A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
According to illegal Bayrak television (18.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=oic-summit-in-istanbul), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will discuss the Jerusalem issue at an extraordinary summit meeting today.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will attend the summit which will be held in İstanbul this evening.
Meanwhile, self-styled deputy prime minister and foreign minister Kudret Ozersay, who will also attend the extraordinary summit meeting of the OIC, left this morning.
Ozersay who attended the preliminary meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers this morning will then accompany Akinci at the summit which will start later in the afternoon.
Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.05.18) reports that a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers’ Trade Union (KTOEOS) visited yesterday Tufan Erhurman, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Selma Eylem, KTOEOS’ chairperson, said that they visited Erhurman to tell him about the problems experienced in education regarding the so-called social security and “migration law” and find out what will be done about these. She noted that Erhuman had told them in the past that he shared their views on these issues, but nothing was included regarding the “migration law” in the “government’s program”.
Pointing out that a series of problems exist in education, Eylem described their system as discriminatory adding that “in parallel to this, the construction of mosques, complexes of buildings adjacent to mosques and foundations continues with the aim of raising religious, vindictive and racist generations”. Asking for the plans of the “government” on this issue, Eylem said that the population policy and assimilation created serious problems in the field of education adding that with the increase of the population the infrastructure in schools became insufficient and every year they begin with deficiencies in the educational staff. She noted that they cannot make a planning because they do not now know their population and complained about the fact that teachers are brought from Turkey in spite of the existence of qualified workforce in the occupied area. Asking whether this will stop, Eylem argued that the teachers are oppressed by the “migration law” and are forced to live below the hunger threshold because of the devaluation of the Turkish lira and the increase of the cost of living.
In his statements, Erhurman argued that all four parties participating in the “government” share the view that approving the “migration law” was wrong, that the “law” has not achieved its goals and that its consequences should be overcome. He claimed that they want to abolish the above-mentioned “law” but they are facing some problems such as doing it within the framework of their possibilities. “This law has not put a correct goal, but it could not materialize even the goal set in it”, he argued.
Noting that they are face to face with a collapsed education system, Erhurman said that concentrating students in schools according to these students’ origin is a serious problem and added: “The fact that the students called of Cypriot origin are going to private schools and the TRNC citizens with origin from Turkey are going to public schools and their separation in very young age is a very serious alarm for the future”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (18.05.18) under the front-page title: “Big game for the annulment of citizenships”, reports that after the announcement of the “decision of the council of ministers to annul the TRNC’s citizenship of 175 persons” and before the “decision being published at the official gazette”, the list including the 175 names of the “citizens whose citizenship was annulled”, has changed by the so-called government which added and removed totally 50 persons.
Invoking reliable sources, the paper writes that the so-called government has changed last minute the preliminary list before being “published in the official gazette” by removing 50 persons and adding others. The paper claims further that important names, businessmen, spouses of military staff, some bureaucrats from Turkey and other persons who have stated that they will “file a suit against the government”, were removed from the list at a haste. The paper calls the so-called government to answer why he announced the “names of only 175 persons whose citizenship was annulled” and not of 230 persons who were “illegally granted the citizenship” according to its first estimation.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (18.05.18), reports that as a result of several reactions expressed after the “annulment of citizenship” of certain persons in the occupied area of Cyprus, the so-called government withdrew from its “decision” to “annul the citizenship” of lawyer Hakan Athan and of Aras Karabal, whose names were included in the preliminary list. The paper writes that after it published a report that Athan and Karabal were “investors” in the “TRNC”, their names were removed from the new list which was published in the “official gazette”.
Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.05.18), columnist Basaran Duzgun reports that some circles in Ankara have “pressed the button” and sounded the ground for the establishment of a new “coalition government” in the occupied area of Cyprus. According to Duzgun, these circles have asked for the establishment of a “coalition government” between the right-wing National Unity Party (UBP) and the People’s Party (HP), but they received a negative answer. The same circles are reportedly those who tried to force the Turkish Cypriot leader to make a statement for a “two state solution” to the Cyprus problem. The columnist argues that these circles are trying to isolate Akinci with the establishment of a “coalition government” without the left-wing Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP), which say that they are in favor of a federal solution in Cyprus.
Duzgun wonders whether the recent illegal visit of Recep Akdag, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs, to the occupied area of Cyprus was a coincidence and which the content of his “official and unofficial” contacts was. He notes the following:
“[…] We thought that, because of the historic elections in Turkey, Ankara would postpone its interest on the Cyprus problem and the TRNC for the period after the elections. We were wrong. The fact that the wing of the hawks in the AK Party in Ankara has tried to force president Akinci to speak about a ‘two state solution’ and turned this into a crisis stopped being a secret anymore. The efforts of the same circles to design a ‘new government’ for isolating Akinci are gradually coming to surface now. Can they achieve this? It does not seem likely. It is obvious that they will intensify these projects depending on the results of the elections to be held on 24 June in Turkey and here. […]”
In a commentary under the title: “Recep Akdag held an unexpected visit”, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.05.18) publishes a commentary by columnist Erkan Egmez who refers to Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Recep Akdag recent “visit” to the occupied area of Cyprus, supporting that his visit sent political messages.
Referring to Akdag’s visit to the occupied Louroudjina village, Egmez underlines the promises he gave to the inhabitants of Louroudjina that he would meet with “TRNC officials and discuss the development of Louroudjina”.
Egmez recalls in his column the proposal made recently by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to President Nicos Anastasiades to accept the Guterres Framework as a strategic agreement and supports that the Greek Cypriot side has not sent a reply yet, since, it wants the lifting of Turkey’s guarantees in Cyprus and the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from the island.
The columnist writes further the following: “Even if the Guterres Framework was becoming accepted, the villages that Akdag visited would be among the first that would be returned to the Greek Cypriots. There are political messages behind this visit. As we can understand, these areas would be developed and would not be given back to the Greek Cypriot side. Important warnings were also made [by Akdag] on the agriculture sector (….) Thus, the agriculture sector will also be developed, so that means that no concessions will be made on territories and land. We can realize from the political developments that a Plan B will be engaged on the Cyprus problem. Akinci did not call the Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades to accept the Guterres Framework as a strategic agreement without rhyme or reason. Akinci could not make this calling by his own and suddenly, even though the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that it would not be engaged in such a game. It could not even pass from Akinci’s mind especially in this period that he could make statements against Turkey. This statement is a common and carefully planned statement. Even though I was among those who condemned Akinci for that statement, it is a statement made after a common decision. The Greek Cypriot side did not accept the proposal, so everyone continue on their own path. We should read well the statements made by Akinci the next day of his proposal, since the Plan B is in the scene. Akinci announced that Turkey will launch oil exploration activities and that Turkey’s guarantorship is the guarantee of the Turkish Cypriots”.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, Egmez supports that Turkish President Erdogan and his strategic partner and leader of the National Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli is impossible to accept any change on their policy.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/18/fm-cavusoglu-to-discuss-manbijs-future-with-american-counterpart-pompeo), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said yesterday that the meeting with his U.S. counterpart, Mike Pompeo, on June 4 in Washington, D.C. will focus on Manbij, currently occupied by the PKK's Syrian affiliate the People's Protection Units (YPG), which is backed by the U.S. "It is important that the YPG retreats from Manbij but it is not enough, it is also important to stabilize all regions under YPG control," Cavusoglu said.
He also underlined that the U.S.' support to the YPG is the main reason of deteriorating ties between the countries and therefore ousting it from Syria will be a significant step for both Syria's future and the ties between Turkey and the U.S.
Ankara and Washington previously agreed to hold talks through mechanisms to resolve the problems. When then U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Ankara on Feb. 16, he stated that "We are not going to act alone any longer, not the U.S. doing one thing, Turkey doing another." He put great emphasis on the cooperation between the sides to reach resolutions. However, following the replacement of Tillerson the talks were suspended. Ankara expects to maintain the understanding that was reached with Tillerson in its meetings with Pompeo.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.05.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-4-464-terrorists-neutralized-in-afrin-operation/1149521), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that at least 4,464 terrorists have been "neutralized" since the launch of Operation Olive Branch in Syria.
"The number of terrorists neutralized so far in Afrin alone has reached 4,464. In addition to that, 403 [were neutralized] in northern Iraq and 350 terrorists in domestic operations," Erdogan said during an iftar program in Ankara while addressing Deputies of ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
The President, who is also the party’s chairman, said these figures were reached within the past five months since the operations began in the region.
Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/05/17/chps-ince-vows-to-shut-down-incirlik-if-us-does-not-extradite-gulen), the main opposition candidate in Turkey's upcoming presidential elections vowed to deny the U.S. a key military base by Christmas unless the U.S. extradites the leader of the Gulenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
Washington must "extradite Fetullah Gulen from the United States," Muharrem Ince, presidential candidate from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told Turkey's Fox TV in an interview late on Wednesday.
"If you (the United States) don't hand him back, we will shut down Incirlik and send back U.S. soldiers on December 24 and they can celebrate Christmas with their families," he added.
