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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-31.05.18

 

No. 103/18                                                                                                                         

 Contents

 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Erhurman claims no change in Greek Cypriot side’s mentality

2. Tension was caused because the “IPC” returned an occupied property to its Greek Cypriot owner

3. Consumers in the occupied area of Cyprus still worry about Turkish currency’s decline

4. Denktas: “Turkey’s financial aid to be given after the elections”

5. One hundred million TL EU programme for the “municipality” of the occupied part of Lefkosia

6. KTOS: “The ministry of education is under Turkish occupation”

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey’s NSC refers to “provocations” in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean

2. Final list of Turkish candidate MPs announced

3. Cavusoglu: “I think we are coming to an end in the visa liberalization issue”

4. Pressure on Turkish lira recedes as investors persuaded by sound monetary, fiscal policies

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

 

1. Erhurman claims no change in Greek Cypriot side’s mentality

According to illegal Bayrak television (31.05.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=ehurman-says-no-change-in-gc-sides-mindset), so-called prime minister Tufan Erhurman has claimed that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades’s latest statements have revealed that there is no change in the mind-set or mentality of the Greek Cypriot side.

Speaking to reporters following his weekly meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Erhurman argued that a solution to the Cyprus problem could only be reached on the basis of a federation and political equality. He alleged that Anastasiades’ words showed that the Greek Cypriot side did not share this view. “His insistence on the conception that majority rules and the fact that his statements regarding a settlement are in support of a majority-minority formula, shows that the Greek Cypriot side is not where it should be following such a long process of negotiations” he argued.

Erhurman further claimed that there was a serious problem with the Greek Cypriot side in terms of its understanding of a federal settlement and political equality which were the basic parameters of the negotiations. “This is both concerning and disappointing” he added.

Also touching upon the Lefka and Apliki crossing-points, Erhurman said that “the effective participation of a number of administrative departments or ministries ranging from the ministry of public works to the department of water works and the Cyprus Turkish security forces (editor’s note: Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus) was needed in order to finalize work at the crossing points”. He explained that this was why a coordination meeting will be held at the “prime ministry” so as to be able to launch the tender process required.

 

2. Tension was caused because the “IPC” returned an occupied property to its Greek Cypriot owner    

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (31.05.18) reports that the so-called Immovable Property Commission (“IPC) established by Turkey in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus has decided to return a property of 349 square meters in occupied Larnaka tis Lapithou village to its Greek Cypriot owner named Nikolas Skourides. This was the second return of property to a Greek Cypriot refugee decided by the “IPC” during the last five years, notes the paper adding that the Greek Cypriot’s application to the “commission” had been submitted on 7 October 2011, the decision was taken on 13 March 2017 and the procedure was completed on 19 September 2017, when the “official return” took place.

Skourides went to the area and started building a house last week, something which caused “uneasiness” to the inhabitants of the area. The building of the house stopped with a decision by the occupied Lapithos “municipality” with the pretext that the construction had no “permit”. The inhabitants of the village started collecting signatures for the withdrawal of the decision [of the “IRC”]. The “police” visited the area because of the tension. It is argued that the signs showing the borders of Skourides’ land were uprooted because they were closing the entrance to the neighboring house. 

In statements to the paper regarding the followed procedure, Ayfer Said Erkmen, chairman of the “IPC”, said that after carrying out an examination, they contacted the “security forces command” and implemented the decision after they were informed that “the return could take place”. He noted that for building the house, Skourides secured the necessary “permits” from the so-called interior ministry, the “town planning department” and the relevant “municipality”. He argued that after the “IPC’s” decision, the procedure concerned the “local administration” and the Greek Cypriot property owner and that, just like a Turkish Cypriot applies for building a house, a Greek Cypriot also has this right and can secure a “permit” from the “competent authority”.  

According to Erkmen, 97,7% of the decisions taken until today by the “IPC” concern payment of compensation, 1% return of property and the rest of the applications were withdrawn. He also said that 4-5 years ago 234 donums of land [Translator’s note: A land measure of 1000 square meters] in occupied Lapithos area were returned and that 6,437 applications were filed to the “IPC” until today for 17,871 donums of land, the worth of which is estimated 277,556,266 sterling pounds. Erkmen added that the “commission” paid 190,800,000 sterling pounds until today and that the decision of paying compensation for 201 cases, the cost of which reaches 86,689,000, could not be implemented. According to Erkmen, 176 applications were withdrawn, either due to the fact that the ownership status could not be proved or the suggested amount of money was not found sufficient or the measures allegedly taken by the Republic of Cyprus.

Referring to the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled area of the island, Erkmen said that these are continuously decreasing. Noting that according to data of 2009, the properties which belonged to Turkish Cypriots in the government-controlled area were 541,000 donums, Erkmen said that this number decreased to 492,000 donums in 2016 and 455,000 donums in March 2018. He noted that 86,000 donums of Turkish Cypriot land in the government-controlled area of the island changed hands and it was either expropriated by the Greek Cypriots or sold by their Turkish Cypriot owners.

Referring to the properties in the buffer zone, Erkmen said that they totally reach 148,277 donums, of which 134,931 donums belong to Greek Cypriots, 12,846 to Turkish Cypriots and 500 to Armenian Cypriots. He noted that the “IPC” received 2-3 applications regarding properties in the buffer zone, but the “commission” has no jurisdiction to examine this issue.

(I/Ts.)      

3. Consumers in the occupied area of Cyprus still worry about Turkish currency’s decline

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.05.18) reports that the small decline witnessed during the last two days regarding the decrease of the Turkish Lira, due to the measures taken by Turkey’s Central Bank, created some joy but  were not able to seize the fear of the Turkish Cypriots who still worry about the effects of the currency decrease.

According to the paper, the buying power of the consumers was reduced dramatically and notes that the decline of the Turkish Lira during the last five years makes the “people” to worry about the future. Five years ago the minimum wage in the breakaway regime was equal to  592 or 765 dollars while now is equal to  428 or  500 dollars.

(CS)

 

4. Denktas: “Turkey’s financial aid to be given after the elections”

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (31.05.18) reports that the self-styled minister of finance Serdar Denktas stated that the financial aid of Turkey to the breakaway regime will be given after the June 24 elections in Turkey.

Speaking to the paper, Denktas referred to the “financial protocol” signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime according to which Ankara will give 1 billion 230  million Turkish Lira to the breakaway regime  as aid.

Denktas stated that they expected to receive the financial aid by the end of May; however they will start receiving the money after the Turkish elections. He also said that the “protocol” signed was approved by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

(CS)

 

5. One hundred million TL EU programme for the “municipality” of the occupied part of Lefkosia

Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (31.05.18) reports that Mehmet Harmanci, current “mayor” of the occupied part of Lefkosia and “supported candidate” by the Social Democracy Party (TDP) of the upcoming “local elections”, during a visit yesterday to the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Association (KTGB), said that they have reached an agreement with the EU on a programme of 100 million TL and as a result, there will be huge investments in the period 2018-2022.

(DPs)

 

6. KTOS: “The ministry of education is under Turkish occupation”

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (31.05.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Teachers’ Union (KTOS) stated that the so-called ministry of education is under Turkish occupation.

The general secretary of KTOS Saner Elcil said that the “minister” may have changed at the “ministry of education”; however the staff that carries the same mentality remained the same. He also said that the “ministry” is run by persons appointed by Turkey. Therefore is under Turkey’s influence and occupation.

He also stated that the steps taken are not enough to make a difference regarding the problems faced in education.

(CS)

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Turkey’s NSC refers to “provocations” in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean    

Turkish CNN-Türktelevision (31.05.18, https://www.cnnturk.com/son-dakika-mgk-bildirisinde-secim-aciklamasi) broadcasts that Turkey’s National Security Council (NSC) convened yesterday presided by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In a statement after the meeting, it was said that they discussed internal and external developments, which concern Turkey’s security and the measures taken against the efforts in the direction of disturbing the public order and security as well as the social peace and unity.

Referring to the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, the statement alleges the following:

“[…] Pointing out that Turkey is always in favor of peace and stability, it was stressed that it [Turkey] is especially committed to the bilateral agreements, and mainly to the UN Resolutions and the international law’s norms, and that it respects the rights and interests of other countries and in this framework its determination to strongly protect its rights was once more declared. Within this framework, it was stressed that in front of the provocations in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey will not hesitate to use, until the last, its rights deriving from the international agreements […]”.

(I/Ts.) 

 

2. Final list of Turkish candidate MPs announced

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/final-list-of-turkish-candidate-mps-announced-132622), the final list of Turkish political parties' candidate MPs that will run in parliamentary elections on June 24 was published early today in the official gazette.

The Supreme Board of Election (YSK) reviewed the objections to the candidate lists and made a decision.

According to the YSK, eight political parties including the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will run in the parliamentary elections.

The remaining parties are the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Felicity (Saadet) Party, Patriotic (Vatan) Party, Free Cause (Hüda-Par) Party and newly formed Good (IYI) Party.

There are also 68 independent candidates across the country, the YSK said.

3. Cavusoglu: “I think we are coming to an end in the visa liberalization issue”

Under the title “EU officials to hold talks on visa-free travel for Turkish citizens”, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (31.05.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/eu-officials-to-hold-talks-on-visa-free-travel-for-turkish-citizens-132598) reports that a delegation from the European Union will hold meetings in Ankara on May 31 and June 1 for discussions on visa-free travel in the Schengen area for Turkish citizens.

The delegation, headed by Simon Mordue, the Deputy Director General at the European Commission’s Home Affairs Department, will have meetings at the Foreign, Interior and Justice Ministries, and the talks will focus on the position paper Turkey submitted to Brussels to launch the visa liberalization talks.

“I think we are coming to an end” in the visa liberalization issue, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a group of journalists en route from Germany to Turkey. The EU has been picky examining proposals made by Ankara on the remaining seven benchmarks, Cavusoglu said.

Frans Timmermans, the first Vice-President of the European Commission, will pay a visit to Turkey after the EU delegation, he noted.

The EU stalled off Georgia for visa free travel and it’s always possible they could do the same with others; the Minister said in reply to a question on what Turkey would do if Brussels delayed the process.

Cavusoglu reiterated that Turkey should not show weakness on its anti-terror law, elaborating on the EU’s demand for change in Turkish legislation regarding terrorism and terrorist offences. He said the EU was previously positive on a cooperation platform with the European Council on the matter of anti-terror legislations, but changed its mind later.

Ankara delivered its position paper to European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans on Feb. 7. According to the European Commission, to get the visa waiver Ankara needs to fulfill seven outstanding criteria out of a total of 72, including “revising legislation and practices on terrorism in line with European standards”. The most challenging benchmark for Turkey is the change in the law on counter-terrorism.

 

4. Pressure on Turkish lira recedes as investors persuaded by sound monetary, fiscal policies

According to pro-government Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (31.05.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/05/31/pressure-on-turkish-lira-recedes-as-investors-persuaded-by-sound-monetary-fiscal-policies), the Turkish lira has started to decouple from other emerging market currencies following the strong messages conveyed during the 13 hours of meetings Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek and Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) Governor Murat Çetinkaya held on Tuesday at the London office of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Top economic officials met more than 100 investors in London and emphasized Turkey's determination to rebalance the economy, reduce inflation and current account deficit, and the country's openness to business. Following the meetings, the U.S. dollar retreated by 2.15 % and was trading at TL 4.44 at 3:21 p.m. local time while the euro also fell by nearly one percent to TL 5.18.

(…)

On his social media account, Deputy Prime Minister Şimşek confirmed that the meetings with investors in London were very productive and underscored the high interest of foreign investors in Turkey.

The key messages conveyed during the meetings were the strengthening monetary and economic policy instruments, the launch of rebalancing efforts of the Turkish economy, the priority is to reduce inflation and the current account deficit and the acceleration of structural reforms in the post-election period as well as Turkey's openness to business, Şimşek said on social media.

Turkey's current account deficit rose to $4.8 billion in March and it was $47.1 billion in 2017 while inflation was 10.85 percent in April.

The initial reaction of the Turkish lira was positive, climbing 2.15% in value against the dollar to trade at 4.44 to the greenback in the afternoon session. The dollar opened the day at TL 4.54% after consecutive days of retreating against the lira. On Tuesday, the USD/TL exchange rate had a volatile day due to the rise in the dollar index, oil prices and increasing risk appetite. (…)

 

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs / AM)