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Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review-15-17.09.18

 

No. 179/18                                                                                                        

Contents

 A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci to meet UNSG on the 29th of September in NY; Akinci claims that he has no intention of waiting for another 50 years for a solution

2. Turkish ships are in readiness in Eastern Mediterranean

3. Ozyigit says that applications in “public” schools increased by 20%

4. Fake real estate agents in the breakaway regime

5. The so-called council of ministers “allows foreigners to buy immovable property” in the occupied area of Cyprus

6. The bell of a church in occupied Filia village which is used as a mosque is stolen

7. Sefik: “The police did not perform its duty during the attack against Afrika newspaper”

8. “A trade deficit of 647 million dollars in the first seven months of 2018”

 

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan says that they will increase their military presence in Cyprus

2. Erdogan-Putin meeting as last opportunity to prevent humanitarian tragedy in Idlib

3. Turkey’s unemployment rate remained constant at 10.2% in June

4. Turkey deploys large military convoy to Syria as Idlib offensive looms

 

A. Turkish Cypriot Press

1. Akinci to meet UNSG on the 29th of September in NY; Akinci claims that he has no intention of waiting for another 50 years for a solution

According to illegal Bayrak (17.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=akinci-receives-bozkir), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in a meeting withthe Head of the Foreign Relations Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Volkan Bozkır, claimed that he has no intention of waiting for another 50 years for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem and therefore since Crans-Montana he has voiced on several occasions that the Turkish Cypriot side will not take part in open ended, bottomless, non-result orientated talks.

Bozkir, for his part, noted that he was paying his first “official visit” to the occupied area of Cyprus after coming into office. He argued that Turkey was determined to assist and aid the “TRNC” in overcoming all of its problems.

Touching upon the Crans-Montana process, Bozkir claimed that after the process had ended, uncertainty and disappointment became prominent and alleged: “The Greek Cypriot side had made it clear that they were playing for time and were trying to turn the Turkish Cypriots into a minority and make them a part of the so called Republic of Cyprus and place them there with a minority status”.

He claimed that as Turkey they would never allow for such a thing to take place and added that Turkey supported a bi-communal, bi-zonal solution based on political equality being found. “We will never allow for impositions or for the process to be extended” Bozkir argued and claimed that the UN Secretary General also did not want a process that was not result orientated to take place.

Touching upon the efforts that are taking place for the transfer of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, Bozkir argued that most of the workings are unacceptable and that the only way to proceed forward is for the gas to be transferred via Turkey. “We are being patient and they too will find the right path” Bozkir added.

He alleged that the EU is confused and is experiencing problems with racist governments and therefore Turkey will wait and be patient.

Akinci, for his part, argued that the United Nations also wanted to see an outcome at the Cyprus talks and added that the solution process was not a means anymore but becoming a part of the problems itself. “The UNPeace Forces had come to the island in 1964 for three months. They have now started questioning how much longer they are going to stay here”, Akinci claimed.

He noted that the Turkish Cypriots had approved of the 2004 Annan plan but had remained outside of the EU whereas the Greek Cypriots had rejected the plan and had become an official member. “This is unjust and not fair” Akinci argued.

Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side will never accept becoming a minority on the island, Akinci argued that in the 1960 agreement the Turkish Cypriots were not a minority but on the contrary were the joint partners of the newly established state.

Touching upon the issue of natural gas, Akinci argued that with the development of Turkey’s relations in the region this will pave the way for natural gas to be transferred easily from the eastern Mediterranean. Noting that an agreement was signed between Israel and Greece yesterday for the transfer of natural gas, Akinci claimed that not only was it expensive but it was a very long route. He expressed the hope that common sense will prevail and cooperation with Turkey will be sought for the transfer of natural resources.

Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak (15.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=development-expected-on-cyprus-issue), Akinci, who will be leaving for New York on the 25th of September is expected to meet with the UN Secretary General on the 29th.  He will also be holding other bilateral meetings and contacts in New York on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly.

The Secretary General’s Special Representative Elizabeth Spehar who will be meeting with the two leaders separately ahead of New York is expected to come together with Akinci on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Akinci will also be meeting with the leaders of the 4 parties in the “coalition government” to consult with them before heading off to New York.

Furthermore, “BRT” (17.09.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=2018-2019-judicial-year) broadcast that Akinci, addressing today the new judicial year, referred also to the meeting that will take place in New York next week on the Cyprus issue, Akinci argued that the Turkish Cypriot side has not given up on its belief that a solution can be found. He added: “We will continue our efforts, hopefully this will be reciprocated and new steps will be taken”.

2. Turkish ships are in readiness in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli newspaper (17.09.18) reports  that Turkey, which is getting ready to make its appearance in Eastern Mediterranean in autumn with “Fatih” drill ship is keeping its naval forces in readiness  in case of  creations of “fait accompli” in the region.

According to the paper, many Turkish war ships are patrolling  in Eastern Mediterranean and they are trained for war, adding that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) published photos from these drills of the war ships  in the TAF account in Instagram.

According to the paper, in the photos published the training of the SAT commandos’ team with Seahawk helicopters is shown. In addition, photos with other wars ships, frigates and submarines were published in the same account in Instagram, aiming to show the strength and the power of the Turkish army, the paper writes.

(CS)

3. Ozyigit says that applications in “public” schools increased by 20% 

Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.09.18) newspaper reported that Cemal Ozyigit, self-styled minister of education in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the applications for registering in the “public” schools in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus increased by 20% this year. Speaking on the occasion of the beginning of the new school year, Ozyigit noted that this increase derives from “the new population which has come” and “the escape from the private schools”.

He noted that on the one hand they hire labor force and on the other the number of unemployed young people increases. Young people are migrating, he added admitting that “we could not plan education correctly”.

Referring to the issue of teaching religion in schools, Ozyigit said that the lesson of religion will be compulsory in primary schools and elective in the lyceums. He added that those who do not want to join the religious classes in gymnasiums will be able to take another lesson.

Commenting on the issue, columnist Ozgun Kutalmis in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.09.18) reports that this 20% increase in the “public” schools derives from the increase in the population. He argues that the increase because of the fact that students from private schools applied to “public” schools due to the economic crisis is only 1-2%. “Because according to statements by the administrators of the private schools, there has been no decrease in the number of students in the private schools”, he notes adding that there is only one explanation of the 20% increase: It derives from the increase in the number of the students from Turkey. 

(I/Ts.)

4. Fake real estate agents in the breakaway regime

Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.09.18) reports that Hasan Sungur, chairman of the “Turkish Cypriot real estate agents' union”,  warned that there are many false real estate agents ın the market, adding that big frauds against foreigners  who want to invest in the breakaway regime are taking place.

Speaking to Kibris, Sungur said that due to the fact that the locals realized that  they cannot buy a house using English sterling, since they are paid in Turkish Lira, foreign investors appeared in the market, especially Arabs and Russians,  who want to invest in real estate in the breakaway regime. “This situation led to the beginning of a special fraud against these people”, Sungur said adding that the foreign investors will soon realize that they were victims of a fraud, and this will harm badly the “TRNC”. He also stated that the non-registered real estate agents are hurting the business and said that only in occupied Famagusta and the occupied part of Lefkosia there are 100 non-registered real estate agents.

(CS)

5. The so-called council of ministers “allows foreigners to buy immovable property” in the occupied area of Cyprus

Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.09.18) publishes a commentary by columnist Cenk Diler who refers to the latest “decisions” of the so-called council of ministers in the occupied area of Cyprus, which were published in the “official gazette” of the occupation regime.

According to Diler, the so-called council of ministers provided “permissions to 30 foreigners to buy immovable property” in the “TRNC”, while at the same time, it has decided for amendments to take place in the “immovable property permission granted to five other foreigners” who already bought “property” in the occupation regime.

(AK)

 

6. The bell of a church in occupied Filia village which is used as a mosque is stolen

Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (16.09.18) reports that two persons stole the bell of the church in occupied Filia village which is used as a mosque.

According to the paper, the two suspects of the case, Dundar Salderay and Mucahit Ozmen, who were brought in front of a “court”, are accused of stealing the 250 kilos bell last  August after finding out that 2,50 kilos of gold is included in the material that the bell is made.

Salderay saıd that they were hopıng to sell the bell in the free areas of the Republic, aiming to get 50,000 Euro.  

7. Sefik: “The police did not perform its duty during the attack against Afrika newspaper”

Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.09.18) under the above front-page title, reported on statements by Narin Ferdi Sefik, “chairperson” of the “supreme court” in the occupied area of Cyprus, who in statements during a program broadcast by illegal BRT, condemned the so-called police in the occupied area of Cyprus for not performing it’s duties during the attack against Afrika newspaper, which took place last January.

Speaking during the program, Sefik said the following: “We have all witnessed that the police did not perform its duties during the incidents occurred against Afrika newspaper. Among the police’s duties is to prevent run riots. When there is an outburst the police should carry out its duties. It should use force on a limited scale. Neither the use of globs, nor the use of pepper gas is an acceptable behavior”.

(AK)

 

8. “A trade deficit of 647 million dollars in the first seven months of 2018”

Under the title “A trade deficit of 647 million dollars in seven months”, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.09.18) reports that according to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), there is an increase in the counter trade between Turkey and the “TRNC”. In the first seven months of 2018, the “exports of TRNC” to Turkey were 51 million 210 thousand dollar with a 11,39% increase, compared to 45 million 736 thousand dollar in the same period in 2017.

The “imports of TRNC” from Turkey were 697 million 973 thousand dollar with a 24% increase, compared to 562 million 762 thousand dollar in the same period in 2017.

According to the paper, in 2018 the bilateral trade between the “TRNC” and Turkey has continued to increase in favour of Turkey. During the period January-July 2018, “TRNC’s exports” to Turkey increased by 11.39%, while imports from Turkey increased by 24.03%. This development was a reason to the increase in the trade deficit of the “TRNC”.

The following table is the trade outlook wwithin the last 10 years between Turkey and “TRNC”:

Years (Jan-July)

Imports from Turkey (million $)

Exports to Turkey (million $)

Trade volume

Turkey-“TRNC” ($)

Trade deficit of “TRNC” ($)

2009

398.503

29.668

428.171

-368.835

2010

547.157

37.936

585.093

-509.221

2011

606.381

58.034

664.415

-548.347

2012

562.985

54.231

617.216

-508.754

2013

616.590

43.482

660.072

-573.108

2014

668.452

55.529

723.981

-612.923

2015

572.894

53.690

626.584

-519.204

2016

495.832

44.970

540.802

-450.862

2017

562.762

45.736

608.498

-517.026

2018

697.973

50.946

748.919

-647.027

 

(DPs)

  

B. Turkish Press

1. Erdogan says that they will increase their military presence in Cyprus 

Turkish daily Yeni Şafak newspaper 17.09.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/gundem/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-kktcye-us-kurabiliriz-3396105) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that Turkey will increase its military presence in Cyprus and it also may establish a naval base. Under the title “President Erdogan: We may establish a base in the TRNC”, the paper writes that during his return flight from Azerbaijan Erdogan responded to a question regarding a so-called allegation published in the “western press” that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) want to establish a permanent naval base in the occupied northern part of Cyprus. Reportedly Erdogan stated:

Our presence there is important. They say we should reduce the number of our troops there! Excuse me, but we will not reduce the number of our troops, we will increase it. And if we feel the need, we may establish a base.

They do not listen. If they listened, we would have solved this case with Kofi Annan. What they have promised in the referendum and what they did? We said yes and they said no. They took them in the EU and left us outside. We will announce the recipe which we will implement there from now on”.

Meanwhile, Turkish daily Yeni Akit newspaper (17.09.18, https://www.yeniakit.com.tr/haber/cumhurbaskani-erdogan-mesaji-verdi-us-kurabiliriz-517661.html) refers to the same statements under the title “President Erdogan has given the message! We may establish a naval base”. The paper writes that Erdogan said, inter alia, the following: “We do not have a problem as regards a base in the TRNC. Reaching there from our lands, reaching Eastern Mediterranean is a matter of minutes. Greece, however, has not such proximity. There is only the psychological aspect of this issue. From this point of view, if we feel the need, we may establish a base. […]” 

Turkish Hürriyet Daily News (17.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-increase-troops-in-turkish-cyprus-136917) refers to the issue under the title “Turkey to increase troops in Turkish Cyprus” and reports that Erdogan said that Turkey does not have plans to establish a military base in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus but the Turkish Armed Forces will increase its deployment of troops there”. “We do not need to establish a base there”, he argued, “the issue is about psychology and Turkey will take such a step if needed in psychological terms”.

(I/Ts.)

2. Erdogan-Putin meeting as last opportunity to prevent humanitarian tragedy in Idlib

Under the above title, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.09.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/09/17/erdogan-putin-meeting-last-opportunity-to-prevent-humanitarian-tragedy-in-idlib) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to members of the Turkish press accompanying him during his visit to Azerbaijan, said yesterday that he expects his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, to be held today in Sochi, to have important positive outcomes regarding the prevention of a humanitarian tragedy in Idlib, northern Syria.  He added: "The outcome of our meeting with Mr Putin will be important. I will also have visits to the United Nations General Assembly and Germany toward the end of the month. It is my wish that, with positive decisions made at these meetings, we will carry out the situation [in Idlib] to a new level".

(…)

Erdogan  is expected to attend the 73rd session of the U.N. General Assembly, which will begin on Sept. 18. He is also scheduled to pay an official visit to Germany on Sept. 28-29, where he is expected to meet his German counterpart Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss bilateral and regional issues. (…)

"Turkey bears the political and humanitarian burden of the situation. There are already 3.5 million refugees in our country. If a new refugee influx takes places, Turkey will be the place people will come to and seek refuge," Erdogan said. He added that Turkey has already taken measures to face the refugee wave, including steps taken in Syria as well. (…)

Commenting on Putin's approach to the Tehran summit, Erdogan noted that Russian President's stance for a solution was positive. "I hope he will continue the positive stance also going forward," Erdogan said, adding that Ankara seeks to eliminate terror groups which have infiltrated into the moderate opposition in Idlib. (…)

Referring also to his upcoming visit to Germany, Erdogan noted that it will be an opportunity to discuss bilateral diplomatic and economic relations, as well as regional matters. "We will discuss bilateral relations with Germany in all areas, including political, military, economic and trade. [The] fight against terrorism will also be one of the issues [to discuss]," Erdogan said. He added that Berlin, similar to Ankara, takes the fight against terrorism seriously.

"I hope that the visit to Germany after a long time will contribute positively to the period ahead. I am hopeful. I felt this also during phone talks, be it with the German President or be it with the Chancellor," Erdogan said. He added that Finance and Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak will also hold a meeting with his German counterpart and that meetings between the Turkish delegation and German companies will also be held as part of the agenda of his visit.

 

3. Turkey’s unemployment rate remained constant at 10.2% in June

According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.09.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-unemployment-rate-remained-constant-at-10-2-pct-in-june-136925), Turkey’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.2% in June from the same month of 2017, the country’s statistical authority announced on Sept. 17. Thus, the unemployment rate increased to double digits again after falling to 9.7% in May.

Official data showed that seasonally unemployment rate was 10.9% with a 0.3% point increase in June.

The number of unemployed persons aged 15 years and over rose by around 64,000 on a yearly basis, totalling some 3.3 million in June. “In the same period, the non-agricultural unemployment rate occurred as 12.1%, with a 0.1% point decrease,” the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said.

“While the youth unemployment rate, including persons aged 15-24, was 19.4% with a 1.2% point decrease, the unemployment rate for persons aged 15-64 occurred as 10.4% without any change,” it added. (…)

The employment rate occurred as 48.4% with a 0.4% point increase.

4. Turkey deploys large military convoy to Syria as Idlib offensive looms

Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (17.09.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/world/turkey-deploys-large-military-convoy-to-syria-as-idlib-offensive-looms-3441259) reports that as warplanes of the Assad regime and Russia have been viciously attacking the last opposition-held stronghold of Syria’s Idlib since Sept. 4, Turkey ramped up its military deployment in northern Syria against a looming offensive in the region early on Sunday morning.

A military convoy consisting of 50 vehicles, including tanks and heavy artillery to provide fire support, arrived in Idlib's southwestern town of Jisr al-Shughur where regime forces first began their attacks on the province’s countryside.

The Turkish army’s eleventh observation point is located in the Eshtabraq village of Jisr al-Shughur. Another strategic aspect of the Jisr al-Shungur town in the region where Assad forces made a massive military build-up when they first signalled an Idlib offensive. Under the Astana agreement, Turkish forces are present at 12 points from Idlib's north to south. (…)

 

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TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

(DPs/ AM)