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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-08-03

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] Akinci: "The solution process is a UN one"
  • [02] Ozyigit calls for support to efforts for a Cyprus settlement
  • [03] Emine Colak: Turkey is not manipulating the Cyprus peace talks
  • [04] Eide: Equal rights on the property issue
  • [05] Economic figures on the trade volume between Turkey and the occupation regime shows a decline
  • [06] A new movement YDH has been formed in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] A drop in hotel occupancy rates this July compared to July 2014
  • [08] The LSD disease has re-emerged in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [09] HDP calls on both PKK and government to 'silence arms'


    [01] Akinci: "The solution process is a UN one"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.08.15) under the front-page title: "The solution process is a UN one", reported on statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during the Culture festival which took place in the occupied village of Myrtou.

    Speaking during the event, Akinci stated that they continue with determination to exert efforts aiming to reach to a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and reiterated that the final text of the solution to be agreed will be certainly approved by the "people".

    On the Cyprus negotiation process, he explained that the negotiation process is a UN one and added: "The EU is not a part of the negotiation process; it is close to the negotiation process by providing technical and practical support".

    Pointing out that after the solution to be, the Turkish Cypriots will become part of the EU, Akinci stressed the need for the preparation process to be accelerated in order as he said for the Turkish Cypriot community to be ready for this.

    Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.08.15) reported that Akinci, in statements during a panel called "The solution in Cyprus and economy" which was organized at Merit hotel in the occupied area of Cyprus by the TURKONFED (Turkish Enterprise and Business Confederation), said, inter alia, that the reunification process will be painful since 41 years have passed and it is not easy to change the past. He added that both communities should derive lessons from the past and exert efforts to build a happier and a more peaceful future.

    Pointing out to the need both sides in the island to respect each other's rights, Akinci said that the same respect should be shown at the negotiation table as well.

    Referring to the issue of bi-zonality and bi-communality, Akinci said: "We respect the EU norms. At the same time, there are the UN's parameters which are the parameters for the solution in Cyprus. Bi-communality is one of those parameters. It is a matter of creating a balance at the negotiation process. Let's all of us, Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots make these territories to be ours. (?)".

    Akinci referred also to the importance of the unification of the electricity and communications systems between the two sides and said that the cooperation between the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot partners, the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish partners and Greece and Turkey will contribute and help to all their efforts.

    Akinci called also Turkey and Greece to undertake a positive role and contribute to the Cyprus negotiation process. He explained that whatever will be the final text to be agreed, it will be set for approval by the "people".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.08.15) reported that Akinci, in statements during a visit paid to him by a delegation of the "Turkish armed forces (TSK)" in the occupied area of Cyprus, on the occasion of the "1st of August-Communal Resistance Day", has stated that both communities in the island should continue their lives and live in peace and prosperity without the worries of the past.

    Referring to the Cyprus negotiation talks, he said that their wish is for a settlement to be reached on the Cyprus problem so that a new era to open for Cyprus. He added that in order to make this possible, it is necessary both sides in the island to respect the rights of each other.


    [02] Ozyigit calls for support to efforts for a Cyprus settlement

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 03.08.15), the leader of the opposition Social Democrat Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit has said that steps taken towards a comprehensive solution in Cyprus must be supported.

    Pointing out that the election of Mustafa Akinci as a "president" has reflected positively on the negotiations process, Ozyigit said that the process is moving forward at a speedy pace and in a positive atmosphere. "A just and lasting solution will be for the benefit of all Cypriots. It must be everyone's duty and responsibility to support and not hinder efforts leading to a settlement", he added.

    Also expressing the view that criticisms that the bi-zonal nature of a settlement is being watered down does not reflect the truth, Ozyigit stated that the settlement to be reached will to be on the basis of the 11th February 2014 Joint Declaration which is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the basis of the political equality of the two sides with single sovereignty, identity and international citizenship.

    Ozyigit also pointed out that while the Greek Cypriot side will make concessions on governance and power sharing, the Turkish Cypriot side will have to make territorial concessions. "The important thing is being sincere and to respect each other's rights. Everything will be easier if we succeed in achieving this" he added.

    [03] Emine Colak: Turkey is not manipulating the Cyprus peace talks

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 03.08.15), under the above title, publishes the following interview with the newly appointed "minister of foreign affairs" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Emine Colak to the paper's journalist Barcin Yinanc:

    "Ankara is allowing the two sides in the Cyprus dispute to pursue negotiations to unify the island in peace, according to Emine Colak.

    'Turkey is not intervening or trying to manipulate or being part of specific content that are being discussed between our leaders', said Emine Colak, the 'territory's first female minister'. 'I get the feeling that they are thinking that if the Turkish Cypriots are able to reach a consensus that would be okay with [Turkey].'


    Q: How would you define the current state of affairs in the peace talks?

    In one word, I would say hopeful. There is a positive climate, in which there are active, frequent, constructive negotiations. The issues are being discussed and, as far as possible, convergence is being secured. There is good speed; we can see that progress is being made.

    Q: To what do you attribute this change in the climate?

    Our current leader [Mustafa Ak?nc?] immediately moved after being elected to deliver his campaign promise to do his utmost in the negotiations. The Greek Cypriots' leader [Nikos Anastasiades] is also someone more positive compared to past leaders. It is an important combination of two leaders who want peace and solution. It needs courage. People have a lot of concerns. In order to face [criticism] and gain confidence, it needs courage and a lot of commitment.

    Second, I think time is always a factor. As far as Turkish Cypriots are concerned, with all these uncertainties [for more than 50 years], we have reached a stage here that we are fed up with [the situation].

    Compared to the 2004 referendum, the Greek Cypriots have a very serious economic crisis. They need this opening and to get rid of the problems so that the island can strive. They can get back their property rights.

    Maybe after 11 years, they are able to think 'we rejected this opportunity and after 11 years, things have not become any better. Things have gotten worse. There is a chance that things could get better'.

    Some would argue that reaching a solution might be difficult because the Greek Cypriots might feel vulnerable and become more intransigent, suspicious that their weakness is being exploited.

    When there was an economic crisis 2.5 years ago in the south, this was discussed openly. And on our side, all the leaders of the parties and NGOs made a call, saying, 'Don't see this as an opportunity to impose a solution that will not be fully digested by the Greek Cypriots'. There is no such discussion now because the crisis has diminished somewhat. The Greek Cypriots are working hard and succeeding partially in reducing the effects of the economic earthquake.

    They are not in such a desperate situation. And the degree of maturity on the Turkish side is not in that framework of mind.

    But if the Greek Cypriots' stance has changed because of the circumstances, and not because they genuinely believe in a peaceful coexistence, the peace might not be a sustainable and lasting one. Another way to look at what can be referred to as the pressure of circumstance is from the perspective of need.

    We all need to cooperate and do business. You can say the same of Europe after the massive bloodshed of World War II when afterwards the need to reconstruct Europe led to cooperation.

    Q: You talked about the positive stance at the leadership level; what do you see when you look at the Greek Cypriot community?

    I see on the Greek Cypriot side a mind more open to a solution. I think many minds were closed in the past because there were maximalist expectations and bad leadership discouraging people from a solution; there was the influence of history teaching and the Church, which still sometimes has a negative impact on the prospects for cooperation. These are all slowly changing in addition to the need created by economic circumstances. That makes them less complacent.

    Q: Do you see a change in the Church's stance as well?

    I do. [It's] a gradual change. They have started to make fewer hard-line statements. And there is a parallel process which we call confidence-building measures. Among those is a very interesting track coordinated via the United Nations that is bringing together religious leaders on the island. We see how they come to see through their problems, making expressions of goodwill. This is something we have not seen before.

    Q: How is the mood on the Turkish side; they seem less enthusiastic than the leadership perhaps due to the disappointment of 2004.

    It's been so long and there have been so many serious disappointments that people are sceptical that it will happen. I don't think they have lost the desire to see a solution, but they have lost hope over very many inactive years. If there is hope for peace, then you get enthusiasm for peace, but if there is nothing happening, people get on with their lives. I believe that a solution is still preferred by at least more than 50% or 60%. [There is not pessimism but lethargy.] But they are able to compare with past processes; I think they feel this change in the climate, the good chemistry between the two leaders.

    Q: Can Varosha (editor's note: the fenced off town of Varosha) be included in the deal?

    I can't see at this point of time Varosha being removed completely from the comprehensive discussion because it is such a big issue in terms of practicalities to sit and discuss ? how would you repair it and administer it, et cetera? Since there is hope about solving this problem, maybe in six months or in a year at the most, breaking away Varosha [at this stage] would be counterproductive.

    Q: You expect a referendum in six months to one year's time?

    Looking at how things are progressing now, it would not be impossible to have a referendum within six months to a year.

    Q: Kudret Ozersay, the former negotiator, has voiced criticism over the issue of properties that was published on the 'foreign ministry's website'. This is an interesting sign. Do you share his criticism?

    What he says is definitely worth listening to. But, we are realistic on the issue; this is not about giving back Greek or Turkish Cypriot property.

    This is about finding a solution about respecting property rights. There are European court decisions which say you can respect property rights by returning them, exchanging them or by compensating them. These are the headings that are being discussed.

    Q: The spokesperson of the president said the guarantee issue was not a taboo. What's your view?

    There are three sticky issues; property, territory and guarantees. These are technical but also a large part of emotional issues. They are not things the two leaders can sit and decide. There are three guarantors also involved. It is emotional in that we are looking for a solution where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots would feel safe. To my knowledge it is being left until the last points to be discussed.

    We should not think of anything as unchangeable. If we are talking about guarantees put in place in 1960, does it necessarily mean they have to be exactly the same or have to be completely thrown away? I think we are looking for something in between.

    Q: How do you see the relationship between the two sides and Turkey's contribution?

    I see Turkey as sincere in wishing to see a resolution in Cyprus. I also felt this in 2004. Today I have the same feeling. It has its own interests of course as a growing power and as a country with a vision for the EU for which the Cyprus problem is a major headache, and there are a lot of reasons why Turkey wants to see the problem resolved. I see this support. As you know, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came here; apart from his open statements, we also had a shot period of time in which I also got to hear his private statements. My personal impression is that there is a sincere desire to see this resolved. Turkey is not intervening or trying to manipulate or being part of specific content that are being discussed between our leaders. There is no pressure, intervention or any paranoia about what is being agreed at the table. I get the feeling that they are thinking that if the Turkish Cypriots are able to reach a consensus, that would be okay with [Turkey] ? with the provision that when it comes to the guarantees, in the same way that Greece and Britain have a say, Turkey will also have an opinion in relation to the new united Cyprus.

    But Erdogan's harsh reaction toward the Turkish Cypriot 'president's' statement that relations should be on an equal basis gave the impression that Turkey would like to maintain its say over the process.

    This is a sensitive issue. I told Turkey's new 'ambassador' that relations with Turkey are very important to us. At the same time, the Turkish Cypriots have strong feelings that we want to be masters of our own home.

    Turkish Cypriots will respond to anything that Turkey does or says which makes them feel this is under threat. Following Erdogan's statements that were seen as offensive to our newly elected leader, the Turkish Cypriots reacted to it, saying he should not speak to our 'president' like that. We want to have Turkey on our side, but we also want to stand on our feet.

    Q: Are you concerned the recent turmoil in Turkey may have a negative impact on talks on the island?

    I am concerned about recent events in Turkey. I am sorry that there is bloodshed. Perhaps there won't be a direct impact, but its focus is being directed elsewhere.

    Q: For decades, we heard rhetoric that "this is the last chance for a solution," yet we all saw failures. What's your final message?

    I am hopeful, encouraged and optimistic. But there is nothing like a last chance and it could be achieved in the indefinite future. In that case, I am concerned about the word indefinite ? I am concerned about the uncertainty for my community. No community should be condemned to uncertainty."

    [04] Eide: Equal rights on the property issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (01.08.15), in its front page under the title "Equal rights to the property", publishes an interview with the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide to the paper's journalist Esra Aygin. Eide said that the property right is valid for both the real property owners and those who use at this moment the property. He added that they will use the methods of compensation, exchange or reinstatement to determine this right, which will also comply with the individual property rights. Eide explained that there is not a property commission at this moment, and that there is an idea to form a property commission in case of a Cyprus settlement.

    The paper reports that Eide said that he is very optimistic regarding the process, adding that the whole international community, including Turkey supports at the top level the Cyprus talks. Eide thinks that it is very important to explain to the people that the process is very serious and real at this moment, but it has not finished yet. There is a long way in front of them and many difficult work need to be done.

    Asked to comment whether he is persuaded in the meetings he has that Turkey wants to solve the Cyprus problem, Eide said: "I can feel in a very strong way that Turkey wants to play a constructive role in the Cyprus settlement. Turkey wants the end of the Cyprus problem".

    Noting that a more active role of the EU at the negotiation process will not endanger the bi-zonality and bi-communality, Eide said that it is clear that the solution will be bi-communal and bi-zonal. None has abandoned and none has demanded to abandon the bi-zonality and bi-communality. He added that any suspicions are groundless.

    Referring to the guarantee system, Eide said that in order the guarantor system to be able to change, both communities should know that they are close to the solution and to feel confidence towards each other. He explained: "The sense of confidence should be derived from the solution itself. However, the existence of such confidence sense may bring about a change on the military issues". On the guarantor system, Eide explained that they are thinking that a formula, which will alleviate the anxiety of both sides and be accepted by both sides, may be possible to be founded. He reminded that this issue will be discussed at the last stage of the process.

    In a question whether the Turkish settlers will be sent back to Turkey or not, Eide said that the citizenship issue is a very dimensional issue, which is still on the negotiating table as to who will be citizen in Cyprus in the future. He added that they are trying to create a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the joint declaration of February 11, 2014, and on the principles and values of the EU. He added that the human rights are an important part of these values and principles. For this reason, whatever the solution is, it will be compatible with the principle of the individual and human rights, he said.


    [05] Economic figures on the trade volume between Turkey and the occupation regime shows a decline

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.08.15) reports in its economic pages that the decline on the mutual trade volume between Turkey and the "TRNC" continues for the month of May as well.

