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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish media Review 16-18.03.2019

No.52/19                                                                                            16-18.03.2019


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Samani: “A bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality is the only option”

2. Izcan calls for a “population census in the TRNC” to be conducted the soonest possible

3. Debate on population continues – Columnist: “We want to equal the population”

4. “Cooperation protocol in tourism sector” signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

5. MASDER association asks for bus routes to be set from Deryneia to occupied Famagusta

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey reaffirms its support of  Ukraine’s sovereignty

2. Erdogan: EP attacks Turkey with PKK, FETO arguments

3. Turkey sends delegation to New Zealand after terror attack

4.  CHP head: “Making politics through religion is dangerous”

5. HDP launches social media campaign as TV stations refuse to air campaign video


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Samani: “A bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality is the only option”

Under the title “Samani: A bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the political equality is the only option”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (17.03.19) reports that Meltem Onurkan Samani, special advisor on political affairs and history of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in an exclusive paper, said that a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality is the only option that could be accepted by all sides.

Claiming that the Cyprus problem was almost solved in Crans Montana and actually the solution is still standing, Samani added: “The most important point that we reaffirm in this process is that the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality is the only option that can still be accepted by all sides. It is, of course, thought-provoking that the implementation of the decisions taken and announced by the leaders of the two communities takes such a long time.” She explained that the decisions on mobile telephony and the connection of the electricity networks taken by the leaders were being materialized four years later, adding that what is happening in the Cyprus issue is what they actually experience in the committees and in the Confidence Building measures (CBM) in a micro-level.

Asked to comment on whether there are any demands for opening new crossing points, Samani said that they are approaching the issue with caution, however, if there are new proposals, which are reasonable and beneficial for both sides, they will be evaluated.


2. Izcan calls for a “population census in the TRNC” to be conducted the soonest possible

Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (16.03.19) reported that the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan, said in a written statement, that the Turkish Cypriot community experiences a social trauma and stated that the most important problem that the community experiences today has to do with its own “existence, identity and security”.

Underlining in the written statement that they live in a community where they do not know their population number, Izcan said that in a period of 3 years, a total of 130,000 new “TRNCcitizenships were granted”. “This is an indication of a systematic assimilation”, Izcan said, urging for a population census to take place the soonest possible. Izcan underlined further the need for “amendments to take place on the citizenship law” and stated that the “country has turned ınto a paradise of crimes”.


3. Debate on population continues – Columnist: “We want to equal the population”  

The debate on the number of population living in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus continued during the weekend (16-18.03.19) in the Turkish Cypriot press. 

Under the title “The population data which are at hand”, columnist Cenk Mutluyakali in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen(17.03.19) reported that in the past one self-styled minister of the breakaway regime had described the policy followed on the issue of population in the occupied area of the island as “planting people in the land”. Mutluyakali says that their effort is to equalize the population living in the occupied area and the government controlled area of the island. He goes on and notes the following:

“[…] And now there is almost a ‘reservation’ effort for the ‘federal Cyprus’. We want to equalize the number. We continue to plant people and the field started throwing up. The foreign minister says: ‘This cannot be negotiated; the Greek Cypriot leadership is obliged to accept those who we have granted citizenship to’. What has not been understood is the following: The Turkish Cypriots do not accept this situation any more.

Very well, what numbers are there?

According to the 2011 population census, our permanently living population is 286,257. According to the 2011 population census, the number of the permanently living TRNC citizens is 190,494. According to deputy prime minister Ozersay, the number of the TRNC citizens in 2019 is 351,000. He said that ‘61,000 of these are living abroad’. Thus, the number of citizens living [Translator’s note: in the occupied area of Cyprus] is 290,000.

The first question! If the number of ‘permanently living citizens’ which was 190,494 in the population census has increased to 290,000, have we increased by 100,000 persons in 8-10 years?

According to Akinci, who is the leader of the Turkish Cypriots recognized by the world, the number of TRNC citizens given to him by the interior minister 3,5 years ago is 220,000. The number given to him by the current interior minister 1-2 weeks ago is 343,000, which Akinci says that this is the number of those who have the TRNC identity card. ‘In this situation, the number of our citizens increased by 130,000 within 3,5 years’, he says!

The second question! No one says the population even to the man who is at the very top?

The number of population for 2018 is 372,000. (I have personally taken this [number] from the State Planning Organization. This number foresees the population, not the citizens, that is, including the workers and the students). It is said that there are 100,000 students and 50,000 foreign workers. When this results 150,000, in this situation the number of citizens should be around 220,000.

The third question! Does the State Planning Organization also not know? Who knows?”          

Columnist Ercin Sahmaran in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs(18.03.19) refers to the issue under the title “Is there another country which the number of its citizens increases by 130 thousands in three and a half years?” Describing the “realities” in the occupied area of Cyprus as “bitter”, Sahmaran recalls that Akinci had said that the current “government” gives “citizenship” to 400-500 persons every month and that the previous “government” had been granting “citizenship” to around 1000 persons every month.

He notes that self-styled minister of finance Denktas had said that the population is around 800,000, while self-styled foreign minister Ozersay had stated that the number is around 350,000. “In which country in the world is there such a population policy”, he wonders and argues that the four-party “coalition government” holds the same stance as the National Unity Party (UBP) “government” on this issue.    

Columnist Ali Baturay in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(18.03.19) refers to a statement made by the chairwoman of the Turkish Cypriot Youth Union in London Nafiya Horozoglu during the recent visit of self-styled prime minister Tuufan Erhurman to the UK’s capital. Horozoglu told Erhurman that if the regime’s “prime minister” visited London after 20 years, he would not find a Turkish Cypriot to meet him. Under the title “The Turkish Cypriots in London are worried and those in Cyprus are at ease?” Baturay writes, inter alia, the following:

“[…] It is natural for the people to be assimilated in the country where they go and it is abnormal for a community to resemble those coming from another country when it is in its own country, is it not? Yes, this is what is not normal. […] When we say this, they get angry. ‘Enemies of Turkey’, racist’, they say. There is no such thing. Even though Turkey is a country which we love a lot, this love and this friendship which derives from history, the close ties, even the fact that both communities are Turkish, cannot be a justification for the culture of that country to predominate in this country. In spite of all the good relations, a design in which the population coming from Turkey will override the Turkish Cypriot population is not necessary.

Cyprus’ military, political and strategic importance for Turkey, the financial aid it gives to this place, the fact that its army protects this place etc., none of these could be a just reason for northern Cyprus to become a small Turkey, for transferring excessive population. No one can see as innocent, ordinary incidents the fact that Turkish Cypriots are running away from this country and the fact that the young people who go for studies do not return to the country. […] Nafiya Horozoglu is right. There may be no Turkish Cypriots to meet the prime minister who will go to Britain after 20 years. However, the actual matter is the following: How many Turkish Cypriots will remain in Cyprus after 20 years? I wonder, are there going to remain Turkish Cypriots to elect the prime minister? The Turkish Cypriots in Britain are worried and you think that those in Cyprus are very at ease?”



4. “Cooperation protocol in tourism sector” signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

Illegal Bayrak (16.03.19 ) broadcast that the “Cyprus Turkish Hoteliers Association, the Cyprus Turkish Tourism and Travel Agencies Association and the Turkish Travel Agencies Association signed a joint protocol” aimed at broadening cooperation and bringing more tourists  to the breakaway regime.

The associations signed the reciprocal cooperation protocol at the Acapulco Resort Hotel in  occupied Keryneia.

“Prime minister” Tufan Erhürman and “tourism and environment minister” Fikri Ataoğlu were present during the signing ceremony.

Ataoğlu said that “since coming to office they had worked in full cooperation with those involved in the tourism industry to advance the tourism sector in the country”.

Touching upon the problems in the aviation sector, he  said that these problems will be overcome in April once Anadolu Jet starts its flights to the breakaway regime

“As we had done last year, we have started taking steps so that sea ferries are also active in the country” said Ataoğlu.

Erhürman for his part noted that in a short amount of time there had been major developments in the tourism sector and added that “the time had come for everyone to accept the fact that the tourism sector is spearheading and the locomotive of the economy”.

Reporting on the same issue, Halkin Sesi (17.03.19) writes that Erhurman also stated that they were not able to explain “TRNC” to Turkey, adding that there are more efforts to be exerted in order to show the potentials of the tourism of the breakaway regime to the Turks who visit the occupied area of Cyprus.

5. MASDER association asks for bus routes to be set from Deryneia to occupied Famagusta

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (17.03.19) reports that the Turkish Cypriot shopkeepers in the within the wall area of occupied Famagusta (MASDER) in a written statements asked for bus routes to be set from Deryneia to occupied Famagusta.

In statements to the paper on the issue, the chairman of the “association”, Serdar Atai welcomed the opening of the Deryneia crossing point, but, he stressed, however, the need for all the deficiencies in the area to be overcome the soonest possible. Atai said that it is necessary for signboards to be placed in several strategic points in the area in order to ease the visitors who want to visit occupied Famagusta.

Recalling that at the crossing point in Deryneiaö which is under the control of the Republic of Cyprusö there is a bus station offering public transfers to the visitors who want to visit Sotira, Paralimni and Agaia Napa, Atai said that something similar should be offered to those who want to visit specific places in occupied Famagusta.



B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey reaffirms its support of  Ukraine’s sovereignty

Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.03.19 ) reports that  Turkey supports the territorial integrity of Ukraine and does not recognize the annexation of Crimea, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

“Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation, in violation of international law, based on an illegitimate referendum held five years ago today,” according to a statement.

“On this occasion, we reiterate that we do not recognize the de-facto situation caused by this act and reaffirm our support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine,” it added.

“The situation of the Crimean Tatar Turks, the indigenous people of Crimea, continues to be a priority for us. We will continue to support Crimean Tatars to live in peace and safety in their historic homeland, preserving their identity,” it added.

There is a small fraction of Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, living in Crimea. According to Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, there are 280,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea, which constitutes close to 13 percent of the total population.

2. Erdogan: EP attacks Turkey with PKK, FETO arguments

Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.19 reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the EU parliament (EP), saying they attack Turkey with PKK and FETO terror groups' arguments. 

"European Parliament is attacking Turkey with the arguments of the separatist terror organization [PKK] and FETO.  Once they have the chance, believe me, they won't hesitate to hand this country to terror groups," Erdogan said during a campaign rally ahead of looming local elections.

Erdogan's remarks came after the EP's report which was passed this week urging the suspension of Turkey's EU accession process.

He said that the parliament's decision has no value and Turkey is ready if the EU will take such a decision.

"We are waiting for this decision of yours. Take it, we are ready, but they can't do it," the president said.

A total of 370 members of the EP voted in favor of the decision to suspend Turkey's EU negotiations while 109 voted against and 143 abstained from voting.   The non-binding advisory report drew reactions from Turkey.

3. Turkey sends delegation to New Zealand after terror attack

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (17.03.19 reports that Turkey sends a high-level delegation to New Zealand in the aftermath of the mosque attacks which left at least 49 people dead, the Turkish President said.      

"I am sending our vice president, foreign minister, and a delegation to New Zealand,” said Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on March 15 in a phone call to Dame Patsy Reddy, New Zealand's governor-general, as shown in a  video posted online by Erdoğan's communications director.      

"The manifesto that the terrorist released clearly shows that this was no individual act," added Erdoğan, stressing the importance of exposing the groups behind the attacks, and offering Turkey's help.      

On their trip to New Zealand, Vice-President Fuat Oktay and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will convey Turkey's condolences over the attacks, the Foreign Ministry later announced.      

The delegation will stress Turkey's resolve against Islamophobia and xenophobia and its solidarity with New Zealand in the face of these "heinous" terror attacks, said a ministry statement. 

Turkey's vice president Fuat Oktay on March 16 urged the international community to stand up against Islamophobia, xenophobia, radicalism, and racism.

In the meantime, five major parties in Turkey's parliament have issued a joint declaration condemning Friday's mosque attacks in New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead. The declaration was issued by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and Good (İYİ) Party.    

4.  CHP head: “Making politics through religion is dangerous”

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.03.19 reports that main opposition party in Turkey, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader  Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called on Western countries on March 15 and warned against conducting politics over religion as seen in the recent mosque attack in New Zealand that killed at least 49 people.

“Humanity paid some burdensome costs because of politics over religion. There were Hundred Years’ War in which the Christian community waged war amongst each other due to sectarianism,” he added.

Kılıçdaroğlu also stressed that political institutions should be held separate from religion in order to prevent religion from becoming a tool for politics.


5. HDP launches social media campaign as TV stations refuse to air campaign video

Turkish Minute news Portal (17.03.19 reports that the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has launched a campaign on social media to spread its campaign video for local elections as Turkish TV stations refused to broadcast it, Turkish news outlets reported on Friday.

Turkey will hold local elections on March 31.

The party posted the campaign video on its Twitter account with the hashtag “#EldenElePaylaşalım”(Let’s share it from hand to hand).

“TV stations made a decision not to broadcast our campaign video without citing any reason. Perhaps there is a reason imposed from ‘above.’ Would you be our screen? Let’s share it from hand to hand. We call on everyone who believes in democracy and the supremacy of law to extend their support and show solidarity with us,” the party tweeted.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is also the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), frequently targets the HDP at his party’s election rallies, accusing them of being terrorists due to their alleged links to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).