Recent News

Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-15.04.19



A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Burcu alleges that President Anastasiades regretted the 11 February 2014 agreement

2. Denktas argues that prolonging the uncertainty in Cyprus was not in favour of the Turkish Cypriots or the UN

3. Arikli wants the implementation of “Plan B” in the Cyprus problem

4. Erhurman: “More tourists need to come to the TRNC”

5. Data on “unemployment and labor forces” in the occupied area of Cyprus

6. The occupation regime has not paid the electricity bill for the last eight months

7. Fall in the hotels occupancy for January- February 2019 compared to last year

8. Cathedral of Saint Sophia in the occupied part of Nicosia is falling apart

9. A treasure hunt at the backyards of the churches in the occupied part of Cyprus

B. Turkish Press

1. EU spokesman: “Next 4 years is an opportunity for Turkey”

2. Celik: “S-400s matter of Turkey's national security”

3. Albayrak held high-level meetings in US, despite smear campaign


 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Burcu alleges that President Anastasiades regretted the 11 February 2014 agreement   

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (15.04.19) reports that Baris Burcu, spokesman of Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, has stated that the United Nations had always kept the balance [between the sides in Cyprus], but “gives some messages between the lines in its reports, even though it does not do this clearly”. “There will be no negotiating process without a target, without a timetable and not focused on the result”, he argued in statements to Ada TV.

Noting that UNSG’s Temporary Special Adviser on Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute had come to the island to see whether there was hope in the negotiations, Burcu reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side was committed to the documents and the agreements of the past. He alleged that President Anastasiades “exhibits approaches contrary to the content of the 11 February 2014 document” and that he regretted signing the above-mentioned agreement. “He want to return back, but we cannot return, because we have gained a lot until today and we cannot risk losing it”, he added.

Noting that there might be differences in the federations which exist in the world depending on the conditions of every place, Burcu said that political equality was the most fundamental point in all of them.

Referring to statements that the Greek Cypriot side is the one that pursued the solution of the Cyprus problem for the past 45 years, Burcu argued that this approach considered that the problem started in 1974 and described this as “shameful”.

Burcu alleged that some circles in the Turkish Cypriot community exhibit behaviors which “will save” President Anastasiades, by arguing that the UN parameters and the federal solution have ended and new ideas should be put on the table.



2. Denktas argues that prolonging the uncertainty in Cyprus was not in favour of the Turkish Cypriots or the UN   

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (15.04.19) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has alleged that in the news coming from the Greek Cypriot press and the statements made by the Foreign Minister [of the Republic of Cyprus] they observe an intensive effort by the Greek Cypriot side to prolong the negotiating process. In a written statement, Denktas claimed that the Greek Cypriot side exerted efforts for the UNSG not to declare a dead-end in the negotiations with the report he would submit to the Security Council regarding Jane Holl Lute’s initiative to prepare the terms of reference.

Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of “consciously trying to waste the Turkish Cypriots’ time” by attempting to prevent the UN from writing down the fact that no terms of reference could be reached between the sides, Denktas alleged that the Greek Cypriots tried to keep connected to the respirator the process which they had murdered.

He claimed that some politicians in the Turkish Cypriot community still argue that time should be given for the Greek Cypriots to clarify their stance, in spite of the fact that 15 years passed since former UNSG Kofi Annan had included in his report (28 May 2004, S/2004/437) a paragraph saying that “if the Greek Cypriots are ready to share power and prosperity with the Turkish Cypriots in a federal structure to be established on the basis of political equality, they must show this in practice and not only in words”.

According to Denktas, the Greek Cypriot side had not taken into consideration any suggestion made by the UN during the past 15 years and continued its own way, by exhibiting a hard stance towards the will of the Turkish Cypriots and by harming the UN’s esteem.

“We think that the time has come now for UNSG Guterres to remind the Greek Cypriots of the ‘no’s which they have been saying for years and tell them to clearly state what they want”, he alleged and claimed that prolonging the uncertainty by presenting the preparation of the terms of reference as something which is possible, was in favour of neither the Turkish Cypriots nor the UN.

“Instead of keeping this dead process in bed with a respirator, we should ensure that the peoples of the island will look at the future feeling more secure, with new and creative ideas, actions and methods”, he alleged.



3. Arikli wants the implementation of “Plan B” in the Cyprus problem   

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (15.04.19) reports that Erhan Arikli, chairman of the illegal Turkish settlers’ Revival Party (YDP), has said that the draft of the “economic protocol” prepared and sent by the “government” to Turkey did not include the things which Turkey wanted. In statements to illegal TAK news agency, Arikli described the above-mentioned draft as “ambiguous” and claimed that it had no goal and target. “I do not think that Turkey will sign it”, he said alleging that this uncertainty could not continue and that the “prime minister” should hand over his resignation by the end of May. 

Noting that the number of the members of his party increased to 6,500, Arikli said that their target was for this number to reach 7,500 and later to 10,000. He claimed that YDP’s percentages varied between 17 and 20% today and said that this was not satisfactory for them. “We must definitely reach around 25% and consequently we expect 15 deputies”, he added.

Referring to the Cyprus problem, Arikli estimated that the UN would declare that this was “the last game” or that it would not undertake any other initiative on this issue. He also argued that the negotiations would be put in the freezer for a long period of time.

Arikli reiterated the allegation that 35 “deputies” in the self-styled assembly had clearly stated their opposition as regards the federal solution in Cyprus and that other alternatives should be discussed.

Referring to the forthcoming “presidential elections” in the occupied area of the island, Arikli alleged: “The new president who will be elected, should determine a new target in consultation with Turkey, by taking the backing of the parliamentary majority. We call this Plan B. Plan B will be implemented”.



4. Erhurman: “More tourists need to come to the TRNC”

According to illegal Bayrak television (13.04.19-, so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman has highlighted the importance of the relationship between Turkey and the “TRNC”.

Receiving a delegation from Turkey’s Federation of Bureaucrats and Businesspersons and the Rize Society of Bureaucrats and Businesspersons, Erhurman underlined the need and importance of the Turkish Cypriot “people” voicing themselves to the world.

Pointing out that “the two countries have strong historical, social, and cultural ties”, Erhurman alleged that Turkey’s contribution to the relationship between the two “countries” was extremely important. “We experience problems voicing ourselves to the world due to political problems and the international conjuncture. However we should not experience such problems when explaining ourselves to Turkey,” he argued.

Erhurman also pointed out that tourism was the country’s leading economic sector and that more tourists from Turkey needed to visit the “TRNC”.


5. Data on “unemployment and labor forces” in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.04.19) reports that in spite of the fact that the overwhelming majority of the Turkish Cypriot youth who graduate from lyceum choose to enter university, there is a serious percentage of employment gap in several “sectors” in the occupied area of Cyprus and the so-called government transfers foreign workers to the “TRNC” to narrow this gap. Some of these foreign workers are coming to the “TRNC” with a work permit while some others are illegal workers.

According to the paper, this situation causes several problems in the “country” affecting mostly youth who face unemployment, while others are forced to immigrate abroad.

According to a statement issued some time ago by the “general director of the higher education and foreign affairs department”, Ziya Ozturkler, 75% of youth who graduated from lyceum in 2018 continue their education entering to “universities”.

Also, according to figures provided by the “ministry of labor and social insurance”, there are approximately 51,700 “workers with work permit” in the “TRNC”.

Moreover, according to a “report published by the development and economic cooperation office of the Turkish embassy in the TRNC for 2017”, around 44, 121 persons came to the “TRNC” with a work permit. The same report said that in 2016 the “workers with work permit” where 39, 436, in 2015 35,197, in 2014 33,313, in 2013 31,222, in 2012 31,155, in 2011 29,819 and in 2010 29, 976.

The paper, publishes also figures comparing the above numbers with the number of the unemployed. The figures as given by the “report published by the development and economic cooperation office of the Turkish embassy in the TRNC for 2017” are as follows:



Number of unemployed

Workers with work permit


























Moreover, according to data given by the so-called “ministry of labor and social insurance”, the number of illegal workers is as follows:

Date range

Number of illegal workers














6. The occupation regime has not paid the electricity bill for the last eight months

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.04.19) reports that the occupation regime has not paid the electricity bill for the last eight months “increasing the burden of the people”, as the paper notes.

The occupation army’s bill to the “electricity authority KIB-TEK” is reaching 55 million liras.

Issuing a statement, EL-Sen (the trade union of the workers in KIB-TEk) Kubilay Ozkirac, stated that the promises given to the “people” were not kept and called oν KIB-TEK to clear of politics and act as an autonomous structure.



7. Fall in the hotels occupancy for January- February 2019 compared to last year

Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (14.04.19) reports on the occupancy of the hotels in the breakaway regime for January- February 2019 and writes that there was a reduction  in occupancy rates  down to 19,9% compared to the same period last year.

According to the paper, in the first two months of 2018, 260,388 persons entered the breakaway regime via sea or air, (excluding the “TRNC citizens”) while in the first two months of 2019, this number was down to 233,658. As regards the persons who crossed to the occupied areas of Cyprus via the barricades, in the first two months of 2018, 176,508 Greek Cypriots and 170,660 foreign tourists crossed to the occupied areas, while in the two first months of 2019 291,967 Greek Cypriots and 225,313 foreigners crossed.

The occupancy rate  of the hotels was reduced, notes the paper, writing the hotels occupancy in the two months of 2019 was 29,8%; that is 19,9% down compared to the same period last year. The paper further writes that this year even the occupancy in the casino hotels was not high.

In addition it writes that the number of Turkish citizens that visited the breakaway regime in the above mentioned period was also reduced by 12,8%.



8. Cathedral of Saint Sophia in the occupied part of Nicosia is falling apart

Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.04.19), under the title “Selimiye mosque is falling apart”, reports that the ancient cathedral of Saint Sophia [Selimiye mosque] in the occupied part of the walled city of Lefkosia, is falling apart.

According to the paper, there are deep cracks on the walls of the church in some places and the weeds and trees, which have grown on the walls, create a very bad image. The paper also writes that the historical structure has been completely abandoned to its fate, adding that the lack of preserving the historic building doesn’t escape tourists’ notice.



9. A treasure hunt at the backyards of the churches in the occupied part of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.04.19) reports that within a week four persons were caught digging in the backyard of a church in the occupied village of Vasilia and it also appeared that unknown persons have also excavated the backyard of a church in the occupied village of Karavas.

According to the paper, “it has been observed recently that unauthorized excavations for searching a treasure in historical places have increased. (…) The annual activity report of the supreme court reveals that the crimes related to treasure hunting and possession of antiquities is popular in the country [translator’s note:  in the occupied area of Cyprus].

According to this annual report, 148 case files were discussed at the high criminal court in the last 13 years for crimes related to unauthorized excavations and possession of antiquities.”


B. Turkish Press

1. EU spokesman: “Next 4 years is an opportunity for Turkey”

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.04.19- reported that the European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said on April 13 that as Turkey leaves behind elections for a period of stability that presents it with an opportunity.

In the wake of Turkey's recent local elections and in the four-year run-up to its next elections, set for 2023, “Turkey will go through stability without electoral processes for the next four years, and we should see this as an opportunity,” Schinas said, in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.

Schinas rebuffed calls to suspend Turkey's EU negotiations, saying doing so would require the consent of all member states.

“The doors of the European Union are open and remain open but the hinges must work for the doors to remain open,” he added. “The hinges are reform, the rule of law, and democracy. If we get this part right, together with everything else that is on the table on Turkey's pre-accession, the door will remain open,” Schinas said.

He also stressed the importance of Turkey and the EU cooperating in the fight against terrorism as well as on immigration, intelligence, trade, transport, and energy.

“The recently announced economic reform program is also a positive step,” Schinas added.

About the EU-Turkey customs union, amid Turkish calls for an overdue update to the union, Schinas said the EU will do its part.

On visa liberalization, which Turkey has been pushing for since a March immigration 2016 agreement that included liberalization, Schinas said that Turkey is expected to fulfill its obligations to get visa-free travel. “I am hopeful because contacts and dialogue between the authorities are continuing, but we have not reached the final point yet,” he said.

Turkey “opening its doors to 3.6 million Syrian refugees is the country that hosts the most refugees [in the world], thereby [it] has made a great achievement in the eyes of the EU authorities,” said Schinas.

He further said that Europe is doing its share by paying 3 million euros for the refugees in Turkey.

(…)Schinas touted the 2016 agreement, saying: “The results show that the influx of refugees in the Aegean region is down by 90%.”      

Stressing Turkey's importance, Schinas said that the EU is geographically and historically connected with Turkey. “We will continue to establish connections with the Turkish people and Turkey,” he added.


2. Celik: “S-400s matter of Turkey's national security”

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (13.04.19- reported that Omer Çelik, spokesman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has stated on April 12 that procuring Russian S-400 defense systems is a matter of national security for Turkey.

"Similarly, questioning Turkey on the F-35 program is like questioning NATO's joint projects and the collective concept of security," Çelik told reporters at AKP headquarters in Ankara.    

Washington has balked at Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400, and last week suspended delivery of parts and services for F-35 fighter jets.    

U.S. officials have suggested Turkey buy the U.S. Patriot missile system rather than the S-400, arguing it is incompatible with NATO systems and would expose the F-35 to possible Russian subterfuge.    

Turkey has responded that it was the U.S. refusal to sell it Patriots that led it to seek other sellers, adding that Russia offered it a better deal, including technology transfers.    

 “The U.S. should not turn its arms market competition into an issue of NATO alliance,” Çelik added.    


3. Albayrak held high-level meetings in US, despite smear campaign

Turkish daily Sabah (15.04.19- reports that Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak presented Turkey’s new reform package at a meeting with international investors in Washington D.C. on April 11, 2019.

Having attracted great attention from investors, Treasury and Finance Minister Albayrak met a number of his foreign counterparts, international funds and financial institutions during his busy agenda in Washington

As part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank spring meetings, Albayrak had a very busy agenda as he met representatives of international financial institutions and investors. Despite a smear campaign against the Turkish economy, Albayrak talked with the world's leading mutual funds, foreign counterparts and international financial institutions in Washington D.C.

Albayrak, who also met with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, mainly focused on the new reform package unveiled last Wednesday.

Minister Albayrak's Washington contacts began with one-to-one investor meetings. First with high-level executives of global funds such as Eaton Vance, Carlyle Group, Alliance Bernstein, Blackrock, Bluebay Asset Management, PIMCO and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, which manage over $8 trillion in assets. He addressed all the questions from his counterparts, especially with regards to the new structural transformation package.

He spoke of steps to strengthen bank balance sheets and increase asset quality and saving strategies to provide over 10% of national income to Turkey in five years, adding more details would be shared with the public by the relevant institutions in a short time. On the first day, Albayrak also held a meeting with Suma Chakrabarti, the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and his delegation to discuss the bank's investments in Turkey.

On Thursday, Minister Albayrak also attended the investor meeting organized by JPMorgan Chase with more than 400 funds and investors in attendance. "There has not been such a crowded meeting for a long time," participants said.

In the meeting, Albayrak made a comprehensive presentation, especially on the targets and realizations of the new economic program, Turkey's debt structure and the new reform package. Answering the questions from participants, Albayrak was once again clear that Turkey does not need the IMF.

Late on Thursday, Albayrak tweeted: "We explained our Structural Reform Steps package and the economic policies of the new period at the investor meeting organized by JPMorgan."

While foreign investors showed great interest in Thursday's meeting, foreign media outlets, including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Financial Times, launched a smear campaign against Minister Albayrak and the Turkish economy.

To create a negative perception of the Turkish economy, these news outlets initially implied that the country would not be able to overcome the currency rate-related crisis and foreign investors would refrain from investing.


Furthermore, in his official programs, Albayrak explained Turkey's views on the agenda and held some important talks, spearheaded by his meeting with the U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. Steps to increase economic cooperation between the two countries were reportedly discussed in the meeting.

Albayrak also held a meeting with Fitch credit rating agency officials on Friday. Later on, he hosted the Finance Ministers and Central Bank heads of Austria, Belarus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Slovakia, and Slovenia at the IMF country group dinner represented by Turkey.

Following the IMF and World Bank meetings, Albayrak is to attend the 37th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations organized under the theme "Back to Business: Maintaining Partnership in Difficult Times."

The three-day event, from yesterday until tomorrow, organized by the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK), the Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) and the American-Turkish Council (ATC), will discuss ways to reach a $75 billion bilateral trade target. An increase of Turkey-U.S. trade volume, currently close to $21 billion, to $75 billion has been one of the most-discussed topics in recent phone calls between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and U.S. President Donald Trump, who agreed to further enhance economic relations.

On the U.S. side will be Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, National Security Adviser John Bolton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford and Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette. Senior Adviser to President Trump Jared Kushner is also confirmed to be attending.

Moreover, Albayrak is expected to address senior officials from U.S. giants such as Raytheon, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, Ge Healthcare, Facebook, Citibank, Intel, Microsoft, Uber and PepsiCo.