The majority of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers cover on their front page today (27.05.19) the results of the European Parliament (EP) elections held yesterday in the government controlled-area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Under the title “2% participation from the north”, Afrika reports that the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the elections was not as high as it was expected and claims that “many citizens had been prevented from voting again without any excuse”. According to the paper, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has exerted an intensive effort for AKEL left wing party to win the elections. Afrika argues that CTP officials were outside polling stations and tried to direct to AKEL the voters who would vote for the Yasemin (Jasmine) Movement. The paper reports that the Yasemin Movement did not achieve the expected results and remained at 1,70%, receiving 901 votes from Turkish Cypriots and 3,886 from Greek Cypriots.
Under the title “A Turkish Cypriot for the first time in the European Parliament”, Kıbrısreports that Turkish Cypriot academician Niyazi Kizilyurek was elected Member of the EP (MEP) with left-wing AKEL party. Referring to the allegations that Turkish Cypriots who would vote for other candidates and not Kizilyurek were prevented from voting, Ali Baturay, director of the paper, writes in his column that this is a “very absurd” allegation, because AKEL is not in power and could not have the possibility of “playing” with the electoral register. He notes that ruling Democratic Rally Party (DISY) could also not do this, wondering how a person could know who someone will vote for in order to remove their names from the lists.
Yeni Düzen refers to the issue under the title “A Turkish Cypriot in the European Parliament” and gives extensive coverage to the elections. Cenk Mutluyakali, the paper’s director, notes the following in his column under the title “’We won’”:
“[…] The spirit of ‘uprising’ of the Turkish Cypriots who were going to vote in the elections caused an impression immediately. They were crossing over the barricade with the anger they had for the ‘just for the show democracy’ and touched all of Cyprus with their hands they extended to the world. […] When writing these lines I was at the Filoxenia Conference Centre where the results for the EP were announced and the first hours of the new day are being experienced. Friends are hugging each other saying ‘we won’ in all languages. And they are shouting slogans. One of these slogans is ‘peace in Cyprus cannot be prevented’. AKEL supporters are saying this. Like an apology for the Annan Plan! By electing a Turkish Cypriot and loving entire Cyprus, now they all of saying this slogan much more. […]”
Under the title “A message for a unitary state was given”, Diyalog reports that Kizilyurek was elected with the Greek Cypriots’ votes.
Star Kıbrıs refers to the issue under the title “Kizilyurek in the EP”. In its main editorial, under the title “What happens now?” the paper wonders how Kizilyurek’s presence in the EP would contribute to the Cyprus problem and argues the following: “[…] Will Kizilyurek be able to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in spite of the will of the Greek Cypriots? Or will he speak with the language of the Greek Cypriots? For example, will he say ‘occupied areas’ like the Greek Cypriots or will he address the EP saying northern Cyprus? It would be a little bit early to celebrate these results as a victory before seeing very soon the answers to all these questions. Let us see them and then we will discuss Niyazi Kizilyurek’s victory a lot.
Kıbrıs Postası reports that after his election Kizilyurek told the paper that for the first time Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots acted together and he won because of this unity. Expressing his satisfaction with the fact that ultra nationalist ELAM party could not elect a MEP, Kizilyurek argued that the Turkish Cypriots’ participation in the elections played a role in this, adding that “this means that we could change some things when there is participation”.
Detay reports that the Turkish Cypriots ran to the polls for Kizilyurek.
Under the title “Kizilyurek is a MEP”, Yeni Bakış reports that Kizilyurek’s election was received with enthusiasm in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (27.05.19-http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n286324-talattan-kizilyureke-tebrik-demek-ki-ulkemizin-geleceginden) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, congratulated via his social media account Niazi Kizilyurek, candidate with AKEL at the European Parliament Elections held yesterday, for his election victory.
In a Tweet, Talat expressed happiness over Kizilyurek’s elections, saying the following: “That means that still we have reasons to be optimistic about the future of our country. I am very glad and I congratulate Niyazi Kizilyurek for his election. There is also another dimension of this: it is an unbelievable development, the fact that the Greek Cypriots have accepted a Turkish Cypriot to represent Cyprus. That means that we still have reasons to be optimistic about the future of our country”, Talat added.
According to illegal Bayrak television (27.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=mobile-phones), mobile phones can be used on both sides by the end of June. The issue was taken up this morning at a meeting presided by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and with the participation of “high level officials” from the Kuzey Kıbrıs Turkcell, the Telsim Vodafone and the “Information Technologies and Communication Authority”.
Speaking to the “BRT” on the issue yesterday, the “General Coordinator for Technical Committees” Meltem Onurkan Samani said that “the legal problem for the use of mobile phones in the whole island was overcome”. Explaining that separate agreements will be signed and technical connections will be established in the coming days, she said they expected the mobile phones to operate on both sides of the island by the end of June.
“We have been saying that even if there is a delay this will be realized. Akinci maintained his positive attitude and stance with determination”, Samani added.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (26.05.19) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Kudret Ozersay gave an interview to Sputnik news agency where he claimed that there is not a realistic ground anymore for a federal solution in Cyprus, adding that models of co-operation between two “states” will be on the table.
Asked about the difference that the new “government” to be established between his People’s Party (HP) and the National Unity Party (UBP) will have compared to the past, especially as regards the relations with Turkey, Ozersay said that the previous “four-party coalition government” did not have a common answer as regards the question “on which will the ground of the solution of the Cyprus problem will be”. However, he said there is openly at the protocol for the establishment of the new “government” that the federal solution is not realistic and possible in Cyprus and that the federal solution is a depleted solution with more than 50 years of federation negotiations. “And we now argue that different solution negotiations outside the federation should come to the table”, he stated.
