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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 22.05.19

Contents

A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. UBP and HP agreed on a new “government”

2. A new “coalition government is formed”; a common line on the Cyprus issue

3. Akinci’s first battle with the “new coalition government” on the Cyprus issue

4. Protests to uncontrolled fishing from Turkish seine boats

B. Turkish Press

1.Turkey and France to hold political consultations

2. Turkey opens new embassy building in Guatemala

3. Turkey’s MFA condemns Greek politicians for “imaginary claims and distortion of historical facts”

4. Akar claims that there is an improvement in S-400 F-35 talks with US

5.Kilicdaroglu criticizes economy policies of AKP government

6. Turkey’s top court says banning Kurdish publications in prisons violates freedom of expression

 

A.Turkish Cypriot Press

1. UBP and HP agreed on a new “government”

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (22.05.19) reports that the competent organs of the National Unity Party (UBP) unanimously approved yesterday the agreement for establishing a new “government” in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus with the People’s Party (HP). The paper writes that HP’s competent organs also approved the agreement with 40 positive votes and 20 negative votes. Today the chairmen of the two parties were expected to sign their “cooperation protocol” and Tatar to hand over the list with the names of the new “cabinet” to Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci.

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Vatan (22.05.19) reports that in statements made yesterday, Tatar drew attention to the importance of having a “council of ministers” which would work in harmony on the Cyprus problem and economy. “We saw that we will be able to do this”, he added. He also said that their first job would be to sign the “economic protocol” with Turkey, arguing that the flow of money into the occupied area of Cyprus within the framework of this “protocol” was important. 

Moreover, Ozersay was asked to comment on the negative votes in HP against the cooperation with the UBP. He argued that this showed that they did not take a decision with their eyes closed and that a democratic environment existed within the party.

(I/Ts.)

 

2. A new “coalition government is formed”; a common line on the Cyprus issue

According to illegal Bayrak television (22.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ubp-and-hp-form-coalition-government), the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Peoples’ Party (HP) are “forming the 35th government of the TRNC” [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus].

According to “BRT”:

“The two parties signed a coalition protocol in parliament this morning before the UBP leader Ersin Tatar presented his cabinet to president Mustafa Akıncı. The distribution of seats in the new government will be seven to three (7-3) with the UBP holding the majority of the cabinet.

Tatar told reporters at the signing ceremony that they had decided to establish a serious, determined and stable coalition government with the HP. He expressed the view that the coalition will work together in harmony.

Tatar also said that he trusted Özersay when it came to the Cyprus problem, repeating the view that their respective parties shared the same view when it came to the Cyprus problem.

Speaking during the ceremony, the leader of the Peoples’ Party Kudret Özersay said that the country was going through a critical phase both politically and economically, particularly in regard to the Cyprus problem.

He said that his party had decided to enter a coalition with the National Unity Party for the sake of not leaving the country without a government and holding early elections.

He said that Ersin Tatar’s experience in the field of economics and finance will be invaluable in overcoming the economic crisis being experienced in the country.

Stating that the country had no time to lose, Özersay said that the government will be working strenuously to solve the country’s problems.

“What is more important than what is written in the coalition protocol is implementing what is in that protocol. We shall work with all our strength to do what is necessary for the welfare of the country,” Özersay concluded.

The assemblies of the two parties which convened yesterday afternoon approved the agreement reached by the two party leaders earlier in the day. While the UBP’s party assembly unanimously voted in favour of the coalition government, the HP’s party assembly approved the agreement with a majority of 40 to 20.

Tatar’s new cabinet list presented to President Mustafa Akıncı is as follows:

Prime minister: Ersin Tatar (UBP)

Deputy prime minister-foreign minister: Kudret Özersay (HP)

Minister of interior: Ayşegül Baybars (HP)

Minister of finance: Olgun Amcaoğlu (UBP)

Minister of health: Ali Pilli (UBP)

Minister of labour and social security: Faiz Sucuoğlu (UBP)

Minister of national education and culture: Nazım Çavuşoğlu (UBP)

Minister of agriculture and natural resources: Dursun Oğuz (UBP)

Minister of economy and energy: Hasan Taçoy (UBP)

Minister of public works and communication: Tolga Atakan (HP)

Minister of tourism and environment: Ünal Üstel (UBP)”

Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (22.05.19, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n285854-ubp-hp-hukumeti-protokolunde-kibris-konusuna-dikkat-cekildi) reports that “in the protocol of the coalition government UBP-HP, the Cyprus issue was highlighted”. It was stressed that the negotiation process is far from realistic and different models are needed.

In the “protocol” (http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n285845-iste-ubp---hp-koalisyonu-protokolunun-detaylari!-22052019) was also stressed that there was a need of the “coalition partners” to have a common line on the Cyprus problem, and added: “The endless negotiation process of the Cyprus problem for half a century has shown that the federal partnership model has been consumed and was unrealistic under the current circumstances. For this reason, more realistic and different models that can be materialized in Cyprus now need to come to the table. If a permanent and comprehensive solution cannot be found on the Cyprus issue, the government will support a cooperation between the institutions of the two sides on trade, economy, tourism, humanitarian issues and similar issues. In addition to this, the confidence-building measures will also be approached for implementation in such a way that the fundamental positions of the Turkish Cypriot side will not be damaged”.

Referring to the energy issue, the “protocol” said that “the hydrocarbon resources around the island of Cyprus do not belong only to the Greek Cypriots but also to the Turkish Cypriots and it is important for the two sides on the island to cooperate and share these resources in a fair and just way”. It further argued: “In this context, the TRNC government [translator’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] in full cooperation and solidarity with Turkey, will protect its legitimate rights and interests in the Eastern Mediterranean and will bring up this issue on every international platform”.

(DPs)

 

3. Akinci’s first battle with the “new coalition government” on the Cyprus issue

According to illegal Bayrak television (22.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-wishes-new-government-all-the-best), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that he will continue to fulfil his responsibilities until the last day of his “term in office”.

Akinci’s remarks came after he received the new “cabinet list” presented to him by UBP leader and new “prime minister” Ersin Tatar.

Wishing all the best to the “new government”, Akıncı expressed the hope that he will continue a healthy dialogue with Tatar just as he did with his predecessor. He added: “In the beginning, we used to meet every week with the former prime minister Tufan Erhürman. Later we met whenever we needed to. We agreed to meet with prime minister Tatar every two weeks. It will be possible to meet more frequently if the need arises”.

Commenting on Tatar’s remarks concerning the Cyprus problem, Akinci reminded that he had been given a “mandate by the people who elected him to the post” and added that he will continue to “serve the people until the last day of his term”.

He further said that “the government’s priority” should be the economy and that he believed that the “public had no other expectations of the government”. Akinci stressed: “The Cyprus problem is an issue carried out by the president’s office. The ministry of foreign affairs and its positions existed in the previous government. Nothing has changed. Of course, we shall continue to consult with the foreign minister but the mandate solely belongs to me as I was elected to this position for the views I represent”.

Touching upon the need for alternative solution models as stated in the “protocol of the new government”, Akinci asked what these models were. “Let’s discuss alternative models but what are these models? Where are they? Everyone is saying a solution is only possible through negotiations. You can’t just invent a solution model. It has to be something which the other side accepts. You need to produce a model within the UN framework,” Akinci concluded.

4. Protests to uncontrolled fishing from Turkish seine boats

Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (22.05.19) reports that Mirati Erdogus, responsible for the “water products’ unit of the chamber of agricultural engineers”, has criticized the fact that fishermen from Turkey fish without any control with seine boats in the “territorial waters” of the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Noting that this kind of fishing happens every year and threatens Cyprus’ endemic species, Erdogus said that measures should be taken immediately because the seine boats pollute the environment and the sea.  

(I/Ts.)

 

B. Turkish Press

1.Turkey and France to hold political consultations

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (21.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-france-to-hold-political-consultations-143601) reported that political consultations will be held between Turkey and France under the leaderships of Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakcı and French Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Maurice Gourdault-Montagne in Paris on May 22, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

“Bilateral relations, Turkey’s EU accession process and regional developments will be discussed during the consultations”, it said.

“Within the framework of his visit to Paris, Kaymakcı will meet the Presidents and members of the Committees for European Affairs of the French Senate and National Assembly as well as the Committee of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces of the Senate”, said the ministry.

Kaymakcı will also meet the representatives of the French Business Confederation (MEDEF) and the Turkish community, which constitutes one of the most important dimensions of Turkey’s relations with France.

Ties between Ankara and Paris have recently strained over disagreements on several bilateral and regional issues.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on May 7 rejected a French statement on Ankara-led drilling activities in its own continental shelf in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, as France joined the international chorus that expressed concerns as Turkey launched drilling for oil and gas in the region.

On May 8, Cavusoglu also called on France to review its ties with the YPG, which Ankara considers as the Syrian branch of the illegal PKK. In April, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted representatives of the YPG assuring them of France’s support in the fight against ISIL.

The last spat between the two countries was on Turkey’s demand to open schools in France backed by its Embassy. Ankara carries on its efforts with the French administration for the schools in accordance with the French education system within the framework of reciprocity with these schools in Turkey, a Foreign Ministry statement said on May 11 in reaction to remarks by a French Minister.

(…)

 

2. Turkey opens new embassy building in Guatemala

Turkey currently has a consulate general, 16 embassies in Latin America, says Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/americas/turkey-opens-new-embassy-building-in-guatemala/1483233) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu inaugurated on Monday the new building of Turkish Embassy in Guatemala.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Cavusoglu said: “Guatemala is one of the most important strategic partners of Turkey in Latin America”.

