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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-30.06-02.07.18

 

No. 125/18                                                                                                         

 

Contents

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Erdogan is expected to illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 10 July

2. Akinci stressed the need for  peace, friendship and brotherhood in Cyprus

3. The occupation regime describes as “unacceptable” EU General Affairs Council’s reference to Cyprus

4. Harmanci met with the German and Irish Ambassadors

5. “TRNC” participates in the Anatolia’s Phoenix 2018 military drill

6. The breakaway regime prepares a “draft bill” to seize properties

7. Activist Okan Dagli argues that the Turkish Cypriot side has not done the necessary works for the opening of the Deryneia crossing point

8. The “International Leaders Forum in Education 2018” to take place in the breakaway regime

9. Employment rate is only 48,2% in the occupied area of Cyprus

10. Rumors that the Communal Democracy Party is ready to leave the “coalition government

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey’s AK Party to hold regular congress in August

2. I will not run against Kılıçdaroğlu for leadership: CHP candidate İnce

3. HDP will demand release of imprisoned PKK leader Öcalan, party Deputy says

4. MHP to endorse AK Party nominee in Parliamentary Speaker voting

5. State of emergency decrees are law: Turkey’s top court

6.  Foreign students detained over FETÖ links in Turkey's south

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Erdogan is expected to illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 10 July

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.07.18) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to illegally visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on 10 July, prior to the NATO Summit, which will be held on 11 and 12 of this month. According to the paper, the Turkish President is likely to visit the occupied area of Cyprus on this date in order for not spoiling the tradition of the newly elected Turkish officials to hold their first visit abroad to the occupied area of Cyprus.  

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (02.07.18) reports that Erdogan will attend the inauguration ceremony of the Hala Sultan Mosque in occupied Mia Milia area. The mosque, the construction of which started in 2013, was built inspired by the Selimiye Mosque in the Turkish city of Edirne. According to the paper, the Hala Sulta Mosque has become the symbol of the occupied area of Cyprus, is built on 37,000 square meters of land and has four minarets. It is reported that 6,000 persons can simultaneously pray in this mosque.   

(I/Ts.)

 

2. Akinci stressed the need for  peace, friendship and brotherhood in Cyprus

Illegal Bayrak  (30.06.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=peace-friendship-and-brotherhood) broadcast  that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı criticized the Greek Cypriot side over its  stance on the fuel issue and said: “No matter what ideologies we have we will never support enmity or war and will always support peace, brotherhood and friendship”

He said that no matter what, he will always be by the side of what is right and will continue to seek the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

He made the statement while he attended a festival in occupied Trikomo where he emphasized the importance of peace, friendship and brotherhood and said that “the country, community and the world are in great need of these three values at the moment”.

“These three words are very important. The opposite of peace is war and where there is no peace there is war. Where there is war there is blood, murders and tears. Where there is no friendship or brotherhood there is hate and enmity so no matter what ideologies we have we don’t want enmity, hate or war we want peace, brotherhood and friendship”, he stated

He also said that in order for these three nice words to become a reality efforts are  needed to be exerted and touched upon the Greek Cypriot side’s stance that it has adopted regarding fuel on the island.

Akıncı claimed that it  was not only the fuel issue but several other issues that the Greek Cypriot side did not see themselves as equals to the Turkish Cypriots and were taking so called measures that are  leading to fuel tensions.

He gave the example of the Greek Cypriot authorities preventing tourists who come to the island through Larnaca Airport who they have determined will be staying at hotels in the “north” of the island.

He also reminded that last year the Greek Cypriot authorities had also prevented a variety of folklore groups who came through Larnaca Airport from crossing over to the “north” of the island.

“During the 1960 Republic of Cyprus term education, sports and cultural activities belonged to the two peoples of the island and no matter what the name of the partnership to be established will be, when there is a solution activities such as culture, sports, arts, education, health and a variety of other fields will be held within the two constituent states this has always been agreed on and is well known” , Akinci said and claimed that despite the Greek Cypriot side’s stance they will not reciprocate such a stance.

Akıncı also voiced his view that the Greek Cypriot side needed to change their mentality.

“We will not deviate from out path and we will continue to seek the Turkish Cypriot peoples’ rights and freedoms”, he stated.

