Turkish Dogan News agency (27.04.18 https://www.dha.com.tr/dunya/disisleri-bakani-cavusoglu-egede-gerginlik-arzulamiyoruz/haber-1576473) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, gave the signal that “a new road map will be determined in Cyprus with co-operation and close contacts with TRNC officials”.
He said that they will continue with determination and good will their efforts for reaching the solution they support with sincerity, continuing to contribute to the stability of the Middle East region and evaluating how the interest of all sides will be safeguarded.
Asked about the priorities of Turkey in Cyprus, Cavusoglu claimed that these are to preserve the peace and the stability of the island, as well as to preserve the tranquility of the two “peoples” in Cyprus, especially of the Turkish Cypriots.
Cavusoglu further claimed that the Greek Cypriots do not want a common future with the Turkish Cypriots and added that the goal of the establishment of a new co-operated federation has been on the table for the last 50 years that the negotiations are taking place but no result was reached. He went on claiming that the 2008-2017 procedure ended without result on July 2017 and added that the reason for this is that the Greek Cypriot side does not have the Turkish Cypriot side’s approach for the establishment of a cooperation based on political equality and power sharing. “As long as the attitude of the Greek Cypriot side does not change, any procedure for establishing a new co-operation in the island is doomed to fail”, he alleged. He also sent the message that he does not expect the Greek Cypriot side to change mentality since as he claimed, this would not be realistic.
He further claimed that Turkey preserves its hope for reaching a just and permanent solution in the framework of the Cyprus negotiations based on dialogue and diplomacy. “The reality that the two sides are politically equal will never change and only under this reality a viable solution can be reached”, he said, adding that a solution must include regulations that will safeguard the prosperity and the security of the Turkish Cypriots.
Referring to the Aegean, he said that the problems exist and the issue must be solved with a permanent and just solution and without meaningless comments and statements. He claimed that Turkey wishes to preserve the peace in Aegean.
Illegal Bayrak (26.04.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=nami-says-isolations-not-obstacle-for-development) broadcast that the “minister of economy” Ozdil Nami claimed that “the unjust isolations imposed on the TRNC should not be an excuse or obstacle in the way for economic development and the economic and social development was possible through a strong democracy, the rule of law, effective public administration and the application of free market rules”.
Speaking at the 3rd International Banking and Finance Perspectives Conference organized by the illegal Eastern Mediterranean university’s faculty of business and economics, Nami said that “they are determined to transform North Cyprus into an attractive center for local and foreign investors”.
Also touching upon the issue of hydrocarbons, Nami said: “To this day we have argued in favour of common sense and logic. We can establish cooperation under all conditions. To have one community use the island’s natural resources as leverage against the other community is unacceptable. We shall continue to offer our proposal for cooperation to the Greek Cypriot Administration at every opportunity we get. I only hope that third parties will help us.”
On the negotiations process, Nami said that a result oriented process was necessary.
“The Greek Cypriot leader should not want an open ended process. Neither the two communities nor the UN have the luxury of wasting time and resources. We should have a process with an end date, a date set for a referendum. We need to plan such a process” he claimed.
Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (27.04.18) reports that Armagan Candan, “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) meeting in Strasbourg, briefed about the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the negotiation process, underlining that the Turkish Cypriot side considers the current status quo in Cyprus as unacceptable.
Candan stressed further the need for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiation talks the soonest possible and underlined the need for the talks to restart with a new method and structure in order as he said to yield a positive outcome.
Candan further briefed about the issue of the missing persons, the establishment of the Committee of Missing Persons and its contribution to this humanitarian issue for the two communities. He further briefed about the “immovable property commission” (IPC), which is considered as he said as an “effective domestic remedy” towards the rights of the Greek Cypriots on their properties they left in the “north” and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots on their properties left in the “south”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.04.18) reports that the “speaker of the assembly”, Teberruken Ulucay held a meeting with the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.
Present at the meeting which lasted around 40 minutes were also the Speaker of the Turkish Assembly Ismali Kahraman and the “deputy speaker of the assembly” Zorlu Tore.
A delegation of the “assembly” is holding contacts in Turkey upon an invitation by Kahraman.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.04.18) reports that so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu, who is in Turkey for a series of contacts, met yesterday with Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Recep Akdag and the Turkish Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, Mehmet Ozhaseki.
Ataoglu first met with Akdag at the Prime Ministry Office. Akdag and Ataogu discussed the steps that could be taken on the “tourism sector” in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Speaking during the meeting, Ataoglu alleged that they are always positive to developments and innovations on the tourism sector which is considered a pioneer for the “economy of the TRNC”. Claiming that the “TRNC’s tourism sector” is developing every passing day as a result of Turkey’s continuous support and cooperation, Ataoglu argued further that they pay great importance to the promotion activities of the “TRNC” in Turkey. He also added that they had agreed during the meeting to speed up their efforts for transferring more tourists from Turkey to the “TRNC”, to increase Turkish Airlines’ number of flights to the “TRNC” and to give more incentives for the increase of the “charter flights”.