“The bilateral ties between the two countries is boosting in every field, including trade and culture”, he added.

Cavusoglu also said that Turkey currently had a Consulate General and 16 Embassies in Latin America, adding the inauguration of a Turkish Embassy in Uruguay soon.

“Turkish Airlines will add Mexico City to its destinations in Latin America”, Cavusoglu said.

“Turkey is active in Latin America and the Caribbean via its organizations, such as the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), besides its mission”, he added.

Cavusoglu is in Guatemala to attend the Third Political Forum of the Council of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and the Central American Integration System (SICA) regional group.

Also addressing the opening ceremony, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Sandra Jovel said: “The opening of the new Embassy building means the strengthening and deepening of the already existing relations between the two countries.”

 

3. Turkey’s MFA condemns Greek politicians for “imaginary claims and distortion of historical facts”

Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.05.19-https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/turkey-condemns-imaginary-claims-by-greek-politicians/1483928) reports that Turkey on Tuesday denounced some radical groups and politicians in Greece for coming up with “imaginary claims and distorting historical facts on former's commemoration of May 19”, the day that Turks celebrate as the start of their independence war in 1919.

“The attempts of some radical groups to cast a shadow on this meaningful day with their imaginary claims targeting our history, with their activities seeking to fuel hatred against Turkey as well as the statements of some politicians in Greece that distort historical facts for their political motives cannot be accepted,” Turkish Foreign Ministry alleged in a statement.

The Ministry claimed that May 19 marked the beginning of the country’s national struggle – which led to the foundation of the Republic of Turkey -- and the day was “celebrated with pride”.

“We remind the claimants of these unsubstantiated allegations of the responsibility of Greece for the atrocities committed by her army,” the statement argued, claiming that Greece violated laws of war during her “invasion of Anatolia”.

(…)The statement claimed further that the nomination of Turkey's founding leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk for the Nobel Peace Prize by Eleftherios Venizelos, the then Prime Minister of Greece, in 1934 constituted the "clearest proof" showing that there was no such historical issue between the two countries in contrast to the “claims of some irresponsible politicians and radical Greeks”.

(…)

 

4. Akar claims that there is an improvement in S-400 F-35 talks with US

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (22.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-sees-improvement-in-s-400-f-35-talks-with-us-143608) reports that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that he sees an improvement in talks with the United States over the purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems and U.S. F-35 fighter jets.

Turkey and the United States are at odds over Ankara's decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems.

Speaking to reporters late on May 21, Akar said that Turkey was fulfilling its responsibilities in the F-35 project and that Ankara expected the programme to continue as planned. He said that the talks with U.S. officials were still underway.

He also said that Turkey was evaluating a U.S. offer to purchase the Raytheon Co. Patriot systems, adding that Ankara and Washington were working on price, technology transfer, and joint production issues on the latest offer from U.S. officials.

 

5.Kilicdaroglu criticizes economy policies of AKP government

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.0519-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-head-slams-akps-policies-on-unemployment-143602) reported that the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has slammed the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) economic policies on solving Turkey’s unemployment problems by saying that the party is “unable to do so.”

“[AKP] is saying they will quench the troubles of the economy. You are unable to do that. Around 1.5 million people lost their jobs last year, and [the government] is saying [CHP] is harping on unemployment. Are we not going to talk about these?” he added.

Kilicdaroglu also recalled past incidents in which four people attempted to set themselves on fire due to unemployment.

“Are we not going to talk about the consequences of the one-man regime? [AKP] cannot solve the unemployment problem. For that, they need knowledge, background, experience and consultation,” he said.

Kilicdaroglu also emphasized the impacts of unemployment on society by saying it creates a sense of “hopelessness.”

(…)Kilicdaroglu also underlined that recent unemployment figures are “the worst in the Republic’s history” and said “it is only going to go worse.”“Hundreds of thousands of people more will be left vacant. Because they took the production away,” he added.

(…)

 

6. Turkey’s top court says banning Kurdish publications in prisons violates freedom of expression

According to the Turkish minutes portal (21.05.19-https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/05/21/turkeys-top-court-says-banning-kurdish-publications-in-prisons-violates-freedom-of-expression/), Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday said preventing inmates’ access to certain newspapers and magazines is a “violation of freedom of expression,” the Artı Gerçek news website reported.

Inmates from at least 15 prisons applied to the top court after prison management refused to distribute Kurdish dailies and magazines, including Özgür Gündem, Özgür Halk, Azadiya Welat, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, Serxwebun, Demokratik Ulus and Atılım, although the prisoners paid for them.

The administration accused the publications of disseminating propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Constitutional Court also ordered the Turkish government to pay TL 500 ($83) in damages to each of the inmates.

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(AK/EH)