According to illegal Bayrak television (31.08.18-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-speaks-on-economy 3/5), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that the “country” is going through difficult times and despite the measures to shore up the “economy”, reforms were needed.
Speaking at an event yesterday, Akinci drew attention to how people were being affected by the fall in the value of the Turkish Lira. “We go to bed at night and we wake up in the morning to see that the money in our pockets has melted away. Inflation continues to go up and those who are paying loans in foreign currency are experiencing serious difficulties”, he added.
Akinci further pointed out that despite the fact the “government had introduced austerity measures everyone had to assume their responsibility so that the crisis would not affect only the poor. We do not have to look far to see what difficult times can bring. All we need to do is to look at what happened in south Cyprus and Greece a couple of years ago. Both managed to get back on their feet mainly through cuts in public expenditures” he added.
Akıncı also pointed out that reforms are needed in the public sector and corruption and money laundering must be stamped out.
Turkish Cypriot Kibirs newspaper (31.08.18) reports that the chaos which exists in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus due to the economic crisis causes tension and that “citizens” agree with the trade unions which think that the measures announced by the “government” are insufficient. People are furious because of the successive price increases, notes the paper, adding that as of today many protests will start in the occupied area of Cyprus, demanding the withdrawal of the price increases.
“Citizens” organized through social media will protest today against the increase of fuel prices. The protestors will park outside the “prime minister’s” office and “switch off” the engines of their cars.
Protests and strikes will continue during next week. On Monday, 3 September, the Turkish Cypriot secondary school teachers’ trade union (KTOEOS) will hold a protest and the employees in the “assembly” will start a strike for an indefinite period of time.
The Trade Union Platform will meet with the self-styled prime minister on 4 September in order to submit its economic and political proposals. On 6 September, the Platform will march towards the “assembly”. Another protest will be held by the union of livestock producers and breeders on 5 September.
Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (31.08.18) publishes statements made by the chairmen of business organizations, who seem to agree that the only way out of the economic crisis is for everybody to make sacrifices and that creating chaos is not correct in an environment where crisis exists. The organizations warned that if everybody is not mobilized against the crisis, they will face a much bigger crisis with more bitter consequences.
Turgay Deniz, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, expressed the hope that everybody will cooperate for overcoming the crisis. Candan Avunduk, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of industry, expressed support with respect to the economic measures announced by the “government”. Mahmut Kanber, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot chamber of tradesmen and craftsmen, warned that if the implementation of the above-mentioned measures is prevented and a policy of retrenchment is not implemented, they will face a more severe crisis in 2019, which they will not be able to overcome.
Under the title “The government is forced to implement new measures”, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (31.08.18) reports that no transactions were made yesterday at the “customs” in the occupied ports of Keryneia and Famagusta, because of the measures taken by the employees in the “customs” against the decision of the “government” to stop paying those who work overtime. The paper notes also that “customs’’ controls were not made in the illegal airport in occupied Tymbou area and at the crossing points between the occupied and the government-controlled area of the island. Some ships, which were expected from Mersin, have not sailed for the occupied area of Cyprus, while some trucks which arrived yesterday within the regular working hours were forced to wait.
Business circles warned that the problem created in the “customs” cannot be solved until 14.00 hours today, when the working time ends and that exports and imports as well as the “state’s” income will be seriously damaged, if the “government” does not solve the problem.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.08.18) reports that crossings through the barricades and the ports were not controlled yesterday and added that 50 tons of fruits and vegetables, which remained in occupied Keryneia “customs”, are in danger of decay.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (231.08.18) reports that the hospitals were influenced more than any other sector from the developments and that the chaos in the health sector continues. Self-styled minister of health, Filiz Besim called on the employees in the health sector to cooperate arguing that this was the time to believe in each other and cooperate. She noted that they have prepared a plan for the forthcoming period and that if there are no additional measures [by the trade unions], they will not experience further problems.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.08.18) reports the depreciation of the Turkish Lira (TL) against foreign currencies continues, although yesterday it was a public holiday in Turkey and Turkey’s stock market Borsa Istanbul was close.
According to the paper, yesterday the sterling had climbed to 9 TL, the dollar to 6,7 TL and the euro to 7.8 TL. Worries are expressed by several circles that the depreciation of the TL against foreign currencies will continue within the next days.
In the same issue and under the title: “Victory of the TL”, the paper compares the exchange rate of August 30 with the exchange rate of the same day last year and writes that from August 30, 2018 to August 30, 2018 the sterling pound climbed up from 4,4 TL to 8, 67 TL, the euro from 4,1 TL to 7.76 TL and the dollar from 3,4 TL to 6,68 TL. The paper adds further that the minimum wage in the occupied area of Cyprus fell from 530 euro last year to 337 euro this year.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.08.18) reports that the media in Turkey face problems in the supply of paper, which they pay in US dollars. Citing information published in Turkish daily Sozcu newspaper, Kibris notes that the cost of a ton of paper was around 400-450 dollars in the beginning of the year, while now it increased to 800 dollars, as a result of the fact that China stopped producing paper. The crisis in the Turkish media deteriorated because of the devaluation of the Turkish lira (TL) against foreign currencies. Publishers argue that trading with TL may save them from the pressure exerted by the dollar on paper imports.
Turkey is forced to entirely cover its annual needs for paper from abroad after the privatization and the closure of SEKA factories in Izmit and Balikesir areas.
Moreover, the TL’s devaluation negatively influenced the printing houses in Turkey, as they import many products paying in foreign exchange. Orhan Ozturk, chairman of the Turkey’s Printing Houses’ Chamber, said that the sector was facing problems anyway but the devaluation of the TL deteriorated the situation, as a result of which 7-8 printing houses have closed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (31.08.18) reports that its price will be increased to 4 Turkish Lira, instead of 3 TL, as of tomorrow.
The paper notes that this is a result of the Turkish Lira’s falling against foreign currencies.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.08.18) reports that the Turkish Central Bank Deputy Governor and Monetary Policy Committee member Erkan Kilimci resigned from his post.
According to sources, Kilimci is to become a board member of the Development Bank of Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (31.08.18) reports that the “Religious Affairs Department” stated that hundreds of persons visited the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, for the Feast of Sacrifice.
According to a statement issued by the “Department” around 300 persons gathered from various places in the occupied area of Cyprus and followed a convoy of buses and cars in order to visit Hala Sultan.
This is the 13th visit to the Tekke which is organized in co-ordination with the Swedish Embassy in Cyprus and the Religious Track.
Turkish daily Sabah (30.08.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/08/30/turkey-working-with-russia-iran-to-prevent-disaster-in-syrias-idlib-erdogan) reported that Turkey is working together with Russia and Iran to prevent another Aleppo-like disaster in Syria's Idlib, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
"We are working with Russians and Iranians to prevent another Aleppo-like disaster in Idlib," Erdogan said at the graduation ceremony for the Turkish Military Academy's Kara Harp School.
"We are looking for ways of clearing the terrorists from Syria's Manbij in talks with the Americans," he added.
The Manbij deal between Turkey and the U.S. focuses on the withdrawal of the PKK-affiliated YPG terror group from the city in order to stabilize the region.
Erdogan added that Turkey is taking steps to secure its border with Iraq at the Qandil Mountains, where the PKK terrorist group has its headquarters.
Erdogan also addressed the economic attacks the U.S. has staged against Turkey in recent months.
"A quarter of a century ago, they could have put Turkey in a deep crisis with a $3-5 million economic operation. Today, we are facing an operation 10-20 times as big, but still we are not experiencing an economic collapse as was expected."
He added that the Turkey of today, despite facing daily economic and political attacks, is "resolutely advancing on its own path."
Erdogan was speaking on the country's Victory Day, to remember the heroes who helped Turkey gain its independence after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.08.18- https://www.aa.com.tr/en/todays-headlines/russia-turkey-to-discuss-visa-free-regime-in-autumn/1242441) reported that the Russian and Turkish Consular experts will hold consultations on visa-free regime for specific categories of Turkish citizens in autumn, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zaharova said on Thursday.
The agreement to hold such consultations was reached at the ministerial meeting between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, Zaharova said at a briefing in Moscow. "It was agreed to form a mechanism for the development of agreements on the facilitation of mutual travel for certain categories of Turkish citizens. The most suitable platform for discussing visa issues is bilateral consultations of consular experts. Such consultations are scheduled for autumn," she said.
Lavrov told reporters after meeting with Cavusoglu on Aug. 24 that Russia is ready to lift visa restrictions on Turkish holders of special and service passports as well as for drivers engaged in cargo transportation between the two countries.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (30.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkstream-pipeline-nearly-complete-gazprom-136317) reported that the TurkStream pipeline, due to supply Russian gas to Turkey via the Black Sea from next year, is already 80% complete, the CEO of the Russian gas giant Gazprom said on Aug. 30.
“The realization of large-scale Gazprom export projects to Europe are continuing,” CEO Alexei Miller said in comments carried by Russian news agencies.
“There is the Turkish Stream gas pipeline: 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) of pipe, around 80% of the line” has been assembled, he said during a meeting.
Over the first eight months of the year, Gazprom exported over 133 billion cubic meters of gas to Turkey and the EU -- up 5.6% on the same period of the previous year, Miller said.
The Russian giant continues to announce record export volumes to the region, where it generates a sizeable portion of its profits.
On Aug. 29, Gazprom announced an increase of 65% to its net profits in the first half of 2018, to 630.8 billion rubles ($9.2 billion, 7.9 billion euros).
Gazprom operating profits leapt 55% to 878.2 billion rubles, while its turnover was up 24 percent to 3.97 billion rubles.
Putin announced the plan to build TurkStream in Ankara in December 2014, as a replacement for the South Stream pipeline that was to have been built in cooperation with EU countries.
South Stream was scrapped after years of planning, with Putin angrily blaming Brussels for its failure.
Gazprom is also planning to open the Nord Stream 2 pipeline by the end of next year, bypassing Ukraine by the Baltic Sea.
Turkısh daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/transfer-of-turk-telekoms-majority-stake-to-banks-approved-by-turkish-govt-136250) reported that the Turkish Treasury and Finance Ministry has given its final approval paving the way for the transfer of a majority stake of Türk Telekom to a joint venture of creditor banks.
The Information Technologies and Communications Authority approved the share transfer on Aug. 17.
OTAŞ had put up 55% of Türk Telekom shares as collateral for a loan of $4.75 billion in 2013.
After two years of negotiations regarding the failed repayments, creditor banks, including Akbank, Garanti and İsbank, applied to the Competition Board to take over the shares in July.
The banks will take over shares in proportion to the loan they had granted, according to the agreement facilitated by the Turkish government and several law and consulting firms. Akbank had granted a loan of nearly $1.5 billion, whereas Garanti had provided $1 billion and İşbank had provided $500 million.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (30.08.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-german-journalist-deniz-yucel-sues-turkey-136302) reported that Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yücel, who was jailed for spreading “terrorist propaganda,” has filed a lawsuit against Turkey.
Yücel is demanding a compensation of one million Turkish Liras ($150,000) on the ground that his detention was “unlawful,” the Turkey branch of Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders’s announced on Twitter on Aug. 29.
The hearing is set for Sept. 25 in Istanbul’s 17th High Criminal Court.
Yücel was jailed in February 2017 in Turkey on suspicion of spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting violence.
But a court decided to release him pending trial on Feb. 16 this year and Yücel returned to Germany. He still faces trial in Turkey, scheduled for Dec. 20. The public prosecutor has demanded a sentence of 18 years imprisonment.
Yücel’s high-profile case caused tensions between the governments of Turkey and Germany.
However, in recent months, both sides have taken steps towards improving ties as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning a visit to Germany on Sept. 28-29.
Earlier this month, a Turkish court lifted a travel ban on German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was arrested last year on terrorism-related charges. The trial against Tolu is set to continue on Oct. 16.
The 33-year-old German citizen with Turkish roots is accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda and being a member of a banned left-wing group MLKP. A court on Dec. 18 ordered the release of Tolu, pending verdict. However, an Istanbul court in April ruled to keep the travel ban against her in place.
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