TRNC News Today 14th September 2015

Leaders to meet again today

President Mustafa Akıncı and the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades will be meeting once again today within the framework of negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Akinci and Anastasiades

The leaders meeting will start at 10:00 at the buffer zone. The UNSG’s Special Advisor for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will also be present at the meeting.

Nuland to visit Cyprus

The US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland will be visiting Cyprus on September 14-15. Nuland will meet President Mustafa Akıncı at 11:45 tomorrow.  She will also hold contacts with the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration and the senior Cypriot officials in order to discuss further advancing the U.S.-South Cypriot relations, as well as regional issues.

Victoria Nuland

According to a press release issued by the State Department, the Assistant Secretary will meet with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders “to convey continued U.S. support for a fair and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem through the process facilitated by the UN Secretary General’s Good Offices Mission”.

Additionally, Assistant Secretary Nuland will meet with civil society leaders from both communities.

Tusk: “The coming months are critical for the Cyprus issue”

“The coming months will be critical for eliminating the obstacles to the necessary mutual understanding and trust”, European Council President Donald Tusk said about the ongoing Cyprus talks, after his meeting with the Greek Cypriot Leader Anastasiades. Stating that there is a real opportunity for the solution of the Cyrus problem, Tusk said that both sides are committed to a permanent solution. On the other hand, Tusk also welcomed the resumption of the negotiations.

Donald Tusk

Tusk also said that the European Union will continue to support both sides and the UN, to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades said that he informed the European Council President on the Cyprus issue and added that he is committed to work with President Mustafa Akıncı in order to find a solution. Emphasizing the role and responsibility of Ankara for finding a solution for the Cyprus problem, Anastasiadis renewed his wish related to the willingness of Turkey to show political will.

Akıncı: “We don’t accept being a minority”

Evaluating his meeting with the European Council President Donald Tusk, President Mustafa Akıncı emphasized that they will not allow a situation in which the Turkish Cypriots will be a minority.

Mustafa Akinci

On the other hand he reminded that bi-zonality became a UN parameter since 1990 and added that this doesn’t mean the denial of the individual property rights.

Moreover Akıncı said that different situations such as return, compensation and exchange will be experienced regarding the property issue and he recorded that this can be solved through partial return or alternative property.

Talat is optimistic about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem

Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) and 2nd President Mehmet Ali Talat expressed his optimism about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem in an interview with the Greek Cypriot newspaper Fileleftheros. Talat also expressed his belief that Turkey will support the solution.

Mehmet Ali Talat

Answering a question about the solution Talat said that many things had changed so far, they were faced with the intransigency of Tassos Papadopulos for 4 years after the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan and they did not manage to reach a solution during the Papadopulos period.

Talat said that the election of Dimitris Hristofyas after Papadopoulos was a positive development and he stated that the negotiations that began in September 2008 lasted until February 2010 and some achievements and agreements were reached during that period.

Noting that for the first time the two leaders found common points through negotiations in the negotiation history of the Cyprus problem, Talat referred to the past negotiations and said that the negotiations were conducted between the two leaders but in practice the UN offered some suggestions and the leaders either accepted or rejected them.

“Those who ignore are responsible for the experienced unpleasantness”

The head of ‘Muratağa Atlılar Sandallar Martyrs Memorial Association’ Ahmet Aşır said that those who ignore the martyrs’ families were responsible for the unpleasantness that was experienced at the martyrdom on Wednesday, 9 September 2015, not the martyrs’ families.

Martyrs Memorial

Stating that they want a fair and viable agreement more than anyone else does, in order to prevent others to live through the same pains again, Aşır noted that an agreement could not be reached at the martyrdom.

Indicating that the Greek Cypriot families had visited the martyrdom before and they guided and hosted them, Aşır said: “We showed hospitality to the Greek Cypriots who visited the martyrdom so far and we did not say anything bad.”

In his statement Ahmet Aşır pointed out that the victims from Muratağa, Atlılar and Sandallar were all children and women and said: “Our 126 martyrs have been lying together in Muratağa and Atlılar Martyrdom for 41 years and their relatives have lived in pain with their memories for 41 years.”

Majority believe in possibility of a solution

The Greek Cypriot Politis newspaper reported a poll conducted between July 29 and August 12, that showed a rise in optimism among the Greek Cypriots – 52 per cent, compared with 47 per cent who remained pessimistic.

 According to the news, the great majority – 74 per cent — of those asked believe that current talks would lead to an agreement and a referendum.  Sixty-nine per cent want the negotiations to lead to an agreement and a referendum and only 9.0 per cent opposed the prospect.

Oxi - Nai

The majority agreed that “the time has come for an honourable compromise” and that “the real dilemma we will face if there are referenda soon would be federation or partition.”

 Most support the current form of solution under discussion – bi-zonal, bi-communal federation – 38 per cent, against 28 per cent who oppose it. A significant section of the sample, 30 per cent, said they did not know.

Sixty-eight per cent reject a two-state solution and 60 per cent reject the current status quo.

A unified state gets the most votes – 43- per cent, followed by the federation, 34 per cent.

Thirty per cent do not want any kind of guarantor powers but 44 per cent said they could accept the European Union. Anything else got little support.

The poll showed that most – 37 per cent — want a system of governance where a ministerial council would make decisions by majority that will include representatives from both communities.

Thirty-three per cent find rotating presidency generally acceptable provided that the Greek Cypriot president would have a longer term. Twenty-one per cent reject this.

The survey was carried out by Noverna Co. through face to face interviews with 1012 people.

Performance at ancient theatre of Salamis

The ancient Greek tragedy “Hippolytus” by Euripides, was staged on September 11 by the Theatrical Organization of South Cyprus (THOC) at the ancient open amphitheatre of Salamis.

Hippolytus was performed in Greek, with English and Turkish subtitles. It was organized in collaboration with the Famagusta Walled City Association (MASDER) and was under the auspices of the Bi-communal Technical Committee on Culture.

Hippolytus at Salamis

The number of the audience at the ancient theatre of Salamis exceeded their expectations, Serdar Atai, coordinator of the Turkish Cypriot NGO of MASDER Famagusta said he estimated that there were 3.500 viewers, 2.800 Greek Cypriots and about 700 Turkish Cypriots. “It was a very nice evening. We together made a journey to our roots, to our common cultural heritage”. “It was a very emotional night, really we felt all very nostalgic,” he said.

The performance of Hippolytus at the ancient theatre of Salamis proved that culture has the power and the spirit to create a new chapter in the history of Cyprus, Chairman of the Board of the THOC, Yiannis Toumazis told.

Toumazis regarded this as an important step in organizing high-level cultural events by the bi-communal Technical Committee on Culture. “Culture is the main weapon in our quiver as a European country in a very troubled region of Southeast Mediterranean and we must develop and exploit this weapon with our cultural heritage and cultural power,” he said.

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