TRNC News Today 31st May 2013 

THE LEADERS’ DINNER

President Dervis Eroglu and the Greek Cypriot leader met at the dinner hosted by UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, on Thursday 30th May.

The dinner was held at the residence of the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim in the UN bufferzone. President Eroglu’s wife Meral Eroğlu, Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiadis’ wife Antri Anastasiadis, Alexander Downer’s wife Niki Downer and Lisa Buttenheim’s husband also attended the meeting.

The leaders did not issue any statement after the meeting but UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Downer, made a statement and said ‘we have had a very good evening. The dinner went very well’.

Moreover, Downer added ‘The leaders are pleased at this opportunity to meet, and are committed to the peace process which aims to find a solution acceptable to both sides’.

PRESIDENT EROĞLU RECEIVED RUBIN

The President received the US State Department’s Eric RubinDeputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Eric Rubin, on Thursday 30th May.

The President’s Undersecretary  Hasan Gungor, Special Representative and Spokesman, Osman Ertug, and US Ambassador to Nicosia, John Koenig, were also present.

PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT SCHULZ MET EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FOR ENLARGEMENT FULE AND TRNC PARLIAMENTARIANS

The critical period has started to represent the TRNC in the European Parliament (EP) as it is in the example of the European Council.

The President of the EP, Martin Schulz, discussed the representation issue and the solution process with the TRNC parliamentarians Ozdil Nami, Mehmet Tancer and Teberruken Ulucay who are having contacts in Brussels.

Making a statement following the meeting which was held at Schulz’s office and where the press was not allowed to take pictures; the TRNC Martin Schulzparliamentarians stated that they again conveyed the Turkish Cypriots’ rightful demands regarding the representation in the EP to the addressees and added that this issue will be discussed in the EU Presidency Council in the following weeks.

Martin Schulz also came together with the European Commissioner Responsible for Enlargement, Stefan Füle, before meeting the TRNC delegation. According to the EU sources in the meeting of which the main agenda is the representation of the TRNC in the EP, Füle conveyed to Schulz that the commission has an positive approach regarding this issue.

It was stated that 2 seats for the Turkish Cypriots and 4 for the Greek Cypriots out of 6 were foreseen in the Annan Plan which was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side but approved by the Turkish Cypriots.

EP’s keeping their silence towards the Greek Cypriots who are continuing to sit at the seats belonging to the Turkish Cypriots is one of the reasons why the solution efforts are ineffective.

LETTER TO DOWNER FROM 16 TURKISH CYPRIOT NGOs

UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, was sent a letter by 16 Turkish Cypriot Non-governmental Organizations and it was demanded to remind the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration Anastasiades that “he has no right to start over from scratch by throwing the whole negotiation process away at the risk of the future of Alexander Downer LHTurkish Cypriots who have lived under embargoes for years”.

In the letter, an urgent solution request for Turkish Cypriots was stated and it was pointed out that ‘unless a solution is reached by the beginning of 2014 at the latest, the solution will and motivation of Turkish Cypriots will be damaged irreparably’.

The disappointment experienced due to the last statements of the leader of Greek Cypriot administration that “the negotiations will not resume where the two sides left off in 2012’ was stated in the letter, and this approach was evaluated as an explicit indicator of the delaying tactics of Greek Cypriots for the Cyprus problem”.

In the letter, it was pointed out that both the UN and the sides spent a lot of time and made efforts  for making progress in the negotiations and was stated “We believe that you should remind Anastasiades that he has no right to start over from scratch by throwing the whole negotiation process away at the risk of the future of Turkish Cypriots who have lived under embargoes for years”.

The organizations drew attention to the fact that more than one year has been lost as a result of the EU Term Presidency of South Cyprus and elections in South Cyprus, and said:

“If it is necessary to express clearly, the fate of Turkish United Nations FlagCypriots and peace process cannot be left to the mercy of the leader of the Greek Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots want the negotiations to be resumed where the former leader of the Greek Cypriot administration left off. To resume the negotiations where they are left off will accelerate the solution.  The solution will cause all ports to be opened at the same time. Thus, Turkish Cypriots will integrate their economy better in a united Cyprus in EU and entering into Turkish Cypriot ports and accession to the markets by Greek Cypriot flagged ships will provide billions of dollars to the Greek Cypriot economy”.

It was stated in the letter that Turkish Cypriot Non-governmental Organizations are the power behind the positive changes in Cyprus in  the last 10 years and added that “delaying tactics of the Greek Cypriot leadership will damage the belief of Turkish Cypriots towards a peace process.

It was also pointed out in the letter sent to Downer that Turkish Cypriots, who are said to live on EU territory, have struggled with uncertainty for years, they cannot wait any more, because the time works against the solution and aggravates the problem, and this serves to the status quo.

The following was added in the letter:

“We want to shape our future promptly. If the international community wants Turkish Cypriots to adhere to the peace process, they should do their part and develop a particular attitude against the delaying tactics by Greek Cypriots.

Turkish Cypriots demand an urgent solution. If a solution is not reached by the beginning of 2014 at the latest, the solution will and motivation of Turkish Cypriots will be damaged irreparably.”

The NGO’s which signed the letter are as follows:

“Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KTSO), Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Shopkeepers and Aartisans (KTEZO), Confederation of Free Trade Unions (HÜR-İŞ), Cyprus Turkish Public Servants’ Union (KAMU-SEN), Turkish Cypriot Public Worker’s Union (KAMU-İŞ), Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Association (KTİMB), North Cyprus Hoteliers Association (KITOB), Cyprus Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies Association (KITSAB), Turkish Cypriot Businessmen Association (İŞAD), Turkish Cypriot Young Businessmen’s Association (GİAD), Dairy Producers Union (SÜİB), Quarriers Association, Turkish Cypriot Food Importers Association, Turkish Cypriot Employers’ Union and KTSO Young Professionals.”

BAGIS: “RESOLVING THE CYPRUS ISSUE WOULD MEAN REMOVING THE BIGGEST HURDLE ON TURKEY’S PATH TO THE EU”

Stating that resolving the Cyprus issue would mean removing the biggest hurdle on Turkey’s path to the EU, Turkey’s EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagıs added: “If the Greek Cypriot side and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus reach a mutually satisfactory deal we, as Turkey, are ready to say ‘yes’; as long as they can stand on common ground”.

Bagıs came together with the managers of televisions and journalists before the Civil Society Dialogue Grant Programs Istanbul Egemen Bagis 2Promotion Meeting conducted by the TR Ministry of the European Union.

Expressing that the hurdle in front of the 14th chapter is the  Cyprus issue Bagıs continued: “Resolving the Cyprus issue would mean removing the biggest hurdle on Turkey’s path to the EU. We consider as an opportunity that the only Greek Cypriot politician who said ‘yes’ to the Annan Plan has been elected as the President”.

Stressing that reaching a comprehensive solution is not so hard Bagıs added: “Let’s negotiate the Annan Plan again. We shall bring the issues to the table that annoy both the Turkish side and the Greek Cypriots. Therefore, the Maras issue may also be solved. We can reach a mutual agreement. The only condition we are looking for is  political equality. If the Annan Plan had been accepted, there would not have been any army either in the Turkish or in the Greek side. Today the Greek Cypriots who are complaining about the existence of the Turkish army on the island, they in fact had voted for the existence of the Turkish army”.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office