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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review 23.04.19

 No.76/19                                                                                             23.04.2019



A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akıncı: "It is a pity that Guterres's report ignored the positive attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side"

2. Turkish Cypriot support the participation in the EU election

3. The “government” in the occupied area is about to collapse, according to the press

4. Afrika: “The Turkish embassy overstepped the limits”

5. “Life threats on social media against the friends and supporters of the Greek Cypriots”

6. Figures on mutual crossing points of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots

7. The occupation regime was “represented” in an international meeting in Kyrgyzstan

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey rejects US sanctions on Iran's oil, FM Çavuşoğlu says

2. More on the attack against Kilicdaroglu

3. Turkey, Tajikistan eye $1B trade volume

4. Turkey, Azerbaijan to hold joint military drill


A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akıncı: "It is a pity that Guterres's report ignored the positive attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side"

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (23.04.19 reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made statements regarding the Guterres report and alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side's so-called positive attitude was ignored.

Akinci said that the UNSG tried always to follow a balanced attitude between the parties as expected and added that this stance was understandable while the contacts made by the UNSG’s special envoy Jane Hall Lute have not ended yet, but yet  it was an injustice  towards the Turkish Cypriots.

The report refers to past agreements, the February 11, 2014 document and the Guterres framework of June 30, 2017, but reference was not made to the position of the parties towards the above-mentioned documents, he claimed.

“As it is known while forming the terms of reference during our contacts with Mrs Lute, as leader authorized by the Turkish Cypriot people, we say that we accept as basis the past agreements, the February 11, 2014 document and the 30 June 2017 framework, on the condition that it is not watered down”, he argued reiterating the allegation that the Greek Cypriot side rejected a very important principle of the past agreements, such as the political equality and the effective participation and that it is trying to substitute the 30 June 2017 framework with an “inexistent document” of 4 July 2017. 

“The fact that no clear reference was made in the report to the negative stance of the Greek Cypriot side in the UN report, is a serious deficiency. It is regrettable to ignore the positive attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side. It should be known that ignoring the negative attitude of the Greek Cypriot side in the UN report does not contribute in the solution efforts in Cyprus.

Nonetheless, he said that it is important that reference was made to the political equality in the bi-zonal bi-communal federation, the past agreement and the 11 February document, and the 30 June 2017 framework and said that this was an indirect warning, to the Greek Cypriot side.

“Besides, it is stated that open-ended processes is an issue that remained in the past and that the process should be solution-oriented. This shows that the Secretary General has the same view as the approach of the Turkish Cypriot side that the process should have a time limit. All this means that the stable and consistent attitude that we are putting forth as Turkish Cypriots is accepted”, he claimed.

Noting that the UN report shows a balanced attitude on the confidence building measures as well, Akinci argued that the report ignored issues such as that the 4 last years were wasted on the mobile phones issue allegedly because of the stance of the Greek Cypriot side and what he called as obstacles put by the Greek Cypriot side after the Crans Montana to the efforts of the harmonization of the Turkish Cypriot institutions with the EU.  Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue its efforts of peace and solution Akinci alleged that everybody should at last understand that what he referred to as embargoes implemented on the Turkish Cypriots are unfair and unnecessary.



2. Turkish Cypriot support the participation in the EU election

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.04.19) reports that according to an opinion poll contacted by the “Migration, identity and rights center” (CMIRS) 67% of the Turkish Cypriots asked stated that they support Turkish Cypriot candidates in the EU elections.

In statements to the paper,   “CMIRS’s” director Mine Yuzel stated that in addition, 20% is against the participation of the Turkish Cypriots and 12% stated that they are undecided on the issue. Inhabitants of Lefkosia, Ammohostos and Keryneia are more supporting towards the issue while Inhabitants of Trikomo and Morfou are against it.


3. The “government” in the occupied area is about to collapse, according to the press      

Under the title “The expected [green] light lit”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Star Kıbrıs (23.04.19) reports that the four-party “coalition government” has been facing problems for a few months now and that it is experiencing its last days. Yesterday, Ersin Tatar, chairman of the opposition National Unity Party (UBP) was invited to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in Ankara to discuss the Cyprus problem. After this meeting, a “surprise” was experienced, according to the paper, as Tatar went to Istanbul and met with the Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak. Backstage information says that Albayrak himself organized this meeting and that he told Tatar that in case the UBP comes to “government” Turkey would support it economically and money would start flowing into the occupied area of Cyprus. Former self-styled economy and energy minister, Sunat Atun was present at the Albayrak-Tatar meeting.  

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Haberci (23.04.19) reports that the leaders of the UBP and People’s Party (HP), Ersin Tatar and Kudret Ozersay respectively have agreed on the issue of establishing an UBP-HP “coalition government”. It is said that Ankara is positive to such a “coalition government”, which is expected to be announced within the next week.

Harun Denizkan, another columnist in Haberci, reports that Ozersay plans to put an end to the four-party “coalition government” after the payment of the salaries. 

Columnist Hasan Ercakica, also writing in Haberci, argues that Albayrak must have expressed President Erdogan’s support sought by Ozersay and Tatar for establishing an UBP-HP “coalition government” and that if Ozersay and Tatar were satisfied with what they had heard, the new “government” would be established within the next week. Noting that political reasons exist behind the fact that Turkey remained so indifferent to the [economic] problems which exist in the occupied area of Cyprus, Ercakica says that these reasons are the disagreement on the Cyprus problem and the “hostility towards Turkey” within parties which participate in the “government”. Ercakica argues also the following:

“[…] Turkey, in spite of its objections, participated in the Crans Montana process, took part in the five-party conference. It announced that it was ready to discuss security and guarantees with Prime Minister Yildirim’s participation in the last stage. However, we all know that it accepted this as ‘the last initiative’ and insistently stressed that in case this process failed, a new process should begin. The Turkish Cypriot side seems differentiated from Turkey on this point. I think that this stance is being received by Turkey with a serious reaction. The government remained without any support due to the fact that foreign minister Kudret Ozersay’s stance on this issue could not become the government’s stance.    

Another problem is the increase in hostility towards Turkey in the TRNC and the fact that political parties host this hostility. The existence of political cadres in these parties who speak ill of Turkey every day, and support approaches which say that Turkey should abandon its rights over Cyprus and even mean joining the Greek Cypriot side through osmosis, and the fact that absolutely no measure is taken against this, are causing Turkey’s reaction. In the end, effort has been exerted for Turkey to support those who try to exclude it from the island. […]”

Finally, Gokhan Altiner writes in his column in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs Postası (23.04.19) that sources from UBP and HP told him that the conclusion from the meetings held between Ozersay and Tatar with Cavusoglu were positive on the issue of the establishment of an UBP-HP “coalition government”. Altiner argues that UBP and HP will agree within the next 10 days and Ozersay will announce the withdrawal of his party from the “government”. The process will begin with the submission of “prime minister’s” resignation and according to the best case scenario it will end within the second week of May, notes the columnist.


4. Afrika: “The Turkish embassy overstepped the limits”

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (23.04.19) reports that the lawyers of Afrika, Tacan Reynar and Mine Atli, completed yesterday their final presentation as regards the case against the paper that has been going on for the last 8 months.  The case is known as “the case of the caricature/collage” notes Afrika. The “attorney general” asked for the case to be postponed until 25th of April.

Afrika’s lawyer Reynar stated in the “court” that with the signature of the “ambassador of Turkey to Lefkosia” a complaint was issued in the name of Turkish Cypriots for the “caricature/collage case”.

“This case started with a scandalous document which complains that it speaks on behalf of us and could create a diplomatic crisis is if we lived in a normal country or state”, he said, adding that the document has no value; however he said,  “the court can evaluate the position of the embassy in this country and its critical role in the relations with Turkey”.

5. “Life threats on social media against the friends and supporters of the Greek Cypriots”

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (23.04.19) under the title: “Life threats to Greek Cypriots and supporters of the Greek Cypriots” reports that under a post in the personal profile of the Turkish Cypriot journalist Sabahattin Ismael in Facebook, demanding that negotiation talks in Cyprus under the basis of federation ende and also asking for the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci,  a person called Nedim Tamel commented on the above post writing: “death to the Greek Cypriots and the supporters of the Greek Cypriots”.

Pointing out to the fact that it is known that the “police” carries out investigations in cases where critical comments are made on social media and moves also to the seizure of mobile phones and computers, the paper wonders how the “police” will act in this case.

On the same issue, the “Trade union Platform” in the occupied area of Cyprus, issuing a written statement, condemned strongly the systematic threats via the social media against Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the supporters of the federal solution in Cyprus, describing these as unacceptable. The statement adds that these threats constitute a product of the same mentality related with the attacks against Afrika newspaper which took place on January 22, 2018, the attack against Akinci which took place on the same day and the recent attack against the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) in Turkey. 

The written statement which is signed by the chairman of BASIN-SEN trade union, Ali Kismir, called on the “police” to carry out investigations and do its duty.


6. Figures on mutual crossing points of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (23.04.19) reports in its front-page on figures regarding the mutual crossing of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots through the crossing points and vice versa to the occupied area of Cyprus. According to the paper, for the first time after the opening of crossing points in 2003, the number of Greek Cypriots who cross over to the occupied area of Cyprus has been almost balanced with the number of the Turkish Cypriots who cross over to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

According to figures, during the first three months of 2019 (January, February and March), 467,723 Greek Cypriots crossed over to the occupied area of Cyprus and 477,210 Turkish Cypriots to the Republic of Cyprus. Also, 387,277 foreigners had visited the occupied area of Cyprus from several crossing points.

The paper adds further that the total mutual crossings in the island during the first three months of 2019 were 1 million 329 thousand 489. However, it adds, that the economic crisis in the island has mostly affected the Greek Cypriots and thus they chose to cross over to the “north” mostly for fuels and for buying cigarettes or for several services which are considered cheaper such as dentists and hairdressing salons.



7. The occupation regime was “represented” in an international meeting in Kyrgyzstan

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (23.04.19) reports that the “general director of culture” of the so-called ministry of education and culture, Sehbal Hamzaogullari “represented the TRNC” at the 7th TURKSOY Member countries UNESCO National Commissions and Committees’ meeting which took place in Osh city, the second largest city in Kyrgyzstan.

According to the paper, Hamzaogullari delivered a speech during the event and briefed the participants on the intangible cultural heritage of Cyprus. 


B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey rejects US sanctions on Iran's oil, FM Çavuşoğlu says

Turkish Daily Sabah (23.04.19 reports that Ankara criticized a decision by U.S. President Donald Trump not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers, including Turkey, to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions.

"The #US decision to end sanctions waivers on #Iran oil imports will not serve regional peace and stability, yet will harm Iranian people," Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu wrote on Twitter after the White House announced the decision.

"#Turkey rejects unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors," he added.

Later, commenting on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggesting Saudi Arabia and the UAE as alternatives to Iranian oil, the minister said:

"Pushing (us) to buy oil from countries other than Iran is going too far."

Following a joint news conference with his Tajik counterpart Sirojiddin Aslov in the Turkish capital Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said it was ethically "wrong" to suggest them as alternatives as the U.S. has close ties with those countries.

"This violates the regulations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and poses a risk to stability in the region," he added.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates "have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market," the White House said in a statement Monday.


"This decision is intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue," the statement read.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was to discuss the move at the State Department Monday morning. The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India and U.S. treaty allies Turkey, Japan and South Korea, won't be renewed when they expire on May 2.

Riyadh is committed to "stabilize" the oil market after a U.S. decision to end sanction exemptions for Iran's customers, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said.

Trump also said that Saudi Arabia will "make up" for oil supply after new Iran sanctions.

"The kingdom reaffirms its longstanding policy, which seeks to stabilize the markets at all time," he said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The move comes as the administration toughens its already strict penalties on Iran by trying to choke off all the revenue the country makes from oil sales.

The waivers had been in place since November when the administration re-imposed sanctions on Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

They were granted in part to give those countries time to eliminate their purchases of Iranian oil but also to ease any impact on global energy markets with the abrupt removal of Iran's production.

Pompeo says now that production increases elsewhere will make up for the loss of Iranian oil on the market.

2. More on the attack against Kilicdaroglu

Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (23.04.19 reports that an attack against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is being investigated thoroughly, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

“Unfortunately, some unwanted incidents took place yesterday during the funeral of one of our martyrs in Çubuk [district of Ankara], and protests against CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu turned into an act of violence,” Erdoğan said on his official Twitter account, vowing “we will not let anyone harm Turkey’s peace.”

“The incident is being investigated thoroughly at all levels. We are against all forms of violence,” the Turkish President added.

In addition, Hurriyet Daily News (23.04.19 reports that Kılıçdaroğlu, has suggested common sense after a massive protest against himself during the funeral of a fallen soldier. He blamed some circles who do not want Turkey’s normalization.

“Let me express my sorrow. There are politicians and some other elements who do not want Turkey’s normalization. Turkey has serious problems and needs to be normalized as soon as possible,” Kılıçdaroğlu told a small group of Ankara newspaper bureau chiefs on April 22. “These people had inflicted heavy damage on Turkey in the past as well. I am afraid they have drawn a special road map to this end. This is a problem for Turkey’s future,” he said.

In addition, Hurriyet Daily News (23.04.19 also reports that nine people have been detained in the assault of Turkey’s main opposition party leader during a soldier’s funeral, said Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

The chief suspect, Osman Sarıgün, was arrested in Sivrihisar in central Anatolia and taken to Çubuk. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has said that Sarıgün was determined to be a member of the AKP and will be expelled from the party.

Interior Minister Soylu appeared to blame Kılıçdaroğlu for receiving support from the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) during Turkey’s March 31 municipal elections. Kılıçdaroğlu should question the reason for the incident with his political allies instead of burdening the interior minister with the responsibility, Soylu said.

3. Turkey, Tajikistan eye $1B trade volume

Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.19 reports that Turkey’s foreign minister said Monday that Turkey and Tajikistan enjoyed close political and commercial relations and want to double trade volume.

Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Tajik counterpart, Sirojiddin Aslov, held a news conference in Ankara after signing a memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation in the field of archives.

"Our trade volume has amounted to $500 million. We seek to climb to $1 billion, which is targeted by the presidents of both countries," said Cavusoglu.

He said Turkey shared its experience in investment with Tajikistan and wants to identify the best fields to invest.

"We do not have any splits in opinion and will continue to collaborate," he said, while stressing that both counties continue to negotiate on military agreements and eyed further collaboration in defense.

"I would like to thank Tajikistan for their cooperation on the issues of security and FETO,” he added. “We welcome measures taken regarding FETO schools [in Tajikistan]."

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured in Turkey.

Bettering political and commercial relations with Turkey was a priority on Tajikistan’s agenda, said Aslov. "Improving further relations benefitting both sides and expanding long-term partnership with Turkey are among the top priority subjects of Tajikistan's foreign policy," he said.

4. Turkey, Azerbaijan to hold joint military drill

Turkish daily Yeni Safak (23.04.19 reports that Ankara and Baku will hold a joint military exercise from May 1 to 3, Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said on Monday.

Turkish soldiers who will participate in the exercise have arrived in Azerbaijan, the ministry said in a statement.

The exercise "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk 2019" named after the founder of the Turkish Republic, aims to improve coordination between the two armed forces.

The joint exercise will include military units as well as armored vehicles, artillery batteries, mortars, airplanes and helicopters, and air defense systems.