TCC Press Review 23 July 2021

Front Page Headlines


N/A due to Eid holiday


State hospitals battling with problems

Even though article 45 of the TRNC Constitution dictates the state must ensure and safeguard medical treatment for all its citizens, our state hospitals struggle to provide even the most basic of health services as a result of infrastructure problems, lack of equipment and staff shortages.

  • UN Secretary-General (UNSG) is concerned about the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative.


N/A due to Eid holiday


Take it back if you want to

The Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades proposed to take back the passports given to politicians in the TRNC due to the Maraş (Varosha) initiative. Among the proposals made at the National Council meeting, was to prevent third-country nationals from crossing to the north. The Greek Cypriot Attorney General Yorgos Savvidis on the other hand said that the proposals made by Anastasiades violated the constitution and EU laws. President Ersin Tatar who shared his views with Diyalog newspaper said, “They can take it (RoC passports) back if they want to. It’s not important for us. We are waging a struggle for sovereignty. What should I do with that passport? I have embarked on a journey.”


Open invitation from Erdoğan to pillagers

Time has come for the pillage of what is left of Maraş (Varosha). Tayyip Erdoğan called on Turkish nationals who want to grab property in Maraş (Varosha). Erdoğan despite all the reactions is not taking any backward steps…Noting that there are people from Turkey who want to buy property in Cyprus, Erdoğan said they too could benefit from the reopening of Maraş (Varosha) and that there were no obstacles for them to buy property. When reminded about the Greek Cypriot applications for properties Maraş (Varosha), Erdoğan said “This is the ideal situation” and added, “But I wish our brothers in North Cyprus would also apply for these properties and become owners.” Expressing his pessimism about Greek Cypriots returning to Maraş (Varosha) under the Turkish Cypriot administration, Erdoğan said “I believe the south would not be very willing.”

  • Guterres: ConcerningUN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres Said the developments in Maraş (Varosha) are concerning and called on the sides “to refrain from unilateral steps that might threaten the efforts to find a common ground for a solution.”

Main News

UN is deeply concerned with developments on Maraş (Varosha)

Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Territory, Negotiations Process


The position of the United Nations on Maraş (Varosha) remains unchanged and is guided by the relevant Security Council resolutions, the UN has said, and called on all parties to refrain from unilateral tensions that may compromise the ongoing efforts for a lasting settlement.

“The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the announcements made on July 20 by the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey regarding a further opening of the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha),” a statement attributable to Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the issue of Maraş (Varosha) said.

He added the UNSG has repeatedly called on all parties to refrain from unilateral actions that provoke tensions and may compromise the ongoing efforts to seek common ground between the parties towards a lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue.

Haq reiterated “the UN’s position on Maraş (Varosha) remains unchanged and is guided by the relevant UNSC resolutions,” adding that the SG calls on all sides to engage in dialogue to bring peace and prosperity to the island through a comprehensive settlement.

In the meantime, citing Greek Cypriot news sources, the Turkish Cypriot dailies report that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Elizabeth Spehar briefed the UNSC on July 21 regarding the developments in the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha).

The briefing was held in line with SRSG Spehar’s scheduled meeting to discuss the SG’s reports on his Good Offices Mission and his peacekeeping force (UNFICYP) in Cyprus.

The Turkish side announced earlier in the week it would demilitarise 3.5 per cent of the fenced area of Maraş (Varosha) and make it possible for right holders to apply for their properties through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC).

Guterres (UN)
>> UN’s position on Maraş (Varosha) remains unchanged & is guided by UNSC resolutions.
>> UN is concerned about moves on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Parties must refrain from unilateral actions that provoke tensions & provoke compromise ongoing efforts to seek common ground.

TC MFA reiterates its position on Maraş (Varosha)

Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Property, Territory


Turkish Cypriot Foreign Ministry on Thursday responded to the international condemnations on the Maraş (Varosha) initiative and demilitarization of three-and-a-half per cent of the fenced-off town.

In a written statement issued, the ministry said “The Turkish Cypriot side has embarked on a path of no return. The sooner this reality is accepted, the sooner the conditions that will allow everyone to benefit will materialize,” he said.

It’s the second such statement issued this week.

Arguing that the fenced-off town has become the symbol of the status quo on the island, the ministry said that the Greek Cypriot side had failed to meet the constructive stance adopted by the Turkish Cypriot to date.

It also argued that the steps taken on Maraş (Varosha) were in everyone’s interest and that the rights of property owners will be given the utmost respect. The Turkish Cypriot foreign ministry reminded that the fenced-off city was located within the north’s territory and that Turkish Cypriot authorities had full jurisdiction and responsibility for all decisions taken on Maraş (Varosha).

“The international community’s support to the Greek Cypriot side and the repeated attempts to reach a federal settlement only serves to strengthen the status quo on the island and ensures its continuation,” the statement read.

The statement added that the Turkish Cypriot side was determined to do its part in establishing collaboration between the two sides once the Turkish Cypriot side’s inherent right of sovereign equality and equal international status was safeguarded.

This it added was the only realistic and feasible model and in line with the realities of the island.

Meanwhile, Democratic Party (DP) leader Fikri Ataoğlu urged the international community to “interpret the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative correctly.” In a statement issued from the DP, Ataoğlu said the DP supported the decision to remove the military area status of a small section of the fenced-off town which will allow property owners wishing to return to do so.

“The fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha), which had been held hostage for years in the name of a comprehensive settlement, will soon be revived with new policies,” Ataoğlu said, adding that the town will have significant economic contributions to the north in terms of tourism.

Ataoğlu also argued that the decisions taken on the fenced-off town are taken in line with international law and the property issues will be resolved through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC). “It is wrong to perceive the Maraş (Varosha) Initiative as capitalizing on people’s grievances,” Ataoğlu said, adding that the north will utilize the area’s tourism potential as well.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Turkish nationals and Turkish Cypriots wishing to purchase property in the fenced-off city should be allowed to do so.

Speaking in a video address to members of the Justice and Development (AK) Party to mark Eid al-Adha, Erdoğan said that there were Turkish nationals as well as Turkish Cypriots who would be interested in purchasing property in Cyprus, particularly in Maraş (Varosha).

He said that the ideal scenario would be for the former Greek Cypriot inhabitants to return but argued that there were no legal obstacles for the sale of these properties. The Turkish president also said that he believed very few Greek Cypriots would be willing to return to the town under the Turkish Cypriot administration.

Ertuğruloğlu (UBP)
>> No return from current position concerning Maraş (Varosha). The sooner this reality is accepted the sooner everyone will benefit.
>> TC side is ready to collaborate with GC side once its inherent right of sovereign equality & equal international status is safeguarded.
>> This is the only realistic & feasible model in line with the realities of the island.

Ataoğlu (DP)
>> DP supports the latest move on Maraş (Varosha).
>> Move to revive life in the fenced-off town will have a positive impact on the north’s economy.
>> Decisions adopted are in line with international law & will be carried out through the IPC.

Erdoğan (Turkey)
>> No legal obstacles for selling properties in Maraş (Varosha) to interested Turkish nationals or TCs.

Tatar reiterates his position for a two-state solution

Kıbrıs, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Thursday said the key to a sustainable solution in Cyprus is recognition of sovereign equality and equal international status of the two sides.

Stating after meeting with Ajay Sharma, Coordinator of the Cyprus talks process at UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and with British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie, Tatar added it will not be possible to reach an agreement as long as imbalance, which is the result of the current situation, on the island continues.

Tatar during the meeting also argued that insisting on the past solution model, which had collapsed in Crans Montana in 2017 would only serve to prolong the status quo on the island. Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot leader told Diyalog newspaper on Thursday that he was ready to hand back his Republic of Cyprus (RoC) passport after his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades raised the issue at the National Council meeting.

Anastasiades proposed to strip Turkish Cypriot officials who support the move on Maraş (Varosha) of their passports. Tatar, in a defiant stance, said he was ready to hand back his passport as he was waging a struggle on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot community of which he could not abandon.

Citing Greek Cypriot sources, Diyalog wrote that the RoC’s Attorney General had ruled out the possibility of such a move stating that it would be both unconstitutional and in violation of EU rights.

Cyprus talks did not bear results for 53 years: FM Çavuşoğlu

Kıbrıs, Diyalog
Negotiations Process


Negotiations to find a solution to the divided island of Cyprus have not borne any results for 53 years, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated on Thursday.

When Turkish Cypriots supported a plan for the island drafted in 2004 by then UNSG but Greek Cypriots rejected it, the EU failed to keep its promises to Turkish Cyprus but rewarded the Greek Cypriots with membership in the bloc, said Turkey’s top diplomat.

This erased the EU’s credibility on the issue, Çavuşoğlu told reporters in the city of Antalya on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

Çavuşoğlu underlined the special bonds between the two countries. “We, as both the motherland and guarantor country (for Cyprus), fulfil our responsibilities without hesitation to protect the TRNC’s rights to hydrocarbon reserves and the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.

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