According to illegal Bayrak television (23.04.18, http://www.brtk.net/akinci-rum-liderler-uzun-yillar-yanlislar-pesinde-kostu/), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, as part of celebrations of the National Sovereignty and Children’s day on April 23, made a statement referring to the Cyprus issue.
Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side wants to live in peace and tranquillity, but argued that the Greek Cypriot leadership is making big mistakes like ENOSIS. He further argued: “The leaderships of the Greek Cypriot community for many years committed big mistakes. They did not know where to stop. They wanted to unite the whole island with Greece instead of pursuing a share, equal life in this island. They chased after the ENOSIS goal. If the island is divided today, it is because of the situation created by the Greek Cypriot leadership who could not know where to stop.”
Underlining that the Turkish Cypriots are always trying to protect their rights, Akinci said that they, as equal and free people, are looking for a solution which is acceptable within just parameters.
Akinci further said that the Turkish Cypriot side is once again at the same point today and added: “Again, we do not demand anything other than our rights. Again we are pursuing equality, freedom and security on this island”.
Stressing that they should be very careful at this point, Akinci said that there is no luxury to end up in the division of the island under this process that they are going through.
Akinci further said: “We do not have the luxury of quarrelling between us within this course of matters. I would like to underline this.”
According to illegal Bayrak television (21.04.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-cavusoglu-meet) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci had a meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus on Friday. The two men and their delegations held a comprehensive meeting and exchanged views regarding the latest developments on the island.
In a statement through his social media after the meeting, Akinci said: “We together with the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, held a tête-à-tête meeting the way we always do when he is visiting the TRNC and then we held a comprehensive meeting with the government and political party leaders that are represented at the parliament.
We exchanged views and evaluated the latest developments that are taking place on the island. We will continue to hold similar meetings in the future.”
Meanwhile, “BRT” (http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cavusoglus-visit-to-the-trnc) also reported that Cavusoglu held a variety of contacts while on his visit to the occupied area of Cyprus. After the working lunch with Akinci, he met with political party leaders that are represented in the “parliament”.
According to a press release by the “foreign ministry”, Cavusoglu arrived on the occupied area of Cyprus via a private jet at noon. He was greeted by the “deputy prime minister foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay and the illegal Turkish ambassador to the occupied area of Nicosia Derya Kanbay. Later, he met with Akinci.
After a tête-à-tête meeting with Akinci at his office, the delegation that came with the Turkish Foreign Minister joined the meeting. Following this, the leaders of political parties that have representation at the “parliament” joined in the meeting.
The meeting was attended by the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Huseyin Ozgurgun, the leader of the People’s Party (HP) and “deputy prime minister foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay, the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) and “minister for national education and culture” Cemal Ozyigit, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and “finance minister” Serdar Denktas and the leader of the Revival Party (YDP) Erhan Arikli.
No statements were made at the end of the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper’s (23.04.18) editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali refers today to the meeting held on Friday in the occupied area of Cyprus with the participation of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and the leaders of the political parties represented in the “assembly”. Mutluyakali reports that agreement on two issues was achieved and a “duty” was assigned during the above-mentioned meeting. “The proposal for a confederation was put onto the table, but not as a decision”, argues the columnist who cites sources claiming that what had been leaked until now regarding the content of the meeting “distorted or did not fully reflect” the “real facts”.
During the meeting “Turkey assigned everyone with the duty of considering the issue of whether we should submit now a proposal for a two-state-solution for the negotiations”. Noting that the sentences used in inverted are quotes from his sources, Mutluyakali writes the following:
“Two agreements came out on the table: ‘The thing on which everybody agrees is that at least for the current stage, the Greek Cypriot leadership experiences a serious problem on the issue of sharing, which is a sine qua non for the federal partnership. Another full agreement is that no one wants repetition of the same procedures. That is, they do not want negotiations without a result. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side seek for an agreement on the issue of what could substitute the current model. Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci opposed, within the framework of diplomatic curtesy, to the suggestion for us to propose a two-state solution for the negotiations. The chairmen of the political parties submitted their views in parallel to the known positions. The political parties should of course evaluate the process at their [competent] organs. Because Turkey is seeking for something, submitted a view and the quest for taking a joint decision advances’.
Cavusoglu has also put a desire on the table: ‘We do not wish an initiative until the elections’. The elections, of course, are the elections in Turkey.
Until now, I have tried to present a picture to you. Either we agree or not, Turkey is one of the substantial elements of this negotiating process and it will continue this kind of quests for views. Some of us will call this ‘imposition’ and some others ‘process of taking a joint decision’.
If this is not ‘diplomatic tactics’ towards the Greek Cypriots or ‘a public relations attempt’, this procedure seems to me like ‘ask for the impossible, protect the status quo’. Together with the new population dynamics in the northern part of the island, the ‘two-state-solution’ is the most desired solution model. This is not a secret. An ‘agreement’, however, is needed for the ‘two-state-solution’ as well. The ‘property’ problem is not lifted with the ‘two-state-solution’ as well. The Greek Cypriot property is still Greek Cypriot property. The model called ‘two-state-solution’ does also not explain the current ‘TRNC’. (In any case, this is the reason why no one, including Cavusoglu, refers to the recognition of the TRNC).
Just like in the north, the most desired solution model is the ‘two-state-solution’, there is an agreement in the south on the ‘Republic of Cyprus’ formula in which everybody will return to their homes. The problem of both of them is that they are not ‘realistic’. Therefore, ‘federation’ is the best formula ‘on which agreement can be achieved’ or ‘the most possible one’.
I cannot understand the following for Turkey: Why it does not consider the two-state-model for its own geographic area? […]
Conclusion: The solution or peace process in the Cyprus problem experiences a ‘deadlock’. In my view, the reason for this is not the discussion of the ‘federal solution model’. On the contrary, it is the fact that the ‘federal solution’ is not discussed. […] If federation is ‘difficult’, confederation is almost impossible. The view of ‘ask for the impossible, for things to remain the same’ reminds me of the old reason: ‘the non-solution is the solution’”.
Meanwhile, referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper’s (21.04.18) editor-in-chief Resat Akar cites “reliable sources” and reports that the political party leaders have achieved the “minimum convergences” on four points:
“- Almost everyone accepts that finding a solution with Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades is not possible.
- It is accepted that according to the current conditions, the Turkish Cypriot side advancing on its own way would be the correct thing to do.
- Ankara is asked to undertake initiatives for the embargoes against the TRNC to become ineffective.
- The two-state-solution formula predominates”.
The columnist notes also the following: “While it is noted that the two-separate-state formula in the internal matters would be the most correct one in case the Greek Cypriot side gets ready for a solution in the future, the doors for establishing a partnership on the external matters are not completely closed. Even though it has been accepted that these views which predominated in the Turkish Cypriot side should be conveyed by Foreign Minister Cavusoglu to UNSG Guterres, it is alleged that president Mustafa Akinci does not want to give the message to the Turkish Cypriot people that ‘this matter has completely closed’. Akinci had asked for people’s vote for finding a solution. Therefore, he tries not to face the reaction of the circles which do not wish to see the Greek Cypriot side’s intransigence. […]”
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.04.18) referred to the issue writing that “federation is gone, confederation has come” and that no statement was made after the meeting, but according to leakage of information, Cavusoglu said that the time has now come to discuss the confederation or the two-state-solution with the Greek Cypriots. According to the paper, Akinci replied that he could not take such a proposal to the negotiating table. It is reported that Cavusoglu’s proposal was supported by the National Unity Party (UBP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the People’s Party (HP), while the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that only their competent organs could take such a decision. According to the same information, the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP) opposed this proposal.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.04.18) covered the issue under the banner- front-page title “In the fridge until the elections”. The paper’s editor-in-chief, Basaran Duzgun reports that Cavusoglu’s illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus followed an unusual course and that no statements were made after the meeting at Akinci’s office.
Duzgun writes that Cavusoglu expressed the view that it would not be correct for a new process in the Cyprus problem to start before the elections to be held in Turkey on 24 June. “Even though the participants in the meeting expressed different views, in the end they agreed”, he notes.
Finally, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (23.04.18) columnist Gokhan Altiner reports that according to some allegations, after the 24 June elections in Turkey, President Erdogan “might exhibit a strong will in the direction of a quick solution to the Cyprus problem’. “And if there is no solution, the TRNC could be turned into an autonomous structure bound to Turkey”, notes the columnist recalling a statement made some weeks ago by Cavusoglu who had said that “new ways might be attempted if there was no solution is Cyprus”. According to the columnist, Turkey did not react against Akinci’s decision to attend the dinner with President Anastasiades on 16 April, but it has “conveyed its sensitivities” to Akinci as regards the elections to be held in Turkey on 24 June. Turkey does not want any activity on the Cyprus problem until after the elections, the columnist reports.
According to illegal Bayrak television (21.04.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=namis-ankara-contacts), self-styled economy and energy minister Ozdil Nami held a variety of contacts in Ankara this week.
He embarked on his contacts with a visit to the Turkish deputy Prime Minister in Charge of Cyprus Affair Recep Akdag.
Speaking during the visit, Akdag said that they had carried out a variety of works within the framework of the economic cooperation between the “TRNC” and Turkey and added that they aim to accelerate their efforts throughout the year.
Drawing attention to the need for embracing the Cyprus issue as an issue of development, Akdag said that they will work for the development, prosperity and comfort of the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Nami, for his part, called for “the removal of the unjust isolation and embargoes imposed against the TRNC” and added: “I am calling on all European countries and the world to establish bilateral relations with the TRNC”.
Later on in the day Nami together with the Turkish Minister for Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Ozlu attended the Standardisation and Conformity Assessment Protocol signing ceremony that took place between the “economy and energy ministry” and the Turkish Standards Institute.
Speaking during the ceremony Ozlu said that”in the TRNC together with minister Nami they would be establishing an industrial area”.
Nami, for his part, said that they gave great importance to the protocol signed between the two “countries” and added that they were determined for this protocol to come into force.
Meanwhile, Nami later met with the Turkish Minister for Economy Nihat Zeybekci.
Speaking during the visit Minister Zeybekci said that they were carrying out works in order for the Turkish Lira to be made obligator while trading between Turkey and the “TRNC”.
Nami, for his part, reiterated his call for the reportedly inhumane and unjust embargoes imposed against the “TRNC” to be removed and noted that the Republic of Turkey is the only country that fully supports the “TRNC” in its struggle against embargoes.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.04.18) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has claimed that no one is enthusiastic for the Cyprus negotiating process. In an interview with Yeni Duzen, Talat alleged:
“It is not clear what will happen regarding the process. The negotiating proves was interrupted, collapsed. There is an awful mistrust. This mistrust is for all four sides. There is also the reality that in case the UN does not see that a will exists in the sides, it will not undertake an initiative […] The [UN] does not trust the sides. The resumption of an activity by the UN, the launching of an initiative for solving the problem and for this to be within the framework of the Guterres proposals is seen as the only way out now. […] A solution is possible only if the Greek Cypriots start wanting this. The international conditions will secure this […]”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.04.18) reports that the Left Movement (SH) called on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to share with the “public” what he discussed with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu who paid a brief illegal visit to the breakaway regime during the weekend.
Andullah Korkmazhan, who issued the statement in the name of SK, said that Akinci must share if the rumors that the Cyprus negotiations will be launched again before the Turkish election on June 24 and if the idea of federation is to be abandoned.
Commenting on the latter, Korkmazhan stated that this will mean the partition of Cyprus and the end of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (21.04.18) reported that a delegation from the “Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KTSO)” visited Kenya and Sudan last week in an initiative to “export” their products.
According to a press release by the “KTSO”, it was decided to improve their relations with the Chambers of Trade of both countries and to hold new visits to these countries.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.04.18) reports that a license for a new casino was given behind the scenes for a new hotel that was constructed in occupied Keryneia under the name Kaya Palazzo Hotel.
The paper argues that “ministers” Kudret Ozersay, Zeki Celler and Aysegul Baybars were against the granting of permission for a new casino; however this obstacle was overcome with the intervention of Serdar Denktas. “It was learned that this permission was given with instructions by Tayyip Erdogan”, the paper writes.
The so-called ombudsman will evaluate “if the license is valid or not”, according to Afrika.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/15-chp-mps-quit-and-join-iyi-party-to-secure-its-participation-in-snap-election-130692), 15 main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers quit their party on April 22 and joined İYİ (Good) Party in a bid to secure the latter’s participation in the upcoming early presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.
“Upon the instruction of our party’s leader, 15 of our friends joined İYİ Party as a precautionary measure to prevent problems occurring right at the beginning of the election period,” CHP spokesman leader Bulent Tezcan announced at a press conference in Parliament alongside the lawmakers who resigned.
“It is a step to eliminate obstacles on our way to democracy,” Tezcan said. “Our friends are acting as shields against efforts to undermine democracy. They will go down in history as heroes,” he added.
İYİ Party deputy leader Aytun Ciray had applied to the YSK on April 22 with the signatures of the 15 lawmakers.
According to Turkish law, a political party has to finalize its organization process in more than half of the cities in Turkey and hold its first convention six months before the election date.
İYİ Party held its first congress with the establishment committee last December, however, finalized its provincial congresses on Feb. 26. It was a matter of discussion whether the YSK would take this date into account to calculate the necessary six-month period.
If a political party has a group in Parliament with 20 lawmakers, it will have the right to participate in the elections and present a presidential candidate. The party also becomes eligible to get financial aid from the Treasury for the elections.
Stating that the İYİ Party was on the list of the prosecutor’s office and the YSK would have to acknowledge it, CHP deputy group leader Engin Altay said the delay was a “politically motivated move”.
“Our colleagues’ resignation from our party is a democratic measure, not a political one, to eliminate the board’s politically motivated moves and to make democracy win,” he added.
The 15 lawmakers who quit the CHP to join the İYİ Party are Burcu Koksal, Mustafa Tuncer, Nihat Yesil, Huseyin Yıldız, Ahmet Akın, Mehmet Göker, Nurhayat Altaca Kayışoğlu, Erkan Aydın, Tufan Köse, Okan Gaytancıoğlu, Tacettin Bayır, Çetin Arık, Fatma Kaplan Hürriyet, Ömer Fethi Gürer and Ünal Demirtaş.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-mhp-slam-chps-support-for-iyi-party-ahead-of-snap-election-130719), the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have criticized the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) over its decision to send 15 lawmakers to the İYİ (Good) Party in order to make it eligible for early elections.
“Those who speak about democracy, those who talk about principled alliances, are resorting to dirty games. This shows a complete situation of political decay,” MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said on April 22. “These corrupt politicians will no doubt get their response at the polls for scheming against our nation’s democratic acquisitions,” Bahceli added.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also criticized the opposition parties. “Fifteen lawmakers have quitted the CHP and joined another party,” Zeybekci said during a meeting of the AKP’s youth organization in Denizli.
“Why? They have left aside all their principles and come together for one reason: To target [President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are making plans on how to harm Turkey,” he added.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/supreme-board-of-elections-approves-iyi-party-to-participate-in-snap-vote-130714), the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) has approved the participation of the İYİ (Good) Party in the upcoming elections after 15 main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers joined the party in order to ensure its entrance to the elections.
The board approved İYİ Party’s application on April 22 with seven of nine members’ votes in favour.
According to the YSK’s decision, the list of political parties that will be able to participate in the upcoming elections is the following: The Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Independent Turkey Party (BTP), the Grand Union Party (BBP), the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Democrat Party (DP), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the İYİ (Good) Party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), the Felicity Party (FP) and the Homeland Party (VP).
The decision came after İYİ Party Deputy Chair Aytun Çıray applied to the YSK on April 22 to enter the elections with a letter after 15 CHP lawmakers resigned from their party and joined the İYİ Party.
The CHP lawmakers’ move raised the number of the İYİ Party’s seats in Parliament to 20, the minimum number required to form a parliamentary group.
As political parties with a group in parliament have the right to enter elections, Çıray then applied to the YSK with a letter, demanding the commencement of a procedure for the party’s electoral participation.
“The İYİ Party has fulfilled the conditions stipulated by article 36 of the Political Parties’ Law, forming a parliamentary group, which is stated as one of the preconditions to enter elections,” the letter stated.
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (23.04.18) publishes an opinion poll conducted by the Gezici research firm, between 14-15 of April in Turkey, regarding the forthcoming elections that will be held on June 24.
According to the poll, the new Turkish President will not be elected from the first round since no one of the potential candidates can receive 50% plus one vote. In addition, according to the poll 72% of the persons participated in the survey stated that that the current President Tayyip Erdogan and the leader of the New Party Meral Aksener will pass to the second round of the presidential elections.
The poll shows that 48,6% of the persons asked believe that the economy in the biggest problem in Turkey. In addition, 43,5% support Erdogan for the election, 18,6% support Aksener, 11.1% supports Ahmet Turk, 9,7% the leader of the Republican Turkish Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu, 9.5% supports Ilker Basbug , 5.3% supports Abdullah Gull and 1,5% supports Temel Karamollaglu, the leader of the Felicity Party.
In case Aksener and Erdogan pass to the second round, she receives 41,8% and he receives 45,6% with the number of undecided persons to reach 12,6%. In case Gul and Erdogan go to the second round, Gul will received 23,5%, Erdogan 42,8% and the undecided votes reach 33,7%.
Regarding the power of the parties, AKP receives 45.8%, CHP 19.7%, the pro Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) receiveds 9,7%, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) receives 7% and the Felicity Party (SP) receives 0,8%.
Under the title “Austria plans to ban Turkish politicians campaigning for June elections”, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (21.04.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2018/04/21/eu-minister-slams-netherlands-austria-for-undemocratic-move-over-election-campaign), reported that Turkey’s EU Minister Omer Celik criticized the Netherlands' "undemocratic" decision to follow Austria's lead to ban Turkish politicians from campaigning for the upcoming snap elections in Turkey, accusing both countries of hypocrisy for being in favour of democracy in Europe but the opposite outside of the bloc.
In a statement posted on his official Twitter account, Celik claimed that the leaders of both countries welcome anti-Turkey and xenophobic political movements.
"It is evident that Austrian Chancellor [Sebastian Kurz] and Dutch [Prime Minister Mark Rutte] do not base such decisions on democratic values and greet anti-Turkey and racist political movements," Celik argued, adding that these leaders contribute to the growth of racist groups which oppose European values.
The Minister urged the Netherlands and Austria to act using common-sense and refrain from damaging democratic values, which threatens the rise of populism and animosity in the political sphere.
He criticized the hypocritical stance of both countries by saying that they should not defend democracy solely for the bloc but should defend the same principles when it comes to countries outside of the bloc.
"If they really want their words regarding democracy to be credible, they should make decisions without the influence of anti-Turkey sentiment" he added.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.18), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in New York on Sunday to attend a UN meeting on peace.
According to a Foreign Ministry statement, Cavusoglu is in New York to attend a high-level meeting on building and sustaining peace set for April 24-25 at the UN headquarters.
Cavusoglu will address the UN General Assembly on Turkey’s contributions and approach to UN efforts to build and sustain peace, the statement said.
Cavusoglu will also meet with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts at the meeting's side-lines, and speak with Turkish and U.S. media outlets, the statement added.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.18, https://aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-slams-us-report-on-human-rights/1125090), Turkey on Sunday criticized the U.S. State Department Human Rights Report for privileging the views of terrorist-linked sources and ignoring the facts.
Turkey is “deeply disappointed” by the report, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on the annual report, released on Friday.
“The present report is based on a distant understanding of responsibility by presenting the allegations and accusations of terrorist-related circles as real,” it argued. The report “is filled with allegations and claims in the section relevant to our country that cannot be accepted,” said the Ministry.
It added that the report paints Turkey’s measures as part of its just and legitimate fight against terrorist groups such as Daesh, the YPG/PKK, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and the DHKP-C in a biased way that does not fit the facts.
The statement said the report ignores Turkey’s fight against “the radical terror group FETO” or Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind a defeated 2016 coup attempt, adding: “It is not a coincidence that such a report, which repeats the sayings of terror-linked groups and describes the fight against terrorism as ‘internal conflict’, is written in a country where FETO’s ringleader lives.”
“In addition, we advise countries that accuse our country of unfair claims to first stop systematic human rights violations against their own citizens,” said the Ministry statement.
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