A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (24.04.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People’s Party (HP) and self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has denied information published in the press that the four-party “coalition government” was about to collapse. In a statement yesterday on his social media account, Ozersay described this information as “gossip” and added that the “government” was still on duty. He argued that if the HP was a party which acted according to “suggestions and recommendations”, it would not have participated in the four-party “coalition government” from the beginning. Admitting the “many misfortunes” and the existing economic problems, Ozersay said that in spite of all these, they kept their promises and did not hide some annoyances both from their partners and from the public opinion.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (24.04.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled minister of finance, also reacted to the information that the “government” was about to collapse and said that they were still on duty and exerted efforts for solving problems. He argued that such news did no good to the “people” of the “country” and that these behaviors strengthened the “government”.
Referring to the issue, Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and self-styled minister of education, argued that the “coalition” worked in harmony and that no one behaved in a manner which annoyed the other in the Cyprus problem. “Everyone has their opinion but this is not a reason for separation”, he added.
Finally, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and self-styled prime minister, said that they did not intend to waste time discussing whether the “government” could collapse, that they know what they had to do and that they trusted the “peopleof the country”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş (24.04.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that he met on Monday with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Ankara and with Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak in Istanbul. In a written statement issued yesterday, Tatar noted that during his face to face meeting with Cavusoglu they had exchanged views regarding the recent developments in the Cyprus problem. “I want to say with satisfaction that our conclusions on the Cyprus problem and our views for the future coincide with the esteemed minister”, he said claiming that “the time has come to bring to the table the two-state solution which has alternative models”.
Referring to his meeting with Albayrak, Tatar noted that he was extremely satisfied with the fact that Turkey attached great importance to the “TRNC’s” economic growth and that it was not possible for any obstacle to come up on the issue of transferring electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus and the establishment of an interconnected system. He argued that the “TRNC” could further grow in case they had “realistic projects” and a “sound vision”, behaved with determination on the issue of making the necessary reforms and cooperated with Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.04.19) reports on the results of a survey conducted in the occupied area of Cyprus by the Centre for Migration, Identity and Rights Studies (CMIRS) regarding the forthcoming “presidential elections” which will take place in the occupied area of Cyprus in 2020.
The survey was conducted in March 2018 and according to this, 37.2% of the participants said that they would support Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. The support to Akinci according to a survey conducted by the same company in December 2018 was 31.92%. The chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) ranks second with 14.2%, marking a decrease if compared with December 2018 since he received 20.6%. Also, a decrease is observed at the percentages of a possible candidacy of the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman who receives 12.4% compared with the survey conducted in 2018 where he received 16.3% and also of the so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay from 11.11% to 9%. So-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas receives 5% from 5.45% in the former survey and the “chairman” of the Revival Settler’s party (YDP) Erhan Arikli receives 1.2% from 4.45% in 2018.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (24.04.19) reports that the deputy chairman of the Global Health Tourism Council and “chairman of the health tourism council” in the occupied area of Cyprus, Ahmet Savasan went yesterday to Baku, Azerbaijan in order to “represent the TRNC” at the Global Health Tourism Forum.
According to the paper, members of the Administration Board of the Global Health Tourism Council from 40 different countries and also ministers, deputies, representatives of diplomatic missions, doctors and other health sector experts will be attending the forum. The paper covers the issue under the title: “The TRNC’s flag to flutter among the flags of 58 other countries”.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/parliament-convenes-in-special-session-for-april-23-142872) reports that Turkish Parliament convened for a special session as part of April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day under the leadership of its speaker, Mustafa Şentop, and with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Citing the role of parliament in Turkey’s Independence War that lead to the foundation of the republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, Şentop described the General Assembly as a place where all different segments of the Turkish society meet under one roof.
“Searches for ways other than democracy and rhetoric that excludes dialogue and civil politics in a country like Turkey with a rooted tradition of elections and democracy mean undermining the future of this country,” he said.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also addressed parliament, criticizing the current presidential system. “I have to express sorrow that the Turkish Parliament transferred many of its authorities to the presidency and abandoned its role of inspecting the government. The current system has undermined the principle of the separation of powers as well,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
Erdoğan left the General Assembly before Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Pervin Buldan addressed parliament.
Asked why he left, Erdoğan said: “Why should I not? Shall I listen to those who don’t sing our National Anthem? Shall I listen to those who martyr my soldiers?” Erdoğan accuses the HDP of having direct links to the PKK, a group Ankara lists as terrorist.
Turkish daily Sabah (24.04.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2019/04/23/no-interim-formula-for-s-400s-turkey-has-plan-b-for-f-35s-officials-say ) reports that Turkey's purchase of S-400 missile defense systems from Russia is a "done deal" and there is no "interim formula" including third parties, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Tuesday.
Answering reporters' questions after a special parliament session held for the 99th anniversary of foundation of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Çavuşoğlu said that the S-400 systems Turkey bought would constitute no threat to NATO systems or "see them as the enemy," in efforts to reassure Washington and NATO over security concerns.
The Minister also hit back at the U.S. for ending exemptions on oil imports, saying it was wrong for the U.S. to try to steer Turkey toward Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.
He previously said the U.S. decision to end waivers on Iran oil imports would only harm regional peace.
Meanwhile, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar also commented on tensions between the U.S. and Turkey.
Akar said Turkey was unfazed by threats and had a plan B in case the U.S. blocks F-35 deliveries and terminates the deal.
"We have short-term, medium-term and long-term plans", Akar said, adding that there was no deadlock in the process so far.
The minister said four Turkish pilots were currently carrying out flights and receiving training on the F-35 fighter jets, and two more were preparing to join the training program. He added that 35 to 40 personnel were also in training.
On the topic of Syria, Akar said the U.S.' policy in the region had started to become closer to that of Turkey's after seeing how reasonable Ankara's approach was.
Despite their longstanding strategic alliance as members of NATO, Turkey and the U.S. have been at odds since 2017 over Turkey's decision to buy the S-400, and the U.S. has been threatening to break its contract to sell Turkey F-35 jets over the dispute.
To defend itself, Turkey first sought to purchase U.S.-made Patriot missiles, but even as the U.S. was sending weapons and ammunition to Turkey's avowed enemies, the terror group YPG/PYD in northern Syria, Washington chose to ignore its ally's needs and national interests and rebuffed Turkey's overtures. Turkey has said it was the U.S. refusal to sell Patriots that forced it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered a better deal that included technology transfers.
The first two F-35 jets were delivered to Turkey in June 2018, and Turkish pilots started their training at the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Last week, Turkey received two more jets despite the outcry by U.S. senators. Currently, Turkish pilots continue their training and the jets will be deployed to Malatya air base in Turkey by November
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ysk-rejects-akps-attempt-to-disenfranchise-dismissed-civil-servants-142870) reports that Turkey’s Supreme Election Board (YSK) has declined a request from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to disenfranchise civil servants who were dismissed with decree laws in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt.
The ruling came during a meeting of the YSK on April 23 at its Ankara headquarters to evaluate appeals made by the AKP and its election ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), regarding the March 31 local elections.
The AKP in its appeal argued that the votes of 14,712 former civil servants who were dismissed from their public posts should not have counted in the Istanbul elections because they were ineligible to vote.
The AKP’s appeal drew criticism from the main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP) at the time because there is no law in Turkey that bans fired civil servants from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
While the YSK dismissed that particular appeal by the AKP, the elections watchdog said they will consider two other AKP appeals concerning some balloting committee chair people and members and a claim that 41,132 “ineligible” voters were allowed to cast votes in the elections.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide on March 31 in local elections to choose mayors, city council members and other officials for the next five years.
Ekrem İmamoğlu of the CHP on April 17 officially took office as mayor of Istanbul after 17 days of vote counting and recounting, but his election still faces legal challenges from the AKP and MHP.
The YSK is expected to put an end to the legal saga by the end of this week.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-seeks-parliamentary-inquiry-into-attack-on-kilicdaroglu-142867) reports that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has asked the Turkish Parliament to investigate an attack on party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu during a military funeral in Ankara’s Çubuk province April 21. Kılıçdaroğlu was attacked by a nationalist mob during the funeral of a fallen soldier. He went inside a local house to escape his attackers.
Prosecutors launched an investigation into who perpetrated the attack. Police detained nine suspects in connection with the attack, but either were later released.
In a petition submitted to Parliament on April 23, CHP deputy parliamentary leaders described the attack as a premeditated effort to provoke the locals who attended the funeral to commit violence against Kılıçdaroğlu. At one point, the demonstrators even called for burning the house where Kılıçdaroğlu was sheltered, according to the petition. Party leaders criticized security forces’ late intervention into the incident.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu’s initial response to the attack fueled the fear that the government probe will fail to reveal who have planned this assault on Kılıçdaroğlu and prompted the CHP to ask Parliament for a parliamentary inquiry into the matter.
Meanwhile, Kılıçdaroğlu, through his lawyers, has filed criminal complaints against those suspected of involvement in the attack.
Out of the nine people initially detained in connection with the attack, only one, Osman Sarıgün, a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains in custody.
According to AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik, Sarıgün appeared before a disciplinary board and was dismissed from the party based on the AKP’s rejection of violence. Erdoğan denies link between ‘Alliance of Turkey’ and attack on CHP leader
In an appearance at Parliament, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded to questions from reporters concerning the attack against the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) during a soldier’s funeral in Ankara on April 21.
Answering a question about whether he had phoned main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after the attack, Erdoğan said he had already made his comment on the incident, and there was no need for him to call Kılıçdaroğlu.
The president dismissed the idea that his recent call for an “Alliance of Turkey” provoked the attack.
“Was the Alliance of Turkey a call for the attack? Or is it because there is a martyr here? And it’s well known who has martyrized our soldier. Which parties are hand-in-hand with the PKK, and which other political parties in Turkey are hand-in-hand with these parties?” he said.
He criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for not taking into account the psychological environment at the funeral. He said even he, as president, questions whether or not to attend military funerals.
“There is no need to abuse the funerals. We have to pay utmost attention,” Erdoğan said.
Kılıçdaroğlu later responded to Erdoğan’s comments. The CHP leader said he made initial contacts with the family of the fallen soldier and local governors before deciding to attend the funeral.
Although Erdoğan denied any link between his call for the Alliance of Turkey and the attack on Kılıçdaroğlu, Naci Bostancı, an AKP deputy parliamentary group leader of the AKP, has pointed out at the incident took place right after Erdoğan’s calls for unity.
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