    According to figures given by Turkey's Statistic Organization (TUIK) the mutual trade volume between Turkey and the "TRNC" for the first five months of 2015 declined by 10,27% if compared with the same period last year.

    The trade volume between Turkey and the "TRNC" on May 2014 had reached to 481 million 149 thousand TL, while on May 2015 it has reached to 431 million 723 thousand TL.

    The figures show an increase of 3% on the occupation regime's exports to Turkey during the first five months of 2015 and a decrease of 11,6% on imports.


    [06] A new movement YDH has been formed in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 02.08.15), a new movement named "New Rising Movement" (YDH) was formed in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper reports that this movement is a new political movement, which is above political parties and according to their declaration they have no affiliation to any political party.

    The YDH declaration says that they will support a two founding state solution which sees Turkey's guarantees; It does not give away gained rights and one that does not allow Turkish Cypriots to become a minority.

    The YDH executive board members are: Yusuf Suicmez, Ahmet Cennetoglu, Erhan Arikli, Mustafa Erbilen, Mustafa Ozdegirmenci, Ahmet Dirgen, Durali Elal, Arif Ozbayrak, Emine Dagyaran, Mehmet Tancer.

    In a press conference held on Saturday, YDH announced its declaration. It is read that despite 41 years have been passed since the "peace movement" (editor's note: the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in 1974), the public has lost their faith in the "TRNC", it has been divided into old Cypriots and new Cypriots and the "TRNC" is being seen as an obstacle to a settlement.

    Referring to the Cyprus talks, the declaration said that talks regarding the property issue, "propaganda" and agitation have brought the need for this movement to be established so that the public is not misinformed on such matters. The YDH will carry out its duties for this.

    [07] A drop in hotel occupancy rates this July compared to July 2014

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 02.08.15), the "Turkish Cypriot hoteliers union" ("KITOB") said that their member hotels had seen a 4% drop in occupancy rates this year compared to July 2014.

    In a press release, the "union" said that 5 star hotels had recorded occupancy of 68% for July 2015; this however was a drop of 5% compared to July 2014. Smaller hotels recorded occupancy of 45% for July which was also a drop of 5%. On average, all hotels had a 57% occupancy rate in July this year and compared to 2014 this was on average a drop of 4%.

    The "union" said that the main markets are from Turkey and the region and the current climate and risks are affecting tourism as well.

    [08] The LSD disease has re-emerged in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.08.15) under the title: "The nightmare of the LSD disease has returned", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.08.15) reports that after the vaccinations made in the occupied area of Cyprus on the cases of cattle infected with the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) virus, there are new suspicions that the LSD disease has appeared again.

    Speaking to the paper on the issue, the "director" of the "Veterinary department", Ramadan Goksan called for calm and not panic and stated that they will give a press conference on Monday (today) in order to brief the public on the issue.

    The paper writes that three cattles were infected by the LSD disease recently.


    [09] HDP calls on both PKK and government to 'silence arms'

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.08.15), Selahattin Demirtas, co-leader of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has called on both the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the government to reach a cease-fire while accusing an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of leading a plan to close down his party.

    "The PKK has to immediately silence their arms and remove their hands from the trigger. In this respect, the government has to state that the operations have halted and that they will open the way for dialogue to prevent deaths," Demirtas told reporters before a meeting of the party's provincial heads in Ankara on August 2.

    "We have discussed all developments and measures we can take to prevent clashes and war. We discussed how to bring peace to the country and what our party can do to solve these problems," said Demirtas, referring to details about their party's meeting.

    "Some might be disturbed by my statements, so I want to clarify them. I do not call on the state to lay down arms. Could a state lay down arms? A state cannot be without arms. The state should protect itself. But removing your hand from the trigger is something else. What I say here is a reciprocal cease-fire situation. This call is also for the PKK in an immediate way," he said.

    His statements came a day after he said there were attempts to close down the HDP.

    "From what I've heard, [Burhan] Kuzu, who has been appointed as an adviser to the President, is planning to close the party ? If possible before the end of this year, so as to ensure the party is not an obstacle for the [Justice and Development Party] AKP," Demirtas told reporters in Ankara on Aug. 1.

    Kuzu, a professor of constitutional law and a strong backer of the presidential system, is among the AKP lawmakers who were not nominated for a fourth term in parliament. He was earlier this week appointed as an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Demirtas argued that those who were "cooking up a war game want to put the blame of their sins on the HDP".

    "The HDP will get stronger every day," said Demirtas.

    "They are running a so-called campaign [against the HDP] with their spies on our tails, their journalists on payroll, so-called nationalists. We are not afraid of an election; we are ready for an early election. This time we will, hopefully, bury for good the mentality that prefers war to reaching out to peace," he said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    (DPs/ AM)

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