village in Limassol, raged out of control with strong winds, spreading to Meline, Eptagonia, Sykopetra and Odou villages…Homes and cars surrendered to flames, villages were evacuated.
Tatar & TC officials offer assistance to battle massive fire in the southYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Human Rights, CBMs
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Saturday called the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, offering assistance to put out the devastating fires that ripped through 10 communities in the south. The Greek Cypriot leader is said to have told Tatar that the offer would be evaluated.
Tatar, who himself was in Turkey, told Anastasiades that he had given instructions to his special representative Ergün Olgun to monitor the developments closely and to coordinate the efforts.
The fire raged out of control destroying homes and large areas of pine forest as well as forcing authorities to evacuate communities in Limassol and Larnaca. Fanned by strong winds, the fire burned homes in Arakapas, which had been evacuated earlier, and raced through the village, swiftly jumping district boundaries into Larnaca.
Greek Cypriot authorities then were left with no choice but to evacuate several villages in the area, with the flames affecting some 10 communities including Melini, Ora, Odou, Sykopetra, and Eptagonia, Ayioi Vavatsinias, and Vavatsinia.
Tatar noted Anastasiades will consider the Turkish Cypriot side’s offer, Turkish Cypriot Minister for Tourism and Environment Fikri Ataoğlu also reiterated the Turkish Cypriot side’s readiness to assist the Greek Cypriot firefighters in putting out the fire.
Ataoğlu said humanitarian issues such as forest fires must be approached without any political concerns, reminding that the Greek Cypriot firefighters had been called upon in forest fires in the north in the past.
Cemil Karzaoğlu, director of the forestry department in the north later in the day announced the firefighters were ready and waiting on standby to assist as soon as they were called. “If the Greek Cypriot officials were to call for our assistance, we are ready,” Karzaoğlu said.
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı emphasized the need for collaboration to put out the fire regardless of it being in the north or the south.
“It is our island on fire, it is our heritage and the future of next generations,” Akıncı said in a social media post on Saturday, expressing his sadness over the fire. The Republic of Cyprus (RoC) has asked Israel, Greece and the EU for aerial assistance in putting out the fire, while Greek Cypriot firefighters fought against the flames on the ground.
Hundreds of Turkish Cypriots also expressed solidarity with Greek Cypriots by either posting messages of support or expressing their grief over the destruction which took place.
East Med strategic crossing point in Blue Homeland doctrineKıbrıs, Diyalog
Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yavuz Selim Kıran on Saturday accused the Greek Cypriot side of being the source of the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey.
Speaking at the Turkey Maritime Summit on the importance of the Blue Homeland doctrine, Kıran said acceptance of the Greek Cypriot side into the EU as a full member without solving the Cyprus problem has changed the balance in the region, resulting in “maximalist demands from both Greece and the Greek Cypriot side.”
He also argued that the Greek Cypriot side signed bilateral maritime jurisdiction agreements with other countries in the region, drawing them into the regional problems as well. Noting that the ministry acted in cooperation with all institutions to tackle the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Blue Homeland as a whole, Kıran said, “There is a very important struggle to prevent even the slightest development against Turkey in the field and at the table. We showed it.”
Kıran explained the Eastern Mediterranean is a very strategic crossroads where 30 per cent of the world’s maritime trade takes place, with an average of 4,000 commercial ships sailing every day. “It is normal for the whole world to have laid their eyes on the region which has extremely rich hydrocarbon resources,” Kıran argued, adding that the struggle for political dominance in the region continues.
Also speaking at the same conference, Commander of the Naval Forces Admiral Adnan Özbal drew attention to the increasing awareness and importance of the Blue Homeland doctrine. The Admiral added that the Blue Homeland in the seas is equal to Turkey’s policy of not giving an inch of land.
Özbal stressed the naval forces have increased their capacity and capabilities over the years to defend the Blue Homeland as the region must be protected for the best interest of Turkey now and future generations.