Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay received the Chairman of Foreign Affairs Commission of Turkish Grand National Assembly Volkan Bozkır and his delegation.

Indicating that the visit of Bozkır was timely, meaningful and fruitful, Ozersay said that in cooperation with the Republic of Turkey, the TRNC makes maximum effort in order to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots at different international platforms.

Adding that the Foreign Affairs Commission of Turkish Grand National Assembly is an organization which can increase such a limited number of opportunities at different platforms by being the voice of the TRNC, Özersay said that the visit is also important in terms of this issue.

Özersay expressed his belief that this cooperation will continue and also increase in the coming period. In his speech Bozkır said that they have observed that Ozersay has had an effective working style for a long period of time. Indicating that they had important meetings during the day, Bozkır said that the welfare of Turkish Cypriots is their priority aim.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar in Ankara.
Following the meeting, Özersay replied to the questions of BRT correspondent and said that he had a fruitful discussion with Akar and they had an opportunity to discuss the issues of defence and military co-operation within the framework of changing power relations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Özersay said: “We will continue to cooperate with our strategic partner guarantor country Turkey, as always, on the issue of defence like all other issues within the framework of changing conditions.”
Pointing out that in our geography, the quality of relationship between different actors constantly changes in world politics, Özersay said that “Surely, we must take steps towards the best protection of common rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey by taking these developments into consideration ”


Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Speaking at the joint press conference following the meeting, Özersay said “As in other countries of the world, the current balances of power are also changing in the Eastern Mediterranean. Relations between the international and regional actors are being reshaped. We are following the economic, political and military developments closely. Today, we have found a chance to coordinate these issues with our ally, strategic partner and guarantor, Turkey, once more”.  Özersay also added “As you would appreciate, the strategic importance of the island of Cyprus has increased much more in the changing world conjuncture. We have discussed the issue of natural resources with Çavuşoğlu of which the Turkish Cypriots also have as much rights as the Greek Cypriots. As the TRNC, we have always been in search of consensus and cooperation”.
Özersay also stated that they will continue to put forward well-intentioned approaches for the protection of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey’s rights and interests both in natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and in other issues related to Cyprus.
Stating that there will be discussions ahead of the work of the UN General Assembly and the UN Secretary General’s temporary UN Envoy to Cyprus Jane Holl Lute’s report and the inter-country informal talks,  Çavuşoğlu said: “We are working together to increase the TRNC’s international visibility. We gave the necessary messages to remove the isolation at the last Turkish Council meetings and made a joint declaration that we will be in solidarity with the Turkish Cypriot people”.
“First we need to discuss between us how and what will be negotiated and how a result-oriented negotiation process will begin in the upcoming period and then we need to talk with the other guarantor countries and the parties. Nobody has a tolerance for loss of time. We will be together in New York and Ankara in the coming days.” Çavuşoğlu added.

MILITARY SERVICE PROCEDURES OF
TURKISH CYPRIOTS LIVING ABROAD

The following brief information about the terms of entry into the TRNC for our citizens whose mother and/or father are Turkish Cypriot and reside in a foreign country (excluding Turkish-TRNC nationals who live in Turkey) that are also considered to be in their military service draft age is given below along with required documents.

1. There is no restriction for the entry of male citizens into the TRNC who were born in a foreign country (other than Turkey) and/or who had immigrated to another country together with their family before reaching the age of 12 provided that they have never entered the TRNC until their military service draft age or have never stayed in the TRNC for more than 120 days in any calendar year (1 January – 31 December). They can stay in the TRNC for a total of 4 months (120 days) for every calendar year provided that they apply to the Military Recruitment and Mobilization Office Directorate with the documents shown below.

2. Persons who left the TRNC and went to any foreign country without completing their military service before 1st January 2009 and who were considered to be in hiding, a muster fugitive, an absentee or a deserter before this date shall not face any obstacles upon entering or leaving the TRNC once they complete the relevant procedure by bringing the documents shown below to the Military Recruitment and Mobilization Office Directorate within 120 days after first entering the TRNC.

You may complete the above procedures by applying to the TRNC Consulates or Representatives before coming to the TRNC. Liable persons who come to the TRNC will face no obstacles upon entering or leaving provided that they complete the relevant procedures, only once, at the Military Recruitment and Mobilization Office Directorate. For more information, contact us via the information provided below.

Required documents to apply:

• Application (to be filled at the Military Recruitment and Mobilization Office Directorate)

• Entrance-exit list (Land/Sea/Air/Barcoded) to be obtained from the Police Immigration Directorate

• Passport photocopy

CONTACT

Telephone : 0(392) 2272007, 2271275, 2276602
E-mail : asal@guvkk.net
Url : www.mucahit.net, www.guvkk.net
Address : Military Recruitment and Mobilization Office Directorate
Nicosia

Sample Form:

Yurt Dışında Yaşayan Kıbrıslı Türklerin Askerlik İşlemleri Hk. (69.1 KiB)

What is the ‘‘Project for Turkish Cypriots Living Abroad’’ about? This project is not a Project aimed at determining the number of Turkish Cypriots living abroad. In other words, this project is not about a population research. Furthermore, it is not a project designed with the objective of enabling the return all of our citizens living abroad to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Our government does not have an intention to do so. This project involves, on the other hand, steps that aims to facilitate the return of those who intend to return or have decided to return to the TRNC.

The Project’s Objectives:

  1. To strengthen the existing ties between Turkish Cypriots living in the TRNC and those living abroad,
  2. To increase the frequency of visits, regardless of their purpose, to and from the TRNC,
  3. To increase the volume of investments in the TRNC
  4. To facilitate the return to their country of those who wish to do so,
  5. To strengthen the sense of belonging of our youth living abroad and so that Turkish Cypriot identity could be passed on to future generations

Within the context of this Project, the 13 point road map which includes steps and thoughts formulated in line with your requests is as follows:

  1. There is a ‘‘deed transfer fee’’ applicable to the sale and purchase of all immovable property in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. An exemption already applies in this context on a one time basis and everyone can benefit from this on a one time basis. We are considering an additional fee exemption for our youth living abroad who wish to purchase immovable property as a secondary home. This will also apply to those youngsters who are considering to permanently move to the TRNC.

 

  1. Exemption to deed transfer fees applicable to the purchase of both a land and a house for the benefit of families and citizens who have decided to permanently return to the country is currently under consideration.

 

  1. In order to avoid our youth from emigrating abroad, we are considering measures that will facilitate their settling down in a given region, through a social housing project and not by way of distributing land. We will also include our youth living abroad into a social housing scheme. Whereas in some instances social housing can be built directly by the state and sold to those concerned with long term payment facilitations, on some others preferential loans can be provided for those who wish to build such houses themselves in certain areas. This part of the project shall be implemented by the Ministry of Interior.

 

  1. There are considerations as to the kind of exemptions that may apply for the private vehicles and belongings such as furniture of Turkish Cypriots returning home. In order to avoid any misuse of such exemptions, as has been the case in the past, a number of measures which will involve revising regulations regarding exemptions of custom duties and funds will be put into effect.

 

  1. There shall be investment incentives for our citizens living abroad. The current legislation provides for a number of incentives. One such incentive is tax allowance which refers to exemption from investment tax until profit is achieved. This calculated over a hundred and two hundred per cent of the initial investment expenditure. The aforementioned, two hundred per cent allowance applies, in particular, in areas which have been defined as priority development areas such as Lefke, Güzelyurt and İskele. We are considering amendments to this legislation in a way to enable Turkish Cypriots living abroad to benefit from these investment incentives.

 

  1. We are considering exemptions applicable to customs duties and funds in cases whereby an investment will require the importation of machinery and equipment. In this context, up to zero per cent Value Added Tax (VAT) which amounts to the abolition of VAT when buying imported or domestic machinery and equipment is envisaged. Furthermore, Turkish Cypriots living abroad will be given priority within the context of long-term lease of state owned lands and exemptions may also apply to contributions. In case of similar investments borrowing against collateral, reduction of relevant stamp fees and registration duties are envisaged. Finally, a tax exemption of twenty to thirty per cent can be envisaged for a certain period of time following the commencement of the activities of newly built facilities or the start-up of the new investment.

 

  1. As the government, we are considering to put into effect incentives whereby young Turkish Cypriots who have never been to the TRNC could visit their homeland by way of complimentary plane tickets. We shall develop a program which will enable and provide for funding for the participation of Turkish Cypriot youngsters living in UK in the youth camps organised once a year in the TRNC. The purpose of such an initiative is to encourage interaction and bonding between Turkish Cypriot youth living in the TRNC and those in the UK.

 

  1. We will develop a special scholarship programme to enable Turkish Cypriots who have attained a certain success abroad and who are willing, to study in TRNC universities. The objective of this program will be to strengthen their emotional bond and to further familiarise themselves with the TRNC.

 

  1. Young people who are above the age of 12 or who have left TRNC before the year 2009, and have not returned before the age of compulsory military service are eligible for a ‘special status’. The ‘Special Status Regulation’ involves paying a certain amount of money and being totally exempted from military service or paying a certain amount of money and doing the military service only for a month or not doing any payment and doing the military service only for four months. On the other hand, it is also possible for such youngsters who have not already performed their compulsory military service duty for four months to visit TRNC for one hundred and twenty days without facing any problem. Our citizens occasionally face difficulties whereby they are obliged to postpone their flights for one day in order to pay a visit to the Recruitment Office (Asal Şube) to finalise certain outstanding issues.  We are aware of these difficulties and we are determined to improve the situation.

 

In this context, we are looking into the possibility of having a Recruitment Office (Asal Şube) branch in Ercan International Airport.  In addition to this, we are also working on the ways and means to better inform our citizens on the legislation in force and its implementation with regard to the military service.

 

  1. Currently in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus there are a number of partially finished or unfinished idle buildings. As the government, we are currently making preparations to amend relevant legislation as far as those which are not subject to a legal dispute are concerned. We are working on a system which will allow a kind of ‘expropriation’ of such properties for public purposes and leasing them for a long term to those who wish to finish the construction of such buildings for the purpose of using, managing or operating them.

 

  1. In the past, passengers used to stay on board during connecting flights through Turkey in between the TRNC and the UK. However, a while ago, a new regulation has been put into effect that made it compulsory for passengers to leave the plane and once again go through security checks. According to the British Government and the Civil Aviation Authority, the aforementioned regulation is due to security concerns. However, there is no sense in continuing this practice as far as flights from the UK towards the TRNC are concerned. We will start an initiative to solve this problem.

 

  1. In order to be more informed, to maintain our ties and raise awareness about each other, we envisage news items as well as special programs dedicated to life in London to be broadcasted in Bayrak Radio Broadcasting Corporation (BRTK) television and radio channels. For instance, such informative broadcasts can be done through ‘The agenda of the Turkish Cypriots in London’ that will be broadcasted at least twice a week.

 

  1. In order to render consular service more efficient and expeditious in the Office of the TRNC Representative in London, we are looking into increasing the number of our staff.

 

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay sent a message of condolence to the Italian Foreign Minister regarding the dramatic collapse of the highway bridge in Genoa.

Özersay’s message is as follows:

“I have learned with great sorrow that many people have lost their lives in the tragic event of the collapse of Morandi Bridge. On behalf of my government and the Turkish Cypriot People, I wish to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims, to the Italian state and people and a quick recovery to the wounded people.”

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted the resolution accepting the extension of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) until 31 January 2019.  This resolution is based on presumptions that are damaging to the reflection process initiated recently by the UN Secretary-General, which entails assessment of the situation and thereafter the consideration of the way forward. As a result, the resolution, unfortunately, contains components which are in contradiction with the approach put forth by the Secretary-General. Moreover, the resolution contains elements which are self-contradictory. The sole positive aspect regarding the resolution is that the existence and mandate of UNFICYP are fınally being questioned in a serious manner in the debates which took place in the process leading up to the adoption of the resolution. Although these debates may not have been reflected in the report itself, it will no longer be possible to avoid further questioning of UNFICYP – which has become the symbol of the continuation of the status quo in Cyprus. In summary, if not the resolution itself, the debates which took place during the process leading to the adoption of the resolution have shown us that Pandora’s Box has been opened. In Cyprus, it is necessary to question not only the substance and methodology as regards a settlement, but also UNFICYP, which has become an integral part of the status quo itself. As the TRNC Deputy Prime Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the understanding that the way out of the status quo in Cyprus is only achievable through questioning the status quo itself, we wish to emphasize that this latest resolution of the Security Council which merely repeats itself has not come as a surprise.

By referencing another resolution from 20 years ago regarding the negotiations which took place even prior to the 2004 Annan Plan, which has no relevance to the latest negotiation process that in fact commenced in 2008, the resolution has been placed on an unnecessary and meaningless foundation. As known, the last negotiation process, which ended with the unsuccessful conclusion of the Cyprus Conference last year in Switzerland, was a process that commenced in 2008. It is utterly pointless to recall discussions which took place in the political process of pre-2008 – as if that process is still ongoing – particularly at a time when there is uncertainty regarding whether there is common ground or not and when the sides utter the same sentences but understand different things. This approach alone shows that the UN Security Council is incapable of making an accurate and sound assessment regarding the way forward in Cyprus. This and similar approaches are the very reason Cyprus has been condemned to lack of settlement. This frivolous approach is another injustice done to the Turkish Cypriot side, which has displayed political will towards a settlement in all processes to date and has, particularly, proven this will by approving the Annan Plan – the first ever plan in the Cyprus negotiations that was put to referenda.

The resolution attempts to undermine the fact that the Cyprus Conference, which was regarded as the final phase of the ongoing negotiations that have been continuing for more than 50 years, has collapsed. In fact, this understanding harms the very objective of the Secretary-General, namely the ability to conduct an unbiased and impartial reflection period in the aftermath of the unsuccessful conclusion of the Cyprus Conference. While the Secretary-General’s call is for a reflection period regarding the future and the way forward which will result in a decision, the Security Council’s attempt to prejudge the end result is entirely wrong. Furthermore, this approach also amounts to disregarding and rendering meaningless the reflection period initiated by the Secretary-General.

On the one hand, referring to a resolution which has lost its validity both in terms of substance and methodology, and on the other turning a blind eye to the reasons for the reflection period called upon by the Secretary-General, reduces the importance of the assessments which will be made by the UN consultant Jane Holl Lute at the end of her consultations.  However, the very same resolution calls upon the Secretary-General to inform the Security Council on the outcome of her consultations again is a contradiction in itself. As the Secretary-General has also stated, the expectation from this reflection period is for the sides to determine the reasons why the negotiation processes, which started 50 years ago, have been collapsing and determine a way forward.

This most recent Security Council resolution is an attempt to surpass the Secretary-General and is inconsistent with his recent initiatives. In general, the resolution supports the continuation of the status quo. However, the core of the Cyprus issue is the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriot side, which led to the prevailing circumstances namely, the status quo. It is obvious that if the Security Council continues to ignore the existing realities and insists on presuppositions, reaching a just and viable settlement acceptable to both sides, which is already challenging, will become all the more impossible.

We will share our detailed views and concerns as regards the resolution with both the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General, as well as with all the relevant parties. Aside from these, we would like to emphasize that the current resolution, as in previous resolutions, makes the mistake of seeking the approval of only the Greek Cypriot side in the extension of UNFICYP’s mandate, an approach which is one of the biggest obstacles that is preventing a settlement in Cyprus hence our rejection of this resolution.

 

 

 

 

In his written statement, Özersay stated: “I have learned with great sorrow that unfortunately many people have lost their lives in the fire as well as the damage caused by the fire. First of all, I wish to express my deepest sadness and condolences to the relatives of the people who lost their lives in the fire, the Greek state and the people and wish a quick recovery to the people who suffered injuries.”

Launching of the “Project for Turkish Cypriots living abroad” was held by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay in London last evening.

Özersay explained the details of the project and answered the questions. In the event expressing that their government is ready to listen to the Turkish Cypriots living abroad, Minister Özersay said “If we strengthen our ties, it will be much more possible to protect the Turkish Cypriot identity”. Özersay stated that this project includes facilitation procedures for the Turkish Cypriots living abroad who have the intention or have decided to return to the TRNC.

Adding that one of the aims of the project is to strengthen the relations of the Turkish Cypriots living abroad with  the TRNC, Özersay said that secondly, the project aims to increase departures and arrivals between the TRNC and abroad, and also the investments to the TRNC.

Furthermore, Özersay stressed that the project also aims to protect the identity of the Turkish Cypriots to be handed down to future generations.