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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 08.03.19






No.47/19                                                                                                            08.03.2019



A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Turkish Vice President: “We want TRNC to stand on its own two feet and to produce and sell its own goods”

2. Meeting on the mobile phone network connections held at Akinci’s office

3. The draft of the “economic protocol” of the period 2019-2021 comes to light

4. The breakaway regime participated in the ITB Berlin 2019 fair

5. “The debate for the real estate fraud is becoming bigger”

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan files a legal complaint against Aksener for distorting his remarks on Kurdish issue

2. Oktay: “Turkey seeing to own interests in buying S-400”

3. Turkish, Russian foreign ministers to meet next week

4. Rosatom seeks partners for stake in Turkey's Akkuyu Nuclear Plant

5. Undecided voters likely to determine fate of upcoming elections


A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Turkish Vice President: “We want TRNC to stand on its own two feet and to produce and sell its own goods”

Illegal Bayark television (08.03.19 ) broadcast that Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that they “want the TRNC to stand on its own two feet and to produce and sell its own goods”.

“Turkey’s support is continuing and there won’t be any problem there. We don’t want to leave our Turkish Cypriot brothers in a difficult situation” Oktay said.

The Turkish Vice President responded to questions at the Anadolu Agency’s Editor Desk.

Oktay said the Cyprus problem could not be resolved although it was on the agenda of the United Nations as it was on Turkey’s.

Claiming that the collocutors of Turkey were not close to a solution, he alleged:  “Think of it this way, they say let’s do something together but then they say only what they want should happen. This is not togetherness. This is what the Greek Cypriot side is doing in Cyprus.”

Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side wanted to own every potential in Cyprus and expected Turkey to trust in them without feeling a need for a guarantor, Oktay said: “We trusted in you but we experienced the 1960’s. Should we experience 60’s again? Sorry but there is no such world.”

Arguing that Turkey was sincere in her solution proposals, he said meetings were continuing for a solution.

Oktay noted that there was no shortage of drinking water on the island anymore, and said they had been working on a similar solution on the electricity issue.

Stating that work continued for enabling the unused drinking water provided from Turkey to be used in the agricultural sector, the Turkish Vice President stressed that Turkey wanted the “TRNC to stand on its own two feet and produce its own goods”.

“There is agriculture and livestock breeding in Cyprus. However, we can look at the processing dimension of these. Moreover, we can consider industrial production. We want a Cyprus which produces and sells its own goods. Cyprus has some disadvantages resulting again from its non-recognition. We are going through an economic model where our representative offices will represent Cyprus also. Turkey’s support is continuing. There won’t be any problem there. We don’t want to leave our Turkish Cypriot brothers in a difficult situation” Oktay said.

2. Meeting on the mobile phone network connections held at Akinci’s office

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (08.03.19) reports that  a meeting was held in the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as regards the issue of the mobile phone network connections, as it was decided during the meeting between Akinci and President Nikos Anastasiades on February 26.

According to a statement issued by the “presidency” during the meeting, it was confirmed that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready from any aspects for the application of the agreement. During the meeting the mutual benefits of both sides after the application of the agreement were also evaluated.



3. The draft of the “economic protocol” of the period 2019-2021 comes to light

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (08.03.19) reports that the details of the “protocol for economic cooperation”, which is expected to be signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for the period 2019-2021, have started coming to light. The framework of the agreement had been drawn in a meeting between self-styled prime minister Tufan Erhurman and Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay. According to the paper, the “daft-protocol” includes, inter-alia, the following: 

An “agreement” for the implementation of the electricity transfer project from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with cables will be signed, within the framework of the “energy cooperation agreement” signed in October 2016. 

The “administrative council” of the so-called electricity authority (KIB-TEK) will become professional and “KIB-TEK” will be separated according to its functions, so that the costs are reduced.

Tenders will be invited for the occupied ports within the framework of cooperation between the “public” and the private sector. A “law” for the so-called maritime department will be prepared and the company of the Turkish Cypriot port workers will be abolished.

A team for conducting the trade between Turkey and the occupied area of Cyprus in Turkish liras (TL) will be established and on the basis of a report that will be prepared the trade cooperation “agreement” between Turkey and the breakaway regime will be updated. 



4. The breakaway regime participated in the ITB Berlin 2019 fair

Illegal Bayrak (07.03.19 ) broadcast that the breakaway regime participated in the ITB Berlin 2019 Tourism Fair and reports that 180 countries from 6 continents are taking part in the fair.

Self-styled tourism and environment minister Fikri Ataoğlu said that Germany is one of the centers of the European travel market and added that “it holds an important place in north Cyprus (TR. Note: The breakaway regime) tourism”.

Noting that the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair in line with its ever-changing tourism profile, is a perfect place to showcase the range of tourism opportunities in “North Cyprus”, Ataoğlu said that within this framework he would be meeting with new tour operators in Germany in order to draw larger crowds to the “TRNC” and meet with a variety of press organizations all in the hopes of drumming up more tourism for the “TRNC”.

He said that “as the ministry they were always working to provide alternative tourism opportunities in the country and added that during 2019 they expected a serious increase in the number of German tourists who visit north Cyprus”.


5. “The debate for the real estate fraud is becoming bigger”

Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (08.03.19) reports that the fraud against well-known Turkish actor Selcuk Yontem and a person who lives in Germany named Mehmet Ali Beldiran by a real estate agent named Yasemin Taskiran, who had promised them an apartment in the occupied area of Cyprus, has caused a debate between the construction company which owns the apartments and the real estate agents’ union.

Abdullah Kurklu, the vice president of the administrative council and chairman of the executive board of the above-mentioned construction company, named Avrasya Constructions, said that they live in a “country” which has no control and no real estate agents’ “laws” and argued that all real estate agents “should be controlled one by one”. He noted that the commission for the apartments sold by Yasemin Taskiran on behalf of their construction company was paid to the real estate agency where Taskiran was working.

On his part, Hasan Sungur, chairman of the “real estate agents’ union”, stated that Yasemin Taskiran was not registered in their union and added that they had launched an effort for updating the “real estate agents’ union law”. Sungur said that they have established that the real estate agent firm where Taskiran was working had no relation with the sale of the apartments to Selcuk Yontem and Mehmet Ali Beldiran, but the above-mentioned construction company was not registered in the so-called building contractors’ union or in the “construction council”

Commenting on the issue, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (08.03.19) reports the following in its “The hero of the day” column:

“Well-known Turkish actor Selcuk Yontem purchases a house built on plundered land from a construction company from Turkey. The construction firm from Turkey was swindled by an employee from Turkey. And afterwards the well-known Turkish actor files a complaint to the TRNC police. The problem is immediately solved and the house is handed over to him. Someone thinks now: How many Cypriots have been swindled until today by construction companies from Turkey and local [companies]? The problem of how many of them was solved? Has the stolen money been returned? […]”


 B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan files a legal complaint against Aksener for distorting his remarks on Kurdish issue

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.03.19- reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused opposition İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Aksener of “distorting” his remarks on the Kurdish issue.

“Now they have made up a lie; I supposedly declared the Kurds who voted for the HDP as terrorists. They’ve seen that they cannot sell their arguments, so they’ve resorted to lying. Mrs. Aksener is doing this,” Erdogan said at a rally on March 7.

“Having no shame, she suggests that I called my brothers in Denizli terrorists,” Erdogan said, announcing that his lawyers filed a legal complaint against her. “The March 31 local elections will hopefully end these,” he said.

At a rally in Denizli on March 6, Aksener saluted crowds, saying: “How are you, the people of Denizli, who have been identified by the President as terrorists.”

“When we want to strengthen our country with brotherhood, some try to instill separatism among us,” Erdogan said.

The PKK has been harming Turkey since 1984, including the police, village guards, the nation, but mostly “our Kurdish brothers,” Erdogan added.

Erdogan said that the HDP was not successful in the local administration of Mardin and hailed the province’s management after the state appointed a trustee to replace HDP mayors.

“The HDP made life more difficult for locals by being supported by the PKK, which dug trenches to fight Turkish security forces”, he said.

“We reconstructed a total of 240 kilometers of roads that were destroyed by trenches dug. We have restored those ruined areas,” he said.



2. Oktay: “Turkey seeing to own interests in buying S-400”

Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.03.19- reported that Vice President Fuat Oktay said on Thursday that Turkey is protecting its own interests in purchasing the Russian S-400 missile defense system. 

"Turkey is doing what is necessary for its own interests regarding the S-400 missile defense system, it is making its own decision and choice," Oktay told Anadolu Agency's Editors’ Desk.

“Turkey will not back out of buying the Russian S-400, as it signed a contract”, he said.

“In any case [on the S-400 purchase], we will do what it requires, especially as we signed a deal,” Oktay further said, adding that they are expecting to receive the first delivery of the S-400 missile system in July.

Oktay said also that the Turkish army is ready to launch a promised counter-terrorist operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. "Turkey will do what is necessary and it will never allow any terror presence or threat there," he said.

"If there is a threat, we say, 'We’re ready. We'll do it in Manbij [Syria] as well’," he added.

"As our President previously announced, we are ready. This shows our preparation level and determination. Our preparation levels are military and political. These preparations were ready yesterday and are ready today. Turkey is putting its cards on the table," Oktay said.

He added: "One of the main actors in this region, the U.S. announced their withdrawal. This is a development which will change the rules of the game."

Oktay went on saying that the only country fighting the Daesh terror group is Turkey, as its army battled Daesh in Operation Euphrates Shield and Al-Bab, Syria. "We fought Daesh directly in the field,” he said.


3. Turkish, Russian foreign ministers to meet next week

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (07.03.19- reported that the Turkish and Russian Foreign ministers will meet in Turkey next week to plan for a high-level cooperation council in Moscow this April, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

The Russian-Turkish joint strategic planning group will meet in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya on March 12-13 co-chaired by Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, said the Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

The event will pave the way for the April 14 summit of the High-Level Cooperation Council in Russia, she told reporters in Moscow.

"A detailed exchange of opinions on all issues on the bilateral agenda is planned in the context of preparations for the next meeting of the leaders of the two countries and the upcoming meeting of the High-Level Cooperation Council,” Zakharova said.

Issues to be dealt with include expanding bilateral trade and cooperation in other fields, consular issues, and boosting cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the context of the 2019 Turkey-Russia Year of Culture and Tourism.

“Foreign policy issues such as the Syrian and Ukrainian crises will also be discussed”, Zakharova said.

Lavrov and Çavuşoğlu will also examine ways to boost the influence of Russian-Turkish cooperation in international organizations and sign a plan for foreign ministry consultations through 2020.


4. Rosatom seeks partners for stake in Turkey's Akkuyu Nuclear Plant

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.03.19- reported that the Russia’s state nuclear energy corporation Rosatom is in negotiations with both Turkish and foreign companies for a new partner to buy a 49% share in the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Anton Dedusenko, Deputy chairman of Akkuyu Joint Stock Company (JSC), said on March 5.

Rosatom has been negotiating with a number of companies for over a year for a 49% share of the plant that is estimated to cost around $20 billion. However, no concrete agreement has yet been made.

The Cengiz-Kolin-Kalyon consortium, which was in discussions with Rosatom, the plant’s major shareholder, failed to reach a final agreement and negotiations halted.

Dedusenko did not reveal the names of potential partner companies, but divulged that Rosatom has invested $10.1 billion - equivalent to Rosatom’s 51% share interest, the percentage share of the project that was stipulated in the Turkish-Russia intergovernmental agreement signed on May 12, 2010.

“This amount [$10.1 billion] will be enough for a certain amount of development in the project,” Dedusenko said.

The Akkuyu project started with this intergovernmental agreement, and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin launched the construction of the plant via video conference in April 2018.

Rosatom and participants will build the plant comprising four units, each of which has a capacity of 1,200 megawatts.

The plant will have a working life of 8,000 hours per year and will produce 35 billion kilowatts of electricity at full capacity to meet about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity needs. The plant has an operational date for the first reactor set for 2023, while the plant is expected to be up and running at full capacity by 2025.



5. Undecided voters likely to determine fate of upcoming elections

Turkish daily Sabah (08.03.19- reports that according to surveys, 25% of voters in Turkey remain undecided with only a few weeks left to the local polls, while 35.3% of voters are hesitant to go to the polls altogether.

With Turkey only three weeks away from local elections scheduled for March 31, surveys indicate that there are still a significant percentage of undecided voters and voting penetration, it is believed, will remain below 80% – almost 10% less compared with the last local elections in 2014.

In order to better evaluate the situation of undecided voters and people's intentions, Daily Sabah conducted an interview with the head of Optimar Research, Hilmi Daşdemir this week. Dasdemir's team conducted the most conclusive surveys during the local elections and presidential elections in 2014 as well as for the general elections last year.

According to their recent research, almost 25 percent of the Turkish population is either undecided or not planning to go to the polls. Some 43.4 percent of undecided voters have said they do not like the parties and alliances, while 35.3 percent are hesitant to go to the polls due to their candidate preferences.

Speaking about the motivations behind this decrease, Daşdemir said that undecided voters still doubt candidates or alliances; this doubt especially overwhelmingly prevailed over the opposition alliance which is made up of the pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and the far-right Good Party (İP).

The lack of common ground between these three parties in terms of political customs and ideology confuses the bloc's voter base. Thus, the alliance is perceived by the three parties' supporters as a bogus agreement, which solely aims to win the election no matter what fair representation is maintained on behalf of their bases.


According to Optimar's latest survey, even 18.7% of  CHP voters agreed that the issues around the economy could only be fixed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) out of 66.5% in the total electorate.

Interestingly, 7.4% of voters among the İP also support the view that only the AK Party will be able to solve the issue, despite the fact that the economy is the leading topic discussed by the opposition every chance it gets against the alliance formed between the AK Party and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) known as the People's Alliance.

Supporting this finding, once we take a glance at the different leaders' popularity, we see a more visible picture. The leader of the CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has 27.2% and Selahattin Demirtaş, the leader of HDP has a 13.8% record low popular votes in the polls.

In contrast, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a steadfast 52% popularity, the percent is almost the same with the votes he received in the June 24 elections as well. So undecided voters seem like an unlikely issue for Erdogan's leadership, since the opposition figures have been experiencing a continuous decline in their own popularity despite their consolidation against him.