Bayrak also broadcast that folk dance groups from Turkey, Brazil, Bolivia, Romania, Russia, Czech Republic, “Macedonia” and Hungary are taking take part in the 23rd International Folk Dance Festival.

 

3. The occupation regime describes as “unacceptable” EU General Affairs Council’s reference to Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.07.18) reported that the self-styled ministry of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has alleged that EU’s “known biased position” regarding Cyprus is once more reiterated in the statement of EU General Affairs Council issued on 26 June 2018 after its meeting in Luxembourg.

In a written statement, the self-styled ministry described this position as unacceptable and claimed that they expected the EU to take steps which would pave the way for mutual gains and thus to serve reconciliation and cooperation on the island, encourage the Greek Cypriot leadership for a cooperation which will contribute to mutual trust between the two sides and avoid approaches that will negatively influence their relations. The “ministry” alleges that the positions of the EU, which are included in the paragraph regarding Cyprus, encouraged Greek Cypriot side’s “intransigent stance” and grow the distance of the two sides from the solution perspective.

Referring to the hydrocarbons issue, the “ministry” alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has ignored the calls for cooperation made by the Turkish Cypriot side, which “is determined to protect its rights” and will continue to take steps on this issue together with Turkey. “In case the unilateral and compelling steps continue, while our calls as Turkish Cypriot side for cooperation exist, no other option remains to the Turkish Cypriot side expect for taking similar steps”, argues the statement.

(I/Ts.)     

4. Harmanci met with the German and Irish Ambassadors

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.06.18) reports that the “mayor” of the occupied part of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci met on Friday with the German Ambassador to Cyprus Franz Josef and the Irish Ambassador to Cyprus Deirdre Ní Fhallúin.

During the meeting, the Cyprus problem, “municipality works”, joint projects with the Nicosia Municipality and bicommunal projects were discussed.

(DPs)

 

5. “TRNC” participates in the Anatolia’s Phoenix 2018 military drill

According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (02.07.18, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c36-TURKIYE/n256134-anadolu-ankasi-2018-tatbikati-kktcnin-de-katilimiyla-gercekl), Anatolia’s Phoenix 2018 military drill hosted by Turkish General Staff (TSF) began on June 1 with the participation of Azerbaijan, “TRNC” and Saudi Arabia.

Anatolia’s Phoenix military drill has been hosted by the Turkish Armed Forces since 2009 at the 3rd Main Jet Base Command in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, according to the Turkish General Staff on June 1.

The exercise, which will test the common personnel rescue procedures in operational environment, will end on July 6.

(DPs)

6. The breakaway regime prepares a “draft bill” to seize properties

Under the title “Government moves to seize property” and the subtitle “‘Ground-breaking draft bill will allow compulsory acquisitions under 3 new conditions’”, Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (30.06.18) published the following article:

“The government will bail out homebuyers who are stuck in a property ‘nightmare’ because of ‘legal loopholes’ and unscrupulous property developers, under proposed changes to the law.

A new draft bill has been drawn up by ministers that aim to give them the power to expropriate land and property in certain circumstances, including where the reputation of the TRNC [the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] is being ‘jeopardised’.

These could include help for buyers left with unfinished properties or cases like the Orams, the British couple who found themselves the target of legal action in UK courts.

Details of the plans, first revealed on June 21 in the official gazette, envisage an amendment to the 1962 compulsory acquisition act.

A preamble said that the bill was necessary due to the ‘previous financial problems’ and ‘half-built and abandoned constructions, which … have caused environmental pollution and continue to do so today’.

It continued: ‘Also, private property owners have been going through victimisation due to the loss in the value of their properties in the areas which have been declared first-degree conservation areas. Another issue is that many people who have purchased properties in our country have been subjected to significant victimisation due to legal loopholes, despite paying the commodity price of the property, and this might jeopardise the reputation of the property regime of our country at the international level.’

Members of the public have 20 days from the date of publication to suggest any changes to the draft bill. Human rights lawyer and former foreign minister Emine Colak said the property reforms were ground-breaking. She explained that the draft bill sets out three new ‘conditions’ that would authorise the government to expropriate properties. ‘The first is that half-built properties that have been abandoned… dotting the country, could be expropriated by the government to prevent environmental pollution’, she said.

‘The second condition is that properties could be expropriated if they happen to be located within a first-degree historical or archaeological site, enabling the government to acquire the property and compensate the property owner’.

‘The third allows the government to expropriate property if it is required to protect the reputation of the property regime of the country, and it makes special reference to Orams and Kulaksiz cases, and I may even add the Garry Robb cases, which saw  buyers fall victims. Basically, it will pave the way for the government to step into the shoes of the landowner, to be able to negotiate a remedy with the introduction of a new mechanism to property buyers who have through no fault of their own fallen victims.’

Ms Colak said that property purchasers who face disputes because their developers had been declared bankrupt would also be able to benefit from the new law, once enacted.

This is the first tangible move by a government to address the property trap that has affected thousands of property buyers from foreign residents to locals alike’, she said.”

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.07.18), under the title “Expropriation hope in the constructions”, reports that the contractors see the “amendment to the compulsory acquisition act” as a hope to earn for the economy from constructions, which have been idle for years now.

Cafer Gurcafer, “president of the Turkish Cypriot construction contractors association”, argues that the “amendment in the legislations will only allow the state to expropriate constructions left unfinished by foreign construction companies as Bulut Construction, Herpa, Garry Robb, and Olivia, adding that the “legislation” will not cover the local companies. He further explained that “contracts with court orders or mortgage half constructions and memorandums will not be covered by this legislation; the state will not be able to seize or expropriate them”. However, at least 4,000 constructions and not less will be included.

Gurcafer further argued: “This law alone is not enough. After this, measures should be taken in order to avoid such situations. Some guarantees should be asked before granting to foreign investors permission to invest. Related laws should be moulded towards this direction”.

(DPs)

 

7. Activist Okan Dagli argues that the Turkish Cypriot side has not done the necessary works for the opening of the Deryneia crossing point

Famagusta Initiative Activist Okan Daglı, speaking to the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.06.18) emphasized that the opening date of Deryneia crossing point could not be reached by reminding that the necessary works were not made in time.

Dagli argued that the date for the opening of the Deryneia crossing point was July 1st, but the Turkish Cypriot side did not do its part, adding that now other dates are being mentioned. Under these conditions not only the crossing point would not be opened on July 1st but would not be opened within this year.

 Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side only paved the street, Dagli said that the military zone area has been completed with barbed wires. But the “police and civilian civil services have not been done yet”, the issue of electricity has not been put out to tender, and there is a lot more work regarding the cabins, generators, parking lots and pavements, Dagli explained.

(DPs)

8. The “International Leaders Forum in Education 2018” to take place in the breakaway regime

Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (02.07.18) reports that the “International Leaders Forum in Education 2018” will take place at the ”foreign ministry” between 3-7 of July.

The “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay will deliver the first speach of the forum in which also other Turkish Cypriot politicians will participate as speakers,  including the “minister of education”, Cemal Ozyigit and the chairman of the Revival Party (Tr. Note: The party of the settlers)  Erhan Arikli.

Around 100 persons from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan  and the breakaway regime will participate in the forum.

(CS)

9. Employment rate is only 48,2% in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.07.18) reports that only 48,2% of the population which is able to work is employed in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. According to the results of the “household workforce survey October 2017” announced recently by the “state planning organization”, the population which is able to work reached 250,857 persons. According to the results of the survey, 120,999 persons (48,2%) are employed, while 122,406 persons (48,8%) could not be included in the workforce. Unemployment rate is 5,8% (7,453 persons).

(I/Ts.)    

 

10. Rumors that the Communal Democracy Party is ready to leave the “coalition government”

Turkish Cypriot daily Nacak newspaper (02.07.18) reports that the rift after the “municipal elections” between the Turkish Cypriot parties grew deeper and as a result the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) is getting ready to leave the “coalition government”.

Citing information the paper claims that after a meeting held between the trade unions of teachers of primary and secondary schools the TDP decided to leave the “coalition”.

The four parties consisting the “government” are facing difficulties to fulfill the promises they gave before the January 6, 2018 elections the paper argues, suggesting that the parties are putting obstacles to the decision some “ministries” have taken. For example, the paper writes, the efforts of the People’s Party (HD) to fight illegal gambling were prevented while the TDP was not able to apply its policy towards labor issues that are important for the party or issues related to education.

