TRNC News Today 14th January 2016
The leaders met today
President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades held their second meeting of 2016 today in efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue. The meeting took place at the buffer zone.
After the meeting the leaders made the following joint statement:
“Today, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr. Nikos Anastasiades held constructive deliberations on all of the outstanding issues and provided further guidance to the negotiators.
The leaders established the Technical Committee on Education on 25th November and today appointed 11 members each. They exchanged their respective lists of members.”
The two leaders will meet again on 29th January.
Akıncı is going to Davos
President Mustafa Akıncı will attend the World Economic Forum to be held on January 19-22 in Davos, Switzerland.
In his speech during one of his receptions Akıncı said that the Secretary-General has still no “intention” concerning the tripartite meeting in Davos with the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Ban Ki-Moon and Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades.
Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side is not a party to sidestep from the negotiations on every ground, on the contrary, the Greek Cypriot side is the party which sidestepped from the quintet meeting with the United Nations Secretary General (UNSG), Akıncı said: “If the UNSG propose for a tripartite meeting, the answer will surely be positive.”
Pointing out that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the world’s best-known businessmen and politicians will be in Davos and the world’s most important issues will be discussed at Davos, Akıncı said: “I believe that the four of us must not avoid to get together and drink coffee. We must take advantage of being there and sit and talk and try to understand each other.”
Stating that he welcomes the participation of UNSG Ban in the meeting, Akıncı underlined that there is no quintet meeting which will be set up by the United Nations.
On the other hand Greek Cypriot Administration Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides made a statement and said that the Greek Cypriot Administration does not favour either a formal or informal four- party and/or five – party meeting in Davos.
Akıncı and Anastasiades attended lunch at the buffer zone
President Mustafa Akıncı and the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades attended the lunch organized at the buffer zone within the framework of the Greek – Turkish Forum Meeting.
Former ministers, member of parliaments, academics, businessmen and journalists who came from Turkey and Greece attended the lunch at Chateau Status Restaurant near the Ledra Palace Hotel.
Turkish-Greek Forum invites the two leaders to do their utmost
Turkish-Greek Forum reported that they welcome the two leaders’ commitment and their engagement with citizens and stakeholders in building confidence in a common future and a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
Yesterday the Turkish-Greek Forum issued the following statement:
“On the occasion of its meeting in Cyprus at the Home for Co-operation in the UN Buffer Zone on the 13th and 14th of January 2016, the Greek Turkish Forum had the pleasant opportunity of meeting with the leaders of the two communities.
We want to commend the leaders as well for establishing an exemplary paradigm of communication and outreach based on mutual trust, as reflected in their public statements and actions.
While a settlement is by no means a foregone conclusion at this stage, the positive climate engendered through the talks presents a unique opportunity to achieve progress and successfully conclude the negotiations. The Turkish-Greek Forum is fully committed to supporting the leaders in their quest for a settlement agreeable to both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and will spare no effort to promote the peace process.”
The Forum noted that the upcoming months will be crucial for Cyprus and the outcome of the peace process and said:
“We welcome their commitment and their engagement with citizens and stakeholders in building confidence in a common future and a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The Turkish-Greek Forum is grateful to the leaders for updating forum members on the encouraging atmosphere in the talks under the UN auspices.
We urge the two leaders to do their utmost to overcome existing difficulties in the negotiations to the long-lasting benefit of all Cypriots.”
“Key importance of Cyprus”
A high level authority from Turkey who participated in Turkey-European Union negotiations stated that 6 EU commissioners will have contacts in Turkey in March on many issues primarily the Cyprus solution process. The authority also said that the Cyprus issue is expected to be the most important agenda topic in Turkey-EU relations.
Expressing that the Cyprus problem is an obstacle in front of the chapters possible to be opened for Turkey’s EU membership, the authority said that the EU Commission and Turkey are making serious preparations, adding that if the Cyprus problem is not solved, there will not be any development on Turkey’s membership process. The authority also said “Cyprus negotiations are going well and there is a positive atmosphere in Cyprus. It is expected to reach a solution in the first quarter of this year. If a solution is reached within this year, there will be visa exemption and Turkey’s membership negotiations will develop. If the Cyprus problem is not solved, visa exemption may be applied, summits may be held but membership negotiations will be in danger. Everything is relevant to the Cyprus issue”.
Talat met with Schulz
The Leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat met with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz yesterday.
The latest developments reached in the Cyprus negotiation process were discussed during the meeting as well as the adaptation process to the EU.
Deputy Undersecretary from US visited Özgür
The Deputy Undersecretary for Europe and Eurasia of the US Secretary of the Treasury Daleep Singh, who is having contacts in Cyprus, visited the Minister of Finance Birikim Özgür. Singh conveyed his views to Minister Özgür regarding the possible financial difficulties and opportunities after a solution and was informed about the TRNC economy.
In his speech at the meeting, Özgür said that structural transformation is very important for them therefore their intense reform studies are continuing.
Stating the contributions of Turkey for the TRNC in this process, Özgür expressed that the support of the US and EU will increase their strength during the solution process and also for continuing stability of peace.
Furthermore, adding that after a solution Cyprus will need a healthy transition period in which any financial difficulty will not be experienced, Özgür said that the US support strengthened their belief for a solution in Cyprus.
Özyiğit received Kettis
The leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Özyiğit received President of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus Andreas Kettis.
At the meeting which took place at the Headquarters of the TDP, latest developments reached in the Cyprus negotiation process and present issues on the agenda were evaluated.
Founding President Denktaş was commemorated
The Founding President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Rauf Raif Denktaş was commemorated with ceremonies on the 4thanniversary of his death.
In his speech at the ceremony President Akıncı said that Rauf Raif Denktaş, whom they remembered with respect on the 4th anniversary of his death, was a great leader who guided the Turkish Cypriot people when efforts had been made to wipe out Turkish Cypriot identity from the island.
President Akıncı said that the time is continuously passing, a new world and new conditions are existing today but the needs of the Turkish Cypriots have not changed in essence, as they were previously, today they are trying to find ways to become rooted and grounded permanently in the island.
Akıncı said: “Of course, just as the late Denktaş did in his time we also have to find a proper way through which we will meet the needs of the present time. Therefore, we are working with all our good intention for a fair settlement. We make efforts for a settlement which will not compromise the equality, freedom and security of the Turkish Cypriots.”
Objection from Greek Cypriots to advertising campaign of the TRNC in the UK
The Tourism Ministry, announced that the Ministry has reacted to the information that the promotion of “Northern Cyprus” tourism in the inner cities and airports in London, Manchester and Luton disturbed the Greek Cypriots and a written complaint to the UK Foreign Secretary as well as the other competent authorities about the removal of the “Northern Cyprus” advertisements was made by the Greek Cypriots.
In the statement it is said: “We are amazed to see that at such a period that the Cyprus negotiations intensively continue on the Cyprus issue, the mentality in South Cyprus has not changed and they cannot even tolerate the promotion of Northern Cyprus tourism.”
Solidarity Platform of Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad will organize a panel
The Solidarity Platform of Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad will organize a panel which will approach the different perspectives of ‘Right to Elect and to be Elected and Representation Rights”. The panel will take place at the City Centre Hotel in İstanbul on 16 January 2016.
According to the statement given by the Solidarity Platform of Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad, the purpose of the platform was expressed as strengthening the ties between the Turkish Cypriots living in Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots living abroad and to provide the feeling of belonging to the country for the future generations. Indicating that the issue of representation of the Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad has great importance in this context, the platform proposed at the workshop which was conducted on 6 October 2015 at AKM, to send 5 deputies in total; 2 deputies from the UK and Turkey and one deputy from Australia which are selected by the elections in their countries and to be sent to the TRNC Assembly as representatives.
Anastasiades is under the pressure of the Greek Cypriot opposition
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades on Wednesday reiterated his readiness to attend a joint meeting, if invited, with the UN Secretary-General and President Mustafa Akıncı in Switzerland later this month. Anastasiades said: “If invited I will certainly take part because the UNSG should be informed about the actual status of the talks; the progress achieved and the problems we have.”
If it takes place, the meeting will be held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos between January 20 and 23.
On the other hand, Greek Cypriot opposition politicians are anxious about this meeting. EDEK expressed concern over the move, saying the party was convinced that an attempt was underway to systematically upgrade the Turkish Cypriot state in the North.
“This meeting cannot be justified from the moment Anastasiades is invited in his capacity as the ‘President’ and Mr. Akinci is invited under a completely different capacity,” EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos said in a statement.
Such a meeting will not be downgrading the President as a leader of a community but it will be upgrading Akıncı to President or representative of a so-called state entity, he said.
DIKO suggested Akıncı being upgraded to “co-president” with acceptance by Anastasiades in advance to meet Akıncı alone, or in the presence of the UNSG in Davos, “where only heads of state participate.” and all this, according to the party, amid a blackout that aimed in taking people by surprise and subsequently blackmailing them.
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.