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Cypriot News Headlines 27-9-11

cyprus newsAlithia: "Uproar in schools" headlines an article covering the teacher strike held today in public schools.

Simerini: "They wanted a postponement" headlines an article saying that the government wanted to postpone gas explorations until the last minute, said energy chief Solon Kassinis. In other news, an agreement with public sector unions to freeze Cost of Living payments will save the government 130 million euros per year.

Phileleftheros: "Piri Reis thrown as bait" headlines an article saying that Ankara has sent a seismic research ship to test Nicosia's reaction.

Xaravgi (communist party paper): "The drill won't stop" headlines an article saying that Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's proposal for natural gas proceeds distribution is unacceptable. In other news, 15,000 disabled persons will be evaluated for employment in public and education services.

Turkish-Cypriot news headlines (source PIO).

Kibris reports that Kudret Ozersay, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has argued that the Turkish Cypriot side invited the Greek Cypriots to carry out joint explorations for natural gas and to share the income from these explorations.

In exclusive statements to Kibris, Ozersay said that if the Greek Cypriot side does not accept this, the Turkish side is ready to carry out explorations in an area including the south part of the island and if it obtains an income to share it with the Greek Cypriot side in the manner and time in which the Greek Cypriot side thinks to share with the Turkish Cypriots the income from its own exploration.

Ozersay said: “We have not abandoned any of our rights because we declared the TRNC in 1983. This should be well understood by everyone. I observe that in general there is a misunderstanding on this issue. However, either there is an agreed separation with the consent of the two sides or the TRNC is accepted as separate state, the Turkish Cypriots have rights in every part of the sea area of this island, not only in the northern part. Of course, it is not possible to say from now the scope of this right. However, everybody must understand that this right exists. This right exists independently of its acceptance by others. I think it is very useful to shortly explain the source of this right. First of all there are rights deriving from 1960. Now I am hearing some people wondering ‘how we could still refer to the rights of 1960, if we have declared the TRNC or if we have decided to separate from the Greek Cypriots’.

However, if we see the issue from the international law’s point of view, it is not so simple. First of all, when I say that the rights deriving from 1960 continue, I do not mean that we have rights in the Greek Cypriot state that allegedly continues to exist today…When I refer to rights deriving from 1960, I mean the following: In spite of the fact that the 1960 partnership has been de facto eliminated, the two sides (the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots) have not agreed on how this past partnership will be ended with the consent of both of them. The ending of partnerships in the international law is carried out according to the rules of succession…”

Under the title: “Piri Reis is in the south”, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar reports that the 'prime minister' Irsen Kucuk stated last night that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) started geophysical exploration and gathering seismic data as of 26 September 2011 with the R/V/K Piri Reis vessel in a license area described as AR/KKTC/G.

According to the paper, the above-mentioned area is in the south part of the island very close to the area where the Republic of Cyprus is carrying out its explorations.

Gunes reported on Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc statements. Arinc speaking to Euronews said: “I hope that the opposite side by showing such reckless behaviour will not put Turkey in a situation to use force,” referring to Cyprus’ oil and natural gas explorations.

Arinc also alleged that the fact that Piri Reis started researching in the Mediterranean under the protection of the Turkish Navy is not a gesture of raising the stakes but derives from international law. Moreover, he said that they don’t send their ships to fight, but their mission is to protect and deter any action that contradicts the law. Arinc reiterated that they do not need to fight with anyone nor do they have such intentions, but warned the other side not to force Turkey to use its strength.

Hurriyet Daily News reports that: "Papandreou plans to visit Turkey to upgrade bilateral ties in all fields including tensions over the gas drilling issue, while Turkey started its seismic research on Monday.

Despite regional tensions over a Greek Cypriot gas drilling operation in the Mediterranean, the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Greece have expressed commitments to push ahead with bilateral cooperation talks planned for the coming weeks.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers, is set to visit Ankara to upgrade bilateral ties in all fields late October or early November. Greece’s Papandreou called Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday and the two had ‘a very cordial conversation, free of tensions’, an official from Erdogan’s office told the Hurriyet Daily News. The two Premiers planned to meet in New York last week, but Papandreou had to call off his visit due to the growing economic crisis at home. The Erdogan-Papandreou conversation came on the day Turkey’s Piri Reis, an exploration vessel, began its seismic work in the Mediterranean. Papandreou said ‘the situation should be handled with restraint’, while Erdogan explained Ankara’s views on the dispute and its concerns that the Greek Cypriot drilling drive would ‘sabotage’ U.N.-sponsored peace talks between the two Cypriot communities at a time when these have reached a critical stage.

Erdogan said that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu’s proposal on ending the crisis should be seriously considered. He also recalled the principle of using natural reserves of Cyprus following the reunification of the divided island. Both leaders indicated that the row should not impede the second meeting of the Turkey-Greece High-Level Cooperation Council, planned to be held either in October or November in Turkey, the official said. Huseyin Avni Benli, director of the institute that owns Piri Reis, said that seismic research has started. Benli said Turkish war jets and ships were closely watching their work.”

Afrika reports that a threatening letter was sent to Izzet Izcan, Secretary General of the United Cyprus Party (BKP). 

Speaking on the issue, Izcan stated to the paper the following: “3-4 days ago a letter has been left in front of the door of our party’s offices writing “Izzet Izcan, chairman of BKP”. There were English stamps on it, however, the signature was not clear. I do not think that this letter was sent through the post office. It must be given by hand, because there are not a lot of persons who know the new offices of our party. As soon as I opened the letter, there were photos and pictures of martyrs inside. While I was reading the letter I saw that it was writing that they will kill me like they did with the others. The threatening letter wrote: ‘You are up next’ and I sent it to the Central Committee of the party."

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