Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (19.12.18) reports on the contacts of the UN envoy Jane Holl Lute with the two Cypriot leaders yesterday under the title: “Positive, productive but without results”. The paper notes that Lute did not make any evaluation regarding the issue of the Cyprus negotiation’s re-launching.
Kibris Postasi (19.12.18) refers to the same issue under the title: “Went, been, gone” and writes that Lute will visit Cyprus again on January.
On its part Volkan (19.12.18) reports on the issue under the title: “ Akinci: One man’s show”, stressing that the Turkish Cypriot leader did not invite the “minister of foreign affairs” Kudret Ozersay to the meeting with Lute, while President Anastasiades invited the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicos Christodoulides.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (19.12.18) reports that the leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan issued a written statement noting that the visit of the UN envoy Jane Holl Lute to Cyprus is very important.
Izcan called on the two leaders in Cyprus to show a productive stance so that the Cyprus negotiations may be re-launched. He said that the six articles of the UN S.G. document is a realistic and good basis for the negotiations. He also called on those who support the solution in Cyprus not allow to the separatists to cause damage.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (19.12.18) reports that so-called minister of health, Faiz Sucuoglu, speaking yesterday in the so-called assembly during the discussion of the “budget” of his “ministry” which is 621 million, 965 thousand 700 TL, referred inter alia, to the “health sector” in the occupied area of Cyprus, alleging that after the construction of a “new hospital”, a great majority of the needs in health services will be covered.
Referring to the lack of infrastructure and personnel in the “health sector”, Sucuoglu claimed also the following: “The exact number of the TRNC population is not known. Taking into consideration the provided services, looking around and especially the traffic in the streets, I consider the population in the country to be close to 650 thousand”. Thus, if you are preparing infrastructure projects for 300 thousand, you are half-way”, Sucuoglu said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (19.12.18), on its front page, reports that the “security forces command” (“GKK”) finally issued a statement regarding the 13 year-old boy, who was killed by unexploded munitions in a military shooting range next to the occupied village of Chrysiliou and tried to justify themselves.
The “security forces command” stating that an unfortunate accident occurred as a result of coming in contact with ordnance in the military shooting range at the area of Chrysiliou, in the occupied Morphou last week, announced that the accident has been examined by all relevant commanders in every aspect.
The statement also read: “Security measures have been increased in all the military shooting ranges in the TRNC and in the outskirts of the area. Before the shooting drills, the dates, including the shooting drills as well as the search/destruction activities after the drills, are being announced to the public, in order to prevent the loss of life or property”.
Under the title: “Will Ertugruloglu be the UBP candidate?”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (18.12.18) publishes an article by Gokhan Altiner, who in his daily column Kulis (Backstage) writes that since Ankara gave a clear signal that it is against the launching of a new negotiation procedure in Cyprus, the issue of the “2020 presidential elections” started to be discussed in the breakaway regime.
Noting that Tahsin Ertugruloglu supported the current leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) on the race for the UBP’s leadership, the columnist writes that UBP’s candidate for the “elections” may be Ertugruloglu.
Altiner wonders if a coalition between UBP and the People’s Party (HD) would be possible and writes that in this case HP’s leader, Kudret Ozersay, may not be the joint candidate for the two parties, because, as he writes, the party’s basε will not accept Ozersay as a candidate. In this case, the party may pick out its own candidate and this would be Tahsin Ertugruloglu, according to Altiner.
Altiner goes on to writethat Ertugruloglu, who is a strong name with great support within the UBP had made some harsh statements on the Cyprus problem in the past.
The columnist further writes that the current Turkish Cypriot leader has not announced yet that he will be a candidate in the “election”. In addition he writes that Ozersay, is very possible to be a candidate even if a coalition between his party and UBP is not made.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.12.18) reports that the "higher education planning evaluation, accreditation and coordination council", in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, (“YODAK”) cancelled the “license of teaching” of the “Cyprus Netkent Mediterranean Research and Science University” (“Netkent university”), an online “university” which was “established” in the occupied area of Cyprus in 2010.
According to a statement issued by the “chairwoman” of “YODAK”, Prof. Dr. Akile Buke, the reason they proceeded to the “cancelation of the teaching license of the university” is due to the fact that it started providing education in 2010 without first having a “preliminary license for its establishment”.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.12.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-reveals-istanbul-ankara-mayoral-candidates-for-local-elections-139832), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has nominated Ekrem İmamoğlu, the mayor of Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district, to run for Istanbul province in the upcoming local elections in March 2019, while announcing Mansur Yavaş, a former CHP mayoral candidate for the 2014 elections, to run for Ankara, the country’s capital city. The two names were voted in at a party assembly meeting on Dec. 18.
Yavaş and İmamoğlu will be endorsed by İYİ (Good) Party as part of an alliance between the two parties. İYİ Party had announced it would support the CHP’s candidates in the country’s two largest provinces in the local elections.
Kılıçdaroğlu previously praised İmamoğlu for being “hardworking” and conducting “successful work” for Beylikdüzü district. “He is a friend who knows the problems of Istanbul and is ambitious in solving these problems,” the CHP leader said, stressing that İmamoğlu had “written success stories as a mayor”. (…)
Yavaş’s potential nomination was criticized by some CHP members as he is not officially a member of the party and has a background in right-wing nationalist politics. But the support he is set to receive from İYİ Party, also a nationalist party, is expected to higher his chances for the CHP candidate in his race for the capital city.
In earlier comments when asked about a potential nomination, Yavaş had said he did not “carry the badge” of a political party for his candidacy, signalling his desire for a joint nomination of İYİ Party and the CHP. His comments had displeased some CHP members. (…)
Yavaş, a former member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), was nominated as the CHP’s Ankara candidate for the March 20, 2014 local elections. He ultimately lost narrowly to ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Melih Gökçek in a controversial voting process. The CHP appealed to Ankara’s district election boards over voting irregularities but the board dismissed all applications.
Meanwhile, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has still not announced its candidate for Istanbul, despite revealing Mehmet Özhaseki for Ankara. Parliament speaker Binali Yıldırım is expected to be the nominee of the ruling party.
According to Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (19.12.18, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/video/video/1174608/Cumhurbaskani_danismani_Gulnur_Aybet__Mesleginden_dolayi_mahkum_olan_gazeteci_bulunmuyor.html), Gülnur Aybet, a senior advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has claimed Turkey has not convicted anyone for what they have written or the work they have done as journalists, BBC reported. Aybet spoke to Stephen Sackur on BBC’s “HARD talk,” and the interview was aired on Monday.
Replying to a question about reports from international journalism organizations showing Turkey as the world leader in imprisoning journalists, Aybet said: “When a person is arrested in Turkey, they have to fill out a form that includes details of their profession. There are people who have written in that form that their profession is ‘journalist,’ but they are not necessarily journalists,” she said. “If journalists are in prison, then they have been convicted of crimes not related to their profession,” she argued.
Aybet’s remarks came shortly before the release of a report by Reporters without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday, according to which Turkey continues to be the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists.
Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (18.12.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/12/18/rsf-2018-report-turkey-remains-worlds-biggest-jailer-of-professional-journalists/) reports that the report, titled “Worldwide round-up of journalists killed, detained, held hostage, or missing in 2018” by RSF includes comprehensive coverage of all violations against journalists across the globe. The section on Turkey directs attention to the “despotic” nature of the regime while stating that in 2018 more than 80 journalists were given long prison sentences or fines on charges such as “terrorist propaganda,” “denigrating Turkish identity” and “insulting the head of state.”
Turkey has been pursuing a crackdown on the media in the aftermath of a July 15, 2016 coup attempt. Almost all media workers who are detained are accused of terrorism without credible evidence.
Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (19.12.18, https://www.turkishminute.com/2018/12/19/former-hdp-politician-gets-jail-sentence-on-terrorism-charges/) reports that a high criminal court in the eastern province of Iğdır on Tuesday handed down a jail sentence of two years to former pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü on terrorism charges, the Bianet news website reported.
Kürkçü was given the jail sentence due to a speech he made in Iğdır on the occasion of the spring festival of Nevruz in 2016. He was convicted of disseminating terrorist propaganda.
The Iğdır High Criminal Court, which heard Kürkçü’s trial, did not suspend the sentence because the former Deputy did not show any signs of remorse during the trial. If an appeals court upholds the local court’s ruling, Kürkçü will be jailed. (…)
According to Turksih daily Sabah (19.12.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2018/12/19/turkeys-homegrown-atak-helicopter-on-way-to-philippine-air-force-inventory), the Turkish Defence industry is now preparing to export its domestically developed ATAK helicopter to the Philippines
The domestically developed ATAK T129 Advanced Attack and Tactical Reconnaissance Helicopter recorded Turkey's largest single defence export when Turkey and Pakistan inked a deal for 30 of them in July. Now, the home-grown helicopter is eyeing the same success with the Philippines. Yesterday, a Turkish delegation paid a visit to the Southeast Asian country and signed a memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation at a ceremony held at Villamor Air Base. Defence Industries President İsmail Demir and Philippines Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana attended the signing ceremony.
The memorandum of understanding has paved the way for broadening defence cooperation and the trade of military platforms between Turkey and the Philippines. The agreement will also facilitate the export of the ATAK helicopter to the country.
Last week, Filipino Defence Secretary Lorenzana announced that the Philippine Air Force has chosen the ATAK T129, adding that their budget could afford eight to 10 units.
Following the ceremony, Defence Industries President Demir stressed that the memorandum of understanding has provided a platform for the sales of Turkey's defence platforms to the Philippines as well as bilateral technical cooperation. (…)
Meanwhile, undertaking important export contracts throughout the year, the defence and aerospace industry has achieved the highest export figure before even seeing the full impact of these developments. The Turkish defence and aerospace industry reached its year-end export target before December, hitting $1.8 billion.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION