Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (19.03.19) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alleged that Turkey’s patience and determination in Syria, Iraq, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean is tested. Speaking yesterday during a ceremony on the occasion of the “104th anniversary from the Dardanelle War”, Erdogan said, inter alia, the following:
“Even though a century has passed since then, they still continue testing our patience and determination. They harass our borders with Syria and they are trying to establish a terror corridor. Similarly, they do the same on our borders with Iraq. They test our patience also by violating our rights in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. They do the same in the Aegean and they prevent us setting foot in the sea. They test our patience by conducting thousands of attacks against our citizens, our institutions, our mosques in Europe and especially in Germany and France. They are testing our patience with coup attempts, by establishing dark alliances and by causing mess in our streets. They do the same by attacking our economy […]. They even do the same with the messages they sent from New Zealand which is 16,500 km far away from our country […]”, Erdogan alleged.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(19.03.19) reports that problems were caused by the fact that the friendly football match between the teams of Greek Cypriot Nea Salamina and Turkish Cypriot MTG will take place in a stadium in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus and not in the buffer zone in Pyla village, as it had allegedly been announced before. The decision was taken after the United Nations (UN) stated that the UN Peace-Keeping Force could not take security measures in case the match took place in the buffer zone.
Baris Burcu, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, stated yesterday that Akinci could not attend the match because this would take place in the “Greek Cypriot side”, but he was ready to participate if the match took place in the buffer zone, as officials by the Peace and Sport organization had told them earlier.
In a written statement, Burcu said that during a meeting the night before yesterday, officials from the above-mentioned organization told them that the match would take place in a stadium between the two schools in the center of Pyla village. He noted that in a telephone conversation which Akinci had with President Anastasiades, the latter told Akinci that he had no problem for the game to be played in the buffer zone. He said that after the statement by the UN that it could not provide security if the match took place in the buffer zone, efforts started again for the match to take place in a stadium in the government controlled-area of the island.
He added: “Unfortunately, it is not possible for our esteemed president to participate in an activity which will take place in the Greek Cypriot administration in these conditions. If there is an issue of holding a sports event mutually one in the north and one in the south, just like it had happened before with cultural activities, our president is ready to evaluate and approach this positively”.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(19.03.19) reports that Akinci met last night with a delegation from the Peace and Sport organization presided by its chairman Joel Bouzou. Akinci reiterated the view that he would attend the match if it took place in the buffer zone. Bouzou told Akinci that he knew and understood his “sensitivities” on the issue and promised that he would undertake a new initiative towards the UN in order for the game to take place in the buffer zone.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (19.03.19) under the title: “FETO hunting in the police”, reports that the “directorship general of the police” in the occupied area of Cyprus has launched investigation against a huge number of “police staff” for allegedly having links with Fetullah Gulen Organization (FETO), which is accused of orchestrated the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.
According to the paper, investigation has opened in the occupied area of Cyprus even for the persons who attended in the past picnics and meetings being organized by “FETO”. The accused “police officers” face the danger of being fired from the jobs and this without a “court order”.
The paper writes that this development constitutes another more “arbitrary decision” of the so-called police after the recent arrests related with “banned books and publications”, adding that the “police” has transferred into the Turkish Cypriot community Turkish President Erdogan’s vendetta with FETO.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(19.03.19) reports that various problems are caused by the fact that a census of population has not taken place in the occupied area of Cyprus for the last eight years. The paper writes that the last population census was held on 4 December 2011 and that after this only some speculative statements were made regarding the population.
“Some alleged that the country’s population is around 1,000,000 and some that it is around 700,000, but the hospitals, the schools and the insufficient infrastructure are the greatest indication that there was a serious increase in the country’s population”, reports the paper.
In statements to Kıbrıs economist Goksel Saydam said that when the issue is one country’s population, details such as the number of students, the soldiers and the children should be known and added that these show the way for planning in a country. Saydam recalled statements saying that Turkey does not want the population in the occupied area of the island to be known and added that even in this case a population census could take place without announcing all the results.
Economist Okan Veli Safakli told the paper that the population of the occupied area could be known by the “controls at the entrances and exits of the country”. He claimed: “The statement that the population is not known is only a pretext for not doing certain works. While no identity control is made in the south, here in us a population control is made even at the gates. Anyway we know the number of our citizens. Then, it is not difficult to establish the population”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (19.03.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in a meeting yesterday with the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TURSAB), the “Cyprus Turkish hoteliers association” (“KITOB”) and the “Cyprus Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies Association” (“KITSAB”), said that regarding the addition of Cyprus (Translator’s note: he refers to the occupied area of Cyprus) to the package of foreign tourists coming to Turkey, should be planned and put into packaged in advance. He added that in case of a good planning, introduction and reasonable price of this package, then it could be successful.
Noting that Turkey for themselves is a very different country, Akinci added that Turkey is a country with very different meanings. He further said that they share the same history and culture and they also speak the same language, adding that in this sense, it is a great advantage for the tourism.
