No. 153/19 15-16.08.2019
A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Under the title “Censorship and prohibition to a theatrical play”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (16.08.19) reports that a theatrical play written by the well-known Turkish Cypriot actor and director, Yasar Ersoy has been considered “dangerous” and it was prohibited by the Turkish Cypriot “state” theater. The play, under the title “Cabaret at the Place of Fire”, would be staged during the coming season. It has reportedly been considered “dangerous because of criticizing the administrators and questioning the system”.
In a written statement, Ersoy said that Erdinc Akgur, director of the “state” theater, had suggested to him to stage a play, which “will not be criticizing, annoying and worrying anyone”. “Emphasizing the principle of freedom of art and the world values, I have rejected this prohibitive and immoral proposal”, noted Ersoy, calling on the community to react against this mentality.
Meanwhile, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), reacted against this prohibition. In a post on his social media account, Erhurman said that there was a “very serious problem of mentality, democratic understanding and way of seeing art”. Noting that he did not know the content of the play, Erhurman added that “it is not possible for us to accept such mentality”.
Moreover, according to illegal Bayrak (16.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/ozersay-elestiri-tiyatronun-dogasinda-var-bundan-rahatsiz-olunmaz/), Kudret Ozersay, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, said that criticism was in theater’s nature and that no one should be annoyed by this. In a post on his social media account, Ozersay noted that, according to the “law”, the decision regarding the plays which would be staged at the “state” theaters was taken by a committee with the participation of mainly artists and by another committee with the participation of mainly representatives of the “ministry” [of education and culture].
“However, the power of taking the final decision is unfortunately given to the second committee”, he said adding that actually the representatives of the “ministry” could reject the play approved by the artists and that “this is not a modern structure from the theater point of view”.
Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak (16.08.19, https://www.brtk.net/basbakan-tatar-kktc-ifade-ozgurlugu-sorunu-yoktur/) broadcast that Ersin Tatar, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that there was no need to “drag the issue elsewhere” and create tension. In statements on Bayrak this morning, Tatar argued that “if you write under a contract in the state and if it will be played on behalf of the state, certainly the state will look at the content and express its view”. He noted that because the theater was bound to the “ministry of education”, he asked for the “minister’s” view and that he had not received it yet. “I am not sure how correct it is to behave in this hasty manner for criticizing”, he claimed alleging that “you cannot come out and do whatever you like there, in the name of freedom of expression”.
Illegal Bayark (16.08.19 https://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=pm-tatar-appears-on-brt) broadcast that self-styled prime minister Ersin Tatar took part on a televised program on illegal Bayrak this morning and referred to the Cyprus problem.
He claimed that the previous” government: would not even make any statements on the Cyprus problem, and said that he and the “foreign minister” have always made statements on all issues concerning the “country” and held consultations with Turkey.
Touching upon the economic agreement signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime, Tatar, said that up until the end of the year there were certain “laws” that needed to be completed and added that there were still some things that needed to be done in order for the economic structure to be corrected in the “country”.
On the Cyprus problem he said that alternative formulas needed to be brought to the negotiating table if it were to resume once again.
He claimed that it was not possible to continue the Cyprus issue where they left off in Crans Montana and added that in order for the negotiations not to collapse a result orientated discussion and alternative formulas need to be at the table.
“There are two separate states on the island, this is a reality. No one has the capacity to destroy a state. Whatever happens this state cannot be removed. An agreement that doesn’t contain this state is not possible. You cannot remove this state and therefore I do not believe that it will be possible to reach an agreement” he alleged.
Touching upon the issue of the closed city of Varosha, Tatar said that the process itself will be a difficult one.
“We believe that it is possible to overcome the difficulties in the closed city of Maraş by opening it under Turkish authority and returning the properties to their former owners” Tatar claimed.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Hakikat (16.08.19) reports that Levent Bulbul, chairman of Nationalist Action Party’s (MHP) Parliamentary Group, has alleged that whatever the result of Turkey’s seismic explorations and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are, his country would never make concessions from what he called “its sovereign rights” in the area and Turkish Cypriots’ “rights and interests”.
In statements during a visit to his party’s headquarters in Sakarya, Bulbul claimed that Turkey did not say that “this place belongs only to me”, but it argues that it could not be left outside the “equation” in the area and that no agreement, which did not include Turkey, could be implemented.
“Turkey has a mentality according to international law, respecting and protecting mutual rights and interests”, he alleged adding that if Turkey was “ignored”, it would say “I am here”, like it says now.
Under the title “Thousands of illegal real estate agents exist”, Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kıbrıs (16.08.19) reports that Hasan Sungur, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot “real estate agents’ union”, has said that the increase in the number of the “illegal” real estate agents in the occupied area of Cyprus had taken “frightening” dimensions. In statements to the paper, Sungur noted that no control was exerted by the regime in this field and added that “a big crisis exists because students from Arab and African countries as well as important part of the students from Russia are so-called real estate agents”.
He also argued that waiters, taxi drivers, restaurant owners, casino owners and persons from other professions were trying to earn money from the real estate business, adding that the number of “illegal” real estate agents increased from a few hundreds in September 2018 to a few thousands in September 2019.
“The quality in the profession of real estate agent has fallen below zero. […] We are at the verge of a danger like the ‘British fraud crisis’ which stigmatized 2005, 2006 and 2007 and has shaken the country”, he argued.
Turkish Cypriot newspaper Havadis (16.08.19) reports that the occupancy rate of the hotels in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus decreased by 11,5% in the first six months of 2019 comparing to the same period of 2018. According to data given by the so-called tourism planning “department”, the hotels’ occupancy rate fell to 41,6% in the first half of 2019 from 47% in the same period of 2018.
Moreover, the number of passengers visiting the occupied area decreased by 6,5%, as it fell from 846,272 in the first half of 2018 to 791,409 in the same period of this year.
Accommodations in the tourism installations have also decreased by 4,2%, since the number in 2018 was 527,977 and fell to 506,048 in 2019.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.08.19) reports about the number of the convicted persons in the jails of the breakaway regime and writes that 352 out of the 588 prisoners entered the occupied area of Cyprus as tourists.
The paper writes that according to information it obtained, there are in total 588 prisoners and from them 147 are “TRNC citizens”, 145 from third countries and 147 are Turkish citizens. In addition, 89 of them have “TRNC-Turkish citizenship”.
The majority of the prisoners were convicted for drug crimes, robberies, rapes and homicides: 176 were convicted for drug crimes, 88 for robberies, 19 for homicides, 9 for attempted murder, 27 for rape and 16 for sexual abuse. There are also young persons and women among the prisoners: 41 persons are 21 years old or below and 41 are women.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-us-stalling-on-syria-safe-zone-will-not-work/1557057) reports that the U.S. will not be able to stall Ankara on the establishment of a safe zone in northern Syria, Turkey’s Foreign Minister said.
"What we say since the beginning is that a U.S. stalling tactic will not work. Unfortunately, they employed such stalling on Manbij [Syrian town], they did not keep their promise," Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference with Nabeela F. Tunis, his counterpart from Sierra Leone.
The east of the Euphrates River has since become a terror nest after Washington failed to keep its promises, Cavusoglu said, adding that the U.S. continued to provide aid to terrorists in the region.
Cavusoglu underlined that the preliminary agreement between Ankara and Washington for a safe zone was only a beginning and that there remained "many topics" that need detailing. "For this reason, we agreed to set up a joint operations center," he said, adding that several U.S. soldiers arrived in Turkey for this purpose. "A delegation led by the deputy commander of the U.S. European Command will come to Sanliurfa [province]," he added.
Noting that Turkish unmanned aircraft had begun flights over the region, Cavusoglu underlined that observation points would be erected and joint patrols conducted in the area. He said: "The aim here is to establish a safe zone and [U.S. President Donald] Trump made a promise for [a depth of] '20 miles'," adding that the region could only be "safe" after it was cleared “of the YPG and PKK terrorist groups”.
Recalling the opening of the Turkish Embassy in Sierra Leone in 2018, Cavusoglu urged the West African country to open a diplomatic mission in Ankara. He also noted that Sierra Leone’s stability and economic development were important for Ankara, which would increase its support for the country in this manner.
For her part, Tunis said: "Our talks on cooperation in investment in agriculture, mining and various fields are absolutely valuable.
Tunis’ three-day visit to Turkey is the first between the country's on a foreign ministerial level.
Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.08.19 http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-slams-israeli-ministers-remarks-on-al-aqsa-145811) reports that Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the remarks made by Gilad Erdan, Israel's Public Security Minister, to change the historical status quo of the Al-Aqsa mosque.
"We utterly reject the statements of the Israeli Minister of Public Security regarding changing the status quo in the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is an indication of a distorted mindset," the Foreign Ministry statement said. "It is clear that any insinuation and initiative to prejudice the historical and legal status of Jerusalem will further exacerbate the tension in the region," the statement said.
"In fact, during the Eid al-Adha, many Palestinians were wounded as a result of the intervention by the Israeli police inside the Haram al-Sharif, while trying to prevent provocative raids by some extremist Jewish groups against the Al-Aqsa Mosque," it added.
The statement said that the Israeli authorities should be urged to put an end to their illegal practices in the occupied Palestinian territories, avoid irresponsible actions and statements that will increase tensions in the region.
Gilad Erdan told Israeli Radio on Tuesday: “I think there is an injustice in the status quo that has existed since 1967.” “We need to work to change [the status quo] so in the future Jews, with the help of God, can pray at the Temple Mount,” he added.
In a separate move, Turkey's embassy in Skopje condemned an anti-Turkish Facebook post by Kosovo's Ambassador to North Macedonia.
In a written statement, the embassy said it strongly condemned Gjergj Dedaj's “unfounded claims” and “hostile discourse” targeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“This latest post shows the correctness of our decision not to meet with Kosovo's Ambassador Dedaj, who has once again made statements against our country and who is unaware of the responsibility of his title,” the statement said. “No to political monuments of Erdogan's Turkey!” Dedaj wrote on Facebook, referring to a monument in the July 15 Democracy Park in Albania's capital of Tirana built by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) in cooperation with the Tirana Municipality to commemorate the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.
Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (16.08.19 http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/siyaset/1535129/3_ilde_HDP_lilere_ev_baskini__21_gozalti__HDP_den_aciklama.html ) reports that 21 members of the pro Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) have been detained in Mardin, Sirnak and Izmir.
In a statement, reacting against this action, the party noted that the alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) is trying to conceal its failure by attacking the HDP, violating law, justice and human rights every day.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION