TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW
No. 12/19 17.01.2019
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (17.01.19 ) reports that Baris Burcu, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Musatfa Akinci hosted a dinner last night in which participated Akinci, the AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou and Political Bureau member Toumazos Tselepis.
In a statement posted via social media, Akinci said that they had the opportunity to discuss in depth the developments of the Cyprus Problem.
Under the title “The looting cannot be shared”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (17.01.19)reports that no decision could be taken on the issue of the occupied Dome Hotel in Keryneia, which is a Greek Cypriot property and that the “sharing fight” continued “in an ugly manner”. Yesterday two protests were held in front of the occupied hotel, which is considered by the occupation regime as EVKAF religious foundation’s property. One of the protests was organized by the Trade Union Platform, which argues that the hotel should be leased to Tourism Laborers’ Trade Union (TES), which administrated the hotel until the relevant “agreement” ended recently. The second protest was organized by the National Unity Party (UBP), which argues that TES is an occupier because its “agreement” ended and asks for tenders to be invited for the administration of the hotel.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (17.01.19)reports that in a statement made by the Platform it is said that “prime minister” Erhurman could not impose his will on EVKAF’s director, who took steps and decisions that violated Erhurman’s will.
In his statements during the protest, TES’ chairman, Bayram Karaman said that with TES’ administration the EVKAF, the employees and peace gained. He noted that they had hosted the grandson of the hotel’s “pre-1974 owner”, as he described Dome’s legal owner, who has reportedly said that he was satisfied with the fact that the hotel was administrated by the employees.
During the other protest, UBP chairman Ersin Tatar thanked EVKAF’s director Ibrahim Benter for his stance on the issue of inviting tenders and added that if Benter had not exhibited this stance, the hotel would have been leased without a tender again.
Furthermore, UBP’s “deputy” Faiz Sucuoglu said that the Saray Hotel, which has 56 rooms, paid EVKAF an average monthly rent of 90,300 TL in ten years, while the Dome Hotel, which has 157 rooms, paid an average monthly rent of 8,700 TL in ten years.
Under the title “Halil Karapaşaoğlu and the Dome Hotel incident”, columnist Kazim Denizci in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Bakış (17.01.19)comments on the imprisonment of Turkish Cypriot conscientious objector Halil Karapaşaoğlu by a military “court” in the occupied area of Cyprus and the debates regarding the occupied Dome Hotel in Keryneia. Denizci reports, inter alia, the following:
“[…] We see that today our occupier Turkey and its local orderlies here have again thrown in prison a ‘thought criminal’. ‘And this is only one of the indicators that justice is administrated with instructions’. As owners of this country, we will not succumb to all these that happen.
As patriots of this country, we will continue broadening our front of resistance against the invasion by Turkey, the bloodless genocide and assimilation which was imposed to the people of this country. […]
Turkey’s Aid Delegation is beginning to play such scenarios on this island of lawlessness called ‘TRNC’ that it is almost dynamiting our communal structure. In this attack, launched by the Turkish embassy and the political parties and organizations administrated by it, the person who is the untouchable director of the EVKAF has undertaken an active duty.
Those who feel annoyed and distressed from the successful administration by the Tourism Laborers’ Trade Union of Catsellis’ hotel [Translator’s note: He means the Dome Hotel in occupied Keryneia which is a property of Greek Cypriot Catsellis family], which remained as loot of war, are carrying out an intensive operation in order to be able do away with the trade union from the Dome Hotel, which is successfully administrated, and transfer the hotel to capital that supports Justice and Development (AKP).
Why do you say unnecessary debates are taking place over the Dome Hotel? What is the aim of this remote controlled mob insisting on tenders to necessarily be invited? If the wish is for tenders to be invited in this kind of undertakings in this country, then all the agreements given without a tender need to be abolished and tenders to be invited again. […] Gentlemen you who organize issues by taking instructions from the embassy of Turkey, do not forget that the country does not belong to you, it belongs to its real owners. Sooner or later, you will go away just like you came. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Diyalog (17.01.19) report that so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman stated that they had finished all necessary preparations on their part, regarding the new “economic program” to be signed with Turkey and added: “We have done all the necessary preparation and we are expecting now Turkey, for the political part of the protocol”.
In statements to the paper, Erhurman said further that they are expecting “cash flow” by Turkey to the “TRNC” during March.
Replying to criticism against the so-called government by the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, who has called on the “government” to resign, Erhurman pointed out that the “government’s term in office” was not a regular term, due to the 11-month foreign currency crisis in Turkey, which has also affected them, the change in the system in Turkey and the lifting of the “deputy prime ministry position who was responsible for Cyprus”.
Referring to the “conscientious objection bill”, Erhurman said that there are other more urgent “bills” to be discussed in the “committee” and argued that the discussions on the issue are in a wrong direction and basis. Erhurman added further the following: “The technical term for priority is the most urgent. We have not registered it as urgent. We want for this bill to be discussed enough. There is an approach saying that military deficiency might exist. There is nothing saying that when someone is a conscientious objector he would not serve in military. […]”.
