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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-03.07.18


No. 126/18                                                                                                          


 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. So-called deputies attended the PACE meeting in Strasburg

2. Erhurman says that they want a “university” in occupied Karpasia

3. “Turkey-TRNC Chamber of Commerce Forum” is formed

4. Detention of 22 FETO suspects

5. Measures for the renovation of Greek and Turkish cemeteries in Cyprus

6. The machinery for constructing a tunnel in occupied Morfou-Kapouti area arrived


Β. Turkish Press

1. Turkish government signals early local election in November

2. AKP to issue key decrees for new executive Presidential system

3. Key FETÖ suspect Güven dies in prison

4. Turkish citizens live in 170 of the world's 193 countries: study


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. So-called deputies attended the PACE meeting in Strasburg

Illegal Bayrak  (03.07. 18 11:29 ) broadcast that he Republican Turkish Party (CTP) “deputy”  Armağan Candan and the National Unity Party (UBP) “deputy” Ersan Saner “represented”  the breakaway regime at the General Assembly meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

According to a statement released by the “TRNC Strasbourg representation office”, current issues were discussed during the general assembly meetings held in Strasbourg between the 25 and 29 of June.

Candan delivered a speech at a session during which a report by the Socialist Group member Stefan Schennach on the “intentional destruction of cultural heritage and cultural heritage smuggling” was taken up.

Pointing out that cultural heritage, wherever it belongs, was the common heritage for all humanity, Candan said “it is our common duty to protect the world’s cultural heritage.”

Stressing that all cultural heritage on the island belonged not only to Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins but generally to the whole of humanity, he said that the destruction of cultural heritage and the smuggling of historical artifacts should be condemned.

Providing information about the work carried out by the bi-communal Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, Candan explained that the committee was established on the 21 of March 2008 as part of confidence building measures with the aim of contributing to the protection of cultural heritage on both sides on the island.

He also stressed that work carried out by the Cultural Heritage Technical Committee which is one of the most efficient working bi-communal technical committees operating on the island should also be supported by the Council of Europe.

Meanwhile, in addition to the plenary sessions of the Council of Europe, Candan and Saner also attended the meetings of the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee, Culture, Science, Education and Media Committee, Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee and the Migration, Refugee and Displaced Persons Committee.

Candan attended the Socialist, Democrat and Greens Group meetings and Saner attended the Conservative Group meetings.


2. Erhurman says that they want a “university” in occupied Karpasia

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (03.07.18) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, evaluated yesterday the work of his “coalition government” during the past 4,5 months. In statements during a program of Diyalog TV, Erhurman said that long-term planning is needed for solving the existing problems and that it is not possible to solve problems which exist for 50 years within 50 days. He argued that there has been no threat until today [for the future of the “coalition government”] and expressed his satisfaction with the performance of his “ministers”.   

Referring to the gap between the students studying in private schools and those going to “public” schools, Erhurman noted that the fact that these children cannot share the same social environment could cause problems in the future and added: “If we do not cover this difference, social explosions will take place. […] We must put long term policies in front of us”.

Referring to the tourism sector, Erhurman argued that they should develop a policy by which the occupied area of Cyprus to become a “trade mark” in tourism and not to lose income when Turkey’s tourism betters itself.

Referring to the fuel issue, Erhurman noted that by adopting a “regulation”, they have tried to avoid price increases and described as “nonsensical” the reaction and the measures of the Greek Cypriot side when “even Greek Cypriots tried to purchase fuel from here”. He noted that they expect stabilization of the foreign exchange rates after the elections in Turkey and added that if this does not happen, increases in the price of the fuel will come onto the agenda. 

Recalling that on the one hand they rejoice because the number of the students in their “universities” reached 100,000 but on the other they face some problems deriving from this, Erhurman argued that 100,000 students constitute the one third of the population living in the occupied area of Cyprus and that a problem exists when public transportation is like the transportation in the occupied area of Cyprus. He also said that criminality and “illegal” actions increased, adding that they need a “planned structure” in which they will be able to see their future.

