GCC Press Review 16 Nov 2021

Front Page Headlines


They exonerated Tal Dilian for the spy van

Suspension of criminal prosecution for everyone and they will put on trial only WISPEAR company. Three natural persons were removed from the charge sheet that includes 90 offences and now the only one left to… answer is the Ws WISPEAR Systems Limited company. Everything points out that the company will get away with a fine. Police investigations show that with the equipment at the infamous van that was imported in Cyprus for… weather prediction, observations could be made of private communications and text messages.

  • EU: Nicosia is pressuring for sanctions against Turkey
  • Pupils: They condemned the declaration of the pseudo state
  • They agreed and they are giving us a third dose – 345 new cases yesterday.


Report with aerial photos

A top-secret document by European services on all the Turkish moves in the occupied areas. It also records how decisions are made by a ‘board’ of political persons.

  • (UN Minutes) Mogherini to Cavusoglu: The EU did not accept the intervention right – Mogherini said Cavusoglu was quite vague when they discussed the issue of unilateral intervention. Eide said that the rotating presidency and the positive vote in decision-making had been given by the GCs.
  • Military parade under Oktay in the occupied areas – Condemnation of the pseudo-state by Cyprus’ youth.
  • Signs of wear and tear at the (Eleftheria) Square while they are preparing for the opening – They accepted the project secretly.


The DISY government is against a reduced 9% VAT on electricity

AKEL’s bill proposal is being co-signed by most parties.

  • EU FMs: Any decisions on Turkey have been put off for December
  • Vain attempts for self-justification through selective interpretation of the (UN) documents
  • Brussels: Contacts by the AKEL leader, focused on the Cyprus problem – Yesterday he met Iratxe García Pérez.
  • We do not compromise with the partition (AKEL protest on UDI anniversary)

Cyprus Mail

Anti-virus booster shots for all adults

But no further measures to curb rising number of cases for now.

  • Cyprus unhappy with EU indecision over Varosha
  • Blanket condemnation on anniversary of unilateral declaration of independence


Lockdowns have started again in Europe but we are still coping

Alarm on coronavirus. The unvaccinated are in quarantine in Austria. Tough measures in Germany and the Netherlands – “Lockdowns is a national decision”, says the EU. Cyprus is not (at the moment) taking any other measures, but will focus on the increase in vaccination coverage. Third dose of vaccine for people aged 18 and over.

  • The options paper with sanctions against Turkey on Varosha is ready
  • Marios Pelekanos: AKEL’s narrative on Crans-Montana is crumbling like a tower of cards
  • Nicosia taxi drivers: They report blackmail by Customs and announced a strike
  • “If the people tell us farewell…”: Tayyip Erdogan is talking for the first time of a possible defeat in the election

Main News

Anastasiades: Turkey’s two-state plans failed with UDI, will fail now as well  

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process


The government, parties, students and many groups condemned on Monday the north’s unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), the dailies report.

Alithia reports that President Nicos Anastasiades, in his message on the 38th UDI anniversary said Turkey’s long-term goal for a two-state solution will fail.

In a statement, Anastasiades said the proclamation of the pseudo-state was an unacceptable act condemned by the entire international community in a series of UN Security Council resolutions calling it legally invalid and calling for its reversal.

The effort at that time was aimed at achieving Turkey’s standing goal of a two-state solution. Those unacceptable claims have been repeated by TC leader Ersin Tatar and Turkey before the UN Secretary-General last April, it adds. These efforts did not succeed then and will not succeed now, the presidential statement said.

He also expressed the GC side’s willingness to continue the efforts for a solution that will be in line with the High-Level Agreements, the UN Security Council resolutions, based on European principles and values ​​“in conditions of peaceful coexistence with our TC compatriots with guaranteed human rights of all Cypriot citizens away from anachronistic guarantees or dependence on third parties.”

The dailies also report on the rallies held in the government-controlled areas against the UDI.

Haravgi reports on main opposition AKEL’s event held at the Orfeas checkpoint in Nicosia.

The main speaker, AKEL’s parliamentary spokesman Giorgos Loukaides, conveyed the party’s determination to continue the struggle, together with the TCs, for a bizonal bicommunal federal solution. Loukaides warned that if there is no reunification of the island, the GCs will have a border with Turkey that will continue to bring in settlers and military equipment. If there is no BBF solution, there will be partition, he said.

He also accused ruling DISY and President Nicos Anastasiades of the impasse at the Crans-Montana talks. Referring to a selective release of the UN minutes on Crans-Montana meetings, Loukaides said the facts about Anastasiades’ “criminal manipulations” in Crans-Montana speak for themselves while the fragmentary invocation of notes by the UN Secretariat as well as their misinterpretation does not change the picture, the daily reports.

Alithia also reports while there have been protests in the south, there were celebrations in the north, including parades and a show by Turkish fighter jets.

Phileleftheros and Cyprus Mail report that pupils and students took the streets on Monday to protest the UDI and the Turkish occupation with rallies in all districts.

According to Phileleftheros the youth dream of a different Cyprus and that is why once more, they skipped classes and gathered at the crossing points with banners and placards.

Cyprus Mail also reports that many pupils used the opportunity to gather at cafes with their friends, seeing no point in the protests. A high-school pupil told the daily these rallies take place every year but to no avail. Another pupil said they did not believe anything would ever change, as both GCs and TCs seem to actually be okay with the status quo. He said he did not see the end of the Cyprus problem anytime soon, at least not until both sides manage to sit down and talk to each other in a civil way, the daily reports.

Phileleftheros also reports that parties issued statements on the UDI anniversary.

DIKO said this unacceptable act was further proof of Ankara’s partitionist plans.

For EDEK, the UDI aims at the geostrategic control of the Eastern Mediterranean.

DIPA states that the people expect serious proposals for the future and the next steps in the Cyprus issue.

The Greens said this day reminds everyone of the most serious problem in Cyprus, Phileleftheros reports.

The UDI, part of Turkey’s standing goal of a two-state solution, is an unacceptable act condemned by the entire international community as legally invalid while UNSC resolutions call for its reversal.
>> Today, Tatar continues to work towards Turkey’s two-state solution with the positions he tabled at Geneva summit but, as these efforts did not succeed in 1983, they will not succeed now.
>> GC side continues to be willing for efforts for solution in line with High-Level Agreements, the UNSC resolutions & EU principles and values for peaceful coexistence with TCs away from outdated guarantees or dependence on third parties.

Loukaides (AKEL)
Warms that unless there is a BBF solution, there will be partition with a joint border with Turkey in the north.
>> AKEL will continue to struggle for BBF with cooperation with TCs.
>> Blames Anastasiades’ criminal manipulations & DISY for Crans-Montana impasse, a fact that does not change despite fragmentary invocation of the UN minutes & their misinterpretation.

UDI is an unacceptable act & further proof of Ankara’s partitionist plans.

UDI part of Turkey’s plans for geostrategic control of the EastMed.

Calls for serious proposals for the future and the next steps in Cyprob.

UDI is a reminder of what is the most serious problem in Cyprus.

EU FMs to decide on possible measures on Turkey in December

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, External Security, Negotiations Process


The EU foreign ministers decided yesterday to postpone any decisions on sanctions against Turkey for December, while Nicosia is displeased by the delay in the bloc’s response, the dailies report.

The dailies report that the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) discussed on Monday the progress on the preparation of the options paper on the EU’s response to the Turkish moves in Varosha. The document will be sent to the Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) to be looked into while decisions are expected at the next FAC in December.

EU High Representative Josep Borrell said that during the discussion on Varosha he informed the Council of Turkey’s unilateral moves, noting that they are contrary to UN Security Council resolutions and put UN efforts towards a solution in Cyprus at risk.
He noted that the member states expressed their strong solidarity with Cyprus and added “now we have to convert this to concrete proposals to address the situation”. To do that, he added, “we have agreed to initiate the process so that the action paper is presented as soon as possible at COREPER.”
He pointed out that the aim is for this process to be completed by December to ensure that it will be presented at the next FAC meeting.
Responding to a question on the contents of the options paper, Borrell said it will include options based on all available information as well as intelligence that has been gathered.

According to Politis, which cites diplomatic sources, the issue of Varosha was raised as part of the examination of current developments by the foreign ministers with Borrell stating that the options paper would be released immediately.  Borrell also said that a detailed report by the EU special services had been prepared with intelligence related to Turkey’s illegal activities in the fenced area of Famagusta. The same sources state that Borrell briefed the ministers that the options paper will have two sections: one describing the events and situation on the ground and one with the options for an EU response. He also referred to the letter of Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides where he suggests specific ways of reaction.

Phileleftheros, in its main item, provides more information on the top-secret report prepared by the EU special services which record all Turkish moves in the north since July 20, 2021.

It records all moves in the fenced areas of Varosha and the occupied part of the Famagusta district in general, including aerial photos of the drones base in Lefkoniko but also the Bogazi area where the Turkish military is to set up a naval base.

The daily also reports that the European analysts estimate that the Turkish actions in Varosha are aimed at creating new faits accomplis aimed at the Cyprus issue. The actions in the occupied territories are linked to Ankara’s attempt to prevent any developments in the Cyprus issue. At the same time, it aims to, in the long run, for the Turkish side to impose its own conditions for resolving the problem. The secret document refers to a board that makes decisions about everything that happens in the occupied areas. It is made up of politicians in the occupied territories who receive instructions from both the Turkish ambassador to Nicosia and TC leader Ersin Tatar, who, in their turn receive their own instructions from Fuat Oktay and Mevlut Cavusoglu, who are known to make no move without the consent of Turkish President Erdogan, the daily reports.

The European document also records ‘hybrid approaches’ by Turkey to the occupied territories, which include the operation of secret services, the instrumentalisation of migration flows, the use of military means, etc. It is also noted that Turkey is trying through the occupied territories to destabilise the relations between Cyprus and the EU, Phileleftheros reports.

Cyprus Mail reports that Christodoulides had expressed Cyprus’ displeasure over the delay in the process and added that the EU should send a message to Turkey that its actions have consequences. Even though it cannot be ruled out that the document will be ready before December and be approved through a written procedure, this is currently a remote possibility, the daily reports. Diplomatic sources say that the Cypriot side wants options to include political and legal actions rather than targeted sanctions. These could include limiting the progress of the positive agenda between Turkey and the EU or freezing funding from the European Investment Bank. France, Greece, Spain, Malta and Slovenia supported the need for the options paper to move forward sources said the daily reports.

Borrell (EU)

>> Turkey’s unilateral moves in Varosha are contrary to UNSC resolutions but also put at risk UN efforts for Cyprob solution & bloc need to convert strong solidarity to Cyprus to concrete proposals to address the situation.

Christodoulides (Cyprus)
Nicosia is not happy with delay in measures against Turkey.
>> EU must send Turkey the message its actions have consequences.

Kyprianou intervenes in Crans-Montana meetings debate

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


Haravgi reports that former AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou made an intervention to the debate on the UN minutes released by Phileleftheros in the past few days.

Kyprianou said that the released minutes on a meeting between President Nicos Anastasiades and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was on one that took place on July 6, 2017, at noon.

Later on the same day at 5 pm, however, the UN conveyed to Anastasiades that Turkey was ready to discuss the issue of abolition of the guarantees if the GC side accepted political equality and rotating presidency, Kyprianou said, according to the daily.

Kyprianou, who had closely monitored the process, said the GC side had rejected Guterres’ initiative to table a non-paper on the solution implementation mechanism that would replace the guarantees. He said the Greek Foreign Minister at the time, Nikos Kotzias, had revealed this later in his statements.

When asked why the non-paper was rejected, Kyprianou referred to the statements of negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis in September 2017 that the GC side rejected it because any acceptance of his request would constitute arbitration. Anastasiades later stated from New York that there was so much tension in the room that there was no room for discussion.

Kyprianou assessed that “we simply did not want to give an opportunity to reach an agreement. No one knows if we would have reached an agreement if we had discussed it, but we did not even attempt to.”

He also raised the question, if Anastasiades’ narrative was indeed telling the truth, why he allowed this report to be turned into an official UN document. He said it was because, according to him, Anastasiades’ and his supporters’ narrative “has feet of clay,” the daily reports.

Phileleftheros reports that Kyprianou told Active radio that the UN minutes reveal Turkey’s initial positions before the crucial dinner and not the final ones. Kyprianou also quoted both Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides and negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis that there was a chance of reaching a solution, to prove his point.  

Alithia and Phileleftheros report on statements by government spokesman Marios Pelekanos on the matter.

The spokesman, referring to the UN minutes, said AKEL has seen its narrative against Anastasiades has crumbled like a tower of cards.

On the issue of the non-paper, that, allegedly provided for the abolition of guarantees, Pelekanos said nowhere in that document was there such a reference. He said the non-paper concerned the mechanism for monitoring the implementation of any agreed solution, even if it included the permanent presence of Turkish troops and Turkish guarantees, Phileleftheros reports.

UN Minutes: EU stood against unilateral intervention rights

Negotiations Process, EU Matters, External Security


The daily continues the publication of top-secret UN minutes on the meetings by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with key actors during the Crans-Montana talks, this time with EU High Representative at the time Frederica Mogherini.

According to the minutes, the EU made clear to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and the TCs through Mogherini that it does not accept the right to unilateral intervention, the paper reported.

According to the minutes of the meeting that took place on July 6, 2017, the daily reports Guterres said Turkey was more open in the talks than the others and argued that there had to be more openings from the other sides. There was a proposal from Turkey to keep the guarantees for a transitional period. At the same time, it was clear that there was a strong difference between the GC and TC interests for an implementation mechanism. Anastasiades was clear in his statement that he did not want any Turkish involvement in this. There has also been little progress on the internal aspects of the talks since his last visit. Practically speaking, nothing had been achieved except once again highlighting the points where there was disagreement, the minutes said.

Special Adviser to the Secretary-General Espen Barth Eide had said that the rotating presidency and the positive vote in decision-making had been conceded by the GCs. Anastasiades also indicated that he could facilitate Akinci and would not necessarily insist on a single ticket for the presidential election.

The Secretary-General stated that the outstanding issues included the territorial and which map would be the basis for this issue and the property with different philosophies on how two different regimes are implemented and the rights of Turkish citizens. His intention now was to ask all sides what kind of concessions they would be prepared to make. The aim was to have an informal proposal with possible compositions that could be agreed upon by the prime ministers. However, this would also be difficult because Turkey indicated that it was unwilling for the conference to continue.

The daily reports that Mogherini said all the arguments had been exchanged and that participants were now running in circles. She said he had meetings with the Cypriot sides as well as with Greece and Turkey. Her sense was that there was some common ground that could be further expanded.

She said an approach package could work if there was a balance between the two tables. She had told Anastasiades that if he wanted to see a positive development in the issue of security and guarantees he had to show flexibility in bicommunal issues. Anastasiades had replied that he would be willing to do so but that he should be facilitated in matters of guarantees and troops. He would be prepared to stop insisting on a single ticket for the presidency and be more flexible on other issues. It was important for him, however, that his map be the basis for discussions on the ground.

Mogherini said the EU would facilitate any agreement reached by the parties, with the exception of the right of intervention, which could have more consequences, for example in relation to Russia and the Russian minorities living in the Baltic states. She said she was clear about this to Cavusoglu and Akinci. Guterres stated that Turkey was considering transitional measures in this regard. Mogherini said Cavusoglu was quite vague when she discussed the issue with him, but that she stressed that the issue of the right of intervention was ruled out.

Mogherini had also expressed concerns there was not much time left and that she felt that there was no sense of urgency among the participants. Turkey and the GCs were worried for different reasons. The extension of the negotiations was not acceptable for Turkey. Nor was the impasse for Greece and the GCs, she said according to the daily. She said perhaps it would be possible to lock in some deal and leave the details for later. They had to achieve a positive outcome, with a framework agreement, for example. Guterres said Turkey was very clear in its statement that it would not accept further postponement. He was thinking of proposing a package himself but there was a risk in it. Nevertheless, Anastasiades would not be ready to make concessions at Table 2 unless there was mobility at Table 1.

The minutes also note that Eide said that success can only come in one package. If the guarantees left the table, more would follow, he said. However, Turkey would never move unless the TCs saw a successful outcome to the bicommunal negotiations. There had to be a package through which these issues could be resolved simultaneously. The Secretary-General stated that there was limited room for manoeuvre but that he hoped to be able to produce some results.

Phileleftheros, in its assessment, reports that the fact that Guterres talks of new concessions by Anastasiades, who, in the meantime, had laid all his cards on the table, was shocking. And when he refers to openings by other sides, he is obviously talking about new concessions by Anastasiades, the daily reported. It adds that Guterres, though he already knew Turkey had refused the withdrawal of all troops from Cyprus, does not let her know, or at least it is not mentioned in the minutes.

Analysing all the information, one can conclude that Anastasiades submitted his concessions to Guterres when he told him that the Turks accept the abolition of invasive rights and guarantees. Of course, this is no excuse for him giving the Turks a rotating presidency, the daily said.

As regards Mogherini, Phileleftheros concluded that she did not seem to understand much as the minutes state that while the sides remained firm in their positions, she said she had the feeling that there was some common ground that could be further expanded.

The daily also cites a diplomatic source called to comment on the minutes in question. The source stressed that Eide admitted that Anastasiades made concessions at Table 2, on the rotating presidency. The daily notes that Anastasiades had given proposals on the six points of the Guterres Framework. Reading the minutes, it seems that the UN Secretary-General had not given the necessary weight to the painful concessions by Anastasiades. His interest was to serve Turkey in its outrageous request for the occupation army to remain in Cyprus, the daily reported.

Taxi drivers protest ‘discriminating’ policy about fuel from north  

CBMs, Economy


The Nicosia taxi drivers went on an indefinite strike after they were blackmailed, they said, by Customs at the Ayios Dometios crossing that their vehicles would be confiscated if they crossed to the north, to prevent them from refilling their tanks in the occupied areas.

Their association cited discrimination against taxi drivers by the state. It argued that some taxi drivers cross to the north with their vehicles as private individuals and not as professionals which is not against the Green Line Regulation. They also said that all taxis that cross to and from the north conceal their taxi licence plates, as per their obligation to do so.

The taxi drivers said that during their strike they would block main roads that could cause traffic congestions.

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