Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (07.05.19), reports that today is a critical day for the “four-party coalition government”, a day that may even determine its future. According to the paper, upon a request of the “deputy prime minister” and leader of People’s Party (HD) Kudret Ozersay the “council of ministers” will discuss in a meeting today the list of the plots that the “government” gave for rent.
The paper writes that “minister of finance” Serdar Denktas is expected to give information as regards the building plots concer his family that are among the plots that the “government” gave for rent.
Ozersay stated that his party wants all the rent contacts to be cancelled. He said that HP has never found right the renting of plots to first degree relatives of members of the “ministers’ council”. He also said that the party does not accept the fact that such an action was taken by its (“coalition government”) partners, despite knowing that HP was against it. “We want this transaction to be cancelled”, he stated.
Under the title “Hasipoglu: Akinci has given a wrong figure”, Turkish Cyrpiot daily Star Kibris (07.05.19) reports that Oguzhan Hasipoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), argued that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci gave wrong data during the Cyprus talks in 2015 regarding the number of the Turkish Cypriots. He added that this can be proved by a letter that he received from the “prime ministry”.
According to Hasipoglu, Akinci gave data to the Greek Cypriot side that the total population of the Turkish Cypriots was 220,000 from where the 190,000 were living in the occupied area of Cyprus and the 30,000 abroad.
Moreover, Hasipoglu argued that according to the written information obtained from the “prime ministry”, the number of the Turkish Cypriots who live abroad, was not included in the number of 220,000. He added that “he was informed that their population as from 2018 is 351,048” and wondered how in a period of three years, the difference is 130,000 persons.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris(07.05.19) reports that various church assets were stolen by a group of four persons in the occupied area of Cyprus. The paper notes that among the group there is an imam.
Among the stolen items are candlesticks and bells.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (07.05.19) reports that the “judiciary” in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus was annoyed by two publications of Haberci newspaper, which belongs to businessmen Bulut Akacan.
The “attorney general’s office” is preparing to file “lawsuits” against Haberci regarding two front-page articles under the titles “Politics meddled in judiciary” and “Facebook’s judges”, notes the paper adding that when these articles were published, many copies of Haberci newspaper were placed on the benches in the yard of the “court” in occupied Nicosia. Noting that this caused “serious annoyance” within the “legal community”, the paper writes that a team at the “attorney general’s office” is examining other news and articles published in the above-mentioned paper, examining further “lawsuits”.
On 12 January 2019, Akacan had been taken to “court” for a case against him. When he came out of the “court” room, he turned to the journalists who were there and shouted that “the government interferes in judiciary and the police” and that “it turned the case into a political one and it is showing off”.
Under the title “More inflation than in Turkey”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (07.05.19) reports that while the monthly cost of living the last four months in the occupied area of Cyprus has been determined as 5.72%, the inflation rate in Turkey at the same period (Jan-April 2019) was 4%. When comparing figures between Turkey and the “TRNC” [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus], Turkey has a lower rate 1.72% in terms of “inflation” and “expensiveness”.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (06.05.17-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-says-ties-with-non-nato-countries-not-alternative-143201) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 6 at a meeting of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue partners, that the “legitimate” rights of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean Sea are “unquestionable”, elaborating on recent tension in the region over drilling activities for energy resources.
“Turkey is determined to protect its own rights and those of the Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean”, said Erdogan and called for NATO’s support to Turkey to prevent tension in the region. “Our country may have different views on some issues. But consistent co-operation with common threats is a prerequisite for this alliance,” he added.
The troubles experienced in this region “will give the greatest damage to our alliance, the reputation of the alliance,” he stated.
Erdogan said further that the relations Turkey has developed with different countries and regions are “not alternatives to each other, they are complementary”.
“We do not accept the attempt to exacerbate such debate because of the S-400 issue,” he said, referring to the Russian-made anti-missile defense systems that Ankara is purchasing from Moscow amid U.S. objection.
Producing speculations about Turkey’s trend in this issue means “not understanding” the country’s history and its geographical location, he said. “We care that the Mediterranean basin, which we see as the cradle of civilization, is in peace.”
