A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Illegal Bayrak (09.04.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-says-gcs-not-ready-for-a-settlement ) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı claimed that “the latest proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriot leadership once again demonstrated that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready to accept a settlement on the basis of political equality within the framework of UN parameters.
In a written statement issued today, Akıncı alleged that “the Turkish Cypriot side has been adopting a clear stance ever since the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Special Adviser Jane Holl Lute had embarked on her mission to draft the Terms of Reference aimed at restarting talks”.
He added that the Turkish Cypriot side has been ready from day one to discuss the 30 June 2017 Guterres Framework in its original form without watering it down or distorting it.
“We reminded that political equality and effective participation in decision making is vital for us,” said Akıncı, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side’s goal has always been to build a future that will enable both communities to live in equality, freedom, security and peace.
Akıncı also accused the Greek Cypriot leadership of “constantly faltering its positions regarding a settlement”. “First the Greek Cypriot side brought up the concept of a decentralized federation but it failed to provide substance and detail. Then they said they were ready to discuss the 30 June 2017 Guterres framework but instead tried to invent another framework document dated 4 July 2017. Just recently they rehashed a rejected proposal presented in the early days of the negotiations proposing a system whereby the president would be a Greek Cypriot and you would have a rotational prime ministry. Not only is this proposal old it is not in accordance with the Guterres Framework which envisages a 2 to 1 system of a rotational presidency”, he said.
Akıncı alleged that it was inhumane and unacceptable for the Turkish Cypriot side, which adopted a consistent and constructive stance both in efforts to reach a settlement and the drafting of the terms of reference, to continue to be punished.
“Nevertheless, the positions of the two sides regarding the drafting of the terms of reference must be included in the report in a clear and impartial manner,” Akıncı said.
Akinci also said that a solution in Cyprus could not be found by starting from scratch but as the UN Secretary stated, through a timetabled and results-oriented process which was not open-ended and which accepted past convergences, the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration and the 30 June 2017 Guterres Framework.
He also said that “the international community should no longer turn a blind eye to the injustice faced by Turkish Cypriots and the determined and sincere stance adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side for peace in Cyprus”.
Akıncı concluded by stating that the continuation of the status quo will have negative consequences for both communities both in the short and long term.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (09.04.19) reports that Murat Hakki, who is a specialist in international law and property law, stated that the “Compensation committee” is not functional and warned that the consequences as regards its action would not be good.
He went on and added that the “committee” which was established in the breakaway regime after the Demopoulos ‘ case ECHR decision “was a legal and diplomatic win for the Turkish Cypriots and added that nowadays the “committee” is on the edge of disaster.
He claimed that while there was a change to Turkifies 300,000 donum of land, the “committee” stopped to be functional and this opportunity was lost. He also said that if the door of the “committee” is closed, then the Turkish Cypriot would start applying directly to ECHR and this would have negative consequences.
Under the title “There is no trouble neither among Turkey and TRNC nor among the four political parties”, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.04.19) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister, replying to criticism by the opposition party National Unity Party (UBP), regarding the delay on the signing of the “economic protocol” with Turkey, announced that the works on the “economic and financial cooperation protocol” between Turkey and the “TRNC” [translator’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] will be completed on April and the “protocol” will be signed in May.
Speaking at the “parliament”, Erhurman explained that he met with a delegation in Ankara headed by Turkey’s Deputy President Fuat Oktay before Turkey’s local elections regarding the “protocol” and as he had already said before in full transparency the works will be completed and the “protocol” will be signed in May. He added that there is no problem with Turkey or with the four political parties of the “coalition government” as some people claim.
Under the title “When the money did not come, everyone went crazy”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (09.04.19), on its front page, reports that when the flow of money from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus was stopped, the “government” and the opposition were set against each other. The paper describes the debate at the “assembly” yesterday on the “protocol”, which has not been signed yet, very intense.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (09.04.19), under the title “A second bomb”, reports that while the financial difficulties resulting from the non signing of the “economic protocol” with Turkey are continuing, the “government” in order to be able to pay the salaries last week, got on advance 15 million TL from the company handling the occupied airport of Tymbou. This incident created a tension among the “coalition government” and particularly to the People’s Party (HP).
Kudret Ozersay, leader of HP and “deputy prime minister”, said that the issue was not discussed at the “council of ministers”, adding that he sees the issue as problematic to get an advance from a company, an institution that they as a “government” are obliged to control and inspect it. Ozersay further argued that “this issue is opened for exploitation”.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.04.19) reports that Erhurman, replying to the question by Sunat Atun, “deputy” with UBP on receiving an advance from Emrullah Turanli, the owner of the operator company at the occupied airport of Tymbou in order to make the necessary payments of salaries, said that Serdar Denktas, “finance minister”, announced it last week. Erhurman explained: “In fact, as we all know, in 2018 there was a depletion in the number of the donation budget to be transferred to us in the defence budget. I do not say this in any way to criticize Turkey. As I always said, this army is also our army. So, if there is a shortage, a problem, then we, of course, will cover it. However, as a result of not transferring to us 188 million TL, we had to transfer 188 million TL from domestic sources for the army, which is also our army. According to the same protocol, there was also shortage to the resources that should have transferred to us for the real sector and the infrastructure investments. So, this has turned to be an output form our domestic budget. (…)”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.04.19) under its front-page title: “Increasing crimes in the TRNC are scaryg”, reports that the number of “lawsuits at the criminal court” in the occupied area of Cyprus increase every year.
The majority of them are related to drugs and robberies. According to the latest data, during the last 13 years (from January 2006-December 2018), a total of 7,147 “lawsuits” were examined by the “criminal court” for the above crimes. Alongside with drugs, during the last 13 years, the “criminal court” examined 28 cases related to assassinations, 629 cases of murder attempts and serious wounding and battery, 571 cases related touse of guns, explosive material and knives, 2,856 cases related todrugs and 179 cased related with sex crimes. Also the “criminal court” examined 931 “lawsuits” related with forgeries.
Publishing the above data, the paper points out that the increase of criminality in the “TRNC” causes uneasiness in the “society” and is worrying.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.04.19) reports that representatives of the business world in the breakaway regime, stated to the paper that every aspect of the economy in the breakaway regime is negatively affected every day due to the non-signing of the “economic protocol” with Turkey.
According to the paper, the businessmen stated that many sectors are in a very bad condition because they do not receive payments from the “state”. The chairman of the “hoteliers union” Dimag Caginer, stated that they have not received the money they expected from the “state” adding that they make all their calculations and programing based on the “protocol”. The chairman of the “chamber of industry”, Avunduk stated that the consequences of the non-signing of the “protocol” are heavy while the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Turgay Deniz expressed his concern over the relations of the “government” with Turkey and said that these relations must be improved.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-and-putin-praise-bilateral-relations-142515) reports that Turkish and Russian leaders met in Moscow on April 8 in the latest of a series of summits aiming to boost the bilateral relations and the trade volume between the two countries.
“We are pleased to welcome you to Moscow and today we will open and hold the eighth meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the beginning of the meeting between him and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“We will discuss our bilateral relations with the representatives of public society and meet with representatives of the business community,” Putin added.
Erdoğan noted that the countries are cooperating in war-torn Syria.“Another significant step taken with Russia is to cooperate against terrorist acts in Syria,” Erdogan said.
Putin also praised the trade ties between Russia and Turkey. “We observe and note a good level of development of our relations, the trade turnover grew by 15 %, the general volume of trade has reached $25 billion dollars,” the Russian president said.
“We are implementing major projects including Akkuyu, a nuclear power plant, that we should launch by 2023 in accordance with the wishes of the Turkish side, and the TurkStream, an offshore section of which was recently completed,” he said.
Putin added that the two countries have a very large amount of cooperation in international relations, between the foreign and defense ministries as well as in the domain of armament.
The summit was the third of the two leaders in 2019. Last year, Putin and Erdoğan held seven bilateral meetings and participated in a number of international summits.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-parties-call-on-electoral-authorities-to-be-impartial-142522) reports that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has warned the security of the election was in danger, calling on the Superior Election Council (YSK) to be impartial.
Kılıçdaroğlu said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s request for a full recount of the votes lacked a reasonable justification. “Now the YSK has entered a process that damages the security of the ballot boxes, the security of the election. This is the real danger,” Kılıçdaroğlu said on April 8 at a press conference held after his meeting with İYİ (Good) Party chair Meral Akşener.
“I appeal to the jurists at the Supreme Electoral Council: Your independence and your objectivity are very important,” he noted. “The CHP has no objections to the recount of votes, but the recount demand was without a palpable reason,” he said, adding that the YSK must ensure reliance on the law, Kılıçdaroğlu stated and added: “What I want from the YSK judges is for them to put the records with signatures before them and decide. Otherwise, how will they look at their children tomorrow?”
Turkey should immediately leave the elections behind and focus on its problems, Kılıçdaroğlu added.
Rejecting the poll results in Istanbul is disrespect to the national will, Akşener said for her part, that Erdoğan was “disrespecting the choice of the people” who cast their ballots into the same box that elected him as prime minister and president in the past.
Turkish Minute portal side (09.04.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/08/erdogan-reiterates-need-for-full-recount-of-invalid-votes-in-istanbul-claiming-discrepancies/) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said there were discrepancies in the İstanbul elections, reiterating his desire for a full recount of invalid votes, the Diken news website reported.
“We detected an organized scheme. We have even video recordings of it. There are nearly 320 to 330,000 invalid votes. It’s suspicious if you don’t want a full recount of them,” Erdoğan told reporters on his way to Russia.
On Sunday his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) applied to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) for a recount of invalid votes in 38 out of 39 districts of İstanbul.
“Nobody has a right to claim victory with 13 to 14,000 votes in a city of more than 10 million voters,” Erdoğan said. Erdoğan said prosecutors would be handling the matter of the “organized scheme.”
Turkish Minute portal side (09.04.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/09/election-board-rejects-akp-request-for-recount-of-votes-in-31-istanbul-districts/ ) reports that Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has turned down a request from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for a recount of all votes in 31 İstanbul districts where the AKP’s mayoral candidate lost the election, according to unofficial results, the T24 news website reported on Monday evening.
Turkey held local elections on March 31. Although Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate for mayor of İstanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu received more votes than AKP candidate Binali Yıldırım according to preliminary results announced by the YSK, he has not yet been declared the winner because the AKP has been objecting the election results and asking for a recount of votes for a week.
According to the YSK decision, the votes in 31 out of 39 districts of İstanbul will not be recounted contrary to what was requested by the AKP.
The AKP representative to the YSK, Recep Özel, however, said the YSK agreed to a recount of votes in 51 ballot boxes in 21 districts of İstanbul.
Özel also said the YSK would make a decision later about the AKP’s demand for the cancellation of elections in İstanbul’s Büyükçekmece district. The AKP claims voters were illegally registered in Büyükçekmece and thus the election should be re-held.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/mansur-yavas-officially-becomes-ankara-mayor-142506 ) reports that the newly elected mayors of Ankara and İzmir received their certificates of election on April 8 from Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK).
Ankara Mayor Mansur Yavaş and İzmir Mayor Tunç Soyer, both from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), were elected in the March 31 local elections in Turkey.
Yavaş, a joint candidate for the CHP and İYİ (Good) Party, took office one week after the local elections following a recount of invalid votes in 11 of Ankara’s districts demanded by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). But a ballot review showed Yavaş was again ahead of his rival, AKP candidate Mehmet Özhaseki, by nearly 124,000 votes.
On April 7, the YSK rejected the AKP’s request for a full recount of all votes in 13 districts in Ankara.
“People living in Ankara will enjoy living in Ankara more. The election is over, whatever happened is left behind. We have no hatred, no grudge. There will be no distinction between employees [in the municipality] and those who do not vote in Ankara,” Yavaş said in his first statement as mayor of Ankara.