Noting that Cyprus has a lot of beauties, but “of course they cannot be compared with Turkey’s beauties, culture and cuisine”, Akinci argued that the arrival of Turkish people in the occupied area of Cyprus has another meaning apart from the financial. He said that all the people from Turkey should visit at least once the occupied area of Cyprus, adding that this should be their aim. He also said that there will be very soon flights from different towns of Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (19.03.19) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday with a delegation from the World Federation of Travel Journalists and Writers (FIJET) headed by its President and former Tunisia Minister of Tourism, Tijani Haddad, according to a press release by Akinci’s office.
During the meeting, the President of the Turkish Association of Travel Journalists and Writers (ATURJET) Delal Atamdede was also present. They briefed Akinci regarding their aims and works and they exchanged views on their ongoing works.
The Federation FIJET is currently in the occupied area of Cyprus for their executive committee meeting, which has begun on the 17th of March and will end on the 20th of March. Journalists and writers, members of the FIJET-ATURJET, have come from Turkey, Egypt, Belgium, France, Croatia, Bulgaria, Tunisia, Russia and Slovakia to attend the committee meeting and to discuss possibilities of a joint work in the sector.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (19.03.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/erdogan-you-will-never-turn-istanbul-into-constantinople-3476907) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said Istanbul will never be turned into Constantinople, in reference to the manifesto of the terrorist behind the New Zeland mosque attacks.
Speaking at an event marking the 104th anniversary of the Çanakkle naval victory in 1915, Erdoğan warned against entertaining such thoughts about Istanbul.
"You can never make Istanbul into Constantinople. Your grandparents came before you and saw what we're made of, and they were sent back alive or in coffins. If you were to come with the same intentions, we will be expecting you. There's no question you will receive your grandparents' sendoff from us," vowed Erdoğan.
In his so-called manifesto, Australian terrorist Brenson Tarrant threatens to kill all Turks living in European lands of Turkey and elsewhere west of the Bosporus. He also expresses his desire to demolish the minarets of famed Agia Sophia in Istanbul.
"We are coming for Constantinople and we will destroy every mosque and minaret in the city. The A Sophia will be free of minarets and Constantinople will be rightfully Christian [sic] owned once more," it says.
“We speak once again from Canakkale after 104 years, and say we have received your message,” Erdoğan said during ceremonies marking the 104th anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale, commemorating the martyrs in the historic victory.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (19.03.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/heres-all-you-need-to-know-about-turkeys-local-polls-3476891) reports that Turkey is gearing up with 57 million voters for local elections to be held across the country on March 31.
According to election regulations, local polls in Turkey are held every five years.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming polls.
1. How many political parties are taking part?
A total of 12 political parties will participate in the local elections.
The major parties are the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Good (IYI) Party, and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
Also taking part are the Independent Turkey Party (BTP), Grand Unity Party (BBP), Democrat Party (DP), Democratic Left Party (DSP), Saadet (Felicity) Party, Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), and Patriotic (Vatan) Party.
2. How many ballot boxes will be set up across Turkey?
Apart from the ballot boxes to be set up in prisons, some 44,212,704 voters will vote at 142,777 ballot boxes in the country’s 30 bigger cities, called metropolitan municipalities.
Meanwhile, 12,837,077 voters will vote at 51,851 ballot boxes in remaining 51 provinces in Turkey.
3. How do elections work in larger cities?
Voters living in Turkey’s larger cities will vote to elect a mayor for the entire city, as well as district municipal mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils.
Turkey has 30 metropolitan municipalities including the capital Ankara and Istanbul, the city where nearly one of five Turkish citizens live, as well as Adana, Antalya, Aydin, Balikesir, Bursa, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Hatay, Izmir, Kahramanmaraş, Kayseri, Kocaeli, Konya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Ordu, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Tekirdag, Trabzon, and Van.
4. What are the voting hours?
Polls will be open from 7.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. local time (0400-1300GMT) in 32 out of Turkey’s 81 provinces: Adiyaman, Agri, Artvin, Bingol, Bitlis, Diyarbakir, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Kars, Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Mardin, Mus, Ordu, Rize, Siirt, Sivas, Trabzon, Tunceli, Sanliurfa, Van, Bayburt, Batman, Sirnak, Ardahan, Igdir and Kilis, as well as in the penal institutions in these provinces.
In the remaining provinces, polling stations will be open from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. local time (0500-1400GMT).
5. How many independent candidates are taking part in larger cities?
A total of 73 independent candidates will compete for the district municipal mayor candidacy in metropolitan cities.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (19.03.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-iran-launch-joint-operation-against-pkk-3476901) reports that Turkey has launched a joint operation with Iran against PKK terrorist group on Turkey’s eastern border, Turkish interior minister said on Monday.
“We started a joint operation with Iran against PKK on the eastern border at 08.00 a.m. local time [0500GMT],” Süleyman Soylu said in the Mediterranean city of Antalya.
“We will announce the outcome of the operation later. We will eliminate [terrorist PKK]," Soylu added.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION