Front Page Headlines
The pot calls the kettle black (It takes one to know one)
The Prime Minister is on leave and there is no government. While the president is waiting for the National Unity Party (UBP) congress to appoint someone to form the government, the accusations exchanged by candidates ahead of the congress have turned ugly. Just days left before the congress, Ersan Saner, his reputation tarnished by the scandalous video, announced he was withdrawing from the race. He pointed the finger of blame at his rival Faiz Sucuoğlu. Hasan Taçoy, another candidate for the party’s leadership said he respected Saner’s decision and would be visiting him to ask for his support.
Saner accuses, Sucuoğlu refutes
Tensions were running high in the country following the developments in the ‘video scandal.’ Following the incident which only further complicated matters within the UBP ahead of the party congress, Ersan Saner said he was withdrawing from the leadership race. Announcing his decision with a written statement, he pointed the finger at Faiz Sucuoğlu, accused him of orchestrating a conspiracy against him. Sucuoğlu, responding to accusations said: “Mr Saner is the only one guilty of the situation.”
“Saner is the only one guilty”
Faiz Sucuoğlu responded to the accusations made by Ersan Saner who withdrew his candidacy for UBP leadership after blaming him for the video scandal.
- “Don’t vote for those who carry out conspiracies against others” – Just days before the leadership race at the UBP, Ersan Saner first took administrative leave from his post as prime minister and then withdrew from the leadership race by accusing the strongest candidate Faiz Sucuoğlu. Saner called on the party members not to vote for those who try to win the leadership with conspiracies.
It will be over in the first round
Saner withdrew his candidacy; all three other candidates contesting shared the same view that the election will be over in the first round. Just a few days before the party congress, Saner announced he was withdrawing. He also said that he will be seeking legal action against Dr Faiz Sucuoğlu whom he held responsible for everything that happened.
Ersan Saner accused Faiz Sucuoğlu of being behind the conspiracy against him withdrawing his candidacy. In a statement made for the National Unity Party (UBP) members, Saner urged all the members to stand against those who try to win through conspiracies.
- Fuat Oktay went beyond his limit – Şener Elcil said.
Saner withdraws from UBP race, blames Sucuoğlu for his decisionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance & Power Sharing
Leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and current Prime Minister Ersan Saner announced on Tuesday that he was withdrawing from the leadership race for the UBP.
In a written statement issued on Tuesday, Saner said he was the victim of a conspiracy allegedly orchestrated by his primary contender, Faiz Sucuoğlu. Saner said Sucuoğlu was involved in the case from the beginning to the end and accused his fellow UBP member of “playing a leading role” in his character assassination, harming the north, the party and his family.
He called on the UBP members to stand against those who create conspiracies and intrigues. Saner also said he took a leave of absence from his duties as the prime minister and that he would soon appoint a substitute. He also said he withdrew from the candidacy to protect his family and the UBP.
Sucuoğlu said in response that the creation of those images was Saner’s fault and reiterated he was not involved in the video’s dissemination. He also said that he did not report on the video’s existence to avoid putting Saner in a difficult position. He also hit back at Saner arguing that he too knew of the video’s existence and asked why he did not report this to the police himself prior to its dissemination.
Sucuoğlu’s alleged involvement was revealed during the court case concerning the release of the video after five suspects were arrested, including the woman seen in the video taking off her clothes as Saner watched.
The hearing into the case started on Monday with all five suspects, one woman and four men, arrested last week appearing before the court in Famagusta in the north. They have been charged with violation of privacy, unlawful disclosure and sexual harassment.
Meanwhile, the UBP congress will go ahead this weekend as scheduled. Following Saner’s withdrawal, there will be three candidates competing for the top seat in the party on October 30 and 31. More than 16,000 members are expected to vote over two days and choose between Faiz Sucuoğlu, Hasan Taçoy or Zorlu Töre.
If none of the candidates receives more than 50 per cent of the votes, the leadership election will be completed in the second round the following week.
Both Faiz Sucuoğlu and Hasan Taçoy who were competing for the leadership race at the UBP congress in October 2020 withdraw from the race allegedly due to interference by Ankara. The congress was cancelled and Ersan Saner had been appointed as the leader of the party and the prime minister in the north.
Tatar boasts successful promotion of two-state solution modelYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Property, Territory
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Tuesday reiterated his two-state vision vis-à-vis the Cyprus problem following his election into office a year ago in October 2020.
Evaluating his first year in office to Bayrak Tatar said he has successfully been promoting his vision for a two-state solution based on sovereign equality since assuming office in 2020. “The emphasis on sovereignty comes from the Turkish Cypriot people as we are a sovereign nation,” Tatar said, arguing that the Turkish Cypriots’ rights emanate from the establishment treaties of the 1960 partnership republic.
Touching on the negotiations processes for a federal settlement, Tatar argued that the Greek Cypriot side’s rejectionist attitude, as well as their refusal to grant political equality to the Turkish Cypriots, are main the reasons behind the failures in the talks up until the Crans Montana conference.
Tatar said the Greek Cypriot side’s only goal was to dissolve the ‘TRNC’ and to absorb the Turkish Cypriot community into the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) as a minority. “This is a dangerous ploy being played on the Turkish Cypriots under the pretext of the federal settlement,” he argued, adding that the federal settlement will ensure the continuation of the RoC contrary to the false belief in the Turkish Cypriot community that the federation will be established by two equal constituent states.
Tatar said the Greek Cypriot side has repeated its positions during the recent trilateral meeting held in New York with the participation of the UN Secretary-General (UNSG). He said had asked the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades during the meeting as to why he had refused to accept a solution despite the extreme flexibility displayed by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı.
“Anastasiades responded that he could never accept Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu’s position on Turkey’s guarantor status, who had argued that it should be revisited ten years later,” Tatar said, adding that the Greek Cypriot leader insisted on his zero guarantees and zero troops the day the solution agreement would come into force.
“Anastasiades’ position is unacceptable,” Tatar said, adding that “We advocate for a two-state solution.” He argued that it is also possible to have two states within the EU as the north already is somewhat part of the bloc.
Tatar added that it is important for the Turkish Cypriot state’s sovereignty to be acknowledged in order so that the north can continue its relations as well as safeguard the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees while being in the EU.
Tatar, in response to a question as to whether or not new talks could be expected any time soon, Tatar said that this all depended on the stance adopted by the international community. He pointed out that the international community continued to insist on the bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) and was trying to pull the Turkish Cypriot side in that direction.
“Such attempts are futile,” said Tatar, reiterating his view that the attempts to reach a federal settlement are all exhausted. He said that common ground was needed to restart talks but that this could only be possible through a UN decision that officially acknowledges the Turkish Cypriot side’s sovereign equality.
Tatar added that he would be ready to negotiate every other chapter in the negotiations processes once the Turkish Cypriots’ sovereignty was accepted. He reiterated his positions against a federal settlement, justifying his argument that a federation would spell the end of Turkish Cypriots by noting that the Greek Cypriot leader is still emphasising that Cyprus is part of the Hellenic culture and is a Greek island.
He added that even in the absence of a settlement, Turkish Cypriots should focus on strengthening the state in the north. Tatar also said that political recognition of the ‘TRNC’ was his ultimate goal but that it might not happen as soon as Turkish Cypriots hope because of the current structure of the UN.
He pointed out that UN resolutions fail to address the realities on the island, the fact that the two communities which speak different languages and have different religious beliefs have been living separately since 1974. Tatar repeated his view that a two-state model is the only feasible option in Cyprus, arguing that such a solution would be beneficial for the two communities as well as regional trade and commerce.
Responding to a question on Maraş (Varosha), Tatar said the initiative was a bold step taken following his election into office that will end past grievances and put an end to a human rights issue. He pointed out that the 250,000 or so visitors that have toured the reopened section since 2020 was proof of the success of the initiative.
“The fact that the former inhabitants are now allowed to claim their properties back through the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) has caused discomfort in the Greek Cypriot side,” Tatar argued, claiming that the Greek Cypriot side has deceived its people for 47 years through false promises of returning to the town one day.
Tatar explained that the Maraş (Varosha) initiative will continue with new openings through pilot areas.
Tatar, touching on the work of the bicommunal committees, said the Turkish Cypriot members of the bicommunal technical committee on health had been instrumental during the pandemic process.
“The Turkish Cypriot members had worked intensely and successfully on vaccine supplies, recognition of Turkish Cypriot side’s vaccination card as well as acceptance of the Ada Pass (safe pass) as well as regarding the reopening of the crossing points despite obstructions from the Greek Cypriot side,” Tatar said, pointing to Greek Cypriot side’s fear of Turkish Cypriot side’s recognition. He said the other bicommunal technical committees continue their work.
In response to a question on his frequent visits to Turkey, Tatar said he will continue to advocate for the Turkish Cypriots’ national cause as long as he is invited without neglecting his responsibilities.
>> Efforts to promote a two-state solution have been successful.
>> GC side’s goal is to dissolve ‘TRNC’ & absorb TCs as a minority within RoC.
>> It is possible to have two states within the EU & the north is somewhat already part of the bloc.
>> Attempts to convince the TC side for a BBF is futile as all attempts for a federal settlement have been exhausted.
>> Common ground needed for new talks & this can only be achieved through the UN’s acknowledgement of TCs’ sovereign equality.
>> TC side ready to negotiate all chapters if sovereign equality is accepted.
>> Recognition of ‘TRNC’ is not possible soon due to the UN which fails to address realities on the island.
>> Maraş (Varosha) initiative is a bold step that will end past grievances, allowing former residents to return to their properties through IPC.
>> Bicommunal health committee played a crucial role during the pandemic.
Amcaoğlu: Bureau Veritas unfair towards TCsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
EU Matters, Economy
Huseyin Amcaoğlu on Tuesday said Bureau Veritas, which is the company tasked to carry out compliance inspections on the Hellim (Halloumi) production, was biased in favour of the Greek Cypriot side and was not transparent.
Amcaoğlu, who is the head of the Hellim (Halloumi) Coordination Board and undersecretary to the Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister, said nothing has been done on the Hellim (Halloumi) process even though the product designated origin (PDO) registration of the Cypriot cheese had entered into force on October 1 along with the amendments to the Green Line Trade regulation, allowing exports of Hellim (Halloumi) to EU member states.
Noting that there is a two-tier inspection process to export the produce to Europe, Amcaoğlu noted that the first tier is to control whether the production processes comply with the PDO registration and the second one is health and hygiene control.
“At this point, Bureau Veritas, the company tasked to carry out production compliance inspections has signed a contract with the authorities in the south side and has already started working with them but has yet to get in touch with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, which is the competent authority in the north for matters related to Green Line trade,” Amcaoğlu said.
He also added that the European Commission has not appointed a company to carry out the hygiene controls to date.
“We, unfortunately, see that Bureau Veritas is neither fair nor transparent,” he stressed, adding that it is unacceptable for Bureau Veritas not to launch any efforts in the north. Amcaoğlu underlined the Turkish Cypriot side has raised the matter at the highest levels possible.
He recalled that the EC had agreed for the simultaneous launch of the efforts on Hellim (Halloumi) exports to the EU but it allowed the Bureau Veritas to carry out its work in the south and not in the north.
“We urge the EC to take the necessary steps without further delay for the Turkish Cypriot producers to benefit from the processes equally and in a fair approach,” he said, stressing the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot producers.
“We together with the relevant stakeholders, will not refrain from taking the matter higher up or even to the courts to protect our rights,” Amcaoğlu concluded.
All focused on the outcome of the citizenship case in the south
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Migration & Citizenship
The plight of the two children who were born into a Greek Cypriot mother and a Turkish Cypriot father for obtaining the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) citizenship continues, the Turkish Cypriot dailies report on Wednesday.
Citing Greek Cypriot media reports, the dailies note that the Greek Cypriot cabinet will decide on Wednesday whether to grant RoC citizenship to the children of the bicommunal couple or not. The children, according to previous media reports, were denied RoC citizenship on the premise that their grandfather is from Turkey even though their father had been granted citizenship.
Greek Cypriot Interior Minister Nicos Nouris told reporters on Tuesday that he believed “the issue can be resolved,” adding that the ministry will submit a proposal to the cabinet to grant citizenship to the children.
Nouris had also expressed caution that the Greek Cypriot administration needed to be “extra careful in order not to open a can of worms” on the citizenship issue.