TRNC News Today 30th November 2015
Çolak: “We have requested information from the US”
Foreign Minister Emine Çolak made a statement regarding the decision of the United States to lift the arms embargo on South Cyprus.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Emine Çolak made evaluations to the BRT Channel and she said that she had requested more detailed information on the subject from the US authorities.
Çolak said “We have requested information for clarifying the issue. We will inform the public about the issue in detail after the necessary consultations.”
EU-Turkey summit held
The European Union-Turkey Summit has been held with the agenda comprising vitalizing Turkey’s membership negotiations, visa requirements and refugee crisis.
It is stated in the draft text of the EU-Turkey Summit that both sides are in agreement that “Turkey’s membership process needs to be speeded up.”
It is also stated in the draft text that the 17th Chapter entitled “Economic and Monetary Policy” will be opened on 15 December 2015, and in addition to this, the Commission will complete its studies to open new chapters in the first quarter of 2016.
CTP and TDP attend Socialist International meeting
The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Communal Democracy Party (TDP) attended the meeting of Socialist International.
In his speech at the meeting, TDP Leader Cemal Özyiğit evaluated the Cyprus negotiation process and the regional problems. Stressing the importance of the Cyprus negotiations between the two leaders, Özyiğit said that as TDP, they have always supported a federal solution based on bi-zonality, bi-communality and political equality. Furthermore, Özyiğit stressed that confidence building measures will play an important role in reaching an agreement in Cyprus.
Furthermore, in his speech, CTP Central Executive Board Member and Foreign Relations Secretary Muhittin Tolga Özsağlam said that a permanent solution to be reached in Cyprus will bring peace and stability to the whole Mediterranean.
Özsağlam attended the meeting of Socialist International at Angola’s capital Luanda as the representative of CTP.
Making a speech at the meeting, Özsağlam said that there are many problems in the world at the moment adding that ethnic conflicts, wars, terrorism and injustice in distribution of income are just a few of these problems.
Özsağlam also underlined that the Cyprus problem is one of these issues, expressing that both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots experienced deep sadness in the past. Reminding that the negotiations have been continuing between the two leaders in Cyprus currently, Özsağlam said that as CTP, they support a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution in Cyprus. Indicating that in spite of this, the process is proceeding slowly, Özsağlam pointed out that confidence building measures have not been implemented yet.
The Mayor of Lefkoşa Mehmet Harmancı held contacts in Brussels
The Mayor of Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality LTB, Mehmet Harmancı, held a series of contacts in the European Union’s capital, Brussels and explained the legal position of LTB and he asked for an equal share of grants.
During this visit, the latest developments on the Cyprus issue, how international actors can contribute to the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Municipalities, LTB’s ongoing projects with the EU and the Greek Cypriot Nicosia Municipality and technical assistance were discussed at the meetings.
It was stated that the EU Commissioner for Regional Policies Corina Cretu, who came to Lefkoşa recently and was exposed to different criticisms due to unequal treatment she made to the two Municipalities of Nicosia, received the Mayor of Lefkoşa – Mehmet Harmancı.
At the meeting held in the European Parliament, Harmancı gave detailed information about the projects of LTB and the joint projects.
“We must root out the cancer of party and church control of education”
By George Koumoullis
Sunday Mail, November 29, 2015
“Tell me your teachers and I’ll tell you who you are,” goes the Greek saying which should reverberate in Cyprus after the unprovoked and unjustified attacks on Turkish Cypriots by students during the recent demonstrations condemning the establishment of the pseudo-state.
Most of the students detained for these attacks were from one school, the headmaster of which is widely known as a right wing extremist. In his memorial speech about George Grivas two years ago, this headmaster said that Grivas “constitutes one of the leading personalities produced by Cyprus, but also wider Hellenism during the 20th century”.
I will not comment on the amusement caused by such unhistorical claims to the overwhelming majority of Greek Cypriots who know that Grivas proved a collaborator during the German occupation of Greece and was the founder and leader of criminal EOKA B. A school headmaster knows very well that when a student messes up two out of three topics in a final exam he will not pass let alone be declared pompously a top student.
Generally speaking, if a headmaster is racist and in the thrall of fascism we should not expect the students of the school he runs to be governed by democratic ideals. Such a secondary school cannot mould spiritual or intellectual people that deal with social, political, cultural and moral problems through the search for truth. Such a secondary school cannot produce citizens with a democratic outlook who respect diversity. Such a school cannot respect human rights and cultural diversity within a multi-cultural society.
On the contrary, such a school fosters intolerance, xenophobia and, in our case, would exhaustively cultivate hatred and hostility towards our Turkish Cypriot compatriots. Therefore the assortment of slogans uttered by students during the recent protests, such as “a good Turk is a dead Turk” or “Turks, Mongols, murderers” should not leave us stunned, flabbergasted and dazed because it is the natural consequence of the education given to students at many schools.
The problem cannot be solved by President Anastasiades taking on the role of Moses, descending from a governmental Sinai with his own tablets of 110 commandments aimed at tackling the symptoms, while completely ignoring the causes; not to mention that he confuses hooliganism with fascism. The problem could be solved – and to achieve a solution a long-term effort is necessary – with the radical restructuring of education about which no mention is made in the government’s commandments.
The problems in education dictate long-term and coordinated creative solutions. The cancer of education in Cyprus is political party control which should not be confused with political awareness. It is our obligation towards our country, our students and future generations not to allow teachers to be involved in party politics because the damage caused to education by party influence is incalculable for three basic reasons:
The planning of education – as is the practice in well-run countries – must be above political parties, party personalities, party unionism and the Church establishment. The lack of planning in education because of party control obliterates quality with the result that private lessons have grown to monstrous proportions. The rector of the University of Cyprus estimated that parents spend the astronomical amount of €60 million a year on private lessons and cramming centres. And we talk about “free education”!
When the headmaster of a school belongs to a political party, it is reasonable to deduce that he will try to promote the views of his party at the school. Many teachers at that school try to ingratiate themselves with the head because they want the good appraisal from him which is essential for their career advancement. Inevitably, in some schools, an atmosphere of servility and cowardice is created. Only the head speaks and the teachers are not allowed to disagree. Their only right is to listen, obey and execute, for their own good, whatever is decreed by the…. maestro. In this way the headmaster is in a position to promote his ideology at the school.
The education ministry is a bastion of the extreme right and every minister is in effect appointed by the archbishop. Indicatively, when the latter met representatives of ELAM he described them as “good children”! Many accept the slogans of the neo-fascists of Golden Dawn about patriotism, nationalism, the superiority of the Greek race and other such inanities exactly because of inadequate education and the influence exercised over it by the church. In conclusion, if our education were literally a live organism, it would have sent out an SOS signal a long time ago. And if we ran to its rescue, it would whisper to us: “I suffer greatly from party control and neo-fascism. Please help me.” The issue raised now is: will we show the compassion and care needed to cure it, bearing in mind the very painful side-effects if it is left to die?”
Source: Sunday Mail
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