TRNC News Today 10th April 2015
Olgun: “Course of action to be followed till the end of the year is prepared”
President Dervis Eroğlu’s negotiator on the Cyprus İssue – Ergün M. Olgun specified that with the instruction given by the President the path to be followed until the end of the year is prepared. Olgun indicated: “According to the path to be followed which is also submitted to the United Nations with approval of the President, consideration of all subjects will be completed until the end of July, after the holiday in August they will move to multilateral meetings at the beginning of September and by the end of the year the referendum process will be completed”.
“I expect that the negotiations will commence in the second week of May”
Foreign Minister Özdil Nami stated that he expects the negotiations to commence in the second week of May, expressing that they must continue from where they were left off.
Foreign Minister Nami assessed the Cyprus negotiation process to an AA journalist. Pointing out that we are approaching the 51st year of the Cyprus problem, Nami emphasized that a sense of “enough is enough” has developed in the UN Security Council pertaining to the issue.
Nami stated that at the latest meeting in New York with UN Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon, Ban indicated to Nami that the UN is exerting a final effort with regard to Cyprus. Nami added that he shared this message with the Turkish Cypriot people and that he attributes great importance to the negotiation process.
Foreign Minister Nami referred to the statements of Espen Barth Eide, Special Advisor of the UN Secretary General that the entire world and especially the UN pointed to the risks to both sides of the Island if the issue is constantly left pending. Nami referred to the wish of the UN for the negotiations to continue in a more intensified manner to finally reach a conclusion.
Indicating that he considers the statements of Eide to be very important, Minister Nami stated “Eide is referring to himself as the last Special Advisor. We hope that it will be so and that the negotiations will be successfully concluded within the year 2015, as Mr. Eide has also expressed, following the presidential elections in the TRNC”.
Reiterating his expectation for the negotiations to commence in the second week of May following the Presidential elections in the TRNC on 19 April, Nami stated “The first meeting will likely determine what kind of setup the negotiations will proceed within. The following meetings will surely focus on substance. It is clear what the unresolved issues are. These will be taken up within the framework of a specific plan and all the work will culminate in a multi-party conference. Then the process will be finalized. For all of this to materialize we hope that the Greek Cypriot side will display the necessary political will”.
“He did not behave as a statesman”
Stating that he does not want the hydrocarbons issue to have an adverse effect on the comprehensive settlement negotiations, Foreign Minister Özdil Nami recalled that the former Greek Cypriot leader did not use this as an excuse to suspend the negotiations in the past. Nami stated “The hydrocarbons became an issue with Greek Cypriot leader, Nikos Anastasiades. Unfortunately, the policies and approach of Mr. Anastasiades have led to a significant loss of time and unnecessary tensions. Instead of thinking strategically and behaving as a statesman motivated by a comprehensive settlement, Anastasiades opted to engage in tactical manoeuvres. We hope that the negotiations will continue with an Anastasiades who has learned his lesson”.
Minister Nami expressed that the Turkish Cypriot side displayed a consistent approach to the negotiation process since its beginning and added “No matter what happens in the region, the Turkish Cypriot side has never left the comprehensive settlement negotiations. We are displaying the same approach today. When we look to the future after the month of May, we expect a process which is well structured and focused on unresolved issues, as expressed in the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014.
The negotiations must continue from where they were left off. Anything contrary to this is unthinkable. Both Anastasiades and Espen Barth Eide made statements to the effect that the negotiations should continue from where they were left off. The stage where they were left off is not positive. We know that Anastasiades had adopted an approach where he did not accept the previously reached convergences. I believe that this issue will also be resolved with the involvement of the UN. We are not against the interventions of the UN as long as it internalizes the fact that this process cannot continue endlessly and presents the peoples of the two sides with a comprehensive settlement plan endorsed by the two leaders. The Turkish Cypriot side is prepared for all of these. But the Greek Cypriot side appears perplexed. We hope that these confusions can be overcome and that we can engage with serious counterparts throughout this process. We hope they can show courage along with us”.
“I have serious concerns”
Expressing that he has serious concerns as to whether the negotiation process will progress at the expected pace in the year 2015, Nami stated “I wonder whether the process will progress at the expected pace. The greatest source of these concerns are the tactical manoeuvres of the Greek Cypriot side which hides behind its recognition, perpetuates our isolation, continues to impose embargos, raises issues regarding Turkey’s EU membership process and attempts to use the hydrocarbons issue as a bargaining chip against us rather than a facilitator to a solution”.
Foreign Minister Nami stated that the UN must live up to its promises to the Turkish Cypriots if it sincerely wants the Cyprus issue to be resolved. Nami stated “The UN Secretary General has expressed in his report that the lifting of the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots will contribute to reaching a comprehensive settlement. If we really want 2015 to be the year of a settlement, I believe that it will be greatly beneficial for the world to take this recommendation seriously and to do what is necessary in this regard”.
Çiçek: “Steps to use the resources in Eastern Mediterranean unilaterally creates a new security problem”
Chairman of Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM) – Cemil Çiçek stated that the steps to use the resources in the Eastern Mediterranean unilaterally creates a new security problem. Çiçek said to the President of European Parliament – Martin Schulz: “Our expectations are first of all the removal of isolations and we expect you to spend an encouraging effort towards Greek Cypriots for negotiations. We look forward to a more fair and objective approach.” Çiçek met with Schulz in Ankara and indicated that despite the fact that more than 50 years have passed the Cyprus Problem hasn’t been solved, and said that this situation has a negative impact on Turkey-EU relations as well.”
Emphasizing neither Turkey nor TRNC is responsible for not solving the problem, Çiçek said: “Turkey and TRNC has supported the referendum of 2004, it was the Greek Cypriot side who didn’t supported it, despite this Cyprus was taken into the EU and this made the problem insolvable. We hope they will return to the negotiating table again”
Recalling that although promising in 2004, the EU hasn’t removed the isolations, Çiçek said “because of isolations, North Cyprus has turned into a half-open prison. Those who said ‘no’ to peace are being rewarded, and the ones who said ‘yes’ are being punished. This crooked situation should be eliminated as soon as possible”.
Strong reaction from OSCE to Greek Cypriots
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media – Dunja Mijatović expressed concern that the draft law of punishment of those who deny the Armenian allegations regarding the events of 1915, is approved by the Parliament of South Cyprus Administration. The bill, adopted on 2 April, penalizes the denial or the gross degradation of war crimes recognized as such by the Parliament through a unanimous decision or a unanimous resolution. Those convicted face prison terms of up to five years and a €10,000 fine. “While fully acknowledging the humanitarian intentions of this bill, I believe that this measure raises serious concerns about compliance with international freedom of expression standards,” Mijatović said. “The authorities should have taken into consideration the right to openly discuss questions of a sensitive and controversial nature as one of the fundamental aspects of freedom of expression which distinguishes a tolerant and pluralistic democratic society from a repressive regime. ”Mijatović said criminalizing debates on history, even including false and offensive statements, is not conducive to a better understanding among people, communities and authorities of OSCE participating States. Mijatović also said that prohibitions on particular statements related to the culture and history of different nations and regions would subordinate international free-speech standards to fragmented national strategies on the regulation of speech and expression and make worse the attempts to reconcile and ultimately seek justice for victims. Free speech and free media are essential in this process, she said.
Cyprus problem was also discussed at Tsipras-Putin meeting
Putin said Tsipras didn’t make a request for financial assistance.
At the joint press conference after his talk at the Kremlin Palace in Moscow with Prime Minister of Greece Tsipras, Putin indicated that mainly bilateral relations, trade, tourism, regional developments, the Cyprus problem and “Turkish flow” were evaluated at the meeting.
After the talks with Putin, Prime Minister of Greece Tsipras emphasized that in order to ensure energy security of Greece, they want to get the gas that will come to his country’s borders with the “Turkish flow” project .
