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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-10.07.18

No. 131/18       



A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. How the Turkish Cypriot press reacted on Erdogan’s new cabinet of Ministers

2. Erdogan’s programme for his visit to the occupied area of Cyprus was announced

3. Reactions and excitement over Erdogan’s visit to the occupied part of Cyprus

4. No change of the Turkish policy in Cyprus is expected

5. Erdogan’s illegal visit is described as “very important”

6. More about the “plot of land” in occupied Gerolakkos village which was “allocated as a present” to Denktas’ son

7. A protest yesterday demands for the “religious lessons at schools” in the occupation regime to be compulsory


B. Turkish Press

1.Erdogan vows stronger and advanced Turkey in first statement as executive President

2. President Erdogan announces Ministers of Turkey's new Cabinet

3. General Yasar Guler appointed as Chief of Staff

4. TL lost 3,5% of its value after Albayrak’s appointment as Treasury and Finance Minister




A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. How the Turkish Cypriot press reacted on Erdogan’s new cabinet of Ministers

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.07.18) reports that a new era has started for Turkey yesterday when the parliamentary system ended after Tayyip Erdogan took the oath at the Turkish Assembly, introducing  the country to the presidential system.

“Erdogan announced the new cabinet that was expected with great interest” writes the paper adding that Mevlut Cavusoglu, Suleyman Soylu and Abdulhamet Gul remained in their (ministry) posts   while Erdogan’s son-in-law Berat Albayrak who served as Minister of Energy was appointed as Minister of Treasury and Finance. Former Head of Turkish Armed Forces Hulusi Akar was appointed as Defense Minister.

Reporting on the issue, Yeni Duzen (10.07.18) writes that the Turkish lira crashed after Erdogan announced his cabinet (which includes people from his inner circle).

Euro rose up to 3,81% and was sold for 1 Euro to 5,5814 TL while  the dollar rose to 4,60 TL after Erdogan’s oath and rose even to 4.69 TL after the announcement of the new Turkish cabinet, scoring its higher recent  price against the Turkish Lira.



2. Erdogan’s programme for his visit to the occupied area of Cyprus was announced

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.07.18) reports that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is illegally visiting the occupied area of Cyprus this evening. He is paying his first visits abroad to Azerbaijan and the breakaway regime after taking the oath as the new President of Turkey.

Erdogan will arrive in the occupied area of Cyprus around 19.00 and at 19.15 an official ceremony will be held in his honor at the “presidential palace”. At 19.30 he will have a private meeting and a working dinner with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. At 21.00 Erdogan and Akinci will hold a press conference.

The Turkish President is expected to leave the breakaway regime late at night.



3. Reactions and excitement over Erdogan’s visit to the occupied part of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (10.07.18) writes that the progressive organizations as well as those who love their “country” reacted against Erdogan’s visit and notes that the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the Revolutionary Communist Union, the Trade Union of the Press workers (Basin-Sen) and Boran Culture center issued statements condemning Erdogan’s visit.

The chairman of Basin-Sen Trade Union Ali Kismir noted that many journalists are jailed in Turkey therefore Basin Sen cannot welcome Erdogan to Cyprus. He also stated that they will continue to oppose this mentality which put to jail the freedom of expression. He also reminded that during the time that rallies were organized in Turkey, Erdogan targeted the Turkish Cypriot Afrika newspaper, putting a black stain to the freedom of expression in (occupied) Cyprus as well. “The Turkish Cypriot community wants independence, peace not war, solution, not non-solution, schools not mosques, secularism and not Islamic law”, he stated,

On his part, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party Izzet Izcan stated that it is very unfortunate that Erdogan is conducting his first “official visit abroad” to (occupied) Cyprus and reminded that many democratic and patriotic men were put to jail after Erdogan’s government violated basic human rights and freedoms. He also stated that they cannot like those who want to establish a dark Islamic state in the place of the secular democracy of Ataturk.

Afrika also  writes that the “deputy speaker of the assembly” and “deputy” with the National Unity Party Zorlu Tore stated that they will experience today the excitement to see for once more the President of Motherland Turkey. He also said that it is a real shame the reaction of the Greek Cypriots and some circles in the Turkish Cypriot community that reacted against Erdogan’s visit and against the visit of other officials from Turkey while no one reacts against the visit of Greek officials.



4. No change of the Turkish policy in Cyprus is expected

Under the title “No change of policy is expected”, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.07.18) publishes statements by representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties regarding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus today and reports that both the “government” and the “opposition” agree that the Cyprus problem will be in the epicenter of this visit.

Erdogan Sorakin, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), described as “inevitable” the discussion of the Cyprus problem during Erdogan’s illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus and added that they expect Erdogan to send positive messages as regards the Cyprus problem, on which activity has been observed recently.

Cafer Ozcafer, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), argued that the Cyprus problem will not be discussed a lot during the visit and added that she does not expect a change of policy in the messages which Erdogan will give.  

Faiz Sucuoglu, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), said that it is not possible for the Cyprus problem not being on Erdogan’s agenda and added that an assessment will definitely be carried out and some messages will be given. Moreover, Sucuoglu described as “wrong” the protests against Erdogan’s visit, alleging that these “play into Greek Cypriots’ hands”.

Yenal Senin, general secretary of the People’s Party (HP), said that the main issue of Erdogan’s illegal visit will be the Cyprus problem, but the “economic protocol” between Turkey and the breakaway regime for 2019 could also be discussed.



5. Erdogan’s illegal visit is described as “very important”

Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.07.18), columnist Basaran Duzgun describes as “very important” for the Cyprus problem the illegal visit which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold today to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and notes that the point on which we have been standing until recently was the imposition of the position of “two separate states” by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who according to the columnist, “tested the waters” by opening the above-mentioned discussion saying: “It is not possible for us to reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots any more on the basis of federation, we should ask for a solution of two separate states”. 

Arguing that after this “testing of the waters” a “vicious circle” was created until Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci declared that he accepts the Guterres Framework, Duzgun describes Akinci’s statement as “a wonderful opening” showing that the Turkish Cypriots could pay a price for the solution and that they never abandoned the solution, “a position which deeply influenced the international community”.

The columnist argues that some “circles” from the “embassy” of Turkey in the occupied area of the island used their “collaborators” to attack Akinci and alleged that these circles served the view expressed by the Greek Cypriots that “the Turkish Cypriots have no will” and that they are “Ankara’s puppets”. 

Claiming that they would have experienced a chaos in the Cyprus problem if the Republican People’s Party (CHP) had won the elections in Turkey, the columnist concludes by arguing:

“What has remained is the following: […] It is absolutely necessary to put a comprehensive solution plan in front of Erdogan. It is also absolutely necessary for all circles to support this solution plan until the end. President Akinci’s stance that ‘we accept the Guterres framework’ should be our minimum common point. Believe me; we do not have any other way out. It is our administrators’ duty to convince Erdogan”.

Commenting on Erdogan’s illegal visit in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.07.18), Sami Ozuslu argues that this could be the beginning of the restoration of the relations between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. “Problems exist in Turkey-TRNC relations. And this situation is neither in Nicosia’s favor nor Ankara’s favor”, he claims and referring to the Cyprus problem, he concludes:

“[…] Another point which should be adjusted from the point of view of the TRNC-Turkey relations with Erdogan’s visit concerns the Cyprus problem. Ankara must give an open and clear reply to the question of who the boss is in the Cyprus problem. Otherwise, whoever is elected to the presidential palace with the community leader capacity and participates in the negotiations cannot be persuasive. Neither in front of the Greek Cypriots nor in front of the world. Certainly ‘motherland’ Turkey does not want to force ‘daughter land’ TRNC and its leader into such a bad situation. Am I wrong?”



6. More about the “plot of land” in occupied Gerolakkos village which was “allocated as a present” to Denktas’ son

Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (10.07.18) under the front-page title: “Is there anybody to hold responsibility for this?”, reports on the case related with the “allocation” of a “plot of land”-a 100 donum plot of land [Translator's note: donum: a land measure of 1000 square meters] to Rauf Denktas, son of the self-styled deputy prime minister and "minister of finance" Serdar Denktas and the grandson of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, at occupied Gerolakkos village, for the construction of a new “university campus” called “Rauf Denktas university campus”.

The paper writes that as it was made known, the so-called council of ministers extended from 10 to 35 years the “lease contract of the university”.  The “lease contract” was “signed” between the “real estate and the materials department” and the “Mediterranean Master Education Services Ltd”, a “company” which belongs to Rauf Denktas, son of Serdar Denktas. The paper writes that no statements were made either from the “government circles” or from the Denktas’ family towards this issue.

The paper recalls similar attempts in the past to “allocate” to Denktas’ family  with a "council of ministers’ decision"  a 200 donum plot of land  at the occupied Agios Dometios area, [translator's note: the area is known as Kermia among the Turkish Cypriot community) in order to construct the "Rauf Denktas' university". However, it adds that the “council of ministers’ decision” was postponed due to several reactions expressed back then.

On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.07.18) reports that Rauf Denktas, “director” of the ““Mediterranean Master Education Services Ltd”, speaking exclusively to the paper, claimed that the “plot of land which was allocated” to the “company” is not a new place, but a plot of land leased by the “university” for 10 years during the “period in office” of the previous “government” of the  National Unity Party-Democratic Party (UBP-DP).  Denktas claimed that they have taken all the necessary licences for this “plot of land”, that all procedures are completely “legal” and that they would build a “university building”, a conference centre and a library.

Denktas did not confirm the allegations saying that Turkish President Erdogan during his “visit” in the “TRNC” would attend the inauguration ceremony for the above mentioned “university campus”. “Mr. Erdogan will not be attending the inauguration ceremony. It will be a symbolic one”, he argued. 

Also, in statement on the same issue, so-called minister of education Cemal Ozyigit, said that they would investigate this case and then make statements.



7. A protest yesterday demands for the “religious lessons at schools” in the occupation regime to be compulsory

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (10.07.18) reports that “members” of the “contemporary education platform” organized yesterday a protest in front of the “prime ministry” in the occupied area of Cyprus, demanding for the “religious lessons” at “schools” to be compulsory. The “members of the platform” demanded further by the “ministry” to undertake measures for the “employment of qualified teachers” in order for emphasis to be given at the “religious education at schools”.

The “platform” in a written statement, condemned strongly previous statements by the so-called minister of national education and culture, Cemal Ozyigit that “religious lessons should become elective as of next school year”. “This stance and approach is nothing else but a blow to the democratic rights and an effort to polarize the society”, the statement further alleged.



B. Turkish Press

1.Erdogan vows stronger and advanced Turkey in first statement as executive President

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.07.18- reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed "a stronger and advanced Turkey" in his first statement as the President of the new executive presidential system, stressing that he was elected as President, “this time with all the power of the executive branch.”

“We promise our nation to strengthen our 95-years of the Republic with a new executive understanding. We march for a stronger Parliament, stronger government and stronger Turkey by using the power that our nation has given to us,” Erdogan said in his first speech that he started with prayer on July 9.

Stressing that he was elected as a President with the new system that he describes as “presidential governmental system,” with “all the authorities of the executive branch.”

“We will try to be valuable for our nation being aware that we are the President of not only those who voted for us but all of our 81 million citizens,” he added during the inauguration ceremony at the presidential complex in Ankara.

He said that the “problems” that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has faced during its 16-year rule “has made the constitutional change inevitable,” and this new system is “not a reinforcement but a choice that history has directed us.”

“For the first time since Ottoman period, Turkey has made its choice not by coups or reinforcements as such but by the free will of our nation,” he added.

 “We are now adopting a new administrative model that is far beyond our 150-year-old pursuit of democracy and all the trials in our 95-year-long Republican history,” Erdogan said, vowing to “leave behind a system that cost the country heavily because of the political, social and economic chaos it caused in the past."

“From now on, the President, whose authority was given by nation and thus accountable in front of the nation, will execute its work in a harmony of legislative and judicial branches,” he added.

He referred to the states represented in the ceremony as “friend and sister states that are not regarded as different than us in terms of historical continuity,” and underlined the historical continuation of the “Republic.”

As he forms the new Cabinet on July 9, he stated that the first visit that he will make will be to “northern” Cyprus and Azerbaijan and on July 11 he will leave for Brussels for the NATO summit.

The first cabinet will have its first meeting on July 13 in Ankara at the helm of Erdoğan.

“New era will be marked by reforms and renovation,” Erdogan said.

“We build a state structure that produces service, not bureaucracy. Our guide will be a democracy again. It will be the superiority of national will,” he added.

Promising to "reinforce the social state" in the new era, Erdogan also vowed to "leave behind the days that people were externalized and alienated for whatever reason" in Turkey.

He vowed to “strengthen” Turkey stating that the giant projects that the AKP government has implemented will continue.

“We will strengthen Turkey from the defence industry to border security,” he said.

“We will take big steps in every field from macroeconomic balances to investments in order to ensure that Turkey to become one of the top 10 economies,” he added.

“Not only we will realize all ongoing investments and all the projects that we promise, we will sign big projects,” he said.


2. President Erdogan announces Ministers of Turkey's new Cabinet

Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.07.18- reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled the new 16-Minister Cabinet in the presidential complex in the capital Ankara, the first-ever Cabinet under the new presidential system made a reality on Monday.

Here are the members of the first Cabinet of Turkey's new presidential system of government:

Justice Minister: Abdulhamit Gul

Labor, Social Services and Family Minister: Zehra Zumrut Selcuk

Environment and Urbanization Minister: Murat Kurum

Foreign Minister: Mevlut Cavusoglu

Energy and Natural Resources Minister: Fatih Donmez

Youth and Sports Minister: Mehmet Kasapoglu

Treasury and Finance Minister: Berat Albayrak

Interior Minister: Suleyman Soylu

Culture and Tourism Minister: Mehmet Ersoy

National Education Minister: Ziya Selcuk

National Defense Minister: Hulusi Akar

Health Minister: Fahrettin Koca

Industry and Technology Minister: Mustafa Varank

Agriculture and Forestry Minister: Bekir Pakdemirli

Trade Minister: Ruhsar Pekcan

Transport and Infrastructure Minister: Cahit Turhan 

Erdogan also announced Fuat Oktay as Vice President.


Roster of Ministers

Abdulhamit Gul

Born in the south-eastern Gaziantep province in 1977, Abdulhamit Gul studied law at Ankara University. He became Justice Minister in 2017.

Zehra Zumrut Selcuk

Labor, Social Services and Family Minister Zehra Zumrut Selcuk, 39, earned a bachelor’s in economics at Ankara’s Bilkent University. She sought her doctorate at the University of Michigan in the U.S. while also pursuing a business doctorate at the University of Texas at Dallas. She also pursued a master’s in accounting and information at the same university. She worked as a research assistant at the University of Texas from 2003 to 2007. She started working as senior researcher at the Statistical Economic and Social Research and Training Center for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) -- under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – in 2007, and later became director of statistics and information, a title she held until this day.

Murat Kurum

Appointed Environment and Urbanization Minister, Murat Kurum was born in Ankara in 1976. After earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Selcuk University in the central Konya province, Kurum headed Emlak Konut GYO, a real estate developer belonging to TOKI, the state-backed housing developer.

Mevlut Cavusoglu

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, 50, earned a bachelor’s in political science at Ankara University in 1988 and sought his master’s in economics at Long Island University in New York. He did his doctorate in 1993 at Bilkent University’s International Relations department and continued his studies in 1993-1995 at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he went via a Jean Monnet Scholarship. The appointment is his third to the post of Turkey’s top diplomat. He first served as Foreign Minister in 2014-2015 in the 62nd Cabinet and then in the 64th Cabinet.

Fatih Donmez

Born in the western Bilecik province in 1965, Fatih Donmez served as undersecretariat at the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry before his current promotion to Energy and Natural Resources Minister.

Mehmet Kasapoglu

Mehmet Kasapoglu, appointed the new Youth and Sports Minister, was born in Istanbul in 1976. He studied economics and administrative sciences at Marmara University and earned a local administration master’s from the same university. Kasapoglu also earned a master’s in business administration at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Florida. He was previously the head of Turkey’s Spor Toto Organizational Directorate, which regulates the betting system and its financial payouts.

Berat Albayrak

Berat Albayrak, born in Istanbul in 1978, earned a bachelor’s in business administration at Istanbul University and a master’s at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University in New York. Before his new position, Albayrak was Energy and Natural Resources Minister.

Suleyman Soylu

Suleyman Soylu was born in Istanbul in 1969. He was elected chairman of the Democratic Party in 2009. In the 2015 general elections he won a seat as a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lawmaker and served as both Labor and Social Security Minister and Interior Minister. He is staying at the latter post.

Mehmet Ersoy

New Culture and Tourism Minister Ersoy was born in 1968 in Istanbul. He studied Business Administration at Istanbul University.A tourism professional and businessman, Ersoy has been an administrator of cruise ships in Turkey.

Ziya Selcuk

New Education Minister Ziya Selcuk was born in 1961 in Ankara and studied educational science at Ankara’s Hacettepe University. He later became a professor at Gazi University, also in the capital. He was President of the Board of Education and took part in Turkey’s EU accession negotiations in the fields of education and science.

Hulusi Akar

Hulusi Akar, the new National Defense Minister, was appointed Turkish Land Forces Commander in 2013 and the country’s Chief of General Staff in August 2015. Akar graduated from military academy as an infantry officer in 1972. He served as a commander in Bosnia in 1997-1998, for which he was awarded the U.S. Order of Merit, before returning to Turkey to command the Internal Security Brigade. He was given the Courage and Self-Sacrifice Medal for his outstanding achievements in internal security operations.

Fahrettin Koca

New Health Minister Fahrettin Koca was born in 1965 in the central Konya province. He graduated from Istanbul University Medical School in 1988, where he also studied pediatrics.

Mustafa Varank

Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank, 42, earned a bachelor’s in political science and public administration at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University (METU). He sought his master’s degree in computer science at Indiana University in the U.S. He started working at the Prime Ministry in 2005, and served as top advisor to the Premier in 2011, top advisor to the President in 2014, and became an Ambassador in 2016.

Bekir Pakdemirli

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Bekir Pakdemirli, 45, earned a bachelor’s in management at Ankara’s Bilkent University. He also studied for a master’s in management at Baskent University. Pakdemirli earned a doctorate in economics at Celal Bayar University in Manisa. He was a freelance entrepreneur in the fields of food, agriculture, animal husbandry, technology, and automobiles. He has been a founder and administrator in various companies, including cellular service provider Turkcell, discount market chain BIM, and AlBaraka Participation Bank.

Ruhsar Pekcan

New Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, 60, earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Istanbul University’s electricity department. Her career began in 1981 as an electrical engineer at a pipe manufacturing factory, and later she became a board member and general manager at the same company. She stepped down in 2005. She is currently the CEO of an engineering company founded in 2005.

Cahit Turhan

New Transport and Infrastructure Minister Cahit Turhan was born in 1960. He graduated from Karadeniz Technical University’s Construction Engineering Department, and earned his master’s from the same department. After stepping down as head of the Highways Directorate, Turan worked as Chief Advisor to the President and member of the Council of State. He is now the CEO of a consortium which took over the construction of the North Marmara Highway.


3. General Yasar Guler appointed as Chief of Staff

Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.07.18- reports that the Turkish Land Forces Commander General Yasar Guler was appointed Chief of General Staff under a new presidential decree published in the official gazette early Tuesday.

Chief of General Staff General Hulusi Akar was appointed as Minister of National Defense with the same decree, which was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday.

The decree also included the names of the newly appointed Deputy President and Ministers following Erdogan's announcement of the new Cabinet.

Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Umit Dundar was named as the new Commander of Turkish Land Forces and Lt. Gen. Metin Gurak was appointed as the new Deputy Chief of General Staff by the new decree.


4. TL lost 3,5% of its value after Albayrak’s appointment as Treasury and Finance Minister

Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (10.07.18 reports that after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the new Ministers of the Ministerial Council and his son-in law appointment Berat Albayrak as Treasury and Finance Minister, the TL has lost 3,5% of its value against the US dollars, according to AFP. 





(AK / AM)