President Akıncı met with German Foreign Minister
President Mustafa Akıncı had a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Germany yesterday.
In his statement following the meeting, Akıncı said that for the first time Germany is showing such a great interest in the Cyprus issue. Adding that they have seen that Germany intends to develop their relations with the Turkish Cypriot side, Akıncı expressed that he had a chance to evaluate the stage reached in the Cyprus negotiations with Steinmeier.
Furthermore, stressing that Turkish Cypriots will be one of the equal sides of the Federal Cyprus, Akıncı said that it will be beneficial to develop the relations now.
Mentioning the elections to be held in South Cyprus, Akıncı said that the elections will slow down the negotiations that’s why if a solution is desired in 2016, we should enter a very speedy process as at the end of May.
Upon being reminded about the statement of the Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkır “The Cyprus problem has not been solved although a long time has passed since the removal of the Berlin wall”, Akıncı said that Turkish Cypriots have done whatever is necessary at the referendum held in 2004 to destroy the wall between the two sides that’s why the reason of the current wall is not the Turkish Cypriots.
Referring to the issue of lifting visa requirements for Turkish Cypriots to pass to South Cyprus, Akıncı said that both sides will do whatever is necessary on the issue and the referendum will result with “yes” votes of both sides.
Akıncı: “As a Turkish Cypriot leader I would like to cooperate with all the European Union countries”
Stating that the solution on the island is important for the region and the EU, President Akıncı said, “as a Turkish Cypriot leader I would like to cooperate with all the European Union countries.“
Responding to the questions of Amrita Cheema at a morning news program on Deutsche Welle channel in Germany, Akıncı said that although the majority of the Turkish Cypriots gave a YES vote to the 2004 Annan Plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, they were not accepted into the EU but the Greek Cypriots which overwhelmingly rejected the plan were unilaterally accepted into the EU.
Referring to the negotiation process, Akıncı said that serious progress had been made on 4 of the 6 chapters and even though some problems still remained, the issue of territory and guarantees will be discussed at the end of the process.
Noting that alongside the physical division, there is also a division on mentality of the societies, Akıncı said that the mental division between the two societies on the island is not easy to overcome in a short time. Akıncı emphasized that the Greek Cypriots have some understanding that they are the sole rulers of the whole island and that understanding should be changed. Akıncı added that the Greek Cypriots have to accept that they must share the administration which is not easy for them to accept.
Upon a question regarding his expectations from the visit to Berlin, Akıncı expressed his beliefs that a solution to be found on the island will be a good example for the turbulent region, and will also contribute for the development of the relations not only between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots but also the relations among Turkey-Greece and Turkey-EU.
Furthermore, stating that the EU declared they are ready to provide support for the solution, Akıncı expressed that he is pleased with the invitation of the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in this context.
International festival journey of “Random Attempts” is continuing
The short film “Random Attempts” which won the championship twice in the United States of America is preparing for the third screening in the USA. The film which was previously screened in Houston and Seattle, will be screened at the Towson University in the state of Maryland. The film which was directed by Vasfi Çiftçioğlu, EMU Faculty of Communication doctoral student, and Doğuş Özokutan and co-starring by Hatice Tezcan, has been screened in more than 20 international festivals and won many awards up to today.
Random Attempts was selected by the Towson University Electronic Media and film Department for the 9th Women and Minorities in the Media (WAMM) Festival which will be held between 14 -16 April. 1100 short films from 80 different countries have applied to the WAMM Festival this year. Random Attempts has succeeded in entering the official competition selection which consists of 57 films.
“Panama Papers” scandal growing in South Cyprus
The “Panama Papers” scandal in South Cyprus is growing with interesting developments.
An EU ad-hoc parliamentary committee will arrive in South Cyprus on Friday to establish the island’s alleged connection to the recent Panama Papers scandal.
The committee is expected to hold talks with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades as well as other high-ranking officials in South Cyprus. The committee has been tasked by the EU with looking into the scandal to establish if there has been any wrongdoing from within the bloc as well as from the member states.
It is not yet known if South Cyprus is the first port of call for the committee members.
Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades had previously urged authorities to carry out immediate investigations into the Panama Papers saga.
According to the news of Greek Cypriot Sigma-Live, a total of 88 persons have been investigated up to now and their statements are not satisfactory enough. The Greek Cypriot Tax Office is in deep research on the issue and the total amount which is being investigated is more than 35 million euros.
It was also stated that research findings of the Greek Cypriot Tax Office are expected to be conveyed to the Attorney General Kostas Klerides. It was also noted that a meeting was held at the Tax Office and views were exchanged about how to impose sanction on 116 companies involved in the scandal.
To read more news and information from the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please click here
Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.