A.Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.08.18) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, self-styled minister of education and culture, announced in his social media account that the problem of not accepting students, who are studying in “south Cyprus” (refers to the schools at the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus) for many years, at the universities in Turkey has been solved.
Ozyigit explained that as a result of attempts made by the Council of Higher Education (YOK) the youth, who have been studying in “south Cyprus” can now continue their studies at universities in Turkey. He added: “Today (yesterday), we are pleased to hear that our students’ applications were accepted without a problem”.
He further said: “For many years the students graduating from secondary schools such as the English School in the south could not be accepted at the universities in Turkey. As a result of initiatives made to YOK, our youth will be able to continue now their education at universities in Turkey. (…).
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.08.18) reports that the economic crisis due to the devaluation of the Turkish lira has shadowed the joy of the inhabitants in the occupied area of Cyprus because of the Feast of Sacrifice, which started today. With the aim of protecting their money, some citizens did not even go shopping, notes the paper adding that the economic crisis is the main issue in the messages of “state” and “government officials” on the occasion of the feast. Due to lack of money, many people could not sacrifice animals [according to the custom during this feast]. Moreover, everybody is expecting to see how the measures announced by the “government” will influence their lives and worry about the foreign currencies’ rates after the 9-day vacation for the Feast of Sacrifice.
In an address to the “nation”, Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, argued last night that the problems will be more easily overcome if they act together. He noted that the increase in the foreign exchange rates resulted in an increase of the cost of living and seriously decreased the purchase power of the “people”. He also reiterated that they will punish those who try to exploit the crisis and obtain excessive profits.
Under the title “The winds have changed”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (21.08.18), on its front page, reports that for the first time since 2003 the crossings from the government controlled area of Cyprus to the occupied area of Cyprus are more.
According to the paper, there have been registered more than two million crossings between “north and south Cyprus” within the last seven months, and it is the first time that the crossings from “south” to “north Cyprus” are more. Due to the recent devaluation of the Turkish Lira, the Greek Cypriots, who earn their money in euro, are heading towards the occupied area of Cyprus.
During the period January-July 2018, 2 million 684 thousand 175 persons visited the occupied area of Cyprus through the crossing points and 2 million 637 thousand 221 person crossed from the occupied area of Cyprus to the government-controlled area of Cyprus.
Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.08.18, http://www.yeniduzen.com/diyet-12838yy.htm), Tacan Reynar referred to the economic crisis in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and reported, inter alia, the following:
“[…] As for now, the Turkish Cypriots are struggling to survive in an economic crisis for which they had absolutely no contribution. While some accumulate interest from the increase in the foreign exchange rates, the great majority of the society is pushed to poverty. And we know that the lights of the flag on Pentadaktylos Mountains are on, but the lights in the house of the workers, the craftsmen and the low income people, who have come to the situation of not being able to take bread to their homes, are turned off.
Some do not even condescend to give account for the hundreds of thousands of dollars which they ‘have earned’ when they were carrying out a public office, while men in black, who illegally distribute citizenship, are shouting for the country and the nation. The corruption files are still waiting. Even though the current government seems to actively try in this direction, this is still not enough. We will see all together who will be tried in the end of the process and who will not be tried.
We may get along with temporary measures, try to ease the existing crisis and be able to clean the front of our house as much as possible. However, this is not the way out. The point at which we are is a breaking point. And we must accept that the only way to change this established order at this breaking point passes from a Federal Cyprus. As Turkish Cypriots, who are pushed to deep economic collapse almost once every ten years in spite of the fact that we have no responsibility for this, continuously lose our people and are always forced to suffer the most painful austerity, if our priority is the ‘we’ regardless of our political views, we must reexamine and change the policy we follow on the Cyprus problem.
Let us evaluate once more this stereotyped issue of guarantees which is a product of a policy followed for years. If there are some who have objections, let them explain what they have done until today for the recognition of the TRNC, why they travel to the Republic of Cyprus which they do not ‘officially’ recognize and participate in sports competitions, why they possess identity cards and passports of the Republic of Cyprus, how many deposits they have in banks and how much they benefited from the pillage. Our duty is to exhibit more courage. This much austerity is enough!”
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.08.18), Charles Edward Riddington, suspected in the murder of 24 year-old George Barker during a 2016 fight at a U.K. gym, was caught in the occupied area of Cyprus using a fake passport under the name of Ricky De Bruin.
Following the murder, Charles Edward Riddington reportedly travelled to many countries using a fake passport. His last stop was in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Interpol had sought Riddington since 2017, who had travelled several times to and from the occupied area of Cyprus using a fake passport. Upon Interpol’s request, Riddington was arrested in the occupied village of Trikomo.
