TRNC News Today 6th April 2015
“We must break out of our shell”
Foreign Minister Özdil Nami stated that he has made great efforts to increase his contacts abroad since his inauguration as Foreign Minister and that during these contacts, he has been working on how economic, social and cultural relations can be enhanced, stating “we must break out of our shell.”
In his interview with Yurdagül Beyoğlu of Haberal Kıbrıslı newspaper, Foreign Minister Özdil Nami indicated that he recently visited Jeddah, Muscat and Doha to relay information regarding the Cyprus issue to his counterparts and discuss ways to lift the isolation. Nami stated “the population of Qatar is 250,000 but there are 2.5 million people living in the country and it is in contact with all parts of the world. Many places from Singapore to Abu Dhabi have comparable populations to ours. Being small does not mean being closed off to the world. By minimizing bureaucracy, these countries are attracting foreign investors. We must follow their example”, adding that much work must be done in order for these contacts to bear fruit. Emphasizing the need to remove bureaucratic impediments in order to attract foreign investment to the Island, Nami stated “Public reform is inevitable. We no longer have the luxury of wasting time”.
Referring to relations between the TRNC and Turkey, Nami stated that there is an ancient and eternal, inseparable bond of brotherhood between the two countries, adding “This bond is unlike our bond with any other country”. Emphasizing that the Turkish Cypriot people have sensitivities on various issues, Nami expressed that the two sides of the Island have reached a point of understanding each other better. Indicating that we live in a world where no one is independent of anyone, Nami assessed that “If a development in one part of the world affects another, and if the value of its currency affects the value of the stock market, this means that everyone is connected”.
Yorgancıoğlu: “A new opportunity for peace in the island”
Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu stated that expiration of Navtex is a new opportunity for reaching peace in the island.
Yorgancıoğlu said “This opportunity should be used very well for the resumption of negotiations and to proceed in the Cyprus negotiations. I hope Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades will use this opportunity in a good way and negotiations will resume”.
In his statement to an AA reporter regarding the Cyprus negotiation process, Prime Minister Yorgancıoğlu said that as the Turkish Cypriot side, they have a desire for the solution of the Cyprus problem and consider that negotiations should start as soon as possible.
Furthermore, adding that it is not possible to reach a solution by not discussing and disregarding the problems, Yorgancıoğlu indicated that the Cyprus problem can be solved after about half a century on the basis of a permanent peace supported by the International Community.
Yorgancıoğlu stressed that Turkish Cypriots have equal rights on natural resources explored in the Mediterranean.
Eide has gone to Ankara
UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide went to Ankara yesterday. It was stated that Eide will hold high level contacts in Ankara today. Within the framework of his Ankara contacts, Eide will meet with Turkish Prime Minister – Davutoğlu and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs – Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu today and will arrive back in Cyprus tonight.
Starting from Tuesday 7th April, Eide will meet with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, President Derviş Eroğlu and the negotiators as well.
The greatest supporter of the Greek thesis in USA is accused of corruption
Many corruption charges are being prepared by the U.S. Department of Justice about Senator Robert Menendez whois the greatest supporter of the Greek – Greek Cypriot lobby in the USA Senate. It’s reported that Menendez who is also known by his support of the Greek Cypriot-Greek thesis in the USA is facing charges at a time when the negotiations will start and this is not good for South Cyprus.
Kathimerini newspaper which is being published in South Cyprus recorded under the title “Cyprus’s most powerful supporter in the United States is under investigation” that the investigation began about Senator Menendez related to corruption and bribery and this will possibly restrict Menendez’s effectiveness in the USA and might disable his support for the Greek thesis.
It is specified in the news that despite the fact Menendez didn’t accept the accusation, he was withdrawn from being the Chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, and also expressed that this situation might also affect Menendez’s support for the Greek-Greek Cypriot policies.
Prof. Dr.Serakıncı will provide scientific consultancy service to the Ministry of Health of Italy
Serakıncı has been invited to Italy by the Italian Ministry of Health in order to develop and carry out clinical and biomedical research within the body of the Ministry and to provide a consultancy service due to her successful work in the field.
Serakıncı who responded positively to the invitation of the Italian Ministry of Health, will be a member of a group of advisers who will direct and create health policy in Italy in the field of clinical and biomedical research.
Prof. Dr. Serakıncı carried out important work in the field of cancer stem cells and genetics worldwide and is among the important scientists in this field. She was placed among the top 10 in the world literature 4 times, in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014 and she is the author of the most widely read top ten articles in this field in the world literature in 2014.
Landing system of Larnaca Airport is “Blind”
The Greek Cypriot Minister of Public Works and Transport – Marios Dimitriadis announced that they will not be able to improve the landing system of Larnaca Airport, which provides safe landing for aircraft in foggy weather, due to the high cost.
Fileleftheros newspaper which is published in South Cyprus reported under the headline “Landing System Remains ‘Blind’… Dimitriadis says we cannot invest millions of Euros for 8 aircraft. This statement of Dimitriadis was made in response to a question of the President of Ecologists and Environmentalists Movement – Yorgos Perdikis.
According to the news, Dimitriadis indicated that improving the system requires millions of Euros and in 2014 only 8 planes needed the system while landing in fog, 12 million euros are needed to improve the system today, and noted that it is not worth making an expenditure of this amount for 8 planes.
Decrease in the numbers of British, German and Scandinavian tourists
Fileleftheros newspaper published in South Cyprus noted that there has been a loss of 845 thousand tourists from United Kingdom, Germany and the Scandinavian countries between 2001 and 2014. The newspaper wrote that there is a decrease in the general number of tourists from all other countries except from Russia and indicated that this situation is related to the 50 percent reduction in the budget allocated to the Greek Tourism Organization (KOT) since 2009.
‘TCs are human rights victims’
Turkish Cypriots are victims of violence, racism and discrimination in the South, according to a major human rights report that the Greek Cypriot administration sought to suppress.
The damning report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) – held up for over 10 years by officials in the South – said that there had been a “rise in incidents of racially motivated verbal and physical abuse by rightwing extremists and neo-Nazi groups against persons of foreign origin, human rights defenders and Turkish Cypriots”.
The UNHRC urged South Cyprus authorities to “eradicate” racial discrimination against Turkish Cypriots and “ensure that cases of racially motivated violence are promptly investigated, that the perpetrators are prosecuted and, where appropriate, punished and that compensation is awarded to victims”.
Former president Mehmet Ali Talat was attacked in Limassol last year by far-right fanatics who barricaded him inside a conference hall, and in 2010 a Turkish Cypriot musician was stabbed in the chest in clashes with anti-immigration protesters during a festival in Larnaca. Vehicles with TRNC number plates have been vandalized on numerous occasions in the South.
The UNHRC also raised concern over reports that investigations of Greek Cypriot “missing” persons are being “prioritized” over those relating to Turkish Cypriots and at the “lack of information provided regarding redress afforded to relatives of victims and measures taken to investigate cases of missing persons and to prosecute those responsible”.
It called on the Greek Cypriot administration to “investigate all outstanding cases of missing persons of both the Greek and Turkish communities in an effective, transparent, independent and impartial manner”.
The review, released on Thursday, is the first time the highly respected UNHRC has published a report on human rights in South Cyprus since 1998.
Yuval Shany, a member of the UN committee, told Cyprus Today that the Greek Cypriot authorities – a “State Party” to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – had been due to report on their promotion of human rights in 2002 but did not come back to the UNHRC until 2012 for “logistical” reasons.
It has taken a further three years for a final report to be published, fuelling fears that officials in South Cyprus sought to block publication.
Mr Shany would neither confirm nor deny such suggestions, but expressed his “regret and concerns about the prolonged delays”. He said he was particularly concerned about the “integration” of Turkish Cypriots in the South’s civil service and allegations of discrimination.
The report said: “The Committee is concerned about the low numbers of Turkish Cypriots in the ….. Civil service, including its police force and judiciary.
