in Cyprus Today – 29/1/2011

Geneva was a “big let down” – TRNC President Derviş Eroğlu has told Cyprus Today the Geneva summit was a major disappointment. Speaking on his return to North Cyprus, Dr Eroğlu said: “The United Nations Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) has asked the leaders not to reveal what happened in the meeting. But I can say that we have not been able to find what we hoped for. The Greek Cypriots did not reject our proposals one by one. I read out our proposals package, which was rejected in its entirety.”

He blamed the “uncompromising stance” of the Greek Cypriot side for the current stand off. He had called for March to be a cut off date when the future of the Cyprus talks is mapped out, but this was ignored by the UN because of opposition from Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias. Mr Ban said he would write a fresh report on the negotiations by the end of February, and was positive about the progress the two leaders had made, maintaining a solution was still within reach. Former TRNC President Rauf Denktaş said it was time to say “enough is enough” and end the current negotiations. He said “A report by the Secretary-General in February will be of no use unless the problem is diagnosed for what it is – and it is a problem converting bizonal land  into  Greek or Greek Cypriot dominated land. The Turkish Cypriots fear of future bloodshed in the name of majority rule, democracy and Enosis is a real one.”

Free help offer to expats with legal grievances – The TRNC Bar Association is offering free legal advice to expats with grievances about lawyers. It is an ongoing move to weed out problem advocates in North Cyprus. Hasan Sözmener, Bar Association chairman, told Cyprus Today that property buyers in particular could benefit from recent changes to the Advocate (Amendment)  Law. He said we, as the Bar Association, will help individual aggrieved expat property buyers. If they feel that their advocate has not protected their interests, they can come to us and we will investigate the case. We will do this for free.” He warned “If we  find gross misconduct by the advocate concerned, we will again for free, take legal action. If the case is lost, no money will be asked from the complainant. The expats have never taken legal action against advocates for compensation. What are they scared of? They should issue proceedings if they have been subject to negligence or misconduct. We, as the Bar Association have the power to investigate and carry out disciplinary procedures against an advocate.” Last year Mr  Sözmener bemoaned the high number of practising advocates in North Cyprus, claiming that some were not properly qualified. Editor: “No Win No Fee” or just a ploy to try to regain property purchasing confidence as the Property Complaint Office turned out to be. What do you think? Seems strange they’ve not done anything for 6 years, even when the PCO’s door were still open. Whichever it is, it’ll be years before we find out.

Thousands take to the streets in a show of strength – It was billed as a major demonstration to rival the scenes of the Annan Plan rallies of 2004 and yesterday’s Social Existence march and general strike did not disappoint. Thousands of people took to the streets in a show of strength against the austerity measures they say have been forced on the TRNC government by Ankara. They say the fight to overturn the austerity measures will continue, as will the drive to ensure Turkey understands its help is accepted but Turkish Cypriots want self rule.

Lightning plan for bypass in bid for safety action – Lights are being installed along the length of Girne bypass in a bid to improve safety on the road. But an attempt to install further roundabouts at Eziç Premier and Zeytinlik junctions has hit a snag because land is privately owned. 

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