A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (19.07.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-delivers-address-to-the-nation-2), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has argued that the “TRNC” shall continue to work towards further developing its economy and democracy while efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem continue.
In a live televised address to mark the launch of “celebrations” marking the 44th anniversary of the 20th of July Turkish invasion to Cyprus, Akinci claimed that “Turkey’s timely military intervention on the 20th of July 1974, which had followed the coup carried out in Cyprus by Greece 5 days earlier, had prevented the situation from worsening”. He further argued: “Had Turkey not taken this step, the coup would have become worse and in a short period of time the world would have come to accept it. The 20th of July military intervention not only prevented the island’s union with Greece but also paved the way for the reinstatement of the Greek Cypriot community’s elected leader, the return of civilian rule and the toppling of the Junta government in Greece”.
Pointing out that reaching a just solution in the 44 years that have passed since then would have been the best outcome, Akinci said: “Unfortunately the years have not been favourable”. He also noted that repeated efforts to reach a settlement have failed in spite of the Turkish Cypriot side’s constructive and positive approach.
Giving the examples of the 2004 Annan Plan and the latest process which collapsed following talks in Crans Montana, Switzerland, Akinci argued: “The UN has repeatedly seen which side has worked in support of a settlement and which side has tried to hinder the efforts. However despite the fact that this was seen and known it was not reflected in the UN report. To be shown equally responsible with the Greek Cypriot side has been a true injustice to the Turkish Cypriot side”.
Pointing out that it has been a year since the talks collapsed at Crans Montana, Akinci claimed that the Greek Cypriot side had unfortunately not changed its negative stance in the time that has passed since then. He also argued that to make matters worse, the Greek Cypriot side has been creating obstacles and difficulties for the Turkish Cypriot side, whether it has been efforts to harmonize with the EU or other efforts to build confidence between the two communities.
Highlighting the importance of confidence building measures, particularly in the absence of settlement negotiations, Akinci criticized the Greek Cypriot side’s preventative efforts.
Explaining that his intention was not to use this address to accuse or criticize the Greek Cypriot side, Akinci said that the road to co-existing on this island passed through cooperation and building confidence. “A real transformation of mentality is needed for this. I am repeatedly underlining the importance of this. Unfortunately they do not want to listen” he added.
Also touching upon the upcoming visit to the island by the UN Secretary General’s consultant on the Cyprus issue, Akinci explained that the UN envoy’s mission was a temporary one aimed at probing the possibility of resuming talks and drawing a new road map for the period ahead. “Ms Lute is not a new permanent advisor…in other words she is not a new Espen Barth Eide”, he stressed, adding that the UN envoy will also be holding contacts with three guarantor powers as well.
Akinci however pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side has not abandoned its goal for a settlement, peace and cooperation. “We have always supported friendly and peaceful relations between the island’s two peoples” he argued.
Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot “people” have proven their desire for a settlement time and time again, whether it was with the 2004 Annan Plan or Crans Montana, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side had once again highlighted its willingness for a settlement with the call it had made on the 30th of April 2018. “Because our proposal has not been for tactical manoeuvres but is part of strategic choice. If we have failed to achieve this goal it is not because of us” he claimed.
“As I have always stated if there is a problem somewhere, the search for a solution will always continue. However it is high time for all parties involved, particularly the UN, to seriously question as to why efforts for the past 50 years failed to yield any results. It must be understood that recognizing one of the two sides on the island as the sole legal owner of the island and isolating the other community will not serve efforts to reach a solution but only the continuation of the status quo” he said.
Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to pursue the principles of equality, freedom and security in the period ahead. “We shall however not accept open-ended, endless talks or become part of a process without deadlines of timeframes” he stressed.
Akinci argued that it would be wrong to postpone everything until after a settlement is reached on the island. “Our strategic choice, of course, is a settlement in Cyprus but this is not only up to us. The Greek Cypriot side particularly needs a serious change of views. It is my wish and hope that the Greek Cypriot side adopts a new understanding in the period ahead so that we may pave the way for a lasting and just solution” he noted, adding that efforts to further develop the country’s economy and democracy will continue in the meantime.
“While the Cyprus problem lies at the foundations of many of the problems we experience, there is much we can do independently from the Cyprus problem. We need to do this…we can do this and we can succeed”, he stressed.
Akinci concluded his address by wishing “the Turkish Cypriot people a happy 20th of July peace and freedom day and remembering all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and security of the Turkish Cypriot people”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (19.07.18) reports that 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, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met separately yesterday with the chairman the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun and self-styled minister of internal affairs Aysegul Baybars on behalf of the chairman of the People’s Party (HP) Kudret Ozersay, who is in London.
In statements after the meeting, Erhurman claimed that the Greek Cypriot side attempts to burden Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side with the responsibility for the non-solution in Cyprus, presenting the issue of security and guarantees as for the only point of disagreement and that these tactics started before the International Conference on Cyprus in Switzerland. Alleging that the substance of the matter is what he called as the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriots to share the administration and the political equality with the Turkish Cypriots, Erhurman argued that if the report to be submitted by the UNSG to the Security Council on Cyprus does not mention that the sharing of power and the wealth of the island as important as the issue of security and guarantees and that the delay in finding a solution derives from the Greek Cypriot side, then “paradigm will change”. “A change of paradigm is needed during this period of stagnancy. Will the UNSG contribute to the change of paradigm? This is the question”, he alleged.
Erhurman also said that he does not have high expectations from the negotiations, if an effort to keep balances between the sides is observed in the UNSG’s to the Security Council. He alleged that this report should include what he called as delaying tactics implemented by President Anastasiades, who allegedly thinks that the status quo on the island works in favor of the Greek Cypriots. Erhurman wished for Lute to see that this stance is wrong and that both communities suffer losses from this delay.
He further alleged that this stance of the Greek Cypriot side prevails not only at the level of the leadership, but also made its appearance in the press in the case of the glossary, which allegedly includes words that do not bother the two communities. Erhurman described the reactions caused against this glossary as unacceptable from the point of view of human rights and democracy and claimed also that the efforts of some political parties and municipalities in the government controlled-area of the island to prevent the opening of the barricade in Deryneia area show that a mentality in favor of the continuation of the status quo exists.
Expressing the view that the UN always tries not to blame anyone of the sides in its reports, Erhurman claimed that this “shadows” the objectivity of the UN reports and alleged: “If the picture is not presented with all its objectivity, it will not be possible for many things to change. This is why I hope that the picture is presented in an objective manner. What we always see in the reports is an effort to keep the balances. What is needed for this process is the presentation of reality, objectivity without any contribution to balance”.
In her statements, Baybars alleged that instead of the six chapters of the negotiations and the Guterres Framework, issues such as that negotiations with an unknown timetable will not have a result, and also the reasons of the continuation of the Cyprus problem and which side expects the solution for 50 years, should be explained very well to Lute. Baybars said that she conveyed to Akinci her party’s views in order for Lute to be able to see and realize some “realities” and the main reason for the Cyprus problem’s existence. She noted that she told Akinci that a negotiating process without a timetable will have no result and that the UNSG’s envoy should bring proposals, which both sides are willing to accept, taking into consideration Turkish Cypriot side’s so-called openings.
Underlining the importance of preventing the Republic of Cyprus’ “unilateral steps” on the natural gas issue, Baybars alleged that the UN should make suggestions to the Greek Cypriot side on this issue and that the beginning of direct flights to the occupied area of the island could be asked in order for the “isolation” to be lifted. She reiterated that a different method should be used in the Cyprus problem.
Finally, in his statements after the meeting, Ozgurgun alleged that the Cyprus problem could be solved if the Greek Cypriot side exhibits good will and that the Turkish Cypriot side always exhibits the necessary good will and behaves positively, but the Greek Cypriot side always abandons the negotiating table.
Ozgurgun argued that the Turkish Cypriot side will explain to everyone that the negotiating process should have a starting and an ending date and cannot continue being open-ended. He further expressed the hope that the Greek Cypriot side will respond positively to some points of the Turkish Cypriot side which it had rejected in the past.
Illegal Bayrak (19.07.18, http://www.brtk.net/cumhurbaskani-tdp-dp-ve-ydp-yetkilileriyle-gorustu/) broadcast that in view of UNSG’s envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute’s visit to the island, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met separately today with the chairmen of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit, the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas and the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) Erhan Arikli.
In statements after his meeting with Akinci, Ozyigit argued that we are on the verge of a new period in Cyprus and noted that the TDP has always been expressing the view that the status quo on the island is unacceptable. He added: “The Guterres Framework, which has come forward recently, is a framework on which work could be done and a result could be reached. Therefore, starting to work on it is inevitable. However, our target is for the new process which will possibly begin not being a process without an end. No one can show tolerance not for another 50 years, but not even for another five years”. Ozyigit noted that they want the resumption of the negotiations from the point they were left in Crans Montana in a manner which will give results within a short period of time and asked from President Anastasiades to reply to the “hand extended to him for a solution”.
In his statements, Denktas alleged that during the past 50 years no progress was achieved in the negotiations except for the steps taken by the Turkish Cypriot side. Claiming that they should have in mind what he called as “unwillingness” of the Greek Cypriot side and the backing provided by third countries to this “unwillingness”. “As long as this process continues with this method, it will have no other result except for the wasting of time and the continuation of the uncertainty for the Turkish Cypriot people”, he alleged and added that they conveyed to Akinci their views regarding the change of method. He concluded by saying that they might bring up this issue after a few months and create a “hotter environment for debates”.
Finally, Arikli claimed that they did not see a change of the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (19.07.18) reports that Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that if the UNSG’s envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute comes to Cyprus and says that the negotiations should begin from the point they were left, the process will not have a result. Ozersay delivered a speech yesterday at the Chatham House, the Royal International Institute of International Affairs in London addressing officials from diplomatic missions and embassies as well as academicians and NGO’s representatives.
Replying to questions by illegal TAK news agency on this issue, Ozersay referred to Lute’s forthcoming visit to Cyprus and alleged that the important thing is not the resumption of the negotiations but the examination of the reasons of the procedure’s failure. If Lute comes and says “let us continue the negotiations from the point they were left”, this will lead the process nowhere, he claimed adding that only if an answer to the question of why the negotiations failed for the past 50 years is found, a road map as to where we will be heading to could be drawn.
Alleging that 14 years ago the then UNSG argued that the Greek Cypriot community was not ready to share Cyprus’ administration and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots, Ozersay added that the question is whether this situation changed and the Greek Cypriots are more ready for this now after 14 years.
Claiming that there have been two developments which made the Greek Cypriots even more distanced from sharing the power and the wealth, Ozersay alleged that one of these developments was the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the EU and the other the explorations for natural gas prior to a solution to the Cyprus problem and without taking the consent of the Turkish Cypriots and the fact that the international community says nothing about this.
Ozersay said that in his speech, he referred to these issues and to what could be done in the future and replied to questions of the participants.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (19.07.18) under the title: “It is not an exercise, it is a home truth”, reports that a boat carrying out 150 migrants capsized off the occupied Yialousa shores yesterday.
According to the paper, in a joint operation conducted by “coast guard forces” from Turkey and the occupation regime, 103 Syrian migrants were rescued, 19 died and around 25 are missing. The rescued Syrian migrants were sent to Turkey with a boat belonging to the “coast guard command” of the occupation regime, while the other heavy injured were transferred with a helicopter of the “Turkish Cypriot peace forces” (“KTBKK”) to the Silifke district in Mersin, Turkey.
During the search and rescue efforts in the area which took place some 30 kilometres (18 miles) off the shore of the occupation regime, 4 boats from the “coast guard command”, 1 helicopter of the “ktbkk” as well as the TGG Barbaros Frigate belonging to the "Turkish security forces command" (“the Turkish occupation forces”) attended the rescue efforts in the area.
Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (19.07.18) reports that the former Turkish Prime Minister and newly elected Speaker of the Turkish National Assembly (TBMM) Binali Yildirim and the Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, will carry out an illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus on Friday, in order to attend the “celebrations” for the 44 anniversary of the Turkish invasion to Cyprus.
Meanwhile, the vice-admiral of the Turkish Naval Forces, Adnan Ozbal has already arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus yesterday for the “celebrations”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.18) reports that a group of foreign parliamentarians and journalists, who are currently in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the celebration of the July 20 invasion to Cyprus had separate meetings yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the self-styled speaker of the assembly” Teberruken Ulucay and self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman.
In the delegation, there are parliamentarians from Canada, Britain, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Kosovo, Madagascar, Mauritanian, Bulgaria, Chad, Botswana and FYROM.
Adom Hindi Achair, Chairman of the Friendship Group of the Parliament of Chad with the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey, said that they want to develop their cultural and economic relations with the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Speaking during the meeting with the delegation, Erhurman argued that “the Turkish Cypriot people have been fighting for years for their inclusion in the international system and to be part of the international community”. He further claimed that Turkish Cypriots, due to the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, are not only excluded economically but also because of the reportedly isolation and embargo on cultural and sport fields. He added that these kinds of visits give them hope that they can establish relations with world countries.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (19.07.18) reports that the foreign journalists are coming from Hungary, Qatar, Pakistan, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Kirgizia, Egypt, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Spain, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.18) reports that within the framework of celebrations marking the 44th anniversary of the 20th of July Turkish invasion to Cyprus, the frigate TCG Barbaros will be at the open sea of the occupied town of Keryneia, the submarine TCG Canakkale and the assault boat TCG Mizrak of the Turkish Naval Forces will anchor at occupied Keryneias’ port and will be open for the public to visit them on Friday.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberator newspaper (19.07.18) reports that the general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot teacher’s trade union (KTOS) Sener Elcil, condemned in a written statement yesterday the so-called “coalition government” for the implementation of increases.
Stating that the increase on the “cost of living” in the occupied area of Cyprus is bounded to the dramaticaldrop of the value of the Turkish Lira (TL) against foreign currencies, Elcil described “life as unbearable”. He further alleged that during the press conference organized by the “coalition government” it became clear that they are not self-administrated but it is Turkey which administrates the “country”.
Referring to the “grant” to be given from Turkey to the “TRNC” in order to cover its “budget deficit”, which will be 1, 5 billion TL, Elcil claimed that taking into consideration the population, the per capita quota is 4,10 TL per person. Elcil condemned the so-called government for handing over its willpower to Ankara for 4,10TL.
Referring to the population in the occupied area of Cyprus, Elcil alleged that the “TRNC’s population” is approximately 700 thousand, claiming that the best estimation says that the Turkish Cypriots are only 130 thousand.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (19.07.18) reports that the so-called prime minister, Tufan Erhurman, accompanied by the so-called minister of communication and transportation, Tolga Atakan, the “minister of health” Filiz Besim and the “minister of national education and culture”, Cemal Ozyigit, visited yesterday the occupied Morfou area and inspected the works which are taking place there for the construction of the occupied Morfou-Lefka double-lane highway and the construction of the “hospital” in occupied Morfou.
Erhurman was briefed by the “ministers” about the progress of the “works”.
In statements to the illegal BRT after the visit, so-called minister of health Besim alleged that their goal is for the “hospital” in occupied Morfou to be completed by the end of 2019.
Also speaking, so-called minister Atakan explained that the part of the 10 km road toward occupied Elia village will open next week. He further added that the works for the completion of the “Morfou-Lefka double-lane highway” will speed up so that the “investment” to be completed within the next five months.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.07.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-lifts-two-year-old-state-of-emergency/1208011), Turkey lifted its two-year-old state of emergency as of Thursday 1 a.m. local time (2200 GMT Wednesday).
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.07.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/state-of-emergency-ends-amid-proposal-of-new-anti-terror-law-134715), under the title “State of emergency ends amid proposal of new anti-terror law”, reports that Turkey’s two-year-long state of emergency came to an end yesterday amid the introduction of a draft bill that seeks to bring about new anti-terror laws by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). But opposition groups say the laws are as oppressive as the state of emergency.
First declared on July 20, 2016, days after a thwarted coup attempt on July 15, 2016, the three-month state of emergency rule has been extended seven times since then with the approvals of ministers. (…)
The Turkish government accuses the network of having had widespread influence over many state institutions and the army after decades-long infiltration. The government has issued over 35 emergency decrees and dismissed 130,000 public officials, legal professionals, academics and teachers for alleged terror links.
More than 200 media institutions and 1,500 non-governmental organizations, foundations and associations were closed.
According to figures provided by the Justice Ministry, among over 100,000 criminal investigations filed, 48,000 of them were brought to courts as of July 10.
The Ministry stated that the number of arrests made on FETÖ charges is 20,008, while the number for charges of FETÖ links is 13,362, among them 705 are judges and prosecutors, 6,954 soldiers, 5,139 law enforcement officials, and 6,587 are teachers.
Having been legally obliged to cover only matters related to the grounds on which the state of emergency was declared, the decrees have made sweeping amendments in some 107 laws.
The extent of the decrees has drawn harsh criticism from opposition parties, which accuse the AKP of abusing the decrees to bypass parliament and the current legislation. The opposition also says the state of emergency was used to silence and crack down on all critics of the government.
The decisions made via the state of emergency decrees, such as dismissals and closures, were also declared outside of local courts’ and constitutional court’s jurisdictions, leaving legal uncertainty in terms of domestic legal remedies. As the European Court of Human Rights necessitated exhausting domestic remedies to oversee cases, it resulted in the establishment of the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission.
The commission had reported on June 22 that the number of appeals to the commission regarding the decree decisions has reached 108,905, and 21,500 of them were finalized, among which only 640 were approved to be objected.
A few days before the end of the emergency rule, the AKP issued the draft bill to the parliamentary Committee, proposing to make amendments in several laws related to security regulations.
The draft envisages bolstering the powers of Turkish authorities in detaining suspects, imposing security measures even outside the state of emergency rule, proposing to keep some measures of the state of emergency in effect for three more years. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.07.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/war-on-terror/2018/07/18/turkish-court-rules-to-keep-terror-linked-us-pastor-in-jail-next-hearing-set-for-october), a Turkish court ordered on Wednesday U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being tried on terrorism and spying charges, to remain in detention, rejecting his lawyer's plea for release.
The judge said the next hearing in the trial would be on October 12. (…)
Speaking to reporters in western Izmir province after the ruling, U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Ankara Philip Kosnett said he was disappointed in the results of the hearing, and said the U.S. government remained deeply concerned about his status.
Underlining that the U.S. has "great respect both for Turkey's traditional law as a haven for people of all faiths and for Turkey's legal traditions," as well as "faith in the commitment of the Turkish people to justice," Kosnett said they would continue to follow Brunson's case closely, expressing hope that he is reunited soon with his family.
Later on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Twitter to free the American pastor held in Turkey. "@RT_Erdogan should do something to free this wonderful Christian husband & father. He has done nothing wrong, and his family needs him!" Trump tweeted.
Brunson's case was among issues Trump and Erdogan discussed by telephone earlier this week. (…)
The Turkish government has repeatedly told Washington that Brunson's case is being handled by the courts and the government cannot intervene. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.07.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-court-rules-continuation-of-demirtass-imprisonment-134711), an Ankara court has ruled on the continuation of the arrest of Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) former co leader Selahattin Demirtas, the presidential candidate for the July 24 election who has been in prison over terror charges over 18 months.
The Ankara 19th heavy criminal court had given an interim decision for the continuation of Demirtas’ imprisonment in the case where he has been on trial for being a member of a terrorist organization on July 18. The case is adjourned to Aug. 28-29, Demirtaş’s lawyer Ramazan Demir stated.
On the fourth hearing of the case in the absence of Demirtas, his lawyers demanded his release.
The prosecutor demanded extra time for the expert report on some voice records stating that some interim rulings were not met, also demanding the continuation of Demirtas’ imprisonment. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.07.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/probe-launched-against-turkeys-main-opposition-chp-chair-for-erdogan-cartoon-134691), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and 72 other lawmakers of the main opposition party for insulting him by sharing a cartoon on Twitter.
The move came after the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office launched an investigation into Kilicdaroglu on July 18.
Kilicdaroglu had tweeted a cartoon on July 17 depicting Erdoğan as various animals to show support for four university students who were arrested this month for carrying it as a placard at their graduation ceremony. “You will tolerate criticism and humour. You should. You cannot stop criticism and humour by jailing people”, Kilicdaroglu had said in the tweet addressing Erdogan.
The Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on July 18 that it had launched a probe into Kilicdaroglu for “insulting the President” as described in the Turkish penal law. (…)
Meanwhile, Kilicdaroglu was sentenced to another hefty compensation in a separate defamation case filed by Erdogan. According to a July 18 ruling by Anadolu 20th Court of First Instance in Istanbul, Kilicdaroglu will pay 359,000 Turkish Liras to Erdogan for insulting him and his relatives in a row over offshore accounts that CHP leader alleged the President and his relatives held in the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
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