A. Turkish Cypriot Press:
Β. Turkish Press:
Illegal Bayrak television (28.06.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=erhurman-akinci-hold-weekly-meeting ) broadcast that self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhürman stated that that the Turkish Cypriot side’s determination will towards opening the Derynia crossing point is strong.
He said that “it will be possible for crossing points to open by the end of the summer if the Greek Cypriot side showed the same will”.
His words came following his routine weekly meeting this morning with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı.
Speaking to reporters after a 40 minute meeting, Erhürman said that the meeting had focused, among other things, on the issue of the Maronites as well as the Apliki and Derynia crossing points.
He also claimed that the Greek Cypriot side was unwilling to open the Derynia crossing point.
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot side had a clear will towards opening the Derynia crossing point, Erhürman said that work towards opening the crossing point is continuing even before the latest tenders process was completed.
He also said that he will continue to discuss the Maronites issue with Akinci at their meeting next week.
Under the title “After the elections, restoration of the line Ankara-Lefkosia”, columnist Sami Ozuslu, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.06.18), argues in the following commentary that with the elections in Turkey and in the occupied area of Cyprus, domestic issues and the Cyprus problem have fallen behind and wonders how these issues will be approached and to what extent and how will Cyprus be in the agenda of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ozuslu said that no one can’t answer these questions, adding that the indications and the expectations in the economy look bad, since the democracy instead of expanding keeps narrowing. He further worries that Turkey approaches more to and Islamic regime due to “2023 project”, which has been created to surpass the “Ataturk revolution”.
He writes: “We cannot wait, as long as we will have an impact. Of course, if you like to comment on the domestic issues or the foreign issues of Turkey, no one will listen, understand or even hear you… Anyway, Ankara does not hear the Turkish Cypriots’ voice in any matter!... (…) There are a lot of examples, where they bypassed the government, even the president (Turkish Cypriot leader). Likewise, they declare null and void the sensitivities of our government, the expectations of our community. As a result, we produced within 10 years, 8 prime ministers and 3 presidents… we formed and dissolved many governments. Every political party that objected to Ankara hit the wall in the next elections. However, even the parties, which are in harmony with Ankara, could not avoid hitting the wall. (…) In summary, Turkey – “TRNC” relations are not healthy neither on the Cyprus problem nor on the domestic issues. It is not sustainable.
We do not know how much and how Erdogan is interested on Cyprus with the new [presidential] system, and what does he think regarding the Cyprus problem and the future of the Turkish Cypriots. (…)”
Ozuslu writes that the main question is what they (Turkish Cypriots) want and wonders if they really know the answer and adds: “If we knew, the next question will be: ‘What should we do in order to explain to Ankara what we want?’ Steps should be taken in order to change the current model ‘top-down’ of Ankara-Lefkosia relations. The ministers and the bureaucrats, who travel to Ankara, should stop doing this. (…)”
The columnist argues also that “not only in the political sense, but a complete restoration of the relations between Ankara and Lefkosia should be done or they will sit and wait what Erdogan will dominate or they will continue saying ‘Turkey does not understand us, does not know us’”. Ozuslu concluded by saying: “Let’s try, if he does not want to know, understand, recognize, then there is nothing to do.”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.18) under the front-page title: “1 million TL meat smuggling”, reports that the so-called police confiscated yesterday 6,5 tons of frozen meat which was transferred illegally from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus to the occupied Aheritou village in occupied Famagusta.
According to the paper, the so-called police, in a large scaled operation yesterday and after a control it conducted in a van vehicle, confiscated the 6,5 tons of frozen meat. The “police” arrested Aysin Eskimuhtaroglu who was the driver of the van vehicle. Eskimuhtaroglu appeared yesterday in the occupied Famagusta district court which ordered his arrest warrant for two days.
Meanwhile, according to the paper, the 6,5 tons of the illegal meat were taken by “officials” of the “health services” the “veterinary department” and the “custom department” in order to be buried in the occupied Famagusta dumping ground. The illegal meat originates from Poland, Denmark and Austria.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.18) under the title: “UBP is looking for the rotten apple” reports that the situation inside the National Unity Party (UBP) is getting dark after the announcement of the “local elections’ results” and the failure of the party to “elect mayors” in the occupied part of Lefkosia and in the occupied Lapythos area.
According to the paper, the quarrels inside the circles of the party were increased after the disappointment created by the “local election’s results”. Reactions were expressed also against the chairman of the party, Huseyin Ozgurgun.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (28.06.18) reports on the same issue and writes that Ersin Tatar, “deputy” with the party in the occupied part of Lefkosia and former “minister of finance” announced his candidacy for the party’s leadership in the forthcoming congress of the party which is scheduled to take place on November 7. Meanwhile, Faiz Sucuoglu, “deputy” with the UBP and former “minister of health” stated that he will announce his candidacy for the party’s leadership next Wednesday.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (28.06.18) reports that the member of the administration board of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of trade (KTTO) Vargin Varer has been elected as a member of the administration board of the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA). [Translator’s note: ESBA is a non-party political European group, which cares for small business entrepreneurs and the self-employed, and represents them through targeted EU advocacy activities. ESBA also works towards the development of strong independent advocacy and benefits groups in European countries].
According to information acquired by the chamber, Varel attended ESBA’s general assembly which took place in Brussels. VareR held also a series of contacts in Brussels writes the paper, where he met with Lale Sener, representative of the chamber in Brussels.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-slams-eu-for-double-standards-133866) reports that Turkey slammed at decisions taken at the EU Ministers meeting in Luxembourg on June 26 saying it was “biased” and “prejudiced” after the bloc said Ankara was moving further away from Europe.
The decisions openly display how the Union is “captured by an anti-Turkey mindset,” EU Minister Omer Celik said on June 27 on his Twitter account.
The minister said that the document is “lacking vision, non-realistic and full of contradictions”.
Austria is in the first place, some member countries have revealed anti-Turkey mindset in the outcome document of the General Affairs Council on June 26, said the minister.
The Minister accused the EU of an attitude far from being objective, biased and based on neighborhood solidarity and said Turkey will not take it seriously.
Turkey cannot accept EU’s ‘selective relationship’, the Minister said.
Celik said that the EU’s latest comments amounted to saying “that it will not honour its commitments of the 18 March statement.” Taking aim in particular at Austria’s conservative government, he said it was “tragi-comic” that the EU made such comments when it was “held captive by members where the far-right is ruling”.
In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry said the EU decisions reflect the “prejudiced and unfair position of the EU towards” Turkey.
“Claiming that our country is moving further away from the process despite EU’s position is only hypocrisy and inconsistency,” said the ministry.
Turkey’s EU accession talks have come to a “standstill” as the country moves further away from the bloc, with little prospect of change in the near future, EU Ministers said on June 26, however at the same time praised Turkey for its “constructive cooperation” in addressing the migrant crisis.
“The Council [of Ministers] notes that Turkey has been moving further away from the European Union,” EU affairs Ministers meeting in Luxembourg said in a statement.
Turkish daily Sabah(28.06.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2018/06/28/erdogan-bahceli-agree-not-to-extend-state-of-emergency-in-first-meeting-after-elections) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahceli yesterday at the Bestepe Presidential Complex in the capital Ankara, in the first meeting between the two leaders since Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections. In the meeting, the leaders agreed not to extend the state of emergency, presidential sources said.
The meeting between the two leaders of the People's Alliance, which was formed by the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and MHP, began at 4 p.m. local time and lasted nearly 40 minutes.
In the meeting, which was closed to the press, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, MHP Deputy Chairmen Semih Yalcın, Celal Adan and Mustafa Kalaycı were also present.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/lawyers-of-jailed-selahattin-demirtas-take-rights-violation-case-to-echr-133857) reports that lawyers of Selahattin Demirtas, the imprisoned former co-leader of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), saying his freedoms were restricted.
The lawyers’ appeal on June 27 said Demirtas’s right to be elected as a citizen of Turkey was violated in the snap presidential and parliamentary elections that took place across Turkey and at customs gates on June 24.
Running for the presidential office in Ankara’s Bestepe district, Demirtas was imprisoned during the campaign period, which barely lasted for two months after the snap elections were announced on April 20.
The lawyers also said their client faced a violation of the “freedom of expression.”
Demirtas was not allowed to organize rallies in person, so he held an “e-rally” late on June 21, posting Twitter messages via his lawyers from the Edirne Prison where he has been held since November 2016.
“It is the first time in history that there is a rally from a prison cell. We are making history in terms of the history of democracy,” Demirtas said, referring to the conditions of his imprisonment and Turkey’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
He also made his campaign speech on state broadcaster TRT on June 17 from prison, marking another first in Turkey and the world’s political history.
Wearing a dark suit, Demirtas appeared in front of the cameras for the first time after nearly 20 months, denouncing what he called the government’s “repressive regime” ahead of the very early presidential election set to be held on June 24.
Demirtas has been using his right to speak with his relatives and his lawyers to convey campaign messages, often shared with the public via social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
The former co-leader of the HDP is in jail while being tried in a number of cases, including one in which he is charged with being a member of a terrorist organization.
The HDP candidate appealed to the top court on May 29 after the Ankara 19th Heavy Criminal Court ruled for the continuation of his imprisonment for the case where the former HDP co-leader was tried over “being a member of a terrorist organization.”
As there is no conviction against him, the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) had approved his presidential candidacy and he ran his campaign from his jail cell.
He received 8.4 % of the votes on June 24 elections, which took place under an ongoing state of emergency.
The HDP has won 11.7 % of the votes in the parliamentary race and secured 67 seats in a parliament with 600 seats.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/us-demand-to-stop-oil-trade-with-iran-not-binding-for-turkey-Minister-133872) reports that the United States’ demand to stop trading oil with Iran is not binding for Turkey, a top Turkish official has said, adding that Turkey would only follow a United Nations decision regarding this issue.
During a press meeting in Ankara on June 27, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci noted Turkey would pay attention so that its friend Iran will not face any unfair actions due to such actions.
The U.S. has told countries to cut all imports of Iranian oil by November and is unlikely to offer any exemptions, a senior U.S. Department of State official said on June 26 as the Trump administration ramps up pressure on allies to cut off funding to Iran.
“The decisions taken by the United States on this issue are not binding for us. Of course, we will follow the United Nations on its decision. Other than this, we will only follow our own national interests. In addition, we will pay attention so our friend Iran will not face any unfair actions,” Zeybekci said.
Turkey strives for the development of free trade around the world, Zeybekci also said.
“Turkey acts in a more responsible way for the improvement of global trade and we have shown an effort for the development of free trade among countries,” he said.
Zeybekci said Turkey has signed 24 free trade agreements and one preferential trade agreement, adding Ankara is still in talks to sign deals with some countries, including Mexico, Columbia and Peru.
His remarks came two days after Turkey and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries—Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland—signed an agreement to expand their free trade agreement (FTA).
Zeybekci said the deal with EFTA countries, updated to modern day circumstances, is the “most comprehensive” free trade agreement that Turkey has signed so far.
He added the updated deal will cover more areas such as services, electronics, tourism, health and transportation.
Under the above titleTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.06.18http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/taha-akyol/an-analysis-of-the-alliances-133877) reports that one important aspect of the 2018 polls was the alliances formed by political parties. The 10 % electoral threshold was effectively removed from the path of political parties that seek representation in parliament, except for the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
As all political scientists argue starting with Maurice Duverger, in presidential races the top two contenders always garner more votes than their respective parties. This explains why President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem İnce secured more votes than the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the CHP respectively, as well as why the Good (İYİ) Party candidate Meral Aksener and HDP candidate Demirtas secured less than their parties.
Erdogan has always received a few more votes than the AKP. In the latest elections, the share of the AKP’s vote declined to 42.6 %, but Erdogan was re-elected president with 52.6 %.
A large chunk of votes that shifted away from the AKP went to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which garnered 11 % of the vote. However, citizens who voted for the MHP still supported Erdogan in the presidential race.
Bekir Agırdır, a respectable researcher, talks about the “Three Turkeys”—a conservative Turkey (55-60 %), an urbanized Turkey, and a Kurdish movement.
Yes, the voting preferences are shaped by sociology.
Erdogan always garners 52 % of the vote, not by coincidence but because he represents a sociological base as a charismatic leader.
Recall that when Ekmeleddin İhsanoglu challenged him in the presidential race as the joint candidate of the CHP and MHP, Erdogan was elected, bagging 52 % of the vote. At that time, İhsanoglu, with the support of the CHP and MHP, received 38 % and Demirtas garnered 10 % of the vote. Nothing changed on Erdogan’s front in the 2018 elections. This time around he collected 52 % of the vote with support from the MHP.
Opposition parties shared the votes from a common pool of votes and this pool did not get larger.
In the latest elections, the CHP, İYİ Party and Felicity Party (SP) were focused on “the rule of law and the separation of powers.” Those are very valuable concepts but those concepts are primary issues for the “urbanized” quarter of society.
For the people living in developing regions, the most important issues are making a living, salaries, wages, and public investments. The AKP’s propaganda was based on those issues.
Both Muharrem İnce and Meral Aksener made a lot of election promises but they failed to explain “how” they would deliver on those promises.
I had written before the elections that the CHP unveiled an important development model, “Central Turkey,” ahead of the 2015 poll. Kılıcdaroglu called it “the project of the century.” This project was later to be accompanied by the “Anatolia Development Belts.”
Back then, I had said it was a good project that could attract foreign investments.
Did you hear anything about it during the CHP’s election trail? Kılıcdaroglu mentioned it in three speeches but did not talk about it. İnce did not even mention it. Thus, the election promises failed to convince people.
“A bird in the hand is worth four in the bush.” This explains why the AKP appeared more convincing when it came to making election promises. The pool of the vote the AKP feeds on did not become larger but it did not shrink either.
If the opposition parties had not formed an alliance, they would have a weak presence in parliament now. Kılıcdaroglu played a key role in forming the “Nation Alliance.” He has tried to reach out to wider masses.
It is absolutely a success for Aksener that her party managed to garner 10 % of the vote, even if it was launched only 10 months ago, as it did not receive any financial aid from the Treasury and overcame many hurdles.
She proved that a “central right” may exist in the “Three Turkeys.” But this could be possible only if the party has consistent policies, underlies the rule of law, and puts forward a development model.
In politics, actors should find ways to reach out and merge with each other by opening up windows, doors, and paths. This is how politics in our country can become more balanced and checked.”
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)