Responding to viewers’ questions, Erhurman noted that they definitely want the establishment of a “university” in occupied Trikomo-Karpasia area and added:

Within 4,5 months we have conducted two separate studies regarding the university issue here. In Rizokarpaso there is a project of the American University of Keryneia (GAU). In Gialousa there is the project of Istanbul Technical University (ITU). When we came to duty we asked for these two projects. Population is needed in these areas to ensure the loop of the economy. We want a center in Trikomo and a university in Gialousa or Rizokarpaso. GAU told us that it could start education in the beginning of 2020. ITU stated that it is not considering of investing soon and we postponed this. We want a new university in the area”.


3. “Turkey-TRNC Chamber of Commerce Forum” is formed

According to “BRT” channel (03.07.18,, a meeting on “Turkey-TRNC economic relations” which was organized by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) was held this morning.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed between the KTTO and TOBB after the meeting for the formation of the “Turkey-TRNC Chamber of Commerce Forum”.

The opening speeches of the event were delivered by “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman, the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Turgay Deniz and the Chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu.

The General Secretary of KTTO Aysun Onet Ileri and the Director of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey Prof. Dr Güven Sak delivered presentations on “Turkey-TRNC trade and investment relations”.

Speaking first, Deniz claimed that Turkish Cypriots are reportedly forced to live under unfair isolation. He condemned the EU as well as the international community of remaining silent over this issue

Stating that condemning the international community did not mean that the Turkish Cypriots did not want a settlement in Cyprus, Deniz pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot “people” needed to develop themselves economically whilst the search for a settlement continued.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech, said that the “TRNC” had a historical, cultural and economic importance on Turkey. He said that work carried out by the Turkish government on creating investment areas could be implemented in the “TRNC”. “We believe that the TRNC will take necessary steps to increase investments in the country” he added.

Erhurman for this part highlighted the importance of Turkey for the “TRNC” economy which he added is experiencing isolation from the rest of the world. Pointing out that there are a number of problems in the “TRNC” that have been going on for years, Erhurman said that the time to talk is over and that it is time to take action. “We need to spend all our energy for the future. The Turkish Cypriot people are experiencing a confidence problem. We need to overcome this first. We have both the capacity and the strength to succeed” he argued.


4. Detention of 22 FETO suspects

Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (03.07.18) reports that 22 suspects linked to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) were arrested during an operation in 13 provinces and in the occupied area of Cyprus.

The operation, which started last week to arrest 22 military officers, one of them in charge of a Turkish naval and land forces command, was completed.



5. Measures for the renovation of Greek and Turkish cemeteries in Cyprus

Under the title: “The issue of cemeteries in Cyprus is a shame for humanity”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.07.18) reports that the Bi-communal Culture Heritage Committee will start working in the coming days on the issue of the Greek Cypriot cemeteries remained in the north and the Turkish Cypriot cemeteries remained in the south of Cyprus.

The paper writes that the condition of the cemeteries is bad and is getting worse with the passing of time and measures are expected to be taken by the two sides in Cyprus. Therefore the Committee will undertake a pilot project in both sides on the issue.



6. The machinery for constructing a tunnel in occupied Morfou-Kapouti area arrived

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (03.07.18) reports that the machinery which will be used for constructing a tunnel in the area between occupied Panagra and Kapouti villages in Morfou arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus with 27 TIRs. The machinery arrived in the occupied port of Famagusta and was sent to Panagra area through Nicosia escorted by the “police”. Breakaway regime’s former “minister” of agriculture, Kenan Akin welcomed the machinery at the occupied Famagusta port “with great enthusiasm”.

According to the paper, the water coming [to occupied Panagra] from Turkey will be poured into a depot having the capacity of 250 tons in Kapouti, after reaching there with pipes which will have the diameter of five meters and go 80 meters under the ground for a distance of five kilometers. 



Β. Turkish Press


1. Turkish government signals early local election in November

Turkish Hurriyet Daily news (03.07.18 reports that the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP) has signaled the bringing of local elections forward to November 2018 instead of March 2019, on the condition that opposition parties agree as the process requires a constitutional amendment.

“I think holding local elections on the first or second Sunday of November, which corresponds to a date between Nov. 1 and 8, would be appropriate,” AKP Deputy Parliamentary Group Chair Mustafa Elitaş told the Demirören News Agency on July 2. “But three parties have to agree on that,” he added, in reference to the need to amend the Constitution in order to change election dates.

Elitaş’s statement followed comments from Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Ahmet Eşref Fakıbaba, who fueled discussions by saying that the first year after a local election is usually “wasted” on preparations and orientation, and it would be better to spend the last months of the year on such preparations.

“As a former local politician, I think such a re-schedule would be the right thing to do,” Fakıbaba said in a televised interview on July 1.

The comments came amid reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said at a recent top AKP board meeting that the party “will not get out of the election atmosphere.”

“We will prepare for the local elections while there is still an election atmosphere,” Erdoğan reportedly said during the meeting on June 30.

Speculations have also been stirred as the AKP has opted to bring forward the date of its next ordinary congress to August 2018.

Bringing local elections forward to an earlier date necessitates a constitutional change, as the Constitution says local elections must be held every five years.

A constitutional amendment can only be possible with the votes of a majority in Parliament, which corresponds to 400 votes out of 600 seats in Parliament. If it receives more than 300 votes with a simple majority then the change has to be referred to a referendum.

As the AKP and Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) alliance has 343 seats in total, consent from opposition parties will be needed in order to bring forward local elections without a referendum.

“Three parties should agree on the issue,” Elitaş said, adding that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) “should come to an agreement.”

“The MHP has announced that there will be no early elections. But if other parties make other statements then the related authorities will make the necessary assessments,” he added.

Meanwhile, CHP Deputy Chair Seyit Torun said the party’s local organizations have already started preparations for local elections, with the party’s central administration instructing local organizations to be prepared for an earlier date.

The CHP is ready for an election with all of its organizations. We have made our preparations and we will continue to do so,” Torun said on July 1.

CHP Istanbul deputy Barış Yarkadaş also underlined that the AKP’s rescheduling of its congress is an indication of preparations for early elections, saying he believes the date will be Nov. 4.

“The AKP wants to hold an election before the economic crisis gets worse and its effects on people become visible. The date in their minds is Nov. 4, 2018. All parties would approve that,” Yarkadaş wrote on his official Twitter account on July 1.

The İYİ (Good) Party also said the early election will be assessed in its party administration. “The party will decide if such an election is needed considering Turkey’s economic indications and the ongoing struggle against terror,” it stated.


2. AKP to issue key decrees for new executive Presidential system

Turkish Hurriyet Daily news (03.07.18 reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will issue two key decrees this week for the harmonization of current laws for the new executive Presidential system that will fully go into effect with the inauguration of President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan will issue his first Presidential decree on July 9 that will mark the start of the new era.

Parliament had granted the existing AKP cabinet authority to issue decrees without Parliamentary provision before the June 24 election in order to ensure the integration of the new executive system stipulated by the constitutional amendment ahead of the President’s inauguration.

As the new system dismantles the Prime Ministry post and transfers all of its authority to the President-elect, the cabinet is expected to issue two decrees this week that will first amend 800 laws stipulating the Prime Ministry’s organization and authorities. It is stated that around 5,000 articles will be amended, in which all terms of the Prime Ministry will be lifted and replaced by the President.

Cabinet will abolish all laws that stipulate Ministries’ organizational structure, as the Ministries will henceforth all be appointed by the President-elect.

In order to prevent any discrepancy in the executive system, the cabinet will also issue enactment laws to ensure the authorization of all institutions until the new system is fully integrated.

Upon the President’s inauguration, a new government will be formed and the cabinet’s authority to issue decrees will end.

The President-elect will then issue the first decree, after which the new Ministries will be formed and the new organizational framework will be determined.

There will be 16 Ministries in total and after the formation of the Ministries with the decree, the new Ministers will be appointed by Erdoğan.

There is no time limit for the appointment of the Ministers but it is reported that 16 Ministers will be appointed at the same time. After the new Ministers take office, bureaucratic cadres will be appointed.

Presidential sources say the first decrees will cover basic regulations that will ensure the new executive system’s implementation. The other regulations about the system will be enabled gradually over time.

With the new system the undersecretary post will be lifted and replaced by more than one deputy minister, while sub-undersecretary posts will stay.

As there will be no undersecretary, the undersecretaries of national intelligence and security industry will become Ministries and under the presidency.

Currently, around 1,800 posts - from undersecretary to provincial directorates - are appointed with the President’s approval. With the first three decrees, this number will be changed and the President will only appoint the posts that are in direct contact with the presidency while the other cadres will be appointed by Ministers.

The archive and documents of the Prime Ministry have already started to be transferred to the Presidency.

Meanwhile, it is stated that Presidential offices will work as “think-tank,” with boards that will propose policies to the related Ministries.


3. Key FETÖ suspect Güven dies in prison

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.07.18 reports that Zeki Güven, the former intelligence chief of the Ankara Police Department who was arrested for his alleged links to the Fetullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), died in prison on July 1.

According to sources from the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, Güven died of a heart attack at Sincan F-Type Prison.

Güven was believed to be one of the high-ranking members of the network organized within the police force.

He was in prison on charges of “operating a terror organization.”

Güven had served as the deputy police chief in the western province of Bolu before he was dismissed from this job for his alleged links to FETÖ.

Güven and his wife, Sevda Güven, a former judge, were arrested at a shopping mall in the western Eskişehir province in June. Sevda Güven was also sought by the authorities for her links to the Gülen network.

Zeki Güven was one of the 171 suspects on trial at the Ankara 14th High Criminal Court over their involvement in a 2010 tape scandal concerning former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) executives.

According to the indictment, the suspects installed audio and video recorders in 12 different addresses, targeting 24 individuals. Baykal was among the targets, with footage emerging of him in flagrante delicto with a former CHP deputy.

The suspects are also accused of leaking the recordings on the internet.

Following the emergence of the scandal in May 2010, Baykal resigned as party leader.


4. Turkish citizens live in 170 of the world's 193 countries: study

Turkish Daily Sabah (03.07.18 ) reports that based on data compiled from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Turkish European Foundation for Education and Scientific Studies (TAVAK) and the Turkish Employment Agency (IŞKUR), the study found that of 6 million Turkish citizens living abroad, about 5 million live in Europe.

Most of the remaining 1 million Turkish citizens are residents of countries in North America, Australia, the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

Likewise, most of the Turkish citizens participating in the workforce were documented as residing on the European continent. As of 2018, 1.39 million Turkish citizens are working in Europe, 143,325 in the Americas, 166,731 in Asia, 34,090 in Australia and 16,987 in Africa.

The study also found that nearly 150,000 companies in Europe were founded by citizens of Turkey, generating almost 50 million euros in total annual sales.

Germany was found to be the country with the highest Turkish population. About 1.63 million Turkish citizens live in Germany, 544,382 of whom are actively employed.

The second-most populous country is France with 459,611 Turkish citizens, 195,794 of whom are employed in the country.

After Germany and France, the most preferred countries for Turkish workers are: the United States, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, Canada and the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”.

Between May 2017 and May 2018, 9,780 Turkish workers were sent abroad for employment, primarily in the construction sector. Of these workers, 9,752 were men and only 28 were women.

Though the Turkish nation boasts being descendants of nomadic tribes settled in present day Turkey, a similar mass movement started in the second half of twentieth century. Germany received an influx of "guest workers" in the post-World War Two period as the European country tapped into foreign workforce for rebuilding efforts and improving industrialization.

Throughout 1960s, Turkey signed workforce agreements with Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Australia. Migration of workers continued well into the first half of the 1970s. Seeing lucrative job opportunities elsewhere, Turks then turned to North Africa, the Middle East and the Gulf countries where a Muslim identity helped them better integrate. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and with increasing demand for foreign investments, Turks also headed en masse to the Turkic states of Central Asia and former Soviet republics.

As for the countries with the least Turkish citizens, data by TAVAK shows there is only one Turkish worker in Guinea. Similarly, only one Turkish worker is employed in Cape Verde, the archipelago nation off Africa's northwestern shores.

For decades, Turkey pursued haphazard policies regarding Turkish citizens abroad and it was only in 2010 that the state run Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities was founded. The agency is tasked with coordinating relations with Turks abroad and developing services to address their problems in an expanded scope rather than simple embassy services.




(CS / AM)