Α. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (08.04.19), under the title “This page closes in this way”, on its front page reports that UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute left with empty hands, since nothing came out from e yesterday’s meetings with the leaders of both sides.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (08.04.19), under the title “Darkness at the end of the road”, publishes the statements by Baris Burcu, Turkish Cypriot leader’s spokesman, after the meeting of Lute with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris Postasi (08.04.109), on its front page, plays with the name of the UN Special Envoy Lute, by writing on the title “Havada BuLute”, meaning “Clouds in the air”.
Under the title “There is no proposal!”, Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (08.04.19) reports on the same issue.
According to illegal Bayrak television (08.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tc-side-accuses-anastasiades-of-rehashing-old-ideas), Burcu claimed that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades has not abandoned his negative stance regarding political equality and effective participation in decision making.
Speaking to reporters following yesterday’s meeting between Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Special Envoy Lute which lasted for an hour and forty-five minutes, Burcu said that Akinci had conveyed to Lute the Turkish Cypriot side’s position regarding future talks and what was indispensable for Turkish Cypriots.
He noted that the Turkish Cypriot side accepted without any changes the 11 February 2014 Joint Declaration and the framework agreement presented by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the 30 June 2017.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot leader had still not abandoned his negative stance regarding political equality and effective participation in decision making, Burcu said that it was highly unlikely Lute will be able to complete drafting the terms of reference under the current conditions. “Unfortunately what we have understood following our meeting with Lute is that the Greek Cypriot leader’s position on political equality and effective participation has still not changed. This means that he does not respect or accept past convergences. He is not ready to accept the framework presented by Guterres on 30 June 2017. It is with great disappointment to say that drafting the terms of reference seems highly unlikely at this point. I believe this will be reflected in the Secretary General’s report to be presented to the UN Security Council on April 15”, Burcu added.
Referring to statements made by the Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyannis following Lute’s meeting with Anastasiades, Burcu argued that they were trying to create the perception that they had proposed ‘new ideas’ when rehashing old ideas regarding the issue of the rotational presidency. He added: “The Greek Cypriot side proposed for a rotational prime ministry instead of a rotational presidency. In such a case the president would always be a Greek Cypriot. The Greek Cypriots rehashed this idea, trying to create the perception that they had new ideas. The negotiations started on 15 May 2015 and two weeks into the negotiations the same proposal was made by the Greek Cypriot side. This was discussed, rejected and then they also gave up advocating for it. Then agreements were reached on the presidential system and rotating system. It was not right to bring this issue up again as if it were new and had never been discussed. Both rotating presidency and seeking one Turkish Cypriot affirmative vote in federal bodies without numeric equality between the two sides to be able to prove our political equality were all previously agreed upon. We should not be going back on previous agreements”.
Recalling that the composition of the Council of Ministers was another issue on which there was an agreement on, (4 TC and 7 GC ministers), Burcu argued that the agreement reached on seeking one Turkish Cypriot minister’s vote within the Council of Ministers in any decision to be taken should be respected as well.
According to illegal Bayrak television (08.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ozersay-reacts-to-gc-statements), Kudret Ozersay, leader of the Peoples’ Party (HP) as well as self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister, has accused the Greek Cypriot side of re-tabling old ideas as new ideas.
Responding to statements in the Greek Cypriot press following yesterday’s meeting between the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute, Ozersay posted on his social media account the following: “According to the Greek Cypriot media, Anastasiades has re-tabled old ideas that date back to the former UN Special Adviser Alexander Downer’s time but which was rejected as they diluted the principle of political equality”.
Özersay also argued that the Greek Cypriot leader, instead of a rotating presidency, had proposed the idea of a rotational prime ministry position and a president who will always be a Greek Cypriot and a rotating prime ministry office.
“I believe he will try to sell this as a ‘new’ idea to those conformists who prefer the continuation of the talks. Such old ideas which are presented as ‘new ideas’ aimed at continuing negotiations for preserving the status quo are becoming a bore,” he added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (08.04.19) reports that Ersin Tatar, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) alleges that President Anastasiades is mocking the Turkish Cypriots with his new ideas that he had proposed to UN SG’s Special Envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute.
In a written statement, Tatar argued that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci should realize that with such a stance by the Greek Cypriots, they are not heading to a federal solution and he (Akinci) should behave accordingly. He further argued: “As UBP, we condemn this stance by the Greek Cypriot side, which ignores our political equality, and we call on the UN to give up treating unfairly the Turkish Cypriots”.
Illegal Bayrak (06.04.19 www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-speaks-on-cyprus-issue-5 2/4) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı claimed that “despite of all the efforts exerted by the Turkish Cypriot side to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, the main reason why a solution has not been found is that the Greek Cypriot side cannot digest the fact that there is a politically equal population in the island”.
He made the statement during a festival in occupied Lefka village.
Akinci said that for years efforts had been exerted for a lasting and permanent solution to be found to the Cyprus problem and noted that the UN Secretary General’s Special Temporary Adviser to Cyprus Jane Holl Lute is coming to the island and will meet with the two leaders.
Arguing that the Greek Cypriot press had been giving room to news that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had proposed a three way meeting and that the Turkish Cypriot side had rejected this Akıncı said: “We are not shying away from any meeting, agreement or anything that will allow for peace and prosperity to come to Cyprus”.
Alleging that “despite all the Turkish Cypriot side’s efforts to obtain a solution this had not been possible”, Akıncı claimed that the root cause of the reason why a solution was not obtained is because “the Greek Cypriot side cannot accept the reality that there is a politically equal entity on the island, the Turkish Cypriots”.
Akıncı referred to the statement made by Nicos Anastasiades himself at Crans Montana.
“Anastasiades had announced that they had accepted that the Turkish Cypriot’s would have a right to use a positive vote during the Council of Ministers that would be set up in the future. But despite this now he is saying that he cannot accept the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people” said Akıncı.
“What we expect from Lute is that she meets with Anastasiades and if there is clarification on the political equality issue and all murky waters have been cleared then we will accepta three party, four party or a five party meeting there is no problem there” Akinci said .
He said that they had no intention of just meeting to create an atmosphere as though the negotiations are going to start again and trick the public. Pointing to the importance of keeping the public informed he said it is the people that will decide on their future.
Illegal Bayrak (06.04.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=cyprus-issue-50) reports that “prime minister” Tufan Erhürman said that “there was no reason to return to the negotiating table just for the sake of carrying out a negotiation if there is not going to be an outcome”.
“We want a negotiation process that is result orientated and within a time frame” said Erhürman.
He made the statement during the Republican Turkish Party 26th ordinary congress in occupied Morfou.
Referring to the Cyprus problem and the negotiations that have taken place up until today, he said that “the agreements that have been reached at the negotiations should be accepted and added that they don’t want to begin from the start and end up with nothing again”.
He said that as the Republican Turkish Party they want the public to see where they are going and what their future may hold and added that if a solution had not been reached up until now this was not the Turkish Cypriot side’s fault.
“The CTP throughout its political history has never defended a solution process that does not entail political equality. Our political equality is a sine qua non. Today Anastasiades stands before us and he is dragging his feet on the Cyprus problem. We are not going to return to the negotiation table just for the sake of negotiations taking place”, said Erhürman.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (08.04.19) reports that the “dean of the faculty of architecture” of the illegal “Cyprus science university” in the occupied area of Cyprus and “expert on international policies”, Prof. Dr Ata Atun, briefed in a meeting the Ambassadors of foreign countries in Ankara, on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and on Turkey’s “rights” in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Speaking during the briefing meeting, Atun claimed that the Cyprus problem has not started in 1974 as the Greek Cypriots and Greece support. Atun alleged that the Cyprus problem has started since 1930 when as he said the Greek Cypriots aimed “Enosis” with Greece.
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot’s rights in the island, including the “right to life” were extorted until 1974, Atun claimed that Turkey, as one of the guarantor countries in the island, intervene to rescue the Turkish Cypriots. He further claimed that Turkey’s status in Cyprus is “legal”.
Illegal Bayrak (06.04.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pace-meeting-in-strasbourg) broadcast that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will hold its spring session in Strasbourg from the 8th to the 12th of April, with addresses expected by the Prime Ministers of Armenia and Georgia.
“Deputies” Armağan Candan and Hamza Ersan Saner will attend the General Assembly and Committee meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), according to Bayrak.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (08.04.19) reports that Gulden Plumer Kucuk the Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) stated that there are still families, with very old persons who are waiting to bury their relatives who are among the missing people.
“They want to bury their relatives before they close their eyes. This is why the work of CMP is like running against the time”, she stated and called on anyone who has any information about missing persons to contact the Committee. Noting that the persons who provide information remain anonymous, she stated: “We are just looking for places that the persons were buried and the missing persons, not who they killed them or what happened”.
According to Kucuk, excavations took place in 258 areas and the remains of 249 Turkish Cypriots and 681 Greek Cypriots were found. “These persons were identified and their remains were given to their families to be buried. There are still 243 Turkish Cypriots and 829 Greeks Cypriots that must be found in the areas that were buried.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (08.04.19) reports that after the recent statements made by so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman last week that the “economic protocol” between Turkey and the “TRNC” will be signed on May and also the statements made by so-called deputy prime minister and “minister of finance” Serdar Denktas, who has said last week “I will not answer again any questions regarding the non-signing of the protocol, go ask the embassy”, so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, made statements to the paper’s journalist, Ercin Sahmaran on the “economic protocol”.
Replying to Sahmaran’s questions, Ozersay said the following: “The discussions on the economic protocol still continue. The draft has not been completed yet. In other words, we have not reached yet the stage of putting signatures. (…). That is to say, we have no text yet ready in front us in order to proceed to its signing”, Ozersay said.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (08.04.19) publishes “decisions of the council of ministers” which were published in the “official gazette of the TRNC”. Among these, the "council of ministers" of the four-party “coalition government” decided to "grant the TRNC citizenship" to nine more persons according to "article 9, paragraph (1), clause (c) of the citizenship law No. 25/1993".
