Daily News of Life and times in North Cyprus goes around the world
State and government officials have issued messages in reaction to Sunday’s terrorist attack [in a famous nightclub] in Istanbul which claimed the lives of 39 people.
The first reaction to the attack came from President Akıncı who condemned the attack via tweeter.
“Istanbul unfortunately entered 2017 yet with another terror attack. We strongly condemn this brutal attack against innocent civilians at the club. We share the pain of the Turkish nation and express our deepest condolences” Akıncı tweeted.
Parliamentary Speaker Sibel Siber who issued a message of condemnation stated that the incident once again deeply saddened the Turkish Cypriot people.
She said that it was everyone’s desire to see an end to such attempts which were aimed at destroying peoples’ hopes for a year of peace and brighter future.
Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün in his message described the incident as a treacherous attack against innocent civilians.
Condemning the attack, Özgürgün said that the attacker had targeted the Turkish nation but added that the Turkish people were aware of the games being played.
He said that the Turkish nation will grow even stronger in the face of such attacks, stepping up its unity and solidarity.
“Terrorism, no matter under which justification it is carried out, is a crime against humanity. These attacks aimed at disrupting the peace of the Turkish people will never succeed in achieving its goal. The attack that took place in Istanbul in the first hours of the New Year has deeply saddened the Turkish Cypriot people. We would like to wish our deepest condolences to all those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured” Özgürgün’s message read.
Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Denktaş who also issued a message condemning the attack stated that “those attempting to create chaos and to disrupt the people will never succeed in achieving their goals. The people of Anatolia will repel these treacherous attacks in unity”.
Denktaş also expressed his deepest condolences to those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured.
The Minister of Interior Kutlu Evren and the Minister of Public Works and Communication Kemal Dürüst also issued messages condemning the attack.
Source: BRT World News
President Mustafa Akıncı has called for an extraordinary cabinet meeting to discuss the issue of traffic following last Tuesday’s tragic traffic accident which claimed the lives of three people.
Akıncı was chairing the meeting that took place at the Prime Ministry yesterday at 4pm.
Urgent measures to improve traffic safety in the TRNC were among the issues discussed during the meeting.
Two 16-year-old girls and a 57-year-old bus driver were killed on Tuesday when the bus they were travelling in on the Girne-Değirmenlik road slammed into a truck that had veered into their lane.
The truck driver has since been arrested.
Yesterday morning, President Mustafa Akıncı visited the students injured in the crash who are currently being treated at the Dr. Burhan Nalbantoğlu State Hospital, wishing them a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile, pupils from various secondary schools gathered outside the Prime Ministry yesterday morning to call on the government to step down in the wake of the crash.
Students held up banners and placards reading slogans such as ‘Rebuild the road, don’t let them be graves’ and ‘Students shouldn’t travel to school in the dark’ during the demonstration.
Source: BRT World News
The UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide was in a flurry of diplomatic meetings yesterday in a bid to assess the mood following the failed talks in Mont Pèlerin, Switzerland last week.
Eide met separately with President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiadis.
The UN Special Envoy also met with Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Democrat Party Serdar Denktaş and the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhürman.
On Wednesday Eide will meet with the British Foreign Minister, Boris Johnson, who arrives on the island later today.
After meeting with Eide, Johnson will have separate meetings with Akıncı and Anastasiades, followed by a second meeting with Eide.
Speaking to reporters following a 90 minute meeting with President Mustafa Akıncı, Eide said he did not believe restarting the talks would be an easy feat but the UN was doing its best to help through shuttle diplomacy.
He said that talks had experienced a setback in Mont Pèlerin and that efforts to overcome the current deadlock were continuing.
“We have not been able to achieve this so far but our meetings to overcome the problem will continue. It will not be easy but we shall be doing all we can through shuttle diplomacy. However it is up to the leaders to decide whether or not they will return to the negotiating table and whether they will plan for the weeks ahead” he said.
He said he felt a strong commitment from both sides to find a way to overcome the obstacle but no one could pretend nothing happened at Mont Pèlerin.
In the afternoon, the UN Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide paid a visit to Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Democrat Party Serdar Denktaş.
Speaking after the visit, Denktaş said that they had conveyed to Eide that their stance regarding the talks was not very positive.
“We conveyed to Mr. Eide the importance of not dragging the process and determining a date for a 5-party conference before the end of the year. It is important that the two leaders meet and to achieve a result one way or the other” he said.
The leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party Tufan Erhürman who spoke after meeting with the UN Special Envoy said that they tried to understand what really went wrong at Mont Pèlerin.
“From what we can see and understand is that the talks became an issue of strategy. However the Greek Cypriot side’s stance at Mont Pèlerin which was to take all that it wanted on the territory chapter , leaving only the issue of security and guarantees to the 5-party conference was unacceptable for the Turkish Cypriot side. The Turkish Cypriot side’s sensitivities on the issue of security and guarantees are well known. We conveyed this to Mr. Eide” he said.
Source: BRT World News
President Mustafa Akıncı complained that the Greek Cypriot side’s stance had changed in the 2nd Mont Pèlerin summit in Switzerland.
He pointed out that the discussions had collapsed there because of what he described as the Greek Cypriot side’s approach on territory.
Speaking to reporters upon his return at Ercan airport last night, the President said that they had an initial understanding to take up different issues at different tables interdependently at a 5 party conference.
He also said that an understanding had also been established with the Greek Cypriot side for the two guarantor powers Turkey and Greece to hold their own talks on security and guarantees but that this idea had later been rejected by the Greek Cypriot leadership.
Pointing out that the summit had succeeded in gaining the attention of the international community which in return had pushed Turkey and Greece to start discussing this issue, President Akıncı pointed out that the discussions in Mont Pèlerin had pushed the Turkish and Greek leadership into meeting soon as both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras were in discussions to meet.
With regards to the five-party conference, Akıncı said that discussions for a date had been talked about; however with Greece announcing that they would only come to the multiparty conference on preconditions had led to UN Special Advisor, Espen Barth Eide, to speak with both the Greek and Turkish leadership on the phone. It was after this diplomacy that the UN confirmed Greece would come to the meeting without preconditions.
Also touching upon developments that took place at the 1st Mont Pèlerin summit, the President said “They (the Greek Cypriot side) tried to conclude the issue of territory in favour of themselves; attempting to diminish the Turkish Cypriot side’s negotiating strength in the process. Instead of accepting an introductory map to be taken up at a 5 party conference, the Greek Cypriot side attempted to conclude the issue of territorial adjustment in line with their own interests, trying to determine the number of people to be allowed to return”.
Akıncı also complained that the Greek Cypriot side deliberately avoided clarifying important issues pertaining to the property issue.
He said that such a negotiating process was unacceptable.
“The Greek Cypriot side without first solving issues vital to the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ political equality such as rotational presidency and active participation in decision making, attempted to conclude all discussions on territory at the very first meeting, ignoring the fact that some aspects of these issues were to be discussed at the 5 party conference. The talks entered a deadlock and failed to produce any results after the Greek Cypriot side insisted on its stance” he said.
Akıncı went on to say “We didn’t go to Mont Pèlerin to surrender the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots wanted the important criteria in territory to remain ambiguous. This is not a way to run the negotiations”, he said.
He went on that the territory issue was a difficult one and one that foreigners had put in front of the two sides over the past years. “This was the first time as Cypriots that we were trying to solve this issue ourselves”, said the President
“We went with all good intentions. We took important steps but we did not see the same from the south. It was their insistence on territory that led to the failure of the talks there”, he said
President Akıncı also added that the next few days will reveal whether or not the process would be in danger.
He however called on the public to keep their morale high and added that the Greek Cypriot side had to change the stance they displayed in Mont Pèlerin.
“We are not in the intention of playing the blame game” he said.
“We will not enter into a position which will result in a non-solution nor run away from the talks. However it is not right to continue with a process which will not result in a solution either”, he said.
Meanwhile President Mustafa Akıncı will be briefing members of parliament on the Mont Pèlerin talks at an extraordinary session on Thursday.
The session which will start at 10 am will be closed to the press.
Source: BRT World News
Shared by Steven Roberts……..
Below are the key points from a lecture I heard by Alper Riza at the Centre of Visual Arts (CVAR) in Nicosia last Friday 16th September 2016.
Alper Riza was born in Cyprus to a Turkish-Cypriot father from Larnaca and a Greek-Cypriot mother from Limassol, and attended The American Academy in Larnaca and The English School in Lefkosia. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1973, subsequently appointed Queen’s Counsel and since 1993 is also a judge at the Criminal Court. Areas of practice include Crime, Constitutional and Administrative Law, including Human Rights and Immigration and Refugee Law and General Common Law.
He has contributed frequently to The Cyprus Mail and various Turkish publications amongst others and his key points from this lecture are recorded under:
I suggest Federal Republic of Cyprus as the official name for Cyprus after a settlement because it preserves the Republic of Cyprus and at the same time describes the new state of affairs.
In matters of great importance style is sometimes more important even than content. For this reason, words like bizonal and bicommunal are best defined in the preamble or in the interpretation section of the law of the constitution rather than part of the formal name of Cyprus.
I don’t want to jinx the talks by anticipating a solution as a foregone conclusion. As last Wednesday’s terse joint statement on the progress in the Cyprus talks shows, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for Cypriots to agree about the Cyprus problem. But do not despair because when Christ said ‘it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God’ he was talking metaphorically about a small gate in old Jerusalem called ‘the eye of a needle’ through which it was difficult for a camel to pass. He was not talking about an actual needle through which it is impossible for a camel to pass.
Indeed, it looks as though the camel will negotiate the gate this time. People are tired of the Cyprus problem. It has gone on far too long and a blueprint is now on the cards.
My task is to help bury the Cyprus problem and embrace the broad principles behind a federal solution that is now in prospect.
No one wants to drag the Cypriots kicking and screaming to a federal solution. There will be referendums in accordance with undertakings given to the EU before Cyprus joined, but this time on a blueprint agreed and supported by the political leadership.
The rejectionists on both sides will have their say, and if they have a better alternative to federation we wait with bated breath to hear what it is. The fact is that whatever alternative they have in mind, it does not involve solving the Cyprus problem in the sense of getting the two sides to agree a new state of affairs.
Therein lies the rub. I suggest that only a federal solution is capable of being an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem.
The arguments of the rejectionists must be exposed as at best non-existent and at worst bogus and self-serving. We will take no lessons in patriotism from any of them.The moral challenge they face is simple: If you love your country you solve its problems. You do not prolong them to suit your ambition. That is treating your country as a means to suit your ends and is fundamentally immoral.
Just as in Jungian dream analysis the Cyprus problem happens at different levels. At its most basic level the Cyprus problem is the breakdown of the 1960 independence power sharing agreements and the consequences of that breakdown culminating in the displacement of Greek Cypriot refugees to south Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot refugees to north Cyprus during the 1974 war.
On that analysis of the problem, solving it involves devising a new system of power sharing and dealing fairly and justly with the displacement of the people taking into account the compelling circumstances in which they became refugees.
I suggest that a federation within the EU that is itself a federal union is the dream solution. It satisfies most of the basic of aspirations of the two sides with finesse, balance and alluring complexity. I emphasise that what gives a federal solution its alluring complexity is that it will be a federation within another federation of the most politically advanced group of nations in world history whose civilised laws will be supreme in the Federal Republic and whose raison d’etre is an ever closer union and whose fundamental creed is political equality, freedom of movement and upholding human rights.
But the Cyprus problem is more than just a political problem. It is also an emotional problem that damages the emotional and psychological well-being of the people. It is bad for the soul because it damages people as human beings. The problem fills people with fear and anger and loathing. It makes them racist and hatefully nationalist. If proof were needed look at the black shirts in our streets. It has made politicians arrogant and hubristic. It has made them corrupt and avaricious as well as incompetent and irresponsible. They have wined and dined on the Cyprus problem long enough.
In this broad sense the Cyprus problem is as malign and insidious as it is all pervasive and ubiquitous. Few of us can remember a time without the Cyprus problem. It follows us where ever we go. It lurks behind every aspect of our lives. It dominates our soul and our existence from the cradle to the grave. It dominates church, mosque and state. It dominates conversation, comment, the news, social media and what passes for art and culture. It is like a cancer eating away our body and our soul.
