A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.07.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will meet with UNSG’s envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute on Monday at 15.30 hours. On the same day, Lute will also be received by President Anastasiades. Citing information obtained by Aleem Siddique, Spokesman of UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the paper writes that Lute has no other programmed meetings or statements during her stay on the island. After her meetings in Cyprus, Lute will visit Ankara, Athens and Greece and she is expected to brief the UNSG regarding the result of her contacts, notes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.07.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will hold five separate meetings today and tomorrow with the chairmen or representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the “assembly” in order to assess the situation in the Cyprus problem prior to UNSG’s envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute’s visit to the island.
Today he is expected to meet with “prime minister” and chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun and self-styled minister of communications Tolga Atakan on behalf of the chairman of the People’s Party (HP) and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, who is abroad. Tomorrow Akinci will meet with the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and self-styled minister of education Cemal Ozyigit and chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and “minister” of finance Serdar Denktas.
Under the title “Nami: We should be connected with a bigger system in order to pave the way for solar energy”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.07.18) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy and energy of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the electricity production cost in the occupied area of the island is high and that the system transfers this cost to the consumer. In statements to Kibris TV, Nami noted that they should do something “radical” on the issue and bring down the prices of electricity, adding that even if they transfer electricity from Turkey with cables, they should produce around 30% of the electricity they consume.
Noting that the cost of the project of bringing electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus is estimated around 450 – 500 million dollars, Nami said that they attach great importance to this project for achieving their target regarding the production of solar energy. He stated that the first things he attended to when he came on duty were the issues of solar energy and transferring electricity with cables from Turkey.
“We asked why the project with the cables has not been materialized until today”, he said and added: “We looked at the agreements which had been made, the protocol approved by the assembly etc. We saw that there were some elements missing. However, what was the climate created? ‘Everything is ok, if we press a button, the cables can come tomorrow’. We saw that things were not like this. What exactly will the cost be? Who will make the distribution? These have not been shaped. Which will the contractor company be? Which will the technology be? Will it be AC or DC electricity? Will it be 400 MW or 800 MW? There is no decision on any [of these] points. […]
We immediately contacted Turkey. I said that drawing lessons from the past and our experience regarding the water, we should put all these in a written text and […] and turn it into an agreement between the two states. We saw understanding. They immediately said let us do whatever is necessary, but they entered into elections. When we came to Nicosia, I put everything we had discussed into a written text and we asked them in writing. Now a new government has been established. In any case, during Mr Erdogan’s visit to Nicosia, our esteemed prime minister raised the issue as first priority. In the end of this meeting, the result was that I should go to Ankara the soonest and bring the issue to a point now. […]”
According to illegal Bayrak television (18.07.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=foreign-parliamentarians-in-trnc-2), a group of foreign parliamentarians, who are currently in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the celebration of the July 20 invasion to Cyprus, are paying visits to “state and government officials” of the breakaway regime.
Within the framework of their contacts, the parliamentarians visited the self-styled speaker of the assembly” Teberruken Ulucay and self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman.
The first stop of the visiting parliamentarians from Kosovo, Madagascar, Hungary, Canada, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Mauritania and Chad was the “TRNC parliament”.
Speaking on behalf of the visiting parliamentarians, Canadian senator Anne Cools expressed their happiness at visiting the “TRNC”. Pointing out that the Cyprus problem has been waiting to be solved for many years, Cools expressed the hope that a settlement will be reached in the near future.
Ulucay, for his part, said that he was happy to be hosting foreign parliamentarians on the 20th of July which was an extremely important date for Turkish Cypriots. Explaining the importance of the “20th of July Peace and Freedom day” (as he refers to the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in 1974), Uluçay said that efforts to reach a solution to the decades long Cyprus problem was continuing.
Ulucay, also expressed the hope that talks to be held during the current UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres’s term in office will result with a federal settlement. He added that any settlement to be reached will bring great economic benefit to the island’s economy.
The group later met with Erhurman who too expressed his happiness from seeing the foreign parliamentarians in the “TRNC”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (18.07.18) reports that the celebrations for the 44th anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus are beginning tomorrow, Thursday, July 19 with the declaration of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci which will take place at 12.00 noon. The great parade will take place on July 20 at 9.30 in the morning at occupied Lefkosia.
The paper also notes that the “Turkish stars” flock of Turkish military aviation unit will perform a show at 18.00 Friday, July 20, in occupied Keryneia’s sky.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (18.07.18) reports that so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, in his statements last night via his personal account at social media, did not confirmed the statements made yesterday by the so-called minister of finance, Serdar Denktas, who claimed that the “government” is working towards the direction of “lifting the banned entrance for the TRNC citizens to the casinos” in the occupied area Cyprus.
Speaking yesterday during the press conference of the four-party “coalition government”, Denktas referred to the opening of the casinos in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and claimed that the so-called government is working towards lifting the banned entrance for the “TRNC citizens to the casinos”, in order, as he said, to prevent the Turkish Cypriots from visiting the casinos in the “south”, as he called the Republic of Cyprus.
Ozersay, denied that the “government” works in this direction. “There is either any such an idea or work in the plans of the government or the responsible ministry. Since there is not such a plan in the government’s agenda, it is not possible for this to be implemented”, Ozersay said, adding: “Thus, it is not necessary spreading words around. Instead of allowing our citizens free entrance to the casinos, we should undertake other measures, for example intensifying inspections and controls at the casinos, control the licenses of the existing ones, collect more taxes”.
