Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog(13.03.19) reports that Bengul Garninsu, member of the “coalition partner” Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) council, is accused of “participating in an illegal organization” and of “possessing publications which make propaganda” for this organization. During a search conducted in Garninsu’s house, books which “make the propaganda for an illegal organization” and a chest having the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) emblem were found.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(13.03.19) refers to the issue under the title “Disgrace” and “Books prohibition and handcuffs”. The paper reports that the fascist practices which are implemented in Turkey are escalating in the occupied area of Cyprus as well. The “police” raided Garninsu’s house, handcuffed her and took her to “court”, which ordered her to remain in custody for two days, the report says.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (13.03.19, http://www.brtk.net/akinci-ulkemizde-herhangi-bir-yasakli-kitap-listesi-bulunmamaktadir/) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the concern that freedoms were limited in the occupied area of Cyprus was growing among the Turkish Cypriot “people” and that the “lawmakers” should take into consideration this concern. Commenting on the arrest of Bengul Garninsu, member of the Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) party council, who is accused of “participating in an illegal organization” and “possessing publications which make propaganda” for this organization, Akinci argued that there was no list of prohibited books in the occupied areas of Cyprus and that “this situation increases the concern of the citizens”. He noted that the damage caused to the society’s perception of freedom by the direct correlation of terror and violence with the reading of books should not be ignored.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (13.03.19), mouthpiece of the CTP, refers to the issue under the titles “Tension for prohibited publications and participation in terrorist organization” and “Let us defend freedoms” and reports that CTP’s general secretary, Erdogan Sorakin expressed the belief that no person could be deprived of the fundamental right of freedom of expression and added that it would not be correct to comment while the issue was examined in the “court”.
Referring to the issue, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the party and self-styled prime minister of the regime, said that considering only the possession of a book as a crime could not be accepted and added that it was out of the question for the “executive power” to interfere in the “judiciary”.
Political parties and organizations also reacted to the arrest. The Social Democracy Party (TDP) described as “unacceptable” the fact that the possession of books was presented as a crime.
Salih Sonustun, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), criticized Garninsu’s arrest and recalled that the “protocol” which was recently signed with Turkey against criminality and for preventing “dangerous persons” from entering into the “country”, provides for the arrest in the occupied area of Cyprus of everybody who “the oppressing government in Turkey considers dangerous with the pretext that they make terrorist propaganda”. “First Afrika newspaper, then a young person who was in the country as a student and now a woman administrative cadre of a political party which, on top of it, is in the government, are treated as criminals because of what they think, read and criticize”, noted Sonustun describing “concerning and saddening” the direction towards which the occupied area of Cyprus is heading.
The Left Movement protested against the arrest of persons because the reading of books is considered as a crime and argued that an effort is exerted for creating a “regime of fear” in the occupied area of Cyprus. The Movement called on “prime minister” Erhurman to say which books are prohibited and whether reading and distributing books is a crime.
Referring to the issue, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (13.03.19) reports that the “police” have recently increased the arrests they make with the justification of “possession of publications of a prohibited organization”, by using methods which had been implemented in Turkey after the military coup in 1980, by raiding houses and searching libraries.
According to the paper, Yenal Senin, general secretary of the People’s Party (HP), stated that he did not know details regarding the list of the publications of the “prohibited organizations” approved by the “council of ministers” and added that only the possession of a book should not be considered a crime. He said that it is not clear what crime Garninsu had committed or whether she had committed any crime.
Aysegul Baybars, self-styled interior minister of the regime, taking during a television program yesterday, said that her information is that the arrest was not made only because of possession of books. “There are also accusations for participating in a terrorist organization, something which the criminal code considers to be a crime”, she argued adding that investigation was continuing.
Finally, the Turkish Cypriot “bar association” described the arrest as attack against the freedom of expression, which is safeguarded by the “constitution” and the international conventions.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (13.03.19) reports that Meltem Onurkan Samani, special advisor on political affairs and history of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, claimed that the Greek Cypriot side with what it refers to as new idea means the continuation of the status quo and the models, which can be described as autonomous regions, and which are not on the basis of the political equality of the founding/constituent states.
Speaking at the news programme of “BRT”, Samami noted that the allegation that Akinci rejected the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side for two-states and the “TRNC’s recognition” is groundless. She added that the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and their right of effective participation in decision making cannot be negotiated and are both sine qua non for them.
Reminding that Akinci does not oppose any new models that are not against the political equality, Samani said: “Let us talk together about the models where there will be political equality”.
Replying to the position of the Greek Cypriot leadership in the recent days that the effective participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the decision making of the federal organs will make the solution not functional, Samami argued that a possible model, where the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and their effective participation will be absent and will feel that they are excluded, would not be functional.
Stressing that the main goal of bi-communal technical committees is to facilitate the solution, Samani added that the work of the Committees and the Confidence-Building Measures (CBM) have never aimed to strengthen the current situation (status quo) or to replace the solution. She further noted that trust emerges with cooperation, adding that sharing and solidarity play an important role in fostering a federal culture. She also said that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci knows very well that without the perspective of solution, it is difficult for a cooperation to exist.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.03.19) under the title: “Don’t ask us for the reason, ask Erdogan”, reports that so-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas, speaking yesterday in the so-called assembly and replying to criticism against him by the “opposition” parties in the “TRNC” regarding the delay for the “signing of the economic protocol between Turkey and the TRNC”, said that theY should not ask him about the reasons for the non-signing of the “protocol” but ask Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Denktas argued further that the delay for the “signing of the protocol” is due to the economic crisis exist in Turkey and due to the fact that the country is in a pre- election period. Replying also to other criticism expressed by the “opposition”, Denktas said the following: “You should ask Mr. Erdogan for the reasons behind the delay of the signing of the protocol.” Asked to state whether he had asked for the reasons, Denktas said that he had personally asked Erdogan for the reasons and called on the “opposition in the TRNC” to do the same, since they do not believe him.
Denktas further said that due to the “delay on the signing of the protocol and due to the fact that there is no cash flow from Turkey”, they were forced to burden with all economic responsibilities by their own “sources of fund”. He added that they were also forced to “get the amount of 185 million TL from the TRNC’s Central Bank profit share, as an advance”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (13.03.19) reports that the “association of environment and promotion of Lefka”, has sent a letter to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Elizabeth Spehar, calling on the UN to undertake measures for the sewages and copper mine waste which, according to predictions of “officials” in the “TRNC” are coming from “south Cyprus” and are stirred with water flowing in the streams.
According to the “officials”, the color of the water flowing in the dams has changed recently since it is mixed with copper mines waste.
In statements on the issue, the “chairman of the association” Ahmet Hizli said that the color of the water flowing in the dams near the occupied Lefka and Vasilia villages has changed. He explained that as soon as the “municipality of Lefka” was informed, they decided to undertake measures to confront this issue. He explained further that yesterday he submitted a letter to Spehar, expressing their concerns over this development. Hizli said further that in the letter they underline the need for Mr. Spehar to mediate in order for urgent measures to be taken.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (13.03.19) reports that a ten-year agreement was signed yesterday for the lease of the “Dome” Hotel in occupied Keryneia, which “belongs to the EVKAF religious foundation”, as the paper reports.
The “lease” refers to the period between 15 of May 2018 and 14 of May 2028.
According to the paper, the agreement was signed between EVKAF and “Solidarity Tourism Ltd”.
Illegal Bayrak (13.03.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=trnc-attends-moscow-tourism-fair ) broadcast that the breakaway regime was represented in the Moscow Tourism Fai, adding that the travel exhibition which is the 7th largest in the world and which aims to attract 90,000 visitors this year focuses mainly on mass, culture and winter tourism.
The “TRNC’s tourism” is being promoted at a 20m² stand, the report adds.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.03.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-netanyahus-blatant-racism-141830), Turkey on March 12 denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "blatant racism" after he called Israel the nation-state of "the Jewish people" only, not all its citizens.
"I strongly condemn this blatant racism and discrimination," presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın wrote on his official Twitter account both in Turkish and English. "1.6 million Arabs/Muslims live in Israel. Will the Western governments react or keep silent under pressure again?" he asked.
In campaign mode before April 9 elections, Netanyahu said all citizens including Arabs had equal rights but referred to a deeply controversial law passed last year declaring Israel the nation-state of the Jewish people. "Israel is not a state of all its citizens", Netanyahu wrote in response to comments from an Israeli actress.
"According to the basic nationality law we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and only it," he said, in comments that made waves in Israel. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.03.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-smear-campaigns-used-as-political-tool-141846), the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has criticized the government for using smear campaigns that include slander as a political tool against its mayoral candidates on the very eve of municipal elections, including the party chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Ankara candidate Mansur Yavaş.
Kılıçdaroğlu, speaking at a meeting in Bursa on March 12, lashed out at an investigation launched against Ankara mayoral candidate Mansur Yavaş by a prosecutor in Ankara over fraud and forgery.
“Mayoral candidates have been chosen. They have waited for long and opened an investigation only days before the elections. We are not afraid of anybody. You are free to prosecute us whenever you want,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.
Politics is carried out through smear campaigns and risk to turn into an internal fight, Kılıçdaroğlu urged the government. “We need a new political understanding that is not based on hostility,” he stated.
His words came after a prosecutor indicted Yavaş over fraud and another prosecutor issued a summary of proceeding against Kılıçdaroğlu on March 11. “We want to live in peace and comfort in this beautiful country,” he said, describing politics as a race of delivering services to the people regardless of their political, ethnic or religious background. (…)
The mayors will move in full transparency when spending the municipal resources as all these moneys belong to the people, Kılıçdaroğlu said. “It’s the essence of democracies. Democracy exists if only you give an account of your actions”. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (13.03.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/03/12/qatar-signs-deal-to-purchase-turkeys-domestic-altay-battle-tanks), an agreement between Turkey and Qatar for the purchase of Turkey's first domestically made main battle tank, the Altay, has been inked, officials said Tuesday.
Vice Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Ali İhsan Yavuz said according to the agreement Qatar will buy up to 100 tanks from Turkey and 40 of them will be delivered to the Gulf country in the first phase.
Yavuz noted that after the first delivery, domestic engines will start to be used in the tanks. Currently, the Altay's prototype is powered by a 1,500 hp diesel engine from Germany's MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH.
The contract for the mass production of the next-generation battle tank was signed between Turkey's Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) and the domestic armoured vehicle manufacturer BMC in November 2018. (…)
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