A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (13.07.18) reports that the Cyprus problem, the Turkish-Greek relations in Aegean Sea, the issue of the Turkish military men who are involved on the coup t etat in Turley and the issue of the two Greek military men who are under detention by the Turkish authorities were the main issues at the meeting between the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the sidelines of the summit of NATO leaders in Brussels on July 11-12.
The meeting lasted 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The paper, noting that the meeting was held at a time that tensions between Ankara and Athens are high, writes that after the meeting Tsipras stated that he sees no relations between the eight Turkish military men that asked for political asylum in Greece and the issue of the two Greek military men that are under detention in Turkey. Tsipras also said that they discussed issues related to Cyprus and the Aegean Sea. As for the latter they agreed to take steps so that the tension to be limited.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.07.18) reports that the self-styled foreign ministry of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus described as “worrying” both from the point of view of its content and from technical point of view the report for the extension of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus’ (UNFICYP) term of duty for another six months.
In a written statement, the “ministry” alleged that the UN has submitted in writing to the Security Council that it favors the continuation of the status quo on the island. The statement says that the “ministry” has “serious objections” regarding many points of the report and that these objections will be conveyed to the UNSG and UN officials both by the “ministry” itself and the regime’s “representation office” in New York.
“In general the report is evaluated as an implicit compromise of the wish of the Greek Cypriot side in the direction of not changing the status quo and of the UN Peace Keeping Force of not losing its position”, claims the statement, alleging that the report’s approach strengthens UNFYCYP’s character of becoming a symbol of the status in Cyprus. It also alleges that in order for the Peace Keeping Force to continue its presence on the island, the report is trying to give the “incorrect impression” that the UNFICYP is the side which ensures peace and stability and thus it opens the door to “artificial agendas created by the Greek Cypriot side”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (13.07.18) reports that Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minster of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the “government” does not oppose bringing electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, if this electricity is cheap.
In statements yesterday after his weekly meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Erhurman noted that he discussed with Akinci two main issues: the economy and the Cyprus problem. He said that they made an assessment on the Cyprus problem after Turkish President Erdogan’s illegal visit to the island and the expected visit of UNSG’s special adviser Jane Holl Lute.
Noting that he briefed Akinci on economic issues, Erhurman added that on Monday he will hold a press conference to announce the measures they will take regarding the economy. He pointed out that the Turkish lira was seriously devaluated during the 3-4 days comparing to the foreign currencies and that whenever this happens the predictions in the “budget” deviate [from their target]. He said that they have taken and will continue taking measures and that the “government’ is not helpless even though its control over the influence of TL’s devaluation on the consumers weakened.
Noting that the stance of the “government” on the issue of brining electricity from Turkey with cables and the interconnected electricity systems is clear, Erhurman said that they are positive on the issue of interconnectivity and that this issue is included in the “governmental program”. He noted that he conveyed this view to President Erdogan during their recent meeting and added that solution to the problems will be produced provided that the framework and the financing of the project as well as bringing cheap electricity to the citizens are guaranteed. “We really wish to be interconnected over Turkey, but the issues of the period in which this will be materialized, its financing and whether cheap electricity will reach the citizens should be discussed”, he noted.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.07.18) under the title: “We have spoken about investments and we were granted citizenship”, reports that the “trial” related with the 174 “exceptional TRNC’s citizenships” which were “granted” by the previous National Unity Party (UBP) – Democratic Party (DP) so-called government, has been launched yesterday at the so-called “high administrative court”.
Speaking to the paper, Omer Aygin, one among the 174 persons whose “citizenship was annulled”, defended himself during the “trial”, claiming the following: “We have taken an appointment together with my partner by the minister of interior Kutlu Evren and thus we met. I did not know that he was the minister. I have explained him that we wanted to make investments on tourism and real estate and construction sectors. I have told him about our planned investments and what we had in our hands. The minister told us: ‘Go and complete the application procedures. If no problem comes up with your applications from the police, there will be no problem to be granted the citizenship. After submitting your applications to the council of ministers, you can take the citizenship as investors’. I had orally informed the minister about our planned investments. I did not keep anything in secret. Mr. Muhammed told the minister the following: Let’s go to Abu Dhabi, open a representation office of the TRNC and I will meet you with the King of Abu Dhabi. The undersecretary of the minister was also present in that meeting”.
Aygin in his testimony alleged further that after he was “granted the TRNC citizenship”, he established an investment company in the occupied area of Cyprus, he bought a house there and got a title-deed and also he bought “land property” in occupied Trikomo. Claiming that he was “surprised” after being informed that his “citizenship” was “annulled”, he described this situation as “shameful”, expressing worries over the “future” of his “investment company”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.07.18) reports that Sinasi Ozdes, spokesman of occupied Morfou area’s “Civilian Community Platform” has said that they expect from the “government” and the “assembly” to work effectively for the solution of the problems of occupied Morfou. “Do we definitely have to go out in the streets”, he wondered in a written statement issued yesterday asking the “officials” seven questions regarding occupied Morfou area’s problems.
