October 21, 2017

Joint Press Conference by the Mister of Justice and Public Order and the Government Spokesman on the Implementation of Measures for the Turkish Cypriots

The Government Spokesman Mr Kypros Chrysostomides speaking today at a joint press conference with the Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Doros Theodorou on the issue of the implementation of the measures for the Turkish Cypriots that were introduced by the Government on 30 April 2003 said that the results of their implementation so far have refuted the arguments of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash that the two communities could not live together and that special security conditions were essential to avoid conflict between them.

The Minister of Justice and Public Order said that the implementation of the measures was being monitored by all Ministries involved and added that the President of the Republic, the European Union and the Cyprus people would be briefed on this issue on a regular basis something which was already being done as he said.

Replying to relevant questions, the Minister said that some weaknesses had been identified in the implementation procedures of certain measures. We see the need for improving these procedures and to this effect we are in contact with Turkish Cypriot political parties, we take their reactions into account and listen to their opinions, Mr Theodorou said.

Asked if the Government encourages movement through the checkpoints, the Justice Minister said: «We neither encourage nor discourage it. Our attitude was from the very beginning an attitude of accepting a fact, that is of the movement of people even under restrictions, monitoring the situation and intervening where necessary.»

The Government Spokesman pointed out that the Government wished to safeguard the freedom of movement without any restrictions as well as the broader respect of human rights of all Cypriots. He added that the Government was still protesting about Denktash’s demand to present passports at the checkpoints as illegal and continues to consider it as such.

Referring to the work done by the various Ministries, the Minister of Justice said that the Ministry of Defence was expecting the United Nations Mine Action Services (UNMAS) to send technical suggestions for the demining of the buffer zone.

Regarding the exports of Turkish Cypriot agricultural and livestock products to the European Union, the Minister said that no exports would be allowed if the products did not pass the necessary phytosanitary and veterinary control.

Mr Theodorou added that instructions were given in Turkish on the Government official web site to Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurs wishing to participate in high technology incubators. He also said that leaflets had been written in Turkish on the establishment of companies of limited liability and other partnerships. As far as the work of the Ministry of Justice is concerned the Minister said that invitations had been sent to Turkish Cypriot non-governmental women organisations to participate in the National Machinery for Women’s Rights adding that so far only the Turkish Cypriot Women’s Research Centre has responded.

Answering another question the Justice Minister said the Ministry of the Interior continues to issue passports, identity cards and birth certificates to Turkish Cypriots, while arrangements have been made for the provision of free medical care at state hospitals.

He also said that as of May 2 telecommunications to the Turkish occupied areas through Turkey have been automated although the connection from Turkey has not yet been established.

The Minister added that arrangements have been made for the employment of Turkish Cypriots in the areas controlled by the Government.