On April 30, 2003 the Cyprus Government announced its general policy on a package of measures for the Turkish Cypriots, that given the continued non-solution of the Cyprus problem, would provide them with the ability to enjoy the rights and benefits which the Republic of Cyprus grants to its citizens. The measures cover the fields of transport, movement of goods, persons, vehicles, employment of Turkish Cypriots, participation in sporting events, measures taken to help relatives of missing Turkish Cypriots as well as de-mining of the buffer zone and measures covering medical care, education, culture, telecommunications and more.
The concrete steps taken by the various ministries towards the realization of the Government’s policy are as follows:
MINISTRY OF COMMERCE, INDUSTRY AND TOURISM
1. An announcement on the provisions for the movement of goods within Cyprus and to the European Union was issued and a leaflet containing information on these provisions is being prepared.
2. A note has been prepared in English on the Program for the creation of new enterprises of high technology and innovation, through Business Incubators. The note has been translated into Turkish and placed on the Internet.
3. Informative meetings with Organizations on the Government Policy towards Turkish-Cypriots are being organized.
4. Leaflets have been prepared in Turkish, for the creation of restricted liability companies, partnerships and trade names.
5. One application has up to now been submitted by a Turkish Cypriot for registration as a trade name.
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has renewed its proposal to UNFICYP, for the opening of additional crossing points along the ceasefire lines. The answer of the Turkish side is still awaited.
2. A proposal has already been forwarded to UNFICYP for the setting up of a Joint Contact Commission for humanitarian and other related issues, consisting of a Greek-Cypriot, a Turkish-Cypriot, and an UNFICYP representative. The Turkish side has not yet responded to this issue.
3. Diplomats at the Republic’s Missions Abroad have been designated for providing information and assistance to the requests of Turkish-Cypriots. The Diplomatic Missions have already been supplied with the necessary application forms for the issuing of birth certificates, passports, identity cards and other certificates.
4. The technical recommendations for the clearing of the National Guard’s minefields within the buffer zone have been submitted by UNMAS (United Nations Mine Action Service). UNFICYP will proceed with designating a Technical Advisor who will be responsible for monitoring the project and will provide the Government with a list of accredited organizations that should be invited to bid for the clearing of National Guard’s minefields within the buffer zone.
5. Turkish-Cypriots experts on the restoration of Turkish Cypriot monuments are being sought.
6. The Government of the Republic of Cyprus has published in its Official Gazette of 12.03.03 a list of names of the Turkish Cypriots whose cases have been submitted to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP). The list has also been put on the official web site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, three press releases have been published in the aforementioned web site in Turkish, Greek and English informing the Turkish Cypriots about the specific measure of the Government. More importantly, on Saturday June 14, 2003 the list was published in most of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers along with the three press releases of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus informing the Turkish Cypriot relatives about the measure of the Government and inviting the Turkish Cypriot relatives of missing persons to contact the relevant authorities in order to attain and give information about the fate of their loved ones. The response by the families of missing Turkish Cypriots has been very encouraging and a number of relatives have already visited the relevant authorities of the Republic whereby they have received all the information about the fate of their loved ones and have also given blood samples and ante-mortem data in order to help with identifying the remains through DNA processes.
7. Information in the possession of the competent Government authorities concerning the fate of 201 Turkish Cypriots missing persons of the 1963-1967 period and of 1974, and of their burial places, has been officially conveyed to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The Government has also invited a delegation of the ICRC to visit Cyprus to exchange views and discuss ways and means for a more effective implementation of the measures.
MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND SOCIAL INSURANCE
A) Labour Department
1. During the period 2.5.2003 – 29.6.2003, the number of Turkish-Cypriots that came in contact with the District Labour Offices, enquiring about the labour market situation and the employment and training opportunities, is:
(a) Registrations: 233
(b) Interviewed: 192
(c) Placements: 41
2. The number of Turkish-Cypriots that have applied for information but have not registered is considerably larger.
3. At the Nicosia District Labour Office, a Turkish speaking officer is available.
4. A circular was issued to all District Labour Office in order to assist their actions towards immediate forwarding of the Turkish-Cypriots to possible employers.
