GCC Press Review 13 July 2021

Front Page Headlines


Food for firefighters ended up in the rubbish

The support mechanism for the people who fought with the flames hardly worked at all.  People offered supplies that never reached the front line. Interior Minister Nikos Nouris spoke about weaknesses in logistics noting that there was an unjustified waste of resources. Ways to improve the system are being sought. They were looking to commandeer a tanker and chain vehicles. The interior minister suggested creating a service with the responsibility of extinguishing the fires, ‘Yes, but…’ by (Agriculture Minister) Costas Kadis.

  • Vaccination incentives: They are offering privileges and continue to hope


Vaccinations without appointments

The health ministry will introduce, special ‘walk in’ centres for free access. Efforts for vaccinations intensify at many levels.

  • SOS for Famagusta by Nicosia in Brussels – Borrell recalls the resolutions.
  • Turkey is playing recognition games with Pakistan
  • She was caught by the Turks but no one noticed


Tourism held hostage to health developments

Cyprus is at a disadvantage compared to competitor tourist destinations.

  • AKEL is by the side of the Famagustans
  • AKEL honoured the heroes of Ayios Ioannis in Larnaca

Cyprus Mail

More incentives planned for jabs

Fears over hospital numbers, 13 per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds have received first dose.


We are going through the fourth wave of the pandemic

“The virus is everywhere and the situation is like a vicious cycle”. Large transmission chains with many cases, people who refuse to cooperate, and a chaotic situation with contact tracing. Another 832 Covid cases were recorded yesterday.

  • Erdogan’s announcement: Will Varosha be turned into a civilian instead of a military area?

Main News

Borrell hopes he won’t need to call new EU FMs meeting on Varosha

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


The dailies report that Nicosia is pushing for pressure on Turkey over possible further negative developments in Varosha while the EU expressed hope it will not be forced to hold extraordinary meetings soon on the issue.

 According to the dailies, EU High Representative Josep Borrell said on Monday after the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Brussels that the EU foreign ministers expressed concern over developments on the ground in Varosha.

He recalled that the EU, through the European Commission and European Council presidents, has repeatedly reaffirmed the status of Varosha “and called for the Turkish authority, not to create a situation that could be against the United Nations decisions”.

He said the status of Varosha was set out in relevant UN Security Council resolutions. “And it’s important, as the two presidents have directly addressed to the higher authorities in Turkey, to refrain from provocative actions.”

Borrell said that the EU’s priority was to focus on seeing the restart of the Cyprus settlement talks. “We are working on trying to avoid any kind of trouble, trying to avoid getting trapped in a negative spiral again.

“Our wish is to work on the settlement of the Cyprus issue,” he said. “Let’s hope that we are going to have in the following days no reasons to call an extraordinary foreign affairs council.”

He also said that the EU ministers were “firmly united” in their rejection of a two-state solution.

The dailies also report on contacts by Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides in Brussels with some of his EU counterparts, mainly on the issue of Varosha.

Cyprus Mail reports that it seems Nicosia is also hoping for some intervention from France which currently holds the Security Council presidency. The daily reports that the Cyprus News Agency cited a diplomatic source saying that during Christodoulides’ meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian on the margins of the FAC, “there was coordination in relation to actions that the French will take before July 20” and in case they don’t have the required effect, on how Nicosia will move within the EU and the UN.  Christodoulides also held a telephone conversation with his Indian counterpart, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, whose country will hold the Security Council president next month. They discussed the Cyprus problem and the latest developments on Varosha, as well as the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate, Cyprus Mail reports.

According to Phileleftheros, Christodoulides has called for immediate intervention at the higher level by his EU counterparts prior to Erdogan’s visit to the north on July 20, especially by countries that could exert influence on Turkey such as Germany, Italy and Spain.

Christodoulides hosted a working breakfast on Monday morning for his EU counterparts, prior to the FAC, with the participation of Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, as special guest. Shoukry, according to diplomatic sources, expressed a very positive opinion about the role of Cyprus in the region while referring to the destabilising role of Turkey.

Alithia and Phileleftheros, citing TC daily Yeniduzen, report that Erdogan might announce that Varosha, which is now a military area, will be turned into a civilian area.

Cyprus Mail also reports that Christodoulides told state broadcaster CyBC earlier in the day that Nicosia’s efforts were focused on EU and UN levels while he did not conceal the government’s disappointment over the UN’s tone in references on Varosha in the latest reports on the UNFICYP’s mandate renewal and the UNSG’s Good Offices mission. Especially on the issue of Varosha, Christodoulides said there could have been sterner references, given Erdogan’s announcements. He said that the Security Council cannot ignore any announcements made by Erdogan on July 20, the daily reports.

Borrell (EU)
EU FMs are concerned over developments on the ground in Varosha & hope they will not be soon forced to hold any extraordinary meetings on the matter after Erdogan’s visit to north.
>> EU as on several occasions reaffirmed Varosha’s status & its presidents called on Turkey refrain from provocative actions and not create a situation that could be against the UN decisions.
>> EU’s priority is the relaunch of Cyprob talks & efforts are underway to prevent heightened tensions again.
>> EU FMs stand firmly united against a two-state solution.

Nicosia would have liked sterner references by UN in reports to SC on Varosha given Erdogan’s expected announcements.
>> UNSC cannot ignore any announcements by Erdogan on July 20.

AKEL supports Famagustians’ efforts on Varosha

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Territory, Negotiations Process, Human Rights


The dailies report that AKEL leader Stephanos Stephanou had a meeting on Monday with the Famagusta municipal council in Dherynia.

The AKEL leader referred to the absence of negotiations in the past years on the Cyprus problem, a situation taken advantage of by Turkey to create faits accomplis and gradually lead things to the island’s final partition. He said Turkey’s actions in Varosha were a result of the absence of talks.

Stephanou stressed the need for the GC side, in tandem with the UN efforts to stop further actions from Turkey, to proceed with initiatives for the restart of the talks.

He recalled the proposal submitted by AKEL last December to the president with the aim of pressuring Turkey to abandon its provocative behaviour and agree to the resumption of negotiations. “Nobody knows if Turkey will respond, but if we do nothing, Turkey will remain on the same aggressive and provocative course that leads us to partition,” he said.

Famagusta Mayor Simos Ioannou said Stephanou conveyed AKEL’s full support to the Famagustians’ just struggle for return to their town under the UN.

The dailies also report that ruling DISY said that it was a national obligation to find a way out of the impasse and prevent further negative developments in Varosha.

DIKO, referring to the UN reports, said that the equidistant stance acquits and emboldens Turkey.

Haravgi also reports that the Board of British Cypriots, in a letter, called on Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to contribute to efforts to prevent the provocative visit of the Turkish president in Varosha on July 20. The group stresses that now is the time to resolve the Cyprus issue on the basis of a functioning bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality in accordance with the relevant resolutions, in particular 1251, which rejects the Turkish and TC position in favour of two states.

Stephanou (AKEL)
Turkey’s actions in Varosha are a result of the absence of talks, a situation Ankara takes advantage of to create faits accomplis & lead to the island’s final partition.
>> In tandem with UN efforts to stop Turkish moves, GC side needs to take initiatives for the restart of the talks.
>> Regardless if Turkey will respond to any initiatives, inaction will allow Ankara continue the same aggressive & provocative course that leads to partition.

Finding a way out of the impasse & preventing further negative developments in Varosha is a national obligation.

UN’s equidistant stance acquits & emboldens Turkey.

‘Games by Ankara on Pakistani recognition of north’

Regional/International Relations


The daily, citing reports that a delegation from Pakistan’s embassy in Ankara arrived in the north, reported that Turkey is playing recognition games.

The paper cites reports by Turkish daily Yeni Safak that the announcement by Pakistan’s embassy that a delegation will be in the ‘TRNC’ on a three-day visit between July 11 and 13, could be perceived as possible recognition by Pakistan of the north.

Phileleftheros also notes that TC daily, Gunes, citing ‘diplomatic sources’ reports that sister countries with Turkey such as Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Libya, Bangladesh and Gambia, will intensify their contacts with the ‘TRNC’.

Phileleftheros also reports that the TC ‘foreign ministry’ said the Pakistani delegation’s visit was a routine one, as embassy officials visit the north regularly due to the presence there of Pakistani nationals. It added that the embassy in Ankara provides consular services to Pakistanis living in the north.

The daily reports that the Turkish government is playing games with Pakistan’s embassy in Ankara for the recognition of the pseudo-state.

Woman arrested after finding herself in Varosha by mistake

External Security


The daily reports that a 68-year-old woman from Serbia who has been living permanently in Cyprus for 22 years, was arrested by the Turkish army last week when she accidentally drove into a military area in Famagusta but no one realised she was gone.

The woman, a Larnaca resident,  told Phileleftheros she had crossed to the north through Dherynia last week on Monday, but on her way back she accidentally drove into Varosha, and when she tried to ask two soldiers for instructions on how to go to Dherynia she was arrested. She said she was taken to court and jailed for three days, in Lefkoniko. The woman said after the court realised she had no money on her and that she had indeed ended up in Varosha by mistake, ordered her release on a €500 guarantee that she would not repeat the offence.

When she was arrested she was allowed one phone call and she notified the only family she has, her son in the UK, while one neighbour was notified. The woman, however, complained that no one looked for her, not even the UN or the authorities of the Republic.

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