A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.08.18) reports about the chaos created in the hospitals of the breakaway regime due to the decision of the health employees to stop working overtime after the “government’s” decision to stop paying overtime labor on the framework of the measures it took to face the economic crisis.
Various departments did not operate in “state hospitals” yesterday and tension was created among the patients who were admitted to other departments wrıtes the paper.
Reporting on the same issue, Halkin Sesi (30.08.18) writes that the trade unions claimed that some nurses were transferred by a subcontractor company to a hospital in the occupied part of Lefkosia in order to meet the needs created there but the “minister of health” Besim declined these reports.
On its part the trade union of the workers of the aviation sector warned the “government” that if it is not able to solve the problems related to the sector until tomorrow, they will continue the measures they have taken the previous days in the illegal Tympou airport, and as a result the flights will stop. The paper however notes that the “government” is not willing to back down from the decision not to pay for over- time labor, stating that they can even call for “early elections” but will not back off from this decision.
Havadis (30.08.18) writes that due to the decisions taken by 5 trade unions of “health public sector” , patients that were not in critical condition were released from the hospitals and as a result 20% of the patients left the institutions.
Illegal ports in the breakaway regime were also affected due to the participation of workers in this sector who also reacted against the measures taken by the “government”. The workers refuse to work overtime and as result many ships had to remain outside the ports while many ships carrying containers were not able to pass the “custom controls”. The same applied to persons who entered the breakaway regime who entered the occupied area of Cyprus without facing any controls.
In addition, Detay (30.08.18) writes that the “Trade Union Platform” decided to organize a protest on September 6 in the occupied part of Lefkosia reacting against the measures taken by the “government” and in order to present its own suggestions.
Speaking on behalf of the “Platform”, KTAMS Trade Union chairman Guven Bengihan stated that the “government” tries to put the burden of the crisis to the shoulders of the “people” and said that they will not remain silent towards the issue.
Illegal Bayrak (30.08.18 http://www.brtk.net/ozersayhukumet-ekonomik-krize-yonelik-kararlar-almaya-devam-edecek/) broadcast that “deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs” Kudret Ozersay said that the “government” will continue taking measures regarding the economic crisis and added that talks with Ankara on the issue will start most probably on the first days of the coming week.
Ozersay, who made these statements while participating in a program of BRT, said that measures will be also taken for workers of the private sector aiming to increase theır purchasing power and towards low salary paid citizens who were affected mostly by the developments in economy.
He also went on adding that the current “government”, unlike any other in the past, took measures to face the problem without waiting for Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.08.18) with the above title reports that a man named Mehmet Besimoglu was arrested yesterday and was brought before the “court” with the accusation of taking photos of Turkish soldiers at occupied Famagusta port over espionage for Greek Cypriots.
The Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Besimoglu was arrested on Aug. 28 after he took the photos with a digital camera. He admitted in his “police testimony” that he took the photos of the soldiers and the military base at the port to deliver them to a Greek Cypriot.
According to the paper, the suspect was in constant contact with an unidentified Greek Cypriot through his phone line registered in the Republic of Cyprus.
“The court ruled Besimoglu to remain in two days custody”.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot Diyalog newspaper (30.08.18), columnist Metin Munir reports that the only way for the Turkish Cypriots to avoid the crises which they experience every now and then due to their dependency on Turkey is to reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots in the intercommunal talks and become a part of the EU, “but the possibility of such a thing to happen is close to zero”. Under the title “Is backwardness a destiny?”, Munir writes the following:
“Is backwardness a destiny? Yes, it is for some. If we consider it in the context of the Turkish lira only, the TRNC’s difference from any other province of Turkey is the fact that it is not called province. TL is used in Cyprus and the TL is the destiny of the Cypriots just like it is the destiny of a Turkish citizen in Konya, for example. When the TL loses from its value because of devaluation or inflation, the Turkish Cypriots feel as much pain as any other citizen of Turkey. And even more. Because, just like all islands, Cyprus also is obliged to meet the majority of its needs with imports made in foreign currency. In addition, transportation cost, tariffs and bribery exist in the price they pay for the imported goods. […]
There is another similarity between the people from Konya and the Cypriots: Just like any person from Konya is helpless before the melting of the TL, the Cypriots are also helpless. On the issue of putting an end to the devaluation of the TL, the TRNC prime minister is as weak as the governor of Konya. However, Cyprus, that is, the TRNC is a separate state. Even though it is not recognized by any other state except for Turkey, it possesses all institutions which exist in any other state. Except for a real Central Bank and money. That is, the most important elements which make a state to be a state.
The TL has lost 50% of its value within the last one year. Inflation reached around 20%. The Turkish Cypriot people have absolutely no contribution or blame for all these that happened. However, they are obliged to endure the consequences as if they had and are expecting with fear [to see] where the open-ended crisis in Turkey will reach. […]
Since the 1960’s Turkey experiences a coup or an economic crisis every 10-15 years. The Turkish Cypriots experience with Turkey the negative [consequences] brought by these quakes since 1974, when the island was divided. It does not seem possible for Turkey to be saved from this vicious circle. What about the Cypriots?
There is one way for the Cypriots to avoid these crises experienced by Turkey: To agree with the Greek Cypriots in the intercommunal negotiations and become a part of the European Union together with them. However, the possibility of such a thing to happen is close to zero. The great majority of the Turkish Cypriots seems in favor of the solution but their economic interest is in the continuation of the established order.
The fact that this order is rotten and the standards fall down in every field is an issue of complaint. However, no one wants to pay the price of agreeing with the Greek Cypriots. Both the people and the political cadre are stuck in the status quo. No one weighs the lack of hope and the advantages which the solution will bring. These are bigger problems than devaluation and inflation. Because they are not temporary. While time passes by, the position which waits for the Turkish Cypriots is the one at which the Turkic and Moslem states are: Backwardness.”
Illegal Bayrak (30.08.18 http://www.brtk.net/ozyigit-ankara-yolcusu/ ) reports that “minister of education and culture” Cemal Ozyigit is going to Ankara on September 3 and will meet on September 4 with the Turkish Minister of Education Ziya Selcuk.
According to Ozyigit’s statements to Bayrak, the purpose of the meeting will be to get to know Selcuk and to exchange views regarding education issues.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.08.18) reports that within the framework of the celebrations which will take place today on the occasion of the “30th of August, victory day” in the occupied area of Cyprus, the Turkish origin ATAK T129 helicopters’ team will carry out their first performance flight in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkey is celebrating its 96th anniversary of the Victory Day today which is to be marked today with several ceremonies across the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak newspaper (30.08.18) under the title: “Cyprus is a Turkish country”, reported that a new “association” has been established in the occupied area of Cyprus under the name “The country first”.
According to the paper, the new “association” held its founding congress on August 27. The main goal of the “association” is “for the TRNC to continue existing forever and the protection of the Turkish Cypriot culture and tradition”.
In a written statement, the “association” alleged the following: “We will continue by all means our legal and legitimate struggle until we achieve to obtain back our land territories which our people forced to abandon. The island of Cyprus is a Turkish one, it is a country which was watered with the blood of our martyrs. The country is undivided, it is a whole country. This is the torch which will enlighten us”, the statement claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.08.18) reports that the 600-bed capacity of “Park palace residence” will be inaugurated on September 7 by the “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman. The student hall is part of the campus of the “Keryneia university” at the occupied village of Karakoumi.
Under the title “Turkey vows to take quick moves on judicial reforms”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-vows-to-take-quick-moves-on-judicial-reforms-136285), reports that the Turkish Foreign Affairs, Justice, Interior and Economy Ministers agreed to “accelerate the political reform process”, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Aug. 29.
The four Ministers held a “Reform Action Group” meeting, which assesses the current reform agenda and homework for the accession process, after three years of standoff.
“In the upcoming process, all our institutions and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Directorate for EU Affairs will focus on the negotiation chapters on the judiciary, fundamental rights, freedom and security,” Cavusoglu said, speaking at a joint press conference.
Ankara will also cooperate further with the Council of Europe in the upcoming period, he noted.
With respect to relations with the EU, Turkey will continue to work on the remaining six benchmarks in order to launch the visa liberalization process, Cavusoglu said, noting that Turkey would resume high level dialogue meetings with the EU. “But we have expectations from the EU as well,” he added. Including the visa liberalization process, Ankara wants to see a response for these efforts, the Minister said, noting Turkey’s expectation for an upgrade of the Customs Union agreement.
“The upcoming period will be an era when confidence on the judiciary will increase and the judicial system will accelerate,” said Justice Minister Abdülhamit Gul.
In a written statement released after the fourth meeting of the Reform Action Group, Ankara announced that Turkey withdrew the derogation to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) as foreseen under Article 15 of the Convention after the state of emergency is lifted. Turkey used its right to derogate from the European Convention of Human Rights after the failed coup attempt in July 15.
The statement noted that the reform group assessed the post-state of emergency and political reform process of Turkey in line with the country’s EU membership bid and stressed the group underlined determination to continue reforms on justice and fundamental rights. The reforms will be implemented faster in the new presidential government system, it said.
“Economic threats towards Turkey, statements and the attitude of the [United States President Donald] Trump administration, which affect the economic system, are a good opportunity for Turkey and the EU to understand each other’s value,” it said.
