A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (28.02.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the population living in the occupied area of Cyprus is 800 thousand. “I think that a population of 800 thousand is living here”, noted Denktas replying to a question during a press conference yesterday. He said that a population census was needed but there was no such planning at the moment.
Commenting on the issue, Afrika reports that 800 thousand was the highest number ever mentioned about the population living in the occupied area of the island. The paper recalls that former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat had referred to a population of 500-600 thousands, former “prime minister Irsen Kucuk had said that they were “crowed” and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci had once noted “look at the streets” [to understand the number of population].
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (28.02.19) reports that Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the exact number of the population living in the occupied area of the island was not known. “To tell the truth, I am ashamed when I talk about this issue”, she stated yesterday speaking to Genc TV. She added:
“The persons who enter into the country should be registered. Otherwise Mr Denktas will come out and say 800 thousands and someone else will come out and say something else”.
Pointing out the importance of shaping a policy on the issue of population, Baybars argued that this was not possible within a year, because “the problem was that many unregistered persons existed when we came on duty”. She also said:
“A registration system should be created in order to be able to talk about the population. At the moment there are 53 thousand registered students. There are 7-8 thousand employees with a work permit and persons accompanying their spouse. We started building the registration mechanism”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (28.02.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has referred to a “piece by piece” or “step by step” solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements yesterday during a press conference, Denktas said that federation was the only solution proposal shaped by the UN parameters and that one of these parameters was the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots. “As long as these parameters do not change, there could be no model, solution or agreement, which does not include the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus”, he argued adding that “as long as the parameters do not change or the sides do not agree there could be no other solution model except for the federation”.
“However, we cannot ignore the problems created by this situation”, he claimed alleging that the Greek Cypriots were still annoyed by the many rights secured by the Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s. “The international community must see this now. We will either administrate this island together as equal partners or we will administrate the north and they will administrate the south. The insistence of the UN on not functional contents and forms is causing more and more difficulty”.
According to Denktas, many people started to understand the difficulties for reaching a comprehensive solution. He argued that in 2003 he had been described “opponent of the solution” by some supporters of the Annan Plan, because he had referred to a “step by step” or “piece by piece” solution. He said that the “piece by piece solution” meant to solve the smaller problems or to solve the problems one by one without providing for a target to be reached after the solution of these problems. That is, he added, in the long term it is possible to reach a model which cannot be provided from now. Denktas showed as examples for this “piece by piece solution” the Green Line Regulation, the breakaway regime’s move regarding the Maronites, a move regarding the occupied fenced off city of Varosha, their “customs union” with Turkey and the opening of crossing points.
Denktas said that the step by step solution consists of small steps to reach a predetermined great target and added that the aforementioned steps were also valid for the step by step solution method as well, that is, he explained, if the target was to reach a federal solution, these steps would not prevent it.
Referring to the discussions regarding a decentralized federation, Denktas said that he had no problem with this and that on the contrary he preferred this model instead of a federation with strong centre. “If you are serious on the decentralization, come and let us discuss it”, he said addressing President Anastasiades.
Referring to the statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci after his recent meeting with President Anastasiades, Denktas argued that an approach which is in harmony with the step by step or piece by piece solution model came up, but alleged that if the countless statements previously made by President Anastasiades were taken into consideration, it would be deceiving themselves and the Turkish Cypriot community to expect him to come close to the model they try to discuss being committed to the UN parameters.
Illegal Bayrak (27.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-calls-on-akinci-to-advocate-two-state-solution ) reports that the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar has called on Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı to bring to the agenda of the United Nations and other countries interested in the Cyprus Problem “a two-state solution”.
In a written statement issued, the UBP leader said that yesterday’s meeting between the two leaders revealed that the Greek Cypriot side did not accept the Turkish Cypriot side’s demands.
“Akıncı should not get caught up in the Greek Cypriot side’s delaying tactics and games. I am urging him to bring to the agenda of the UN and other international actors involved in the Cyprus Problem the option of a two-state solution which the majority of the Turkish Cypriot people and the TRNC parliament supports” he said.
Tatar said that “while the UBP will support steps aimed at bringing the two communities closer, the fact that the Greek Cypriot side was still imposing unjust embargoes on Turkish Cypriots, usurping their rights and excluding them from the hydrocarbon equation should not be ignored”.
“We clearly see that the Greek Cypriot side’s preconditions for a substantial dialogue are for the Turkish Cypriot side to back down from its position on effective participation in decision making and for Turkey to abandon its unilateral right of intervention stemming from the Treaty of Guarantees” Tatar claimed.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (28.02.19) reports that the leader of the Revival party (TR. Note: The party of the settlers) Erhan Arikli stated that Akinci should have as his priority to offer new alternatives to Turkish Cypriots and to open new horizons for the “TRNC”.
Arikli who issued a written statement said that “Akinci should stop playing the Pollyanna game and to accept the realities”. He also said that “no one has the right to fool the public with the federation fairytale” and called on Akinci to work together with Turkey for a new vision.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.02.19) reports that Teberruken Ulucay, “assembly speaker”, evaluating the latest Akinci-Anastasiades meeting, said that the agreement reached at the meeting was important and positive. He added he hoped it would help to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem in the near future.
In a written statement, Ulucay said that the clarification and concretization of Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades’ views on power sharing was vital in reviving the efforts of the solution.
On the same issue, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) announced that they welcome the decisions taken during the meeting between Akinci and Anastasiades that would develop the relations between the two “people” and would facilitate their lives in Cyprus.
In a joint statement, the three Turkish Cypriot trade unions of teachers and journalists KTÖS, KTOEÖS and BASIN-SEN described the developments as positive, adding that in case the Cypriots are determined, no force can prevent them from taking steps towards the solution.
Moreover, the Leftist Movement (Sol Hareket), in a written statement, said that the results of the two leaders’ meeting were promising, stressing that the federal solution is the only way out and they will continue to fight in this direction.
Turkish Cypriot daily (28.02.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, “minister of finance”, announced yesterday the results of a research on “Quality of life and assets” carried out by the “ministry of finance”.
Denktas said that 27% of the households are middle or upper income, 2.5% have high income, 67% low income, and 15% are related to poverty.
According to the research, “59% of the citizens work in the private sector, 25% are public-municipal employees. The average monthly income of the 66.7% of the citizens is 3 thousand 847 TL and 25% of the citizens by the end of the month have great difficulty, economically”.
“45% of the citizens believe that they should become EU citizens and more than 57% does not see a federal solution possible”.
40% of the respondents do not trust the “parliament”, 27% the legal system, 17% the “police”, 40% the “government”, 29% the “local administration” and 32% the unions.
The armed forces are considered the most trusted institution with 38%.
“Most of the citizens own a house and 84% do not pay rent or instalments”.
Finally, Denktas argued that according to the results, those who live in the occupied area of Cyprus are happier than those who live in the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus and in Turkey, but the Turkish Cypriots feel uncertain about their future.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.02.18), the Social and Economic Council 30th was held yesterday on 2019-2021 medium term program, in the occupied part of Nicosia.
Addressing the meeting, Odul Muhtaroglu, “chairman of the social economic council and undersecretary of the state planning organization”, said that the “TRNC in 2018 grew by 2.6%, this figure is estimated to be in 2019, 1.9%, in 2020, 3.6% and in 2021, 4.4%”. He added: “In light of those growth figures, the total fixed investments which were 18.8% of the GDP (gross domestic product) share in 2017, were 20.7% in 2018 and it is estimated that they will reach 22.0% in 2019, 23.3% in 2020 and 24.7% in 2021. The average GDP growth in the TRNC in real terms the last three years was 4.3%. On the other hand, when the average growth rates of the last three years on sectoral basis are examined, there was a 10.4% growth in the industrial sector and 4.0% in the agricultural sector. Besides, when we look at higher education and tourism, which are considered as leading sectors in tourism in the last three years there was an average real growth of 11.0% and in the higher education sector the average real growth was 7.5%.”
Referring to developments in employment by year, Muhtaroglu said: “While in 2017, 120,999 people benefited from employment opportunities, this figure by the end of 2021 is expected to reach 138,245 people. The labour force participation rate is expected to be 51.2% and the unemployment rate at 6.4%. Another important point is that the unemployment rate in the youth, which was 18.7% according to 2017 figures, will be lowered by projects and employment incentive policies that will be applied”.
Noting that they aim to the gradual decline of inflation to 9.5%, Muhtaroglu said: “The yearly inflation rate was 29.96% in 2018 because of the direct and indirect influence of the devaluation and the increase of the oil price. It is estimated that the inflation rate will decrease to 9.5% in 2021.”
Illegal Bayrak (28.02.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=yucesoylu-speaks-to-aa-on-haloumi-exports ) reports that the General Director of dairy cooperative-Koop-Süt, Salih Yücesoylu said that they wanted to make the best use of the agreement signed with the Agricultural Credits Cooperatives of Turkey to export haloumi cheese.
Speaking to the Anadolu Agency, Yücesoylu expressed the belief that “the agreement will seriously open the way for Turkish Cypriot Haloumi producers”.
Reminding that the export of haloumi cheese was an important source of revenue for the “TRNC’s economy”, Yücesoylu said there were serious arguments with the Greek Cypriot side regarding the registration of haloumi as a Product of Origin.
“The Greek Cypriots claim that Haloumi belongs to them, we, on the other hand, are arguing that it is a product belonging to the whole geography of Cyprus. As a result, the product belongs to all of us…to the Cypriots” he said.
Explaining that large quantities of haloumi cheese were being exported to Middle Eastern countries, the Koop-Süt Director Yücesoylu said “we have serious customers from the Middle East which we do business with. The Middle East market is a big one. We sell Haloumi to the Arab Emirates, to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Dubai.
Yücesoyle also said that haloumi cheese was sold for double the price in Turkey because firms selling the cheese added their own profit margins.
“This is why haloumi is widely accepted as a luxury food” he added.
Stating that haloumi was not a luxury food, Yücesoylu said that they hoped that Haloumi would make to the tables of everyone in Anatolia.
The Koop-Süt Director said that the haloumi they produced was unable to make its way to European markets “because of the unjust embargoes imposed on Turkish Cypriots”.
“The quality of our haloumi is much higher than the haloumi produced in south Cyprus. If we succeed in reaching an agreement and the doors to the European market open to us then we will experience a serious boom. This will have an immensely positive impact on the country’s economy” he claimed.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/trump-adviser-kushner-meets-with-turkish-president-for-talks-on-regional-issues-141527) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with U S. President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner on Feb. 27 for talks expected to focus on a U.S. peace plan for the Middle East and economic issues.
Erdoğan, in an interview late on Feb. 26, said Kushner was due in Turkey to discuss “economic and regional issues.”
Kushner, who has responsibility for Washington’s Israel-Palestine policy, embarked on a Middle East tour on Feb. 25 and is accompanied by Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and U.S. envoy on Iran Brian Hook. The U.S. officials are seeking support for a long-awaited peace proposal for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They met with the leaders of the UAE and Oman on Feb. 26.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (28.02.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-continue-cooperation-with-china-despite-uighur-row-fm-141523) reports that Turkey’s determination in cooperating with China as part of the latter’s “One Belt One Road Initiative” has not changed despite an ongoing spat over the treatment of Uighur Turks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said, reiterating Ankara’s call for Beijing to “separate terrorists from innocent civilians.”
At a conference at TOBB University of Economics and Technology on Feb. 27, Çavuşoğlu said he had a lengthy meeting with China’s new ambassador to Turkey, Deng Li, on Feb. 26 in the Turkish capital to discuss recent developments.
“We are following the problems of the Uighur Turks very closely. It’s real that there is a problem over there. Otherwise, there would not be that much global attention,” Çavuşoğlu stressed.
There are some problems, but there are those who are also trying to manipulate them by distorted facts on social media, the minister added. “But, still, this does not deny that there is a problem,” he said.
“What can be done on this? First, cooperation with China. Second, cooperation with international organizations. For example, a delegation from the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation [OIC] is in China for investigation. We are now waiting for their report.”
Every nation has the right to fight against terrorism, and there are Uighur Turks who had joined ISIL, Çavuşoğlu said. “An Uighur Turk who joined DAESH is a terrorist, just like we see a Turkish citizen joining the PKK or the YPG as terrorist. But what we tell the Chinese side is that innocent civilians should be separated from the terrorists. I said this to the Chinese ambassador, with whom I had a lengthy meeting yesterday.”
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (28.02.19) reports that the general director of the KONDA research center Bekir Agridir stated that 8 of the 10 percent that is the power of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP),which does not have candidates for every municipality for the forthcoming municipal elections in Turkey, will go to the opposition parties.
Because of this estimation, Bekir said, that HDP’s voters will determine the results in Antalya, Adan and Mersin.
He said however that in areas in Turkey that the majority is of Kurdish origin, the Kurds’ vote will be divided between HDP and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
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