The paper reports further that this issue brought face to face the two partners of the “coalition government” and it showed that “government” does not work in harmony.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (18.07.18) reports that the general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan condemned in a written statement the “encouragement” by the “government” to the “TRNC people” to visit the casinos in the “TRNC” describing this action as a misdeed.
Izcan called on the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhuman to make statements on the issue and recalled that the four-party “coalition government”, when came to power, said that it would undertake measures for closing the bet offices and nightclubs. “It is a misdeed to encourage people to gabblewhile implementing at the same time more increases”, Izcan added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.07.18) reports that according to data obtained by the “report of the labor department” the number of illegal workers in the breakaway regime has increased around 3,4 times.
According to the report which covers the first quarter of the current year, the number of illegal workers is 114. The number of the illegal workers at the same period last year was 31.
The paper further reports that the majority of the illegal workers are of Turkish origin.
According to illegal Bayrak television (18.07.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=brt-director-resigns), the “director of Bayrak Radio Television Corporation” Meryem Ozkurt has resigned from her position at the corporation by sending a letter of resignation to “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman yesterday.
In her letter she stated that “since accepting her position at Bayrak Radio Television Corporation, without siding with any political views and giving priority to the country’s interests and values she has carried out her duty in the best possible way”.
Ozkurt also argued that she wanted to end rumours and speculations that are in circulation and will therefore resign from her position.
Meryem Ozkurt became the first woman to serve as the “director of Bayrak Radio Television Corporation” in June 2016.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.07.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot journalist Aysu Basri Akter will be the new “director of BRT”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (18.07.18) reports that according to statements of the chairman of “religious employees’ trade union” Suleyman Cakar and the chairman of the “religious affairs department” Talip Atalya, there is a lack of imams in many mosques of the breakaway regime at a time when the construction of mosques is increased.
Cakar stated that 220 imams used to work in the occupied area of Cyprus from which 19 are now retired while 40 more that came from Turkey now returned to their country. Only 10 imams that will come from Turkey will replace the 40 that left and this will create problems to the operation of mosques.
On his part, Atalay stated that he supports the appointment of Turkish Cypriots graduate from religious schools in order to solve the problem occurred and to meet the unemployment of the Turkish Cypriots imams. The paper notes that due to an agreement with Turkey, all the imams working at the breakaway regime are coming from Turkey.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.07.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/anti-terror-bill-keeps-some-national-emergency-provisions-for-three-more-years-134677) reports that a new “anti-terror” bill will bolster the powers of Turkish authorities in detaining suspects and imposing public order even after the current two-year state of emergency ends.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) submitted an amendment to existing laws to Parliament on July 16 to deal with the “fight against terror” after the state of emergency is lifted.
The draft legislation envisages keeping some measures under the state of emergency law up to three more years. The draft bill abolishes martial law in accordance with the new Constitution.
A provisional article will be added to the anti-terror law. Detention times for offenses committed against state integrity, organized crime, and terrorist crimes will be implemented differently in the upcoming three years. (…)
Turkish authorities have said no new extension will be sought for the state of emergency as it is due to end after midnight on July 18.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.07.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/turkey/2018/07/18/25-days-and-a-small-fee-for-new-military-service-exemption), paid military exemption may come back soon - great news for millions looking to avoid mandatory military service of 12 months or less.
Bülent Turan, acting chairman for the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) parliamentary group, announced Wednesday that they would present a regulation on the matter, one day after speculations emerged over the reintroduction of military exemption.
Under the proposed regulations, anyone aged 25 and younger can pay TL 15,000 ($3,133) and be exempt from military service, save from 25 days of conscription. This short enlistment term distinguishes it from previous practices of paid military service where applicants only needed to pay the fee and were not obliged to serve even for one day.
Proponents of paid military service claim the conscription derails their budding careers. Many who campaign on social media are university graduates and complain that serving a short period of conscription [12 months for high school graduates and six months for university graduates] should be replaced with an exemption to boost the economy. For Bulent Turan, the paid service can be the "first step to switch to a professional army."
Currently, the army is composed largely of conscripts and Turkey only recently stopped deploying them for counterterrorism and other risky operations. Previously, soldiers were forced to serve in risky areas with little training in their short tenure in the military, often ending up dead in counter-terrorism operations.
Reminding about campaign promises of the AK Party to reintroduce the paid military service, Turan said more than five million people awaited the regulation. "The army needs about 300,000 conscripts yearly. This is an enormous gap compared to the number of people eligible for military service. This regulation will help in closing the gap and I believe more steps will be taken in the future for a more professional structure for the army," he said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.07.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-court-rules-to-keep-two-greek-soldiers-in-custody-134673) reports that a Turkish court has ruled to keep two Greek soldiers in custody who were detained in Turkey in March. (…)
The court decision comes a few days after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met in Brussels on the side-lines of a NATO summit and agreed to focus on efforts to reduce tensions in the Aegean.
The Turkish court in Edirne, a north western province bordering Greece and Bulgaria where the two soldiers were detained, held its monthly hearing on whether to release the soldiers from custody. The judge ruled against the soldiers’ request to be freed. The two soldiers have not yet been indicted. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / EF)