According to Nacak, “prime minister” Erhurman worries that his Republican Turkish Party will have to face the cost of these  decisions and the failure of the “government”  to fulfill its promises and is working backstage aiming to establishe a government with the National Unity Party (UBP)  that would be accepted by all.

(CS)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey’s AK Party to hold regular congress in August

Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/turkey-s-ak-party-to-hold-regular-congress-in-august/1191140) reports that fresh from its June 24 election victory, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will hold its sixth regular grand congress this August, a party spokesperson said Friday.

“It was agreed to hold the congress on Saturday, Aug. 18,” Mahir Unal told reporters during a meeting of the AK Party’s highest decision-making body, the Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK), in the capital Ankara.

The AK Party normally holds its grand congresses once every three years. The last was in September 2015.

In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.07.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/akp-to-prepare-for-local-elections-erdogan-134037) reports that Turkish  President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would continue working for the local elections, which are scheduled to be held in March 2019, expressing his discontent regarding the June 24 election results, where the ruling AKP lost 7 points from its vote %age, compared to the previous elections.

“We will focus on the local elections as soon as possible. We will go to the polls after taking necessary steps in accordance to the message given in the polls of June 24. […] We will determine our cadres in the congress and commence our election campaign,” he said, during the ruling AKP’s Central Decision and Executive Board meeting on June 30.

His words were interpreted as a change in the schedule for local elections, to a date earlier than its scheduled date in March 2019.

According to sources, the issue of early local elections was not mentioned at the board meeting. However, some politicians argue local elections might be re-scheduled to October or November 2018.

To bring the local elections to an earlier date necessitates a constitutional change. A constitutional amendment can only be possible with the votes of a qualitative majority in the parliament, which corresponds to 400 votes out of 600 seats in Parliament.

2. I will not run against Kılıçdaroğlu for leadership: CHP candidate İnce

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News(01.07.18  http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/i-will-not-run-against-kilicdaroglu-for-leadership-chp-candidate-ince-134032) reports that main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce responded to inner-party debates and said he would not step up against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for the leadership, adding that he would continue his mission to be “the President of 81 million people.”

“I will not run against [Kılıçdaroğlu] and be his competitor. I will not commit such disloyalty to a person who has presented me as a presidential candidate,” İnce said on July 1, as inner-party debates were a center of attention within the CHP following the June 24 election results.

Turkey’s main opposition party received 22 % of the votes and their presidential candidate gathered 30 % of the votes in the latest elections, which has raised criticism against the current administration, leading to some members and supporters to ask for the resignation of the CHP leader.

Since İnce had presented himself as a candidate for leadership against Kılıçdaroğlu in two previous congresses, it was rumored he would push for an extraordinary congress and transform his energetic presidential campaign into a leadership post in the CHP.

İnce and Kılıçdaroğlu have responded to claims over the tension between the two, in which İnce said on June 27 he would not ask for a congress.

 “İnce is an asset for the CHP,” said Kılıçdaroğlu on the same day.

I will not ask for a congress. I will never have such a demand. However, if the CHP organizations were to invite me to such post and he [Kılıçdaroğlu] says ‘I will resign,’ then I am ready,” said İnce, reiterating his position on July 1.

He said he appreciated that Kılıçdaroğlu had presented him as a presidential candidate.

“It is not something everyone can do,” said İnce.

İnce said he would continue his mission to be “the President of 81 million people.” “I do not want a seat in the party, I want to rule Turkey,” he said. “I do not think this election will last five years,” said İnce.

Refuting claims that he would form a new political party, he reiterated his earlier promise to visit all 81 cities in Turkey. “I am thinking about how we can manage to turn those 15 million votes into 30 million votes,” he said.

İnce said there were mistakes made during the campaigning period but he would stick to his motto of becoming “everyone’s president.”

“I will continue the slogan of ‘I am everyone’s President.’ You will see that I will be successful. I will not leave it here, I stand behind my promise. As long as my health permits, I will be a presidential candidate again,” he said.

3. HDP will demand release of imprisoned PKK leader Öcalan, party Deputy says

Turkish  Daily Sabah (30.06.18) reported that the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will demand the release of the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan, a newly-elected Deputy from the party reportedly said on Thursday. Semra Güzel, the HDP's newly-elected southeastern Diyarbakır Deputy, said that the party will struggle for peace and freedom, and this is only possible with Öcalan's release. "People's demand is not just an end to the isolation of Öcalan, but also his release. We will carry this request to Parliament," she said.

The founder and leader of PKK terrorist organization was jailed in 1999 for forming an armed organization after a death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He is being held on İmralı Island in the Sea of Marmara.

The Turkish government has long accused the HDP of having close links with the PKK, a group banned by the European Union and the U.S. In November 2016, 13 HDP lawmakers were arrested, and 10 of them, including HDP Co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, remain under arrest awaiting trial on charges related to being members or leaders of and committing crimes for the PKK terrorist group.

4. MHP to endorse AK Party nominee in Parliamentary Speaker voting

Turkish Daily Sabah (29.06.18) reported that the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will not nominate a candidate for parliament speaker elections and will support the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) nominee instead. "The MHP will not suggest a candidate for the Parliamentary Speaker. It will back the AK Party's candidate," Deputy MHP leader Mustafa Kalaycı told Anadolu Agency.

The new Parliament will hold its first plenary session on July 8 at 2 p.m. local time, three days after the Supreme Election Council (YSK) gives the final official results for the June 24 general elections.

The main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Deputy Deniz Baykal - at 80, the parliament's oldest Deputy - will chair the assembly as the acting Speaker. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as well as lawmakers will be sworn in at the Parliament in the capital Ankara on July 8. After the swearing-in, Baykal will hand over the speaker's duties to Durmuş Yılmaz, the second-oldest Member of Parliament. Yılmaz was elected from the Ankara province as a lawmaker from the Good Party (İP).

Elections for the Parliamentary Speaker will be held on July 13. On Sunday, the presidential and parliamentary elections saw the People's Alliance, which was formed by the AK Party and the MHP, claim victory with 53.7 % of the votes and Erdoğan with 52.6 %.

On the other hand, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nation Alliance, which was formed between the CHP, the Good Party (İP), the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP), garnered 33.9 % of the vote.

Some details about the parliamentary schedule were made public on Friday for the upcoming term, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to take oath on July 9.

 Speaking to journalists in front of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) headquarters on Friday, AK Party Group Deputy Chairman Mustafa Elitaş said that the duty of the government officially starts once the President takes oath.

He was referring to the new executive presidential system that came into effect with the June 24 elections.

5. State of emergency decrees are law: Turkey’s top court

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.07.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/state-of-emergency-decrees-are-law-turkeys-top-court-134012) reports that Turkey’s Constitutional Court officially recognized the state of emergency decrees in its ruling on June 30 as law, rejecting the request of the main opposition for their annulment.

The Republican’s People Party (CHP) had brought the state of emergency decrees numbered 7076 and 7077 to the Constitutional Court after they were adopted by the Parliament as law.

According to the CHP’s application, the two decrees included issues, such as a new legal requirement for drivers to use winter tires, that were allegedly beyond the scope of the emergency law.

The Constitutional Court on June 30 rejected the application, stressing that the emergency decrees cannot be declared null and void by the top tribunal.

The ruling draws the limits of the top court in checking the legality of the executive decrees, whether they are approved by the Parliament to become law or not.

According to the ruling, the court can only review whether a decree becomes law according to proper procedures at the Parliament, but it cannot declare it null and void by evaluating its content, scope or timing.

6.  Foreign students detained over FETÖ links in Turkey's south

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (30.06.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/foreign-students-detained-over-feto-links-in-turkeys-south-133996) reported  that some 16 foreign students -- 10 from Somalia, three from Djibouti, two from Guinea and one from Syria -- were rounded up for their alleged links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ) in the southern Mersin province, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on June 30, citing the Chief Prosecutor’s Office.

One of the suspects, who was rounded up was reported to be the contact person for foreign students linked to the group in the Mersin province.

The suspects, who were studying at Mersin University, were detained after police reportedly raided 10 of the  group’s cell houses.

Police are reported to be hunting seven other suspects as part of the probe into the group which Ankara accuses of having masterminded the deadly coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

Separately, at least 29 suspects, including on-duty soldiers, were detained across Turkey for their alleged links to FETÖ, the agency reported on June 30, citing police sources.

………………….

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(CS / AM)