In his turn, Akdag underlined how important is the “TRNC” for him and reiterated that Turkey will continue supporting and be by the side of the “TRNC”.
Also, during the meeting with Ozhaseki, Ataoglu said that they discussed and exchanged views on possible new investments that can be implemented by Turkey and the “TRNC”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.04.18) reports that Aytac Caluda, so-called deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) in occupied Lefka, issuing a written statement, underlined the need for the simultaneous opening of the crossing points in Deryneia and Apliki.
Stating that the UBP is watching closely the developments regarding the opening of the two crossing points, Caluda said that his party supports the opening of the two crossing points the soonest possible. He, however, expressed his worries over the delay of their opening due to the fact that the Greek Cypriot side has not completed the necessary works and claimed that in case that the Greek Cypriot side does not open the Apliki crossing point, the “people” are determined to proceed to the closing of the Limnitis crossing point.
Pointing out to the need to take into consideration the “people’s demand and worries”, Caluda claimed the following: “Our people, is determined to proceed to the closing of the Limnitis crossing point if the Greek Cypriot side does not open the Apliki one and we consider this reaction by our people rightful. We called the president and the government to take into account the demands and the determination of our people”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (27.04.18) reports that the “International Universities Research and Rescue Games 2018” are launched today in the breakaway regime with the participation of 19 universities.
According to the paper, the illegal universities of the breakaway regime, some Turkish Universities and the Lahor University of Pakistan along with the Islamic University of Indonesia will participate in the Games which will continue until April 30.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-russian-iranian-fms-to-meet-in-moscow-130908), the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Russia, and Iran will gather in Moscow on April 28 to discuss the cooperation within the framework of the Astana mechanism.
According to a statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and Iran’s Javad Zarif will meet in Moscow on April 28.
“The meeting will focus on all aspects of the cooperation carried out within the framework of the Astana mechanism and elaborate on the steps that could be taken from now on,” said the statement.
The Astana peace talks were launched on Jan. 23-24, 2017, with the aim of putting an end to violence and improving the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.18), Turkey’s Supreme Election Board on Thursday announced the calendar for early elections in the country on June 24.
According to the calendar, the presidential and parliamentary elections will start on April 30 which will be followed by the following timeline:
April 30 - Political parties that will form a coalition in the elections must give the Supreme Election Board their alliance protocol till May 6.
May 1 - Applications for party candidates running for the presidency will start and continue till 5 p.m. local time on May 5.
For candidates to be nominated by 100,000 voters, the period to collect signatures should be between May 4 and May 9.
May 2 - Candidates to be nominated by 100,000 voters must submit their applications to the Supreme Election Board by 5 p.m. The final list, including the names of the approved candidates, will be announced on May 3 by 8 p.m.
May 10 - A temporary list containing names of candidates running for the presidential elections will be announced. The final list will be announced on May 13, which will also initiate the election campaign for presidential elections.
May 21 - Political parties must give the Supreme Election Board their lists of MP nominees by 5 p.m. The Supreme Election Board will announce the list of MP nominees on April 24.
May 26 - The temporary list of names for MPs will be announced. The final list will be announced on May 27.
June 7 - Balloting abroad and at customs will begin and continue till June 19.
June 14 - Campaign restrictions will begin except for a candidate's propaganda. Election propaganda will end on June 23 at 6 p.m., one day before the elections.
June 24 - Election day. Restrictions will be lifted and temporary results for presidential elections will be announced at midnight.
June 29 - The Supreme Election Board will announce the final results for the parliamentary polls.
If no candidate running for the presidency can get an absolute majority of votes, the second round of elections will be held on June 8.
June 25 - Election propaganda for the second tour presidential polls will begin and continue till July 7.
June 30 - Balloting abroad and at customs will begin and continue till July 4.
July 8 - Election day. Restrictions will be lifted at midnight.
July 9 - Temporary results for presidential elections will be announced. Final results will be declared on July 12.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (27.04.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2018/04/27/erdogan-kicks-off-election-campaign-in-chp-stronghold-izmir), the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will begin working intensely for the early June 24 general and presidential elections as President and Chairman of the AK Party Recep Tayyip Erdogan will kick off the campaign tomorrow in the western province of İzmir, a city known for being a stronghold for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).
In the last Nov. 1, 2015 elections, the CHP garnered nearly 47% of the vote in İzmir. Yet, the AK Party has an improving trend in İzmir province. While the CHP received 55% of the vote in the 2009 local elections in İzmir, its votes dropped to 49% in 2014, and the AK Party increased its votes by 5% by reaching from 30% to 35% from 2009 to 2014 in the CHP stronghold. Erdogan places great emphasis on increasing votes in İzmir, the third most-populated metropolis in Turkey. Traditionally, the electoral base in the western coastal city is known to be secularist and have centre-left tendencies, making it a more strategic location for the AK Party's broader strategy of winning the elections.
Erdogan is expected to visit around 50 provinces and more than 20 districts to meet with voters across the country. According to media reports yesterday, the AK Party cadres have been instructed by Erdogan to use the limited time as effectively as possible. The party's roadmap for the electoral propaganda has been set out in Central Executive Board (MYK) and Central Decision Board (MKYK) meetings, and Erdogan has called on everyone to give their best in the process.
