Akıncı: “The basis of living together in Cyprus is trust”
Speaking at an event, President Akıncı has said that the basis of living together in Cyprus is the building of trust between the two communities, and that attacks and harassment, which Turkish Cypriots face in South Cyprus, have already damaged the climate of confidence.
President Akıncı noted that 22 incidents of attacks and harassment of Turkish Cypriots in South Cyprus have been recorded. He added that these were the cases that have been reported in the press, and came to light, after a complaint to the Greek Cypriot police and that a new one is being added to them every day.
In his speech, Akıncı said: “The building of trust between the two communities is crucial if we want to establish a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal structure, in order to live in peace on this island. This trust cannot be achieved by attacking Turkish Cypriots’ cars and those who travel to South Cyprus”
Akıncı also said, “As the Turkish Cypriot community, we would be content to see those who commit these crimes brought before the court and punished. Only if this occurs can we establish a deterrent and develop a culture of peace in Cyprus. “
Akıncı continued, “The negotiations have resumed. We currently have 4 scheduled meetings. These 4 meetings are vital. In this process, the UN should be more active and more helpful than ever. We do not have any expectations for the UN to arbitrate, to put official proposals on the table, or to fill in the gaps as in the Annan Plan.
President Akıncı said, “It is crucial that every state is to be functional. It is also important that representatives of every state must participate in the decision making process in each state structure.”
Furthermore, Akıncı stressed that no party should be seen to simply ‘take place’ in a two-wing structure. Just as it is important to take part in those structures, both sides must also have influence in making the decisions that the structures will produce. A culture of partnership and federal understanding otherwise cannot develop. “
“We need a culture of peace and cooperation rather than conflict. Both communities have the right and share in natural gas reserves. We can only reveal and utilize them in the context of cooperation in an environment of peace and solution-building”
He also added that there is a “natural calendar” for the process, saying we need to be able to create the parameters of a solution until July.”
Ertuğruloğlu meets with the General Director of the Islamic Development Bank
The Foreign Minister, who is holding meetings in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, met with the General Director of the Islamic Development Bank, Bender Bin Muhammed Bin Hamza Al Haccar.
During the meeting, which was held at the Head Office of the Islamic Development Bank, it was discussed how the Bank could support the economy, higher education, tourism and the infrastructure in the TRNC.
Minister Ertuğruloğlu also informed the General Director of the Islamic Development Bank, Haccar about the progress of the Cyprus negotiations. Additionally, Ertuğruloğlu gave detailed information about higher education and tourism which are the main locomotives of the TRNC economy, and invited Haccar to the TRNC to have a chance to get to know the country.
Expressing that the TRNC takes its place at the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an observer member, Ertuğruloğlu remarked on the importance of developing relationships between OIC member countries and the TRNC.
Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot people have been burdened with unfair embargoes for many years, Ertuğruloğlu said that cooperation of OIC member countries with the TRNC will have benefits for the Turkish Cypriot people.
Furthermore, Minister Ertuğruloğlu met with OIC Islamic Solidarity Fund Executive Director, İbrahim Abdullah Al-Khuzayem within the framework of his meetings in Saudi Arabia.
Ertuğruloğlu meets with Useymin
Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu met with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yusuf Bin Ahmed El Useymin at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
At the meeting, Minister Ertuğruloğlu gave detailed information about the TRNC and invited the Secretary-General to the country.
Pointing out the importance that OIC member countries to know and visit the TRNC, Ertuğruloğlu noted that close co-operation of the OIC member countries with the TRNC would be supportive and beneficial for the Turkish Cypriot people in overcoming the embargoes.
Stating that the TRNC is ready for all kinds of cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade and education, Ertuğruloğlu said that over 22,000 students from the OIC member countries have received education in the TRNC, and stressed the importance of developing this kind of cooperation.
Minister Ertuğruloğlu briefed the Secretary–General about the Cyprus problem and the ongoing fifty-year negotiation process. Emphasizing that political equality and sovereignty rights are very important for the Turkish Cypriot people, Ertuğruloğlu stated that Turkey’s guarantee is also indispensable for Turkish Cypriots.
Ertuğruloğlu added that Turkish Cypriots would be happy and honoured to host Mr. Useymin in the TRNC.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement regarding religious ceremonies and liturgies
TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement regarding religious ceremonies and liturgies. The statement is as follows:
“As we have repeatedly expressed on every occasion where the issue of religious freedoms has come up, the freedoms of religion, thought and conscience are under the protection of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). All individuals residing in our country, including foreign nationals, are free to join any sort of religious ceremonies and liturgies as long as they are not in violation of public order and public morality.
In this connection, it should also be noted that Maronites and Greek Cypriots, who opted to reside within the territory of the TRNC are free to conduct religious services, held by their own priests in eight major Churches in the villages in which they are residing (Dipkarpaz, Sipahi, Koruçam, Karapaşa, Hisarköy and Özhan) without any restrictions or prior notification. Furthermore, there are no restrictions on the number of collective religious services to be held in 3 significant churches (Apostolos Andreas, St Barnabas and St. Mamas). Arrangements regarding other religious sites which are suitable for worship are only logistical and safety-related arrangements and do not entail any restrictions on individuals’ right to worship.
Statistical information regarding religious service requests in recent years is as follows:
In 2013, 38 of the 47 applications were granted permission, whereas 9 were denied permission.
In 2014, 71 of the 107 applications were granted permission, whereas 36 were denied permission.
In 2015, 96 of the 128 applications were granted permission, whereas 32 were denied permission so far.
In 2016, 109 of the 193 applications were granted permission, whereas 54 were denied permission.
Among the 33 applications placed up until 23 April 2017, 25 have been granted permission.
Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side has turned a blind eye to the restrictions it places on Turkish Cypriots to worship collectively at Mosques in Southern Cyprus, including Hala Sultan Mosque. Moreover, the Greek Cypriots have repeatedly exploited the goodwill we have shown in this regard and insist on applying to hold masses at locations and on dates where they are well aware it is not possible to hold services. We deem it necessary to emphasize that we consider it our duty and responsibility to take the necessary precautions against the political exploitation on religious freedoms.”
Akpınar selected as the North Cyprus President of the International Diplomats Union and Vice-president of the EU and the UN sectors
The Girne American University (GAU) Founding Rector and Chancellor of the Board – Serhat Akpınar, has been selected as the North Cyprus President, and the EU and UN Vice-President of the Association of International Diplomats.
His duties were officially appointed at a ceremony held in Germany.
Making a statement after he was selected, Akpınar said, “As a Turkish Cypriot, I am honoured, on behalf of my Country, to be awarded a duty with such significance.”
Stating that the Association are to make a special expansion at the end of June, Akpınar said that the Central Office of the Association of International Diplomats in the TRNC will be officially opened, in order to increase activity in the EU and the UN.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office –
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