A.Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.05.18) reports that the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman speaking yesterday at KIBRIS TV stated that he conveyed to Turkish officials how and in what degree the Turkish Lira decline affected the Turkish Cypriots and claimed that the issue held a greatest effect on the Turkish Cypriot community than Turkey. “The influence of the currency decline is like a wind in Turkey while in Cyprus is like a tsunami”, he stated.
He went on adding that the efforts to reduce the consequences from this development continue and that yesterday he held various meetings with economic platforms in the breakaway regime and other “bureaucrats” as well as with the “ministries of economy and finances”. He stated that this is not the first time that similar cases are reflected in the breakaway regime due to the Turkish Lira decline and noted that a fond must be created in order this and similar cases to be faced.
He also said that economy specialists stated that the adoption of Euro in the place of the Turkish Lira in the breakaway regime will not solve all the issues the breakaway regime faces and added that “by saying that adopting the Euro could solve all our problems is not a good approach”.
Two days ago Erhurman stated that radical measures for the economy are being considered, hinting that they would even adopt a currency other than the Turkish lira.
Detay (24.05.18) writes that speaking to Bloomberg, the so-called prime minister said that they examine all the possibilities in order to overcome this crisis and added that because he made a reference to the currency chance, this does not mean that such a decision was taken. He added that this is not possible because the financial aid offer to the breakaway regime from Turkey would lose its economic power. He also said that the contacts with Turkey must continue on the issue and thanked Minister Recep Akdag, Responsible for Cyprus Affairs in the Turkish Government for his assistance on the issue.
Havadis (24.05.18) reported that specialists in economic issues are pessimists regarding the “Dream about Euro” for economic and political reasons (the breakaway regime is not recognized and receives a great financial aid from Turkey in Turkish currency). Therefore adopting Euro is extremely difficult.
The newly established Haberator paper (24.05.18) criticized the “government” noting that it stays still and watching as the currency declines and affects the Turkish Cypriots.
Under the title: “Passing to Euro is difficult”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (24.05.18) writes that despite his statements two days ago for leaving the Turkish Lira, Erhurman said yesterday that his statements were not heard right and said that experts in economy said that that this development would not be positive for the breakaway regime.
Reporting on the same issue, Star Kibris writes that Erhurman stated that he never stated that they will stop using the Turkish Lira. “I just said that everything is on the table and under examination”, he said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.05.18) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled minister of finance, commenting on the recent debate whether the currency used in the occupied area of Cyprus will be changed, said that “there are not any measures that the state can take regarding the suspension of the decrease of the interest rates or the increase of the foreign currency”. He added: “It is not possible to heal a large wound by dressing it when it needs an operation”.
He further promised that they will try to do whatever they can; adding that they are going through a very extraordinary situation, however there is an extraordinary situation in Turkey.
He described the proposal to change their currency unit into another one as a “dream” (a will-o'-the-wisp).
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.05.18) reports that the “TRNC central bank”, due to the increase in foreign exchange rates, banned granting loans on foreign currency.
According to “the decisions of the TRNC Central Bank”, the private sector employees whose salaries are on Turkish lira currency will no longer be able to get loans on foreign currency. The banks will be able to give loans on sterling, dollar or euro only to those who their income is on foreign currency.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (24.05.18) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), has alleged that without Turkey the Turkish Cypriots will be annihilated on this island and that changing the currency unit used in the occupied area is comical. In statements to Sefa Karahasan, correspondent of Turkish Dogan News Agency (DHA) in the occupied area of Cyprus, Ozgurgun claimed that “there are some people who try to organize some things against Turkey” and “act for increasing hostility against Turkey”.
Arguing that those who are annoyed from the presence of the Turkish occupation army on the island are activated, Ozgurgun alleged: “Nothing can happen on these lands without Turkey. If the motherland does not exist, the Turkish Cypriot people will be annihilated on these lands. There are some ones who try to organize some things against Turkey. There are some ones who act for increasing hostility against Turkey. […]”
Referring to the 175 persons, the “citizenship” of whose has been annulled by the “government”, Ozgurgun alleged: “These people are our citizens coming from Turkey. They are not citizens of the Priest [Translator’s note: He means the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus] or Greece or Britain. The annulment is unacceptable. […] The citizenships have been brought onto the agenda as a political situation. Whenever the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) comes to government, it says that ‘I will annul the citizenships’ […]”
He claimed that the actual issue on the island is “to deteriorate the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots” and added that there are some ones who present themselves as loving Turkey but they actually want Turkey to leave the island.
