A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Illegal Bayrak (15.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/ilk-iftara-tc-basbakan-yardimcisi-akdag-da-katiliyor/) broadcasts that Recep Aktag, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs, will illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus tomorrow in order to participate in the first iftar meal (breaking the fast) in Selimiye Mosque [Saint Sophia] in the occupied part of Nicosia. The dinner is organized by the Evkaf religious foundation.
Bayrak broadcasts also that in the morning Aktag will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci (http://www.brtk.net/akinci-akdagi-kabul-edecek/).
According to illegal Bayrak television (15.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-condemns-israel), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci strongly condemned Israel for the violence in Gaza.
In a statement on his social media account upon the developments in Jerusalem, Akinci reminded that despite the negative reaction from the whole world the US implemented the decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem and added: “This decision which means a new blow to the peace and stability in the region has already caused the death of dozens and the wounding of thousands of Palestinians. I strongly condemn Israel for brutally murdering unarmed civilians. I invite the US to give up its manner which fuels conflict and to contribute to the Israel-Palestine peace process”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the bodies of eight refugees were washed ashore in occupied Karpasia beach during the last couple of days. Six of the bodies were washed ashore yesterday, notes the paper referring to refugees who set out for the journey of hope but could not reach their destination. The self-styled coastguard carried out an operation with boats and helicopters in order to find more people in the sea. The autopsy held in four of the bodies showed that drowning was the reason of their death.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci issued a statement yesterday expressing his sorrow for the people who lose their lives in the Mediterranean after being forced to abandon their homes and country.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the “attorney general” in the occupied area of Cyprus has prepared and submitted a report to the so-called assembly regarding the “lifting of the immunity” of Aytac Caluda, “deputy” with the National Unity Party (UBP) and former “undersecretary” at the so-called ministry of labour and social insurance.
According to the paper, “the attorney general’s report” has filed a suit against Caluda for 30 different accusations including causing damage of around 230 thousand TL to the “state”.
According to the procedure to be followed, an ad-hoc committee which will be composed by 11 members will be formed in order to examine the files related with the lifting of the immunity. The committee to be established will be composed by 3 “deputies” from the National Unity Party (UBP) and 2 from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the People’s Party (HP). The “law envisages” that the committee to be established has to finish its work within 45 days.
In statements after the “council of minister’s meeting”, so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay underlined that the issue of the “lifting of immunity” was discussed yesterday during the “meeting of the council of ministers” and added that the “government” will continue with determination its works towards the issue of the “immunity”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the so-called council of ministers decided yesterday to launch procedures for the cancelation of the “agreement which envisages the allocation of around 600 donum plot of land” to the Istanbul Technical university in the occupied village of Gialousa.
Speaking after the “council of minister’s meeting”, so-called foreign minister Kudret Ozersay stated that they have “decided to proceed to the cancellation of the agreement”, since they found out that the “university does not fulfill the necessary requirements and conditions”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the “vice-president” of Turkey’s Central Bank, Rifat Guney has been “appointed by the council of ministers” to the “position of the director of TRNC’s central bank”.
According to the paper, the former “director” of the “TRNC’s central bank”, Mehmet Emin Ozcan was the first and the last in history being “appointed” to that position and was not serving before in Turkey’s Central Bank. Ozcan resigned from his “position” eleven months ago.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the bans for the “municipal elections”, which will be held on 24 June in the occupied area of Cyprus, started today. The paper writes that 28 “mayors” and “municipal councils” will be elected on 24 June. According to a statement issued by the “high election council”, the candidatures will be submitted on 28 May, become definite on 2 June and be announced on 3 June. The “election campaign” will begin on 4 June and end on 23 June.
Until now, 48 party candidates were announced from the National Unity Party (UBP), the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the People’s Party (HP), the Social Democracy party (TDP) the Democratic Party (TDP) and the Revival Party (YDP). Most of the party candidates until now come from the UBP (20). The CTP announced 16 party candidates, the HP 5, the DP 4, the TDP 2 and the YDP 1. Seven parties have expressed their support to independent candidates.
Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (15.05.18) reports that the “Cyprus health tourism council” became a member of the “World Disability Union” (WDU).
According to the paper the “council’s membership” has been approved by the Union during its 6th general assembly which took place in Moscow between May 20-21.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (14.05.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/foreign-ministry-us-embassy-move-encouraged-massacre-carried-out-by-israeli-forces-3391315), Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the U.S. decision to move its Embassy to Jerusalem encouraged Israeli forces to kill dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border, adding that the Embassy move disregarded the rights of Palestinians.
"We strongly condemn the decision of the U.S. Administration to move its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem violating international law and all relevant UN Resolutions. We reiterate that this action is legally null and void. We emphasize that such a step which disregards the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people will not serve peace, security and stability in the region," a statement released by the Ministry said.
"The Resolutions on Jerusalem adopted at the Extraordinary Islamic Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation held on 13 December 2017 as well as at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 December 2017 demonstrate that this illegitimate step taken by the U.S. is rejected by the international community. By insisting on this attitude, the U.S. Administration has damaged the basis for a solution of the most basic issue in the Middle East. The U.S. Administration will be fully responsible for the repercussions of the said decision which runs the risk of eroding the parameters established during the peace process. We curse the massacre carried out by Israeli security forces encouraged by this step on the Palestinians participating in peaceful demonstrations," it added.
"Neither regional nor global peace and stability will be viable unless the Palestinian question is settled through a lasting and just solution and unfair treatments towards the Palestinian people cease. Turkey will continue to work with the responsible members of the international community to revive the peace process on a sound basis and build a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace in the region," the statement said.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-declares-national-mourning-for-gaza-casualties-recalls-envoys-to-us-israel-131809), Turkey on May 14 declared a three-day national mourning following the killings of at least 55 Palestinians with fire opened by the Israeli forces along the Gaza border and has recalled its Ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel for consultations.
“Turkey has recalled Ambassadors in Tel Aviv and Washington for consultations,” Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters in Ankara following a cabinet meeting.
"Today will go down in the history as Bloody Monday for Muslims and Islamic countries," Bozdag said, also adding that "the U.S. has violated U.N. Security Council decisions by opening its Embassy in Jerusalem."
Meanwhile President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country has declared a three-day national mourning. “We declare a national mourning for three days, starting tomorrow, to stand in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers,” Erdogan said, addressing students in London.
Labelling the killings on May 14 as “genocide,” Erdogan also said a big rally is set to be held on May 18 in Istanbul as a sign of solidarity. “I will be speaking with several leaders including [Mahmoud Abbas] and the U.N. Secretary General,” Erdogan said.
The Turkish Red Crescent as well as the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) have begun preparations to bring aid to the victims, he added.
“This is a cowardly massacre and we strongly condemn it,” Binali Yıldırım told reporters at Esenboga Airport in Ankara. Yıldırım said there were around 2,000 persons injured during the demonstrations. “International law has been so to speak ignored and [...] the decision to move the Embassy has been stubbornly carried out,” Yıldırım added.
“As Turkey, we condemn one more time this decision and declare it null and void,” he added.
On the same issue, the paper (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/main-opposition-chp-slams-israeli-violence-along-gaza-border-calls-it-a-massacre-131811) reports that the leader of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu condemned the United States and Israel’s administrations over violence against Palestinian protesters on the day the U.S. Embassy relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In a Twitter post, Kilicdaroglu said he condemned the “massacre” taking place in Gaza. “Before the eyes of the U.S. administration, the cruelty of the Israeli administration in the Middle East is a crime against humanity. I condemn the massacre in Gaza and condemn the U.S. and Israeli administrations. We stand with the oppressed Palestinian people,” he wrote.
Muharrem İnce, the party’s candidate for the presidency, also slammed the violence and urged for Turkey’s Ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel to be recalled. “The U.S. and Israel are installing a permanent animosity in the Middle East,” İnce said, speaking in the central Anatolian province of Konya on May 14. “We condemn them. I am addressing the Turkish authorities to recall the Turkish Ambassador in Washington now,” he added.
Meanwhile, the paper further (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-calls-oic-for-an-extraordinary-summit-on-jerusalem-in-istanbul-131817) reports that Turkey, as the term president, has announced its decision to organize an extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) on Jerusalem after the opening of the United States Embassy in the city that claimed the lives of dozens of Palestinian protestors.
“Turkey has decided to call the OIC to an extraordinary meeting on Friday [May 18],” government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag told reporters late May 14 after the weekly cabinet meeting.
Turkey’s diplomatic activities will also include initiatives for the convention of the U.N. General Assembly in order to discuss the U.S. move and the killings of Palestinians by Israeli security forces.
Along with diplomatic works, Turkey will also hold two big mass events in a bid to show solidarity with the people of Palestine. The first rally will be held in Istanbul’s Yenikapı district on May 18 in the afternoon, and the second meeting will be held in the southeastern Anatolian province of Diyarbakır on May 20, Bozdag informed.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/aksener-vows-to-be-unifying-if-elected-131806), İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has vowed to be the “unifying” President of Turkey if elected as the head of the nation in the June 24 snap elections, while unveiling her election manifesto for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary polls.
“The power of the state has recently turned into a means of pressure on citizens. The state cannot see a citizen as a threat and cannot discriminate against them,” Aksener said in her statement as she launched her election campaign in Ankara on May 14.
“All 80 million [citizens] have the same rights. Not one is above the other and not one is beneath the other. All 80 million are first class citizens,” she said, asking participants to show their Turkish identification cards.
Criticizing the current state of public order, the executive system, foreign policy, education, justice, economy and security issues in Turkey, her speech focused on “managing the state administration”.
“There has been a management void, which has been growing in recent years because the entire state structure has become focused on pleasing one person … We are coming to fill this void,” said the İYİ party leader.
Aksener said “state services” should be handled in a “non-discriminatory” fashion, vowing to “embrace 80 million.” Addressing the crisis in the “executive system,” she said “democratic participation, a strong Parliament and national will is irreplaceable”. “We are planning a transition period for the return of the parliamentary system. We will never allow chaos to prevail. We will never adopt an understanding, which is fed on chaos and crisis,” she said, adding that a “good justice and judicial system should be supported by a strong democracy.”
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-highlights-unity-in-election-manifests-131805), the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has proposed a “democratic decentralization” model in its election manifesto for Turkey’s upcoming July 24 snap elections, saying this model does not contradict with the country’s unitary state structure and democratic parliamentary system. “A democratic decentralization model that does not contradict with the unitary state structure and democratic parliamentary system could even strengthen the [governance] system. Our understanding depends on consent, legitimization and voluntary unity,” stated the election manifesto launched by the Kurdish issue-focused HDP’s co-leaders on May 14. (…)
The HDP manifesto proposes the “launching of a process to prepare a democratic Constitution,” which will be based on “multi-lingual, multi-faith and equal citizenship where liberal secularism, pluralism and the principle of separation of powers will be centred.” (…)
The HDP stated that a new Constitution would include articles stipulating “all basic rights.”
Proposing to “solve the Kurdish problem,” the HDP manifesto stated that “the only way for Turkey’s peoples to find peace, security and prosperity is to ensure a permanent peace in the Kurdish problem.”
Meanwhile, the paper (http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/hdp-appeals-to-ankara-court-for-release-of-jailed-selahattin-demirtas-131821) reports that the lawyers of Selahattin Demirtas, the presidential candidate of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), have appealed for his release from jail, saying his official candidacy constitutionally necessitates active participation in the election period.
Demirtas’ lawyers appealed to the Ankara 19th High Criminal Court on May 15 demanding his release, stating that Turkey’s Constitution and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) legislation stipulates the “right to a free election.”
“Our appeal for release today is not a particular demand for Demirtas’ individual freedom. This demand is the demand of millions of voters who support him. These millions want Demirtas to be in the field with them, living the election period with them,” lawyer Mahsuni Karaman said on May 15 in front of the Ankara court. (…)
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION