Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.03.19) reports that Simge Alici, the daughter of Bengul Garninsu, member of the “coalition partner” Republican Turkish Party’s (CTP) council, who was “arrested” for “participating in an illegal organization” and for “possessing publications which make propaganda for this organization”, was “arrested” yesterday as well. The two women were set free this morning.
Alici was facing the same accusations as her mother.
The paper also reports that the reactions of political parties and organizations on the issue continue. The Trade Union Platform called on the “government” to change the law that considers “thinking and books as a crime”. The New Cyprus Party (YKB), Trade Unions EL-Sen and Dev-İş and the “We are gathering movement”, expressed their support towards the women and criticized the “government” on the issue. The general secretary of Primary School Teachers’ Union (KTÖS) Senerl Elcil stated that they will bring the subject to international organizations and added: “It is in vain to talk about education in a country that a book, its reading and the possession of documents constitute or are a reason for arrest”. He also said that the political will of the Turkish Cypriots is a hostage of the Turkish officials.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Düzen (14.03.19) publishe a statements of Seyidi Alici, the husband of the Bengul Garninsu and father of Simge Alici who said that the only crime that the two women committed is their Kurdish origin. “My daughter was born here. Her only crime is that her father and her mother are Kurdish”, he said, adding that the arrests constitute a violation of human rights.
Further, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes, (14.03.19), which is the newspaper of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) reports about the issue in its first page under the following headline: “Is there PKK inside CTP (The Republican Turkish Party)”? According to the paper, CTP is going through difficult times due to this development and adds that “prime minister” and CTP leader Tufan Erhurman, who knows that there are pictures of him together with Garnisu circulating in social media, is avoiding to describe the issue as “arrest because of a book possession” and faces strong criticism from his own party.
Writing in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(14.03.19), under the title “This country is not ‘normal’”, columnist Cenk Mutluyakali refers to the situation in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and reports, inter alia, the following:
“We cannot refer to a ‘normal democracy’ in the northern part of Cyprus. An ‘extraordinary situation’ exists here for many years. If you try to ‘normalize’ the system in which we live, life will ‘confute’ you! This is the situation.
We are being administered with ‘colonial’ laws. If these laws change, we worry that the new ones ‘will be much worse’. Because we have a kind of feeling that [we should] ‘choose between two colonialists’. We cannot move forward. One reason for this is the ‘political calamity’. One other is our fears! I know that tens of laws, regulations have changed, processes have been renewed. […]
‘Prohibitions’ which were created against the ‘underground gangs’ during the British colonial period are used today. Very well, on whose neck do we hang the shame of being administrated with a ‘penal code’ that remained from the 1930’s? No one undertakes it.
And our fear is the following! For example, if the existing ‘penal code’ changes, some will work the ‘Law Against Terrorism’ into it. Turkey’s example is smiling at us. We are scared! Journalists waste their lives in prison. Very ambiguous expressions [such as] ‘propaganda for a terrorist organization’ are waiting for new masses with their mouth open to swallow [you]. There are even some who are declared as ‘terrorists’ by saying for ‘giving a secret message to the subconscious of the people’.
The state on which we lay our back for security has a lot of previous convictions before the European Convention on the Human Rights. It is in the first place in ‘human rights violations’ among 47 European countries and in the 157th place among 180 countries in the World Freedom of the Press Index. In the ‘2018 Report on the Freedoms in the World’ announced by the Freedom House, it is described as ‘the country in which freedoms decreased the most’ during the last 10 years. According to numbers by the International Press Institute (IPI), 162 journalists are currently in prison. Of course, these are numbers which sudden us. I am writing this for us to take our head out of the sand and be confronted [with ourselves].
First ‘normalization’ is needed. Normalization is not very easy while ‘living high on the hog’!”
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (14.03.19) reports that 15 Syrian immigrants where found hidden in a TIR carr in the occupied port of Famagusta. The vessel which was carrying the Syrians was coming from Mersina.
The so-called police arrested the driver of the TIR car as well as other three persons and it continues investigations on the case. The arrested persons will proceed today to the occupied Famagusta “district court”, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (14.03.19) reports that it was made known that a person wanted by Interpol with Kazakhstani origin named Barzhan Yeskenov has been issued a “residence permit” valid February 1, 2019and February 1, 2020.
According to the paper, it is a mystery under which conditions the said person has received a “residence permit”, since he is well known as a baron for money laundering. It was also made known that the person in question was living a luxury life in Karavas village, in occupied Keryneia.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli (14.03.19) reports that the “TRNC’s kickboxing national team” will “represent” the occupation regime at the 4th International Open Kickboxing European Championship which is to take place on April 4-7 in Turkey’s province, Antalya.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.03.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/european-parliaments-vote-to-halt-accession-process-meaningless-turkey-141876), the European Parliament's vote to suspend Turkey's EU accession process is "meaningless", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on March 13."The European Parliament's stance towards Turkey should be to promote ties, interaction and dialogue between Turkey and the EU," the Ministry said.
"Turkey expects that the new EP Parliament, to be formed after the elections in May, will adopt a constructive approach to the Turkey-EU relations in the upcoming period, take qualified and objective decisions and boost Turkey's EU accession process," the Ministry added.
Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee head Volkan Bozkır also condemned the EP's decision, describing it as "groundless" and said the EP has showed its “bias and prejudice” against Turkey. "EP again proved with this decision that they are far from a constructive path. Turkey's negotiation and accession process is beneficial both for Turkey and the EU. Turkey's deep-rooted and multidimensional relations with the EU contributed and still contribute to the EU in many aspects," Bozkır added.
Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın also slammed the EP's vote as "null and void" for Turkey. "The decision voted by the European Parliament, which is non-binding, unilateral and away from the objectivity, is null and void for us," he said in a statement. "The content of the European Parliament's 2018 Turkey report is an attempt to axe the process of increased joint efforts to gain a new momentum in Turkey-EU relations," Kalın added.
He also said far-right political movements in Europe disclosed the prejudiced attitude against Turkey with a report which contains "baseless claims" that do not reflect reality.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman also criticized the vote. "This disrespectful decision shows European Parliament's far-right ideological tendency," Ömer Çelik wrote on Twitter. Çelik said the EP was far away from making supportive decisions to democratic development and accused the EP of looking through "the narrow window of the far-right."
On March 13, the European Parliament voted against Turkey's EU accession negotiations and called on the European countries to formally suspend the process. A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favour of the decision to suspend Turkey's EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting. (…)
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (13.03.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/dunya/avrupa-parlamentosundan-turkiye-karari-3451248) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, evaluating the European Parliament’s Resolution on Turkey’s report, argued that these decisions of the European Parliament are non-essential, and adding that this resolution will go down in history as the hypocrisy of the EU.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.03.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/president-erdogan-calls-netanyahu-thief-tyrant-141865), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “thief” and a “tyrant” in the latest spat between the two leaders.
“The thief who heads Israel. For what are he and his wife on trial? For theft” he said on March 13 in reference to corruption allegations against the Israeli Prime Minister.
“You are a tyrant. You are a tyrant who slaughters seven-year-old Palestinian kids,” Erdoğan stated. He warned Netanyahu to not provoke Muslims by making Israeli soldiers enter Muslims’ holy site in Jerusalem, he said. “We have never oppressed Jews,” he said.
“Instead of preventing the oppression of Muslims, Israel’s prime minister is targeting me as sort of an ‘investment’ for the upcoming elections. We will not reply to these social media bouncers,” he stated.
The dispute comes after the presidential spokesman, İbrahim Kalın, denounced Netanyahu as a racist for saying that Israel was the nation-state of the Jewish people only. Netanyahu then struck back, calling Erdoğan a dictator and criticizing the country for imprisoning journalists.
Erdoğan has been the most vocal critic of Israel’s policies toward Palestinians. (…)
According to Turkey’s state news agency Ankara Anatolia (14.03.19, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/politics/f-35-jets-to-be-delivered-to-turkey-in-november/1417773) Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said Thursday F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. are expected to be delivered in November. "Despite some statements, the process of procuring F-35 jets is working out fine. Our pilots and maintenance team continue training in the U.S.," Akar told reporters.
"We expect delivery of F-35s in November to [Turkey's eastern] Malatya province. Infrastructure preparations in Malatya have been completed," Akar added.
Ankara is planning to purchase 100 F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. pending congressional approval, and its pilots are currently training on the weapons platform at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. Turkish firms also supply the F-35 program with key components, including airframe structures and assemblies, and the centre fuselages.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (13.03.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-to-send-military-crew-to-azerbaijan-ahead-of-s-400-training-in-russia-3476609 ), Turkey is set to send a military delegation to Azerbaijan to examine Baku’s S-300 missile defence system ahead of an upcoming trip by summer’s end to Russia, where a crew will receive training on operating the advanced S-400 system.
The Ministry of National Defence delegation will make an initial stop in Azerbaijan where a crew will examine Baku’s S-300 PMU2 missile defence systems, before heading to Russia where Turkish servicemen will receive training from Moscow on how to operate the advanced S-400 missile system ahead of its deployment by October of this year. (…)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (14.03.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-kazakhstan-sign-joint-military-plan-for-2019-3476628 ), Turkey and Kazakhstan have signed a military cooperation plan for 2019, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Wednesday. According to the statement, officials of the Defence Ministries from the two countries met in the capital Astana.
After negotiations, both sides inked a military cooperation plan for 2019 which covers cooperation on military intelligence, peacekeeping activities and cyber security, it said.
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