Conscientious objector sentenced to jail in north

By Kyriacos Kiliaris
Turkish Cypriot conscientious objector and peace activist Halil Karapaşaoğlu was sentenced to pay a fine of 2000 TL (EUR 360) and was given ten days by a military court in the north. Karapaşaoğlu was gıven ten days to pay it or spend twenty days in prison.
Having been sentenced, Karapaşaoğlu on his way out from the military court addressed reporters and the tens of peace activists who rallied in his support from both sides of the island.

“I am not going to pay the fine. I object. I will return in ten days to spend twenty days in prison” said Karapaşaoğlu.
The conscientious objector had refused to serve the Turkish army as a reserve during the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Upon appearing at the military court on Thursday, Karapaşaoğlu was informed that the charge for failing to respond to a call to join reservists in 2018 was also added. Karapaşaoğlu's defence presented to the court that he is a pacifist, against war and violence and that his antimilitarist …

CYPRUS: Green Line Regulation not fit for purpose

As reunification talks seem to be going nowhere, confidence building measures (CBMs) to rebuild trust like Green Line trade has also stagnated. By Kyriacos Kiliaris

(As published in the Financial Mirror)

One of the most important CMBs in encouraging people-to-people contact is trade through the EU Green Line Regulation but figures are significantly lower than 10 years ago. While the Green Line Regulation, implemented in August 2004, seemed to be a promising step, figures for products sold by Greek Cypriots to Turkish Cypriots have remained stable for a decade, while sales of Turkish Cypriot products to the south have plunged. While stakeholders on both sides of the divide agree that trade between the two communities is probably the most important CMB which could lay the groundwork for peaceful coexistence in the +future, trade figures could be a lot better. Since its introduction in 2004, Greek Cypriots have sold products worth a total of EUR 14 mln to traders in the north of the island, wh…

Turkish Cypriots crashed under a collapsing Turkish Lira

By Kyriacos Kiliaris
A crashing Turkish lira, political unrest in Turkey and an increase in the trade gap, have led to a double figure inflation growth for the second year in a row in the north of the island. The Euro-TRY exchange rate has plummeted in five years 2.32 in 2013 to an all time low on Wednesday when it reached TRY 5.11 per Euro, while inflation growth rate has reached a staggering 14.68% in 2017 as announced by the Turkish Cypriot planning organisation.
Odul Muhtaroglu, the head of the public planning organisation announce the 2017 figures in a press conference last week, adding that the upside scenario for 2018 projects an inflation of 10.2%, the 2016 figure. Muhtaroglu directly linked the increase in inflation to the crumbling Turkish Lira and the trade gap. Mustafa Besim, a Turkish Cypriot economist and professor at the Eastern Mediterranean University in Famagusta, told News Across the Divide journalists, that the economy in the north is dependent on imports which aremad…

Technical committees hindered by ministries and officials

By Kyriacos Kiliaris Technical committees on the Cyprus Problem are facing serious difficulties in carrying out their work as they encounter obstacles from the various ministries and officials who are possibly against the rapprochement policies, said Androulla Vasiliou the co-president of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage. Vasilliou talking to ASTRA radio station with regards to the meeting of the committees with President Anastasiadis, said that this was the first to take place after three years. She commented that she found the meeting to be constructive and that the president has given instructions to the committees to forward their demands through the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, and not directly through the ministries involved. At the same time, she pointed out that the committees’ functioning is hindered by budget limitations. Vasiliou also stressed that in order for the technical committees to be able to proceed with their mission, the leaders will need…

Demo for the opening of the Dherynia crossing point

The Famagusta Initiative and the Famagusta Our Town organization are to hold a demonstration demanding the opening of the Famagusta Dherynia crossing point.
The two groups held a press conference on Tuesday ath the House for Cooperation in the buffer zone to make a call to people from both sides of the divide to participate in the demonstration on Saturday 31st March at 10 am at the Dherynia crossing point.
Speaking on behalf of the Famagusta Initiative, Dr. Okan Dağlıresembled Famagusta with a body that has been cut in half with one side of being lifeless. “This is something that we cannot approve of nor accept” he continued.
Dr. Dağlı while putting forward the demand for the immediate opening of the crossing point called for “the opening of all roads and crossing points which will unite us”.

Speaking on behalf of the Famagusta Our Town Organisation, Pavlos Iakovou said that their aim is to create “a homeland in which people will be able to feel that they are Cypriots not Turkish or Gre…

Ozersay: duty on aid sent north was wrong

By Kyriacos Kiliaris News Across the Divide
Kudret Ozersay, the head of Turkish Cypriot foreign affairs office, has said that “the previous government’s decision to impose duty on the humanitarian aid the sent to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north was wrong and is to be adjusted.
Speaking to Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen, Ozersay, although did not go into details, said that the 4-party coalition is working towards making the previous administration’s decision more rational and to correspond to the current situation.
Weekly deliveries of basic items to cover household needs sent by the government to around 300 people living in the Karpasia peninsula and the Maronite villages of Kormakitis and Karpashia were interrupted last October after the then Turkish Cypriot ruling coalition announced they would tax the aid. Since then, the UN has only been delivering medical supplies that are exempt from the duty.
The head of the TC foreign affairs office said that one of the…

Έξι άτομα συνελήφθησαν Υπό εξέταση η στάση της αστυνομίας

Γράφει ο Κυριάκος Κοιλιάρης

Μετά από καθυστέρηση μερικών ημερών, η τουρκοκυπριακή αστυνομία προχώρησε σε σύλληψη έξι ατόμων σε σχέση με τα γεγονότα έξω από τα γραφεία της εφημερίδας Αφρίκα. Όπως μαθεύτηκε, ανάμεσα στους συλληφθέντες είναι και ο πρόεδρος του Συλλόγου των οπαδών του ΑΚΡ που ήρθαν από την περιοχή Χατάϋ στην Τουρκία, Μεχμέτ Ιπέκ. Ο Ιπέκ πιάστηκε από τις κάμερες καθώς έριχνε πέτρες στο κτίριο της εφημερίδας

Αξιοσημείωτο είναι το ότι το ίδιο βράδυ ο Ιπέκ συμμετείχε στο κοκτέιλ πάρτι που διοργανώθηκε επί ευκαιρίας των εγκαινίων της βουλής, και πόζαρε μπροστά από τις κάμερες μαζί με τους βουλευτές του Κόμματος Εθνικής Ενότητας Ερσίν Ταταρ και Ολγκουν Αμτζαογλου.

Με τις εικόνες του λιντσαρίσματος και των γεγονότων που διαδραματίστηκαν στη βουλή, που έχουν προκαλέσει την αγανάκτηση της κοινωνίας, είναι ακόμα φρέσκες, ο Τουρκοκύπριος ηγέτης Μουσταφά Ακιντζί, ζήτησε “ΣΥΜΠΛΗΡΩΜΑΤΙΚΗ ΕΚΘΕΣΗ”, ενώ η βουλή έκανε “ΕΠΙΣΗΜΟ ΓΡΑΠΤΟ ΠΑΡΑΠΟΝΟ” σε σχέση με την απόπειρα λιντσαρίσματος απέναντι …