Asked about the model that a solution in Cyprus should be based on, Ozersay claimed that one approach could be two states to cooperate without recognizing each other. As he claimed, the basic logic of the so-called federation is to share management and wealth.
“However, since Cyprus is the Greek Cypriot administration, which is accepted as a single government, adopted by the European Union (EU) and is capable of extracting natural gas from Turkish Cypriots by itself, without a solution in Cyprus today, federal solutions for management and wealth sharing do not work on the island”, Ozersay alleged, adding: “That is why we think we should talk about the models that are about cooperating. This should be a model for accepting the fact that there are two different state structures on the island and solving the problems experienced by both sides”.
He also said that issues like natural gas, environment, health issues, problems in the intermediate zone, missing persons, cultural heritage and tourism are among the issues that the two sides should be able to co-operating. “In this process, we should be able to cooperate on certain issues by acting on the logic of two separate structures, public authorities, one in the north and one in the south. If there is a desire for trust and sharing over time, an evolutionary model can be introduced, where the approach based on the cooperation of the two states can turn into different models. As the People's Party, we find it much more realistic to have a cooperative model, not sharing, without the need to recognize each other. As the two parties of the coalition government, we agree on not finding the federal solution proposals realistic”, he stated.
Under the title “Authorities and will in Turkey”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (26.05.19), on its front page, reports that officials from trade unions argue that the new “government coalition” between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the People’s Party (HP) is a more powerful structure in terms of number and unity, adding that Ankara has completely taken up the reins.
Guven Bengihan, chairman of the “Cyprus Turkish civil servants trade union” (KTAMS), said that the negativities regarding the economic crisis in the occupied area of Cyprus stem from the wrong economic policies of the “past and current governments”. She stressed that their most important problem is that the “TRNC” [Tr.note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus] is economically dependent on Republic of Turkey and that they use the Turkish Lira as their currency.
Selma Eylem, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), said that the newly established “government” cannot fully respond to the expectations of the community. She added that the “new established government” was formed in line with the request of Ankara, and the “past government” had collapsed again due to Ankara. Eylem argued that “prime minister” Ersin Tatar confirmed this with his statements, adding that Turkey’s policies and activities will expand further in the “TRNC” by increasing the pressure on the new “government”. She further argued that she does not think that the required measures can be taken by this “government” against the uncontrolled population growth in the “TRNC”, the economic crisis and the criminal acts.
According to illegal Bayrak television (25.05.19http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=turkeys-defence-chief-on-eastern-med) Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said on Saturday that Turkey expects not to face provocative acts and irresponsible statements in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“It is our sincere expectation that provocative acts and irresponsible statements, which do not help resolve problems in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean — are not allowed,” Akar said during an event as part of Turkey’s largest military exercise Sea Wolf (Denizkurdu) 2019.
“Our desire and expectation is that the rights and interests of Turkey — which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean — and the TRNC to be respected. We expect all the sides to respect these matters. This is our most natural right,” Akar claimed.
“Turkey, in every occasion, voices that it sides with resolution of the problems in Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus within the framework of good neighborly relations and international law and it exerts efforts in this direction,” Akar added.
According to illegal Bayrak television (27.05.19, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ubp-hp-coalition-government-3), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan telephoned the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar to congratulate him.
According to a press release by UBP’s Press Bureau, Erdoğan telephoned Tatar and wished him and the “new government success”.
Turkish Daily Hurriyet Daily news (25.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-would-greatly-contribute-to-eu-uk-envoy-143704) reported that UK's Ambassador to Ankara said on May 24 that Turkey's membership in the European Union would contribute greatly to both sides.
"Turkey's accession process and the membership process are stalled at the moment. It's not going anywhere, and for now, it's hard to be optimistic," said Dominick Chilcott in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
(…)He stressed that the current lack of progress had nothing to do with Turkey's culture, size or geographical position. "In principle, there is no reason why Turkey should not become a member state. It would be a very successful state of the EU, make a big contribution and benefit hugely from EU membership," he said.
Chilcott pointed out that Turkey was an indispensable and powerful ally of the EU but emphasized that both sides needed to make certain changes for the current partnerships to continue. "With 3.6 million Syrian refugees and half a million refugees from other countries, Turkey carries a huge burden," said Chilcott.
"Everybody in the international community should be grateful for all the efforts Turkey makes," he added.
Chilcott underlined that the EU's current contributions were only a "small part of the cost Turkey already bears".
"It's for the politicians to discuss among themselves what the right amount is. It was the amount agreed between President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan's government and the European Union," Chilcott said.
"I am sure more help would be much appreciated here in Turkey," Chilcott added.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.05.19-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/democracy-and-freedom-island-to-be-inaugurated-143740) reports that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 26 that a new island of democracy and freedom will be inaugurated in waters near Istanbul by the end of the year.
Speaking to reporters on the island in the Sea of Marmara, Erdoğan touted the renamed piece of land, remaking it from an infamous isle to an honorable one.
Turkey's Yassıada, one of the Princes' Islands, notorious for jails and trials from the 1960 military coup, in 2013 was renamed Democracy and Freedom Island.
Yassıada, once seen as a symbol of some of the darkest days of Turkish democracy, is located in the Sea of Marmara southeast of Istanbul.
The island is where Adnan Menderes, Turkey's first democratically elected prime minister, along with all the leading Democratic Party (DP) members, were arrested after the May 27, 1960 military coup and were later jailed and tried.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION