According to illegal Bayrak television (03.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-speaks-with-lute), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci carried out yesterday a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s temporary special envoy to Cyprus Jane Holl Lute.
During the discussions it’s believed that the latest report presented to the UN Security Council on Cyprus and the possible developments that may take place were discussed.
According to a press release by Akinci’s office, not only did Akinci discuss the final report presented by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the UN Security Council but also received information regarding Jane Holl Lute’s latest contacts with the sides involved in the Cyprus issue.
According to illegal Bayrak television (02.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-erhurman-hold-weekly-meeting-2), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met on Thursday with self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman for a routine weekly meeting to discuss the latest developments in the “country”.
The meeting focused on the latest developments regarding the joint economic protocol to be signed with Turkey.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Erhürman said that work on the economic programme was going according to schedule. He said that technical work on the programme by Turkey was to be completed in the coming days as requested by the Turkish government right after the recent elections. “Once the work is completed and the draft is delivered to us we shall do a quick review of the programme within the cabinet. Once this is done we will start talks with Turkish officials at the political level. Our aim is to sign the protocol before the end of May,” Erhürman said.
He further said that there were no delays and that contrary to claims by the opposition relations with Turkey were at a good level. “There are no other reasons for the delay apart from the ones announced,” Erhurman concluded.
Meanwhile, columnist Cuneyt Oruc, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Haberci (03.05.19), under the title “If the money doesn’t come”, reports that the “cabinet convened yesterday for five hours and the government is pursuing a plan B in case the economic protocol is not signed”.
Oruc writes that during the meeting, the necessary measures to be taken in case of failure to obtain the expected cash flow from Turkey were discussed, adding that in this context the “undersecretaries of the minister” also attended the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.05.19) under the front-page title: “The immovable property commission still could not pay the 110 million sterling pounds”, reports that the Greek Cypriots owners of property in the occupied area of Cyprus do not apply any more to the “immovable property commission” as they did in the past, mainly due to the legal measures taken by the Greek Cypriot side and because of the problems experienced to pay property compensations.
In statements to the paper, the “chairman of the immovable property commission”, Eyfer Said Erkmen, underlined that although the “immovable property commission” has decided to pay 302 million 145 thousand 102 sterling pounds for 1,001 cases totally which were solved until so far, only the 192 million 145 thousand 102 were paid so far. Erkmen added that since Turkey has given up from allocating money to the “commission” due to the fact that the “şerefiye vergisi” (Translator’s note: a tax levied on an area where land values have risen), has not passed into law, the “commission” was not able to pay the remaining 110 thousand sterling pounds.
Erkmen went on arguing that “17 thousands 586 plots of land were “turkified” until so far in our country”.
Evaluating the reasons behind the lack of interest from the Greek Cypriots to apply to the “immovable property commission” as they did in the past, Erkmen alleged that this is due to the difficulties experienced to verify the owner of the property, due to the legal measures taken by the Greek Cypriot side and also due to the fact that the process is prolonged.
He went on adding that the Greek Cypriots in the past were not able to mortgage their immovable property in the “north”, but now, since they are able to do so in the banks, they do not apply to the “immovable property commission” anymore, as they did in the past.
Erkmen went on alleging that there are totally 166 hotels in the occupied areas of Cyprus and claimed that only 33 out of them are built in a Turkish Cypriot owned land.
Referring to the circular note send by the Republic of Cyprus to the Embassies and travel agencies abroad asking to warn the tourists not to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus and overnight stay at these hotels, Erkmen stressed the need for all hotels which are built to a Greek Cypriot land to be “turkified”, so that the tourists as he said, to have the right to move and visit freely the “TRNC” and the Greek Cypriots not to have this advantage in their hands anymore.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (03.05.19) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar, in statements during an event organized at the illegal “near east university”, referred inter alia, to the bad economic conditions in the occupied area of Cyprus and claimed that the Turkish Cypriot “people” want to see the UBP coming to power. He argued that they had not knocked the door of any party until now and alleged that they will not do so in the future. Tatar alleged that the UBP is ready to go to “early elections” and claimed that they would be able to form a “single party government”.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Tatar reiterated that it is not possible any more for a federal solution on the Cyprus problem to be realized. He stressed the need for putting to the negotiating table other alternatives for the solution of the Cyprus problem, such as the two state solution, a two state solution inside the EU or confederation. “This is the right thing to do. This is our proposal and we support it”, Tatar said.
On the forthcoming European Parliament elections, Tatar alleged that the allegation which is set forward by the candidate of AKEL party, Niyazi Kizilyurek that he would be the voice of the Turkish Cypriots at the EP, is nothing else than a game aiming to deceive the Turkish Cypriots. Tatar called on not to permit for this “propaganda” to take place in the “TRNC”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Manset (03.05.19) under the front-page title: “People’s Party on a decision-making stage”, reports that the People’s Party will gather this weekend for a two-day meeting in order to discuss in depth the crisis occurred in the so-called government.
The paper describes this two-day meeting of the party as very important and decisive since the People’s Party will discuss the economic difficulties in the “TRNC” deriving from the non-signing of the “economic protocol” with Turkey.
Invoking reliable sources, the paper writes that a great majority of the members of the party support that the “government” should break down and that the party should form a “government” with UBP. Also, a small minority does not see positively this perspective.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-continue-progress-within-free-market-erdogan-143104), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reiterated that his suggestion to form what he called the Alliance of Turkey is not an alternative to the ongoing alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), dubbed the People’s Alliance. (…)
Erdoğan had suggested the formation of the Alliance of Turkey with the participation of 82 million Turkish people to resolve the country’s fundamental problems. His suggestion was strongly rejected by MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli who expressed his concerns on the real motives of Erdoğan’s call.
Erdoğan sought to clarify what he meant by the Alliance of Turkey in his address on May 2. “We will persist in fighting by conserving our faith, history and culture. We have been seeking to adopt the ideal of uniting all of our 82 million citizens under the name of Alliance of Turkey,” he added.
Some circles have been refraining from this alliance, according to Erdoğan, and they are the ones “walking hand-in-hand with terrorist organizations,” a reference to the Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) unofficial partnership with the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in the municipal elections.
Erdoğan again accused the HDP of supporting the Nation’s Alliance, composed of the CHP and the Good Party, by not representing any candidates in the municipal elections in almost all big cities, including Ankara, Istanbul, the Aegean province of İzmir and the southern province of Antalya. The AKP considers the HDP as the political wing of the PKK. Ankara lists the PKK as a terrorist organization. “You do not enter elections by orders you take from mountains,” he stated, referring to the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq where the PKK has its main base.
Erdoğan also stated that many traps are being set in Turkey’s path, only to leave the country “indigent”, both politically and economically. (…) “Now, it is time to respond more strongly to the economic attacks we have been exposed to since last August,” he added.
Erdoğan reiterated his calls for 1.5 million members of the TOBB to contribute to the government’s fight against unemployment. “If each TOBB member recruits two workers, it would make 3 million workers. That would surely help us reach our goal of generating 2.5 million jobs until the end of this year,” the President said.
According to Turkish daily Sabah (03.05.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/05/03/talks-between-turkey-us-on-syria-positive-constructive-us-embassy-spox-says), talks between Turkey and the United States on Syria were "positive and constructive," a spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Ankara said Thursday.
RaeJean Stokes said U.S. Special Envoy for Syria James Jeffrey held a series of meetings Wednesday in Turkey's capital with senior Turkish officials including Defence Minister Hulusi Akar, Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Önal and Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın.
"The discussions focused on how we could advance issues of mutual concern in Syria, to include addressing Turkey's legitimate security concerns, promoting stability and security in northern Syria as the U.S. military draws down its presence and the implementation of UNSCR 2254 on the resolution of the Syrian conflict," she said. (…)
Stokes said the defeat of the Daesh terror group was another issue discussed by the U.S. and Turkey. "We continue to make progress in addressing our mutual concerns in Syria, and we look forward to continuing these discussions in the near future," she added.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily New (03.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prosecutors-probe-istanbul-election-irregularities-143097), prosecutors have launched 32 investigations into allegations of irregularities in Istanbul’s mayoral elections and summoned more than 100 polling station officials for questioning as suspects, just days before the election watchdog announces its verdict on whether the polls will be renewed or not.
According to a report by the state-run Anadolu Agency, investigations were launched upon criminal complaints filed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) as well as provincial electoral bodies over concerns that irregularities occurred in the nominations of polling station officials. (…)
The YSK’s probe into the AKP-MHP claims is expected to be concluded early next week. Both parties reiterate the need to annul the votes while the CHP calls on the YSK not to bow to political pressure.
“Our appeal to the YSK has been founded on an organized plot in the elections. Investigations have proven that all what we have claimed come out right,” the deputy AKP leader responsible for elections, Ali İhsan Yavuz, told a press conference on May 2. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (02.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkeys-supreme-court-rules-on-journalists-petitions/1468493), Turkey’s Supreme Court on Thursday evaluated the individual applications of the journalists who claimed their freedom of speech and rights were violated.
The journalists individually applied to the Supreme Court alleging that their detentions were not legal, their access to the investigation file was restricted and their freedom of speech was violated.
The journalists who appealed to the court included Bulent Utku, Mehmet Murat Sabuncu, Ahmet Kadri Gursel, Akin Atalay, Ahmet Sik, Murat Aksoy, Ali Bulac, Ahmet Husrev Altan and Nazli Ilicak.
The court ruled that Gursel and Aksoy's personal freedom and safety, and freedom of speech rights were violated.
However, the court did not see any violations against Sabuncu, Sik, Utku and Atalay, the defendants in Cumhuriyet Daily Case.
Meanwhile, the petitions of Ali Bulac -- a former columnist in FETO-linked Zaman Daily -- Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak -- jailed pending trial for their links with FETO terror group -- will be heard on Friday.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.05.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-64-feto-members-get-jail-terms/1468454), Turkish judges on Thursday handed jail terms to 64 people affiliated with the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, according to judicial authorities.
The FETO members were found guilty of leaking the civil service recruitment exam -- also known as KPSS -- in 2010, which they used to help them infiltrate state institutions. They were given prison sentences varying from six to 15 years.
Muhammet Sait Gulen, a nephew of Fetullah Gulen, the ringleader of the terror group, was slapped with a sentence of six years and three months. (…)
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