5. Information leaflets were prepared in the Turkish language on the services offered by the District Labour Offices. The leaflet has been sent to PASYDY, (The Public Servants Union), which presides the All Cyprus Trade Union Forum (to which all the Greek-Cypriots as well as the Turkish-Cypriot Trade Unions belong to). The same leaflet has also been forwarded to the social partners and it has been introduced in the Government’s website.
Â) Social Insurance Department
The number of Turkish Cypriots employed in the government controlled areas that pay contributions to the social insurance fund is 673. The Social Insurance Fund pays pensions to 4454 Turkish-Cypriots amounting to £8.8 m. Ôhe checks of the Turkish-Cypriots pensioners are sent through the United Nations to the beneficiaries.
MINISTRY OF INTERIOR
1. Measures have been taken to facilitate Turkish Cypriot applications for the issuing of birth certificates, identity cards and passports:
a) Number of applications for issuing Passports: 2045. Already issued: 417.
b) Number of applications for issuing identity cards: 4917. Already issued: 1164.
c) Number of applications for issuing birth certificates: 16041. Already issued: 11423.
2. The CyBC has upgraded the programmes in Turkish and as from 30.5.2003 transmits:
a) Daily live news broadcasts in Turkish.
b) A new informative program is being televised every Friday on CyBC2.
3. The procedure for the selection of new Turkish speaking associates, journalists, TV news presenters and other programmes has already started.
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE
1. The relevant Services of the Ministry are ready to accept applications from individuals or groups of Turkish-Cypriots in the framework of the conditions set by the European Union for the “Socrates” and “Culture 2000” programmes. The selections for the “Socrates” program were completed and the results will be announced in the Turkish language.
For the “Culture 2000” program, the announcement for the submission of the proposals will be published this month in the Turkish language.
2. The State Institutes for Further Education (S.I.F.E.) are ready to respond promptly and organise courses for interested Turkish-Cypriots on computers.
3. As from the school year 2003-2004, the Turkish language will be introduced as an optional lesson in the Unified Lyceums (classes Band C) and the Technical schools. Up to now a total of 111 students have expressed interest for participating in Turkish language classes as from September 2003.
4. A list of Turkish language teachers will be established in association with the Educational Service Commission.
5. The State Institutes for Further Education (S.I.F.E.) and the Adult Education Centres are ready to respond promptly to the requirements by Turkish-Cypriots for free of charge courses in the Greek language.
MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
1. The House of the Representatives has approved a bill submitted by the Ministry of Communications, which facilitates the movement into the government-controlled areas of non-registered vehicles owned by Turkish Cypriots for a specified purpose and period of time. The new bill also provides Turkish Cypriots the opportunity to acquire temporary permission to transport goods using their vehicles. These new provisions serve the purpose of facilitating Turkish Cypriots who visit the government-controlled areas on a regular basis for employment or other purposes and also facilitate the movement of locally produced goods from the occupied areas to the government-controlled areas.
2. Practical methods are being studied for the implementation of the decision to assign to the Turkish-Cypriots subcontract work in the private sector. These subcontracts can be undertaken under certain conditions, such as the payment of taxes and contributions to various public funds.
3. The movement of Turkish-Cypriots to the Government controlled areas by buses has been arranged, free of charge. Up to 30th June 2003 , 47907 Turkish-Cypriots have been offered transportation free of charge.
4. Up to 30th June 2003 , 15373 temporary licenses for use of motor vehicles belonging to Turkish-Cypriots and an equal number of temporary driving licenses were issued.
5. 204 driving licenses were issued to Turkish-Cypriots, who were holders of a driving licenses until 1974.
6. Telephone communication with the occupied areas was automated from 2.5.2003 through Turkey , but there has been no reciprocal response from Turkey . As result the number of successful calls made from the government controlled areas to Turkey and the occupied areas was 52018 in May 2003 and 58636 in June 2003.
7. In the budget of the Department of Antiquities an amount of £60.000 has been allocated for the preservation of the Islamic Ancient Monuments. An equal amount is being made available for the same purpose in the budget of the Service for the Management of Turkish Cypriot properties.
MINISTRY OF HEALTH
1. The number of Turkish-Cypriots from the occupied areas who have received medical treatment free of charge at the Government Medical Institutions from 1.5.2003 until 30.6.2003 is 912.