The AK Party has also taken the holy month of Ramadan into consideration, during which practicing Muslims are fasting during the day. In this respect, AK Party Deputies and members will hold rallies in the day; gather with citizens for fast-breaking events in the evening and for sahur [early breakfast before the fasting begins] in the morning.
Erdogan is expected to announce his party's electoral manifest on May 6 in Istanbul.
With this strategy, the AK Party will seek to reach out to as many voters as possible by coming together at least three times. Since there are only less than 60 days left until the crucial elections, the ruling party is taking the issue seriously. In addition to Erdogan's rallies, Prime Minister and Vice Chairman Binali Yıldırım will also attend events.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that aside from the objective of winning the presidential elections, the AK Party will also accelerate efforts to gain the majority in Parliament. According to some sources, AK Party Deputies have been stressing that winning the presidential elections would not be enough, and that the results must also impact the balance in Parliament. Party officials underline that a majority needs to be obtained so that the new presidential governing system functions well. AK Party authorities contend that "in a Parliament consisting of 400 AK Party and 200 opposition bloc, you would face problems even if you won the presidential elections."
It has been argued that if the party of the President and the majority party in Parliament are not one and the same, it might lead to a deadlock that prevents the ratification of significant regulations.
During the run-up to the elections, the AK Party Deputies are expected to inform the party supporters regarding the issue and highlight the significance of gaining a majority in Parliament. The issue is also considered as significant by the opposition bloc, who underscores gaining the majority in Parliament.
"Turkey is still governed by the system that we can call 'the old one'. Even though it seems as if there is no serious problem, we may be confronted with the diseases of the old system," Erdogan said, also citing security reasons with regard to the need for early elections.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (27.04.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/elections/2018/04/27/ak-party-criticizes-possible-candidacy-of-former-president-gul), the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) politicians have criticized the possible intentions of former President Abdullah Gul running for presidential office, as political rumors suggest that he might be a joint candidate of the opposition bloc, saying the move would be regarded as a betrayal of his political past.
Speaking on the issue, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said that it is difficult to accept for either the new movement or the old, when a person leaves a political movement from important positions, after many years. "Our people would not welcome such side slips," Yıldırım said, stressing that one should protect his or her prestige, since it is difficult to build a reputation for yourself, but very easy to lose it.
AK Party group Deputy Chairman Bulent Turan also criticized Gul on his Twitter account. "This nation loved Erdogan not only for coming to close quarters but also for the dagger wounds on his back. Another one would be added to those wounds, it's not a problem," he said, implying that Erdogan is used to betrayals from his fellows during his political career and Gul's move would only be another one.
Yıldırım further indicated that all of these debates among the opposition that revolve around Gul's candidacy were probably a political project, which has eventually collapsed.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.18, https://aa.com.tr/en/europe/turkey-slams-eu-over-remarks-on-detained-greek-soldiers/1129147), Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday rejected a statement by European Union Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on the detention of two Greek soldiers in Turkey.
“With these remarks...EU authorities lose their credibility and reliability day by day,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.
Aksoy's remarks came shortly after Juncker told the Greek Parliament during a visit to Athens that Turkey must release the Greek soldiers, which Turkey “received with astonishment”. “We reject this statement, which is far from being serious and lacks legal basis,” Aksoy added.
“Greek soldiers who violate Turkish law do not have any privileges before the independent judiciary. We condemn this two-faced mentality [of the EU], which does not hesitate to make remarks about the state of law when it wants to, and when it comes to its interests, making statements that interfere with the ongoing judicial process.”
A court in northwestern Turkey on Wednesday ordered the continued detention of the Greek soldiers, who “inadvertently” strayed across Turkey’s border last month.
The Edirne 2nd Criminal Court of Peace ruled against a petition by the soldiers’ lawyers to release them from remand.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/patriarch-bartholomew-conveys-requests-on-greek-orphanage-and-halki-seminary-to-erdogan-130943), Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomew conveyed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan their community’s requests on the historical Greek orphanage and the Halki seminary in Istanbul, sources in Ankara have said.
Erdogan hosted Bartholomew in April at the presidential complex in Ankara for more than half an hour.
In the meeting, joined by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Bartholomew requested support from Erdogan for the protection and restoration of the Greek orphanage on Istanbul’s Büyükada Island, which is deemed to face immediate risk of collapse.
Patriarch Bartholomew also raised the question of reopening the Halki Seminary on Heybeliada, another one of the Princes’ Islands, according to sources.
He thanked Erdogan for the returning of properties to the minority communities, the reopening of Greek schools on Gökçeada, the largest Aegean island, and helping to revive religious ceremonies at churches across Anatolia.
However, he also pointed out that the population of the Greek community on Gökçeada Island has decreased to 3,000, requesting the naturalization process to be easier for the descendants of Greeks who were once citizens of Turkey. The requests will be taken into consideration, Erdogan replied, adding that minority communities should not feel like foreigners in the country.
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