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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-23.05.18

 

No. 98/18                                                                                                                            

 

 Contents

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Erdogan: Greek Cypriot side’s caprices is the reason there was no progress on the Cyprus problem

2. Erhurman hinted that the Turkish Cypriots could adopt a currency other than the Turkish lira

3. Ozersay met with the new British High Commissioner

4. Denktas and Erhurman claimed that they were not informed about MASAK’s investigation for money laundering in 13 casinos in the occupied area of Cyprus

 

B. Turkish Press

1.Turkish Lira hits new record low after Fitch’s statement; S&P urges quick action on Turkish lira's decline

2. Cavusoglu: “Israel should account for its actions”

3. CHP’s candidate İnce votes to open websites and social media for free use if being elected in Presidency

4. OSCE to deploy 350 observers for Turkey’s snap election on June 24

5. A new survey by MAK Consultant Research Company on Turkey’s snap elections

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Erdogan: Greek Cypriot side’s caprices is the reason there was no progress on the Cyprus problem

Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (23.05.18) reports that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan claimed that the lack of progress on the solution of the Cyprus problem is a result of the Greek Cypriot side’s caprices.

He made these statements speaking during an iftar dinner in Ankara that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) offered to foreign Ambassadors at its headquarters.

(TR. Note: Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset.)

“Solving the problems of the world goes through diplomacy. But lately, this is failing. Due to the caprices of the Greek Cypriot side there was not progress on the solution of the Cyprus problem,” Erdogan said.

(CS)

 

2. Erhurman hinted that the Turkish Cypriots could adopt a currency other than the Turkish lira

Under the title: “The Euro is on the table”, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.05.18) reports that the so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman stated that radical measures for the economy are being considered, hinting that they would  even adopt a currency other than the Turkish lira.

“If we are experiencing certain problems beyond our control due to the value losses of the Turkish lira, then we need to discuss these issues openly with the Turkish Republic, and we have started to talk with them,” Erhurman stated during a press conference.

He stated that the change of currency and the currency hedging are among the measures that are on the table for discussion.

Erhurman raised concerns about increases in the price of gasoline as well as hikes in private school tuition, which are paid in foreign currencies, saying that these issues which is a result of the decline of the Turkish Lira affect the Turkish Cypriot community.

Replying to a journalist question regarding the oil drilling of the Republic of Cyprus, the so-called prime minister stated that  the Turkish Cypriots are not just an element that will receive part of the income but also an element that have rights on the issue of the drillings. “We are sitting on the negotiation table strong willed and as one of the two founding elements”, he stated.

(CS)

 

3. Ozersay met with the new British High Commissioner

Turkish Cypriot daily Hakikat newspaper (23.05.18) reports that the so-called deputy prime minister and “foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay met with the new British High Commissioner to Lefkosia Stephen Lillie.

According to the paper, Ozersay expressed the hope the dialogue and good relations established during the term of the previous High Commissioner Matthew Kidd will continue.

The Cyprus problem, Brexit and other regional issues were among the issues discussed during the meeting.

(CS)

 

4. Denktas and Erhurman claimed that they were not informed about MASAK’s investigation for money laundering in 13 casinos in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.05.18) reports that the so-called finance minister Serdar Denktas in statements to the paper, commented on the report published yesterday by Ankara Anatolia (the official news agency in Turkey) according to which the Turkish Board of Investigation on Financial Crimes (MASAK) launched an investigation for money laundering of 5 billion dollars in 13 casinos in the “TRNC” and for 20 firms that belong to them.

Commenting on the report prepared the MASAK on the issue, Denktas claimed that they were not informed by MASAK or by Turkish officials neither for the report, nor for the court decision. “We demanded to be informed for the context of the court decision”, Denktas alleged, adding that they had spoken with Turkish officials and MASAK officials about this issue and they were also not informed about such a report. “Since I have no evidence and information in my hands about this matter, how shall I speak about this?”, Denktas wondered, claiming that court decision concerning the casinos might be related with virtual betting.

On the same issue, so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman alleged that he is not informed at all about the court decision and added that he will hold contacts with Turkish officials on the matter.

(AK)

B. Turkish Press

1.Turkish Lira hits new record low after Fitch’s statement; S&P urges quick action on Turkish lira's decline

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-lira-hits-new-record-low-after-fitchs-statement-132213) reported that the Turkish Lira has slid to a fresh historic low of 4.66 against the dollar following a statement from the credit rating agency Fitch on May 22.

