Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.04.18) reports that Baris Burcu the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci called on the so-called government to accelerate its efforts for the opening of the Deryneia and Apliki crossing points on September 2018.
Burcu who issued a written statement said that Akinci called the “government” to take the necessary steps immediately regarding the opening of the crossing points so that the Turkish Cypriot side will not be blamed if any further delays are experienced. He also stated that Akinci asked for the opening of Deryneia and Apliki crossing points from President Anastasiades during the dinner held between the two leaders in Cyprus on April 16th.
“During their meeting Anastasiades said that the Deryneia crossing could open on July 1 and the Apliki crossing point on September 15 Our President has shared this information with the government and is calling for immediate steps to be taken so that theTurkish Cypriot side cannot be blamed if the openings are delayed”, Burcu stated.
He also said that Akıncı had personally called “finance minister” Serdar Denktas and called for the tender process to begin in the shortest time possible.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.04.18) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) issued a statement for the anniversary of the referendum for the Annan Plan in Cyprus stressing that it continues to support a bi-zonal federal solution on the basis of the political equality between two founding states.
“On the occasion of the anniversary of the Annan Plan on April 24th we would like to note that the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem can be reached only through negotiations”, the statement noted adding that “the developments in Crans Montana must be taken under consideration in order for the two sides to move towards a determined procedure under the Guterres package”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (25.04.18) reports that Mehmet Cakici, leader of the Communal Liberation Party – New Forces (TKP-YG) said that defending the confederation is like shelving the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In a written statement, Cakici argued that addressing the solution in Cyprus may be possible with a federal Republic of Cyprus based on bi-communal, bi-zonal, political equality and resulted from two constituent states.
Stressing that all agreements made with the Greek Cypriots until today are based on a federal solution in Cyprus, Cakici said: “The process of all negotiations, the UN parameters and the issue that is discussed by the two leaders at the negotiating table is federation.”
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.04.18, https://aa.com.tr/en/americas/us-turkish-fm-un-head-meet-on-global-peace-efforts/1127106), Turkey’s Foreign Minister met with the UN chief on Tuesday in New York during his visit to address the UN General Assembly on building and sustaining global peace.
Mevlut Cavusoglu, accompanied by Turkey's Ambassador to the UN Feridun Sinirlioglu, discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Cyprus issue with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, according to diplomatic sources.
Moreover, alongside his meeting with the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, Cavusoglu late Monday also met with his German counterpart Heiko Maas to discuss global peace. It was the first face-to-face meeting between the top Turkish and German diplomats since Maas’ appointment in March.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (25.04.18) reports that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing the Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group in Ankara on Tuesday, argued that they will implement policies for the interests of their people everywhere in their country, from Cyprus to the Aegean and from the Black Sea to Thrace. He further said that they will carry further relations in the region from the Balkans to the Caucasus and from Central Asia to Africa.
Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.04.18, https://aa.com.tr/en/politics/erdogan-vows-to-continue-turkeys-fight-against-terror/1126602), reported that Erdogan highlighted Turkey's determination in its fight against the PKK terror group. "We will not get out from [southeastern mountains of] Cudi, Gabar, Bestler-Dereler, Tendurek, and Qandil," said Erdogan. "We will continue to do what is necessary for our nation's tranquillity. We will also do what is necessary in the northern part of Syria."
Airstrikes on PKK targets in northern Iraq, where the terror group has its main base in the Mount Qandil region, near the Iranian border, have been carried out regularly since July 2015, when the PKK resumed its armed campaign.
Erdogan also said that 4,272 terrorists have been neutralized in Syria's Afrin region, 258 in Turkey and 353 in northern Iraq since the begin of Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20.
Erdogan also defended Turkey's ongoing state of emergency that was extended on Wednesday for the seventh time. "In this process, there is an environment of tranquillity. They are demanding the state of emergency to be lifted in such environment," he said. "Why? Because their game will be spoiled; for this reason, we will not let you subvert the order."
According to illegal Bayrak television (25.04.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=parliamentary-delegation-in-strazbourg), Armagan Candan, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Ersan Saner, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP), who are currently in Strasbourgh to represent the “parliament” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which is being held between the 23 and 27 of April, embarked on their contacts yesterday.
Candan and Saner, who will attend the sessions until the 27 of April, first attended the political group meetings of the political parties which their parties are member of.
Accordingly, Candan attended and addressed the Socialist, Democrat and Greens Group meeting and Saner attended and addressed the Conservative Group meeting.
Both provided information about the Cyprus Conference held in Crans-Montana and the course of the Cyprus negotiations process during their speeches.
The delegation is also attending the committee meetings. Within this framework, while both attended the Political Affairs and Democracy Committee, Candan attended the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee and Saner attended the Culture, Science, Education and Media Committee meetings.
The delegation also came together with a member of the PACE and former UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide.
The delegation also held bilateral meetings with other national assembly delegations being represented at the PACE.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.04.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a meeting at his office with a delegation of Maronites headed by the Bishop of Maronites in the Lebanon Namatallah Hashem.
According to a statement issued by the “presidency”, during the meeting which lasted 45 minutes the actions that the breakaway regime will take towards the Maronites and the renovation of Prophet Elijah’s monastery were discussed
The statemenst further said that the delegation thanked Akinci because the monastery is part of the monuments that the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage will renovate.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (25.04.18), under the title “Countdown for elections”, reports that “the law, which regulates the local elections to be held in June, and the ban on elections to be reduced from 60 days to 40 days, was passed with a majority vote in the parliament yesterday”.
The paper also reports that the “local elections” will be held as it was decided before, on June 24th.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (25.04.18) reports that the three foreign students arrested for taking pictures of the fence off Varosha city “were convicted by a military court for seven days in prison.
They will be let free on Friday.
The paper reports on the issue under the title: “The Varosha is closed the shame is opened”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.04.18) reports that Cemal Varoglu became the new general secretary of the Communal Democracy Party.
Yesim Dede and Mehmet Harmanci were also elected members of the central board of the party.
Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (25.04.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-rejects-trumps-description-of-1915-events-3349748) reports that Turkey on Wednesday rejected U.S. President Donald Trump’s “inaccurate expressions and the subjective interpretation of history” regarding the 1915 events, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
President Donald Trump issued an annual commemoration of the 1915 events using the Armenian term “Meds Yeghern” ("Great calamity" in Armenian) in a statement on Tuesday.
"We reject the inaccurate expressions and the subjective interpretation of history in the written statement by Mr. Donald Trump, President of the USA, released on 24 April 2018 regarding the events of 1915," the statement said.
The statement said that Turkey's expectation from the U.S. administration was a "fair assessment of a period during which all the peoples of the Ottoman Empire suffered tremendously".
The statement reminded President Trump that "during the same period more than 500,000 Muslims were slaughtered as a result of the events in which Armenian insurgents took part".
It added that Turkey continues to offer the establishment of a Joint Historical Commission "in order to shed light on this painful period of history and has opened its archives to researchers".
The statement said that Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during World War I were commemorated on April 24 in a ceremony held at the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul "suiting the respect they deserve and befitting the 800-year long friendship between Turks and Armenians".
Meanwhile, the statement also recommended that the U.S. administration consider the message of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Armenian Church in Istanbul during the commemoration ceremony "addressing the descendants of Ottoman Armenians, which reflects Turkey’s approach to this sensitive issue".
The Turkish President offered condolences to the families of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the 1915 events. He also offered condolences to the Turkish nation over the losses of life of millions of Ottoman citizens due to wars, migrations, conflicts, and diseases during the same period.
"Besides all these points, we think it is in line with common sense that the statement made by the U.S. President remained within international legal norms and did not refer to baseless genocide allegations," it added.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-may-nominate-former-leader-demirtas-as-presidential-candidate-says-co-chair-130835), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has been considering nominating its own presidential candidate in the upcoming elections and jailed former leader Selahattin Demirtas is among the potential candidates, HDP co-chair Sezai Temelli said on April 24.
“Considering the party’s grassroots, it is not easy [for the opposition] to have a joint candidate. We have different principles. Every party should present their own nominees in the first round [of the presidential election]. The door to the second round will be opened by strong candidates. Thus, there may be an agreement on an opposition candidate [in the second round],” he told daily Hürriyet.
Temelli ruled out the possibility of their support for İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Aksener’s candidacy, pointing to values upheld by HDP voters. “Our grassroots will not vote [for Aksener]. That is why all parties should nominate their candidates, taking the second round into consideration. Their candidate should be inclusive of everyone,” he said.
When asked if they would vote for former President Abdullah Gül, Temelli said he is a “respected politician and should be taken into account,” but there has not been any formal contacts about the probability of his nomination.
“We have set up a pool of candidates. Our party assembly will convene before our central executive committee on May 2 and we will declare our candidate on May 3. Selahattin Demirtas is in the pool of the candidates,” Temelli said.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (24.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-dismisses-paces-call-for-postponement-of-upcoming-elections-130806), Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on April 24 blasted a call by the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for the postponement of Turkey’s upcoming early elections on June 24. “The Parliamentary Assembly should mind its own business. It is not up to them to say who will hold elections and when. Turkey has held hundreds of elections with turnouts not below 85%,” Yildirim told reporters in Madrid during a joint press conference with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.
PACE on April 24 called on Turkey to “postpone” the June 24 snap elections, citing the ongoing state of emergency in the country.
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.04.18) reported that Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag argued on Tuesday that the Council of Europe urging Turkey to postpone its early elections over its state of emergency shows a double standard, as no one made an issue of the same situation in France. "When France held  elections during the state of emergency, PACE didn’t mind election security and didn’t urge France to postpone the elections, but when it comes to Turkey, it brings up the EU criteria, state of emergency and election security, which is meaningful and shows a double standard," said on his Twitter account on Tuesday.
Bozdag called the move "unacceptable” and "interference in Turkey's internal affairs and elections."
Separately, EU Minister Omer Celik also slammed the PACE move, calling it an intrusion in the sovereign decision of Turkish citizens. Calling it “a completely political decision," Celik said on Twitter: “Turkey knows how to decide when the elections should be. Nobody has the right to intervene except the Turkish citizens and the institutions that represent them.”
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