Evaluating the statement made by Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, that they could adopt another currency unit in the place of the Turkish lira, Ozgurgun argued that a “serious economic crisis” exists in the occupied area of Cyprus and added: “The issue of changing the currency unit is comical. […] From whom will you take this currency unit? These are not very easy things under these circumstances. We will experience serious problems”.
Referring to Erhurman’s statement that money does not come from Turkey, Ozgurgun argued that saying something like this is not right and added: “Have you asked Turkey when you were making this jerrybuilt coalition? […] It is unacceptable to start showing Turkey as target. […] Those who do not see what motherland Turkey does here, those who are against Turkey will find us in front of them. No one can provide to us the things which Turkey does for us. […]”
Reiterating the allegation that they cannot abandon Turkey’s guarantees, Ozgurgun claimed: “Turkey’s effective and active guarantees can never be abandoned. The Turkish Cypriot people live in peace and tranquility with the existence of the Turkish army. If these are abandoned, the Turkish Cypriots will not exist on this island. […] I see the document which has been put forward as a document which will serve the Greek Cypriot side”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (24.05.18) under the front-page title: “Campaign for direct flights and trade”, reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO) in the UK, Muhammet Yasarata, speaking in a press conference, stated that the chamber will launch a campaign in the UK on June 17 in order for “direct flights and trade to be launched from the UK to the “TRNC”.
Yasarar explained that they will kick off the campaign during the “Turkish Cypriot cultural festival” which will take place on June 17 at Donkey Lane in London and is organized by the Enfield Town Football Club. “Our Turkish Cypriot compatriots living in the UK will be the turning point for this launching of this campaign”, Yasarata alleged.
The paper writes that experts foresee that after the UK’s Brexit in 2018, the UK will turn to several third countries for trade and they consider that within this framework, there is a possibility to lift the embargoes imposed until so far by the EU against the “TRNC” and lift also the “TRNC’s isolation”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (24.05.18) reports that Armagan Candan, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), represented the “TRNC assembly” to the meeting of PACE’s Political Affairs Committee, which was held in Athens.
Candan, who also spoke during the meeting, asked the Greek Ministers what Greece’s policy on Cyprus is, adding that there was not a clear response from the Greek Cypriot side on Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s recent call on the resumption of the Cyprus talks within the Guterres framework. Candan noted that Greece did not make any statement on this issue and asked the concerned Minister to clarify what Greece’s stance is.
Meanwhile, on the question of Candan what are the results of the agreement regarding the refugees among Turkey and the EU, the Greek Minister on Migration Dimitris Vitsas said that that there is a substantial decline in the number of the illegal refugees.
After the meeting, Candan joined the Deputies of the delegations of other countries in an invitation at the residence of former Greek Foreign Minister and Deputy Dora Bakoyianni.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (24.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-lira-soars-sharply-as-central-bank-lifts-rates-132281) reported that Turkey’s Central Bank, acting under pressure, sharply raised its key lending rate on May 23 to try to stem an outflow of capital from the country, control inflation and support the beleaguered currency.
The Turkish Lira regained some of its value after the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee held an emergency meeting and announced it was raising the rate from 13.5% to 16.5%. The value of the lira responded by rising to around 4.58 per dollar, after it had dropped to over 4.80 per dollar, down about 5% since the previous day.
The rate increase came despite President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s insistence that rates be kept low.
(…)The lira had lost more than 20% of its value against the dollar since the year began. Concerns had grown that imports would become more expensive for the Turkish people. A lower-valued currency can also lead investors to pull their money out of a country if they expect the value of their investments to drop as the currency weakens.