Ozdes said that not a single nail was banged for the second stage of the occupied Morfou hospital, the first stage of which was completed and added that they expect for the completion of the building the soonest. Ozdes argued also that the work in the sector of tourism advances very slowly, that no distance was covered on the issue of the railway museum and that the building of the fire brigade was abandoned because the monitoring of the environment has not been carried out yet.
Ozdes said also that the construction of a road between occupied Morfou and Lefka has been turned into “an endless story” and asked for the completion of the road the soonest. He noted that the occupied Zodhia mosque has not opened for service yet and it is abandoned inactive as its internal and external illumination has not been completed. He further asked for water from the installations of occupied Nikitas-Syrianochori area to urgently be given for agriculture and the solution of the disagreement between the “municipality” and the “ministry of interior” regarding the “social residences” for young people, so that the construction of these residences to begin.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.07.18) reports that Thijs Berman, Principal Adviser in the Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media was the only who referred and condemned the attack against the Afrika newspaper on January 22, 2018, during a reception which was held by the Cyprus Turkish Journalists Association to mark the 11 of July Press Day.
Berman said that the press day was a day when free and pluralist media was highlighted and added one of the basic priorities of the office was to ensure the security of journalists. He further said that they visited the Afrika newspaper, which was attacked at the beginning of 2018, adding: “The attack to the Afrika newspaper was also an attack to the freedom of media. This is unacceptable”.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.07.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/former-pm-yildirim-elected-as-speaker-of-turkeys-parliament-134508) reports that Turkey’s new Parliament has elected former Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım as its Speaker with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
As the joint candidate of the “People’s Alliance” of the AKP and MHP, Yıldırım was elected as Parliament Speaker in the third round with 335 of the 584 votes in secret ballots at the Parliament on July 12.
“In this new term, the duties and responsibilities of the Parliament will be heavier. While conducting its legislative and supervisory duties, the Parliament will also fulfil the legal needs of the presidential government to ensure efficient implementation of its execution,” Yıldırım said in his first speech to the 27th Parliament on July 12.
“With the constitutional change, the culture of compromise will be improved in Parliament” he added.
With the new executive presidential system came into effect by the inauguration of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Yıldırım had become the last Prime Minister being served in the 66th government. The new system abolishes the Prime Ministry post, transferring its authorities to the President.
Being AKP’s Istanbul lawmaker, Yıldırım had been Minister in several AKP governments, and lead the ruling party as its third leader before Erdogan has reinstated his leadership in 2017.
The first round of the voting procedure necessitates 400 votes of the 600-seat Parliament for being elected as the Speaker while the receiver of simple majority of the votes at the third round is qualified for the post.
As AKP has taken the 295 seats in the Parliament with the latest election and MHP has received 49 seats, Yıldırım had secured the simple majority with 335 votes in the third round while he had 331 and 336 in the first two rounds.
For the Parliamentary Speaker’s seat the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has presented Istanbul Lawmaker and former Minister Erdogan Toprak, while Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) nominated Siirt lawmaker Meral Danış Beştaş, İYİ (Good) Party Hayrettin Nuhoglu and Felicity Party (SP) Cihangir İslam.
Having 146 lawmakers in the Parliament CHP’s candidate Toprak had received 135 votes in the third round while Bestas had received 63 of its 67 seats, Nuhoglu 40 of 43 seats and İslam had 5.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.07.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-committed-to-more-missions-in-nato-134509) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended a crucial summit of NATO leaders in Brussels on July 11-12, where Ankara proposed to the alliance further contribution to upcoming missions and a new command structure.
On the side-lines of the Brussels summit, Erdogan had a series of bilateral meetings with leaders. In their first encounter after the elections in Italy, Erdogan met with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Erdogan also met with France’s Emmanuel Macron for discussions that came after months of strain between Ankara and Paris over the latter’s given support to Syrian Kurds.
Erdogan had bilateral meetings with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. He aslo had a brief encounter with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi. He invited Bosnia’s Bakir İzetbegovic and Azerbaijani President İlham Aliyev to the office of Turkey’s permanent NATO representation for a trilateral meeting.
Erdogan had his last meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The meeting comes amid a spat between Ankara and Athens over Turkey’s detention of two Greek soldiers caught in Turkish territory near the Meric River in March. Turkey is furious over Greece’s repeated refusal to extradite the eight fugitives who had fled to Greece and were granted asylum by the Greek Council of State and released after the coup attempt in 2016.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.07.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-deputy-chair-tezcan-fined-30-000-liras-for-calling-erdogan-fascist-dictator-134499) reported that a court has ordered main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair and party Spokesman Bülent Tezcan to pay an immaterial compensation of 30,000 Turkish Liras ($6,200) for calling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a “fascist dictator.”
Erdogan’s lawyer Hüseyin Aydın announced the court’s verdict on Twitter.
“In the immaterial compensation lawsuit we filed, the court ruled for a fine of 30,000 liras. Those who violate our President’s personal rights will be held accountable, no matter their status,” Aydın tweeted on July 12.
At the hearing, Tezcan’s lawyer Celal Celik argued that his clients’ remarks were not insulting.
“Words such as ‘fascist and dictator’ are entirely political notions. Politicians must bear with all sorts of criticism, even the heaviest ones,” Celik said, demanding the court reject the case.
Erdogan had filed the complaint in 2017, asking for 50,000 liras in compensation.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.07.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-court-sentences-72-defendants-to-life-in-coup-bridge-trial-134472) reported that a Turkish court sentenced 72 defendants to life in prison on July 12 for their roles in clashes on a suspension bridge in Istanbul in which 34 people were killed during an attempted coup two years ago, according to state-run Anadolu agency.
More verdicts are expected to be issued for 71 other defendants in the case. Defendants were charged with deliberately killing civilians who heeded a call from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to challenge the coup plotters on the bridge across the Bosphorus Strait.
The verdicts come as the country prepares to commemorate the anniversary of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt on Sunday, and Erdogan celebrates his recent election as the first head of the country’s all-powerful executive presidency.
Renamed the “July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge”, the bridge was a flashpoint for clashes on the night of the coup. Victims included Erol Olcok, an advertiser who ran political campaigns for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, and his 17-year-old son.
The coup attempt prompted an extensive crackdown against soldiers, civil servants, and academics suspected of links to Fethullah Gülen, a U.S.-based cleric whom Turkey blames for the abortive putsch.
Turkish media have been flooded with commemorative programming about the coup attempt. Television channels have been airing footage of soldiers who participated in the coup surrendering, stripped of their clothes and weapons, and headscarved women squaring off against tanks in the street.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (13.07.18--http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-spy-agency-brings-two-suspected-gulenists-from-azerbaijan-ukraine-to-turkey-134498) reports that two suspected members of the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, were brought to Istanbul by the National Intelligence Organization (MİT) on July 12.
İsa Özdemir, suspected holder of the organization’s purse strings in Azerbaijan, and Salih Zeki Yiğit, accused of collecting money from businesspeople in the Mediterranean province of Mersin, were transferred by a private jet, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Warrants were issued for the two suspects by prosecutors in Ankara and Mersin, the report said.
Özdemir and Yiğit will face trial on charges of “being members of an armed terrorist organization,” it added.
Also, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.07.18-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/turkey-issues-warrants-for-24-feto-terror-suspects/1201796) reported that Turkish prosecutors on Thursday issued arrest warrants for 24 suspects linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants over the suspects’ alleged involvement in infiltrating Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).
The case is linked to an incident in February 2012, when an Istanbul prosecutor ordered MIT head Hakan Fidan and other officials to testify in an investigation of an urban network of the terrorist PKK organization. The probe was plotted by FETO.
The suspects include U.S.-based FETO leader Fetullah Gulen, alleged "MIT imam" Murat Karabulut, former Police Commissioner Yurt Atayun, Ali Fuat Yilmazer, Serdar Bayraktutan, Oguzhan Ceylan, Erol Demirhan, former prosecutors Sadrettin Sarikaya and Bilal Bayraktar, journalist Mustafa Gokkilic, lawyers, and former MIT officials.
Ten of the suspects were already arrested as part of other FETO investigations, while five are fugitives.
During simultaneous operations, six out of nine suspects -- including Mustaga Gokkilic -- were arrested, while operations continue to arrest the remaining suspects.
Turkish daily Sabah (13.07.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/2018/07/12/chps-ince-calls-for-party-makeover-says-will-not-run-for-mayor-of-istanbul) reports that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince called once again on Thursday for an extraordinary convention to replace the leadership of the CHP.
Speaking at a live interview on Haber Türk news channel, Ince ruled out claims that he was planning to establish a breakaway party and said instead CHP needs to renew itself as well as its chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
Ince, a former Deputy of the north-western province of Yalova, gained 30.7% of votes and came in a distant second to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who received 52.6% of the votes.
The CHP has been reeling amid an intraparty squabble between Ince and Kılıcdaroglu since the June 24 elections. In the wake of the results of the parliamentary and presidential elections, Ince voiced his intention to run for the chairmanship of the party, building on the support he gained during the presidential race, which was eight points ahead of the party itself.
According to CHP bylaws, the convention can be held with the party chairman's call or the decision of the Party Assembly. It can also be convened with the signatures of one-fifth of the total number of congress delegates.
When asked whether he would consider running for CHP's candidate for Istanbul Mayor, Ince said he preserves his goal to become the country's President. "I say let's prepare for the next presidential elections, change our party regulations and program. Let's increase the number of party members."
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(AK / AM)