Under the title “Turkish economy is strong enough to overcome pressure, Erdogan”, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (30.08.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/08/29/turkish-economy-strong-enough-to-overcome-pressure-erdogan), reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey will overcome the economic hardships it is currently facing due to external economic pressure amid a diplomatic row with the United States.
Speaking at the Media Oscars award ceremony held by the Broadcast Journalists Association, Erdogan said: "It is obvious that there are structural economic problems that need to be resolved. We are already aware of them and working on the solution. Our infrastructure is strong enough to overcome these problems". (…)
The Turkish President said that the structural problems alone could not be enough reason for the current problems in the country's economy, stating: "Some people do not shy away from admitting that they are trying to corner Turkey".
Erdogan assured that necessary measures have been taken and allies are also supporting Turkey financially, reiterating that Ankara will not bow to Washington's threats.
Turkey garnered extensive support from European partners such as France and Germany, as well as Russia, China, Kuwait and Qatar who raised their voices to highlight the significance of the Turkish economy, amid attacks from the threatening economic showdown initiated by Trump.
According to Turkey’s Presidency (https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/96303/-we-wholeheartedly-believe-that-we-will-reach-our-goals-for-2023-), Erdogan, at the same event, referring to the economic crisis they face, said: “Inshallah, we will get over this wave, too. Both our economy administration and other state institutions are taking the necessary measures. Our nation has mobilized the resources at their disposal. Our friends abroad have begun to support our struggle with rather high figures. I believe this period will lead to a new era of political and economic rise. Everyone will see that Turkey is not without alternatives.”
“Turkey establishes all its relations on the basis of mutual win as opposed to unilateral win,” Erdogan said. “We have shown all those we worked with that cooperating with Turkey is a rewarding decision”.
Underlining that there is no sentence which can explain that a country, with which Turkey has a strategic partnership within NATO, adopts such approaches toward its strategic partner, Turkey, which is among the top 3 within NATO, Erdogan added: “The Turkish nation cannot be intimidated or made to back down. Apparently, they do not know our nation yet but they will.”
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-2023-goals-to-shape-entire-region-136262) reports that Erdogan, in his message marking Turkey’s Victory Day, said that Turkey will shape the future of the entire region when it reaches its goals for 2023, the centennial anniversary of the Turkish Republic, adding that Turkey is on the threshold of new victories and successes. (…)
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.08.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/french-leader-slammed-for-his-remarks-on-turkey/1242168), Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Wednesday criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for his remarks targeting Turkey and its EU membership process.
"We want to hear a common sense statement from Macron on Turkey and we would also like to remind Macron how inconvenient it is to mix Islam and terror," said party spokesman Omer Celik, speaking at a press conference following the AK Party's central executive board meeting.
During the Ambassadors Conference in Paris on Monday, Macron said “to fight Islamist terrorism, we created a new law in France”, adding that "Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a pan-Islamic project that is contrary to our European values”. He further said that there was a need to build a strategic partnership with Turkey instead of granting it EU membership. (…)
Referring to a plan by Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders to hold a Prophet Muhammad cartoon competition, Celik said: "Such provocative attacks cause these racists and fascists to gain a place in European politics”.
"Europe’s ‘Daesh’ are its far-right parties…There is no difference between the leaders of the Daesh terrorist group and fascists like Dutch far-right leader Wilders. Therefore, if they are taking measures against Daesh, they must take such measures against these racists. This is not something to be evaluated in the context of freedom of thought", Celik argued.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/economic-crisis-result-of-akp-policies-chp-leader-136265) reports that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has said that the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) policies have driven Turkey to an economic crisis, stressing that the recent tension between the U.S. and Turkey was “just a small fragment of a wider problem.” “The crisis was already there. It has nothing to do with the American pastor,” Kilicdaroglu said Aug. 29 before a CHP assembly meeting. (…)
Kilicdaroglu stressed the recent currency crisis in Turkey was the result of the AKP’s economic growth policies, criticizing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been blaming “foreign powers” for attacking the Turkish economy.
Kılıçdaroğlu accused the AKP government of years-long cronyism, saying big contracts were given specifically to pro-government businesses during their rule. “Was it the foreign circles that told you to give all big contracts based on the U.S. dollar?” the CHP leader said.
“You gave contracts in dollars. Was it the foreign powers that told you to tell business owners to generate revenue in dollars?” he added.
“Was it the foreign powers that told you to make the state a guarantor for the pro-government businesses’ foreign debts of their $123 billion worth projects? Was it the foreign powers that told companies that don’t have any revenue in foreign currencies to be in debt in a foreign currency?” he asked.
Kilicdaroglu urged the government to convene the Economic and Social Council of Turkey, which gathers the government, civil society and unions, to come up with an economic plan. “The council which should be convened every three months hasn’t convened since 2009. It is a constitutional obligation,” he said. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (30.08.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/08/30/turkey-to-prevent-use-of-foreign-currencies-in-real-estate-sales-rents), Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said that strong countries like Turkey should leave the problem of dollarization behind, and that the government will take steps to prevent foreign currencies from being used for real estate and shopping mall store rent and sales. "A very intensive study has begun in this regard. We will take the necessary steps as soon as possible to avoid leasing and selling in foreign exchange in shopping centres and real estate. There is a sensitive point here. We are working to identify a portfolio associated with some credit risk," Albayrak said.
"We will bring this to the Assembly as soon as possible. There is also a serious demand in society concerned with this issue. Its details and legal processes are currently being studied," the Minister added. Albayrak responded to the questions of press members on his flight back from Paris where he met with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire.
Albayrak noted that they want to use recent developments in the global process and turn them into opportunities, adding they have talks in September all over the world in a wide range of countries and that talks with a number of countries including France, Germany, Russia, China, Qatar and Britain continue. (…)
Sector representatives in their statements yesterday welcomed the announcement by the Minister, saying it will bring a relief to those who had difficulties due to the fluctuations in the exchange rates. (…)
Minister Albayrak is now expected to hold meetings with his German counterpart Olaf Scholz next month. The two had also discussed recent developments in the Turkish economy in a phone call earlier this month. (…)
On the question of the biggest risk for Turkey, Minister Albayrak said they do not see a major risk to Turkey's economy and financial system, listing three important features that will minimize the impact on the Turkish economy in global crises. "First of all, Turkey is one of the lowest countries in the world regarding public debt and net debt, so there is no risk in this sense. Second, the household debt ratio is still one of the lowest in the world and does not pose a risk. Third, the financial sector is at a very strong level, and it continues to run smoothly despite all these tests and processes," he said, adding Turkey is at 16% regarding capital adequacy point, while the EU limit is 8%. "We do not see a risk when these three pillars are strong in Turkey. We aim to evaluate the developments experienced in the global process as opportunities." (…)
Commenting on the ongoing Halkbank case in the U.S., Albayrak said the Halkbank issue has also been used in the background as a manipulation theme by different sections, adding that in compliance with U.S. sanction rules for Iran, foreign trade transactions in Iran were carried out through Halkbank, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) under the U.S. Treasury Department was constantly informed of the role of Halkbank in Iranian transactions and of their trading methods. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.08.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-faces-179-billion-external-debt-repayments-136282), around $179 billion in Turkish external debt matures in the year to July 2019, equivalent to almost a quarter of its annual economic output, JPMorgan estimates, flagging the risk of a sharp contraction for the economy.
Companies did seem to have enough external assets to cover hard-currency liabilities, JPM also noted.
Most of the maturing debt -- around $146 billion -- is owed by the private sector, especially banks. The government needs to repay or roll over just $4.3 billion and public-sector entities account for the rest, JPM said in a note received yesterday. (…)
JPM said that last year Turkey’s stock of external debt as a percentage of gross domestic products was approaching the record highs seen just before its 2001-2002 financial crisis. “Financing needs over the next 12 months are large and access to markets has become problematic,” the note said.
Some $32 billion is due in the remainder of 2018, according to JPM calculations based on Central Bank data. Large repayments will fall due in September, October and December, it said. “As international banks are likely to at least partially reduce their exposure to Turkey, roll-over of principal could be challenging for some entities,” the note said.
However, it said, companies did seem to have enough external assets to cover hard-currency liabilities, and around $47 billion of maturing debt consisted of trade credits, which are relatively easy to roll over.
In all, it reckons roughly $108 billion of debt maturing through July 2019 had high roll-over risk.
“In a sudden stop of capital flows, roll-over risks will mount and financing of the current account deficit will be difficult,” JPM added.
Turkish daily Milliyet (29.08.18-http://www.milliyet.com.tr/12-bin-kisiye-yurt-disinda-is-ekonomi-2732760/) reported that according to data provided by “Turkey’s labour organization, a total of 12 thousand 851 Turkish workers were employed in countries abroad during the period covering January-July 2018.
According the same data, 1,704 Turkish citizens were employed in Algeria, 1,583 in Russia, 1,551 in Saudi Arabia, 942 in Kuwait, 927 in the “TRNC”, 850 in Germany and 613 in Qatar.
Moreover, during the first seven months of the year, the number of Turkish citizens who were sent to Libya for employment were reduce, according to the data. The number of these has reached only to five. The majority of the Turks are unemployed in the construction sector and the services sector.
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