“It is also concerned about reports that demanding Greek language proficiency tests serve as a de facto barrier to the integration of minority communities in the civil service.
“Finally, it is concerned that no steps are being taken to establish a Turkish school in Limassol.”
Worries were also raised over discrimination on the basis of nationality, access to mosques and allegations that “significant” numbers of Turkish Cypriots were unable to vote during the May 2014 European Parliament elections. The committee also called for new border crossing points to ease access to the South for residents in the North.
Cyprus Today contacted Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’s office for a response, but was told his spokesman was not available.
(Cyprus Today, April 4, 2015)
Anastasiades is looking for excuses to avoid talks
AS IT IS certain the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide will not be arriving in Cyprus tomorrow for the Holy Week church services, we can deduce that his visit might have something to do with fixing a date for the resumption of the talks. All the causes of the interruption – the Turkish NAVTEX, the incursions of the Barbaros in the Cypriot EEZ, the exploratory drilling by ENI-KOGAS – no longer exist and neither side can stay away from the negotiations.
Only President Anastasiades seemed to be unaware of the reason for the visit. Asked on Wednesday whether Eide would announce a resumption of the talks, he responded negatively and playfully claimed not to know the reason for the visit. He conceded that the envoy would have consultations to establish whether conditions for the resumption of the talks had been created, but expressed doubts about the existence of these conditions.
As the Barbaros left Famagusta port on Monday and the NAVTEX expires tomorrow, both conditions set by Anastasiades for returning to the talks have been satisfied. Last Sunday, however he appeared to have set a new condition, when he said: “Our participation in a procedure that would, in effect, accept the disputing of the national sovereignty of the Cyprus republic should be expected by nobody.”
He repeated a milder variation of this condition on Wednesday saying the “sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic should not be disregarded.”
Was he being playful, setting new conditions in order to avoid going to the talks or was this just a rhetorical flourish? Then again, the President’s rhetorical flourishes have of late adopted the phraseology of those who are opposed to the talks and a settlement, although he has stopped short of endorsing their vacuous call for a new strategy. After attending the April 1 church service he again said he was waiting for the creation of the conditions for the resumption of negotiations and once these were created “there would certainly be the appropriate consultations with the political forces.”
But what need is there for consultations with political forces that are openly opposed to the resumption of the talks and have been expressing fears that the President was being pressured into returning to the talks as if this were a bad thing? In the last few days all parties, except AKEL and DISY, have bluntly told Anastasiades not to return to the talks or at least to set such conditions that would be certain to prevent their resumption.
On Friday, one newspaper, quoting unnamed government sources, said Anastasiades feared the possibility of Turkey sending the Barbaros into the Cypriot EEZ while talks were in progress, but neither the UN nor the US was prepared to give an assurance this would not happen.
The truth is Anastasiades would welcome a return of the Barbaros to the EEZ once talks have resumed because this would give him a legitimate reason to walk out. What he really fears is that this time the talks would not be allowed to drag on indefinitely and that Eide, who has the full support of the international community, is determined to achieve a result within the next few months.
This is why the idea of talks at a venue abroad, with the participation of Turkey and Greece, has been mentioned although there is no such plan at present.
Despite his alleged commitment to settlement, Anastasiades is terrified of the prospect of being locked into a negotiation process which would have no escape route until a deal is reached. He is also aware this could be the last chance for a settlement – a point repeatedly made by the Norwegian envoy – and that delaying tactics, to which he had resorted so far, would not be an option.
There might not be suffocating time-frames, but it is highly unlikely the process would be allowed to last much longer than a few months before an overall settlement is put on the table or, failing that, the UN winds up the whole process.
In short, once the talks begin there will be no turning back and big decisions, one way or the other, will have to be taken. Anastasiades is fully aware of this which is why he has been setting new conditions and looking for excuses not to return to the talks. Like his predecessors he appears unwilling to sacrifice his presidency for a settlement, which is not a good sign, even if Eide secures the President’s grudging agreement to the resumption of the talks.
Sunday Mail – April 5th, 2015
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