TCC Press Review 23 Nov 2021

Front Page Headlines


Era of poverty

The budget envisaged for 2022 has been raised by ₺70m (€5,4m) further deepening the budget deficit and widening the gap between revenues and expenditures. Expenditures will amount to ₺12.7bn (€988.2m) while revenues will remain at ₺11.2bn (€870,5m) bringing the budget deficit to ₺1.5bn (€116.4m).


Double nightmare in medicine

In addition to the hospitals, there is either no medicine available or the available medicine is too expensive. People complain they are not able to find the medicines they need at the pharmacies or of not being able to purchase the medicine if available, due to the extremely high prices.

  • A surge in positive cases brought back the old measure – The requirement to show a negative rapid antigen or PCR test at the crossing points entered into force as of yesterday.
  • Nisa Hacı in critical condition – After suffering an unfortunate accident at her home, Nisa Hacı was taken to the Dr Burhan Nalbantoğlu Hospital first but then transferred to Makarios Hospital in South Cyprus upon her parents’ request.


This budget serves no one

The state budget of ₺12.7bn (€1bn) lost its value by 15 per cent from the time the subcommittee had approved it until it was sent to the parliamentary plenary. Finance Minister Dursun Oğuz said the expenses increased due to the increase in the value of the foreign currencies and the pandemic, making the budget deficit greater.

  • Trade with Turkey must be done with Turkish LiraTurkish Cypriot young businessmen association (GIAD) announced a 10-point ‘short-term economic recovery package.’



The bureaucratic procedures at Ercan (Tymbou) airport have brought passengers to the brink of rebellion. Whether it is people travelling for business or tourists arriving for a holiday, tensions are running high in narrow crowded spaces within the airport’s arrivals terminal. Many of the passengers speaking to Diyalog say the procedure is meaningless. “Having to fill in forms to take from one desk to the other despite being double vaccinated with negative PCR tests is ridiculous. It is only a heavy blow dealt to the tourism sector,” the passengers complain.


There is annexation though not yet officially announced

The “Medyascope” reporters, who came to our island held an interview with Mustafa Akıncı… Akıncı summarised the current situation…He added that he does not see any differences between the ruling and the opposition parties regarding their positions on the Cyprus problem. Akıncı said: “If there were an election under normal conditions if there were no interference if there were no money involved, a majority advocating for solution and peace would have been in power in this country.”

  • CHP Mayors: The interlocutor of the problem are Cypriots.

Main News

Tatar plays the same tune, says TCs to continue to live in freedom with Turkey’s support

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process


Turkish Cypriot President Ersin Tatar on Monday said the Turkish Cypriots will live in freedom without making any concessions from their rights with the support of Turkey.

Speaking during a meeting with a group of mayors from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Tatar also reiterated that it is out of the question for the Turkish Cypriots to give up on Turkey’s effective guarantees on the island.

Providing a brief history of the Cyprus problem, Tatar said Turkey’s guarantees is being questioned since the admission of the Greek Cypriot side into the EU.

“Even though it is claimed Turkey’s guarantees are outdated and there is no need for such a system in Cyprus which is an EU member state, the Turkish Cypriots can’t abandon it (the guarantees),” Tatar stressed, arguing that the Greek Cypriots have unacceptable claims both on the island and in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Asked by reporters after the meeting their views on the Cyprus Issue, the CHP mayors said that Cypriots would ultimately decide what the best type of solution would be and that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots were interlocutors, not anyone else.

Later in the day, Tatar repeated his views on the issue.

Speaking during the ceremony in Ozanköy (Kazafani), Tatar said “Turkey’s effective guarantees are the sole assurance of peace on the island.” He added the Turkish Cypriots now live in their independent state and can look to the future with hope with Turkey’s support.

Tatar repeated his argument that the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) had become a Greek Cypriot state and that the withdrawal of Turkish troops which had brought peace to the island in 1974 was unacceptable for Turkish Cypriots. He added that the continuation of Turkey’s guarantees is the only way to maintain peace on the island.

“There are two separate peoples on the island and the agreement can only be established by recognizing the two sides’ sovereign equality,” Tatar stressed, underlining the importance of Turkey’s support in advocating for the Turkish Cypriot side’s vision for a solution.

>> TCs will continue to live in their state with the support of Turkey.
>> Out of the question for TCs to abandon the system of guarantees.

Akar: Greece plays the victim showing Turkey as the assailant

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/ International Relations


Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday said Greece is trying to create the impression that it is the victim while attempting to portray Turkey as the aggressor in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Speaking with high-level military officials via videoconference in Ankara, Akar refuted the claims made by Greece.

“We are in no means in an offensive position. On the contrary, we defend our rights,” Akar stressed, adding that Turkey’s activities in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean continue sensibly. Greece is engaging in provocative, tensions-heightening, offensive language and moves,” Akar said and pointed out that the Greek authorities make statements as if Turkey is making a move against Greece.

“They speak about human rights but Greek coast guards trying to pierce the boats of defenceless people in the middle of the sea, shooting at them is a crime against humanity and unscrupulousness,” he stressed, underlining that it is hypocritical to blame Turkey in such a situation.

