Front Page Headlines
Financial collapse at Famagusta Municipality
Layoffs have started at the Famagusta Municipality which frequently makes headlines with reports of a financial crisis. The trade union representing workers at the municipality first announced that 337 people had been laid off only to revise its statement stating that 314 people had been hired back the next day. It added that 23 contracts had been terminated permanently. Both the trade union and the Municipal Council members confirm the crisis. “The reason for the layoffs is wrongful employment and excess spending. We will hit rock bottom if the crisis is not dealt with,” they warn.
- North-South crossings – 52,000 crossings in May, 218,000 in June.
- 8+2 election government – National Unity Party (UBP) leader Faiz Sucuoğlu announced that the cabinet distribution of the interim election government will be 8+2. Even if he didn’t give out any names, he pointed to a UBP-DP (Democratic Party) coalition with the support of independent MPs. Early elections on January 9. Proposal to end split voting on the table.
The new cabinet is becoming clearer
National Unity Party (UBP) parliamentary group and the newly elected party assembly convened yesterday. The UBP party assembly officially authorised Faiz Sucuoğlu to launch talks with other parties to form the new government as well as to call for an early election on January 9. Sucuoğlu then intensified his efforts to form the UBP-Democratic Party (DP) minority government.
- “No” to price hikes! – Three public sector unions staged a protest against the price hikes and rising prices distributing black ribbons to cars in the traffic to put them up on their rear-view mirrors.
UBP-DP government with support from the independents
It was a busy day for the UBP party assembly yesterday due to efforts to form the new government. UBP leader Faiz Sucuoğlu, following the parliamentary group meeting, presented the party assembly with the new government model.
- St. George day celebrated in Kormacit (Koruçam/ Kormakitis)
- General strike on Friday – Public sector unions KTAMS (Turkish Cypriot Public sector union), and KAMU-İŞ (Turkish Cypriot public workers’ union) protested the price hikes in various locations in Nicosia.
Sucuoğlu will propose to the political parties to hold early elections on January 9 and to scrap the system of split voting. Sucuoğlu speaking after a meeting of the new UBP party assembly said that the coalition government will be formed with the DP with the support of independent MPs. The UBP leader is expected to present the new cabinet to President Ersin Tatar today. He is expected to replace Health Minister Ünal Üstel with Ali Pilli, Public Works Minister Resmiye Canaltay with Menteş Gündüz, Economy Minister Erhan Arıklı with Sunat Atun. It has been claimed that Sucuoğlu who had made it clear a year ago he would not appoint anyone into his cabinet who was not an MP, is planning to replace Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu with Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu.
Praise him. Erdoğan is as fit as a fiddle
Turkish social media was shaken with rumours that (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) ‘Erdoğan was in his dead-bed.’ İbrahim Altun, Director of Turkish Presidency Communications Directorate, had to issue a statement. Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporter Ahmet Hamdi Çamlı, who used the pseudo nickname ‘Yeliz’ on Twitter, said “The Chief (nickname used for Erdoğan) has departed from Istanbul for Ankara. He is as fit as a fiddle. Don’t believe the rumours.”
- Will he cut of AKP gangrene? – Faiz Sucuoğlu in his address of the National Unity Party’s new party assembly, said he will cut off the gangrene.
- Split voting to be ended – The UBP party assembly approved the proposal to scrap voting.
Sucuoğlu & UBP party assembly to submit a proposal for early electionsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance and Power Sharing
The newly elected leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Faiz Sucuoğlu and the party’s newly elected party assembly held its first meeting on Wednesday following the completion of the vote-counting after the party’s general assembly over the weekend.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Sucuoğlu said he had been authorized by the party assembly to take the country to an early election on January 9. He also noted that the need to amend the current election law was also discussed by the party assembly.
“We will submit a proposal to the parliament to scrap split voting, which is a system which gives voters the freedom to vote for candidates from other parties,” Sucuoğlu said. He refrained from commenting on a possible coalition government or who will take place in the new cabinet.
In the meantime, Narin Ferdi Şefik, Head of the Supreme Electoral Board, said on Wednesday that the prohibitions during the election period must enter into force next week, should the early election be held on January 9.
Speaking on Bayrak, Şefik reminded that according to the law, a ban on public hiring, state tenders and resources need to enter into force 60 days before any election. She also pointed that the parliament does not have any time left to make amendments to the current election law.
“I have been talking about the need for amendments since 2018 but to no avail. If the early election is going to be held on January 9, it is not possible to make any amendments to it but if the election is postponed, there might be a window of opportunity for changes to be introduced,” Şefik concluded.
Ataoğlu: “Maraş (Varosha) has become an alternative tourism destination in the TRNC”Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot Tourism Minister Fikri Ataoğlu on Wednesday said that the recently opened section of the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) had become a tourist attraction.
Speaking to Turkish news agency Anatolia reporter in Antalya, Ataoğlu recalled that the gradual opening of the fenced-off town had been launched in October 2020, and since then visitors had shown a great deal of interest.
“It has turned into an alternative tourism destination for the tourists,” Ataoğlu said, adding that despite the coronavirus pandemic, many tourists have so far visited the area.
MEP Poreba and former MEP Orden visited TC parliamentYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The Speaker of the Turkish Cypriot Parliament Önder Sennaroğlu on Wednesday received Polish MEP Thomasz Poreba, British former MEP Geoffrey van Orden and Political affairs consultant Robert Tyler from the New Direction Consultancy based in Brussels.
Sennaroğlu, speaking during the meeting, highlighted the problems faced by the Turkish Cypriots in having their voice heard by the international community and on European platforms.
“The visit by European MPs is very important for conveying the Turkish Cypriots’ problems and positions to European officials,” Sennaroğlu stressed. He also reiterated that despite voting in favour of the Annan Plan in 2004, the Turkish Cypriot community is still made to suffer embargoes imposed.
GC politicians & First Lady attend a ceremony in Koruçam (Kormakitis)
First Lady Andri Anastasiades, several political party leaders and Stephen Lillie, the British High Commissioner in Cyprus attended on Wednesday a religious ceremony held at the Maronite village of Koruçam (Kormakitis), Yenidüzen reported.
Citing Greek Cypriot media reports, the Turkish Cypriot daily said the ceremony was held to honour the Maronite community’s patron saint Ayios Georgios tou Sporou, and the service was carried out by the Maronite Archbishop Selim Sfeir at the chapter named after the patron saint located on the Koruçam (Kormakitis) beach.
In addition to the first lady and party leaders, Greek Cypriot MPs, representative of the Maronite Religious Group in the Greek Cypriot parliament Yiannakis Mousa, the Maronite community’s vice president Valentinos Koumettou and Presidency Commissioner Photis Photiou and a Vatican representative were also present.
Relaxation of measures at crossings help increase numbers
The relaxation of measures and restrictions imposed at the crossing points due to the coronavirus pandemic, has significantly increased the number of people crossing through the checkpoints
The number of crossings recorded in both directions exceeded 200,000 in June when the bicommunal technical committee on health announced that fully vaccinated people no longer needed to present a negative PCR or rapid antigen test when crossing to the north or south.
90,680 Greek Cypriots crossed into the north in June, compared to 3,735 the previous month and the numbers continued to increase gradually, reaching 137,774 in September.
The number of crossings for Turkish Cypriots also increased in the same period. 88,539 Turkish Cypriots crossed to the south in June compared to 45,738 the previous month. The numbers increased gradually until August with 142,201 but dropped slightly to 138,218 in September possibly due to the devaluation of the Turkish Lira.
In terms of total numbers, in the first nine months of the year, a total of 1,279.800 entries and 1,276,585 exits were recorded for the north. Among these, 496,643 of those entering into the north were Greek Cypriots, 237,289 third-country nationals and 545,868 Turkish Cypriots.