TRNC News Today 22nd October 2015

Minister Çolak is holding contacts in Paris

Foreign Minister Emine Çolak is holding a series of contacts in France’s capital Paris.

Minister Çolak has begun her contacts with a meeting with the Vice President of the French National Assembly, Cyprus-France Parliamentary Group, and the Republican Deputy Guy Geoffroy. The meeting which took place in the French National Assembly lasted about an hour. Minister Çolak gave information about the latest stage of the negotiations and answered Geoffroy’s questions regarding the process. Emphasizing the importance of the support for the ongoing negotiations under the UN, Çolak underlined how important it is to reach a comprehensive solution for both communities.

Emine Colak in Paris

Indicating that the property issue, which is one of the most important chapters of the negotiation process, has started to be negotiated, Çolak mentioned the importance of completing this chapter with success. Besides all international parties, the support of France as a member of the UN is needed.  Colak underlined the importance of conveying views of the Turkish Cypriots to the French authorities and thanked Geoffroy for this opportunity.

In the framework of her contacts, Çolak met with the former French President and the Leader of the center-right Republican Party Nicolas Sarkozy’s political adviser and former Cooperation Minister, Republican Party Deputy Alain Joyandet in Paris. The Cyprus problem was discussed during the dinner at which Çolak particularly underlined that the Turkish Cypriots do not want to live the same disappointments once again which were experienced after the referendum in 2004 and underlined the importance of the political will of both sides.

Emine Colak in Paris 2

Çolak stated that it is expected from France to put constructive contribution to the process and to stand at an equal distance from both sides and she also said that it would constitute a positive example in the region to find a solution in Cyprus while considering the instability in the Middle East, so that it will be to the benefit of all international actors including France.

Stating that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots supported a solution and this was proven in 2004, Çolak underlined that this support continues today. Minister Çolak emphasized her wish that an intensive period of negotiations results in success as soon as possible and a solution will be reached.

Minister Çolak who completed her first contacts with the Chairman of the France-Cyprus Friendship Group, Socialist Deputy Didier Marie within the framework of her contacts in France, will meet with the representatives of various media organizations.

British Foreign Secretary is “cautiously optimistic” regarding the Cyprus solution

The UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told the House of Commons that he is “cautiously optimistic” that a settlement to the Cyprus issue may be possible, during a foreign policy questions and answers session on Tuesday.

Philip Hammond

The Conservative north London MP David Burrowes asked the Foreign Secretary, given the “momentum” for Turkish accession to the EU, to confirm that the reunification of Cyprus will be a significant condition. Amid all the other challenges, this one is surmountable given the increasing confidence and wider benefits not just for Cyprus but for the wider region,” commented Burrowes, the Parliamentary Group Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Cyprus. Hammond responded by saying that he visited Cyprus a couple of months ago and that he is committed to going there again next month. He also said that he has been keeping in touch with both the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Akinci, to whom he spoke a couple of weeks ago.“I am cautiously optimistic that we are seeing an alignment in Cyprus that may make a settlement possible – I do not want to over-enthuse about this, but many people think we now have a chance, the like of which we have not seen for decades,” added the UK Foreign Secretary.

CTP leaves the meeting

It was stated that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) left the meeting of the two sides’ political parties held under the auspices of the Slovakian Embassy in the buffer zone. Foreign Relations Secretary Muhittin Tolga Özsağlam was representing the Republican Turkish Party at the meeting.  After the meeting, Özsağlam said that he left the meeting but he did not give any detail. It was also stated that representatives of the National Unity Party and Democrat Party National Forces did not attend yesterday’s meeting.

CTP leave meeting

It was stated that issues relating to a bi-zonal bi-communal federation arose when the Greek Cypriot parties EDEK and the Greens wanted the reference of ‘an acceptance of a bi-communal agreement with the EU aquis’ to be put into the joint text. The CTP representative at the meeting rejected this by saying the two leaders had not agreed on such a matter and responded by criticizing that the two Greek Cypriot parties were opposed to a bi-zonal federation.

When the representative of EDEK used the expression ‘be careful when you speak about EDEK’, the tension increased and CTP Member Muhittin Özsağlam left the meeting.

Negotiators met with the participation of Eide

Turkish Cypriot negotiator Özdil Nami and the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis met in order to discuss mainly the property criteria with the participation of the UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.

The Turkish and Greek Cypriot negotiation teams were also present at the meeting.

Negotiators meet

According to the information given by Presidential Spokesperson Barış Burcu the meeting was conducted as preparatory work for the meeting to be held on Friday.

Burcu expressed that the property criteria will be discussed both internally at both sides and with the other side intensively.

Refugees arrive at Akrotiri Base

A number of boats with migrants on board landed on the shore of Royal Air Force Akrotiri in South Cyprus, and the Greek Cypriot authorities are expected to take responsibility. In a press release, the British Forces Cyprus note that such events underline why it is important to develop a comprehensive approach to the migration crisis. “We can confirm that a number of boats with migrants on board have landed on the shore of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. At the moment our key priority is ensuring everybody on board is safe and well and when we can release further details we will”, the British Forces note.

Immigrants at Akrotiri

They added that they have had an agreement in place with South Cyprus since 2003 to ensure that the authorities in the south take responsibility in circumstances like this. “Events like this underline why it is important for us to develop a comprehensive approach to the migration crisis working with our international partners to provide humanitarian assistance in Syria and neighbouring countries; to disrupt the trafficking gangs and to address the root causes of instability that cause people to seek a new life elsewhere”, the British Forces point out.

Veysel Eroğlu: “The Greek Cypriots are dreaming”

Turkish Minister for Forestry and Water Works, Veysel Eroglu, responded to the claims that there is a secret document prepared by the Turkish Cypriot side and the UN regarding the water project and how it will increase the property prices in the TRNC and make the reinstitution of the Greek Cypriot properties more difficult and said “Greek Cypriots are dreaming”.

Veysel Eroglu

Eroğlu also said that Turkey has taken the water to the island as ‘peace water’. Eroğlu added that trying to draw the issue to another direction was just an excuse and Greek Cypriots are dreaming.

Siber received Shahid

Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber received the Minister of Law, Human Rights and Parliamentary Relations of Pakistan – İmtiyaz Shahid and the Authorities of BUN upon an invitation by the British University of Nicosia (BUN).

Speaking at the reception Siber stated that Pakistan is a friendly and brotherly country and this visit was extremely important.

Sibel Siber

Siber mentioned that many Pakistani students are studying in the TRNC and when these students return to their country after graduation, the positive messages that they give will honour the TRNC.

On the other hand Siber said that they care to continue to increase the educational cooperation between Pakistan and the TRNC.

Stating that he was very pleased to be in the TRNC, Shahid mentioned that the educational system of the TRNC is satisfactory and Pakistani students are extremely satisfied with their studies.

Expressing that he met with Pakistani students who are studying in the TRNC and gave them some advice, Shahid said that such visits will improve the cooperation between the two countries.

The suspect of the racist attack in London to be taken to court

The man who has been arrested because of displaying racist and Islam phobic attack against a Turkish citizen in a public bus in UK’s capital London will appear in court next week.

Islamophobia

According to the statement made by the London police, 25-year-old Kashif Samuels will be taken to Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court on 26 October for disrupting public order with a racist verbal attack.

The police reported that the event took place at Haringey, North London on 15 October where a large number of Turkish citizens live.

North Cyprus Classic & Sports Car Club is represented in the Republic Rally in Turkey

North Cyprus Classic & Sports Car Club is represented in the Republic Rally in Turkey which is organized by Turkey Classic Car Club.

According to a statement from the club, the country will be represented by the President of North Cyprus Classic & Sports Car Club – Simavi Aşık in the Republic Rally which will be held under the theme “Peace and Friendship.”

North Cyprus Classic & Sports Car Club

The Republic Rally, in which 50 classic cars will participate and union and solidarity messages will be given against terrorism, will last 2 days, starting from Istanbul on October 23rd.

“Aysun Kahraman-Symphony of Awakening” staged in Adana

“Aysun Kahraman-Symphony of Awakening” which is the greatest production organized for a native composer in Cyprus was staged at Büyükşehir Municipality Concert Hall in Adana.

Aysun Kahraman-Symphony of Awakening

The first Symphony was staged in June at the 19th International Famagusta Culture, Art and Tourism Fair with the participation of Çukurova State Symphony Orchestra, and the second was staged on 16 October, Friday night, at Adana Büyükşehir Municipality Concert Hall.

American Jazz musician and organizer Chris Byars notated the film music melodies of Aysun Kahraman and thus the symphony has been created.

South Cyprus is under pressure

South Cyprus Leader Nikos Anastasiades is in Madrid for the European People’s Party (EPP) congress, where he will deliver a speech on Thursday on the role of Europe in regional conflicts and try to allay fears at home that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pressure Cyprus to back down on some chapters that are blocking Turkey’s EU accession.

South Cyprus Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said that at the congress, which began on Wednesday and ends on Friday, Anastasiades is set to hold separate meetings with state leaders.

Nikos Anastasiades

Before his departure, Anastasiades, had said he would meet Merkel in Madrid, to discuss comments she made on Sunday in Istanbul that she would push Turkey’s EU accession forward in exchange for help in tackling the EU migrant crisis by opening some chapters that are currently blocked by Cyprus.

On Monday, the government of South Cyprus said it would not end its opposition to Turkish accession negotiations with the EU, saying the reasons it had blocked chapters in the first place remained valid. Chancellor Merkel said at a joint news conference in Istanbul with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu a day earlier that her country “is ready this year to open Chapter 17 (economic policy), and make preparations for 23 and 24. We can talk about the details,” she added.

 “The reasons they (the negotiations) were frozen have not ceased to exist,” Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told.  “As things presently stand, we cannot give our consent (to their resumption).”

EU leaders last week pledged renewed consideration of the long-stalled accession talks with Ankara, cash and easier visa terms in return for its help in tackling the migration crisis.

On the other hand, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu said there was no link between stalled EU accession negotiations and the migrant crisis, according to an article published in daily Hurriyet.

“Turkey’s EU membership and the Syrian refugee issue are two separate issues. However, they [EU member states] need to see that Turkey is important for Europe in regards to the refugee issue,” Sinirlioğlu said.

With regard to Cyprus blocking accession chapters, Hurriyet quoted diplomatic sources as saying: “The negotiation process in Cyprus is underway. Either a peace agreement will be signed in March and the issue will be resolved via the holding of a referendum or the current situation will be recognised as a solution by the international community if the Greek Cypriot side rejects [the agreement]. This means that no obstacle will remain in front of Turkey’s negotiation process.”

PIO logoSource: TRNC Public Information Office –

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