The suspect, who was taken to a police station in the occupied village of Trachoni, appeared before the “Nicosia district court” yesterday for a remand order. The court ruled that the suspect would be held in police custody for three days, adding that the investigation against him is continuing.
“Police officer” Mehmet Bayir explained that the suspect has entered the “TRNC” with a Namibian passport carrying the number P07989839 under the name of Ricky De Bruin on December 26, 2017, at “Ercan airport” (the occupied airport of Tymbou). Bayir also said that the suspect had found leaving and entering the “TRNC” several times in 2018.
According to Bayir, the suspect Riddington has confessed to the crimes that he committed but that his authentic identity documents have not been found yet.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/attack-on-economy-like-attack-on-turkish-flag-erdogan-135989) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called the ongoing currency crisis an attack on the Turkish economy, which he described as an attack on the Turkish flag and call to prayer, indirectly defying the United States administration’s warnings of more sanctions if the U.S. pastor is not released soon.
“An attack on our economy is no different from a direct strike against our flag and call to prayer. The purpose is not different. It aims to bring Turkey and the Turkish people to their knees,” Erdogan said in his Eid al-Adha message on early Aug. 20.
Erdogan’s message did not cite the U.S. administration but obviously referred to an ongoing spat between the two allies over the detention of pastor Andrew Brunson over terror charges.
“We are not going to take it sitting down,” said U.S. President Donald Trump on Aug. 17, openly threatening Turkey with more sanctions for the continued detention of the pastor.
Trump also denounced Turkey as a “problem for a long time.”
At a Cabinet meeting on Aug. 17, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin assured further sanctions were ready to be put in place if Brunson was not freed. “We have more that we are planning to do if they don’t release him quickly,” said Munchin.
The Turkish Lira has lost around 40% of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last month.
In response, Turkey said it would retaliate against any sanctions to be imposed by the U.S., blaming the Trump administration for using the Brunson case for its internal political objectives on the eve of midterm congressional elections in the U.S.
Erdogan had repeated that Turkey saw the conspiracy plotted on Turkey in a statement over the weekend, vowing to walk tall against U.S. threats.
In his message on Aug. 20, Erdogan reminded that the Turkish people could avert all attacks thanks to their ability to act in unity in difficult times, recalling the coup attempt in 2016. “Our people are acting with the same merit today,” he said.
“We are a kind of a people who prefer to be beheaded instead of being chained around the neck,” Erdogan added, saying that “they will see they are mistaken”.
Erdogan underlined that those who think they can make Turkey give up through the exchange rate will soon see they are mistaken. “If those who have failed to make Turkey give up through terror organizations and local treacherous gangs with all sorts of traps and tricks, think they can make Turkey give up through exchange rates, they will soon see they are mistaken. Our country, God willing, has enough power and ability to overcome this,” he said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-sanctions-hurt-nato-alliance-says-turkish-fm/1236364) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in an opinion piece to USA Today, said on Monday the U.S. attempts to undermine Turkish economy hurt the NATO alliance.
The article outlined the Turkish commitment to the alliance, both in policy and military support and stressed that the way to solve the tensions between Ankara and Washington is through diplomacy, not tariffs.
"President [Donald] Trump was right when he called on members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to step up their defence spending. But new American sanctions targeting Turkey — and the threat of more to come — alienate one of the few NATO allies that has been ahead of the curve," Cavusoglu wrote.
Cavusoglu highlighted the country's commitment to NATO's defence spending, both committing to their guideline to spend 2% of the country's global domestic product (GDP) on defence and already surpassing the NATO guideline of spending 20% on military equipment.
"The economic sanctions Mr. Trump’s administration is imposing on Turkey, however, are poised to disrupt any atmosphere of cooperation — all while global threats demand that we strengthen, not weaken, the ties that bind us together”, added Cavusoglu.
On Syria, Cavusoglu cited a statement by a U.S. official saying that Turkey "suffered more casualties from terrorism in the past several years than any other ally," and highlighted the strategic importance of its Incirlik air base which is being used by the U.S.-led coalition forces to fight Daesh terrorists in Syria.
"Over the past two years, we have arrested hundreds of suspected ISIS [Daesh] members, helping to prevent the group’s spread to Western capitals. In the face of this threat, Turkey has been the tip of the spear," Cavusoglu added.
He also recalled that Turkey welcomed millions of Syrian refugees, being one of the few countries to do so.
“The tariffs sanctioned by the U.S. on Turkey will not just harm Turkey, but also harm the U.S. and Europe”, according to Cavusoglu.
He used the warning by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which told President Donald Trump that his actions "harm the U.S. economy and undermine American global leadership".
"This reckless escalation needs to stop," said Cavusoglu, adding that both countries agree on a wide range of issues although they may have different views on significant ones. "For everyone’s sake, we should address our disagreements with diplomacy, rather than threats and provocation, and with a commitment to facts and perspective," Cavusoglu added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.08.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/2-suspects-in-us-embassy-gun-attack-arrested-in-ankara/1236309) reported that two suspects involved in the U.S. Embassy drive-by shooting in Ankara have been arrested, the regional governor's office said on Monday.
Ankara Governor's Office named the suspects as Ahmet Celikten and Osman Gundas. Meanwhile, the 9mm pistol and vehicle used in the shooting incident were also seized.
“Celikten and Gundas have confessed to their involvement in the attack”, the office said.
Celikten, who was born in 1979, was wanted for prison break; he also had a criminal record for causing reckless injury; the other suspect, Gundas, born in 1980, had several criminal records such as causing deliberate injury, drugs and auto theft.
“A judicial probe into the incident remains ongoing; contacts of the suspects and all aspects of the shooting incident are being investigated”, said the official statement.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey thanked the Turkish police and government for its efforts in nabbing the suspects. "We thank the Turkish National Police and the Government of Turkey for their fast and professional action in apprehending two individuals who allegedly attacked our Mission this morning. We appreciate their support and protection," the U.S. Mission in Turkey said on Twitter.
Earlier, Turkey's presidential aide had condemned the attack on the U.S. Embassy and said all foreign missions in the country remain safe. In a Twitter post, Ibrahim Kalin said: "We condemn the attack on the U.S. embassy. This is a clear attempt to create chaos.
"Turkey is a safe country and all foreign missions remain safe under the law. The incident is being investigated and will be clarified as soon as possible."
In a written statement, the Ankara Governor had said there were no casualties in the incident.
"An armed attack against the US Embassy is a clear provocation. Embassies are under the protection of our state," the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Omer Celik said.
A written statement issued by the Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy also condemned the attack on the U.S. Embassy and informed about increased security measures for the Embassy in Ankara and other U.S. diplomatic missions across the country.
The incident comes as ties between Ankara and Washington are in an unprecedented crisis over the continued detention of pastor Andrew Brunson.
The U.S. administration had imposed sanctions and vows to do more against Turkey in the case the pastor would not be released immediately.
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the Consulate in Istanbul have been the targets of attacks by militants and have faced numerous security threats in the past.
Turkish daily Sabah (21.08.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/business/2018/08/20/turkey-files-complaint-against-us-steel-aluminum-tariffs-with-wto) reports that Turkey filed a complaint against steep U.S. duties on imported metals at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on Monday, launching a process that starts with negotiations and could lead to a verdict by the Geneva-based body.
U.S. President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that he was doubling tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium to 50% and 20%, respectively, amid growing tensions between Washington and Ankara over a U.S. pastor who is imprisoned in Turkey for terror charges.
In its letter to the WTO, Turkey charged that Washington broke free trade rules when it initially imposed tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium imports in June for most countries, with a few exceptions such as Argentina and Australia. The doubling of these rates amount to an additional violation, according to the letter.
Last week, Turkey retaliated by raising tariffs on 22 U.S.-made products ranging from cars to tobacco.
"Turkey claims that the measures are inconsistent with a number of provisions of the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994," the statement on WTO website read.
Under WTO rules, Ankara and Washington now have 60 days to settle the dispute through negotiations. If they fail, the WTO may issue a ruling on the matter.
Tensions between Turkey and the U.S. have grown because of the continued imprisonment of U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being tried on espionage and terrorism-related charges. Ankara and Washington have also imposed tit-for-tat sanctions against Ministers.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-blames-governments-construction-based-economy-for-lira- depreciation-135997) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıcdaroglu has blamed the ruling Justice and Development’s (AKP) construction-based economy for the record-breaking plunge of the Turkish Lira, accusing it of deliberately weakening production capacity of the country.
“We have arrived at a point where our honor and dignity are played with by those who have regarded production and development related only to an economy based on construction,” Kilicdaroglu said on his Twitter account on Aug. 20. He also accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of leaving Turkey to the hands of interest rate lobbies and money lenders.
Kilicdaroglu’s description of Turkey’s economic downgrade sharply different from the government, which has long been accusing foreign powers of manipulating markets to devalue the Turkish Lira. Turkey’s national currency lost around 40% value against the United States dollar in the last four weeks, after the U.S. administration imposed sanctions on the Turkish government for not releasing pastor Andrew Brunson.
Kilicdaroglu however, had suggested earlier that the worsening of the Turkish economic balances would not be recovered, although the Brunson issue would be resolved with Turkey. He blamed the government for not taking necessary rational measures to avoid an impending economic crisis.
“A strong Turkey is a productive Turkey,” Kilicdaroglu said, recalling that production is the basis for a developing economy. “This is what we have been saying: Turkey is not governed. It is skidding,” he said.
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