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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-20.09.18

 

No. 182/18                                                                                                        

Contents

 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Fuel price hikes in the breakaway regime

2. Turkey will not make concessions in Cyprus, argues a professor

3. Permanent steps and not CBMs are needed in Cyprus, argues Hatay

4. Turkish columnist alleges that Syrian refugees could be settled in the occupied fenced off city of Varosha

5. Gezici opinion poll for the UBP leadership election

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: No crisis in Turkey, all manipulations

2. Ankara sharply cuts investment levels for Turkish citizenship

3. Turkey aims for free trade deal with Japan in 2019

4. Twenty four Istanbul airport workers arrested for protesting unsafe labour conditions

 

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Fuel price hikes in the breakaway regime

Turkish Cypriot daily HAVADİS (20.09.18) writes that fuel prices in the breakaway regime rose in record and reports on the issue under the title: “ The end of this tunnel is dark: Gasoline is now 6 TL ”.

According to the paper 98 octane gasoline was over 6.1 TL for the first time: From 5.16 TL, to 6.1 TL. In addition, 95 gasoline was 5.81 TL  from 4,97 TL,  Euro diesel 5, 76 TL from 4,76 TL  and kerosene was 5,59 TL from 4,65 TL. The new prices applied last night at midnight leading the drivers to queue at petrol stations before in order to fill their vehicles with fuel.

(CS)

2. Turkey will not make concessions in Cyprus, argues a professor

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper(20.09.18) reports that commenting on Turkish President Erdogan’s recent statement that Turkey will not withdraw troops from the occupied area of Cyprus, Dr. Huseyin Isiksal, member of the teaching staff of “Near East University’s” (“YDU”) international relations’ department, has argued that with this statement Erdogan had clearly given the message that Turkey will not make concessions in Cyprus.

Expressing the view that Ankara will also not give concessions from its “red lines” on the issue of the natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean, Isiksal argued that the EastMed pipeline will be materialized as programmed, in spite of the fact that the expenses will increase because of the big distance, since “the actual target of the three-party alliance” is allegedly not to obtain a profit but to “sideline Turkey”. Alleging that the recent agreement reached between the Republic of Cyprus and Egypt shows this, Isiksal claimed that only new problems will be caused by such political steps before the solution of the so-called problem regarding the “sea areas of jurisdiction”.

(I/Ts.)

3. Permanent steps and not CBMs are needed in Cyprus, argues Hatay

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper(20.09.18) reports that Turkish Cypriot researcher and writer Mete Hatay has expressed the view that permanent steps and not confidence building measures are needed regarding the Cyprus problem. In statements to Kibris Postasi TV, Hatay argued that one of these steps is the so-called “gesture” for the Maronites, which has been turned into an “endless story”. Hatay said that the “government” did not make the moves which should have done on this issue and added that because of the economic crisis the Maronites issue is not a priority issue anymore.

Furthermore, he expressed the view that the implementation of the decision regarding the return of the Maronites to their occupied villages will influence economy and create income for the regime.  “This will also be an important step from the point of view of human rights as well”, he claimed.

Hatay argued also that there is no enthusiasm or activity in both communities regarding the Cyprus problem and that the Turkish Cypriots are shouting about the economic crisis, but this has not turned into a mass action. He alleged that the method used in the solution process should be questioned.

(I/Ts.)   

 

4. Turkish columnist alleges that Syrian refugees could be settled in the occupied fenced off city of Varosha

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper(19.09.18, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n263296-oda-tv-yazari-altunbulak-suriyeli-siginmaci-sorununu-marasi-acarak) reported that Turkish columnist Nihat Altinbulak alleged, in his column on Turkish Oda TV website, that they could solve the problem regarding the Syrian refugees by opening the occupied fenced of city of Varosha. Noting that around 3,5 million people live in the area of Idlib in Syria, Altinbulak argued that Turkey is facing a serious threat of migration due to a possible operation against Idlib and added that naturally the EU countries will be influenced by this.   

The Turkish columnist alleged that “daughter land Cyprus”, which is “always protected by Turkey”, should “assume its responsibility” on the issue and “support Turkey within the measures of its possibilities even though symbolically”. “By opening the area of Varosha for settlement, it should help our Syrian refugee brothers, who live under difficult conditions”, he alleged claiming that the EU and the UN should also support this “humanitarian behavior”.

(I/Ts.)     

 

5. Gezici opinion poll for the UBP leadership election

Turkish Cypriot daily YENİ DÜZEN (20.09.18) reports that the well know Turkish  Gezici opinion poll firm conducted an opinion poll for the forthcoming leadership elections of the National Unity Party (UPB), which is the main opposition party in the breakaway regime.

According to Gezici’s director Murat Gezici, the opinion poll was conducted by phone between 1-16 of September, with a sample of 2,862 persons who are UBP members.

According to the results, the elections for the presidency of the party will take place in two rounds since no-one of the candidates appear to receive 50%+1 votes. Ersin Tatar receives 28,2%, Sunan Atun 27,3%, the current chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun 13,5% and Faiz Sucuoglu 12,6%. Tatar appears to be the most trusted among UBP members while Atun seems to receive support from UBP members who react against Ozgurgun’s candidacy.

The paper further reports that Murat Gezici violated the “TRNC laws” during the last “parliament elections” in the breakaway regime, according to statements of Narin Ferdi Sefik, who was then the head of the “election council”. However, despite breaking the “law” Gezici arrived again to the breakaway regime as if nothing happened, the paper writes.

(CS)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan: No crisis in Turkey, all manipulations

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/no-crisis-in-turkey-all-manipulations-president-erdogan-137024), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there is no economic crisis in Turkey, describing the situation as “mere manipulations”, and said Turkey is richer and more effective than it was 20 years before.

“There is no crisis, do not be fooled by that. These are all manipulations. There is no crisis here. We are marching towards the future and becoming stronger every day. We will become stronger,” Erdogan said at a conference for a Veteran’s Day event on Sept. 19.

His comment came amid the 40% depreciation of the Turkish Lira against the United States dollar since August and the Central Bank raising the benchmark lending rate to 24% to fight inflation.

Erdogan reiterated his rhetoric that the lira’s plunge is a result of an “international attack to Turkey”, stating that “Turkey is richer and more effective than it was 20 years ago”.

He also underlined the recent presidential decree, which stipulates a change in the law regarding the protection of Turkish currency, by which it was obliged for those who are currently residing in Turkey to arrange the contract value of their commercial agreements on the lira.

“From now on, rent in Turkey cannot be in U.S. dollars. The lira will be active in Turkey now. Otherwise, they will pay the price,” he said.

“You will rent in liras and make your purchases in liras,” he said, adding “certain necessities are another subject.”

Meanwhile, HDN (20.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogan-meets-representatives-of-us-companies-in-turkey-137034) reports that Erdogan received Turkish representatives of American companies in Ankara late Sept. 19. "Turkey's strategic cooperation with the U.S. will be further strengthened through investment and trade, despite all the ups and downs," Erdogan said, highlighting the importance of the meeting.

"You know very well what Turkey has accomplished despite the instability, conflict and hardship in the region. The problems we are facing at the moment are never insurmountable for us. Turkey's future will be much brighter."

2. Ankara sharply cuts investment levels for Turkish citizenship

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/ankara-sharply-cuts-financial-investment-levels-for-turkish-citizenship-137002), with the above title, reported that Turkey has significantly eased the required limits for foreigners to acquire Turkish citizenship to encourage investment, according to new regulations published in the country’s Official Gazette on Sept. 19.

The lower limit of fixed capital investments to acquire Turkish citizenship for foreigners has been reduced to $500,000 from $2 million.

Foreigners who own real estate in Turkey worth a minimum of $250,000, instead of $1 million, can avail Turkish citizenship.

The deposit requirement of minimum $3 million in Turkish banks has also been lowered to $500,000.

Foreigners who generate jobs for minimum 50 people will also be able to take Turkish citizenship, the decree signed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The previous number required was 100.

Foreign investors should hold the properties or continue the minimum limit of financial investments for at least three years to meet the criteria for Turkish citizenship.

The new regulation has especially been hailed by the property sector, which eyes nearly $10 billion sales to foreigners annually.

“With the first reciprocity rule in 2012, which stipulated the right to obtain Turkish citizenship to foreigners who invested $1 million in real estate in Turkey, we have achieved an increase of our property sales to foreigners to $4.6 billion on an annual basis. Arab countries especially buy properties in Turkey to find a relief from the geographical instability,” said Feyzullah Yetkin, the head of the Real Estate Investment Partnership Association (GYODER).

“We expect a further increase in foreign demand with the new regulation, which was launched today,” he said on Sept. 19. In the initial stage, sales to foreigners will likely hit $10 billion, according to Yetgin.

“In the mid-term, we can see $20 billion of sales on a yearly basis,” he said, adding that Turkey’s perception should also be maintained here. According to sector data, 11,816 houses were sold to foreigners for $2.1 billion in total. (…)

3. Turkey aims for free trade deal with Japan in 2019

According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (20.09.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/economy/turkey-aims-for-free-trade-deal-with-japan-in-2019-3441510),  Turkey targets to complete Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with Japan by the first half of 2019 at the latest, Turkey's Industry and Technology Minister said on Wednesday.

Mustafa Varank's remarks came during the 24th Turkey-Japan Business Council Joint Meeting -- organized by the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) -- in Istanbul.

The Minister said that Japanese companies have long been operating in Turkey and contributing to production, exports and employment in the country.

"According to June figures, some 227 Japanese companies are operating in Turkey," said Varank, adding that the Ministry aims to increase this number, especially in the high value-added sectors.

He noted that the agreement of Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments between Turkey and Japan was signed in 1993. "The negotiations are ongoing for the FTA, which will replace this agreement and bring new rights to investors," Varank said.

(…)

"Within this period, Japan with $2.7 billion ranked 15th among the countries that bring capital to Turkey. I think this figure does not reflect the current potential and I hope we will work harder and increase this figure," he said.

Varank also said that he plans to attend an investors meeting to be held in the capital Ankara at the end of 2018 with the Embassy of Japan, adding that he also plans to meet with investors in Tokyo at the beginning of 2019. (…)

 

4. Twenty four Istanbul airport workers arrested for protesting unsafe labour conditions

Under the title “24 workers arrested after new Istanbul airport protests”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (19.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/24-workers-arrested-after-new-istanbul-airport-protests-136999) reported that a Turkish court has arrested 24 workers after protests over labour conditions at the construction of Istanbul’s new airport.

The workers were sent to prison after the hearing at Istanbul’s Gaziosmanpaşa Courthouse on Sept. 19 for “damaging public property”, “violating laws on assemblies and rallies”, “resisting police” and “violating freedom to work”.

Some 401 workers were under detention as of Sept. 16, according to Istanbul Govenor Vasip Şahin. Prosecutors had demanded the court to arrest 43 of them, while releasing the rest.

Last week, hundreds of workers walked off their jobs to protest what they called “awful” labour conditions. Security forces intervened, firing tear gas to disperse the protesting workers.

Dozens of workers, who had vowed to continue protests the following day, were detained in police raids at their living quarters near the construction site in the early morning.

The striking workers issued a list of basic demands, including improved safety measures, more shuttle buses and better living conditions. They also demanded not to be dismissed from their jobs and that their delayed wages to be paid.

In the list, the workers also complained about the container homes at the site where they sleep and bed bugs, which they say have infested their beds.

A statement issued by İGA, the company founded to build Istanbul’s third airport, said the workers were “angry” because they had to wait under the rain on the morning of Sept. 14 as their shuttles arrived late to take them to the construction site.

In February, the Labour Ministry said 27 workers had died on the construction site since 2015, when works began there.

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/ AM)