In a commentary in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.01.19), columnist Hasan Hasturer reports on statements by the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), Ersin Tatar.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Tatar said that the approaches and the attempts on the Cyprus negotiations talks which were launched in 1968 in Beirut, failed to yield an outcome. “So, why shall we refrain from negotiating on a two- state solution within the EU, without giving up the solution approach? The UBP under my leadership will follow a more active policy on the Cyprus problem, besides Turkey, also in Europe and beyond the Atlantic, in several centers which are interested in Cyprus. Having this approach, I am considering visiting Brussels with some of my colleagues”, Tatar argued.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (17.01.19) reports that according to a statement of the “state planning organization” , encouragement for 24 investments worth of 1 billion, 563 million, 391 thousands and 261 Turkish Lira were given in 2018.
From them, 1,43 billion TL were given for investments in tourism, 90,8 million in investments for student dorms, 40,8 million in the field of industry and 2,1 million in the field of health.
These numbers concern 10 projects in tourism, 7 student dorms, 6 projects in manufacturing and 1 project in the field of health. Moreover, 11 projects will be held in occupied Lefkosia, 3 in occupied Famagusta, 7 in occupied Keryneia, 2 in occupied Trikomo and 1 in occupied Lefka. Employment to 2,029 persons will be offered for the making of these projects.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (17.01.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkeys-erdogan-vows-to-eliminate-daesh-from-syria-3472005) reports that "Turkey will continue the fight against Daesh and eliminate this terrorist group in Syria," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference with visiting Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in the capital Ankara.
On Wednesday's suicide attack in Manbij, Syria, which initial reports say killed three U.S. soldiers, Erdogan said that he doesn't believe U.S. President Donald Trump will back down in the face of this attack, as this would mean victory for Daesh.
He added that the attack could be meant to dissuade the U.S. from leaving Syria.
Erdogan also touted Turkey's ties with Croatia, as the countries enjoy strong cooperation.
He said that Turkey and Croatia vowed to boost economic and trade relations and signed a cooperation deal in the field of culture and art for 2019-2021 to cement cultural and person-to-person ties.
Erdogan praised Croatia for supporting Turkey's EU membership process, adding that he believes this support will be stronger during Croatia's EU presidency in 2020.
Erdogan said in 2017 bilateral trade rose by 29 % to reach $531 million, and totaled $575 million in the first 11 months of 2018 alone.
"I hope this figure will hit $600 million by the end of 2018. We have another goal, which is $1 billion. I hope we can approach this target a bit more in 2019," he added.
Grabar-Kitarovic said that Croatia wants to reach the $1 billion target in bilateral trade, saying the countries should deepen their economic ties. Grabar-Kitarovic called the ties between the countries “excellent,” adding that Croatia will support Turkey on its road to the EU.
Erdogan said that the UN should come into play again, and called for stronger steps.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.01.19 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-lebanon-fms-discuss-j-lem-in-phone-conversation/1366741) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday spoke with Lebanese counterpart Gibran Bassil with whom he discussed means of "discouraging" the planned relocation of several foreign embassies to Jerusalem.
This came during a telephone call Bassil received from Cavusoglu, according to a statement issued by Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry.
The ministry noted that the two FMs had discussed joint measures that might be taken with a view to dissuading certain states from relocating their respective embassies to Jerusalem or recognizing the city as Israel’s capital.
Cavusoglu and Bassil also reportedly discussed recent developments in the region, including Syria, and bilateral relations between their two countries.
Last November, Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro announced his intention to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, with the Czech Republic following suit shortly afterward.
So far, the U.S. and Guatemala are the only two states to have officially relocated their embassies to Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority, the Cairo-based Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation have all urged world capitals not to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or transfer their embassies to the city.
AA also reports that Cavusoglu also held a phone conversation with the Foreign Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi, where they talked about recent developments in Syria and other issues.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-delegation-holds-two-day-patriot-talks-in-ankara-140563) reports that a U.S. technical team held two-day talks in Turkey on Jan. 15-16 to express specific concerns over the latter’s purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense systems particularly in regards to the flight safety of F-35 aircrafts.
The U.S. has formally made an offer to Turkey for the sale of the multibillion dollar Patriot air defense systems in a bid to increase its pressure on the latter’s purchase of the S-400 systems.
The U.S.’s offer came after the State Department approved on Dec. 18 a possible foreign military sale of the Patriot air and missile defense system to Turkey for an estimated total of $3.5 billion.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the State Department approved the sale of 80 Patriot MIM-104E Guidance Enhanced Missiles (GEM-T), 60 PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) missiles and associated equipment.
Turkey says it would buy Patriot systems from the U.S. but not on the condition of cancelling the S-400 systems from Russia.
There is no relation between the purchase of S-400s and Patriots, presidential aide İbrahim Kalın said on Jan. 15.
“Turkey is able to purchase any kind of military technology from any country, within the scope of its national security interests. As for the Patriot offer, this is a negotiation process. We are discussing how much the offer meets our needs,” he said.
