A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak newspaper (21.05.18) reports that the so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay attended the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which was held in Istanbul and stated that the calls of the Greek Cypriot side for guarantees of the UN Security Council in a possible solution of the Cyprus problem are not in accordance with today’s realities.
Ozersay claimed that the UN Security Council turned into a security system that cannot satisfy the needs of the world during the current changing conditions. “The same goes for the security controls within the EU and the recent events in Palestine are a proof of this”, he alleged. He also expressed the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots for the developments in Gaza and claimed that the Turkish Cypriots will be presented in any international platform when they are given the chance. As he said this is the reason that they participate in any OIC meeting because they want to make their voice to be heard.
Referring to the EU, he claimed that it has not treated the Turkish Cypriots right in the past adding last the EU must at least invite the Turkish Cypriot to its Summits which he alleged is essential for them because it will offer them the opportunity to say their opinion on the issues and to make their voice to be heard. “The EU is obliged to hear the legal representatives of the Turkish Cypriots”, he claimed.
Replying to criticism that the Turkish Cypriots participate in some international meetings as “Turkish Cyprus state” and not as the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, he claimed that the “TRNC is the Turkish state of Cyprus”. As he alleged it is important to be represented with the name “Turkish Cypriot side” in order to show that there is a state structure which represents the will of the Turkish Cypriot people in international organizations which in the past was represented as a Muslim Turkish community. “What is important is to make this people visible, to make its will visible, to make sure that everyone can see and hear it”, he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (10.05.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci attended the extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which was held in Istanbul.
According to the paper, Akinci referred to the recent events in Jerusalem and stated that no-one is becoming a super power without respecting the human life and while turning the back to the historic realities using violence.
He also expressed the solidarity of the Turkish Cypriots towards the Palestinian people and said that the international community must do its duty and act with determination on the issue.
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (21.05.18) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied part of Nicosia and former “finance minister”, has said that the interest rate policy implemented by Turkey cannot continue in the same manner. In statements to journalist Serhat Incirli, Tatar evaluated the devaluation of the Turkish lira (TL) and argued that this depends on the conflict between Turkish President Erdogan and international investors.
Tatar noted that Erdogan, because of his own beliefs, opposes the increase of the interest rates, while the investors want the interest rates to increase. Asked whether Erdogan should change his stance on this issue, Tatar replied that “this should not continue in this manner”. “A terrifying situation exists from an economic point of view. High inflation has not yet entered into the system. When inflation enters into the system, life in Turkey will become more expensive”, he said.
Tatar noted that the possibility for an increase in the tourism sector in the occupied area of Cyprus exists because the TL is cheap, but argued that they do not have airplanes to carry tourists to the occupied area of the island. Addressing to Turkey, he said: “I have something to say to Turkey. This place [Translator’s note: The occupied area of Cyprus] should be supported. We had very serious loses because of the TL. The economic investments and aids here should be used positively. It is absolutely necessary for [these loses] to be compensated even a little bit. Our people have become much poorer”.
According to illegal Bayrak television (21.05.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=kiyed-issues-statement-on-ipc), the “Cyprus businesspersons, investors and economy society” (“KIYED”) has said that it supports efforts to reach a just and lasting solution.
It said that financial problems of the “TRNC immovable property commission” must be solved within that context.
In a written statement, the “president of KIYED” İsmail Sayı said that it was not currently possible to foresee how the Cyprus negotiations process will develop or how it will be concluded.
“Whichever way or model through which the Cyprus problem is solved, the Turkish Cypriots urgently need to take all steps aimed at improving their lives without any delay”, Sayı alleged, adding that the property issue was amongst the thorniest issues of the Cyprus problem.
He further alleged that settling this issue will contribute greatly to the overall settlement process.
Claiming that the biggest reason why the “immovable property commission was inadequate in its work is because of a shortage of funds”, Sayi said: “all political circles must grasp the importance and urgency of the matter, should put aside their different views or ideologies and should focus on addressing this issue in a results orientated manner. This is vital for the Turkish Cypriots.”
Sayı said that “the financial structure of the Commission should be strengthened and that urgent work must be carried out to prepare the necessary legislation for this.” He added that “KIYED” is prepared to do its part for solving this problem
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.05.18) reports that the “immovable property commission” (“IPC”) has denied some news reports that “the commission does not have any authority in the military areas”, adding that some claims/ applications concerning property in areas under military control had been settled.
In a written statement, the head of the “IPC” Ayfer Said Erkmen, argued that the applications of Tymvios, Alexandrou and Balina regarding their property to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are in areas under military control and they have been settled by the “commission”. Erkmen explained that those decisions were taken out of the list, endorsed by the ECHR.
Erkmen further argued that the “commission” has sent an invitation letter to Rock Ruby Hotel Ltd, to Diogenous-Tseriotis, Demades, Hadjiprocopiou and Xenides-Arestis cases, which were also mentioned in the news reports, to apply at various dates, but they did not apply at the “commission”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (19.05.18) reports on delays in pay-outs to Greek Cypriots claimants costing “TRNC” millions as follows:
“Currency fluctuations and the length of time to pay compensation to former Greek Cypriot property owners is costing the ‘IPC’ millions and ‘alarm bells’ are ringing for its future, it has been claimed. The budget for the ‘IPC’ is set in TL, even though pay-outs are in British sterling-which is now worth nearly three times what it was eight years ago-lawyer and former foreign minister Emine Colak told Cyprus Today.”
Colak argued that cases settled four or five years ago, where compensation has not yet been paid, will cost up to three times more now because of the TL devaluation. She added: “I say this for the first time: the IPC is losing millions of TL as a result. This is a ridiculous situation”. She accused current politicians of failing to “appreciate the importance of the IPC” and added: “I do think the IPC is slow, but it is not ineffective. The issue needs to be taken up urgently at the diplomatic and political level”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.05.18) reports that according to data given by the “central bank” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, the debts of real and “legal entities” to banks, increased by 2 billion 577 million 235 thousand 34 Turkish liras in one year. These debts were 14 billion 787 million 577 thousand 13 TL in March 2017 and reached 17 billion 997 million 466 thousand 174 TL in March 2018.
The debts of companies-institutions increased by 2 billion 233 million 66 thousand 794 TL and reached 11 billion 730 million 873 thousand 82 TL in March 2018 from 9 billion 497 million 806 thousand 288 TL in March 2017.
The debts of the “citizens” to the banks increased by 977 million 2 thousand 367 TL and reached 6 billion 266 million 773 thousand 92 TL in March 2018 from 5 billion 289 million 770 thousand 725 TL in March 2017.
The majority of the real or “legal entities” which could not pay their instalments restructured their debts upon an agreement with the bank. The restructured debts reached 244 million 917 thousand 881 TL.
According to illegal Bayrak television (21.05.18- http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=denktas-recovering-from-angiography), the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and so-called finance minister Serdar Denktas is recovering after undergoing an angiography procedure yesterday at the occupied part of Lefkosia Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu “state hospital”.
Denktas who had two stents placed in one of his arteries was discharged from the hospital this morning.
Denktas had been admitted to hospital on Saturday night following complaints of chest pains. In a statement regarding his condition, so-called minister of health Filiz Besim said that Denktas was doing fine.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı spoke with Denktas over the phone yesterday wishing him a speedy recovery.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.05.18) reported that the “department of antiquities and museums of the ministry of tourism and environment” as a result of archaeological excavations in the occupied village of Pigi, ancient artefacts belonging to the archaic era (2,500 years old) were found. The ancient artefacts are: 1 Phoenician wine amphora, 2 Oinochoes, 2 bowls, 1 oil-lamp in the shape of oyster shell and 1 amphora.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (21.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/intelligence-agency-informed-me-of-assassination-plot-erdogan-in-sarajevo-132088) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 20 said that the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) has warned of an assassination plot against him.
“The reason I am here [now] is that I received this intelligence,” Erdogan told reporters in Sarajevo, speaking alongside his Bosnian counterpart.
“Such threats and operations will not stop us from going forward. We will continue on our path,” he added.
Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag May 19 warned of possible “assassination threats” against Erdogan during his visit to Bosnia on May 20.
“We are aware that there are circles that are uncomfortable with such a great leader, a man with a cause. We are aware that they want to get rid of our President. These assassination threats are not new, they have always been there,” Bozdag tweeted.
“But Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not a man who would be afraid of death threats, or who would turn away from his path and his cause,” he added.
Meanwhile, speaking in Sarajevo, Erdogan once again slammed Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Islamic preacher who Ankara accuses of masterminding the July 2016 coup attempt, which left at least 250 people dead and many more injured.
“FETÖ is trying to survive like an octopus that has its arms wrapped around all departments of the government,” Erdogan said, referring to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which Ankara says is a terror network led by Gülen from Pennsylvania.
“Our fight in this regard requires a great amount of effort,” he said. “We expect FETÖ’s presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina to come to an end as a result of mutual efforts. We are open to all kinds of cooperation,” he added.
Erdogan arrived in Bosnia yesterday to hold a rally ahead of the presidential and parliamentary elections next month.
Speaking at the rally, he told the crowd that “on June 24 voters will not only be choosing a President and Deputies. At the same time we will be making a choice for our country’s upcoming century.”
“What I request of you is that you take an active role in the political parties in the countries where you live. Those Parliaments should not only host those who are betraying their country. You should also take your place there. Turkish society has that power,” he added.
The capital Sarajevo was chosen for the event after countries such as Germany, Austria and the Netherlands have barred.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (21.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-presidential-candidate-ince-vows-new-constitution-new-democracy-132075) reports that Muharrem İnce, the presidential nominee of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has vowed a new Constitution reinstalling a strong parliamentary system guaranteeing democracy and the rule of law if elected in the June 24 snap election.
İnce unveiled his election manifesto on May 19, the 99th anniversary of the launch of the War of Independence by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey in Samsun, a Black Sea costal city from where Atatürk started a three-year war against occupying forces in 1919.
“The first step to be taken for the rule of law will be the removal of state of emergency rule. Necessary reforms and regulations will be made for the relevant state institutions, particularly the Constitutional Court, to fulfil their duty of carrying out impartial and democratic inspection. Competent and impartial judges will be able to inspect elected officials,” reads İnce’s manifesto.
The Judges’ and Prosecutors’ Board (HSK) will be re-composed and the Justice Minister and undersecretary of the Justice Ministry will not take place in the new composition of the board, it adds.
The manifesto stresses the importance of a new Constitution that will re-institute a strong parliamentary system on the basis of an effective system of separation of powers.
“Our indispensable objective is to apply democracy with all its norms and institutions and without interruption. Some administrative powers currently in the hands of the central government will be handed to local administrations,” it states.
İnce’s manifesto notes that Turkey is fighting against a number of terrorist organizations including the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). It stresses that these organizations pose a threat to Turkey’s democracy, national unity and security and the fight against them will “continue without hesitation.”
The manifesto cited five main pillars on which İnce’s presidency will focus, with the objective of “healing the problems of the Turkish people and re-establishing the tarnished values of the Republic of Turkey.”
The first pillar, the Justice Pillar, will deal with the problems in the field of rule of law. The Democracy Pillar will be based on strengthening fundamental rights and freedoms, on societal peace, pluralism and free media. The Economy Pillar envisages the continued growth of the Turkish economy and fair distribution of resources. The Foreign Policy Pillar promises to adopt a policy based on introducing peace and security to Turkey. The Education Pillar focuses on boosting Turkey’s standards to the level of more developed countries.
Meanwhile, İnce’s manifesto prioritizes reconciliation between different parts of Turkey’s polarized society.
“Brotherhood, peace, comfort and love will be our guiding values. We will win the presidency and we will get the majority at parliament. Then we will immediately launch works to repair the damage done so far,” it states.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (19.05.18-http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/979095/Muharrem_ince_nin_secim_manifestosunun_tam_metni.html) reported that Ince’s manifesto prioritizes the normalization of Turkey’s ties with the western countries that the EU based on Turkey’s national interests. It also points out the following: “We will negotiate with the EU until the end and we will not allow for Turkey’s EU negotiation talks to be suspended. We will be conscious of the fact that Europe also needs Turkey”.
On the Cyprus problem, Ince’s manifesto underlines that their goal would be a fair and urgent solution of the Cyprus problem.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/i-will-lift-state-of-emergency-day-after-elections-if-elected-meral-aksener-132071) reported that the İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Aksener promised on May 18 “to lift Turkey’s state of emergency the day after the snap elections”, If elected.
“The state of emergency will be lifted the day after I’m elected,” Aksener said, addressing thousands who had gathered for a weekly airing of broadcaster Halk TV’s interview program.
“I will find a trustworthy logistics firm,” she said, declaring her objectives set to be accomplished on June 24 if she gets elected in the snap polls. “I will move back all historic objects taken to the palace from the Çankaya Mansion and that belong to this nation and the state,” said Aksener, adding that afterwards, reconstruction will begin”.
Aksener also vowed she would cancel the privatization of Turkey’s sugar factories on her first day in office. This is another contentious topic that has led to the protesting of factory workers in the streets since its announcement late February.
“We will remove [the Supreme Council of Education],” she promised.
“We will launch a program to give unemployment wages to the youth,” she added, declaring her economic promises.
The presidential candidate also said 80% of the debts of citizens and students with low wages would be erased through certain criteria, while the remaining debt would be paid with deferred payments up to 10 years.
Furthermore, Akşener vowed to reopen the military high schools, including the Kuleli and Maltepe schools in Istanbul, and Isıklar in the north-eastern province of Bursa, which were all shut down as part of the measures taken in the country following the deadly coup attempt of July 15, 2016 and which were deemed as protective measures taken for the security of the country.
She also said she would like to dismiss the legislation that proposes the separation of universities.
Aksener said further that she has travelled through 61 cities in the course of six months since launching the İYİ Party on Oct. 25, 3017 and promised to reinstall the parliamentarian system back in the country.
The presidential elections that will be held on June 24 will be critical for Turkey as the executive presidential system approved by the constitutional amendments will be fully in effect after the President is elected.
On May 5, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), İYİ Party, Felicity Party (SP) and Democrat Party signed a declaration marking a four-way election alliance called the “Nation Alliance,” pledging to “remove polarization, instil independence of the judiciary and ensure basic rights and freedoms.” The AKP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have also formed what they call a “People’s Alliance” and are jointly supporting Erdogan in the election.
Aksener vowed on May 18 that she and her party would support any presidential runner against Erdogan on June 24.
“I am the only person [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] is afraid of,” she said, showing evidence that her rallies are not broadcasted on Turkish media providers.
“Erdogan chooses his opponents. He then frames them and then kicks them out,” said the candidate.
“There is only one candidate who does not fit that action plan and that is Meral Aksener,” she added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (20.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-chief-of-staff-urges-greece-not-to-make-miscalculations-over-aegean-132062) reported that the Chief of General Staff Hulusi Akar has indirectly urged Greece not to make “miscalculations” amid a rise in tension between Turkey and Greece over the Aegean.
“We can conduct operations in Afrin [in northwest Syria]. We can conduct operations in [Turkey’s] east and southeast. If necessary, we will fulfil any duty that may be assigned to us in the Mediterranean and in the Aegean without hesitation. No one should make any miscalculation on this issue,” Akar was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu Agency on May 20.
Akar was speaking during a visit to the TCG Gaziantep battleship, which is taking part in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) White Strom military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea. He was accompanied by the force commanders of the land, navy and air forces.
He did not openly mention Greece but his remarks clearly referred to the country, as there has long been tension between the two NATO members over sovereignty claims on a number of disputed islets in the Aegean Sea. Akar recently held an in-person meeting with his Greek counterpart Adm. Evangelos Apostolakis at the NATO headquarters on the margins of a NATO meeting.
“What is essential is good neighbourly relations, friendship and respect for human rights and international law. We are expressing our views on this issue at appropriate platforms. But we have always expressed that we are ready to use all the authorities pledged to us unfalteringly if dialogue and cooperation do not work,” Akar said.
He also underlined that Turkey is also “closely following developments in the Black Sea” and is in constant talks with the littoral countries for the security and the stability of the region.
“Our fight against the terrorism continues with determination through 365 days of the year at the same intensity and pace. Our efforts are to finish the job after neutralizing the last terrorist,” Akar stated, also referring to ongoing operations in the Idlib, Afrin and al-Bab areas of Syria.
“There are a number of land mines and improvised explosive devices in Afrin. Our works to clear Afrin of these are continuing,” he said, also praising the role of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
“The FSA has shown great heroism and has achieved great successes,” he said.
“Our operation [in Afrin] has been completed without any damage given to any innocent person thanks to our sensitively crafted plans, unlike other countries present in Syria. Despite this a very serious smear campaign has been conducted [against Turkey]. To understand that smear campaign, it is sufficient to compare the situation in post-operation Afrin with post-operation Mosul, Aleppo, Raqqa and East Ghouta,” Akar said.
He further noted that Turkey has “suffered a lot” because of the July 2016 coup attempt. The network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the coup attempt.
“However, after this treason we have become stronger. We see we are getting much stronger as we are cleaning the army of members of the [Fethullahist Terror Organization] FETÖ. All elements of the armed forces have fulfilled their duties heartily and with much more success compared to past performances,” Akar said.
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