On the occasion of changing his mind and agreeing to solve the Northern Ireland problem the late Dr Ian Paisley, Northern Ireland’s rejectionist firebrand Protestant leader – of ‘Never, never, never’ notoriety – explained his astonishing volte face by quoting the following passage from wise old King Solomon: “to everything there is a season…a time to kill and a time to heal…a time to tear down and a time to build…a time to be silent and a time to speak… [a time to move clocks backwards and a time to move them forward], a time to hate and a time to love… a time for war and a time for peace.”
“The die is cast….there are two main ethnic and linguistic groups; each is too strong and too deeply rooted in the past, too firmly bound to a motherland culture, to be able to engulf the other. But if the two will collaborate at the hub of a truly pluralistic state,…..could become the envied seat of a form of federalism that belongs to tomorrow’s world.”
That was Pierre Trudeau the former prime minister of Canada, a passionate believer in federalism, talking about Canada but every word applies to Cyprus.
(His son Justin Trudeau is now the prime minister. As his name suggests Pierre Trudeau was French Canadian although I think his mother was English).
An English appeal judge once told me privately: “The art of great advocacy Alper dear boy is not just to devise imaginative arguments. It is to persuade us to accept them; and the best way of doing that is to give us enough to reach the conclusion you want ourselves.”
That probably works with judges but with the public the incidents and benefits of a solution must be spelt out and the dangers of not solving the problem analysed clearly and responsibly. The EU itself is on a federal path and can serve as a model with power and expertise ready to assist the Federal Republic once it is up and running. The EU legal order is the most civilised system of government in the world apart from the US constitution. It is already federal and aspires to become more and more federal under the preamble to the EU Treaty. The political objective of the EU is “to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”.
Once the Federal Republic of Cyprus is up and running the fact that we will be part of a larger European family that is itself federalist will be helpful in sorting out inevitable teething problems that our young federation will develop and prevent both sides from making the mistakes of the past.
The principles upon which the EU is based mean that on the one hand political equality, subsidiarity and proportionality are not only accepted but celebrated and encouraged in Europe in preference to majoritarian domination; and on the other the anti-discrimination provisions in favour of EU citizens regarding the rights of freedom of movement provide an ideal framework within which Cyprus can reunite as a federation. The EU legal order permits the use of transitional safeguards, which are very conducive to compromise.
The United States, Germany and Switzerland are the best examples of federal government. Federal government survived a bloody civil war in America in 1861 that lasted four years and cost the lives of half a million Americans but the US survived and thrived and became a superpower.
The absorption of East Germany into Germany is the precedent to follow in Cyprus. Provision for this to happen is contained in Protocol 10 of the Treaty of Accession. In light of Protocol 10 which as it happens was blessed by President Papadopoulos, the question of losing the Republic of Cyprus following a solution cannot arise in law.
According to the late Professor Kenneth Wheare of Oxford University, federal government exists “when the powers of government for a community are divided substantially according to the principle that there is a single independent authority for the whole area in respect of some matters and there are independent regional authorities for other matters, each set of authorities being co-ordinate with and not subordinate to the others within its own prescribed sphere. “Federal government is appropriate for communities if, at one and the same time, they desire to be united under a single independent general government for some purposes and to be organised as independent regional governments for others.” The crux is that they must “desire to be united not to be unitary”. So there’s the rub for Cyprus, how to reunite not how to become unitary! The republic of Cyprus cannot turn the clock back to 1960.
The rejectionist camp has latched on to the idea that agreeing to a federation would somehow eradicate the status of Cyprus in international law, but as any first year student of international law knows the status of Cyprus in international law is not concerned with internal governance. It is a fundamental principle of federalist law that the union is indestructible.
For a federation to work a number of preconditions need to satisfied. First, the regions must desire to be part of an independent federal government for some things, but at the same time they must also desire to retain independent regional governments for others.
Second, this dual desire must be matched by an ability to operate such multi-dimensional governance. It will therefore be necessary to address the problems in Cyprus in light of her recent history, ethnic and linguistic characteristics and the prevailing social and political institutions. Importantly, we will be assisted by the EU which has a wealth of expertise in multi-dimensional governance.
The factors traditionally associated with a wish to unite under an independent federal government are security, prosperity and similarity in political and social institutions.
For Greek Cypriots security means first the departure of Turkish troops at present in north Cyprus and the return of territory. Secondly, the end of the Treaty of Guarantee by Turkey. For Turkish Cypriots security lies in the fact that they are now all concentrated in one area rather than interspersed in enclaves throughout the island. In light of this the Turkish side attaches huge importance to remaining the core community in north Cyprus in any federal arrangement.
The 2013 crisis in RoC is still fresh in people’s minds and the suspicion that corruption and political incompetence was responsible for the crisis has shaken the confidence of people in the no solution status quo. A federal solution is going to make corruption much more difficult. Political equality with cross-invigilation as its handmaiden, will be far less conducive to favouritism, nepotism, bribery and political corruption than the present state of misuse of power.
At the same time Cyprus will be able to develop and export its gas reserves to the benefit of both communities and Turkey as a conduit country with a stake in the success of the Federal Republic.
With the advent of a solution, expenditure will be reduced releasing millions that could then be used to set up a national health service.
The Turkish Cypriots will have access to the EU’s internal market and regional aid programmes that have hitherto not been accessible. The formal introduction of the euro in north Cyprus will be a welcome relief from the recent ups and down of the Turkish lira.
Common political institutions in the shape of the European legal order is going to be introduced in north Cyprus once a solution is in place in accordance with Protocol 10. Besides that, we have the common law and the English language which should be reintroduced as the third formal language of the Federal Republic before the UK leaves so as to preserve it as one of the languages of the EU.
Although Professor Wheare places the desire to remain regionally distinct on a par with the desire to unite at the federal level, in Cyprus where the two regions will comprise two core communities of different ethnicity, language and religion, the desire to remain distinct is not going to be a problem. On the contrary each community has a strong attachment to its ethnicity and religion. Indeed, the problem is that the attachment to motherland culture is too strong. I believe that motherland culture eventually needs to be diluted to leave room for attachment to the federal republic. The idea of having an attachment to a local citizenship under an umbrella nationality is not new. At a different level of abstraction citizens of the Republic of Cyprus have it at present. They are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus but they are also citizens of the EU and Commonwealth citizens.
Cypriots are distinct from the people of their respective motherlands and have a common attitude to their identity. They are small island people and DNA analyses show that the vast majority of Cypriots are ethnically the same and feel distinct from their respective metropolitan cousins.
According to Professor Wheare the desire to form a federation is crucial but not decisive. The ability to make it work is also required. The most crucial factors apart from the desire to unite itself are common political and social institutions.
Starting with common language, English is so widely spoken and studied in Cyprus in both communities that it can count as a common language. I suggest that if English is reinstated as a third official language the chances of operating a federal system would improve enormously. If people are serious about reuniting Cyprus they must reinstate English as an official language.
Both sides retained the common law of England so there should be no problem in assimilating the legal systems including the structure and procedure in the courts both at the federal and the regional level. Once a federal system is agreed and there is a comprehensive settlement, the European legal order will eventually be applied across the whole island.
The protection of fundamental rights is guaranteed by the ECHR. It already applies across the whole of Cyprus both in its own right and as part of EU law. As for the EU there is now the European Charter of Fundamental Rights that binds the institutions of the EU. The EU will be the source of many of the laws that will apply in the constituent states and, subject to proper democratic accountability, this is conducive to making a federation work smoothly. The EU does not have the power to implement its laws. Under EU law the federal government will be responsible for implementation although the constituent state may be directly involved. The way the interests of the German Federal States are represented in Europe is a good model to follow. Sometimes they deal directly with the EU and have offices in Brussels for this purpose.
Creating the right conditions for setting up a federation and making it work above all requires a committed leadership and qualities of statesmanship not seen in Cyprus since the late Glafcos Clerides. The good news is that President Anastasiades was his protege which is why with Mustafa Akinci on the Turkish side there is hope at last.
The most important problem initially is going to be the availability of committed federalists with the expertise to make the federation work. It will be necessary for a cadre of high-flying civil servants from each constituent state to be trained together and develop an esprit de corps who will be totally incorruptible with a total commitment to federalism and the federal government.
It has been 60 years since the Cyprus problem started on April 1, 1955 and it is interesting to imagine what Cyprus would be like 60 years from now if a federation is created and it works for Cyprus. I imagine that there will be demographic changes brought on by international marriages and the freedom of movement provisions of the EU, but the core communities would remain the same.
The absence of the Cyprus problem will release joy across the island. It will lift the dark cloud of fear and hatred. This will release enormous optimism and with it creative energy.
Cyprus will become more politically mature and the quality of the political class will reflect the new politics. More competent and less corrupt. An incorruptible federal civil service will be set up purely on merit and federalist commitment with total loyalty to the federation. In other words, the best of European values will have taken root in Cyprus.
The Federal Republic of Cyprus will be a less corrupt, kinder, gentler and more civilised place. I commend it and Schiller’s Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as its anthem. It is already the EU anthem and I see nothing wrong for it to double up as the anthem of the Federal Republic of Cyprus too.
Indeed, one verse repeated in Beethoven’s amazing crescendo is apt.
“Joy, your magic reunites those whom stern custom has parted
All men shall be brothers under your gentle wing”
Think of the EU and the federal republic as Schiller’s ‘gentle wing’ under which we can be brothers and sisters again.
This is an abridged version of Alper Riza’s talk, you can read the full version on the Cyprus Mail website click here here:
A peace deal can be reached on Cyprus within 90 days if both sides of the divided Mediterranean island are willing and decisive about the issue, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı has said.
“We have come to a point where the willpower, political courage and decisiveness factors weigh more heavily than the time factor. If there is will and decisiveness then 90 days is enough [to reach a peace deal on the island],” Akıncı said in a televised interview on Sept. 15 in response to a question on whether Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades would take a possible resolution to his nation, according to a transcript of the interview published on the Turkish Cypriot Presidency’s website on Sept. 15.
Akıncı added that out of the total of six negotiation chapters, a consensus was reached in most of the topics under four chapters, while the remaining two chapters – Security and Guarantees, and Territory – would not take up as much time as the Governance and Power-Sharing, and Property chapters. Ninety days would therefore be enough to reach the long-anticipated deal.
Akıncı comments on Anastasiades’ social media post
Akıncı said his Greek Cypriot counterpart had engaged in an effort to prepare his side for a possible resolution on the island, citing a recent Facebook post by Anastasiades.
“There was a statement [by Anastasiades] on Facebook. There were very bold remarks. He was able to express some things [topics] that was not pronounced previously and that he had also not said,” Akıncı said. “But we need to see if it will continue. We will see this within 90 days.”
The eastern Mediterranean island was divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and a Greek Cypriot state in the south after a 1974 military coup aimed at unification with Greece was followed by the intervention of Turkey as a guarantor power.
Efforts to find a peaceful solution to the more than 40-year-old conflict were relaunched after previously failed peace talks were opened once again in May 2015 following the election of Akıncı as the new president of Turkish Cyprus.
On Sept. 14, speaking after the final meeting of a series of intensified meetings between Akıncı and Anastasiades, the U.N. Secretary-General’s special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said the two sides were committed to reaching a peace deal before the year ends, but gaps on controversial issues remained.
Akıncı and Anastasiades are scheduled to meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sept. 25 in New York in a tripartite meeting, while the United Nations General Assembly will be held…..
‘Turkey, Greece talking over Cyprus peace deal’
Akıncı said negotiations would continue after the meeting in New York with Ban and the multi-partite conference, including the guarantor states, would be hold in a later and unspecified date.
“The foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece are talking. These talks will enhance in New York [during the General Assembly]. [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan and [Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras will also meet. Eide went to Athens [recently] and held a meeting with Tsipras for one-and-a-half hours, and he met with [Greek] Foreign Minister [Nikos] Kotzias for three-and-a-half hours. Greece is now involved in the process,” he added.
Akıncı reiterated that the peace process negotiations should reach an end in 2016 as there were many risks in 2017. He said the last months of 2016 were crucial, referring the start of searches for natural gas reserves, the presidential elections in the Greek Cypriot administration set for 2018, and the United States presidential elections in November, after which U.S. President Barack Obama, who supports the Cyprus peace process, will leave office.
‘Two founding states, one identity’
Speaking about the details of the federal state that will be formed if a deal is reached, Akıncı said the new state would have two founding states but its international identity, sovereignty and citizenship would be one.
He said the new federal state would hold the powers that will be listed in the new constitution and the topics left out of that list would be governed by the two founding states, “such as the health and education topics.”
“Foreign policy will be a federal authority with the contribution of the founding states,” Akıncı said.
He also stated that both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots would have four fundamental guaranteed freedoms in a settlement: Movement, settlement, business establishment, and possession.
Source: Hürriyet Daily News
By Loucas Charalambous…. for Cyprus Mail
I HAVE written here in the past that the main reason the Cyprus problem could not be solved for so many years was because it was in the hands of lawyers and monks. Admittedly, the monks are no longer directly involved, but the lawyers certainly are.
The nature of their profession means lawyers create rather than solve problems. If there were no disputes they would have no work. It has often been said, quite rightly, that if you do not want a problem solved give it to lawyers.
The lawyer Christos Triantafyllides makes a habit of tweeting his patriotic views. After the football victory of the Cyprus under-21 national side against Turkey in Ankara, he addressed a sarcastic tweet to the president of the Cyprus Football Federation Costakis Koutsokoumnis. This was the man Triantafyllides had lambasted for wearing a Turkish football shirt when he played in a fun match. “Mr Koutsokoumnis do not punish them because the crescent lost,” he tweeted after the young team’s win.
This was not written by some impetuous teenager. It was written by a respectable lawyer, whom Averof Neophytou has appointed head of his ‘Cyprus problem committee’ at Disy and President Anastasides has as an advisor in the negotiations. I will not comment on the shabby behaviour or the immaturity shown by Triantafyllides. I want to point out Anastasiades’ and Neophytou’s lack of seriousness. How can a rational person believe that these people sincerely want to solve the Cyprus problem when they have Triantafyllides as an advisor?
Another lawyer, Polys Polyviou, who is also a member of the negotiating team, published an email in Simerini expressing strong disagreements over the handling of various issues being discussed at the talks. I will not disagree with him about the foolish idea regarding the mechanism for resolving disputes between the two sides. Anastasiades, also a lawyer, had agreed that if there were a tie in the vote of the members of the committee, one of the judges would be removed by draw.
But I will comment on another position of his. In his email, Polyviou expressed “strong concerns about the transitional periods, wondering how Turkey would be pressured, after the agreement of a settlement, to implement everything it had agreed.” This is absurdist reasoning. It was the main ‘argument’ used by Tassos Papadopoulos and all the rejectionists in the debate that took place before the 2004 referendum……
“Who guarantees us that Turkey will not trick us and not implement the agreement,” was the question they constantly asked. Polyviou should forgive me, but I cannot accept such crass nonsense from a sensible man.
First of all, our behaviour in the past, as the Greek Cypriot side, does not exactly give us the right to raise such an issue. Polyviou knows very well that the one and only time we made an agreement with Turkey – in 1960 – it was we fools who refused to implement it. He even mentions this in one of his books and attributes “naivety and amateurishness” to Makarios for 1963.
We were the wise guys who, not only failed to honour the agreement, but just two years after signing it set up an armed organisation to scrap the state. The whole world knows this and we cannot hide our heads in the sand and hypocritically ask today who would pressure Turkey to implement everything that was agreed. Unfortunately, our stupidity was on such a grand scale back then that Mustafa Akinci could ask us the question raised by Polyviou about Turkey. And he would be perfectly justified.
It would also be interesting for Polyviou to answer the following: as he does not trust Turkey to implement an agreement, why has he for the past two years taken part in the negotiations? For the ride? Is this serious? Is it possible to enter a negotiating procedure, under the auspices of the UN, with the support and some involvement of big states, take part for two years, go to Europe, the US, Russia and China, begging them to help find an agreement and when you approach the end of the procedure tell the other side: ‘You know I was negotiating with you for two years, but now I have changed my mind and do not want us to reach an agreement because I suspect you will not implement it.’
Who does Polyviou think we are fooling? Akinci, Turkey, the UN, the US, who? And who does he think we are to take everyone for a ride like international cowboys.
Lawyers simply cannot solve the Cyprus problem, and a lot of trouble lies ahead.
Sorce: Cyprus Mail
President Mustafa Akıncı has said that the next three weeks were very important for the Cyprus Problem.
He said that depending on the progress reached at the end of the current intensified round of talks, the Turkish Cypriot side wanted to hold a joint meeting in New York and to pave the way for a five party conference.
Akıncı was speaking at the end of yesterday’s meeting, the first of a new round of intensified round of talks aimed at minimizing divergences.
Stating that yesterday’s meeting focused on determining how to proceed over the next 6 meetings, he said that the main goal of the six meetings was to minimise the existing disagreements between the two sides.
Pointing out that they had agreed not to make statements after every meeting, Akıncı said “there might be a joint statement following the final discussion on September 14th.”
The Turkish Cypriot leader expressed the confidence that the talks had entered a new period that would affect the course of the negotiations and depending on the progress it could result in joint a meeting with Ban “that will pave the way to bring us to a five-party conference” with the guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and Britain.
“It depends on the results that we get here in the next six meetings,” he said…..
Pointing out that the intensified round of talks will be a difficult process, the President said that it was extremely important that both sides will need to exercise understanding and cooperate with each other.
He said that the Turkish Cypriot side will act with this understanding and that they expect the Greek Cypriot side to do the same.
Responding to a question as to whether or not the issue of guarantees and security were discussed during the meeting, President Akıncı reminded that all chapters will be touched upon during the course of the 6 meetings but that this will be a general evaluation.
“Specifically we did not discuss any chapter” he added.
Asked about the upcoming visit to South Cyprus by the Egyptian Petroleum Minister to sign a bi-lateral agreement on natural gas, the President reminded that his spokesman had issued a statement on the issue.
Pointing out that such actions were harmful to the talks, he said, that he hoped that they will be able to create the conditions whereby both sides will reap the benefits of the island’s resources.
“This can only be possible through a solution. Our hope is that exploration work is not launched. They’ve been telling us that this will not be possible for some time” he said.
The two leaders will be meeting on the 29th and 31st of August as well as the 2nd, 6th, 7th and 14th of September.
Source: BRT World News
Ceremonies will be held across the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to mark 42 years since Turkish forces landed in Girne as part of an operation to save Turkish Cypriots from annihilation.
This year’s celebrations have been toned down as a result of the coup attempt in Turkey on the weekend with all banquets, receptions and concerts being cancelled in respect for the loss of life.
The annual dawn vigil held at the Yavuz Çıkarma Beach (Escape Beach) where Turkish forces first landed in 1974 will start tonight at 11:30pm.
Crowds gathered at the beach will wait until dawn in a symbolic event to mark the arrival of Turkish troops.
Concerts and a fireworks display at the event however have been cancelled.
Visiting delegations from Turkey and abroad are also being received by President Mustafa Akıncı, Speaker of Parliament Sibel Siber and Prime Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün.
Wreath laying ceremonies will be held at the Boğaz Martyrs’ cemetery, the mausoleum of the late Turkish Cypriot peoples’ leader for struggle and freedom Dr. Fazıl Küçük and the tomb of the late founding President Rauf Raif Denktaş this evening.
Tomorrow’s first ceremonies will take place in front of the Atatürk Monument and the Martyrs’ monument in Lefkoşa.
Wreaths will be laid and minutes silence will be observed at the ceremonies, followed by the national anthem and the signing of the special books.
The main ceremony of the day will be held Dr. Fazıl Küçük Boulevard in Lefkoşa.
The military parade will start at 9:30am to be followed by speeches by President Mustafa Akıncı and the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Deputy Speaker of Parliament Mehmet Akif Hamzaçebi who is representing the Turkish government at this year’s celebrations.
Similar ceremonies will take part in Girne, Gazimağusa, Güzelyurt, Lefke, Akdoğan and Geçitkale.
Editor´s note: The Youth Department’s folk dance show, the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Janissary Band show and the civil and military aircraft parade have all been removed from the official programme of the Lefkoşa parade on Wednesday 20 July.
The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality Janissary Band and the Turkish Stars aerobatics show which was to take place in Girne on 20 July has also been cancelled.
Source: BRT World News