Cyprus Today under new ownership
This newspaper’s previous owner, Asil Nadir, announced in a “letter to the Turkish Cypriot public” published on the front page of Cyprus Today’s Turkish-language sister newspaper Kıbrıs on Wednesday, November 30, that the “time has come for me to leave the media world”.
He recalled how he established the company in 1989, with the first issue of Kıbrıs hitting news stands on July 11, 1989. The first issue of Cyprus Today followed on October 12, 1991.
Referring to the investments he has made in the TRNC over years, Mr Nadir said “every investment is a baton” that “should be passed from hand to hand and carried further and higher”.
“With this understanding, Kıbrıs newspaper is on the verge of experiencing a change in a way that will remain faithful to its existence and publication principles,” he wrote.
Mr Nadir, who was born in Lefke, continued: “As a child of this land, I have always been sure that our people can achieve success on a global scale.
“At one time, a significant portion of almost every household’s earnings came from our investments. This was not by accident.
“Turkish Cypriot people were producing. Products were delivered to world markets. Turkish Cypriot producers were taking pleasure in producing. Now, the time has come for me to leave the media world.
“Aiming beyond the borders of our country, I will make investments and initiatives with bigger economic goals.
“In this context, we will see the activity of my work, we will reap the rewards together, just as has been the case since the 1980s.”
Mr Nadir also praised the support of “our Motherland Turkey” for Turkish Cypriots.
He also said that his “love for Cyprus has come at a heavy price” and that he has “paid the price” but has “no regrets”.
“Along with my wife Nur, who has always supported me, as long as there is life in this body I will continue to work for my country, my people and our children,” he added. “I embrace you all with love and respect.”
The following day, Thursday, December 1, it was announced on the front page of Kıbrıs that Kıbrıs Media Group has been “fully incorporated into the Kıbrıs Yeşil Vatan [Green Homeland] Media” group with an agreement and decision of the Broadcasting High Council.
The announcement said that Kıbrıs newspaper and its website, Cyprus Today newspaper, Kıbrıs TV and Kıbrıs FM radio, which were owned by AN Graphics and Yellowstone Printing, have now been taken over by Kıbrıs Yeşil Vatan Media Ltd as a result of the agreement.
Businessman Fatih Büyüktopçu has became the franchise owner of Kıbrıs Yeşil Vatan Media Ltd, with veteran Turkish Cypriot journalist Özer Kanlı appointed as the General Coordinator of the media group.
A statement from Mr Büyüktopçu said: “As of November 29, 2022, we are elated to include the entire Kıbrıs Media Group, owned by our well-known businessman Mr Asil Nadir, who has made significant contributions to the economy and the media of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with his initiatives and investments, to Kıbrıs Yeşil Vatan Media Ltd. . . We could have formed a new media group but we preferred to make an agreement with Kıbrıs Yayıncılık [Broadcasting] Ltd.”
Mr Büyüktopçu explained that the media outlets established by the Kıbrıs Media Group are “treasures created and sustained by Turkish Cypriots” and that “our main aim is to carry the free and sovereign people of our country and their values forward without breaking away from the principles of peace and democracy”.
Mr Büyüktopçu continued: “We wholeheartedly believe that that the hardworking, educated, civilised Turkish Cypriot people with high human potential, who have been struggling for existence and liberation for many years and ultimately succeeding in establishing their own state, deserve the best leadership, the most advanced level of prosperity and the highest quality of life.
“Therefore, with an insight that is far removed from commercial expectations, we will start the necessary investments immediately and we will present our esteemed brothers and sisters with media organisations that you will appreciate and that we will add value to as soon as possible.”
Mr Büyüktopçu said the main objectives of the Kıbrıs Yeşil Vatan Media Ltd will be to “introduce the people of the TRNC to modern new media applications; contribute to the cultural richness, education and joy of living of Turkish Cypriots with our interactive broadcasts and publications; and create a democratic environment to accelerate the Turkish Cypriot people achieving the level of modern development they deserve in every field by ensuring the sharing of ideas, opinions, projects and criticisms”.
He added “we will be the guardians of the constitutional rights of the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” and that “we will always prioritise the interests of humanity in general and our nation in particular”.