“Comments from the Turkish President raise the possibility that discretionary policymaking and policy predictability will come under pressure after June’s elections,” Fitch stated, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s eyebrow-raising remarks in London last week.

Speaking to investors, Erdogan repeated his unorthodox view that interest rates should be cut, despite high inflation, while vowing to take more responsibility for monetary policy if he wins the June 24 snap presidential election. “Greater erosion of monetary policy independence would put further pressure on Turkey’s sovereign credit profile, particularly if it contributed to serious external financing stresses and deterioration in the macroeconomic environment, or undermined wider economic policymaking credibility and the country’s business environment,” Fitch’s statement added.

Following the statement the lira dropped as low as 4.6608 before bouncing back to 4.63. It traded at 5.49 against the euro and 6.25 against the sterling.

The lira has fallen some 17% this year amid concerns about the Central Bank’s inability to rein in double-digit inflation.

Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (23.05.18-https://www.dailysabah.com/finance/2018/05/22/sp-urges-quick-action-on-turkish-liras-decline) reports that the international credit rating agency Standard & Poor's said Tuesday that Turkey's fiscal situation could deteriorate quickly without action on the decline of the Turkish lira, as the lira hit new record lows against the U.S. dollar and the euro.

The dollar hit 4.66 against the lira on Tuesday, breaking two psychological marks at 4.60 and 4.65, before stabilizing at the 4.63 - 4.64 level. The lira shed some 18% since the beginning of 2018, whereas losses since the beginning of May have hit nearly 12%.

The euro also climbed to a new record high of 5.5.

S&P rates Turkey at BB-, already lower than rivals Moody's and Fitch following a downgrade this month, but one of its most senior sovereign analysts, Frank Gill, told Reuters it could potentially act again if the market rout continued.

Asked whether S&P would reconsider the 'stable' outlook it put on Turkey's rating as part of the downgrade if there was no let-up in the pressure, Gill said "potentially". "The concern is that the balance of payments situation worsens and that really starts to hit growth and the fiscals pretty quickly and the banks."

He added that higher oil prices were not being passed on at petrol pumps, meaning that the government's tax income was falling there too, while the large amounts of dollar loans given by the country's banks were becoming more expensive to repay due to the lira's slump.

Turkey does have substantial buffers and a way out of current woes, S&P said, adding that a lot will depend on what the Turkish Central Bank does, if anything. “There is "absolutely a way out of this," if authorities take firm action”, Gill added.

 

2. Cavusoglu: “Israel should account for its actions”

Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.05.2018 -https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/turkey-welcomes-palestine-s-icc-move-against-israel/1153868) reported that Turkey on Tuesday welcomed Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki’s request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeking an investigation into Israel’s alleged war crimes in Gaza.

Speaking at a ceremony in southern Antalya province, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “If Israel is not held accountable for its terrorizing [actions], its heedlessness will continue. Israel will account for [its actions].” “We will make Israel accountable for [its actions] by meeting everyone around the globe,” he added.

 “Today, our brother, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki has taken, what Israel has done, to International Criminal Court. We will not stop pursuing this," he said.

Al-Maliki on Tuesday requested the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s settlement building and alleged war crimes.

Cavusoglu also noted: “We are working on which sanctions to apply on countries that will violate the Jerusalem’s statue and will move its Embassy there [Jerusalem].”

 

3. CHP’s candidate İnce votes to open websites and social media for free use if being elected in Presidency

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.18- http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/you-will-tweet-freely-if-i-am-elected-chp-candidate-ince-132220) reported that Muharrem İnce, the presidential candidate from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has vowed to liberate Twitter from content removal requests in Turkey and reopen Wikipedia in the country.

“You will tweet freely. I will open Wikipedia. I will shut down Passolig,” İnce said on May 22, referring to the controversial football e-ticket card system. Opposition groups have criticized the Passolig system, which was purportedly introduced in 2014 to tackle football violence but makes money for a pro-government bank and hands more authority to police and stadium officials to track fans.

“Citizens’ freedom to criticize the President of Turkey is a must in order to remain creative and productive,” İnce added, addressing thousands in a rally held in the north western province of Bolu, nearly a month prior to the rescheduled elections.

“I will be the kind of President who discusses quantum [physics] and space mining,” he said.

Wikipedia has been banned for a year in Turkey. The Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) said on April 29, 2017 that it had blocked access to the site, citing a law allowing it to ban access to websites deemed obscene or a threat to national security.

With Twitter, meanwhile, countless lawsuits have been filed against users on charges of alleged “terrorist propaganda” and “insulting the president.”

İnce promised to change that, as he had promised before at a rally in the southern province of Adana on May 20.

He also vowed that the government will function on a “merit-based system,” criticizing the government’s cronyism. “My son-in-law will not be a Minister during my term. My son will not have his own foundation during my term. There will be fair-play during my term,” İnce vowed, blasting rampant nepotism under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). “Tenders will not be made available only to certain groups,” he said.

 

4. OSCE to deploy 350 observers for Turkey’s snap election on June 24

Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (23.05.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/osce-to-deploy-350-observers-for-turkeys-snap-election-on-june-24-132186) reports that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is planning to deploy 28 long-term and 350 short-term observers to follow Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24.

“In addition to a core team of experts, the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights recommends the secondment of 28 long term observers from OSCE participating States to follow the electoral process countrywide and 350 short term observers to follow the Election Day proceedings. In line with ODIHR’s standard methodology, the Election Observation Mission would include a media monitoring element,” the ODIHR said in its report dated May 16.

The ODIHR representatives, including Head of Elections Department Alexander Shlyk and joined by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Chief Political Adviser Francesco Pagani, held meetings at Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, the Interior Ministry, the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Board of Elections, the Radio and Television Supreme Council, and the state Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) on May 8-10. They also spoke with political party officials and representatives of the volunteer election security monitoring group Vote and Beyond, as well as the Association of Journalists.

“Most of previous ODIHR recommendations remain unaddressed, including on removing restrictions on active and passive suffrage rights, enhancing regulations on the campaign and campaign finance, removing restrictive provisions on the media, addressing a lack of a possibility to challenge Supreme Board of Elections decisions and providing for international and citizen election observation,” the report read.

The ODIHR deployed 11 experts and 24 long-term observers to monitor Turkey’s controversial April 2017 constitutional referendum, in which a shift to an executive presidential system was narrowly approved by voters but many accusations of voting irregularities were made.

Proceedings on the day of the referendum were not systematically observed by the ODIHR and only a limited number of polling stations were visited. In total, 73 international observers were registered to observe the referendum.

 

5. A new survey by MAK Consultant Research Company on Turkey’s snap elections

Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (22.05.18) http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/ekonomi/980790/MAK_anketine_gore_ulkenin_en_buyuk_sorunu_ve_adaylarin_oy_orani.html) reported on the results of a new survey conducted by MAK Consultant Research Company in Turkey which has revealed among others that the Turkish citizens consider the increase of the foreign currency against the Turkish Lira and unemployment in Turkey as the most important problems in the country.

The survey was conducted with the method of face-to-face interviews among 5,500 persons in 30 cities in Turkey, 23 provinces and 154 districts between May 13-20.

In the question, “In your opinion, which is the most important problem in our country”, 45% of the participants in the survey indicated the economic problems (unemployment and the rise of the foreign currency). Also, 18% consider the problems in foreign policy as the second important problem while 7% said the justice. 5% indicated terrorism and security as another important problem while another 15% said other problems.

Moreover, in the question, “Do you consider that there is an economic crisis in our country”, 57% of the participants replied positively, 23% negatively and 20% presented as undecided or did not gave any answer.

In the question, “Which one of the political leaders do you consider most appropriate to solve the economic crisis”, 35% of the participants said the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, 20% said the Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Muharrem Ince, 15% said the leader and candidate of Good Party (IP) Meral Aksener, 7% said HDP’s Selahattin Demirtas, 3% said Temel Karamollaoglu and 1% said Dogu Perincek.

MAK’s survey examined further the political preferences of the voters after the announcement of the candidates’ lists for the forthcoming snap presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place on June 24.

According to the survey, in presidential elections and before the distribution of the undecided votes, Erdogan will receive 48.5%, Muharrem Ince 22.5%, Meral Aksener 11.5%, Selahattin Demirtas 9%, Temel Karamollaoglu 2% and Dogu Perincek 0.5%.

According to the survey, after the distribution of voters, Erdogan will receive 51.4%, Ince 23.9%, Aksener 12.3%, Demirtas 9.6%, Karamollaoglu 2.2% and Perincek 0.6%.

According to the survey, the parties will receive the following percentages:

Party

Percentages before the distribution of the undecided voters

Percentage after the distribution of the undecided voters

AKP

41.5%

45%

CHP

21.5%

23.5%

Good Party (IP)

8%

8.5%

HDP

8.5%

9%

Saadet Party (SP)

2%

2.2%

MHP

8.5%

9%

 

(AK)

 

………………………..

TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(AK/ AM)