News from TRNC

Statement by the Presidential Spokesperson Mr. Hasan Ercakica
As the early general elections will be held on 19 April 2009, many issues on the agenda are being undertaken in a speculative manner.
The TRNC Presidency is not only impartial regarding the elections but it is also spending efforts to prevent the handling of domestic issues speculatively in line with the election purposes.
Therefore, the two issues we have been faced with in the recent weeks were the status of people who are trying to go to the EU member countries through our country and the regulations regarding the Law on Chance Games in accordance with the requirements of International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
The Presidency has undertaken both issues from the point of protecting the international prestige of our state and our people.
We have previously stated our stance concerning illegal human trafficking and refugees more than once. However, the fact that a column expressing President Mr.Talat’s views on the issue has been censored by the Kıbrıs newspaper management is much more desperate than the publications accusing the Turkish Cypriot side in terms of the refugees. It is also exemplary in terms of indicating the obstacles before the freedom of thought and freedom of press.
The discussions concerning the Law on Chance Games which was approved in the National Assembly yesterday is also a similar case. The legal regulation concerning this issue has been implemented in accordance with our relations with International Financial Action Task Force (FATF) which battles with money laundering and monitors North Cyprus to that end. It is envisaged that the casinos will be subject to tighter auditing. Although there is no serious money laundering incidents in our country, developing the legal regulations on the issue and protecting the international prestige of our state and people who are faced with the high risk of being accused of such crimes because of political reasons is our primary duty.
It is natural that many issues are being handled speculatively because of the early general elections. However, all the politicians and the media organs should act more responsibly on the issues concerning the international prestige of our state and our people. The said prestige is not only a necessity for our state but for every single Turkish Cypriot as well.
Presidential Spokesman Mr. Hasan Erçakıca stated that the expectations towards President Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat to act more flexible in the negotiations after the elections that will be held on 19 April 2009 will be proven futile.
Reminding at the weekly press briefing that the Turkish Cypriot side has determined its position as “establishing a new, bi-zonal and bi-communal federal state based on the political equality of two peoples and the equal status of two constituent states”, Spokesman Erçakıca said “These are the principles we unwaveringly stand by and will continue to do so. We are unwavering about these principles now and we will be unwavering about them after 19 April 2009 as well.”
Underlining that - within the framework of the determined principles- the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to be flexible concerning “the establishment of the partnership” and will maintain this position after the 19 April elections, Erçakıca said: “I just want to underline an issue. From time to time the negotiation process is being perceived as a simple bargaining process. However, this is not a completely correct approach. Therefore, while making use of concepts such as “retreating” or “flexibility”, everyone should be aware of the fact that no simple bargaining is being carried out during the quest for a settlement for the Cyprus problem. Neither the journalists, nor the relevant circles, nor our counterparts Mr. Christofias and his friends should forget that we are striving to establish a new state where the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots will be able to express themselves and which they will maintain together. One cannot move forward via simple bargaining methods. If a self contradictory system is created, there will be problems caused by the system itself. First of all, the chances of this system to be approved in the referenda would be reduced. Secondly, its functionality, its viability and its capacity to carry both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots to the future together would be diminished. As the Turkish Cypriot side we are trying to maintain the negotiations, remaining loyal to the principles we put forward and the prior promises we made. Being in harmony with the government and Turkey is certainly important. We will continue working with the new government that will be formed after the elections on 19 April 2009 within the framework of these relations

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