Prime Minister of Greece Tsipras, stated that they agree with Putin on solving the Cyprus problem which has been on the table between Greece and Turkey for a long time.
According to Greeks, Eide is worse than Downer
Greek Foreign Minister Yoannis Kasulidis and Spokesman Nikos Hristodulidis’s made phone calls to Eide where they used harsh language and comments about Eide’s “outcompeting Downer.”
Greek Cypriot Fileleftheros newspaper wrote that 24 hours after announcing restart of negotiations, Eide “blew up the environment, before negotiations even started, he has created turmoil in the procedure.”
Ertuğ: “We condemn the attacks made on Eide”
Drawing attention to the Greek Cypriot and Greece’s official circles and the Greek press’s making, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide’s words in an interview with the Greek Cypriot news agency, a subject and attacked and criticized him, Presidential Spokesman Osman Ertug, said : “We consider the attacks and criticisms on this topic as attacks to efforts of restarting the process of negotiations from where it was left and to final analysis itself and condemn them.”
In his written statement Ertuğ wrote: “With the withdrawal of the Greek Cypriot side from the table, at a time when a positive phase was reached on efforts to make negotiations restart after stalled for over 6 months, we can see that Greek Cypriot and Greece’s official circles, and the Greek press are making the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide’s words a subject and made a big noise of it”
Ertuğ noted that it’s not new in Cyprus for UN officials who have taken the goodwill mission to be targeted and attacked and recent history is full of examples of this.
Öneri: “We are working for a democratic election”
President of Supreme Election Committee – Şafak Öneri stated that they are working for a democratic election and they give great importance to equality of opportunity of candidates during the election process.
In his interview with TAK, Öneri said that there are serious problems in Election and Referendum Law which was put into force in 1976 on the issues of prohibitions, propaganda and periods, adding that the law is not updated and especially highly unsatisfactory regarding propaganda so certainly it must be changed.
Furthermore, Öneri said that the Supreme Election Committee is continuing preparations for Presidential elections and local elections to be held on 19 April by taking into consideration a possible second tour election.
What is Espen Barth Eide saying on the Cyprus issue?
By Dr. Christian Heinz
Dr Christian Heinze was the Assistant to the late President of the Constitutional Court of the “Republic of Cyprus” in Nicosia in 1962/63.
According to the Turkish Cypriot Public Information Internet Espen Barth Eide Publication of 8th April, 2015, “Eide: “It is a question of how much a violation has actually happened in Cyprus’ EEZ” Espen Barth Eide, special representative of the United Nations Secretary General, made statements that explain, in the view of the author of this essay, why no progress is made towards ending the Cyprus conflict. Below, the utterings of Mr. Eide are reproduced in the left and their evaluation is contained in the right column of the table.
|The “impatience of the international community … is becoming more and more evident… there is a feeling that this really cannot be allowed to go on any longer….||The position adopted by the UN representing the “international community” is not a consequence but the true cause for the continuation of the problem. Therefore, this community should be impatient with itself.|
|“It`s not like neutral… there is … only two ways to land which is reunification or separation”.||The position of the UN is indeed not neutral, it rather provides the basis for Greek intransigence by delcaring TRNC illegal and allowing the embargo inflicted on TRNC not only by their Greek countrymen but by the caring family of nations.Proposing “reunification” as an alternative ignores the fact that no unity existed (that could be restored) after the lapse of British government in Cyprus in 1960. And some sort of unification is not an alternative but a Gordian Knot of conditions, the most important of which are – some with, some without the applause of the community of nations – unacceptable to one or the other side.|
|“People should go for it and try to solve it.”||The dream that people are able to solve things sometimes disregards political factors (like the one mentioned above).|
|“There is the legal argument that is very strong on the … Greek Cypriot side, … that the Republic of Cyprus … is a country like every country and it can declare its economic zone.”||As a statement of fact this ignores the reality in and around Cyprus, and as a legal statement it refers to a principle established by lawyers without sufficient grounds or even explanations, and, most importantly, without sufficient respect for political reality and requirements for validity of legal norms – and for lasting peace.|
|The UN understand very well that “if you are a Turkish Cypriot … back in the 60s a state that was supposed to be a state for Greeks and Turks was hijacked by one side and turned into more of a Hellenic state”. But Mr. Eide noted immediately following this insight that “he did not want to go into that issue…”||Right here lies one of the causes for continued conflict: The position of the UN disagrees with the “Turkish” view (without establishing why it is incorrect) and insists on an intended Republic of Cyprus of 1960 legally owning the whole island and being illegally disturbed in the exercise of this ownership by Turkey and the TRNC. This position makes “unification” impossible by putting the Greek conflicting party into a position from where it can jeopardize any attempt at a viable solution, and the Turkish conflicting party (in the words of Mr. Eide) “in a strange situation”.|
|The “leaders … are aiming at – a bizonal, bicommunal federation, one single sovereignty to the outside world, two constituent states. This is what they agreed. What we have to do is to fill in the different components…”||What Mr. Eide refers to here is not really an “agreement” because both sides connect different meanings with the notions of “federation” and “one single sovereignty”, rendering them contradictions in themselves.|
|Mr. Eide’s focus is on solving “all the core issues, then everything else will follow”. Issues like that of hydrocarbons will then constitute no longer “a conflict issue but a cooperation issue”, subject to a “federal capacity in a new state. So, a lot of these issues are issues because of the division and will actually evaporate once a solution is found. Because they are expressions of the division.”||This reveals a fundamental error: The “issues” are not expressions of a division evaporating in federation but causes and reasons for the division preventing federation. Without substantial agreement “federation” would amount to another edition of the fraudulent attempt at establishing a state committed in 1960|
|Resumption of negotiations will mean that “we are taking difficult issue by difficult issue and seeing how we move forward”.||The result cannot be anything else than a new edition of the Annan plan and it will evaporate when it comes to agreeing on sovereignty (in fact or in law). Or if such agreement is dissimulated, the conflict will linger on – covered up for some time with paper.|
|Mr. Eide says that Cyprus “could be a stable, wealthy, interesting, positive place, an example for the world of overcoming past difficulties through peaceful negotiations. It will attract a lot of investments because [of] a solution to Cyprus, it has an ideal location for people who want to be engaged in the Middle East but do not want to actually be based in the Middle East”. Cyprus would “be able to capitalize on its natural resources and so on, and have an economy that is not driven by political decisions but by rational economic choice, and I think that`s a great future but you can only find it by working with other Cypriots. You cannot find it against the other Cypriots because that would only lead to either a continued non-solution or a final partition.”||This is a very promising description of what would happen around Cyprus if TRNC was recognized as a State. Gradual formation of a Cypriot federation would be a consequence.There is only a “small” misunderstanding contained in the last sentence of the quotation: Basic separation in the meaning of double self-determination of two “politically equal” entities is the only way to federation (not to speak of unification).(It points in the right direction when Mr. Eide speaks of the Presidents of GRSC and TRNC as leaders of their communities.)|
|When “we meet again,” Mr. Eide says, “we will pick up from where we left … looking into our reading of where the two sides stand, and where possible bridges can be made between the starting positions of both sides.” “Every single issue,” Mr. Eide told the Press, “can be solved if there is will, if there is dedication, and if that will is sustained as we go through all the chapters and eventually bring in the international community in some kind of [inaudible] final stage.”||This procedure would postpone basic questions like: would the Greek side agree with a federal condition that Turkish police and judiciary in TRNC will not be subject to any Greek interference ? or that military equilibrium in the island continues ? If so, in agreeing, the term “sovereignty” would be dispensable. Many parts of the Annan plan could be left to future federal decision,As a result of the non-solution in details of 1960, however, substantial agreement is required on the heritage of 1960: that Cyprus as a whole belongs to Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The importance of this heritage becomes apparent in the hydrocarbons question|
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