1. Columnist: “Those who do not know Erdogan first get disappointed and then harmed”. 1
2. From “university student” Zaroglu became a “TRNC citizen”; YDP increases tension. 2
3. Massive lawsuits against the Republic of Cyprus. 3
4. Akinci met with the French Ambassador to Cyprus. 4
5. The “ruling” on the attack against Afrika will be announced on February 21. 4
6. The “Paragliding Accuracy World Cup” was launched in occupied Keryneia. 4
7. A cooperation protocol between the KTTO and the “Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce UK”. 5
8. FM Cavusoglu: Turkey, US have ‘come to terms’ to normalize bilateral relations. 6
9. Erdogan conveys Turkey’s regional priorities to Tillerson in meeting. 7
10. Turkey, Germany vow to improve strained ties. 7
11. Council of Europe warns Turkey of flood of appeals to ECHR over state of emergency measures. 10
12. Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel released from jail: Report. 11
Under the title “Without the Turkish Cypriots…”, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.02.18) publishes a column by its general director Basaran Duzgun, who argues that those who do not know Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first get disappointed and then harmed. He claims that the same thing will happen to President Anastasiades, who is allegedly “experiencing despondency” and “complains because he could not receive the support he was expecting from the ‘international circles’ which he tried to stir up”. He argues also the following:
“[…] The international circles from which Anastasiades was hoping for help, were not risen up and did not send their warships saying to Erdogan ‘get away from there’. Even Italy, the owner of the gas exploration team, was very afraid and said ‘I cannot wait for you any more’. Thus, the ‘Europe will beat Turkey for us and we will take our rights’ theory, which Anastasiades had overtaken from Papadopoulos, collapsed. Actually, this had collapsed during Papadopoulos period and Anastasiades tried to foolishly continue.
Becoming a member of the European Union was the national policy of the Greek Cypriot side. The theory was the following: ‘We cannot cope with Turkey of the 80 million people with our 800 thousand persons. Let us take the support of Europe with the 350 million-population and make Turkey kneel down’. […] However, this ‘theory of them’ collapsed. Europe never took the position of conflict with Turkey for the Greek Cypriots. The number of those saying that ‘Turkey cannot become an EU member’ increased, but this also passed by. Because Erdogan staked all his money on one gamble. […] Erdogan has since a long time drawn his way by saying ‘if EU cannot happen, the Shanghai 5 will’.
If Anastasiades does not abandon the obstinacy that ‘I will carry out drillings where and when I want’, many things will happen to him. My humble advice is for him to refrain from getting Erdogan angry. He is not bluffing when he says ‘our warships are in the area’. If Anastasiades proceeds, he might give the ‘bring it down’ order. […] This article is a humble warning to Anastasiades and his team in order for them to see reason. You cannot enjoy the benefits of this gas without the Turkish Cypriots…”
Editor in chief of Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.02.18) publishes an article about Bertan Zaroglu, “deputy” with the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) noting that he is in the epicenter of the tension which exists now in the society and politics in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Mutluyakali recalls that Zaroglu was chairman of the association of the Turkish settlers coming from Alexandretta and that the “court” found him guilty of insulting Dogus Derya, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). The columnist notes that the “citizenship” granted to Zaroglu is “suspicious” as he came to the occupied area of the island in 2004 as “student”, does not have a “work permit”, is not an “investor” and received “citizenship” in 2010 with a decision of the “council of ministers” without any justification.
The columnist reports also that Zaroglu is not even registered in the “social securities” and made no contribution to the above-mentioned fund until today. Sources told Mutluyakali that Zaroglu was “the prince” of former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. The columnist wonders what will happen with Zaroglu’s file when the “citizenship” files are examined by the new “government”.
Meanwhile, writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.02.18), Levent Ozadam reports that the YDP is following the policy of increasing tension in the occupied area in order to secure more votes in case of possible “early elections”. Noting that in spite of the fact that there is no “official statement” by the party, it is said that soon the YDP will organize a so-called “march for justice” in the occupied part of Nicosia and then it will hold a rally and launch a hunger strike.
“Timing is very meaningful”, he says noting that all these will happen to support the suspects in the Afrika newspaper case and points out that the date on which the decision of this case will be announced was known. “The name of this will not be march of justice, but march for leading the country into dangerous waters”, argues Ozadam and writes:
“After the general elections, the following view started to be expressed: In case of new early elections, the YDP will double its votes and will be represented much stronger in the assembly. There are people who even think that they will establish a two-party coalition with the National Unity Party (UBP). […] Dear Arikli I am sorry, but if this march will take place, it will take place to influence justice. […] Do you know what will happen then? If people attempt to hold a march after every court, justice will be totally abolished. […] Lack of trust will bring quarrel and noise. […] The country will come upside down and the YDP will be responsible for this! […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.02.18) under the title: “Common struggle for the Republic of Cyprus’ citizenship”, reports that the “Turkish Cypriot teachers’ trade union” (KTOS) and the “Turkish Cypriot secondary school teachers’ union” (KTOEOS) organized yesterday a seminar-gathering in order to brief the children of the mixed marriages in Cyprus (Translator’s note: the children coming from mixed marriages, with one parent Turkish Cypriot and one parent from Turkey who confront difficulties in obtaining the Republic of Cyprus’ citizenship) about the legal procedures to be launched against the Republic of Cyprus.
KTOS and KTOEOS had jointly organized the meeting last night under the name: “Problems in granting the Republic of Cyprus citizenship”. The gathering took place at the Ataturk cultural centre with the participation of a huge number of people. The participants were briefed from a Greek Cypriot lawyer about the regulations of the law regarding the granting of the Republic of Cyprus citizenship.
Speaking during the meeting, Sener Elcil, general secretary of KTOS trade union, claimed that there are thousands of applications submitted in the “south” from persons who want to obtain the Republic of Cyprus’ citizenship, however, nobody has received a response yet. “It is for this reason that we decided to come to a common struggle against this unjust treatment. […]”, Elcil stated, inter alia, underlining that this issue is an issue which it would had been discussed by the politicians.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.02.18) under the front-page title: “Massive applications, massive lawsuits”, reports that thousands of people showed their interest last night about the massive lawsuits which are planned to be submitted against the Republic of Cyprus from the children of mixed marriages who are unable to obtain citizenship. The paper adds that in the first stage, KTOS will sent massive applications to the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus and afterwards it will launch massive legal procedures and submit lawsuits.
On the same issue, Murat Hakki, the lawyer which will undertake the legal procedures against the Republic stated to the paper that if necessary they are ready to file a legal action at the European Court of Human Rights (EChR).
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (16.02.18), the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday with the French Ambassador to Cyprus René Troccaz. Akinci’s special advisor on EU issues was also present in the meeting. There was no statement prior or after the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.02.18) reports that the “legal process as regards the attempt to lynch Afrika was completed yesterday after the defense and the prosecution made their final addresses at the court”.
As the paper writes, the “ruling” on the case will be announced on February 21. “The public is waiting with great interest the ruling”, the paper notes.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.02.18) reports that so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman inaugurated yesterday the “Paragliding Accuracy World Cup” which is taking place in occupied Keryneia with the participation of more than 115 athletes from 20 different countries.
The “cup” is co-organized by the “TRNC air sports federation” and the “Turkish Cypriot alternatives sports association”. So-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas and the so-called minister of tourism Fikri Ataoglu attended also the inauguration ceremony.
The first part of the “cup”, out of the six parts, which is taking place now in the occupied area of Cyprus is very important according to the paper concerning the “score history” for attending the world cup. The other part of the “cup” will take place in the following dates: on May 4 in Kazakhstan, on July 13 in Indonesia, on October 5 in Canada, on November 2 in Nepal and on December 14 in Albania.
Meanwhile, in statements during the “inauguration ceremony”, Erhurman claimed that “the idea that there are no borders in art and sports is eventually enlivened in our country”. He further expressed his pleasure over the “organization of this important cup in the TRNC”, alleging that with the organization of such events in the “TRNC”, they are making openings in the world and also they promote their “country and people”. He further claimed the following: “If we increase the number of these events, we know that there will be no obstacle in front of in the recognition of our country and our people”.
7. A cooperation protocol between the KTTO and the “Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce UK”
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.02.18) reports that a cooperation protocol between the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the “Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce UK” was signed.
According to the protocol, the cooperation between the two chambers will be maximized, the dialogue between the chambers will be increased, their members will come together to establish economic and social relations, and the volume of business that the chamber members will work together will be increased.
The protocol signed by Turgay Deniz, Chairman of KTTO and Muhammet Yasarata, Chairman of UK KTTO, envisions that the sides will inform each other for investment and trade opportunities, will evaluate the cooperation opportunities and the UK KTTO will support the products produced in the occupied area of Cyprus in the UK market.
In addition, according to the protocol, seminars, fairs and company activity promotions will be organized together. The KTTO will also help the Turkish Cypriots residing in the UK regarding with the problems as purchase real estate in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Speaking at the protocol signing ceremony, Deniz said that when the protocol is implemented then it will be beneficial for both Chambers. Noting that they do business under the principle of “win-win”, he added that this protocol is a great success.
Yasarata, for his part, as businessmen in the UK, they constantly travel to the “TRNC” and they try so the “TRNC” becomes better from every point of view. Noting that the lobbying activities in London are continuing, he claimed that the Turkish Cypriots in Britain have become a great power and these persons will start working with the KTTO on issues like how they could establish a communication network between them and how they could aligned themselves with the KTTO.
Furthermore, Yasarata noted that there is a lack of promotion marketing regarding the “TRNC” in Britain and by saying that they should promote the “TRNC” in Britain; he expressed the view that this is a duty that falls to the politicians in the “TRNC”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-us-have-come-to-terms-to-normalize-bilateral-relations-fm-cavusoglu-127426 ) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu stated following a meeting with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson:
“We have come to terms to normalize our relations,”
Cavusoglu said Turkey and the U.S. have decided to "establish mechanisms" to tackle issues between the two countries.
Accordingly, the first meeting in line with this mechanism will be held in March, he added.
Meanwhile, Tillerson said the U.S. reaffirmed their deep and important relationship with Turkey.
The U.S. and Turkey share the same objectives in Syria, Tillerson said, referring to the defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), forming secure and stable zones, and achieving an independent and unified Syria.
Tillerson said the U.S. recognized Turkey’s legitimate right to secure its borders, adding that weapons provided to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be limited, mission specific and provided on incremental basis to achieve military objectives only.
Tillerson also urged Turkey to release a pastor and other U.S. citizens currently jailed in Turkey.
Responding to a question during a press conference, Tillerson said the two sides have "clarified [their] objectives" and reached a consensus.
"We have to be sure the [Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units] YPG will withdraw to the east of the Euphrates. The YPG has to leave Manbij first. This is a U.S. promise to Turkey," he said.
Cavusoglu also said U.S. promises to Turkey in 2016 "have not been fulfilled."
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-us-secretary-of-state-meet-in-ankara-127410 ) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Feb. 15 “clearly” told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about Turkey’s expectations on Syria and Iraq as well as the fight against terror in an over three-hour meeting in Ankara, presidential sources have said.
According to a Turkish presidential source, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, Erdogan and Tillerson also exchanged views on the fight against terrorism.
During their meeting at the presidential complex, Erdogan “clearly” told Tillerson about Turkey’s priorities and expectations from the U.S. on bilateral ties and regional developments, the source added.
Meanwhile, Tillerson and Erdogan had a “productive, open conversation” about a mutually beneficial way to improve U.S.-Turkey relations, a State Department spokesman travelling with Tillerson said.
The meeting, which was closed to the media, started at 7:40 p.m. and lasted for three hours and 15 minutes.
Tillerson is expected to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Feb. 16 to discuss bilateral relations, particularly the U.S. support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG), and international developments.
The meeting is expected to be followed by a joint news conference.
In addition, Turkish Hurrιyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-never-supplied-heavy-arms-to-ypg-so-has-nothing-to-take-back-tillerson-127407) reports that Tillerson said on Feb. 15 that the United States has “never given heavy arms” to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and there is therefore “nothing to take back.”
“We have never given heavy arms to the YPG so there is none to take back,” Tillerson said in Beirut, hours before meeting with Turkish President Erdogan in Ankara.
On the other hand, Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said his U.S. counterpart Jim Mattis told him on the same day that the U.S. was working on plans to take back weapons supplied to the YPG, speaking at the end of a NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Brussels.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-germany-vow-to-improve-strained-ties-127409_ ) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and German Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Feb. 15 to improve strained ties between the two countries following months-long tensions between Ankara and Berlin.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Merkel in Berlin, Yildirim called for an intensified dialogue and stronger solidarity in the fight against terrorism.
“The PKK is a terrorist organization. The PYD/YPG is a terrorist organization,” he said.
“Whatever their names are, their main purpose is to violate peace in the region and create new troublesome fields,” he said, adding that Turkey wants to see its allies’ support.
Yildirim also said the decisiveness shown by the West in its fight against ISIL should also be displayed in the battle against the PYD/PKK and YPG.
The German Chancellor welcomed Turkish Premier's first visit to Berlin and backed the need for dialogue to improve ties.
“I believe that this visit is a signal, showing that both sides have an interest in improving German-Turkish relations,” Merkel said.
But she also acknowledged that difficult issues were on the agenda of bilateral relations.
"We must continue our intensive discussions,” Merkel added.
Merkel also underlined that Turkey reserved the right to self-defense.
"Just like every country, of course Turkey has the right to pursue its security interests,” she said.
However, she voiced concern over growing tensions between NATO allies, the U.S. and Turkey, due to Washington administration’s support for YPG in northwestern Syria.
The German Chancellor hoped Ankara and Washington would overcome their differences and reach an agreement.
Yildirim underlined that the goal of Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in northwestern Syria was not only to protect Turkish citizens, but also for securing NATO’s borders and preventing a huge refugee influx to Europe.
