Front Page Headlines
A life filled with debt
According to the Central Bank, borrowing has gone up by 13 per cent in the last year. The total debts amount to over ₺30bn (€1.7bn). More and more people are taking out loans as life becomes increasingly expensive and purchasing power erodes. According to official figures released by the Central Bank, as of September 2021, the total figure in loans has exceeded ₺30.6bn (€1.790bn). That is an 18 per cent increase compared to the previous year. Of course, borrowing is not the only thing that has gone up. The money banks need to collect in unpaid debts has also gone up to ₺1.5bn (€87m).
- “Job opportunities for 8000 Turkish Cypriots in the south” – Turkish Cypriot Federation for Labour Unions (Türk-Sen) announced its collaboration with the SEK workers’ federation in the south. Türk-Sen President Arslan Bıçaklı announced the details at a press conference yesterday. “Our phones keep ringing, there is high demand for jobs in the south”, he said. According to information obtained from SEK, there is a need for around 8000 workers in the south.
The people struggling to make a living crushed (by rising prices)
Prices continue to surge day after day as the Turkish Lira continues to lose value against foreign currencies. Following the latest increase in the prices of fuel and bottled gas, Koop-Süt (Turkish Cypriot dairy production company) also announced a rise in the price of their goods. The people in the TRNC who continue to become poorer even without spending due to the devaluation of the lira is trying to make the ends meet.
- Eight political parties 400 candidates – National Unity Party (UBP), Republican Turkish Party (CTP), People’s Party (HP), Democratic Party (DP), Social Democratic Party (TDP), Communal Liberation Party-New Forces (TKP-YG) and Road to Independence each identified 50 candidates in six districts for the early general elections.
This is what it means to ‘surrender’ to Greek Cypriots
While the president and the government insist on their position in favour of sovereign equality and repeat their claim that they will not ‘surrender’ to Greek Cypriots, the sharp devaluation of the Turkish lira and subsequent economic developments dictate the contrary. Türk-Sen launched an initiative for the Turkish Cypriots to be employed in South Cyprus.
- There is a human trafficking gang – Three human traffickers were arrested while trying to smuggle 16 irregular migrants to the south near Akıncılar (Louroujina).
Starting salary €780
It was announced that 8000 Turkish Cypriots could find jobs in the south following a meeting between Türk-Sen and SEK. The hopes of the unemployed have been raised. It has been reported that the jobs will be made available after the Christmas holiday. Speaking to Diyalog, Türk-Sen president Arslan Bıçaklı said that those who wanted to work in the south can do so by applying to the trade union office with their Republic of Cyprus (RoC) IDs. Bıçaklı who said the jobs available were in the tourism and construction sector, added that salaries for the first six months would be somewhere between €780 and €900. “Our citizens working in the south will be able to spend the money they earn in the south in the north which in turn will contribute to the economy,” he said.
- The impact of the economic crisis –The Greek Cypriot press reports that there has been an increase in the number of Turkish Cypriots working in the south.
Lining up for work in the south
Türk-Sen will help Turkish Cypriots who want to find employment in the south. Arslan Bıçaklı, head of Türk-Sen said they have launched an initiative for employment for nearly 8,000 Turkish Cypriots.
- EU tells Turkey to leave Maraş (Varosha) on its own – EU General Affairs Commission asked Turkey to reverse its actions in Maraş (Varosha).
Ertuğruloğlu: EU is biased on the Hellim (Halloumi) issueYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
EU Matters, Economy
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu on Wednesday slammed the EU for adopting a biased attitude in favour of the Greek Cypriot side on the protected designation of origin (PDO) registration of Hellim (Halloumi).
In a statement issued from his office, Ertuğruloğlu said the EU disregarded the Turkish Cypriot authorities on the issue and accepted the Greek Cypriot Ministry of Agriculture as the competent authority.
“As a result, the Turkish Cypriot Hellim (Halloumi) producers would be inspected through a mechanism determined by the Greek Cypriot side, meaning the producers in the north are left to the mercy of the Greek Cypriot side,” Ertuğruloğlu said.
He noted that the Greek Cypriot producers have already benefitted from the PDO registration of the Cypriot cheese. “On the contrary, a mechanism to control production compliance with the PDO registration with the Turkish Cypriot authorities should have been established,” Ertuğruloğlu said, adding however the EU seems too far from this point.
Ertuğruloğlu also warned that if the relevant Turkish Cypriot institutions and producers are not vigilant, the current situation might lead to leaving the Turkish Cypriots completely out of the process, opening the way for the Greek Cypriots to make decisions on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots.
Ertuğruloğlu, noting that the Cyprus issue is a problem of status, underlined that if the Turkish Cypriot side is seen as a “community on the island” whereas the Greek Cypriot side as the “sole internationally recognized state,” there will not be a settlement to the Cyprus problem.
“The Turkish Cypriot side, as a new vision, has come up with a new position based on sovereign equality and equal international status of the two sides to end the Cyprus problem,” Ertuğruloğlu concluded.
Meanwhile, CTP MP Doğuş Derya criticized Ertuğruoğlu on Wednesday, accusing him of preventing Bureau Veritas from operating in the north.
In a post on social media, Derya said that the National Unity Party (UBP) was preventing Turkish Cypriot Hellim (Halloumi) producers from producing and selling their cheese in accordance with EU standards.
She said the agreed method of operation contradicted Ertuğruloğlu’s “new policy” on Cyprus. “Bureau Veritas which has also been operating in Turkey for years is an international organisation. It is not a Greek Cypriot institution! Stop exploiting the Hellim (Halloumi) issue for your chauvinist policies,” she said.
>> EU should not adopt a biased stance in favour of the GC side on PDO for Hellim (Halloumi).
>> Inspection of TC producers through a mechanism determined by the GC side is unacceptable.
>> A control mechanism with the inclusion of TC authorities should be established, leaving GCs out of the picture.
>> UBP should stop exploiting Hellim (Halloumi) issue for its chauvinist policies.
Tatar reiterates his support for the work of technical committeesYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar on Wednesday reiterated his support for the work of the technical committees and said the technical committees not only make people’s lives easier but are also seen as bridges towards developing productive collaboration between the two sides and building confidence between the communities.
In a statement issued from his office, Tatar recalled he came together with the heads of technical committees, senior UN officials, and members of the diplomatic community during the end-of-year reception hosted by the UN on Tuesday evening.
Newly appointed UNSG Special Representative Colin Stewart in his remarks at the reception pledged to work towards finding “a mutually acceptable way forward” during his term.
He praised the work of various technical committees, on which he was briefed in the past week, particularly when it comes to pandemic management, education, cultural heritage and communications.
“We count on you to continue to push your people to solve these little problems that affect the everyday lives of Cypriots,” he said addressing the two leaders.
Meanwhile, Tatar during another event on Tuesday criticized Pope Francis for not accepting his invitation to cross to the north. “Visiting only the south side and claiming to have met with Turkish Cypriots is not acceptable by us,” Tatar said, adding that it is unfair on the Turkish Cypriot people. He added that the meeting should have been in an official capacity.
Political parties across the divide discussed economic & energy mattersYenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
The economy and energy in the context of the Cyprus problem were discussed on Wednesday at the meeting of leaders and representatives of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties participating in the Slovak Embassy initiative.
According to a joint communiqué issued by the Slovak Embassy, the parties agreed that the enhancement of economic cooperation would facilitate the political process and dialogue towards the solution of the Cyprus problem and that an eventual solution in itself would be beneficial for the economic and social prosperity of all Cypriots.
The political parties pointed out that the dire financial situation has exacerbated energy prices and the need to steer towards more environmentally friendly and renewable energy production as an option.
“Common energy policy could be used as a catalyst for economic integration,” the joint communique added. Representatives of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties further expressed the view, “that EU funding to facilitate green transition should be used to the benefit of both communities. All such cooperation on economic aspects would contribute to the confidence-building on the island.”
The representatives of the People’s Party (HP) that attended the meeting also issued a statement on Wednesday, putting forward the proposal of collaboration on energy and environment in line with the party’s vision for ‘collaboration ahead of settlement.’
The HP argued that the members of the two communities are negatively affected by the environmental pollution created in energy production. The HP urged the EU and other international organisations which provide funding on green energy and environmental problems to consider the island as one and urged the EU to agree to link the entire island through the interconnectivity system to European grids.
“The only way to reach a comprehensive federal settlement or to any other solution model that the two sides agree upon goes through two sides collaborating on matters that concern the people across the divide,” the HP said, adding that ‘collaboration between the two sides’ should be accepted as the new methodology in reaching the desired solution on the island.
Potential employment for 8,000 Turkish Cypriots in the south
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Turkish Cypriot Federation for labour unions (TÜRK-SEN) on Wednesday announced it has reached an agreement with its counterpart in the south – SEK to find employment for the Turkish Cypriots in the south.
In a press conference organised, Türk-Sen leader Arslan Bıçaklı announced they will start accepting applications from Thursday onwards for the available nearly 8,000 vacant posts.
“Türk-Sen will accept applications from Turkish Cypriots who have Republic of Cyprus (RoC) citizenship and who are willing to work in the construction, hospitality or restaurant sectors,” Bıçaklı said, adding that those employed will also become members of relevant trade unions.
Bıçaklı said batches of 50 applications will be shared with SEK in the south and the applicants will be notified when there is an employment opportunity. “The Turkish Cypriot state failed in preventing its citizens from emigrating elsewhere, so we did it instead,” Bıçaklı stressed, adding that the Türk-Sen is working for the Turkish Cypriot community.
Bıçaklı also slammed the nationalist circles criticizing Türk-Sen’s move, reiterating that the Turkish Cypriots employed in the south will become members of relevant trade unions therefore their labour rights and other benefits will be safeguarded and that they will not be exploited.
Bıçaklı noted nearly 2,000 Turkish Cypriots are working in the south at the moment.
Oktay: Ankara will not refrain from reciprocating any attempts in East Med.
Yenidüzen, Kıbrıs, Havadis, Diyalog, Avrupa
Regional/ International Relations
Turkish Vice-President Fuat Oktay on Tuesday said Ankara will reciprocate any step which would harm the legitimate rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Addressing the Turkish parliament, Oktay evaluated the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, stressing that Turkey’s Eastern Mediterranean policy could not be questioned. Oktay underlined that Turkey’s determined stance in foreign policy will continue even if some circles were annoyed, adding that Ankara complies with international law.
“Turkey can carry out activities at any area, at any time in its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean within the framework of its sovereign rights and power,” Oktay concluded.
>> Ankara will respond to any step that will harm its & TCs’ rights in the East Med.
>> Turkey’s East Med policy cannot be questioned as it complies with international law.