“From now on, we will embrace everyone and will try to provide equal services in Ankara. Justice and merit will be at the forefront during our services,” he added.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes on March 31 in the local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, neighborhood officials (mukhtar in Turkish), and members of elderly councils for the next five years.
Meanwhile, CHP candidate for İzmir, Tunç Soyer, handed over his post as mayor of Seferihisar municipality, a district of İzmir, on April 8 and took his certificate of election for İzmir Municipality, the greater province.
“I will work with love to protect this city and move it further, and to make all those people live in this city with honor, regardless of whether or not they voted for me,” he said.
Turkish Minute portal side (09.04.19 https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/09/jailed-kurdish-politician-says-election-results-a-complete-fiasco-for-akp-govt/) reports that ailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş has said the results of the March 31 local elections turned out to be a complete “fiasco” for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its election partner, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which lost elections in several of Turkey’s big cities, Deutsche Welle reported.
Demirtaş responded to questions from Deutsche Welle through his lawyers from Edirne Prison, where he has been jailed since November 2016. Demirtaş, who was the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chairperson at the time, was put behind bars along with several other party deputies as well as the party’s other co-chairperson on terrorism charges.
Before the local elections, Demirtaş made a call to his party’s supporters, asking them to go to the polls and cast their votes “against fascism.”
To a question about claims that Demirtaş’s call played a significant role in the victory of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidates in İstanbul and Ankara and his view on this, the jailed politician said the elections did not take place under fair or equal conditions for all the parties.
“Nearly 95 % of the media is controlled by the government. The resources of the state treasury were used without limit, unlawfully and without supervision of the ruling party for its election campaign. The same goes for the judiciary, bureaucracy and the security forces, which were all unlawfully used by the government. Thousands of politicians, journalists, lawyers and students are in jail,” said Demirtaş, adding that opposition parties had to conduct their campaigns under great pressure and threats.
In consideration of all this, he said the result that emerged from the ballot boxes was a complete fiasco for the government bloc.
“And the opposition bloc has managed to bring about a democratic alternative in a concrete way. I find this very significant and meaningful,” said Demirtaş.
In September, a Turkish court found Demirtaş guilty of disseminating terrorist propaganda and sentenced him to four years, eight months in prison.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), however, ruled in November that Demirtaş’s pre-trial detention was a political act and ordered his release. Turkish courts refused to implement the European court’s ruling, and a regional appeals court in Turkey on Dec. 4 upheld Demirtaş’s four-year, eight-month prison sentence for disseminating terrorist propaganda.
In a commentary in Turkish daily Aydinlik (09.04.19-https://www.aydinlik.com.tr/ya-milli-mutabakat-ya-erken-genel-secim-ufuk-soylemez-kose-yazilari-nisan-2019) under the title: “Either national reconciliation or early general elections”, columnist Ufuk Soylemez, evaluating the results of the local elections in Turkey which took place on March 31, writes that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lost the most important metropolitan cities in Turkey after 25 years of possession.
Expressing surprise over the fact that the AKP has been defeated since it has lost Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Adana, Antalya and Mersin, the columnist stresses the importance of this outcome since all these cities are considered very important socio-economically and socio-culturally for the country.
The columnist says further that the most important reason behind the AKP’s defeat is its failure to deal with the economic crisis in the country and to announce, follow and implement an economic program that would bring real stability in the economy of the country. “No matter which economic program Turkey implements, the fact that internal and foreign economic circles in Turkey move away and leave, since, they consider Turkey a country which lacks democracy, proves that no package, whatever this would be, can be viable and effective”, Soylemez writes. He adds further that if the AKP government continues following its current policies, early general elections in the country would be inevitable. “Do not look at what is said…that there would be no elections in the next 4.5 years. If the economic crisis deepens further, early elections would be inevitable. So, I want to clarify my proposal. Either the power would come to a national conciliation for the social interest, or it will be forced to go to early elections and loose the support of the society”, the columnist concludes.
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