After the vote, a new presidential system giving the head of state with executive powers will come into force. However, the opposition aims to return to the parliamentary system after a victory on June 24.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/israel-should-be-taken-to-international-criminal-court-over-recent-massacre-turkish-foreign-minister-131952), Israel should be tried by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the recent massacre committed by Israeli security forces against Palestinians, just like any crime against humanity, Turkey’s top diplomat said, adding that Turkey has been providing all legal assistance to the state of Palestine to this end.
“Israel should be taken to the International Criminal Court [over the killing of Palestinians]. Since third parties cannot do it, Palestine needs to initiate this,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with state broadcaster TRT on May 17. Cavusoglu referred to the killing of more than 60 Palestinians and wounding of more than 2,000 at the hands of the Israeli security forces on May 14 during protests against the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem.
“We are analysing what kind of legal steps can be taken [against Israel],” he said, recalling Turkey’s legal assistance to relevant Palestinian authorities in this regard. “Israel should account for its actions,” Cavusoglu added.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/prominent-journalist-ahmet-sik-to-run-for-mp-from-hdp-131957), prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik, who has been imprisoned several times, has announced he is running for a seat in Parliament with the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for Istanbul.
“I am running to help break this silence and to enlighten our country with the light of truth,” Sik, a correspondent for the daily Cumhuriyet, said in a written statement on Twitter on May 17.
“I am running to stand in solidarity with HDP’s presidential candidate Selahattin Demirtaş as well as all politicians, journalists, students and lawyers who have been imprisoned,” Şık said.
“I am running to win today with our people who long for lives that have been postponed for too long,” the statement added.
Şık, along with other journalists from daily Cumhuriyet, was convicted on April 25 by a Turkish court for helping outlawed “terrorist” organizations. The Istanbul court handed out multiple sentences to 13 journalists, including Şık and executives, for “aiding and abetting terror organizations without being a member” but they remain free pending an appeal.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/german-embassy-slams-turkey-for-denying-access-to-former-hdp-co-leaders-case-131954), the German Embassy in Ankara has said foreign diplomats have not been allowed to follow a public hearing of former Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ, expressing concerns over the state of the rule of law in Turkey.
“Diplomats from Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and the EU delegation have been trying in vain to be admitted to the public hearing against former HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag in Sincan. In clear breach of Turkish law and the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, foreign diplomats are once again denied access to a public hearing,” read a written statement issued by the German Embassy on May 17.
“The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice have been made aware of the situation, but refused to act on the matter. This situation is unacceptable and bodes ill for the current state of the rule of law in this country,” it added.
A statement released by the HDP explained that the foreign diplomats were not allowed to follow the hearing on the grounds that they were not accredited.
Yüksekdağ was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016 over “terrorist propaganda” and “defaming the Turkish Republic” along with nine other HDP lawmakers, and has been in prison since then.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/transition-of-dogans-media-assets-to-demiroren-group-completed-131947), the transition process of the Doğan Group’s media assets, including the Hurriyet Daily News, to the Demiroren Group has been completed.
In accordance with the share sales agreement signed by the Dogan and Demiroren groups on April 6, the cash total of $893 million has been transferred to the bank accounts of Dogan companies as of May 16, according to the statement made by Dogan Holding to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on May 16.
The payment covers the handover of media assets including dailies Hürriyet, Posta and the Hürriyet Daily News, TV channels Kanal D and CNN Türk, Doğan News Agency, the Doğan internet webcast company, Doğan Media International, and the licenses of Radyo D and CNN Türk Radyo.
Demirören Holding will pay an additional $26 million for the 7% of Doğan TV Holding shares held by Commerz Film, the joint company of Doğan Holding and German group Axel Springer.
The amount of the bank loans of the mentioned companies paid off by Doğan Holding, totaling $67 million, will also be paid by Demirören Holding on June 1 at the latest, the statement read.
In other two statements made to the KAP, new appointments made to the boards of Doğan Gazetecilik and Hürriyet Gazetecilik were announced on May 16.
Mehmet Soysal, CEO of Demirören Media Group, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Dogan Gazetecilik, taking the seat of Zafer Mutlu who has resigned, according to the statement made by the company.
Soysal has also been appointed to the Board of Directors of Hurriyet Gazetecilik to replace Vuslat Sabancı who has resigned, according to another statement to the KAP.
Uğur Nabi Yalçın will replace Béatrice de Clermont Tonnerre and Oktay Demir will replace Kai Georg Diekmann on the Hürriyet Gazetecilik Board of Directors after the approval of shareholders.
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