The paper reports that with a "decision" of the "council of ministers" published in the "official gazette" on March 28, 29 and April 1, 2019, nine persons "obtained the "TRNC citizenship", which are the following: Fatma Acikel, Zubeyde Nur Deste, Hatice Kubra Deste, Sedef Nur Berrak, Cansu Tek, Beyhan Tok, Sukru Topbas, Yusuf Kizgin and Ibrahim Olmez.
Illegal Bayrak (08.04.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akar-says-turkeys-rights-will-be-protected ) broadcast that Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has reiterated his country’s determination “to protect its rights and interests in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean”.
Akar also reminded that technical delegations from Turkey and Greece would be taking up these issues during talks between the two countries set to take place in the coming days.
Claiming that Turkey supported good neighbourly relations, dialogue and peace talks, the Turkish Defence Minister said:
“No one should test our determination or resolve to protect our historical rights stemming from bi-lateral agreements”.
Akar also expressed the hope that the problems between the two countries will be resolved through dialogue and peaceful means.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (08.04.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/ak-party-slams-eu-officials-remarks-on-turkey-polls-3478403 ) reports that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party criticized an EU official for his remarks, said that objection process in elections is "a democratic right in Turkey as in European countries".
Party spokesman Ömer Çelik said in Sunday's televised press conference that the objection process is a part of the elections and is a democratic right in Turkey, same in European countries, referred to European Commission's First Vice President Frans Timmermans.
Çelik added that the objection process is a part of the election process as it's a legitimate right to object the results.
Timmermans previously claimed that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development (AK) Party did not respect the election results as the AK Party requested to recount of votes following to Turkey's March 31 local elections.Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide last Sunday in the local elections to choose Turkey’s Mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak (08.04.19 https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkeys-ruling-party-seeks-vote-recount-in-all-istanbul-districts-3478393) reports that the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will appeal to the top election authority for recount of votes cast in all districts of Istanbul, a party official said on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters in Istanbul, Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz said: "Only 70% of the invalid votes have been counted so far."
"There is organized irregularity, organized abuse here. They are beyond errors," he added.
According to unofficial results, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Ekrem Imamoglu leads Istanbul with 48.79% of the votes, whereas Binali Yildirim of AK Party follows with 48.51% of the votes.
However, the AK Party has said a recount might change the results.
Millions of Turkish voters cast their votes nationwide last Sunday in the local elections to choose Turkey’s mayors, city council members, mukhtars (neighborhood officials), and members of elder councils for the next five years.
According to unofficial results, the AK Party is leading in 15 metropolitan municipalities (larger cities) and 24 smaller cities.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (08.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-governing-bloc-still-has-more-than-50-percent-of-votes-poll-company-director-142502) reports that Bekir Ağırdır, the general director of research company Konda, stated that although the opposition bloc in Turkey gained a psychological advantage as it is set to win in some key cities, the votes of the governing coalition remain at 51%.
Speaking to Hurriyet Daily News, Ağırdır stated that for the first time in years the moral upper hand and psychological advantage have passed to the opposition. “This is related to their gain in Ankara and Istanbul. But this has not come thanks to the success of the opposition’s campaign or that they had successful candidates, it came as a result of the rhetoric based on “the survival of the nation” used by the governing bloc. This rhetoric has consolidated the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) voters who, because of the identity politics and the polarization that they find themselves squeezed into, cannot vote for the governing bloc”.
He went on and added that they have consolidated on being against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. But despite everything the governing bloc is still over 50%. “And this shows how the polarization and the situation of being boxed into identities remain strong in Turkey”, he stated.
“What we see is not an increase in the votes of the CHP –İYİ (Good) Party but a decrease in the votes of Justice and Development Party (AKP)/Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) coalition. Otherwise, there is no particular numeric outcome apart from the HDP votes being added to this side [opposition alliance]”, he said.
He went on to add that HDP voters assumed a key role not because they are convinced about the candidates of the opposition alliance but they acted with the feeling of “we need to stop Erdoğan.”
“I have always repeated that we have three Turkeys. The first is the industrialized, urbanized geography where urban practices are strong, and the economic dynamics and the actors are strong enough. The votes of the two blocs in this geography are equal. We should not assume that just because the opposition is set to win in Ankara and Istanbul and won in Adana that the AKP has gone back in terms of votes. The vote ratio is 47 to 47” he stated and added:
“This is absolutely correct because the polarization is so strong. In the course of the last five years there is a strong leaning especially on the governing bloc towards identity politics. In these local elections, what has been the determining factor was the negative identity. A voter is not blind to economic problems and this creates questioning. The voters won’t just tolerate the AKP just because they are pious. But while they see the prices, the unemployment risk and so on, the anti-identity feeling is so strong that they just cannot vote for the CHP. That’s why I say this is not the success of the opposition. It is the counter-reaction created by the governing bloc. A nationalist İYİ Party supporter and a Kurdish voter who won’t normally come together to drink tea voted for the same candidate. People did not vote out of love for their party but out of hate to other parties. That’s what I mean about negative identity”.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION