Özgürgün: “Guarantor powers will remain on the island after a solution”
In his interview with the Greek Cypriot “Kathimerini” newspaper, Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün stated regarding the guarantor powers that the Turkish and Greek Military forces and the British bases and troops will continue to stay on the island after a solution.
Stating that the territory and guarantee issues are the key points of the Cyprus problem, and the territory issue is also related with the administration chapter, Özgürgün underlined that a solution should not destroy the current social and economic structure.
Özgürgün said, “Return of territory is not out of the possibilities and in case of such a possibility they will emphasize the Green Line area, which is a very large and unused area, and the closed city of Maraş”.
Ersin Tatar asks for application of Greek Cypriots to be moved to the table
Stating that the Greek Cypriot Administration has made an application to The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe that will cause collapse of the construction and real estate sectors in North Cyprus, National Unity Party Lefkoşa Deputy Ersin Tatar asked President Akıncı to move the subject to the negotiation table immediately.
Tatar invited President Akıncı to show the necessary reaction in the presence of the European Commission, the United Nations, the European Union and relevant countries and also called for the government to deal with this issue diligently.
In his written statement, Ersin Tatar also mentioned the letter which was sent by the Greek Cypriot Administration to the European Commission Committee of Ministers about the Greek Cypriot properties in the North before 1974. Tatar emphasized that the Greek Cypriot Administration is damaging the spirit of the ongoing negotiations with this application.
The universities in the TRNC are a source of concern for the Greek Cypriots
The Greek Cypriot Alithia newspaper wrote that there is twice the number of students studying at TRNC universities compared to the number of the students who are studying in South Cyprus universities.
The newspaper reported that 12 universities operate in the TRNC and when compared to the number of university students in South Cyprus, the number is “amazing”. It was stated that 81.000 university students are studying in the TRNC universities in the 2015-2016 academic year. 47,033 of these students are from Turkey, 21,982 of them from third world countries and 12,000 are Turkish Cypriots. The newspaper reported that the university student number in South Cyprus during the 2014-2015 academic year was 35,183 and 63% of them were Greek Cypriot students. Indicating that the number of EU citizen students studying in the South is 8,669 and the number of students from third world countries is 2,328, it was emphasized that the Greek Cypriot officials should take serious measures in order to increase the student numbers. The newspaper also reported that the diplomas of the universities in the TRNC are recognized in the EU and by many other universities in the world.
The Leader of ELAM was the guard of Golden Dawn’s leader
It was stated that the new deputy Hristos Hristu who is the leader of racist and fascist ELAM in South Cyprus and succeeded to enter the parliament at the last general elections held in South Cyprus was the guard of far right wing Greece’s Golden Dawn Party leader Nikos Mihaloliakos.
According to the report of the Greek Cypriot daily Politis, the biography of Hristu has not been published anywhere but Golden Dawn Deputy İlias Kasidiaris informed about the past of the ELAM leader on an internet programme.
Buttenheim hosted a farewell reception in the buffer zone
The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim, whose term of office in the island has ended, hosted a farewell reception in the buffer zone. President Mustafa Akıncı was also present at the reception at Ledra Palace Hotel.
In her speech at the reception, Buttenheim said “The two crossings agreed by the leaders last year, Derinya and Lefke Aplıç, are both moving ahead”. Maybe not as quickly as we might have hoped, she added, “but they are both moving ahead and I can say that because I know.” Buttenheim expressed the point of view that “the opening of crossings makes a huge positive difference to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.” At the same time she expressed gratitude of the “painstaking and dangerous” work done by the Cambodian demining teams without which, she said, the opening of crossings would not have been possible.
Buttenheim also said that “today, Cyprus is closer to a solution than it has been in a long while.” “To depart when the talks are going well with two leaders who are deeply committed to reunifying this island, renews my conviction that a comprehensive, just and sustainable settlement is possible and truly within reach,” she noted. The UN official also referred to the role of civil society in the Cyprus reunification process pointing out that “negotiations may take place at the political table but reconciliation must take place within the hearts of people.” She referred, in particular to the Home for Cooperation, which is located across from Ledra Palace in the buffer zone and operates as a hub where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can meet professionally and socially as well as the Centre for Visual Arts and Research located in the old city of Nicosia which is the only bi-communal museum in Cyprus. The “Cyprus` vibrant civil society has been at the centre of activities to build a culture of peace on the island and I have been privileged to work with so many of you”, she said.
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