A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (16.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akdag-in-the-trnc-2), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister also in charge of Cyprus Affairs Recep Akdag paid illegal visits to “state and government officials” today as part of his contacts in the “TRNC”.
He met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman and self-styled deputy prime minister foreign minister Kudret Ozersay respectively.
His visit with Akinci was conducted closed to the press.
During his visit to Erhurman, Akdag referred to the events that are taking place in Palestine and said that the criminal acts of the Israelis are very saddening. “The country that is making its voice heard most regarding this issue is us and this is how it will continue. It is our duty to support our Muslim brothers”, Akdag added.
Noting that the Turkish Cypriot “people” were one of the “nations” that knew all too well the cruelty that is being experienced in Palestine, the Turkish deputy Prime Minister said that Turkey will always support the Turkish Cypriot “people”.
Noting that Turkey knew very well the importance of its guarantee in Cyprus and was once again reminded of this with the current events in Israel, Akdag said: “It is our duty to provide security and protection for the Turkish Cypriots. We cannot separate our past, present or future”.
He said that Turkey will accelerate cooperation with the “TRNC” in order for “northern Cyprus” to develop and for peace and prosperity to increase in the “country”.
Erhurman, for his part, said that what was being experienced in Palestine had deeply saddened the Turkish Cypriots as well and added that the developments were unacceptable. He said that the developments were raising questions regarding peace in the region and added that the reactions coming from around the world were not sufficient. “In regards to world peace this situation is worrisome”, said Erhurman.
Meanwhile tonight the Turkish deputy Prime Minister will take part in a fast breaking dinner given by the Cyprus Vakıflar Administration.
The Fast Breaking dinner and program will take place at the occupied part of Lefkosia Selimiye Mosque [Cathedral of Saint Sophia] square.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.05.18) reports that with activities held yesterday in the occupied part of Nicosia and occupied Famagusta, the killing of Palestinians by the Israeli army during protests for transferring the US Embassy to Jerusalem was condemned.
A protest and a symbolic blood donation were held at “Eastern Mediterranean University” (“DAU”) in occupied Famagusta. Students of the “university” shouted slogans against Israel, the US and President Trump.
Moreover, members of the so-called “association of global love and brotherhood” gathered in Saray Square in the occupied part of Nicosia shouting slogans in Arabic and holding banners saying that “Jerusalem is Islam’s capital” and “Murderer Israel get out of Palestine”.
Furthermore, the Israeli attack was condemned by six Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the “assembly”. Speaking on behalf of the parties, Teberruken Ulucay, “speaker” of the “body” called on the UN Security Council and the international community not to remain silent in front of these attacks.
Meanwhile, the self-styled ministry of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime issued a written statement yesterday condemning Israel and the US, claiming that they have committed a serious mistake which puts peace in danger. The “ministry” called on the international community and mainly the UN and the EU to get in action and take measures against these serious developments.
Finally, the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the Left Movement, the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOS), the Foreign Press Union and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce have also condemned the Israeli attack.
According to illegal Bayrak television (16.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=statement-by-deputy-pm-and-foreign-ministry), so-called deputy prime ministry and foreign ministry condemned the US and Israel.
A press release by the “ministry” argued: “We advise those who are having difficulty to understand or who do not want to understand why the Turkish Cypriot people demand an active guarantee system for its security to carefully watch the developments in Palestine”. It added that the violence targeting civilians in front of the world in the 21 century has once again proven that the security was still one of the most important factors for the existence of a community.
The “ministry” expressed deep sadness over the loss of lives which resulted from the fait accompli attempted to be created by ignoring the rights and sensitivities of the Palestinians in the soil of Palestine.
“The US in contrast to the understanding of solving the international law and conflicts through peaceful methods and similar to its stance on Arab-Israeli wars has once again put its signature on another serious mistake which would endanger peace. We condemn the US for causing these incidents which claimed the lives of people in front of the world and Israel for using disproportionate gun force against civilians” the statement said.
“We, as the TRNC once again remind the importance of abstaining from approaches which would trigger violence in this region and in other regions of the world where there are continuing international disputes and the need for solving the disputes through a peaceful dialogue”, the statement claimed and added: “Hereby, we invite the UN, the EU and other international organs and communities to take action against these serious developments.”
“We attach importance and support a development that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation will hold an extraordinary meeting upon a call made by Turkey to discuss the incidents. We, as the TRNC will take part in that meeting to show our will to be a part of the international community and to support the people of Palestine” the statement said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.05.18) reports that Sunat Atun, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that the “government” had annulled the “citizenship” of some businessmen, including some leading industrialists from Turkey and the world. Addressing the “assembly” yesterday, Atun alleged that “if we will promote the TRNC abroad, we need volunteer ambassadors” and asked from the “government” to reevaluate the issue.
