According to illegal Bayrak television (07.1.148, http://www.brtk.net/basbakan-yardimcisi-ve-disisleri-bakani-ozersay-new-yorkta-2/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, arrived yesterday to New York to hold a variety of contacts.
He is visiting New York to follow discussions on the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the report that will be discussed at the UN Security Council and to see the decision that will emerge. He will hold meetings with UN officials and with country representatives who have interests in Cyprus.
Ozersay starts his contacts today at the UN Headquarters. During his meetings will be accompanied by the “undersecretary of the deputy prime ministry and ministry of foreign affairs” Güneş Onar and the “third secretary of the ministry” Seval Gokeri.
On his social media account before his departure for New York, Ozersay posted: “Our aim is to make our voice heard in the international arena and to protect our rights and benefits.”
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (05.01.19) under the front-page title: “Good news for the TRNC settlers on the citizenship issue”, reported on statements by so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay.
In statements during a visit he paid the other day in the occupied part of Lefkosia, accompanied by so-called minister of interior, Aysegul Baybars, Ozersay informed the “inhabitants” of occupied Lefkosia, that the “new citizenship law is about to be completed soon”. “The ministry of interior is about to complete the works for the preparation of a more fair citizenship law, which has been prepared taking into consideration the needs in the country”, Ozerday alleged, claiming that the “new citizenship law”, will be taking into account “the needs in the country, the people who established correlates in the country, those who were born and grew up in the TRNC and those who have homeland consciousness”.
Also speaking, Baybars explained that within the framework of their efforts to extend the “coverage of the holders of white card”, they will provide conveniences to the “public sector” to the “owners of white card”, while at the same time, as Baybars said, the “owners of white cards” would not be obliged to “renew their work permit in the TRNC” every year.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (07.01.19) in a column called “daily” and under the title: “Ozersay’s citizens would become Arikli’s voters”, reported that after Ozersay has stated the other day that with the new “citizenship law”, “new citizenships of the TRNC would be granted”, this would mean that the “citizenships would be granted to Arikli and his compatriots” [Translator’s note: Arikli is the chairman of the Revival settler’s party (YDP), in the occupied area of Cyprus].
According to illegal Bayrak television (05.01.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=call-from-gulden-plumer-kucuk), the Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee of the Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) Gülden Plümer Küçük said that the committee had been established with the acceptance that both sides of the island are responsible for what happened to the missing persons in Cyprus. She argued that the claims that only one side was responsible for what had happened to the missing persons would be unrealistic.
In response to an interview given by the Greek Cypriot member of the committee Nestoras Nestoros on the 28th of December to a Greek Cypriot newspaper, she said that “in the past three years the CMP had found the remains of 160 missing persons in the North of the island and the remains of 4 missing persons in the South of the island”. She added that in 2018 we recovered the remains of 11 missing persons and it just goes to show how right the measures taken by the Committee are.
She called on both sides on the island to share information with them regarding the burial sites so they can reach the remains before they deteriorate event further and reiterated that all information shared with them will remain private.
Referring to the past 12 years where excavation work has taken place, Küçük said that most of the major sites had been excavated and the ones that remain untouched only a small group of remains have been reported in the area, either 1, 5 or 20 remains are reported at the sites.
Giving extensive information about the work carried out by the CMP, Küçük said that in the past 12 years 492 Turkish Cypriot missing persons have been found and 1510 Greek Cypriot missing persons have been found.
“In total 2002 missing persons have been found and 927 of them have been identified and their remains have been returned to their families for burial. This means that 246 Turkish Cypriots and 681 Greek Cypriots (families) have been able to put an end to their sorrows in one way or another” said Küçük. She reiterated once again that any information to be given to the committee will be kept secret. “Information given will aid in healing the wounds of one family. Through empathy you can help mankind”, added Gülden Plümer Küçük.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Gunes (05.01.19) reported that the general secretary of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied area of Cyprus, Hasan Tacoy, went to London for a series of “contacts” and in order to deliver a speech in a panel organized in north London by the Turkish Cypriots living there, on the Cyprus problem.
According to the paper, Tacoy who will be delivering a speech at the panel is expected to evaluate the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. Also, within the framework of his visit in the UK, Tacoy will also hold talks with representatives of several NGO and also with members of the friendship group with the Turkish Cypriots at the UK’s Parliament and at the House of Lords.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.01.19) reports that a “draft law”, aiming to solve the issue of the conscientious objection in the breakaway regime is submitted today in the so-called assembly.
The “draft law” provides that a person can serve his military duty without using a gun or wearing a uniform.
The paper writes that a disagreement occurred between the parties that comprise the “coalition government” over the issue. The Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Democratic Party (DP) and the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP) say that conscientious objection is a human right while the People’s Party (HP) of Kudret Ozersay does not share this opinion.
In addition, the two parties of the opposition, the National Unity Party and the Revival Party are against the “draft law”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (07.01.19) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, heading a group, joined the Revival Party (YDP). (TR. Note: The party of the settlers).
According to the paper, former head of the “religious affairs department” , Yonluer, for a short period of time formed and was the chairman of HIS Party. In 2009, he joined the Democratic Party but failed to enter the “assembly”.
Yonluer stated that YDP is a party with great credentials, which reflects his own principles. He also said that he does not feel like a foreigner in the party.
On his part, YDP leader Erhan Arkli welcomed Yonluer and his group to YDP.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (07.01.19)reports that according to data announced by the so-called state planning organization (“DPO”), the inflation rate in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in 2018 reached 29,96%. However, the inflation in the food and non-alcoholic drinks was 10% higher reaching 40,40%. This is 14,03% higher than the inflation in the same group of products in 2017.
The highest inflation rate in 2018 was observed in the furniture, household appliances and nursing services at home (43,88%) and the lowest in the restaurants and hotels (12,92%).
The minimum wage in the occupied area of Cyprus had been determined to 2,279 Turkish liras in January 2018 (or 366,39 euro with euro’s exchange rate being 6,22 TL).
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (07.01.19)reports that according to data announced by the so-called department of tourism, the number of persons who visited the occupied area of Cyprus through sea and airports in the first eleven months of 2018 increased by 2,2% comparing to the same period of 2017 reaching 1,634,089 persons [this number had been 1,599,196 persons in 2017].
The visitors from Turkey increased by 3,8% in the above-mentioned period of 2018, while the number of the visitors from third countries decreased by 2,7%. The number of the visitors from Turkey reached 1,256,708 persons and the citizens of third countries 377,381 persons. The most visits, after the Turks, were paid by Germans (48,064). The second largest group of visitors came from England (32,657), followed by Iran (23,967) and the Czech Republic (13,086). The highest increase (157,1%) was observed in the Indian visitors, the number of whom increased from 1,074 in 2017 to 2,761 in 2018.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(06.01.19)reported that 51,713 students are studying in schools of primary and secondary education in the occupied area of Cyprus for the 2018-19 school - year. According to data given by the “ministry of education”, 40,904 of these students go to “public” schools and 10,809 go to in private schools.
It is noted that 34,990 of these students are “TRNC citizens”, 13,596 are citizens of Turkey and 3,127 are citizens of other countries.
Turkish daily Milliyet (05.01.19, http://www.milliyet.com.tr/son-dakika-ak-parti-de-buyuk-siyaset-2806744/) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presented his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) mayoral candidates for March 31 elections in the western province of Izmir on Saturday.
Erdoğan announced AK Party's 25 district mayoral candidates, saying that the party will support the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) candidates in five district municipalities, namely Aliağa, Çeşme, Dikili, Foça and Narlıdere as part of the People's Alliance. The AK Party nominated five female candidates while the MHP nominated one. Meanwhile, the AK party previously announced on Nov. 27 that former Economy Minister and Denizli deputy Nihat Zeybekci is the candidate for the metropolitan municipality of Izmir, which is a stronghold of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
In his speech, President Erdogan said that the roots of their brothers, who live in this town, are extended from East Turkestan to Thessaloniki and from Crimea to Crete, adding that they live together in peace. He further said that Izmir was not only the city of inhabitants of Izmir but it was the city of 81 million people. Later, he read a poem of the Turkish folk music singer Muharrem Ertas on the “occupation of Izmir”. The poem was ending with the lyrics: “The vile Greeks cannot attain their desires. They would say ‘don’t pass’, I will enter Izmir. I will throw them into the sea”.
Erdogan also said: “Izmir has been always in our daydreaming and in our night dreams”.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.01.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/claims-that-turkey-targets-kurds-are-irrational-spokesman-kalin/1357409), Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, responding to U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's remarks on Sunday, argued that claims that Turkey targets Kurds are “irrational,” as the country is fighting Daesh and PKK/PYD/YPG terrorists.
In a statement, Ibrahim Kalin claimed: “The issue is PKK/PYD/YPG are making efforts to establish an order by oppressing Kurds, who don’t obey them, and their terrorist activities against our country. (…) There is no doubt that a terror group cannot be an ally of the U.S.”.
Earlier on Sunday, Bolton said the U.S. will not withdraw troops from north-eastern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees fight against Daesh and that it won’t attack “Kurdish fighters”, referring to YPG/PKK terrorist group.
Kalin reiterated that Turkey’s aim in fight against terrorism is to provide national security, and ensure regional peace and stability. He noted that Turkey is the only NATO member which is countering the terror group PKK and its Syrian branches of PYD and YPG, as well as other terrorists of Daesh and FETO.
The presidential spokesman said the country was going to coordinate with its allies and the countries in the region in the fight against terrorism, while resolutely implementing the policies required for national security.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s principle that “we will be both on the ground and at the table” clearly explains that both military and diplomatic means are always open for the national interests, Kalin said. (…)
"It's disrespectful to our Kurdish brothers to claim they are represented by a terror group," he added.
Kalin concluded by saying that Turkey's aim while fighting against PKK and its Syrian branches is "to rescue Kurds from the tyranny and oppression of this terror group and to ensure their safety of life and property".
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (07.01.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-issues-arrest-warrants-for-100-feto-linked-soldiers-3471004), Turkish prosecutors ordered the detention of 100 soldiers on Monday over suspected links to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup attempt.
The suspects are accused of communicating with FETÖ imams through payphones, Anadolu Agency reported. (...)
Turkish news portal Ahvalnews (05.01.19, https://ahvalnews.com/religion/people-turkey-becoming-less-religious-konda-research) reported that, according to new research from pollster Konda, people in Turkey appear to be becoming less religious despite the 17-year-rule of the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Although the number of those who believe in God increased slightly, the share of those who call themselves religious fell from 55 percent to 51%, while the share of those who see themselves as extremely religious dropped by nearly a quarter, from 13% to 10%.
Turks are worshiping less, and those who fast for Ramadan fell from 77% to 65%, the study found. “While Turkey remains religious, atheists have become more visible,” Konda said.
The number of atheists in Turkey has tripled over the past decade, increasing from one percent in 2008 to three percent in 2018, according to Konda’s annual report on changes in Turkish society.
Turkish society also shows signs of a more liberal attitude toward gender roles. The number of people who say women should get the consent of their husbands to work in a job has decreased from 69% to 55% over the last decade. Among those aged 32 and under, the share of arranged marriages fell 10% over the last decade.
Among other figures, in 2008, almost half of the Turkish people supported a military coup in the event of political turmoil. In 2018, two years after a real-life failed coup attempt, support for a coup fell to 19%.
The figures highlighted a striking shift in Turks’ news consumption habits. The share of people who read newspapers fell from 61% to 26%, while social media use leapt from 38% to 72%. Finally, in 2018, 84% of Turks still get their news from television, a relatively minor drop from the 98%.
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