The swords between the Republic of Cyprus and the Occupied Territories for the COVID-19 vaccine have crossed.
It all started when the so-called “president” of occupied northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar, stated that he did not want COVID-19 vaccines from the Republic of Cyprus, as agreed, but directly from the European Union .
Then, in an attempt to mitigate the reactions, the representative of the Turkish-speaking Cypriot leader, Berna Celik Dogrougiol, accused the Republic of Cyprus of placing bureaucratic obstacles in supplying COVID-19 vaccines from the European Union.
The Turkish-speaking Cypriot official noted that necessary initiatives have been taken to ensure the transfer of COVID-19 vaccines be sent from the EU to the occupied side of Cyprus.
At the same time, he called on the Republic of Cyprus “to put aside its dominant mentality and political goals, and to act prudently with an approach that will keep human health at the forefront.”
“We are doing everything possible to help the Turkish Cypriots”
For its part, the Republic of Cyprus has requested information, through the bi-communal Technical Committee for Health, to know the number of COVID-19 vaccines that Turkish-speaking Cypriots will need in the Occupied Territories.
“We are doing everything possible to help the Turkish Cypriots, from the beginning of the pandemic, but also before it,” the Secretary of the National Council of the Republic of Cyprus, Pantelis Pantelidis, pointed out to Sputnik Hellas.
“We had sent them a lot of medical equipment and medicines that – the second time – they did not accept,” Pentelidis continued.
“We took the initiative to order vaccines for them, we helped them in the preparation of the vaccination plan, we have already sent them a quantity, while we took care of their training on how to administer the vaccine,” the Secretary said.
“We started the discussion with them, however they did not return to the conversation,” he added.
The Cypriot Ministry of Health announced that since summer it had requested the need to supply 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccines for Cyprus and that the Turkish-speaking Cypriots were included in this quantity.
“The quantities are now revised upwards and we even asked for 400,000 vaccines for the Turkish Cypriots,” the official revealed.
“In December, when we asked again for information on the number of vaccines needed, we asked for a vaccination plan in order to be in line with the health conditions and all the prerequisites of the European Commission,” Pantelidis explained.
“With our assistance, the revised vaccination plan for the Occupied Territories, which is in line with European states, was completed, as the initial plan they sent us had several errors and failures,” the Cypriot official said.
At the same time, as he pointed out, the Republic of Cyprus sent its Pfizer technician to the Occupied Territories to train them on how to administer the vaccine .
“Gradually we will give a larger number of vaccines in Occupied Cyprus depending on what we receive,” Pantelidis said.
“We estimate that the final number will increase considerably in February, after the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” concludes the Secretary of the National Council of the Republic of Cyprus.
The Turkish-speaking Cypriot political leadership is attacked by newspapers in the Occupied Territories that talk about the “suffering of citizens during vaccination,” “measures not observed” and “inadequacy of vaccines.”
A journalist close to Mustafa Akıncı, the former leader of the Turkish-occupied Territories, has reportedly accused Tatar of obstructing the COVID-19 vaccine case, and he has reportedly responded with derogatory remarks on social media.
In turn, the Turkish Cypriot Writers’ Union is reportedly preparing to file a lawsuit against the leader of the Turkish-occupied Territories for this behavior.
In an attempt by Tatar to hide the mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and to create a climate inside the Occupied Territories, Anna Koukkidi-Prokopiou, a senior research associate at the European Cypriot Center, offered her thoughts.
She pointed out that “it all started with the refusal of Brussels to help Tatar directly. The Turkish Cypriot ‘president’ is trying to create a climate, blaming the Greek Cypriots.”
“There is nothing tangible that they can invoke, blaming our side,” she said, adding that the aforementioned incident with the journalist and Tatar “pressures them to prove alleged Greek Cypriot responsibilities.”