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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-02-04

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] Nami and Mavroyiannis in Brussels to discuss technical issues
  • [02] Columnist argues that Cyprus is 15 billion euro away from settlement
  • [03] A report in Afrika shows how building plots in occupied Cyprus changed hands
  • [04] The breakaway regime is taking part in the Logistica Winter Fair for Fruits and Vegetables in Berlin
  • [05] Turkey-Russia crisis led to the reduction of dairy product exports by the breakaway regime
  • [06] Bozkir: Turkey may double trade with EU with new customs deal
  • [07] Turkey sends back recalled Vatican Ambassador
  • [08] Turkey to impose visas for Russian journalists


    [01] Nami and Mavroyiannis in Brussels to discuss technical issues

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 04.02.16), the negotiators of the two leaders Ozdil Nami and Andreas Mavroyiannis are in Brussels to meet with officials from the EU commission.

    Officials from the UN will also be present at the meetings which will focus primarily on the EU harmonization process following a settlement. Both leaders, Mustafa Akinci and Nikos Anastasiades will be meeting twice this month. The first meeting will be on Monday, 8th February, while the second meeting will take place towards the end of the month, on the 26th.

    Speaking to "BRT" yesterday, Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu said that the negotiating teams of the two sides are currently focusing on the chapters of Governance and Power Sharing, EU and Economy as well as Property. "Currently Mr Nami and Mr Mavroyiannis are reviewing the convergences reached on these issues as well as determining existing divergences. They are working hard to minimize divergences on the outstanding issues", he added.

    Pointing out that the negotiators of the two leaders will be travelling to Brussels on Thursday for contacts with EU officials, Burcu said: "The negotiators will be in Brussels tomorrow (today) to discuss technical issues. They will be holding contacts at the technical level as part of the work being carried out by the Ad Hoc committee established upon the instructions of the two leaders to prepare the Turkish Cypriot community for the EU Acquis. Officials from the UN will also be present during those meetings".

    [02] Columnist argues that Cyprus is 15 billion euro away from settlement

    Columnist Barcin Yinanc, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.02.16), under the title "All we need is money in the Cyprus love song", argues in the following commentary that if the money for property compensations is found then the Cyprus problem is pretty much solved:

    "Ever since I started covering the Cyprus issue in 1990, I have heard two main things from Turkish officials, things which I considered the most rational and realistic approaches:

    1 - The parameters of the solution are known to both sides, there's no need to discover America over and over again. What is needed is for the actors to take the bitter pill and go that last extra mile.

    2 - The key is the property issue. Once that is solved, the others are (relatively) much easier.

    Some 26 years have passed since I wrote my first article on Cyprus and I have never come across a better environment for peace talks than today. Not surprisingly, the two points I mentioned above stand as key factors to a final agreement.

    A lot of headway has been made in the negotiations, which started last May following the election of Mustafa Akinci as 'president' of Turkish Cyprus. I am sure the personal chemistry between Akinci and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Anastasiades, has helped the progress registered on issues such as how to share power and the nature of legislative and judicial institutions, as well as the political equality of the two communities.

    There is a convergence on the thorny issue of guarantees (that is, Turkey's guarantor status) and a rotating presidency, as well as territory (how much of the land under Turkish control would be returned to the Greek Cypriot side). An agreement on these three issues will take that special extra effort on the part of the political leaders on the island, as well as other stakeholders.

    If the property issue was solved, there is a fair amount of confidence among those on the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot side that the issues left to the very end of the negotiation process could be overcome.

    So, the devil is in the property issue.

    The reason why the Annan Plan failed was the conviction among Greek Cypriots that they would get back their property, even in the absence of a peace deal on the island following the Loizidou decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It was expected that the ECHR's 1996 decision, that Titina Loizidou had the right to return to her property and that Turkey had to pay her compensation, would force the Turkish side to seek a solution, but at that time it was dragging its feet. But the unintended consequence of the Loizidou decision turned out to be the main reason for Greek Cypriots' refusal to accept the Annan Plan.

    Then the ECHR took a decision in 2010 which changed the course of the property issue. Known as the Demopoulos decision, it reversed the understanding that restitution was the only principle in the property issue. The court ruling, that the issue could not only be solved through the return of property, but also through compensation and exchange of properties, established the essential framework of the solution today.

    Now the two sides seem to have registered the most important progress on the property issue, as they seem to have reached an agreement over certain guidelines which will determine whether the property in question should be subject to return, exchange or compensation.

    Since it is foreseen that the Turkish Cypriots will have the majority of the ownership of property in the territories under their control, a measure to safeguard the population balance, especially on the Turkish side of the island, there will be considerable compensation.

    It is estimated that 15 billion euros will be needed for compensation. Finding that amount of money seems to be the most important challenge in front of a peace deal, since Greek Cypriots will not say "yes" in a referendum if they are not convinced that the compensation mechanism will work in a timely and efficiently manner.

    So it seems Cyprus is 15 billion euros away from lasting peace."

    [03] A report in Afrika shows how building plots in occupied Cyprus changed hands

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (04.02.16) reports on a 32-donum building plot that is located in occupied Keryneia, which was lent by the "government" of Irsen Kucuk when it was in power, to Rose & Akasan Enterprices Ltd. The plot was to be used for touristic purposes.

    According to the paper, as Ahmet Bastas, the owner of the firm had not constructed anything on the plot for a long period of time, the plot changed hands and was lent to Adali Tourism Firm ltd which is of Turkish interests.

    Aiming to fight for his rights Bastas applied to a "court". However, according to some documents obtained by Afrika, Bastas finally agreed to abandon his rights on the plot after receiving two million euros as compensation by the Adali Tourism Firm ltd.


    [04] The breakaway regime is taking part in the Logistica Winter Fair for Fruits and Vegetables in Berlin

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (04.02.16) reports that the breakaway regime is participating with a 50-metre pavilion in the Logistica Winter Fair for Fruits and Vegetables which is taking place in Berlin, Germany between 3-5 of February.

    According to the paper, the "Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry" which has organized the breakaway regime's participation in the fair, is participating with four firms.

    The "minister of economy, industry and trade", Sunat Atun along with the so-called representative of the "TRNC" in Berlin Kemal Gokler visited the fair.

    More than 2,700 firms and 65,000 professionals from 120 countries are participating in this year's fair which is co-organized by Germany and Egypt.


    [05] Turkey-Russia crisis led to the reduction of dairy product exports by the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.02.16) reports that the crisis which occurred between Russia and Turkey and led to the reduction of Russian tourists who visit Turkey, had consequences on the breakaway regime as well.

    According to the paper, after the Russian crisis and the attack at the Sultanahmet area, tourist reservations in Turkey have been reduced and as a result the exports of dairy products of the breakaway regime to tourist locations in Turkey were reduced as well. According to Havadis, 50% of the milk produced in the occupied area of Cyprus was targeted to the Turkish market and as a result, tones of milk have remained unwanted.

    Speaking to the paper, the chairman of the "stockman union", Mustafa Darbaz, stated that 50-60 tons of milk produced cannot be sold due to the tourism crisis which occurred in Turkey and added that the breakaway regime faces a lot of problems in exports to Turkey due to this issue.


    [06] Bozkir: Turkey may double trade with EU with new customs deal

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.02.16), the mutual trade between the European Union and Turkey may double to $300 billion thanks to coming updates to the Customs Union deal, Turkey's EU Minister and the chief negotiator with the bloc has said.

    "We have a Customs Union relation [with the EU]," Minister Volkan Bozkir told journalists on the sidelines of official meetings in Paris on Feb. 3. The Union and Turkey exchange some 14,300 items of goods, he added.

    "We conduct $150 billion in [mutual annual] trade," he said, adding that an update in the Customs Union deal with the EU was on the agenda.

    "Agriculture, services, public procurements will contribute to this, and we are heading for $300 billion in trade," he said, comparing the figure to the EU-U.S. trade volume, which stands at $700 billion.

    "Trade and investments will grow together," he said.

    The Minister was commenting on the changing paradigm in Turkey-EU ties. The two main elements in the change in the nature of the relations are the joint challenge against the refugee crisis and the struggle against terrorism, the Minister said. "Unfortunately, for years Europe, allowed some terrorist organizations to operate ? instead of [moving against] them," he said.

    On refugees and terrorism, the EU's initial approach was "a panic attack", leading it to offer Turkey money and support to improve refugee camps, he said. "We told them that we don't want money or anything else. If you think that this is a problem that could be resolved together, then make us feel like part of the family," he said.

    Bozk?r conducted meetings with French Secretary of State for European Affairs Harlem Desir at a working lunch on Feb. 3 in addition to his scheduled meeting with the members and chiefs of France's Foreign Ministry and EU Commission.

    Bozkir was also scheduled to join French business leaders at a dinner hosted by Turkey's Ambassador to France, Hakk? Akil, later or Feb. 3. He will also meet European Commissioner for European and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica in Brussels as part of the visit that will last until Feb. 5.

    Meanwhile, Turkish state channel TRT (online, 03.02.16) broadcast that EU countries on Wednesday approved a fund worth 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) for Turkey to aid mainly Syrian refugees in the country in exchange for Ankara ensuring to help stem the refugee flow after more than a million people reached the continent last year.

    The EU would provide 1 billion euros from its own budget; the rest is to be provided by 28 governments, with Germany being the top contributor at 427.5 million euros ($473 million) in 2016.

    The joint action plan also includes "accelerating the fulfilment of the visa liberalisation roadmap and re-energising the accession process with Turkey," the EU said in a press release.

    [07] Turkey sends back recalled Vatican Ambassador

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 04.02.16), Turkey's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Tanju Bilgic made a statement late Wednesday in response to the Vatican's statement, which he hailed as 'a positive development' for both countries, while announcing that Turkey would send back its recalled Vatican Ambassador Mehmet Pacaci.

    "It was decided that our Ambassador to the Vatican, Mehmet Pacaci, who has remained in the capital for consultations since the General Audience held on April 12, 2015 in St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, will return to duty."

    Stating that the Vatican - in a Feb 3 statement- acknowledged Turkey's repeated commitment to "make its archives available to historians and researchers of interested parties in order to arrive jointly at a better understanding of historical events and the pain and suffering endured by all parties regardless of their religious or ethnic identity," the Foreign Ministry said that Turkey's 2005 call for a joint history commission was also appreciated.

    The Vatican also condemned the assassination of Turkish Ambassador to the Vatican Taha Car?m in June 1977 by Armenian terrorist group ASALA, the Turkish statement added.

    The Turkish statement also pointed out that the Pope referred to the 1915 events as the "tragic events of 1915" instead of using 'genocide' to describe the events like he did last year.

    Pope Francis had previously called the 1915 events "the first genocide of the 20th century," which led Turkey to recall its ambassador to the Vatican and also summon the Vatican envoy in Ankara.

    [08] Turkey to impose visas for Russian journalists

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.02.16) reports that ongoing tension between Turkey and Russia will soon be reflected in the sphere of journalism, as Ankara will begin imposing visas for Russian journalists starting from Feb. 15, the Hurriyet Daily News has learned from diplomatic sources.

    "Russian journalists planning to come to Turkey for short-term journalistic activities will first have to apply to the Turkish Embassy's Press Counsellor to get a necessary visa", diplomatic sources said. Information about Russian journalists and the duration of their visits will then be transferred to the Directorate General of Press and Information in Ankara for better registration.

    Russia had reinstituted visas for Turkish citizens beginning on Jan. 1 as part of its harsh sanctions against Turkey in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian warplane by Turkey over an airspace violation. Turkey had yet to respond to the move but has now decided to restrict free travel for Russian journalists to Turkey.

    Sources said the imposition of visas for Russian journalists was decided within the principle of reciprocity, as Turkish journalists willing to go to Russia for journalistic activities have long been subject to strict visa procedures.

    Another reason for the visa imposition was because Turkey has been observing increasingly biased news reported by Russian journalists who were not hesitant to distort the facts, sources said.

    Journalists from other countries will not be affected by this implementation but sources said a gradual change in the existent very-liberal procedure could take place in line with the principle of reciprocity. The procedure for journalists planning to stay more than six months was not changed. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    (DPs/ ICh)

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