No. 146/18 31.07.18
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
Β. Turkish Press
Under the title “The final straw”, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (31.07.18), on its front page, reports that Sener Elcil, General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOS), argued that the policies of assimilation and integration with the recent statement of Turkey’s officials have reached to a peak.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Elcil said that university students, who have been charged with terrorist accusations by not taking account of the law, have started to be deported, Turkish Cypriots, who were travelling to Turkey, were detained and questioned and a lawsuit was filed in Turkey against journalists of Afrika’s newspaper.
Elcil further argued that while the assimilation and integration plans of Turkey regarding Cyprus with a systematic way are being implemented, nothing has been heard from the “government officials” and the Turkish Cypriots, who claim that they rule them.
Elcil wonders what their “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman, as a lawyer, is thinking on this fascist oppression that Turkey, a guarantor country of the Republic of Cyprus, has started against the Turkish Cypriots.
Under the title “TRNC citizens cannot be extradited to Turkey”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (31.07.18) reports that “after the TRNC attorney general, Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor has filed a lawsuit against Sener Levent and Ali Osman, managers of Afrika newspaper, with the accusation of ‘humiliating Turkey’, ‘acting against Turkey’ and ‘publishing with actual malice’. Both journalists refused to testify to the police. The lawsuit, which has been launched in Ankara and has the characteristic to be as a first of its kind, turned the eyes to the legal ground”.
Narin Feri Sefik, “chief judge of the high court”, speaking to the paper, claimed that the lawsuit opened in Turkey is liable to the law. She added that “in case of being punished, there is not a matter of extradition of the TRNC citizens”.
Lawyer Hasan Esendagli, chairman of the “bar association union”, argued that whatever is the ruling of Ankara’s court the journalists cannot be extradited in Turkey and the possible punishment should be implemented there (occupied area of Cyprus).
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.07.18) reports that “retired attorney general” Dervis Akter argued that a crime has not been committed because Afrika newspaper is not circulated officially in Turkey.
Under the title “What is this Afrika issue?”, columnist Cenk Mutluyakali, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newpspaper (31.07.18), comments also on the lawsuit against the journalists of Afrika newspaper, as follows:
“A country, which has lost its freedom of thought, afraid of the truth, drifted into the darkness by one man ruling, wants now to drag Cyprus to sink, with the role of a ‘guarantor’. A power that is undergoing political blindness and power poisoning, is breathing above us to spread its ‘disease’. (...)
Mutluyakali writes that the “police” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus argued that the lawsuit against Afrika journalists in Ankara has been filed according to a “judicial assistance protocol between Turkey and the TRNC”. It is a “law on mutual assistance and enforcement of court orders and extradition of convicts between Turkey and the TRNC” dated on November 1, 1988.
Columnist said that the “interior minister” Aysegul Baybars confirmed this information. He also asked information from the “Turkish embassy” in the occupied part of Nicosia on this issue. The “embassy” said: “The Law office of Turkey’s Presidency filed a criminal complaint against Afrika newspaper due to its article on ‘occupation’ and a published caricature, for this reason Ankara’s Public Prosecutor Office opened an investigation. In order to prepare the indictment, statements by the two concerned persons was requested from the TRNC authorities through the Justice Ministry. (...) It is not a typical situation to the TRNC, the criminal complaints have been made towards another country”.
Columnist Mutluyakali wonders where is the reaction on these incidents, and concludes by asking that the 90% of them (the population) wants the “guarantees” or just the “guarantee of their salary?”
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (31.07.18) reports that the left Turkish Cypriot parties reacted against the recent statements of “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay regarding the presence of the UN Peace Force in Cyprus.
Alpay Durduran, member of the central committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) stated that opposing the decision for the renewal of UNFICUP is like supporting the statements of the USPresident Donald Tramp that “the one that face the problem should cover the cost”. Criticizing Ozersay, Durduran said that it is obvious that the Turkish Cypriot side is looking for adventures and called on the self-styled foreign minister to correct the mistake he made with his statements. He also said that the only road for finding a solution is through negotiations and said steps that could upset the “people” should be avoided.
On his part, Izzet Izcan, the general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) said that Ozersay’s UNFICYP statements are wrong and unfortunate. He also called on the so-called prime minister Tufar Erhurman to clarify whether the “government” shares Ozersay’s views on the issue. Izcan said that the presence of UNFICYP in Cyprus safeguards the safety of all Cypriots and the efforts of finding a solution on the Cyprus problem.
Finally, the “Left Movement” said that Ozersay’s statements show disrespect towards the will of the Turkish Cypriots for reaching a federal solution and is an indication of backstage movements taking place regarding the Guterres framework.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (31.07.18 http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n258798-toros-hp-tek-kelimeyle-populizm-yapiyor-30072018 ) reports that Fikri Toros, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and former chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said that he worries about the statements that “foreign minister” makes regarding the Cyprus problem because as he said they do not contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.
As he said he respects Ozersay and the two of them do not share the same political views.
“However there is a four-party coalition government here and each party has a different view on the Cyprus problem. When establishing the government, we realized that we shared the least on the issue. Of course, the ministry of foreign affairs will certainly have a stance, but unfortunately it is not right to declare it as a government opinion. We also make necessary constructive warnings when necessary […] our party does not coincide with this view, nor the government”, he stated.
He also stated that CTP continues to support federation as a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (31.07.18) reports that the 45 persons, 29 former military men, 9 women and 17 children who were “ arrested” accused of relation with FETO organization were extradited to Turkey in the framework of the “judicial assistance agreement” signed between Ankara and the breakaway regime with a “decision of the council of ministers”.
The paper notes that in accordance with the “decision of the council of ministers”, the 17 children who were together with the persons “arrested” were also sent to Turkey, adding that among them are young babies aged 5-6 months.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement (30.07.18 http://www.mfa.gov.tr/sc_-53_-bazi-buyukelcilerin-gkrynin-dogu-akdenizdeki-tek-tarafli-hidrokarbon-faaliyetlerine-iliskin-ifadeleri-hk-sc_en.en.mfa):
“QA-53, 30 July 2018, Statement of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Hami Aksoy, in response to a question regarding the remarks of some Ambassadors concerning the Greek Cypriot Administration’s unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean:
The remarks made by some Ambassadors during a recent conference in the Greek Cypriot Administration, in support of the unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities being conducted by the Greek Cypriots in the Eastern Mediterranean, are unwarranted. We recommend to the representatives of the relevant countries that they do not exceed their authority.
It is unacceptable that the Greek Cypriot side persists in acting as though it were the sole owner of the Island and continues with its unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the absence of a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus. With these activities, the Greek Cypriot side disregards the inalienable rights on natural resources of the Turkish Cypriots, who are the Island’s co-owners. This attitude, which is far removed from any spirit of compromise, demonstrates that the Greek Cypriot Administration has not yet been able to comprehend the win-win-based potential for economic cooperation that could result in the Eastern Mediterranean from a settlement that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have been exerting the utmost effort to achieve.
The authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey have, from the very beginning, been issuing the necessary warnings with regard to these irresponsible steps taken by the Greek Cypriot Administration and voicing their justified concerns and indignation. Within this framework, as we have previously stated on numerous occasions, Turkey is determined to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots and to continue supporting them.
Minister Çavuşoğlu, at the joint press conference he held with President Akıncı during his visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on 23-24 July, once again openly underlined our determination to protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people.»
Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper (31.07.18 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/07/30/us-threatening-language-unacceptable-turkeys-national-security-Council-says) reports that the United States' use of a threatening language against Turkey is unacceptable and disrespectful, given the ties and trust relationship between the two allies, Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) said in a statement.
The Council, which convened under the new presidential system for the first time, said the U.S. stance on Turkey's defense industry projects, namely linking such deals to conditions in violation of international agreements, will cause irreparable damage the strategic partnership between both countries.
The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation threatening to halt U.S. sales of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, despite signed contracts between the countries, over issues such as Turkish arrests of U.S. nationals.
Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of terror-linked pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months until he was transferred to house arrest last week.
Brunson was charged with committing crimes, including spying for the PKK -- listed as a terrorist group by both the U.S. and Turkey -- and the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the defeated coup attempt of July 2016.
Turkish prosecutors are seeking 15 years in prison for Brunson for committing crimes on behalf of terrorist groups without being a member, with up to 20 years for political or military espionage.
The Council also reiterated Turkey's determination to fight against all terror organizations that are threatening its national security and solidarity from within and outside its borders without making any distinctions among the PKK, its Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), Daesh and the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ).
Underlining the importance of sharing intelligence in the fight against terror, the Council's statement emphasized that Turkey expected the same, undiscriminating stance form the international community, pointing out that certain measures implemented by some countries amounted to "double-standards" and was unacceptable.
On the topic of Syria, the Council stressed that the deal with the U.S. on a roadmap for Manbij would help resolve the Syrian crisis. The statement said that measures to accelerate the return of locals were also reviewed. Concrete steps will start to be taken to secure places in Syria where terror groups are now active, it added.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/50-suspected-feto-fugitives-caught-en-route-to-rhodes/1218197) reports that 50 fugitive suspected members of FETO, the terrorist group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, were received by Turkish Interpol officials after trying to illegally cross to a Greek island, Turkey's Interior Ministry said on Monday.
According to a statement, the Ministry said the fugitives were received by officials of the Turkish Security Directorate's Interpol Department for legal proceedings.
The fugitives were caught on Saturday while trying to illegally cross to the Greek island of Rhodes from the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” the statement said.
Among the fugitives rounded up were ex-soldiers, teachers, and a carpenter.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.07.18 https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/germanys-merkel-interested-in-meeting-erdogan/1217976) reports that Turkey is an important partner for Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel is interested in meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a government spokesman said on Monday.
The remarks came after opposition lawmakers criticized Germany’s official invitation for a fall visit by Erdogan, who won Turkey’s landmark election last month.
“We are always interested in talks with Turkey, which is a close and important partner for us in many areas,” deputy government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told a news conference in Berlin, adding that Merkel is also interested in meeting Erdogan.
German daily Bild reported on Saturday that President Frank-Walter Steinmeier invited his counterpart Erdogan to pay a state visit in late September.
Erdogan will be ceremonially welcomed with military honors at the German presidential palace, and during his visit he will also address the members of the Turkish community, the paper reported.
Besides his meeting with Steinmeier, who holds a largely ceremonial position, Erdogan was also scheduled to meet Chancellor Merkel to discuss bilateral ties and international issues.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (31.07.18 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/aksener-signals-her-continued-leadership-as-iyi-party-leader-135206) reports that İYİ (Good) Party founder and leader Meral Akşener signaled she would continue to be the party’s leader after announcing she would not be a candidate for the leadership position in the upcoming extraordinary congress amid efforts to persuade her from her supporters.
“I am here at the party to convene our chairmanship Council. Following Aug. 12, we will prepare for the local elections and determine our candidates quickly,” she said before the party’s top executive board meeting on July 30.
Her statement came after she announced on July 24 the party would convene its extraordinary congress on Aug. 12 and she would not be a candidate in response to the partial criticisms of the election results.
Following her announcement, her supporters have staged demonstrations outside of her apartment for days in a bid to “persuade her for leadership.”
She has not commented on her withdrawal from candidacy since her announcement, however, party sources state the party delegates are collecting signatures to present her as a candidate in the upcoming congress.
On July 28, she had addressed her supporters at her Istanbul apartment, stating she would convene the party’s top executive body on July 30.
By convening the top board, “Akşener was bound to decide to return to the party and manage the process.” said İYİ Party deputy group leader Ahat Andican, according to daily Sözcü.
Speaking before the party’s top board meeting, she said the June 24 election results for the party was “disappointing,” and the party needed a congress to discuss “the wrongs and rights” committed during the campaigning period.
Akşener said her party had “tangible and high” targets and they “had failed to meet them.”
“Personally, it has resulted as a grand disappointment. We have convened a workshop, I have listened to everybody. In terms of this disappointment, if there is a failure, the responsibility is mine. That is why I have decided to convene the Congress,” she added.
Following the congress, the party would focus on the upcoming local elections to be held in March 2019. “We will work to determine our candidates and we will work for a better result in the elections,” Akşener said, which was interpreted as a signal for the continuation of her leadership.
The İYİ Party was founded in late 2017 with former Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lawmaker and dissident Akşener. It received 10% of votes in the parliamentary elections while presidential candidate Akşener received 7.3%.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)