It was not Turkey that started the war in Syria but it is Turkey that continues to face the consequences of it and today it is sheltering 3.5 million refugees on its soil, Yildirim added.
The court case involving German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was jailed last year on allegedly making propaganda for 'terrorists,' was continuing in accordance with Turkey’s principles of rule of law, Turkish Prime Minister said.
Yildirim said the Turkish courts were under a heavy load due to cases linked to the defeated coup of July 15, 2016. “The case of Deniz Yucel, like other cases, is continuing in accordance with the principles of the rule of law,” he said.
“Turkey faced a huge coup [attempt]. There are thousands of people in these coup-linked cases,” he added.
“The courts are overloaded. There might be delays due to the workload. I hope that he [Deniz Yucel] will appear at the court and there would be a development soon.”
Meanwhile, Germany wants a fast and fair judicial process that secures the release of Yucel, Merkel said.
"I said during the talks that we hope for a fast and constitutional (judicial) process for Deniz Yucel," said Merkel.
Before the meeting, Yildirim had said that he hoped Turkey and Germany may leave troubled issues behind and open a new page.
“We will discuss our bilateral ties, regional issues and EU matters in a substantive way with Chancellor Merkel. I hope we may leave troubled issues behind and open a new page,” Yildirim said.
The Prime Minister said he had been hoping Germany shared their will to enhance ties. “I think the new coalition government that emerged after elections shares this will,” he said.
Banning the activities and public events of the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Germany is an important step, he acknowledged, calling this a step in the right direction for fixing ruined ties.
“We should not see Germany as Germany alone. It is the backbone of the EU. It is Turkey’s largest trade partner in the EU and our four million people are making a bridge between our countries. That is why downgrading ties between Turkey and Germany is illogical,” Yildirim said.
Regarding Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel, the Prime M inister said the government has hopes Yucel will stand before the court as soon as possible, as every hearing has given hope for him to gain his freedom. “I think a development might be seen soon and this will no longer be an issue between Turkey and Germany,” he said.
The Die Welt reporter was arrested on charges of terrorism in February 2016. He has been in prison for more than a year and has not yet been indicted.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/council-of-europe-warns-turkey-of-flood-of-appeals-to-echr-over-state-of-emergency-measures-127367) reports that the Council of Europe (CoE) has voiced concerns about Turkey’s post-coup attempt state of emergency measures, which have generated a flood of appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The European body, led by Secretary General Thorbjrn Jagland, made the comments amid meetings held with nine Turkish leaders on Feb. 15 in Turkey’s capital Ankara.
After meeting with Parliamentary Speaker İsmail Kahraman, Jagland said he had raised “a few points of problems or difficulties in relations,” and pledged the continuance of cooperation between the CoE and Turkey.
Jagland also warned that Turkey risks further appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) if it does not enact an effective domestic legal remedy for those dismissed or detained under state of emergency measures.
“Turkey risks thousands more human rights appeals to the Strasbourg court if the ECHR sees no effective domestic legal remedy for the thousands of dismissed and detained citizens during the state of emergency,” Jagland’s spokesman Daniel Holtgen said via his Twitter account on Feb. 15, during the Council of Europe’s head visit to Turkey.
In Jagland’s Feb. 15 visit to Ankara, he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul, European Affairs Minister Omer Celik, Constitutional Court head Zuhtu Arslan and Parliament Speaker İsmail Kahraman. He was scheduled also to meet with members of opposition parties and civil society.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Cavusoglu said they had discussed the fight against terrorism and a common agenda between Turkey and the CoE.
“[We] stressed the importance of Turkey’s fight against terrorist organizations, reiterated our expectations of the Council of Europe and its members, and discussed the Turkey-CoE common agenda at our meeting with Secretary General Jagland,” Cavusoglu said.
In 2016 the Council of Europe recommended that Turkey establish a commission to oversee emergency decrees and to address the grievances of people complaining about the decrees.
In January, the Turkish government formed the State of Emergency Procedures Investigation Commission to evaluate appeals filed by people affected by the decrees.
However, the commission has moved very slowly amid thousands of complaints about removals or dismissals from civil servants, educational institutions, closed associations, foundations, trade unions, federations, private health institutions, higher education institutions, privately owned radio and TV stations, newspapers, magazines, news agencies, publishing houses and distributors. The commission has so far only responded to a small number of applications, reinstating some of the applicants and rejecting others.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-german-journalist-deniz-yucel-released-from-jail-report-127430) reports that German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was detained in Turkey a year ago, has been released from jail, German newspaper Die Welt reported on Feb. 16 citing his lawyer.
The German Foreign Ministry also confirmed his release.
Yucel, a reporter for Die Welt, had been jailed on suspicion of spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting violence. He denied the accusations and no indictment was made.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)