(…)Turkey’s market jitters in part reflect a global trend in which the currencies of emerging economies have come under pressure. Economists say that is partly because the U.S. Federal Reserve is steadily raising rates, thereby encouraging investors to shift their money into higher-yielding investments in the United States. Because Turkey is particularly dependent on foreign capital, its markets are among those to have suffered most. Other countries that have experienced sharp drops in the value of their currencies include Brazil and Argentina.
But Turkey’s currency has been hit especially hard because of the political backdrop: Though the central bank is in theory independent of the government, Erdogan has exerted pressure on the bank not to raise rates and potentially stir unrest as he prepares for early presidential and parliamentary elections next month.
Investors had been betting the sharp selloff in the lira - it has fallen some 20% so far this year and touched a series of record lows - would force the bank into making such a move.
The long-awaited move sent the lira rallying after a tumble.
The currency eased to 4.5717 against the greenback. It had traded earlier at a record low of 4.93 to the dollar during the day.
It is high time that Turkey restored monetary policy credibility, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek also said late on May 23, shortly after the Central Bank’s move.
In tweeted comments, he also said he supported any action by the Bank to stem the slide in the lira and achieve price stability.
Also, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci has called on responsible institutions to adopt monetary policies to the duty, while describing the recent steep loss in the lira’s value as “speculative and abnormal.”
“Our institutions, which are responsible for maintaining monetary policy should act … All institutions must do what it needs to do. There are tools that can be utilized. They must be used without delay,” he said in a live interview on NTV on May 23.
“We need to show that we cannot allow any speculative loss in the lira’s value,” Zeybekci noted, adding that it was not possible to attach the lira’s plunge to the realities and the dynamics of the Turkish economy.
Government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said further that a game was being played with the lira, but it would not affect next month’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/borsa-istanbul-converts-all-cash-assets-into-lira-132231) reported that Turkey’s main stock exchange, Borsa Istanbul, has said it has converted all of its cash assets into Turkish Lira to show its confidence in the country’s economy.
Borsa Istanbul said in a written statement on May 23 that the decision was taken after a “thorough review on the real dynamic of the economy and harsh speculative moves in the foreign exchange markets.”
“After a detailed review on the Turkish economy, we have converted all bourse assets into lira with the exemption of the amount needed to meet our short-term needs, in order to show our confidence and support to the Turkish Lira,” read the statement.
However, it did not give any details about its foreign exchange-denominated assets.
The decision came as the lira has lost almost 15% of its value over the last month. The lira saw 4.84 against the greenback in the early Asia trading.
Meanwhile, this is the second time the main stock exchange took this step. In December 2016, Borsa Istanbul became the first institution to convert all of its cash assets into lira a few hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called on people and institutions to back the struggling currency against the U.S. dollar.
Turkish daily Sabah (23.05.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/05/23/currency-volatility-unrelated-to-turkeys-economic-reality-growth-rate-at-74-pct-erdogan) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said late Wednesday during a speech addressed to the former Deputies of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the Presidential complex in Ankara that the recent volatility in currencies is not at all related to Turkey's economic reality.
The Turkish economy has a growth rate of 7.4%, Erdogan said, adding that: "We are also ahead of European countries in national income per capita."
"All necessary measures to lower inflation and current account deficit will be taken after the elections. We are working according to our financial policies," Erdogan said, adding that “there is no economic situation that we cannot overcome. I am calling on all our people not to favor other currencies over the Turkish lira."
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım also spoke about the matter. "The Turkish government is doing its job, has a good command on economy and strictly follows financial policies. Our fight against inflation will continue," he said. “The free market economy will remain the same under all circumstances" he added.
Deputy Prime Minister responsible for the economy Mehmet Simsek said after the emergency meeting that "none of Turkey's macroeconomic problems are insurmountable," adding that Turkey has fixed problems in the past and will do it again.
"The Central Bank Governor and member of the monetary committee have my full backing in doing what's necessary to stem the slide in [Turkish] lira and achieve price stability," Simsek said on his official Twitter account.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ince-tells-erdogan-to-sack-your-economic-aides-as-turkeys-economy-tanks-132274) reported that Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has called on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to replace his economic advisers, warning that Turkey’s economy is “about to hit the wall.”
“Please revise all your aides and staff who have been giving you wrong information. Remove those who have been lying to you,” İnce said on May 23 in a rally in the eastern province of Erzincan.
Ince was speaking as the value of the Turkish Lira continued to plunge to fresh record lows against the dollar and he warned that the fall in the lira’s value “will result in high inflation and higher interest rates.” “If they will insist on the current path we will all sink. Our nation will lose income. Our economic system will get into a serious turmoil,” İnce added, listing four other calls to Erdogan to address deepening economic woes.
“Also, please do not intervene in the Central Bank’s independent implementation of monetary policy. Third, please share with the market that non-emergency public spending will be postponed and public financial discipline will be a priority,” he said.
He also said there is a speculation that foreign exchange controls will be implemented, calling on Erdogan to “dismiss the rumors.
“Please publicly announce that none of the outdated practices such as foreign exchange controls or exchanging all assets from foreign currencies into Turkish Liras will ever be on the agenda,” İnce added.
Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (23.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/dont-wait-for-polls-to-defend-turkish-lira-good-party-leader-132268) reported that the Good (İYİ) Party leader Meral Aksener has called on the government to “urgently re-establish confidence” in the economy.
“In this case, the significance of the Central Bank’s independence and its merits has appeared once again. A comprehensive monetary and fiscal policy normalization should be made without losing any time and the market should be shown that this country’s economy is not vulnerable. Trust must be restored urgently,” Aksener said in a written statement on May 23.
She criticized the current government’s economic administration for “not seeing the realities” and for not admitting “its mistakes” for the last past 16 years.
In a reference to the government rhetoric that the money market and economy is in recession due to foreign intervention, she noted that Turkey’s economy is not “collapsing” due to foreign forces.
“If we are under a financial and economic attack as the government claims, the biggest mistake to make is to remain indifferent to this attack. This is to accept defeat from the beginning,” she said.
Aksener blamed the government of “arrogance” and said that the ruling party preferred consuming without producing as the main economic policy.
The government has borrowed money and has spent it on construction, she said, noting that Turkey’s foreign deficit has increased from $130 billion to $450 billion.
The government should let the Central Bank free, she said. “The way to solve it is to trust institutions and the people you have assigned and to free their hands,” said Aksener.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-issues-detention-warrants-for-109-suspects-on-alleged-terror-charges-132233) reported that Turkey issued detention warrants for 109 people over their suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) on May 23, state-run Anadolu Agency reported, citing a judicial source.
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office issued detention warrants for 39 suspects including 11 former employees of the Family and Social Policies Ministry after they were accused of using ByLock, an encrypted smartphone messaging application that is said to have been used by members of the network, the source speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to media was quoted as saying.
Police have so far detained 13 suspects during simultaneous raids conducted in Ankara, the source said, adding that the operations to detain the remaining suspects were continuing.
More detention warrants were issued in the Central Anatolian province of Konya for 70 suspects, including 43 serving soldiers.
The Konya-based nationwide simultaneous raids conducted across 23 provinces are ongoing, Anadolu Agency reported.
The network of the U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen is widely believed to have been behind the July 2016 coup attempt, which left 250 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-blasts-greek-court-for-granting-asylum-right-to-soldiers-linked-to-coup-attempt-132286) reports that Turkey has slammed a court decision in Greece granting the right to apply for asylum to former Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece immediately after the July 2016 coup attempt.
“This is the most shameful decision that can ever be given for a country,” EU Minister Omer Celik said via his Twitter account late on May 23.
“The legal system of the EU-member Greece has decided to protect terrorists who had initiated for a coup attempt in a bid to destroy democracy in Turkey. This mentality has stood with terrorists against Turkey,” Celik added.
The Greek Council of State on May 23 granted the right for these soldiers to apply for asylum from Greece, despite Turkey’s long-standing request of their extradition.
In a written statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry also condemned the Greek court’s decision. “With this decision, Greece has been registered as a country that protects coup plotters in the eyes of the international community,” it said, calling on Greece to “not repeat the same mistake.”
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