A. Turkish Cypriot Press
B. Turkish Press
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (12.06.18) reports that Gulden Plumer Kucuk, the Representative of the Turkish Cypriot side to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), stated that the decision adopted recently by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe regarding the missing persons in Cyprus does not reflect the works and the contribution of the Turkish side.
A few days ago the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe asked Turkey to give access to military areas in the breakaway regime and archives and facilitate the efforts for finding the remains of the missing persons of both communities in Cyprus.
Kucuk speaking to illegal TAK news agency stated that the work and contributions made by the Turkish Cypriot side to the CMP was not reflected at decisions of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe for political reasons and added that the decision was missing “important elements”.
She went on adding that the cooperation of all three parties was needed so that the committee could carry out its work successfully.
She also stated that the committee has usefully served the families of missing persons of both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriot communities in Cyprus through its project to locate, identify and return the remains of the missing. She also argued that contrary to reports in the Greek Cypriot press, according to which the committee will complete its work in 2023, it was too early and unrealistic to determine as to when exactly the committee’s mandate would expire.
TAK citing sources writes that since 2006, 56 excavations have taken place in sites located within military areas, 30 of these having been permitted only in the last three years.
So far the remains of 1,215 out of 2,002 missing persons have been located.
Of that figure the remains of 876 persons have been identified, 664 Greek Cypriots and 212 Turkish Cypriots.
The remains of 846 Greek Cypriots and 280 Turkish Cypriots have yet to be found.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (12.06.18) reports that Turkey and the occupation regime have completed the preparation for the “medium-term draft program for the years 2018-2020”, which will constitute the basis for the “social and economic development protocol” covering the years 2019-2021.
In statements to the paper about the “draft program”, so-called minister of finance Serdar Denktas announced that the mutual discussions between Turkey and the “TRNC” on the protocol are expected to be launched next September or October. Denktas further alleged that they will continue their works concerning the “medium-term draft program” which was prepared by the “social and economic council”.
Among other, the “protocol” envisages the following: 1) restructuring of the “cooperation agreement between the private-public sector” on the “telecommunication department”, 2) reduce of the current number of “municipalities”, 3) “legalization of the draft bill regarding the workers in the public sector”, “restructuring of the cooperative sector”, 4) completion of the works for the new hospital in the occupied part of Lefkosia, 5) construction of new hospitals in occupied Morfou and Trikomo, 6), “establishment of an autonomous water organization”, 6) examination system for driving licence according to the EU standards, 7), structuring of the model of cooperation between the “private-public sector” in the occupied ports of Famagusta and Keryneia, the “Keryneia Ancient port” and the news yacht ports”.
Also, the “draft program” envisages further a “new and more reasonable financing model for supporting the immovable property commission”. According to the paper, measures will be taken at the same time for supporting the “function and activities of the commission”, so that it will be able to examine and complete in a speedy way the “applications” which are submitted to the “commission”.
Under the front-page title: “Strong reaction by Ankara”, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.06.18) reports that the Turkish delegation walked out from the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe protesting for the fact that the file related with properties in Cyprus has not closed durıng the last 20 years.
Accordıng to the paper, the reason that Turkey walked out from the meeting of the Committee is because it claims that Greece and the Greek Cypriot sector undertake initiatives utilizing these files for political purposes. The paper recalls the Loizidou case where Turkey was convicted to pay 1 million dollars as compensation and points out that 20 years later, the file of the case has not close at all. Despite the demands of Turkey on this issue, the file has not close due to the obstacles set by the Greek Cypriot side and Greece.
This issue came to the agenda recently during the meeting of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Turkish officials who attended the meeting announced that not only they would not discuss about the ECHR’s decisions but also they would not recognize them, until the file of the case is closed. After this statement, the members of the Turkish delegation walked out from the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.06.18) reports that KTOS (Turkish Cypriot primary school teachers’ trade union) issued a written statement with information about the population in the breakaway regime, saying that the Turkish Cypriots are actually a minority in the “TRNC”.
According to the statement there are 817,489 registered mobile phones in the breakaway regime from which 684,301 are in use. In addition there are 195,000 registered vehicles. There are also 18 (illegal) universities in which more than 106,000 students study and there are 11 more “universities” pending for permission to operate soon.
There are also 521 felons in the prison from which 146 are Turkish citizens, 53 Turkish Cypriots, 230 are of Turkish origin (settlers) but with “TRNC citizenship” and 92 are from third countries.
KTOS also refers to a study dated in 2008 regarding the number of students in the breakaway regime, according to which 37% have Turkish citizen parents, 19% have parents who are “TRNC- Turkey citizens”, 9% has one parent who is Turkish Cypriot and other who is citizen of an EU-member country, 1% has parents from third countries and 34% have parents who are both Turkish Cypriots.
The general secretary of KTOS notes in the statement that in violation of the Geneva Treaty of 1949, the policy of the change of the political will with the systematic transfer of population from Turkey and the distribution of “citizenships” continue. He went on saying that no “official” is in a position to give the numbers of the population and added that the above mentioned figures from social life and education shows that the Turkish Cypriots are turning into minority in the “TRNC”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.18) reports that Tigin Kismir, chairman of the “Cyprus Turkish Touring and Automobile Association”, in a press conference yesterday, disagreed with the decision with which the Cyprus rally will not go through “north Nicosia” (the occupied part of Nicosia), adding that they could not understand the cancellation of the route.
He further argued that it was the most successful bi-communal organization, where the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots were working together for such a big international event.
Kismir further explained that the decision of the cancellation of the leg of the race in Nicosia that would have gone through the north city (the occupied part of Nicosia) because this rally route was also used during the “North Cyprus Rally” event between 1-3 June, was just an excuse. He added that this route was not the same route that would be used in the Cyprus rally.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-will-use-s-400s-if-necessary-erdogan-says-133164), Turkey will use the S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries it plans to acquire from Russia “if necessary”, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on June 11. “We will not just buy the S-400s and place them in a storehouse. We will use them if need be. This is a defence system. What are we going to do with it if not use this defence system? Are we going to depend on the U.S. again? When we have been demanding from them for years, the answer that has been given to us is: The [U.S.] Congress is not allowing. We are tired of this,” Erdogan said.
“Russia has responded to our offer with a pretty alluring offer. They said they would even get into a joint production. And with respect to loans, they have offered us pretty good loan terms. Right now, we are running this process as this”, Erdogan said.
He made the remarks during a joint live broadcast by private TV channels TGRT Haber, TVNET, Beyaz TV and Akit TV in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, HDN (11.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-military-launches-operation-on-pkk-in-sinjar-kandil-133121) reports that Turkey has launched military operations to eliminate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, targeting its headquarters in the Kandil Mountain region and in the Sinjar province of the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.
“Remember that I mentioned about Kandil and Sinjar in northern Iraq. We have launched operations against there. Fourteen important targets have been hit by 20 of our warplanes,” Erdogan said in a campaign rally in the Central Anatolian province of Niğde.
“Our warplanes returned to their bases after they hit [the PKK]. But it’s not over. Our objective is to drain the biggest swamp [of terror]. Kandil will no longer be a threat and source of terror,” he added. (…)
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/europe/over-mosque-closure-turkey-to-spurn-austrias-eu-helm/1171910), Turkey's EU Ministry will not visit Austria before or during its upcoming EU Presidency, in protest of its decision last week to shut down seven mosques, Turkey's EU Minister Omer Celik said on Monday.
Due to its decision, including the expulsion of 40 imams, Turkey will ignore Austria’s six-month turn at the EU helm, set to start on July 1, Omer Celik told news channel Haber Turk.
“The Austrian government is a bomb ready to explode for the future of Europe," Celik said of the decision.
Celik stressed: "Austria does not have an approach that represents EU values. In addition, Turkey will take serious steps against Austria’s decision."
Accusing Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz of adopting far-right rhetoric, Celik said: “He is not taken seriously in Europe. (…) There was a wish to normalize relations with Austria, but at this point, the Austrian Chancellor became a representative of Islamophobia and racism”.(…)
On the Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece, accused of involvement in the 2016 defeated coup by the Fetullah Terrorist Group (FETO), Celik said: "Greece has become a country that protects coup-plotters. These plotters are the enemies of Turkey. The protection of these coup-plotters is an issue which will always be remembered as a central point in Turkish-Greek relations". (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-to-head-to-beijing-for-working-visit-ministry-says-133124), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will pay a working visit to Beijing on June 14-15 upon the invitation of Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
“During the meetings, bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues will be discussed,” the Ministry said in a statement on June 11.
The Foreign Minister “will also meet business circles and members of the press in Beijing,” the statement added. (…)
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/kurdish-problem-to-be-solved-in-parliament-chp-presidential-candidate-says-133159), Turkey’s Kurdish problem should be solved in the Turkish Parliament, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce said on June 11.
Speaking at a packed rally in Diyarbakır ahead of the June 24 elections, İnce vowed to “end the fight between brothers” if elected. “I have not come here to fool you. Turkey has very serious problems”, İnce warned, citing the huge current account deficit and youth unemployment as leading concerns.
To solve these issues, İnce said he offers three “b’s”—barış (peace), büyüme (economic growth) and bölüşümde adalet (fair distribution of income).
The CHP presidential candidate then delved into the Kurdish issue, vowing to solve it “openly”.
“Let’s name it. Kurds want to be honoured and Turks have concerns. We will ease the Turks’ worries and honour the Kurds. No lies, no secret meetings. The place of the solution is the Turkish Grand National Assembly,” İnce said.
He claimed that while he uses the same rhetoric in every corner of Turkey, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “only wants votes and speaks differently in different cities”. As the crowd chanted “tamam” (enough [of Erdoğan]), İnce concluded his speech, noting that he would be “leaving Diyarbakır joyful” after his visit.
Meanwhile, HDN (11.06.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/chp-candidate-sues-president-erdogan-over-gulen-claim-133139) reports that Ince has filed a criminal complaint against Erdogan after the latter accused the CHP candidate of taking instructions from Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gülen.
“His [Erdoğan’s] statement cannot be regarded within the scope of expression of thought and his intention is clearly to insult and defame,” the official letter of complaint filed by İnce’s lawyer Mustafa Kemal Çiçek read on June 11.
İnce’s legal team demanded 100,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for non-pecuniary damages and for the court order to be published in five newspapers with the highest circulation rate. (…)
Furthermore, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also sued Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, demanding compensation from Soylu for accusing Kilicdaroglu of illegally acquiring revenue through CHP municipalities.
According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.06.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/economy/2018/06/11/turkish-economy-beats-expectations-registers-74-percent-gdp-growth-in-q1), Turkey's economy grew by a higher-than-expected 7.4% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, beating the market forecast of 7%, official statistics by the national statistical body said Monday.
Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) at current prices increased to around TL 792.69 billion (approximately $175.73 billion) in the first three months, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The figure follows 11.3% and 7.3% growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2017, while the growth rate was 7.4% throughout the year.
According to the calculations, the biggest contribution to the first quarter growth came from private consumption with 6.7 points, followed by total investments with 2.8 points and public consumption with 0.5 points.
Turkey's economy grew 7.4% in 2017 compared with the previous year. The GDP at current prices climbed to over TL 3.1 trillion last year, up 19% from 2016. (…)
Turkey continues to be one of the fastest growing countries in the world, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on his social media account. "Turkey's economy grew 7.4% in the first quarter of 2018. We are the first among OECD countries and second among G20 countries," he said. (…)
Columnist Abdulkadir Selvi, writing in Turkish Hurriyet newspaper (11.06.18, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/yazarlar/abdulkadir-selvi/secimle-ilgili-carpici-simulasyon-40863736), under the title “'Striking Electoral Simulation”, analyses the Kurdish vote whether HDP passes the threshold or not in the following commentary:
“International banking and financial institutions are carrying out analyses of Turkish elections for their subscribers. The work consists of two elements.
1. The presidential elections
2. The balance in the Assembly
The point these institutions are deliberating regarding the presidential election is whether the election will go to the second round or not. The analyses are not ruling out the second round and are also analysing the option whereby Erdogan wins in the first round. What is more, the emphasis is on the share of the vote he will receive. There is a balance close to the one on 16 April [referring to the outcome of the constitutional reform held in 2017]. The view is that Erdogan will increase his vote if a second round is to take place. The prediction is that the Kurdish electorate will vote for Erdogan in the second round. I have not seen any analysis that concludes that Erdogan may lose.
As for the balance that will take shape at the Assembly, more detailed simulations are being carried out. I would like to share their highlights without boring you too much, and without overwhelming you with the figures.
There are three significant factors that will influence the distribution of the Deputies.
1. The share of the vote the parties will receive.
2. Whether the HDP [Peoples' Democratic Party] will pass the electoral threshold or not.
3. The vote the political alliances will secure.
Since Turkey is going to the polls in an election involving alliances for the first time, the distribution of the vote will be done under ''the Nation's Alliance,'' ''The People's Alliance,'' and the HDP.
Will HDP Pass Threshold?
The share of the vote for the Nation's Alliance is between 37 and 55%. The range for the ''People's Alliance'' is kept between 30 and 48%. If the HDP fails to pass the threshold, the AKP will secure a strong majority at the Assembly even if its share of the vote declines. Is it then likely for the HDP not to pass the threshold? The risk remains, albeit to a lesser degree. However, as far as the assessments regarding the HDP are concerned, the prediction is based on the party passing the threshold. Individual assessments are being made on the basis of 10%, including 14%, and 5%. If the HDP passes the threshold, the AKP stands to lose the highest number of Deputies because the HDP and the AKP are the only parties in the area. In one or two places in the area, the Felicity Party [FP] and the Good Party are making their presence felt. In larger cities, it [not further specified] wins over seven or eight Deputies from the ''People's Alliance''. In the families who support the CHP [Republican People's Party], the votes are divided into the CHP and the HDP so that the latter can overcome the threshold. These families will vote for [CHP candidate] Muharrem Ince in the presidential elections but they share their votes between the CHP and the HDP in the parliamentary elections. HDP engineering is taking place within the families. In this situation, Muharrem Ince will get more votes, but the CHP's vote may not increase. This means there will be a gap between Ince and the CHP vote. If this division is reflected on the ballot box, it will work to CHP's disadvantage in Istanbul and Izmir. Had Muharrem Ince not been nominated, the CHP electorate's vote would have been shared between [Good Party Chair] Meral Aksener and the CHP candidate. Ince successfully changed the way the wind is blowing. If the HDP gets a share of the vote between 10 and 14%, it will secure at least 64 and at most 85 Deputies respectively.
Crucial Borderline for Government
The crucial border for the ''People's Alliance,'' which is made up of the CHP, the Good Party, the FP, and the DP [Democrat Party], is 38%. If the ''People's Alliance'' goes above 38%, the opposition will secure a strong distribution of the seats at the Assembly. What is being seen so far is that the opposition parties are getting votes from each other.
The crucial threshold for the ''nation's alliance,'' made up of the AKP and the MHP [Nationalist Movement Party], emerges as 45%. If the HDP overcomes the threshold with 10%, the ''Nation's Alliance'' then will maintain its majority with a small margin. However, if it goes below 45%, the opposition secures the majority. If the HDP achieves a share of the vote between 11 and 14%, this will stop the government from securing a majority. If the ''Nation's Alliance'' gets 47% of the vote, it will secure a majority at the Assembly by a tiny margin, even if the HDP gets 14% of the vote. However, when the HDP gets 14% and the government remains below 47%, the latter loses the majority.
This is how the calculations stand, but as we enter the final week, I suggest that we add to this equation the before Qandil [referring to the headquarters of the PKK, Kurdistan Workers' Party], and after Qandil option, too.”
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / AM)