TRNC News Today 27th August 2015

Akıncı “Property right has been accepted all along”

President Mustafa Akıncı pointed out that an individual’s property right has been accepted all along. Stating that for the first time, both sides discuss in negotiations the issues where they can agree on, Akıncı said that they are in an effort for harmonization the positions which can be accepted by the two sides. President Akıncı, also responded to speculations on property. During one of his receptions yesterday, President Mustafa Akıncı stated that the property right has been accepted all along and said it was reflected as something new, as a right to choose.

Mustafa Akinci

Furthermore, President Akıncı stressed, “The individual has a right of the property right ownership so the Property Compensation Commission was established”. Akıncı also added that after the solution, individuals will be able to  apply to the property commission where both sides will be represented equally and the property commission will take decisions by taking the criteria into consideration that have not been discussed yet.

Talat: “Negotiations are improving in a very positive line”

Mehmet Ali Talat, second President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the leader of the coalition’s senior partner Turkish Republican Party United Forces (CTP-BG), stated that negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem are improving in a positive line.

Mehmet Ali Talat

Making a statement to AA reporter, Talat evaluated the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus and said despite the unfounded criticism based on gossip, negotiations are improving in a very positive line.

Talat added, “We have property as the most important problem ahead of us, if we handle the property issue and make progress, the problem will reach a positive state. ”Mentioning the change that Greek Cypriot side had undergone after they said “no” to the Annan plan and became an EU member since the year 2004 when the referendum was held, Talat pointed out that economic crisis that Greek Cypriots have been through had essential effects on their change of attitude.

Negotiators to meet again today

Turkish Cypriot negotiator Özdil Nami and Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyannis  are meeting again today. The second preliminary meeting was held yesterday before the leaders meeting which will be held on 1st September. The meeting which started at 9:00am yesterday continued for around 4 hours. The negotiators will  meet today and tomorrow at Ledra Palace Hotel.

Mavroyannis and Nami

Presidential Spokesperson Barış Burcu also announced that UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide is coming to the island on 31 August.

New transit points in Derinya and Lefke-Aplıç added to the list of Green Line transit points

The European Commission has changed the Council Regulation which arranges circulation of properties and persons through Green Line. The new transit points in Derinya and Lefke-Aplıç have been added to the list of permitted transit points at the Green Line.European Commission

In the statement regarding the issue, it was emphasized that the Commission is ready to make financial contribution as a concrete support for the construction work for opening the transit points.

In the statement, it was also reminded that the leaders agreed on a confidence building measure package on May 28th, which includes opening of the new transit points and that the bi-communal Technical Committee is handling the issue now and the exact opening date of the transit points has not yet been determined.

UNFICYP carried out mine dragging and clearance south of Alayköy

UNFICYP carried out mine clearance operation in the Mammari region of Alaykoy.

Mine clearance

Officials from UNFICYP announced that following the confidence building measures stated by the two leaders with regard to mine clearing, 25 out of the 28 minefields have been cleared.

The officials stated that during the years of 2001-2011, around 27,000 mines were cleared and 11 million Euros were spent. Cambodian experts from UNIFIL lead the work carried out in the clearing.

A part of cockpit and fuselage reached at NORATLAS excavations

It was reported that a part of cockpit and fuselage has been reached in the excavations at the Greek Military Graveyard area for locating the  NORATLAS type transport plane, which was hit and brought down by mistake and buried by Greek Cypriot National Guard (RMMO) during the 1974 Peace Operation. According to Greek Cypriot newspaper Fileleftheros, in his statement regarding the subject, Greek Cypriot Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Greeks, Fotis Fotiu said that works are continuing normally.

Noratlas plane

Emphasizing that a part of the plane’s cockpit and fuselage was located, Fotiu qualified this as a positive development and stated that works are going to continue for revealing the whole fuselage. Saying that works are made with attention and all the precautions have been taken for the safety of the staff, Fotiu called for everyone to be patient.

Greek Cypriot President’s speech a welcome re-evaluation of the past

Cyprus Mail newspaper which is published in South Cyprus noted the discussions experienced on the Greek Cypriot side in its column.

The Cyprus Mail noted the following views regarding the issue:

“Our politicians rarely deviate from the politically correct discourse of the Cyprus problem when speaking in public. They stick to the one-sided version of events, recycle the official rhetoric and speak as if they have a monopoly on the truth. Challenging and questioning ideas is avoided for fear of this being interpreted as weakness or a lack of patriotism and sparking criticism.Nikos Anastasiades

This was why Anastasiades’ speech at the opening of the conference for overseas Cypriots on Tuesday night was such a pleasant surprise. The president challenged several of the assumptions made by our side, questioning the logic and explaining that there was more than one way of looking at things.

For instance he took the issue of property and answered all those Greek Cypriots who had been expressing outrage because it was agreed a user’s rights would also be recognised. Should the rights of 160,000 Greek Cypriots that were users of Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas be written off, he asked. It was a valid point that has never been acknowledged by our politicians who only speak about Greek Cypriot properties in the north.

He also brought up the sacred cow of the “Cyprus Republic”, pointing out that “the time had come for us to realise that the old times when we thought the “Cyprus Republic” was a Greek Cypriot Republic have no validity.”  He also highlighted the contradiction in the argument of those who want to maintain the “Cyprus Republic” while doing away with the treaties that set it up in the 1960s. The Republic will evolve into something new, he said and stated he would not allow “populism to lead to denials”.

It was about time someone made the point that these issues could not be simplified into black and white as has been the practice for the last 40 years. and there was nobody more suitable than the president to challenge the skewed way of viewing the national problem. He might not have convinced many people, but hopefully he may have encouraged them to be less dogmatic and more open-minded. This would constitute a positive step.

He will never convince the hard-line opponents of a settlement such as DIKO chief Nicolas Papadopoulos who told overseas Cypriots yesterday that our objective should be the maintenance of the “Cyprus Republic”, because its dissolution could “turn us into the Palestinians of the Mediterranean, a people without a state”. We will hear a lot more alarmist nonsense like this in the future, which is why it was so important for the president to start challenging the decades-old official dogmas.”

Bombardment of Criticism from opposition parties

Opposition parties on Wednesday tried to turn the tables on Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades who told the overseas Cypriots conference that populist slogans and unrealistic promises would not help solve the Cyprus problem.

Party leaders addressed the conference on Wednesday with the more hard-line among them accusing Anastasiades of being the populist and of creating a false climate of optimism and of selling fairytales to the Greek Cypriot people.

On Tuesday night Anastasiades had said: “We must realise that unrealistic promises and populist slogans have no place when it comes to the national problem. I will never allow populism to lead the way. What our country needs is a strong leadership, unity and joint action.”

Chief critics were DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos and Citizens’ Alliance Giorgos Lillikas with the Green Party’s Giorgos Perdikis and EDEK’s Marinos Sizopoulos also slamming the current process.DIKO

“Populism is when you tell the public you don’t accept guarantors [for a reunited Cyprus] but behind the scenes you are discussing the ways it could be guaranteed,” said Papadopoulos. “Populism is telling refugees they have property rights but in substance you agree to such exemptions that no one will get to return. Think what will happen if we downgrade from state to community. Solution could be the end of Greek Cypriots on the island. Think what will happen if we are turned into Mediterranean Palestinians, people without a state.”

Lillikas criticised the ‘too optimistic’ climate. “As the Citizens Alliance we are convinced that the Greek Cypriots do not need fairytales that Cyprus will be drowning in investments,” he said.

In an earlier statement the party said it welcomed Anastasiades’ comments that populism would not help find a solution. “That is why we are calling on the government to stop the populism that says a solution will boost our economy.”

Sizopoulos and Perdikis also outlined their opposition to the current negotiations, echoing warnings about “dangerous optimism”.

Main opposition AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said AKELthat his party had a number of disagreements with the government, particularly on the economy, “but the interests of the country and the people requires that we all work together to solve the Cyprus problem,” he said.

“Slogans are fine and can make our breasts burst with pride and caress our ears but usually never produce results. We do not want slogans but actions and attitudes that bring practical results,” he added.

Anastasiades is expected to brief the party leaders on developments on September 8th and the house plenary behind closed doors on September 15th.

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