“We have three fundamental criteria; one is price, the second is delivery date and the third is technology transfer and co-production. If these conditions are satisfied, Patriot missiles can be purchased. In case these conditions are not satisfied, the negotiations will continue,” he added.
Kalın also stressed that an offer about the Patriots, which will fall behind the S-400 offer, will not make the way for much advancement.
“There is a point we have reached with the S-400, in terms of price, delivery date and co-production,” he said.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-announces-plans-for-ankara-in-local-poll-campaign-140547) reports that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has held a special event to introduce Mansur Yavaş, its mayoral candidate for Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, and its plans for the capital.
“Mansur Yavaş will govern Ankara on the centenary of the Republic. We will change the destiny of Ankara,” said CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu on Jan. 15 at the party’s event to introduce the candidate who will run for the upcoming March 31 local elections.
“Mr.Yavaş will give account of every penny he spends to the locals of Ankara,” he added.
Kılıçdaroğlu also stressed that Ankara has become a “concrete jungle” but would change under the helm of Yavaş.
All employees will be ensured job security and will be held in high regard, the party leader said.
“Our citizens will be familiar with the green areas and the horizontal architecture of Ankara. We are promising fresh air, clean water and transportation in comfort,” said Yavaş.
“We will continue social aids and help the children of the families in need to get education,” he added.
The mayoral candidate also pledged to decrease the number of official vehicles of the municipality and to remove their warning lights.
“We will support agriculture and bring the consumer and the producer together,” he said.
The CHP’s candidate also stressed that policies on reducing unemployment will be carried out while improving diversity in tourism.
Along with a 32-kilometer bicycle lane, Yavaş also promised public transportation and urban planning in favor of citizens with disabilities.
Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu also recalled the recent tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump who said he would “devastate the Turkish economy” in the event of an attack against Kurds.
“Nobody can threaten the Republic of Turkey with a bullying tone. The state of the Republic of Turkey was not established at the mercy of sovereign powers,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu recalled the struggle led before the First World War, when the Ottoman Empire had collapsed and the nation was fighting to emerge as a republic.
“There was a Turkish National Movement, fighting to stand firm against sovereign powers,” said Kılıçdaroğlu.
In addition, Turkish Minute news portal (17.01.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/01/16/165-year-old-turkish-woman-on-voter-lists-signals-election-fraud-chp-deputy/) reports that a supposedly 165-year-old Turkish woman from the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri made it into the voter lists announced by Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK), main opposition deputy Onursal Adıgüzel said on Wednesday, criticizing the laxness of the board and claiming possible election fraud as local polls approach.
According to the YSK lists, Ayşe Ekici, who would be the oldest voter on earth, would exercise her right to cast a ballot for the first time, Adıgüzel said. In the lists were also a 149-year-old man, Zülfü, and a 148-year-old woman, another Ayşe, whose last names were not given.
A Cumhuriyet daily report suggested that there were 6,389 registered voters aged 100 to 165 in the YSK lists.
The report said more than 900,000 people who voted on June 24, 2018 were no longer on the lists.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Adıgüzel mentioned these irregularities at a press conference in parliament.
He also said that in some districts the number of registered voters had doubled since the parliamentary and presidential elections of June 2018.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (17.01.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/we-greatly-value-turkish-eu-ties-says-envoy-3471999) reports that Eva Horelova, head of the political section of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, styated: "We place great importance on Turkish-EU relations,".
Meeting with Hakan Çavuşoğlu, the head of Turkish Parliament's Human Rights Commission, in the capital Ankara, Horelova called Turkey a key country for the EU.
Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987 and its accession talks began in 2005.
But negotiations stalled in 2007 due to the objections of the Greek Cypriot administration as well as opposition from Germany and France.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.01.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/istanbul-airport-to-become-fully-operational-on-march-3-140542) reports that the gradual shift from Atatürk Airport to the new Istanbul Airport will be completed on March 3, Funda Ocak, the general director of State Airports Administration, has announced.
“We hope to conclude the gradual shift on March 3. Henceforth, all commercial flights will be from Istanbul Airport instead of Atatürk Airport,” Ocak told reporters at the opening of Duty Free’s second phase on Jan. 15.
Ocak also expressed that the two-month test period had to be prolonged after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inauguration on Oct. 29, 2018.
“Because we did not want to move in the winter season, we decided to gradually shift until March,” she said.
According to the general director, only general aviation, maintenance and repair hangars, cargo flights and expositions will continue to operate at the Atatürk Airport.
“This was a great need and Atatürk Airport is going to meet this need,” Ocak said.
“Our air navigation facilities will continue to operate at least until 2022 and 2023 there,” she added.
Istanbul Airport, whose first phase was opened on Oct. 29 last year, has the potential to welcome 90 million passengers annually, and following the second phase of construction, expected to be completed in 2023, the number will rise to around 200 million.
It will provide employment to 1.5 million people indirectly and will take flights to 350 destinations worldwide including Africa once completed.
The airport has 2.5 million tons of annual cargo capacity and will reach 5.5 million tons when all phases are completed, according to officials.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION