Statement by Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s report covering the period between 21 June-15 December 2014 regarding the activities of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus was released yesterday.
In the report, the UN Secretary General stressed that removal of the obstacles and restrictions that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community would positively contribute to a comprehensive solution in the island.
Ban’s report will be discussed at the UN Security Council meeting to be held at the end of this month.
Ban stressed that it should be guaranteed that both communities would benefit from mainly the natural resources and other wealth to be explored around the island. He added that the natural resources to be explored around the island are common wealth of both communities and they create an incentive in reaching a comprehensive settlement. Ban added that natural resources also constitute an encouragement for strong cooperation among the involved parties in the region.
In his report, mentioning the sanctions imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, the UN Secretary General stressed “Lifting of restrictions and barriers that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community will promote trust. Such a development will help to address the isolation concerns of the Turkish Cypriots, as well as their inability to participate meaningfully in an interconnected world, thereby preparing Cyprus for a comprehensive solution.”
Furthermore, the report underlines that the status quo in the island is not sustainable especially when all the factors are taken into consideration, and makes a call to all the sides to create an atmosphere in the island for the resumption of result orientated negotiations based on the Joint Declaration signed by both leaders in Cyprus on 11 February 2014.
The Report of the United Nations Secretary-General on the activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (S/2015/17) which covers the period from 21 June to 15 December 2014 has been published today.
While the said Report includes various positive developments which have emerged as a result of the ongoing determination of the Turkish Cypriot side to display good will and engage in cooperation, it also contains omissions and errors. In this connection, paragraph 26, which makes simultaneous reference to both the comprehensive settlement negotiations and natural resources issues and thus constitutes one of the most critical sections of the Report, has not been written in an objective and fair manner despite all our warnings within the framework of the latest developments. Hence, it is unacceptable that the said paragraph depicts the natural resources issue as one between Turkey and South Cyprus and omits any reference to the Turkish Cypriot side as having equal and inherent rights over the natural gas on and around the Island.
Furthermore, the negligence to indicate that the Navigational Telex (Navtex) issued by Turkey was issued upon the request and on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side as a result of the unilateral activities regarding the natural resources of the Island carried out by the Greek Cypriot side is yet further proof that the Report is far from depicting the facts of this matter. Unfortunately, this situation is only serving to encourage the Greek Cypriot side to maintain its negative stance which insistently abstains from developing an understanding of cooperation on the issue of hydrocarbons, which are the shared property of the two communities on the Island.
In the same paragraph, it is far from a realistic and fair approach that rather than openly calling upon the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions, very general expressions are used which attribute equal responsibility for the situation to both sides. This is particularly unacceptable since it is the Greek Cypriot side which unilaterally suspended the comprehensive settlement negotiations at a time when the process was about to enter a new phase. In this connection, the Greek Cypriot side is the only interlocutor of the call made on the two sides regarding the resumption of the negotiations.
Although the Report contains references that the status quo cannot be maintained, no message is given to the effect that the Greek Cypriot side is expected to act within the basis of cooperation and partnership with the Turkish Cypriot side, whether at the comprehensive negotiations or the hydrocarbons issue. This undermines the conclusion that the status quo must change and reduces it to mere words.
The lifting of the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, which is one of the primary components of the status quo on the Island and has no moral or legal ground, constitutes another important factor which would instill the understanding of cooperation and partnership between the two sides on the Island. In this connection, we note the reference in the current Report, which was not present in other recent UNFICYP reports, to the removal of restrictions and barriers that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community. In conclusion, we remind the United Nations and the international community that the lifting of all dimensions of the isolation without further delay is a humanitarian duty and that steps towards this end will contribute to a comprehensive settlement, and we reiterate that the result-orientated efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side will continue relentlessly.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s report released on UNFICYP’s term of office caused strong reaction in the Greek Cypriot side for its mentioning the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and reference as ‘Greek Cypriot Administration’ to South Cyprus.
In the report which was released yesterday, expressions like ‘common natural resources’ for hydrocarbons, and ‘Greek Cypriot Administration’ for South Cyprus were used. Although the Greek Cypriot side spent intense efforts to get the paragraph changed they failed to succeed. Greek Cypriot Representative to UN, Nikos Emiliu sent a strongly-worded letter to the UN Secretary General and reacted to the content of the report.
The Eastern Mediterranean University Academic Personnel Union (DAÜ-SEN), Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union (KTÖS) and Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers Union (KTOEÖS) and teachers unions from South Cyprus POED, OLTEK and OELMEK signed a joint declaration on rotational representation at the Education Committee of European Union’s Confederation (ETUCE).
It was stated that rotational representation will be put into practice starting from March as an application depending on equal representation of the two communities, and the representation issue was solved on the basis of organisational and political equality.
It was stated that, the agreement is signed based on the definitions of Turkish Cypriot community and Greek Cypriot community in 1960 Constitution of Cyprus and the implementation of rotational representation will be made among the teachers’ unions of two communities.
The late leader of Turkish Cypriot people in their struggle for existence and freedom, Dr. Fazıl Küçük was commemorated on the 31st anniversary of his death with a ceremony at Dr. Fazıl Küçük mausoleum at Anıttepe.
Speaking at the ceremony, TRNC President Dr. Derviş Eroğlu emphasized that Dr. Fazıl Küçük symbolises the awakening, resistance and freedom of the Turkish Cypriots on the principles of Atatürk and added that Dr. Küçük is an example of a Turkish Cypriot doctor who turned into a leader with social consciousness and responsibility by seeing the needs of the people.
TRNC Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Economy, Tourism, Culture and Sports together with representatives of the tourism sector are attending the ‘Matka Nordic Tourism Fair’ organised between 15-18 January in Helsinki, Finland.
Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktaş attended the fair where TRNC has a stand promoting the country’s historical places, nature and tourism. At the stand videos of North Cyprus are being shown as well as brochures in English and Finnish are given.
To all BRS Members to attend a Briefing by TRNC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ozdil Nami, on the latest developments with particular reference to British expatriates interests.
The invitation is extended from BRS in association with MNCB to Members of BRS interested in Government Relations and Property matters.
The talk is by the TRNC Minister of Foreign Relations, (This includes European Harmonisation) Mr Ozdil Nami, the talk will take place as the keynote speech at the BRS AGM at 11a.m., on Saturday 12th April, at the Dome Hotel Girne.
Please try to get there early as there may be queues at registration. Registration starts from 9:30 a.m.
In recent times the BRS Committee’s Government & Property interests has formed a close working relationship with Making North Cyprus Better (MNCB) a movement dedicated to improving the lot of expatriates who love and chose to live in Cyprus. You can read more about the foundation of MNCB on its website at www.mncb2011.com.
MNCB has assisted BRS, in making discreet representations to the Prime Minister and three important Ministries. The Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have oversight in rationalising TRNC legislation with the EEC.
This co-operation started with Malcolm Mitcheson co-option to the BRS Committee. Gul Ozsan and Ashkin Ibrahim joined the BRS liaison team to assist in the wider aspects of improving relations with the TRNC Government. This work, in association with the work of others, is leading to a gradual step by step process of improved recognition of expatriate legal & civil rights in the Courts and by Government.
The continuation of this effort is strongly supported by the present BRS Committee under the Acting Chairmanship of Nicky Montgomery.
BRS, with MNCB support, continue to press for a better recognition of the contribution of expatriates to the TRNC life and its economy. We contend that an even bigger contribution can be made by attracting more expatriates if the Government enact some simple changes to TRNC Law and Government Processes.
This talk by Mr Ozdil Nami to interested BRS members will give a first hand insight to how the Government now perceive expatriate support and how the joint negotiations and rationalisation with European processes are continuing.
We asked the Minister to enlighten BRS members on the following:
We would like a brief speech to give BRS members some confidence building announcements that harmonisation was really going to happen. If You have any public update on the progress of the Joint talks this will be very much welcomed too.
The issues below are those that we have already brought to the attention of Government, with help from MNCB. What we would like to hear is some reassurance to our member victims that these issues are now getting special attention from the Government, or even better, confirmation that changes are in the pipeline to eliminate these problems.
1) There are many frustrated people who have bought their houses and still don’t have Permission to Purchase (PTP). A few who bought in good faith and lived in their houses have even been waiting for as long as 10 years.
These people would like to hear some words of reassurance that their plight is recognised. Can we have an amnesty for those in the pipeline and in future only build houses in PTP free areas? With these two simple steps all problems could be eliminated.
2) Can we be told what is happening about the very worried people who bought Villas, followed local lawyers advice on process and have their paid for homes, but are threatened with re-possession by stealth Mortgagees or memorandums?
Can we have some assurance that the law be urgently amended to reassure victims caught up in this trap? A simple amendment will fix this.
3) Can we be advised what is happening to help the victims who bought houses in good faith, according to contract, but are now still trapped in years of litigation to have fulfilment of contract.
Can it be confirmed that a Specific Performance amendment will be soon introduced? A simple amendment will fix this too.
4) Will the Government look into or eliminate the annual medical test for Europeans who contribute to the economy and choose to be resident in TRNC? We refer only to non-working residents, those over 60 are already exempted from annual medical tests. Large extra numbers are not involved.
We acknowledge that people who have work permits will still need to have regular health checks depending on their work sector.
If we could have a real indication that the MNCB/BRS representation to Government is causing a genuine re-think in the 4 areas mentioned this will go a long way to assuring our members that their contribution to TRNC life is welcomed & valued.
There may be an opportunity to briefly respond to other questions given in advance if they are of concern to groups of members but not individual cases.
If you have a group concern not covered by our broad questions will you please email us urgently on firstname.lastname@example.org we will group similar questions and see if the Minister can give us a response to additional questions.
For our members comfort, it’s important to the Dome hotel that numbers are notified in advance of this meeting. Members wishing to attend this briefing and the AGM at the Dome Hotel Girne, on Saturday 12th April at 11am, all members welcome, are asked to please let us know in advance: please email email@example.com.
Please remember you will have to show your paid up 2014 membership card to enter. Registration will be open from 9:30 a.m., or you can renew membership at other BRS information points, please click here for details.
For non BRS members you are very welcome to go along and register as a member when you will then be entitled to attend the BRS AGM and listen to the briefing by TRNC Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ozdil Nami.
Recently, they showed how concerned they are about their citizens no matter where they are.
On 31st January 2014, The Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the Nigerian Embassy Ankara, Turkey and the Nigerian Immigration service carried out a passport renewal and extension exercise in both Ankara, Turkey and Northern Cyprus. This exercise stands to benefit those who have passport related issues such as lost, expired, correction of name or any kind of passport related issue.
Speaking to the Diplomats, it was confirmed that a 5 man Team was involved in the exercise. I was told that due to concern for its citizens, the Federal Republic of Nigeria sent a 5-man team from Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, to both Turkey and Cyprus for the exercise.
The team which included 5 officials from the Nigerian Immigration service were air-lifted from Sauka-Abuja, Nigeria on 30th January at about 11:00pm and they arrived in Istanbul in the early hours of 31st January. They later proceeded to Ankara, Turkey where the Nigerian Embassy is located to report to the Nigerian Ambassador and to commence a 7 day passport renewal exercise from 31st January to 6th February.
A team of 4 which included 3 officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service in company of an official from the Nigerian Embassy Turkey was also sent to Famagusta, North Cyprus to attend to the Nigerian citizens residing here also for all passport related issues. The exercise started on the 6th February and ended on the 9th February. The team has since returned to Nigeria.
Speaking to the beneficiaries of the exercise, which were mostly students, they confirmed that they are very delighted and happy about the exercise because it would cost them a lot to go back to Nigeria which is about 9 hour flight from Cyprus just for the purpose of Passport renewal. They also confirmed that the exercise was a successful one as both the officials, the machinery and beneficiaries co-operated. They thank the Federal Government of Nigeria for bringing Nigeria to Cyprus.