TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW
Α. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Bakış (18.04.19, http://www.yenibakisgazetesi.com/ozersay-cavusoglu-ile-gorustu/40289/) reports that self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Kudret Ozersay met yesterday in Ankara with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. In a statement on his social media account after the meeting, Cavusoglu said that they had discussed the Cyprus problem. “We will continue our common efforts for a solution model which meets the Turkish Cypriots’ political equality and security concerns”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (18.04.19, http://www.brtk.net/ozersay-melih-bilgin-ile-gorustu/) broadcast that self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, Kudret Ozersay met yesterday in Ankara with Melih Bilgin, general director of Turkish Petroleum (TPAO). According to a statement made by Ozersay on his social media account, during the meeting, they discussed TPAO’s explorations for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, the “licenses” granted and will be granted to TPAO by the Turkish Cypriots to hold explorations on their behalf, the company’s drilling program and the analyses on the basis of the data, which came up from the company’s work until today.
“We are taking forward our works in the area of Eastern Mediterranean for materializing in practice our rights which nobody can deny”, he argued and alleged that this approach did not exclude cooperation with the Greek Cypriots, “who are another partner in the natural gas reserves”.
Ozersay further claimed that they preferred cooperation and that their proposal on this issue was still valid, but “if they do not approach this, we cannot sit and wait doing nothing, we cannot remain spectators”.
“We will continue taking our steps without hesitation so that the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people in this area are not violated”, he alleged.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Düzen (19.04.19, http://www.yeniduzen.com/11-kisiye-daha-gerekceli-yurttaslik-114300h.htm) reports that eleven more person have been granted “justified citizenship” by the self-styled council of ministers. The decision was published in the “official gazette” on 16 April 2019.
These eleven persons have either been born in the occupied area of the island nor came when they were young and completed their education there. Moreover, some of these persons were “granted citizenship” because they established a business in the occupied area of Cyprus.
The names of the above-mentioned eleven persons are the following: Emin Gunal, Havva Alis, Leman Aslan, Selim Kaynarca, Mustafa Aslan, Ece Ivanov (or Edzhe Ivanov), Yeliz Fidan, Utku Semet Saglamel, Fatma Nur Iri, Sahruz Guseynov and Andrew Steven Radford.
Illegal Bayrak (19.04.19 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=23rd-april-festivities-continue) reports that the so-called minister for national education and culture Cemal Özyiğit met with children groups from abroad who are visiting the breakaway regime and taking part in “the 21st International 23rd of April Children’s Festival that is taking place in line with the 23rd of April National Sovereignty and Children’s Day events”.
The visiting children’s delegation also visited the “parliamentary speaker” Teberrüken Uluçay and “prime minister” Tufan Erhürman respectively.
Turkish Cypriot daily Detay (18.04.19, http://www.detaykibris.com/ekrem-imamoglundan-cok-konusulacak-selahattin-demirtas-cikisi-188460h.htm) reports that Ekrem Imamoglu, the newly elected Mayor of Istanbul stated that the former co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas, who is kept in a jail in Adrianoupolis, helped towards demolishing many walls in Turkey.
He said that he expressed this view in the past and he will continue to do so. He also said that the Kurdish language could be used in the culture program of Istanbul municipality.
“Demirtas used a peaceful language and I am among those who liked the line drown by Demirtas in politics at the time that he was an active politician”, he stated, adding that they could be happier in a country that such a language exits.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (19.04.19, https://www.kibrisgazetesi.com/kibris/turkce-dersi-verilip-ulke-kulturu-tanitilacak/65249) reports that Mehmet Burhan, “undersecretary” in the self-styled ministry of education of the breakaway regime, has said that in the occupied area of Cyprus’ primary and secondary education there were 3,127 registered students, who do not have Turkish as their mother tongue. He noted that the number of these students was higher in occupied Keryneia area, where 1,268 students’ mother tongue was not Turkish.
Burhan added that they had launched an effort to solve this problem and that one of their actions would be to offer education in Turkish to these children dividing them into two age groups: 6-13 and 13-17. He noted: “These works will begin as of September. There are students who speak very different languages. Therefore, it would be difficult for us to find teachers in all languages. And we have decided to offer them education directly from the language they speak into Turkish”.
The paper writes that these 3,127 students come from 33 different countries and constitute 6% of the total number of students in the occupied area’s primary and secondary education.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/appeals-on-poll-results-to-continue-to-the-end-erdogan-142754) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has called on the entire nation to come together to resolve national issues and put aside political differences now that elections are over. He has vowed to stand tall against foreign assaults that aim to devastate the Turkish economy.
“It’s imperative that we focus on our real agenda, particularly on economy and security by leaving political discussions over elections behind. It’s time to cool off the branding irons, to shake hands, to embrace and to strengthen our unity and togetherness,” President Erdoğan said at an address to national and international trade unionists at a conference in the Turkish capital on April 18.
He made the statement before convening his cabinet for the first time since the local elections on March 31.
“We have successfully completed a marathon of elections. Elections have been performed in the spirit of a festival in Turkey as a state of democracy and rule of law. There sure were political discussions but it does not cast a shadow on the functioning of our democracy,” he stated. Erdoğan recounted that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) issued appeals of the election results to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) in line with its right to do so. He called on everyone to respect the decisions made by the election watchdog. The AKP will continue to follow the course of its appeals until the end, Erdoğan said.
“For us, elections will be over when the YSK will say the last word. Afterwards, we will continue our path. Politics require prioritizing the interest of the people and not your own interest,” he added.
He reiterated that “eliminating terrorists and growing the Turkish economy require the involvement of all segments of the society”.
One issue on the Turkish agenda is boosting the economy, Erdoğan said. He criticized some Western media outlets over their coverage of the state of the Turkish economy. “There is a smear campaign against us. Some Western media outlets are in efforts to describe our economy as collapsed, finished… Whatever you do, whichever headlines you put on your papers, Turkey will stand tall and continue its path. We are now used to this media, these rag papers,” Erdoğan said. “’The Financial Times wrote ‘this and that’… Whatever you write. The situation of my country is well obvious,” he said. He noted that it’s not the first and won’t be the last time this sort of coverage is published by Western media.
“The dose of such attacks against us rises as we speak out more powerfully over global injustice. Hey, Financial Times, have you ever acknowledged the fact that Turkey hosts more than 4 million Syrians?”
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/we-support-normalization-imamoglu-142767) reports that Istanbul’s newly elected mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has said he wants a normalization process following the March 31 local elections and he will do everything in his power to realize it.
Turkey’s election watchdog on April 17 declared İmamoğlu - candidate for main opposition party Republican People’s Party - as the winner of the municipal elections in Istanbul and handed him the mandate nearly two weeks after the local polls closed. İmamoğlu’s victory ended the 25-year rule of the AKP in the country’s largest metropole.
“We are after normalization and embracement. No one should expect partisanship from us. We are coming to reconcile this city. And reconciliation does not happen with mere words but instead, with execution,” İmamoğlu said on his first day of work on April 18 at the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality building in Saraçhane district.
İmamoğlu said there are many issues in Istanbul that await solutions and he would get to work to try to tackle them. “We will hold consultations and briefings. What has been done so far [for the city] and our colleagues’ views are very important. With this understanding, we’ll utilize everyone in this institution [Istanbul Metropolitan],” he said.
İmamoğlu said that the “embracement” of everyone was important to him and that he expected the same stance from everyone, especially the municipality employees. “This embracement will bring a utility to our country and nation. No one will receive an order from us regarding an activity specific to a person [personal favor]. The orders [municipality employees] will receive from us will be for the benefit of Istanbulites,” he said.
Asked by reporters if he had received any phone calls from officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) congratulating him on his new post, İmamoğlu said: “So far no information has reached me.” Asked whether he would meet and welcome President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when he visits Istanbul, İmamoğlu said: “I will do whatever the state protocol and my responsibilities require. Let no one doubt that. We are after normalization and embracement.” The new Istanbul mayor has said that the AKP majority on the municipal council will not constitute a problem.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/polls-over-time-to-deal-with-turkeys-real-problems-chp-head-142753) reports that with the local elections now over and it’s time for Turkey to return to its actual problems like the growing economic problems, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has said.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu called on the government to focus on long-term and sustainable measures through consultations with all political and economic actors.
“Turkey has left the local elections behind and should speedily come out of this atmosphere. There are serious problems concerning the economy and foreign policy, which have direct impacts on the people. A serious crisis in the economy is being observed. The number of unemployed people has hit 8 million, with a very high youth unemployment rate,” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a press conference on April 18 in Ankara.
His remarks came a day after the CHP’s Ekrem İmamoğlu received his credential as the Istanbul Mayor and ended a 25-year rule of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey’s largest city. When asked about the AKP’s appeal for the cancellation of Istanbul polls, Kılıçdaroğlu said: “If there are judges at the Supreme Election Board [YSK], I have no concern that polls would be annulled.”
Notifying that economic issues and democracy are intertwined, Kılıçdaroğlu urged that the best way to attract foreign investment is to upgrade the country’s deteriorating democratic and human right standards. “Nobody should fool themselves. No foreign investment will pour in a country where the security of life and property is not guaranteed. We must upgrade our democracy and rule of law not because the European Union or others want us to, but because we need this,” Kılıçdaroğlu stated.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (19.04.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/greece-saw-surge-in-migrant-crossings-from-turkey-minister-142756) reports that the number of irregular migrants who entered Greece from Turkey increased by 37 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Markos Bolaris has said.
“We witnessed a significant increase of migratory flows, both at sea and land borders, in 2018, which amounted to 37 percent. According to the latest statistics, flows in the first three months of 2019 have increased by 7 percent compared to the same period of time last year,” said Bolaris in an interview with daily Hürriyet at the Greek Consulate in Istanbul.
“We acknowledge the fact that Turkey makes great efforts to manage the flows and is particularly burdened with refugees from conflict zones. It is, however, necessary, to step up efforts to control the flows with the ultimate goal of bringing them to a halt. We hope that the agreed measures with a view to improving the exchange of information and our cooperation in tackling smuggling networks will help achieve this common goal,” he said.
“Our two countries have been working closely on the joint EU-Turkey statement of March 18, 2016. To date, its implementation has been rather satisfactory and we are committed to continue to make every effort to achieve the best possible results,” said the Greek minister about the agreement. Bolaris also urged Turkey to re-implement its readmission deal with Greece, referring to a deal struck in 2013, with Turkey agreeing to take back migrants who traveled illegally to the EU.
“We note that Turkey does not implement the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement for third-country nationals and stateless persons and has suspended since last June the implementation of the bilateral Readmission Protocol. It is, therefore, no longer possible to return to Turkey the illegal immigrants who entered through the land border. We would like to urge Turkey to resume implementation of the bilateral protocol,” he said.
Bolaris also touched upon the simplified visa program between Turkey and Greece, granting Turkish citizens daily visas at the border gates of some of the Greek islands. Bolaris said that the easy visa program will continue also this summer for Turkish tourists visiting the Greek islands.
“Greece will promote and support the application of this project for the current year in order to promote cross-border short-term tourism by enabling Turkish and third country nationals to visit Greece through a swift, secure and transparent procedure, for mutual interest at a bilateral level,” he said.
“There has been a decrease in 2018 to the number of Turkish citizens travelling in Greece, possibly due to the Turkish Lira devaluation. In 2019 we would like to see more Turkish citizens visiting Greece, not only during summer in the islands, but also off-season, especially for city breaks, in cities as Athens, Thessaloniki, Kavala etc.,” he said.
Turkish Daily Sabah (19.04.19 https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2019/04/18/fm-cavusoglu-russias-lavrov-discuss-libya) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu spoke via telephone with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov Thursday and discussed recent developments in Libya, according to diplomatic sources.
Specific details of the conversation between Çavuşoğlu and Lavrov were not disclosed by the source who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
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