Front Page Headlines
Cases on the rise, panic grows
While the number of daily Covid-19 cases continue to grow so does the burden on health workers treating coronavirus patients. It has been stated that the government on the other hand is remaining a bystander allowing the chaos to grow. It has also been reported that hospital staff has yet to be reinforced despite the record number of patients at the contact tracing department.
The number of deputies in the two districts changes
Population: 245,869. The decision to hold early general elections on January 23, 2022, will be published in the official gazette today and the election bans, which will last for 60 days, will enter into force. The Higher Electorate Board (YSK) is expected to announce the timeline for the elections. The board also shared the population in each district and the number of deputies each district will send to parliament. According to the YSK’s calculation, the number of seats for Kyrenia increased by one to 11 resulting in the drop of one MP from the Güzelyurt (Morphou) district bringing the figure to three.
- The majority of drugs that are found in the north come from the south – The police announces.
Signed at the last minute
Prime Minister Faiz Sucuoğlu, a day before election bans came into force, signed the development master plan for Famagusta-İskele (Trikomo) – Yeniboğaziçi (Agios Sergios).
- Giving hopes to 100 women annually – Within the scope of the ‘Side-by-side against violence’ project and with financial support from the EU, the Nicosia Turkish Municipality (LTB) inaugurated its new shelter for women on International Day for the elimination of violence against women.
- To remain in detention for 45 days – Two Greek Cypriot boys, an 18 and 19-year-old who were arrested with drugs in Beyarmudu (Pergamos) appeared before a judge yesterday.
A big profiteering scam was prevented
The Belgian manager who is being accused of forging the signatures of an İş Bank manager and employee for the transfer of €32m from Indonesia to the TRNC has been arrested. J.J.D, a project manager at a firm is being charged with forging documents. According to information that emerged during the court hearing, the suspect obtained a notary signature for a document with forged signatures of the bank manager and an employee. He was planning to deposit €4.4m from the total amount to the account of a Jordanian national.
Blackmailing gang and behind the scenes
We are exposing the details of the video scandal. According to information we have received, there is a gang that records similar sexually compromising videos and use them for blackmailing purposes. It emerged that Ersan Saner refused to comply with the demands of the gang regarding some plots of land thus a video of him was released. There is also talk of a second video. It also emerged that the gang leader, who claims to ‘have good connections with strong circles’ in Turkey, has paid a good sum of money to the woman seen in the video to trap Saner.
- Kyrenia to be represented with 11 seats – The Higher Electorate Board (YSK) informed the political parties that the number of seats for Kyrenia increased by one to 11 Güzelyurt (Morphou) lost one of its seats bring the figure down to three. The YSK said the change in the number of seats was made due to population change.
FM Ertuğruloğlu stands his ground despite criticism from oppositionYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The opposition on Wednesday night bombarded the Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu, on the final day of the deliberations on the 2022 state budget which lasted into the early hours of Thursday morning.
However, despite the strong criticisms, Ertuğruloğlu stood his ground, defending his position in favour of a two-state solution based on sovereign equality and equal international status. First to criticize Ertuğruloğlu was Peoples’ Party (HP) leader Kudret Özersay who accused him of not doing enough on the Cyprus Issue and raising issues concerning the Turkish Cypriot community.
“Do you think the meetings held on the Cyprus problem, on the EU and the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean are enough?” Özersay asked, explaining how the ministry could have adopted a more proactive role in the international arena.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Erkut Şahali was critical of the “language adopted by the ministry.” Şahali said the attitude adopted by Ertuğruloğlu is wrong, arguing that as a result of the defiant and aggressive rhetoric, the Turkish Cypriots were being further alienated from the world.
He also accused Ertuğruloğlu of not holding any meetings internationally other than the routine and annual New York trip coinciding with the UN General Assembly week. “The Turkish Cypriots must act in parallel with Turkey without doubt, but it must not be forgotten that Turkey is a guarantor nation and an ally,” Şahali said, expressing the view that advocating for secessionist policies was unacceptable.
He reminded that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey had accepted the bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) as the basis for a solution in 1977 as part of the High-Level Agreements. Şahali said that the anti-federation stance adopted by both the Turkish Cypriot leader and the government was unacceptable.
HP MP Erek Çağatay, echoed Özersay’s remarks, stating that the foreign ministry needed to adopt a more active policy aimed at protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots within the scope of the Cyprus problem.
He also pointed out that there must be an ‘energy desk’ established at the ministry to focus on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the work of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) must be intensified, including employing the much-needed personnel.
Rejecting the criticisms, Ertuğruloğlu said he failed to comprehend the objections raised by the opposition on the Turkish Cypriot side’s position in favour of sovereignty.
He argued that the Turkish Cypriot side’s current position on the Cyprus Issue was not the reason why the Cyprus Problem remained unsolved as 53 years of talks for a federal settlement had not yielded the desired outcome.
“As long as the Greek Cypriot side maintains its status as a member of UN and EU, it will not be forthcoming for a settlement,” Ertuğruloğlu argued. He argued that the only way the Greek Cypriots would approach a solution was if the talks were held on equal footing.
Ertuğruloğlu said the international community is to blame for recognizing the Greek Cypriot side as the sole legitimate entity on the island therefore the Greek Cypriot side wants to utilise the advantages it has until the end, giving the Hellim (Halloumi) issue as an example claiming that the EU is siding with South Cyprus under the pretext of membership solidarity.
Ertuğruloğlu reiterated that the UN with its UNSC resolution 186 has dealt a big blow to the Turkish Cypriot community and left the Turkish Cypriot side without status and as a community. “The Turkish Cypriot side’s policies today are directed at reversing this unfair situation on the Turkish Cypriots,” he stressed, adding that there are two states and two peoples on the island.
On the issue of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, Ertuğruloğlu said the Turkish Cypriot side must act together with Turkey to protect Turkish Cypriots’ rights and interests.
Ertuğruloğlu also refuted the criticisms that his ministry was not working hard enough on international contacts. “We refrain from announcing our meetings publicly because we do not want to be faced with the Greek Cypriot side’s obstructions,” Ertuğruloğlu stressed. “We strongly believe in our position based on sovereign equality and equal international status and we will continue on our path together with Turkey. We are not going to back down on our position,” Ertuğruloğlu concluded.
YSK announces changes to the distribution of MPs according to district populationsYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Migration & Citizenship
The Higher Electoral Board in the north on Thursday informed the 14 political parties in writing on the changes in the number of MPs from each district following shifts in population figures in each area.
According to the announcement, the number of MPs from Kyrenia increased by one to 11 while the seats for Güzelyurt (Morphou) dropped by one to three seats in total. The electoral board said the total number of ‘TRNC’ citizens in the north was 245,869 and that 17,490 citizens resided in Güzelyurt (Morphou) compared to 53,261 in Kyrenia.
Nicosia continues to be the biggest district in the north with 79,189 citizens. It will be represented in the parliament with 16 seats. Nicosia is followed by Famagusta in second place with 62,237 with 13 seats in the parliament.
İskele (Trikomo) will have five seats in the parliament with 25,228 citizens, and Lefke (Lefka) with 8,486 citizens will occupy two seats in the parliament.
In the meantime, the decision to hold early general elections on January 23, 2022, will be published in the official gazette today and the election bans, which will last for 60 days, will enter into force. The Higher Electorate Board (YSK) is expected to announce the timeline for the elections today as well.
Collaboration between the police forces is neededYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
CBMs, Internal Security
The Turkish Cypriot police on Thursday said the international problem of drug trafficking can only be solved through collaboration between the two sides and by an exchange of information between the police forces on both sides.
In a statement issued, the police force claimed that the majority of the drugs seized in the north came from the south which was why the problem which had international dimensions could not be simply solved through unilateral police operations carried out on either side.
The police said that effective collaboration and sharing of intelligence among the stakeholders was essential as this was a cross-border problem. The statement also pointed out that as a result of a police raid on November 11, two Greek Cypriot boys aged 18 and 19 were found in the Beyarmudu area in possession of 390 grams of cannabis type of drugs. The two were charged with the offence of possessing prohibited substances, violation of a military zone and entering the “TRNC” illegally.
The statement also noted that boys had been sent to jail for a period no exceeding 45 days until the court announces its verdict.
The Turkish Cypriot dailies on November 16, had reported the incident involving the arrest of two Greek Cypriots in Beyarmudu (Pergamos) with 390grs of cannabis in their possession. The police officer in charge of the investigation had informed the court during the initial hearing that the suspects had given voluntary testimony, admitting to their crime.
MGK: Greece responsible for negatively affecting the region
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/ International Relations
Turkey’s National Security Council (MGK) on Thursday accused Greece of continuing with its provocative acts and statements as well as continuing to violate international law, adversely affecting stability and peace in the region.
In a statement issued, the MGK accused Greece of not acting in line with the requirements of good neighbourly relations.
“Powers that encourage Greece to take further steps and support its stance in violation of international law and good neighbourly relations are invited to take a position toward peace and justice through leaving aside these approaches that could endanger the peace of the region,” the MGK statement read.
The statement reiterated that Ankara is in favour of resolving all outstanding problems in the region, including maritime disputes, through international law, good neighbourly relations, dialogue and negotiations.