Under the title “Will the dollar rise to 10 TL?” Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika(26.03.19) reports that Turkey’s economy is experiencing its worse days and refers to “a new tocsins of danger” for the Turkish lira (TL) in the “collapsing Turkish economy”. The paper notes that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan argued that there were “some manipulative impositions” regarding the TL and that some banks were behind all these. In statements during a television program, Erdogan said:
“We know these. They are inciting the withdrawal of foreign currency from the market. Because what will happen when foreign currency is withdrawn from the market? The value of the TL will seriously fall. We will not give an opportunity to this”.
Citing “world-known experts”, the paper writes that the US dollar is expected to reach 8 TL in June and 10 TL by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs(26.03.19) refers to the issue under the title “New foreign currency crisis at the door” and reports that during the past three days the TL was devaluated by 4% against the US dollar, the sterling pound and the euro. Economist Dervis Kemal Deniz told the paper that TL’s devaluation would influence the occupied area of Cyprus more than Turkey, because currently there was no inflow of cash into the occupied area.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (26.03.19) reports that the devaluation of the TL increased the worries regarding the economy in the occupied area of the island. Economist Mustafa Besim, chairman of the administrative council of the self-styled development bank, told the paper that a mechanism should be added in the economic “protocol” which is being discussed with Turkey for strengthening the “country” before the “shocks” due to the devaluation of the TL and for minimizing its influence in the Turkish Cypriot economy.
Under the title “Difficult days” Turkish Cypriot newspaper Diyalog (26.03.19) 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 there were issues on which agreement could not be reached regarding the economic “protocol” discussed between the breakaway regime and Turkey. In statements to illegal Bayrak, Denktas noted that even if the “protocol” was signed, the inflow of money into the occupied area of the island would begin in June.
Pointing out that 2019 would be a “very difficult year”, Denktas said: “[…] We reached the end of March and we could not come to the stage of signing [the protocol] yet. If the work is completed in the second half of April and the protocol is signed in May, the inflow of money will happen in June. This means that, because investments will start late, they will influence the market only in the end of the year […]”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (25.03.19) reported that according to data of the self-styled ministry of finance, the local income of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus increased by 20,2% in 2018 comparing to 2017. The local income was 4,1 billion Turkish liras (TL) in 2017 and exceeded 5 billion TL in 2018 (5,014 billion TL).
The share of Turkey’s aid and credits in the regime’s “budget” expenses decreased from 30% to 10% during the past decade. In 2018, this percentage fell beyond 10% reaching 8,94%.
When Turkey’s aid and credits are extracted from the “budget” income, the total of the local incomes comparing to the “budget” expenses increased from 69% to 83% during the past decade. In 2018, this percentage reached 91,98%.
According to illegal Bayrak television (23.03.19-http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=fm-ozersay-met-with-new-zealand-counterpart-peters) so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay met with the New Zealand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters in Istanbul.
Ozersay who announced the meeting via social media, alleged that he found the opportunity to meet with a number of foreign ministers during his recent visit to Istanbul to attend an emergency meeting of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation following last week’s attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“I found the opportunity to convey the sorrow felt by our countries regarding the terror attack which took place in New Zealand,” Ozersay posted.
Ozersay also expressed the hope that such a tragic event will never be experienced again.
Under the title “Right steps at the right time”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.03.19) reports that Kudret Ozersay, leader of the People’s Party (HP) and self-styled foreign minister and deputy prime minister, in a visit to the occupied village Galatia, briefed the residents of the occupied village on the latest diplomatic developments regarding the Cyprus issue, the issue of guarantees, the hydrocarbon resources in the region as well as the armament of the Republic of Cyprus.
Alleging that the Greek Cypriot side’s armament process has surpassed the defence purposes, Ozersay claimed that these actions of the Greek Cypriot side would be the reason to change the sensitive balances of trust and peace in the island and in the East Mediterranean.
Referring to the issue of Guarantees, Ozersay said that during his recent meeting with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Antalya, they had discussed all the regional developments and they had been in consultation with Cavusoglu in every issue. He added that Cavusoglu stressed to his Greek counterpart Katrougalos their sensitivities on the issue of guarantees. Ozersay further claimed that it is not a very realistic and sincere approach on the one hand to reportedly surpass the arming campaign and on the other hand to argue that the system of guarantees is out-dated.
Noting that active diplomacy in foreign relations is important in foreign relations, Ozersay argued that they, as the Turkish Cypriots, have something to say to the world when it comes to their existence and their rights, adding that they would achieve this through diplomacy by taking the rights steps at the right time.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (26.03.19) reports that “prime minister” Tufan Erhurman stated that the non-solution of the Cyprus problem is an international issue and added that it should be solved the sooner possible. He also said that a solution-oriented and time-tabled negotiation process should be launched to achieve this aim.
He made these statements speaking during a meeting he held in occupied Famagusta where he evaluated the activities of his “government”.
He went on alleging that despite the efforts exerted by the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot side, President Anastasiades does not make similar efforts and failed to explain to his “people” the issue of “political equality”, which, as he said, is a basic parameter for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
He also said that while focusing on the Cyprus problem they do everything possible to develop the “country” socially and economically and added that the determination of the “government” as regards the reforms continue and added: “We are experiencing difficult times but we are neither desperate nor tired or discouraged. We are extremely determined and motivated and we know what needs to be done”.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.03.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkey-trumps-golan-heights-move-draws-strong-reaction/1429931) reports that the U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights drew angry reactions from Turkey on Monday.
"This unfortunate decision, which constitutes a grave violation of international law, particularly the United Nations Security Council Resolution 497 (1981), demonstrates that the U.S. Administration continues its approach to be part of the problem, rather than part of the solution in the Middle East," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Trump's decision is "completely null and void" for Turkey and for responsible members of the international community that attach importance to the territorial integrity of Syria and of all the countries in the region, the statement went on to say.
It called on the international community to comply with the fundamental principles of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolutions "instead of further destabilizing the region with futile attempts to justify Israel's acts against international law".
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that the U.S. "once again ignored international laws, however, this decision will never legitimize Israel's annexation".
Condemning the move, Cavusoglu said in a tweet: "[The decision] will further increase tensions in the region by preventing peace efforts in the Middle East."
Also, Turkey's Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that the decision "as Israel bombards Gaza is manifestation of anti-peace mentality".
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik reiterated Turkey's stance on occupied Golan Heights, saying "the U.S. decision favoring Israel is wrong." "[Golan Heights] is not Israeli territory, it is Syrian territory," Celik said.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.03.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/top-headline/turkish-jets-did-not-harass-greek-pms-copter-sources/1429401) reported that security sources said on Monday alleged that Turkish jets were not involved in any harassment in the Aegean Sea, adding that, they were on their usual duties.
Earlier on Monday, some Greek media outlets claimed that Turkish jets harassed a helicopter carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.
The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, refuted the claims and said that the Turkish jets did not attempt any harassment, instead, they were performing their usual duties.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hagia-sophia-can-be-reverted-to-a-mosque-erdogan-142153) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 24 that it is within the bounds of possibility to change the legal status of the iconic Ayia Sophia Museum, a landmark of Istanbul and a UNESCO World Heritage site, to a mosque as it was before 1935.
“It is not an abnormal proposal. It is not something impossible, it could be done easily. We could even name it as the Ayia Sophia Mosque instead of a museum so that everybody can visit it without charge,” Erdogan said during a live interview on a private broadcaster when asked whether the museum could be free of charge for Turkish citizens.
“Its status of museum could be stripped off. Actually that status was given in a step taken with the mentality of the [Republican People’s Party] CHP. We can reverse that step taken by the CHP mentality,” he added, referring to the regulation adopted by the main opposition party in 1935.
Erdogan also pointed to other historical mosques in Istanbul, such as the Blue (Sultanahmet) Mosque, which are open to all visitors and worshippers without charge.
Built in the 6th century by the East Roman Empire, the Ayia Sophia served as the seat of the Greek Orthodox Church for 916 years and was converted into a mosque by Fatih Sultan Mehmet after the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul in 1453.
Following restoration works made during the Ottoman era and minarets added by Mimar Sinan, the Ayia Sophia became one of the most important monuments of world architecture.
Erdogan has also applauded the humane stance of the people of New Zealand following last week’s twin mosque attacks in Christchurch city during his speech. “The people of New Zealand gave a lesson of humanity to those who did not get their share of humanity,” Erdogan said.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-president-erdogan-urges-voters-to-flock-to-ballot-boxes-in-local-polls-142175) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on all citizens to flock to ballot boxes on March 31 to cast their votes in the local elections.
“I urge all my brothers and sisters in the country to go to the ballot boxes on March 31,” Erdogan told an election rally in the eastern province of Ağrı on March 25.
“Each vote not cast in fact means surrendering to other choices,” he added. “In order not to be regretful after the elections, we must go to the ballots and vote according to our preference.”
Ağrı will give an “Ottoman slap to terrorist-supporting tyrants” at the ballot box, Erdogan said.
Recalling a recent rally in the southeastern Diyarbakır province, Erdogan claimed: “Our Kurdish brothers were crying” there because the previous municipalities did not take care of the citizens.
He warned against those who want “to pit Kurds and Turks against each other.” “We don’t have any problems with Kurds, Turks, Laz, Abaza, Circassian,” he stated.
“Those who say that they pursue policies for Kurds are an enemy to this country,” he said.
“They will not be able to divide our country,” he added. Those who are “attacking our unity” are trying to kill the future of the country, Erdogan stated.
Voters should give “necessary lessons” to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the local elections, Erdogan said, claiming the party was against Turkey’s national anthem and flag.
He said further that the supporters of the HDP “did not hold Turkish flags” at rallies.
According to the Turkishminutes portal (26.03.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/03/26/interior-minister-says-city-council-candidates-linked-to-terrorism-will-be-suspended-if-elected/), Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has announced that there are a total of 378 city council candidates running in the local elections to be held on March 31 who are linked to “terrorist” organizations and said they will be suspended from office if elected, the Gazete Duvar news website reported on Monday.
Speaking on the TRT Haber news station on Monday evening, Soylu said that it has been discovered that 378 candidates for city councils from the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the İYİ (Good) Party and the Felicity Party (SP) are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, the Gülen movement, called a “terrorist organization” by the Turkish government, radical leftist groups or the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“They can’t serve as city council members or anything else. We will suspend all of them [if they get elected],” Soylu said.
Soylu’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leader President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan frequently accuse opposition candidates of having terrorist links, hinting that even if they are elected, they will be removed from office. The AKP removed hundreds of democratically elected mayors, mostly from the ranks of the Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and appointed trustees to replace them during a state of emergency that was declared in the aftermath of a failed coup on July 15, 2016 and remained in effect for two years.
On the same issue, turkishminutes portal (25.03.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/03/25/turkish-fm-alleges-some-kurdish-opposition-party-candidates-are-terrorists/) reported that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday said that some of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and İYİ (Good) Party’s city council candidates who come from a Kurdish background and allegedly have ties to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), are terrorists “a hundred percent for sure.”
“We aren’t talking to CHP voters. But there are terrorists inside the party who they vote for,” Çavuşoğlu said during a rally in Antalya province, the Artı Gerçek news website reported.
A Turkish Interior Ministry report claims that 325 candidates for municipal councils from the CHP, the İYİ (Good) Party and the Felicity Party (SP) are affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group, the pro-government A Haber TV station reported on Saturday evening.
“They want to put HDP members in municipalities in order to finance PKK terrorists,” Cavusuoglu said. “Our target is not just winning elections. There’s a question of survival of the country,” he added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.03.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/all-preparations-complete-for-local-polls-turkeys-election-watchdog-says-142173) reports that Turkey’s election watchdog has announced that all preparations for the March 31 municipal elections have been completed.
“We have accomplished our work to a large extent. We are waiting for the election on March 31,” Sadi Güven, the head of the Supreme Election Board (YSK), told Anadolu Agency in an interview on March 25 at the board’s new premises in Ankara.
Around 57 million Turks will head to polling stations to vote on Sunday in the local elections, which are held every five years in Turkey. Voters will cast ballots to elect municipality mayors, district mayors, municipal assemblies and neighborhood heads in the local elections.
Güven said that the YSK and its provincial electoral boards have almost completed preparations for the elections and urged all citizens to cast their votes on March 31. “This is the way to establish democracy. I hope the election results will be good for our country and our people. I hope for safe and sound elections,” Güven stressed.
Informing that voters’ lists were renewed as of March 23, he said around 146,000 people are not eligible to vote as half of them have died and the other half are serving in the military, Güven said.
The voting process will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 4.00 p.m. in 31 provinces in the eastern parts of Turkey, he said, recalling that the voting will take place between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. in the remaining 50 cities in the country’s western provinces.
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