Turkish Cypriot newspaper Güneş(31.05.19)reports that Ersin Tatar, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that the Turks of Cyprus would never succumb to the Greek Cypriots because the European Union (EU) asked so. Commenting on the EU Commission’s 2019 Report for Turkey, Tatar alleged that the EU would not be able to contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus problem by defending the positions of the Greek Cypriots.
Referring to the references to the Cyprus problem in the report, Tatar described them “biased and wrong”. “Two sovereign peoples exist in Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot people do not intend to become a patch to the Greek Cypriot state, like the Greek Cypriot side wants”, he claimed and reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Greek Cypriots rejected all the solution plans submitted until today in Cyprus.
He further alleged that the unilateral declaration of the breakaway regime derived from the fact that the Greek Cypriots see the Turkish Cypriots as minority and from the “dream for enosis”.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Bakış(31.05.19)reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has said that the quantity of the hydrocarbons found in Cyprus was enough only for Cyprus and was not worthy of provoking a quarrel, but if the wish was to provoke a quarrel, this quantity was enough.
Addressing yesterday the “assembly” of the breakaway regime, Denktas noted that the recognition of the regime was not possible in the short and middle term. He argued that unilateral steps towards the “normalization” of the relations should be taken and that they should act together with Turkey for this.
Referring to the view that a bi-zonal bi-communal federation is not possible and therefore the occupied area should be annexed to Turkey, Denktas said that the only thought he and his party had in their mind from the very first day of the establishment of the breakaway regime was “to make this state alive”. “This is our most important warrantee”, he claimed and alleged that “we are the ones that established this state and therefore it should live”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (31.05.19) reports that the leader of the Socialist Democracy Party and former “minister of education” Cemal Ozyigit stated that during his “term as a minister” the Turkish Minister of Education asked to undertake the administration of the Theological College of Hala Sultan in occupied Mia Milia. Ozyigit said that he refused.
“The Turkish Minister of Education told us to transfer the administration to them so that ‘they will be rescued and we will be rescued from it’. Of course we could not do that. This was the reason that the Turkish Minister had never met with us. The 4-party coalition government did not collapse for the reasons they say and the new government was not established for the reasons they say […]”, he stated.
He also criticized strongly the new “prime minister” Ersin Tatar for paying a visit to the “Turkish ambassador to Lefkosia” the night before making any announcement as regards the establishment of the new “government”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (31.05.19) under the title: “The process has started” reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci's special advisor for political affairs and history Meltem Onurkan Samani said that the company Telsim Vodafone and “north Cyprus Turkcell” have signed separate agreements with Comfone communication network company, based in Switzerland, with the aim of mobile phones to operate on both sides of the island.
Samani explained that after this development, the process for the mobile phone operation on both sides of the island has started. Recalling that an agreement was reached between the two leaders in Cyprus in 2015 towards this issue, Samani claimed that it was not possible for this agreement to be implemented due to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready.
Samani further underlined that the two leaders had pointed out on February 26, 2019 during an informal meeting they held, the importance of the implementation of this Confidence Building Measure and agreed further that they will do all necessary for this to be implemented.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kıbrıs (31.05.19) reports that another “deputy” of the National Unity Party (UBP) may not give a vote of confidence to the National Unity Part (UBP) during tomorrow’s “vote of confidence” for the “coalition government” between UBP and the People’s Party (HP).
According to the paper, UBP “deputy” Onder Sennaroglu, stated that he will decide whether he will participate in the voting tomorrow, but he is not sure yet if he will give a vote of confidence to the new “government”. “We will wait and see”, he said.
The paper notes that this development comes after yesterday’s statement by the former leader of UBP, Huseyin Ozgurgun that he will not give a vote of confidence to the party and the news that another “deputy” of the party, Sunat Atun, will be abroad and will not participate in the voting. The paper writes that there are 30 “deputies” between the two parties out of the 50 “deputies” in the “assembly” and at least 26 “deputies” are needed for the “vote of confidence”. However, the “government” feels a bit uneasy.
Also, Star Kibris (31.05.19) writes that the leader of the Revival Party (the party of the settlers) Eran Arikli stated that his party will not give a vote of confidence to the new “government”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (31.05.19) reports that the “trial” of the paper’s editor-in-chief Sener Levent, for his article under the title: “Zorba the Cypriot”, which was published after the attack against the paper on January 22, 2018, was postponed. The date of the new “trial” is September 23.
According to Turkey’s Presidency official website (30.05.19, https://www.tccb.gov.tr/en/news/542/105563/national-security-council-convenes-under-president-erdogan-s-chairmanship), Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) chaired by President Erdoğan at the Presidential Complex on May 30 expressed the nation's unflagging determination to keep fighting all terror groups.
During the meeting, the recent developments in and around the island of Cyprus were also discussed. The written statement issue after the meeting read: “The determination to protect the rights and interests of the Republic of Turkey, the TRNC [editor’s note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] and of the Turkish Cypriots was reaffirmed, and it was underlined that provocative acts as well as irresponsible statements should be avoided, and that Turkey will continue its activities in line with the international law and not allow faits accomplis in East Mediterranean.”
The statement issued also read: “All aspects of the important internal and external developments which closely concern Turkey’s security have been discussed. The Council has been briefed on the fight conducted inside and outside our country against terrorist organizations, particularly PKK/PYD-YPG, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and DAESH which threaten our national unity and solidarity and Turkey’s permanence. Operation Claw, which is successfully conducted against the PKK terrorist organization that has nested in Northern Iraq, was discussed thoroughly.”
Underscoring that Turkey will continue its fight against all terrorist organizations with the same resolution and determination as it did in the past, the statement read: “It was stated that the attacks by the Syrian regime against civilians living in Idlib de-escalation zone, where the elements of the Turkish Armed Forces also carry out missions, are against the Idlib Agreement and undermine the Astana spirit, and that talks between relevant countries are maintained in order to avert a new humanitarian crisis and mass migration.”
Condemning just as strongly the radical, racist and organized terrorist attack that targeted innocent people in Sri Lanka like the racist terrorist attack that took place in New Zealand, the statement read that Turkey will persistently maintain its approach that terror has no religion, language, race and colour, and that it shares the grief of the Sri Lankan people.
Under the title “More casualties in Idlib, Syria should be prevented: Erdoğan”, Turkish daily Yeni Safak (31.05.19, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/more-casualties-in-idlib-syria-should-be-prevented-erdogan-3482336) reports that Turkey’s President reiterated to his Russian counterpart on Thursday the need for an immediate cease-fire and a political solution in Idlib, northwestern Syria.
In a phone call, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stressed to Vladimir Putin that casualties in Syrian regime attacks near Idlib mostly targeting civilians should be prevented, and the risk of a rising wave of migration should be eliminated. Erdogan also stressed that Turkey’s bilateral relations with Russia are moving forward with a positive agenda.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.05.19, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/erdogan-reform-document-shows-commitment-to-eu-bid-143831), Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has unveiled a long-awaited judicial reform package, claiming that it shows Turkey’s commitment to full EU membership despite “promises that haven’t been kept”. “One can see this judicial reform strategy document as the beginning of subsequent reform documents,” he added, speaking at the meeting for the Judicial Reform Strategy document on May 30.
One of the major achievements of Turkey in its EU accession process is having the ability to implement reforms systematically, Erdogan said. “We implement the reforms not because the EU wants, but because our nation needs it”.
Although the EU “does not keep its promises” in Turkey’s EU membership bid, Turkey expresses its commitment to this end, he added.
The government has studied EU criteria along with demands made by Turkish citizens in shaping the reform strategy, Erdoğan said about the document which mentions 63 targets and 356 actions. “We have prepared the justice reform strategy document in the framework of enhancing the independence and impartiality of justice and easing jurisdiction,” he stated.
“We want to protect the right for a fair trial more effectively in the coming period. It is also our priority to create simplified processes in the judiciary and to introduce preventive and protective legal practices to the system,” he said.
He added that the government “takes steps for the use of detention measures prudently.” “We see the prosecution without detention as the main method, we will make arrangements to provide the conditions of detention in mandatory cases,” he stated.
The reform will pave the way for the execution of punishment for children, elderly and sick people, who did not commit violence, serve their sentence at home under electronic surveillance, Erdoğan said.
“We have developed a new understanding to preserve freedom of expression via the internet,” he said and added that they would make changes in punishing some internet contents and they would effectively ban only “problematic” sections of websites instead of imposing a full access ban. Erdoğan also said Turkey remained committed to its “zero tolerance” policy on torture.
The reform also aims to ease the operation of the justice system, he said, noting, “Easing access of our citizens to the justice is among our priorities.”
The government will provide “geographical assurance” for the assignments of judges and prosecutors so that they will not be inducted to different provinces out of their will.
It is planned to make qualified cases of crimes such as simple assault and threats connected to a complaint. The first acts of crime by children under the age of 15 will be closed without prosecution.
Under the strategy, a new Human Rights Action Plan will be prepared. For the first time, an institution of deputy judges and deputy prosecutors will be established. Special courts will be established in areas such as environment, construction, and energy. An ‘’Entrance to Legal Profession Exam ‘’ will be required to be a lawyer. The education period in the law faculties is increased to five years and the quotas are reduced.
Turkish daily Sabah (31.05.19, https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/05/31/74-sentenced-to-life-in-feto-coup-attempt-trial) reports that a court in Ankara handed down life sentences yesterday to 74 former military officers who commanded the military helicopters that killed civilians and bombed strategic locations in FETÖ's 2016 coup attempt
A trial of helicopter pilots and their commanders who were involved in brutal attacks during the 2016 coup attempt, ended yesterday in Ankara. A total 56 defendants were sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment, while another 18 defendants were handed down life sentences for their involvement in the coup attempt perpetrated by military infiltrators of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ). Some 152 suspects have been on trial since the coup attempt on July 15, 2016 was quelled. They were personnel of the Land Aviation Command of the Turkish Army, the main department of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which serves as the helicopter command. (…)
Those tried in yesterday's trial were accused of killing 28 civilians and inflicting injuries on 276 others due to shots fired from military helicopters. (…)
After the coup attempt was quelled thanks to strong public resistance, more than 100,000 new investigations were opened into the attempt and FETÖ's role in the putsch. Those handed down aggravated life sentences, the heaviest sentence in Turkey after the abolition of the death penalty years ago, have little chance of eligibility for an early release from prison. Among those sentenced to aggravated life imprisonment are 58 generals, 651 officers, 137 non-commissioned officers and four police officers. Fifteen generals, mostly those who were stationed in smaller cities where the coup had less impact, were sentenced to life imprisonment, along with 325 officers and 99 non-commissioned officers.
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