Before addressing the gathering, Erdogan met NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, who is paying a two-day visit to Turkey for the 25th anniversary of the Mediterranean Dialogue, where he will chair a North Atlantic Council (NAC) meeting as well.
In his speech, Erdogan also called on NATO to take measures against terrorist organizations, in an indirect reference to the YPG in Syria. “We have only one expectation from our allies. We expect only our allies in NATO to act in accordance with the spirit of the alliance, and to adopt their founding values. We want our allies to take measures against the structures they regard as a terrorist organization.”
“There is no justification for the terrorist organizations being equipped with our allies,” he said, criticizing the welcoming of leaders of these groups by some NATO member countries.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Sabah (07.05.19-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/05/07/erdogan-turkeys-only-expectation-from-nato-is-to-act-as-a-proper-ally) reports that Erdogan also mentioned the S-400 purchase from Russia, which has caused ongoing debates with the U.S, saying that the purchase is a matter of national security and should be evaluated in that respect. "The relationships that Turkey develops with different regions and countries are not alternatives to each other but instead complementary to each other," Erdogan underlined.
Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (06.05.17- http://www.mfa.gov.tr/no_128_-abd-disisleri-bakanligi-nin-5-mayis-tarihli-aciklamasi-hk.en.mfa), publishes in its official website the following press release regarding the press statement of the US Department of State, dated 5 May 2019:
“The press statement of the US Department of State dated 5 May 2019 concerning Turkey’s drilling activities in its own continental shelf is unrealistic.
Turkey has made its position explicitly clear regarding its continental shelf in the Eastern Mediterranean since 2004.
Since then, we have brought to the attention of the relevant countries and the international community that the Greek Cypriot Administration’s EEZ delimitation agreements with the countries in the region are not valid for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots and one of these agreements violates Turkey’s continental shelf rights. Similarly, Turkey has announced to the international community and registered with the UN its continental shelf in the region. Delimitation agreements based on equitable principles in accordance with the international law have not yet been concluded among all relevant coastal states in the region.
Therefore, the attempts of the third parties to act as an international court in determining maritime boundaries is unacceptable. In this context, the statement of the US calling Turkey by expressing that ‘there exist Greek Cypriot claims over the area’ is neither constructive nor compatible with international law, given the fact that there is no valid maritime delimitation agreement in the region.
Our drilling and seismic vessels will resolutely continue their activities in our continental shelf in the areas where our Government granted the Turkish Petroleum licenses in 2009 and 2012.
Likewise, unless the Greek Cypriots include the Turkish Cypriots, as the equal partners of the Island, into the decision making mechanisms regarding hydrocarbon resources or cease their unilateral hydrocarbon activities, Turkey will continue to protect the continental shelf rights of the Turkish Cypriots as well”.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkish-foreign-minister-nato-chief-meet-in-ankara-/1471836) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg met on Monday in capital Ankara and discussed NATO-EU relations and Turkey's purchase of S-400 air defense system.
Cavusoglu and Stoltenberg gathered at the Cankaya Palace in Ankara on the occasion of NATO's 25th Mediterranean Dialogue meeting.
In a Twitter post, Cavusoglu said: "[We] made evaluations on a wide range of issues including NATO-EU relations and Turkey's S-400 purchase. Discussed the preparations of the NATO Heads of State and Government meeting to be held in London".
Speaking at the forum, Stoltenberg said that NATO was determined to improve security in the Middle East and North Africa.
Stressing that the world was becoming more complicated and interconnected, he said that taking precautions against terror was better than interventions.
Stoltenberg also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his visit. "Pleased to be back in Ankara to meet with [President] Erdogan," the NATO chief wrote on Twitter ahead of his meeting with Erdogan.
"Turkey is a highly valued ally and NATO stands in solidarity with Turkey as it faces serious security challenges," Stoltenberg went on to say.
Later speaking at a joint news conference, Cavusoglu stressed the need for cooperation to fight terrorism and irregular migration. “We should understand that we cannot reach [desired] results by being selective in these issues,” Cavusoglu said.
Touching upon Ankara’s procurement of air defense system S-400 from Russia, he said NATO knows best Turkey’s need for these systems, as the alliance closely follows the threats in the region.
For his part, Stoltenberg said it is Turkey’s own decision to purchase S-400 air and missile defense system. "But at the same time, I am concerned about the potential consequences of the decision to buy S-400. Because U.S. has made it clear that they will impose sanctions," he said.
Commenting on Turkey's role in NATO, he said that Turkey is “an important and highly valued NATO ally”.
“Turkey also plays an important role in NATO’s new training mission in Iraq. It is strengthening Iraq’s security forces to help ensure that Daesh terror group can never return”, Stoltenberg added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/election-body-rules-in-favor-of-re-run-of-istanbul-elections-143202) reported that Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced a do-over of Istanbul local elections on May 6 after it made deliberations on an appeal filed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which wanted to annul and re-run the March 31 local elections in Istanbul, 36 days after the opposition’s candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, won to become Mayor of the country’s largest city.
YSK announced that a do-over election in Istanbul will be held on June 23. The council members accepted AKPs objection to the local election results in Istanbul with seven votes in favor and four against.
According to the YSK, the decision was taken as some presiding officers and polling staffs, who are supposed to be civil servants as per Turkish law, served during the elections.
The mayoral certificate of İmamoglu has also been cancelled by the council.
Earlier, YSK convened under the leadership of its chair Sadi Güven on May 6 in a bid to evaluate the results of the works carried out by the watchdog’s provincial electoral bodies in Istanbul.
The YSK’s 11 judges first met in a meeting with the participation of the representatives of political parties before holding a separate discussion to decide on the Istanbul polls. The AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) filed an extraordinary appeal seeking the cancellation of the Istanbul polls due to what they say were marred by irregularities that resulted in election results to the disadvantage to their candidate, Binali Yıldırım.
The difference in votes between the two was less than 14,000. The main opposition Republican People's Party’s (CHP) İmamoglu started his job as mayor of Istanbul after his mandate was given to him on April 17.
The AKP and the MHP argued that some 40,000 ineligible voters participated in the elections and the appointments of many polling station officials were done against regulations.
Also state-run Anadolu Agency had reported on May 5 that a criminal probe launched into irregularities resulted in finding 43 officials “linked to FETÖ.”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/top-headline/-decision-to-rerun-istanbul-elections-based-on-law-/1472111) reports that Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said late Monday that the decision to rerun local elections in Istanbul was taken on the basis of law and everyone should respect it.
In a written statement, the Ministry said that the March 31 local elections were observed by a delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, who said they were "impressed by the proficiency” of the Supreme Election Council (YSK).
The statement said that the YSK had assessed the appeals lodged by use of legal rights concerning various provinces and towns and had passed decisions and while the YSK rejected some of the appeals, it concluded to rerun the elections in Istanbul.
"Everyone should respect this decision that was taken on the basis of law. We do not accept politically motivated criticism by some of our foreign interlocutors regarding this decision and the Supreme Election Council," it said.
The statement said further that Turkey has already proven its democratic maturity. "The decision of the independent Supreme Election Council aims at ensuring the manifestation of the will of the electorate without any doubt," it added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/imamoglu-condemns-decision-to-re-run-istanbul-polls-143204) reported that the Electoral board’s decision to re-run Istanbul elections was condemned by Ekrem İmamoglu from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) who won the mayor's race for Istanbul on March 31 local elections but whose mayoral certificate was canceled by the Supreme Election Council (YSK) on May 6.
Speaking at an event in Istanbul, İmamoglu said he will meet with the head of his party Kemal Kilicdaroglu and other party executives and will take the "most correct" decision. "Nobody should have a doubt about that," he said.
İmamoglu added that they will surprise those who expect trouble and unpleasantness from them.
The YSK on May 6 announced that a do-over election in Istanbul would be held on June 23.
The council members accepted the AKP's objection to the election results, with seven votes in favor and four against.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/top-headline/new-istanbul-polls-not-for-any-party-s-benefit-/1472112) reports that the Spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party Omer Celik said on Monday that the decision to rerun local elections in Istanbul was not aimed at safeguarding any party’s interests.
Speaking at a press conference at party headquarters, Celik said that the Supreme Election Council (YSK) did not announce another winner of the mayoral elections but ordered that they be rerun due to some irregularities.
"This issue is not about protecting the interests of the AK Party or another party," Celik said.
He added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also welcomed the decision.
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