In the meantime, the Greek Cypriot issued a navigational telex (Navtex) to announce its drilling activities by Exxon Mobil-Qatar Petroleum in the self-declared exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the Eastern Mediterranean on Monday. The Navtex announced is from November 19, 2021, to January 22, 2022.

Akar (Turkey)
>> Turkey contrary to Greece’s claims is not an aggressor in the East Med but defending its rights.

Akıncı: The current situation for the north is nothing but annexation

Negotiations Process


Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı on Monday said the Cyprus problem has reached an impasse and argued that de-facto annexation of the island’s north to Turkey has taken place.

“The north has been annexed even though it’s not been officially declared yet,” Akıncı said in an interview with Turkish online news site Medyascope, Akıncı.

The former Turkish Cypriot leader said that today’s policy on the Cyprus problem is a two-prong approach. “While efforts are underway to prolong the status quo on the island, there are intense efforts and operations underway to transform the north into a Justice and Development Party (AKP) protectorate,” Akıncı stressed, arguing that there are now Turkish Cypriot political parties that are actually happy being servants to the AKP.

Arguing that the secular structure in the north has been pushed aside, Akıncı said the continuation of the status quo only served to achieve the goal of annexation phase by phase. “It has not been officially announced yet, but this is the direction the north is heading to,” Akıncı said, adding that this was not the case in the days leading to 2004.

Akıncı also argued that he does not see any differences in the positions of the ruling or the opposition parties vis-à-vis the Cyprus problem today. He added that 65 per cent of the Turkish Cypriot community voted in favour of the Annan Plan.

“If there was not any interference in the elections, there would have been a pro-solution party in power today,” Akıncı argued, adding that democracy is not something anyone can make any concessions on.

“If Turkey were to have a more democratic structure, it will be reflected more positively to north Cyprus,” Akıncı said, adding that a more democratic Turkey would not interfere in the elections carried out in the north either.

On the issue of Maraş (Varosha), Akıncı argued that the current Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar himself had not been aware of the decision to reopen the fenced-off town. “Tatar was told to fly to Ankara one day; he was given the script and was informed about the reopening,” Akıncı argued, adding that the fenced-off town was used as election material to ensure victory for Tatar.

>> North’s de-facto annexation to Turkey has taken place.
>> Preserving the status quo serves the process of annexation phase by phase.
>> No difference in position of political parties on Cyprob.
>> There would be pro-solution leadership in the north had Turkey not intervened.

Tatar under scrutiny by the opposition during budget talks

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Negotiations Process, Economy


The north is faced with a gloomy forecast as the deliberations for the state budget for 2022 for ₺12.77bn (€1.1bn) got underway on Monday

Addressing parliament on the first day of the deliberations, Turkish Cypriot Finance Minister Dursun Oğuz said the north was facing a record-high budget deficit because of the coronavirus pandemic. He added that the focus should be on lowering the budget deficit and establishing a sustainable financial system.

Oğuz also noted that the next year’s budget is shaped with the pandemic-hit sectors given priority along with health and education sectors. Following the opening remarks given by Oğuz, the members of the parliament went on to discuss budget allocations for various state institutions, starting with the Office of the President with ₺60.6m (€4.8m) budget.

The opposition MPs took the opportunity to slam the current government as well as Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar during the deliberations. Leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit who spoke first reminded of Turkey’s interference in the elections in the north as well as Tatar’s frequent visits to Turkey to campaign in the name of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Özyiğit urged Tatar to be “sincere regarding his positions in the Cyprus problem,” arguing that it is not possible to argue for a two-state solution based on sovereign equality.

On the state budget, Özyiğit urged the government to discuss switching to Euro as the main currency with Turkey, Republic of Cyprus (RoC) officials and the EU. He also noted the Turkish Cypriot community is suffering greatly from economic problems and there is no need to build a new presidential complex during such economic strife.

Also speaking, People’s Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay criticized Tatar in terms of international representation. Özersay said that Tatar had met with almost no foreign dignitary since coming to office and that if the Turkish Cypriot side had put forth a new vision for a solution, the Turkish Cypriot leader should make an effort to inform the international community on his positions.

Also pointing out to the Greek Cypriot side’s renewed hydrocarbon efforts, Özersay criticised Tatar for not displaying a proactive stance on the issue.

The HP leader also highlighted the latest EU policy on green energy, adding that Tatar is unfortunately not aware of his responsibilities on green energy either. Özersay underlined that Tatar has made a blunder with the reopening of the fenced-off town of Maraş (Varosha) and has yet to respond to questions on international recognition for Turkish Cypriot vaccine cards.

Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Erkut Şahali also slammed Tatar for turning the office of president into an institution that executes orders from Ankara. Şahali argued that the budget allocated for Tatar should instead be given to the institutions fighting against the coronavirus pandemic or building a new presidential complex.

CTP MP Doğuş Derya also questioned the budget allocated for Tatar arguing that it was too much for a person who had made it his duty to issue hostile remarks. Derya, arguing that Tatar had failed to adopt an impartial stance, which is was a constitutional obligation, thus resulting in political polarisation within the community.

Also criticising Tatar’s so-called new vision, Derya said: “If you claim to be a sovereign state, why do you wait for your sovereignty to be recognized before sitting at the negotiations table?” She argued that as a result of Tatar’s policies, the Turkish Cypriots have been alienated from the international community.

CTP MP Asım Akansoy, echoing similar views as other CTP MPs, said the Turkish Cypriots will neither accept being a minority on the island nor being a sub-administration of Turkey. Akansoy said the office of the president must always defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

Critical of Tatar’s positions vis-a-vis the Cyprus problem, Akansoy accused Tatar of destroying the common basis in the negotiations process in Geneva and helped the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades off the hook for his responsibility in the failure of reaching a solution.

Also speaking during the plenary, HP MP Jale Refik Rogers urged Tatar to be the voice of Turkish Cypriots. Noting that uncertainty on the vaccination cards continues, Rogers said the Turkish Cypriots who do not have the RoC ID are being treated as if they are not vaccinated.

“Even though Tatar talks about an independent state for the north, his words are empty promises and not substantiated,” Rogers stressed, reiterating that Tatar failed in advocating for the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

CTP MP Fikri Toros slammed Tatar’s rhetoric on the Cyprus problem, saying that the RoC is not a Greek Cypriot state. He reminded Tatar that the RoC was founded with the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots together.

Touching on Maraş (Varosha) issue, Toros said the reopening of the fenced-off town should have been done in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

“Tatar needs to revise his positions on the Cyprus problem,” Toros argued, adding that if he can talk about Turkish Cypriots’ rights on and off the island, he must know that they emanate from rights given with the 1960 Republic.

National Unity Party (UBP) MP Oğuzhan Hasipoğlu, in his address of the plenary, said the “federation train has been missed.”

Arguing that the Greek Cypriot side does not want to share sovereignty with the Turkish Cypriots, Hasipoğlu said the Turkish Cypriot side now wants its sovereignty to be recognized after failing to reach a federal settlement in the negotiations from 1977 to 2017.

Also touching on Maraş (Varosha) issue, Hasipoğlu said the fenced-off town is within the Turkish Cypriot side’s territories. He added that the reopening of the town will continue in line with international law and with the utmost respect to property rights.

“The international community must comprehend the Turkish Cypriot side’s demands for sovereignty,” Hasipoğlu concluded.

Özyiğit (TDP)
>> Not possible to achieve a two-state solution based on sovereign equality.

Özersay (HP)
>> Tatar has failed to establish healthy contacts with the international community, informing it about the TC side’s new solution vision.
>> Tatar has failed to adopt a proactive stance on the hydrocarbons issue or follow up on EU’s Green Energy Policy.
>> TC side has made a blunder regarding Maraş (Varosha).

Derya (CTP)
>> TCs alienated from the international community as a result of Tatar’s policies.

Akansoy (CTP)
>> TCs will not accept becoming a minority or being a sub-administration of Turkey.
>> Tatar destroyed the common basis of talks in Geneva & helped Anastasiades off the hook for his responsibility in the failure in reaching a solution.

Rogers (HP)
>> Tatar has not done anything regarding the recognition of TCs’ vaccination cards.

Toros (CTP)
>> RoC is not a GC state but a partnership founded together by TCs & GCs.
>> Reopening of Maraş (Varosha) should have been done in line with UNSC resolutions.
>> Tatar needs to revise his positions on the Cyprob.

Hasipoğlu (UBP)
>> Chances of a federal settlement have been missed. GC side has no intention of sharing sovereignty with TCs.
>> Maraş (Varosha) located within the TC state’s borders & process to reopen the town will continue in line with international law.
>> The international community must understand the TC side’s demands for sovereignty.

GİAD submits its proposals for short-term economic recovery

Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Governance & Power Sharing, Economy


The Turkish Cypriot Young Businessmen’s Association (GİAD) published a 10-point short-term economic recovery proposal for the authorities to consider given the worsening economic situation in the north due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira.

In a statement issued on Monday, GİAD asked for all the commercial activities carried out between the north and Turkey to be done using the Turkish Lira and to fix the foreign currency values used as customs taxes, fees and other expenses to be converted to lira as well. The association also asked for the ‘withholding tax’ to be reduced to one per cent from the current 4%.

In the current system, even though both the north and Turkey use the Turkish Lira as the main currency when a Turkish company exports any goods to the north, the amounts are priced and therefore taxed in US Dollars.

GİAD also asked for the lease agreements to be signed on Turkish lira instead of using foreign currency values and the existing bank loans in foreign currencies to be restructured and converted to lira as well. The association also asked the authorities to extend the financial assistance provided to the businesses to cover their social security premiums.

It called on the authorities to revise its tax regime in general including the Value-Added-Tax (VAT) and to remove the “unnecessary taxes that only result in high prices in the marketplace.” 

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