Referring to the same issue, Bertan Zaroglu, “deputy” with the settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), alleged that some “citizenships” were “illegally” annulled. Giving an example regarding a person who had come to the occupied area of the island when he was four years old and travelled abroad only for ten days, Zaroglu asked why the “citizenship” of this person was annulled and alleged that the “cabinet” is not obliged to explain why it grants “citizenships”, but it must do this when it annuls “citizenships”.
Replying to Zaroglu, Aygul Baybars, self-styled interior minister, argued that his statements derive from rumors and not from knowledge. She added that the decisions of the “council of ministers” constitute “administrative acts” and therefore they must be justified and this justification must be announced. She also said that some “citizenships” were annulled after “serious legal examination” and the decision for their annulment was justified.
Meanwhile, Turkish lawyer Hakan Athan, who is one of the 175 persons the “citizenship” of whom was annulled with the “decision of the council of ministers”, told Kibris Postasi that he was informed from the media that his “citizenship” had been annulled and wondered what crime he had committed and what was his “illegal” action, adding that he has seven apartments in occupied Keryneia and one plot of land in occupied Famagusta. Noting that he comes to the occupied area of Cyprus since 2015, Athan said that the value of his property in the occupied area is around five trillion Turkish liras (TL) and that after the annulment of his “citizenship” he will be allowed to have only one apartment within the framework of his “permanent residence permit”. Recalling that he is a lawyer in Istanbul, Athan wondered to whom and how he will transfer his apartments and added that the cost of transferring each one of them reaches 30 thousand TL.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (17.05.18) reports that the mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia municipality met yesterday with the Mayor of the Sor Varanger Municipality of Norway, Rune Gjertin Rafaelsen.
According to a written statement issued by the municipality in the occupied part of Lefkosia, Harmanci briefed Rafaelsen about the municipality’s works and its future projects.
Moreover, during the meeting, Harmanci and Rafaelsen exchanged views on a possible cooperation between the two municipalities in the cultural field.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (16.05.18) reports that the leaders of the “four-party coalition government”, Tufan Erhurman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and so-called prime minister, Kudret Ozersay, leader of the People’s Party (HP) and so-called foreign minister, Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and so-called minister of finance and Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) and so-called minister of education, evaluated yesterday to Diyalog TV, the first 100 days since “coming to power”.
According to the paper, all party leaders agreed that they had accomplished the majority of their goals within the period of the first 100 days since “coming to power”, alleging that among the “government’s priorities” are the “reforms in the public sector and local administration”, the “reinforcement of the “immovable property compensation committee” and also to take measures on the “economy”.
The party leaders agreed further that the “government’s works continue in harmony” and announced that the “four-party coalition government” will continue its cooperation for the next four years.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.05.18) reports that according to a written statement by the “mayor” of the occupied Keryneia “municipality”, Nidai Gungordu, the “municipality” has “signed a cooperation agreement” on November 3, 2017, envisaging the transformation of the building which was used by the so-called Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command (“KTBK”) during 1974 as “military headquarters” to a museum.
According to Gungordu, in exchange for this, the “municipality”, has signed an “agreement with the director of the Yusuf Elgun Construction Company in order to build a 20 units guesthouse and a kitchen compartment with a 3,000 person’s capacity for the “KTBK”.
Gungordu stated further that they had opened tenders for both “projects” on March 16, 2018 adding that the project for the building of the kitchen compartment will be completed in 8 months and will cost 1 million 580 thousand TL, while the second project for the construction of the guesthouse will be completed in 11 months and will cost 2 million 457 thousand TL.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-says-israeli-prime-minister-has-blood-on-his-hands-131874), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 15 accused Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having the “blood of Palestinians on his hands” following indiscriminate killings by Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza Strip.
“Netanyahu is the Prime Minister of an apartheid state that has occupied a defenseless people’s lands for 60 years in violation of United Nations Resolutions,” Erdogan tweeted.
“He has the blood of Palestinians on his hands and can’t cover up crimes by attacking Turkey. Want a lesson in humanity? Read the 10 commandments,” he added.
In a response statement, Netanyahu said that “Erdogan is among Hamas’s biggest supporters and there is no doubt that he well understands terrorism and slaughter. I suggest that he won’t preach morality to us.”
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolian news agency (15.05.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-to-never-accept-jerusalem-as-israeli-capital/1147105) reported that Turkey will never accept the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday. “We will never accept US attempt to move Embassy to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israeli capital,” Erdogan said in a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May following their meeting in London.
Erdogan said the U.S. government’s “indifferent policies” encouraged Israel more on occupation and violence in Palestine. “Israel took these steps with a logic of ‘I am might, therefore I am right’”, the President said, adding “Israel is the occupier there and it continues terrorizing [Palestinians].”
He called on the international community and the UN “to act without wasting time and stop this oppression” in Palestine.
Reminding the UN General Assembly vote on the U.S. decision of recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Erdogan said 128 countries rejected the U.S. move.
“History will not forgive you [US], we will see this reality; history will never forgive Israel, we will see this too,” Erdogan added.
The Turkish President underlined that a “strong message” from Istanbul will be given to the world on Friday as Turkey, as the term president of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, called an emergency meeting over the killings in Gaza.
British Prime Minister May, for her part, called for an “independent and transparent investigation” to find out what happened in Gaza yesterday. “The loss of life we have seen is tragic and extremely concerning. Such violence is destructive to peace efforts and we call on all sides to show restraint,” she added.
“There is an urgent need to establish the facts on what happened […], including why such a volume of live fire was used and what part Hamas played,” she said.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.05.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-asks-israeli-envoy-to-leave-country/1146710), Turkey on Tuesday asked the Israeli Ambassador to leave the country following indiscriminate violence and killings by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border, diplomatic sources said.
The Foreign Ministry summoned Ambassador Eitan Naeh and told him it would be "appropriate" for him to return to his country "for a while", said the sources, who refused to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (16.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/16/turkey-expels-israels-consul-general-to-istanbul-in-spat-over-gaza-violence) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday told Israel's Consul General in Istanbul Yosef Levi Sfari to leave the country "for a while".
According to diplomatic sources speaking on condition of anonymity, the Ministry told Sfari to leave following indiscriminate violence and killings by Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border.
Turkey's Consul General in Jerusalem was summoned by the Israeli Foreign Ministry on Tuesday and also asked to leave the country for an indefinite period of time.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/thousands-of-turks-protest-israeli-killing-of-palestinians-131868), thousands all around Turkey launched demonstrations in protest of the killing of more than 60 Palestinians by Israeli security forces on May 14.
Hundreds of people gathered in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district on May 14 for the protest named “Give voice to the invasion” at Tunnel Square, located on the southern end of the famous İstiklal Avenue. Among the people protesting were representatives of Turkey’s largest labour movement Memur-Sen, Anadolu Youth Association (AGD), the İHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, and the Turkish Association of Municipal and City Administration (Bem-Bir-Sen).
The group held a banner reading “Jerusalem belongs to Muslims” and walked to Galatasaray Square, shouting slogans against Israel and holding Turkish and Palestinian flags.
Protests were also held in the capital Ankara, with a group of people gathering in front of the Israeli Embassy on May 14, and another in front of the U.S. Embassy on May 15.
Similarly, other protests were organized in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, in the eastern province of Batman, in the southern province of Bursa, the western province of Bursa, and the eastern province of Malatya.
Under the title “‘I felt ashamed,’ says top Turkish diplomat”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/i-felt-ashamed-says-top-turkish-diplomat-131862), reports that Turkey has been the most vocal country in slamming the U.S. over the relocation of its Embassy to Jerusalem. In reaction to the move, Turkey called its Ambassador to Washington Serdar Kılıç for consultations.
The move comes as Cavusoglu and Pompeo were scheduled to meet in Washington D.C. to discuss a number of bilateral disputes including Syria. The Minister said this tension on Jerusalem will not affect his visit to the U.S., informing that his meeting with Pompeo would take place on June 4.
“We have received an invitation for June 4 and we have confirmed it,” Cavusoglu said, underlining that the ongoing dialogue on Syria is a separate issue.
The two Ministers will discuss an initial plan under the “Manbij model” that stipulates the control of the Syrian province by Turkey and the U.S. after the withdrawal of the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Under the title “Erdogan or Ince? The difference in the final election survey”, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (16.05.18, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/siyaset/975564/Erdogan_mi__ince_mi__Son_secim_anketinde_fark_kil_payi.html) publishes the latest survey regarding the upcoming elections in Turkey.
According to a survey conducted by Remres opinion research and consulting company, if there were elections this Sunday and Erdogan and Ince proceed in the second round, then Erdogan would have won the elections.
The survey was conducted with the methods of telephone and face-to-face interview among 3,653 persons in 28 provinces between 6 and 9 of May.
In the question, if the elections were held this Sunday, the votes of the parties before the distribution of the undecided votes are as follows:
People’s Alliance: 37.8%
Nation Alliance: 37.6%
Did not cast a vote: 7.3%
The results after the distribution of the undecided votes are as follows:
People’s Alliance: 43.9%
Nation Alliance: 43.5%
In the question, “which candidate will you support in the first round in the presidential elections”, they responded as follows:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 36.1%
Muharrem Ince: 20.7%
Meral Aksener: 15.1%
Selahattin Demirtas: 9.8%
Temel Karamollaoglu: 3.6%
Dogu Perincek: 0.2%
No vote: 6.4%
The results after the distribution of the undecided votes are as follows:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 42.1%
Muharrem Ince: 24.1%
Meral Aksener: 17.1%
Selahattin Demirtas: 12.6%
Temel Karamollaoglu: 3.9%
Dogu Perincek: 0.2%
In the question, “Who would you prefer if the candidates for the second round is Erdogan and Ince?”, the respondents voted as follows:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 41.8%
Muharrem Ince: 41.3%
No vote: 6.7%
In the question, “Who will you prefer if the candidates for the second round are Erdogan and Aksener?” the respondents voted as follows:
Recep Tayyip Erdogan: 41.9%
Meral Aksener: 40.6%
No vote: 10.4%
Columnist Kanat Atkaya, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/kanat-atkaya/opposition-given-little-airtime-to-speak-131853), criticizes the state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) for failing to give sufficient election coverage to opposition parties in the following commentary:
“Let’s refresh our memories first.
The sanction power of the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) on private television broadcasters was nulled with the emergency decree number 687, which came into force on February 2017.
The sanctions power of the YSK, especially in the elections season, is now history. Private broadcasters, with the ruling, are more prone than ever to political bias in terms of coverage and the airtime they give.
With this decree, pro-government networks, especially, breathed sighs of relief.
Publishing and serving fair and impartial content might not be your problem, as you already have a homogenized audience. But this is if you are a private broadcaster.
If you are a state-run one, instead, and owe your existence to the taxes collected from citizens and declare that you carry the mission to serve the public, things change.
You have a serious responsibility for all spectrums of the public. You need to stand equally distant to all people coming from different political backgrounds.
That, at least, should be the case.
A news report prepared by Sinan Tartanogğlu for daily Cumhuriyet and based on a study run by the Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) could give us some ideas.
Ever since Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli made a call on April 17 and said “Why should we wait until November 2019 [for the elections]?” here is how the state broadcaster gave parties airtime until May 6.
State-run broadcaster TRT has given 37 hours, 40 minutes and 2 seconds of airtime to the alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the MHP.
On the other hand, the same channel has given three hours, 13 minutes and 58 seconds of airtime to the opposition bloc.
But let me also make it clear that some opposition parties, such as the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the Felicity Party (SP), have received no airtime at all.
Looking at this picture, it only makes sense to reach out to the opposition to bring justice to the situation and not ask the TRT: Whatever you, the opposition parties, are going to say, say it fast. There are others who cannot even get those three hours of airtime.”
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-lira-slides-after-erdogan-says-he-wants-greater-economic-control-131813), Turkey’s embattled currency slid to a fresh record low and bond yields briefly touched their highest in at least eight years on May 15, after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to take greater control of the economy after elections next month.
Erdogan’s comments, in an interview with Bloomberg Television in London, reinforced long-standing concerns about the President’s drive to shape monetary policy and blunt the Central Bank’s ability to rein in double-digit inflation.
He said the Central Bank was independent but would not be able to ignore signals from the head of the executive once the switch to a presidential system was complete following the June vote. “I will take the responsibility as the indisputable head of the executive in respect of the steps to be taken and decisions on these issues,” he said in the interview broadcast on May 15.
His comments helped push the ailing lira to a fresh record low of 4.43 against the dollar, bringing its losses this year to 14%, according to Reuters data.
Yields on 10-year government bonds briefly touched their highest since at least January 2010.
A self-described “enemy of interest rates”, Erdogan wants to see lower interest rates to fuel credit growth, particularly to the construction industry.
“We are a bit concerned,” said Dietmar Hornung, an associate managing director and head of European Sovereigns at ratings agency Moody’s, at a conference in London.
“Clearly some of the macro trends that we are seeing are headwinds for Turkey, rising interest rates, dollar strength, commodity prices going up, it’s all credit negative,” Hornung said, as quoted by Reuters on May 15.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (16.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/religion/2018/05/16/holy-month-of-ramadan-begins-for-millions-of-muslims), millions of Muslims have begun the fasting month of Ramadan today.
The Ramadan fast, in which food and even water is prohibited falls on especially long summer days this year for Muslims in the Northern Hemisphere. For Muslims who live in regions where Islam is not the dominant religion, challenging fasts are believed to come with greater blessings.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar, and a moon-sighting methodology can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart. Traditionally, countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramadan crescent the evening before fasting begins.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five obligatory pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, annual charity and performing the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Many donate their annual charity, known as "zakat," during Ramadan.
Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION