Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog (11.01.19)reports that in statements to the paper, Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that at least 500,000 persons live in the occupied area of the island. She noted:
“We have a population of around 350,000. One and a half month ago, the number of those possessing a work permit was around 47,000. Citizens of the TRNC are 24,000 students out of the 102,000 students. When we add the rest, there are 130,000 students and persons having a work permit. There are also the families of the persons possessing a work permit. That is, we are referring to a population exceeding 500,000. And also, the wives and children of all those coming until today have not been registered. […]”
Noting that the regime would prepare a “residence regulation”, Baybars said that their wish is to “reveal the population we see in the streets, to be able to work for the unregistered life more actively”. Recalling that in the regime’s “budget” for 2018 there was an amount of money allocated to carrying out a “population census”, Baybars stated that this amount was not included in 2019’s “budget”. She argued that carrying out a “population census” was not very necessary at the moment and that a better “population census” would be held when they pass into a “healthier system”.
Referring to the way of entering into the occupied area of Cyprus, she noted that traveling between Turkey and the occupied area of the island by using an identity card would continue and added that students and workers were anyway coming to the occupied area with their passport. “Only tourists come with an identity card”, she said arguing that the majority of Turkish citizens who are in the occupied area’s prison were students. “If I am not mistaken, the number of the citizens of Turkey in prison is 180. Around 100 of them were students”, she noted.
Finally, according to Baybars, the regime was working to prepare a “citizenship law”, a part of which would be the “white card” practice, and their wish was to finish these preparations by June.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Güneş (11.01.19) reports that the general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) and so-called deputy Hasan Tacoy, who is holding a series of contacts in London, attended a meeting which was organized by the Association of the Turkish Cypriots in London (BTCA) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (CTCC).
Speaking during the meeting, Tacoy called the Turkish Cypriots who live in London to exert efforts in order to protect their “values and identity” and also called on those who are not “holders of the TRNC’s identity card” to obtain it.
“There are 400,000 Turkish Cypriots in the TRNC who are holders of the TRNC’s identity card, while, there are also 300,000 Turkish Cypriots who live in London. However, we disown our values and identity. The Turkish Cypriots who live in London should obtain the TRNC’s identity card and especially the youth should be encouraged to do so”, Tacoy alleged.
Replying to a question on the demand of the Turkish Cypriots who live in London to obtain the “full suffrage (the right to vote and the right to stand for election”, Tacoy claimed that this right would not be granted to them since there is no unity, cooperation and solidarity between them.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (11.01.19) reports that the twenty four “mayors” of the occupied villages, speaking to the paper, argued that the 29,40% increase in the “municipal contribution share in the 2019 budget” would not save them, adding that this would not solve their problems. They stressed that no “mayor” has been satisfied with this increase.
They explained that “the contribution share is distributed in comparison with the population and this caused injustice in many municipalities” and added that there was a rapid population growth in the regions and for this reason a “census” should be done the soonest possible.
Nidai Gungordu, “mayor” of the occupied town of Keryneia, argued that although the 29,40% increase seems to be a significant increase in the benefit of the “municipalities”, a “census” should be done in order for the number of the population, which is currently 33 thousand 200 people in the occupied town of Keryneia, to be updated,. He further said that a significant population growth was observed and the “municipality” should be shaped according to the current population.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (11.01.19), columnist Cuneyt Oruc comments on the occupation regime’s policy on the issue of population and wonders why a “population census” had not been held in 2018 as promised by the “government” and planned according to the “budget”.
Criticizing the fact that the number of population is not known, Oruc notes that the “official number” of population living in occupied Keryneia, for example, is alleged to be 33 thousand, but this “is obviously totally invalid”. He says that by taking into consideration the water counters and assuming that averagely three persons live in each house, occupied Keryneia’s “mayor” Nidai Gungordu said that Keryneia’s population was 80 thousand.
“Anyway, both the infrastructure and the traffic chaos give us enough evidence as regards the situation in Keryneia”, he notes recalling the statement made yesterday by Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, who said that they estimated the number of “TRNC citizens” around 350,000 persons. Recalling that the last “population census” in the occupied area of the island had been held in 2011, the columnist writes that as it is understood Baybars based the above number on the deaths and the births since then.
“Of course, this population estimation is for those who are ‘citizens’. The students, the soldiers, those who live here with a work permit are not included in these 350 thousand”, he notes recalling a statement made recently by Faiz Sucuoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), who argued that the total population living in the occupied area of Cyprus was 650 thousand. “There are other estimations which take this number up to one million”, recalls Oruc adding, inter alia, the following:
“[…] In brief, the population numbers in the TRNC are almost a puzzle. Very well, when will this puzzle be solved? The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was attaching special importance to the population census [issue], which was included in its pre-election promises, and was accepting the reality that a planning could not be made without knowing the population. In fact, during the first days of his government, prime minister Erhurman had stated that as soon as he came to office they had included a fund of 5,5 million Turkish Liras in the budget regarding the population census. […] He had stated that the issue would be decided in the council of ministers. Since then, we are waiting for a population census. […]”
According to illegal Bayrak (11.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-continues-washington-contacts), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, continues to convey the Turkish Cypriot side’s vision and sensitivities during his contacts in Washington D.C.
Within the framework of his latest contacts, Özersay came together with members of the US congress. In a post on social media, Ozersay wrote: “We have concluded the day with the knowledge and pleasure of having conveyed our positions, our concerns, vision and sensitivities to the elected Republican and Democrat members of the US congress”.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (11.01.19) reports that the trial against Afrika newspaper regarding a caricature of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan published in the paper and two articles by the paper’s editor-in-chief Sener Levent, continued yesterday at the occupied Lefkosia “district court”.
According to the paper, the “chairman of the ethic committee” of the illegal European university of Lefka and chemistry specialist, Prof Dr. Huseyin Oguz was among the witnesses who testified yesterday against the paper and prepared and submitted a report to the “court”, claiming that the picture of Turkish President Erdogan published by Afrika newspaper, constituted a humiliation against the President of Turkey and was considered as an insult against him.
Questioning the witness, the lawyer of Afrika newspaper, Mine Atli asked Oguz regarding the field of his specialization, with the last admiting that he is an expert in chemistry. Atli supported then that the witness who was called to testify was a person not qualified as an expert to testify in the specific case. The paper adds that Oguz admitted Atli’s position.
The “lawsuit” has been postponed for January 24.
Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika in its front page and under the title: “Who is Kutlu Adali”, reports that during the hearing yesterday at the “court” in Afrika case, among the witnesses was Professor Huseyin Oguz which was called by the “office of the attorney general” to testify.
The paper points out that when the paper’s lawyer Mine asked the witness to answer to the question: “Do you know who Kutlu Adali is?”, the witness did not know who he was and replied: “I have heard about him but I do not know”. The paper, commenting on this writes: “The professors in our universities do not know the answer to this question!”.
According to illegal Bayrak (11.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tcs-in-london-form-new-pol-organisation), Turkish Cypriots residing in London, UK have established a new political organisation called “Turkish Cypriots for the Labour Party”.
In a written statement issued, the organisation’s General Secretary Esat Mustafa said that the 1st ordinary general assembly of the organisation, a political movement in character, was held on the 6th of December 2018 at the Turkish Cypriot Community Centre.
The aim of the organisation is to bring together Turkish Cypriot members of the Labour Party through social, cultural and political events as well as to achieve representation of the Turkish Cypriot community based in the UK.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (11.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-intensely-preps-for-counter-terror-op-in-syria-3471458), Turkey's preparations for a possible operation in Syria in the east of Euphrates continue "intensely", the Defence Minister said on Friday.
"We have Manbij, and the east of Euphrates ahead. Necessary planning was made regarding this. Our preparation continues intensely," Hulusi Akar said while inspecting troops near the border with Syria.
Akar said Turkey was determined to end terrorism wherever it may be. "We have no problems with our Kurdish brothers, Arab brothers in Syria, Turkmens and other ethnic and religious groups. Our only targets are terrorists Daesh and PKK/YPG," he added. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (11.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-issues-arrest-warrants-for-102-feto-suspects-3471433), Turkish prosecutors on Friday issued arrest warrants for 102 suspects for their alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup.
The Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 50 suspects who allegedly communicated with FETÖ members via pay phones. Separately, arrest warrants were out for 52 FETÖ suspects in southern Adana province on the same charges.
Security forces launched simultaneous operations in 20 provinces to nab the suspects. (…)
On the same issue, Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (TM) (11.01.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/11/12-turkish-air-forces-noncommissioned-officers-detained-over-alleged-gulen-links/) reports that twelve active-duty non-commissioned officers at Turkey’s Air Forces Command have been detained as part of an operation against followers of the Gülen movement, which is accused by the Turkish government of masterminding a failed coup on July 15, 2016, the T24 news website reported on Thursday.
Detention warrants were issued by the Konya Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office for 15 noncommissioned officers who are alleged members of the Gülen movement. Twelve of the officers were detained on Thursday across three provinces including Amasya and Diyarbakır as part of the Konya-based operation. Police continue to search for the remaining three officers. (…)
Meanwhile, TM (10.01.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/10/17-judges-and-prosecutors-disbarred-over-gulen-links/) also reports that Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has disbarred 17 judges and prosecutors over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday.
The decision was reportedly taken on the basis of cell phone surveillance analyses, examination of digital materials, the testimony of other judges and prosecutors and the testimony of individuals who turned informant to benefit from the so-called “effective repentance law” as well as records related to ByLock, a smartphone application that Turkish authorities believe was used among Gülen movement followers. (…)
The Diken news website pointed out that the disbarments came just five days after Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül claimed completion of the process of “cleansing” the judicial system of Gülenists.
Since a coup attempt in July 2016, over 4,500 judges and prosecutors have been disbarred by the HSK, many of them subjected to further legal prosecution. (…)
Under the title “AKP rejects motion to examine reasons for migration of Turks abroad”. Turkish news portal Turkish Minute (11.01.19, https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/11/akp-rejects-motion-to-examine-reasons-for-migration-of-turks-abroad/ ) reports that a parliamentary motion submitted by an opposition Deputy to the Turkish Parliament that called for the establishment of a commission to investigate the reasons for the increasing number of Turks migrating abroad has been rejected by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Sözcü daily reported on Thursday.
The motion was submitted by Utku Çakırözer, a Deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) who is also a former journalist.
In the motion Çakırözer said there has been a 63% rise in the number of Turks migrating abroad over the past year, with the number reaching 113,000 in 2018.
“Every brain leaving the country means regression in high technology. It means a standstill and fall in the production of science, research and development and advanced industry,” Çakırözer said, adding that Turkey needs to improve its democracy and restore an environment of freedom and confidence to stop its citizens from leaving the country.
The CHP deputy said the number of Turks leaving the country was 69,000 in 2017 but rose to 113,000 in 2018, noting that most of these people were aged between 25 and 35 and well educated. According to Çakırözer, the most important reason behind the increasing number of Turks leaving is the regression in democracy and freedoms in Turkey. (…)
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