Under the title “Surprising visit by Akdag”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.04.18) reports that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs Recep Akdag arrived in the occupied area of Cyprus last night. During his illegal visit, Akdag and his delegation are expected to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci, the “speaker” of the “assembly” Ulucay, “prime minister” Erhurman and “foreign minister” Ozersay. He will return to Ankara tonight.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (11.04.18, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/c35-KIBRIS_HABERLERI/n248041-akdag-niyetimiz-protokolun-ustunde-bir-calisma-ile-kisi-basi) reports that in statements before his meeting with Erhurman, Akdag said that their intention is to increase per capita income in the occupied area of Cyprus to 25 thousand dollars with the work which they will carry out regarding the “economic protocol”. “There is absolutely no obstacle for this not to happen”, he argued and added: “The important thing is the peoples’ tranquility and prosperity. God willing, we will evaluate the current conditions in the most productive manner. […]”
Akdag also said that he will try to visit the occupied area of Cyprus once a month.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will hold a meeting with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot parties that are represented at the “assembly” prior to his dinner with President Anastasiades on April 16.
The meeting with the parties will be held on Friday, April 13 at the “presidential palace”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.04.18) reports that Erkut Sahali, self-styled minister of agriculture and natural resources of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday in Ankara with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs Recep Akdag. In statements after the meeting, Akdag said that very soon “very big developments” will happen for the “TRNC people”, as he described the inhabitants of the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. He argued that his government has developed a “very fine mechanism” as a result and important indicator of their “very close relations” with the “TRNC” and added that he is happy with the fact that he has been assigned with the duty to follow the issues which concern the economic development and cooperation with the occupied area of Cyprus.
In his statement, Sahali described Turkey’s financial and technical support as extremely important for the prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots and added that as “government” they exert intensive efforts to fulfil their obligations deriving from the “inter-governmental agreements” signed with Turkey and to develop their relations.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.18) reports that Sahali met also with Turkish Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Ahmet Esref Fakibaba. After the meeting a “memorandum of understanding” on technical, scientific and economic cooperation was signed.
In his statements, Fakibaba underlined the importance for Turkey of the “TRNC” becoming stronger in the field of agriculture and added that with Sahali they discussed in detail how the agricultural ties between the two “countries” will be strengthened and what should be done. “We see daughter land Cyprus as a part of our country”, he alleged adding that “we have signed many joint projects and cooperation until today”. He claimed that the “memorandum of understanding” which they signed yesterday will further strengthen their cooperation in the field of agriculture.
Replying to Fakibaba, Sahali argued that agriculture is an extremely important economic activity from the point of view of the communities taking roots in their lands.
Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the “Cyprus health tourism congress” which participated in the World health, sport and alternative tourism congress fair, together with the “ministry of tourism and environment” announced that it signed a new “agreement” with 20 countries which offers to the breakaway regime the opportunity to gain 5 million euro.
The “congress’s” chairman Ahmet Savasan who participated in the two-day fair held contacts with more than 40 representatives from 20 countries, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.04.18) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled minister of economy in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that they are carrying out the necessary work regarding the increase of the value of the foreign exchange, but the “TRNC” economy can take only limited measures in front of this kind of developments. Speaking at the “assembly”, he noted that he could not say that the occupied area of Cyprus is an appropriate place for investments today and added that the environment for investments is not good and the “laws” do not have the dynamism of creating competition.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the value of sterling pound, dollar and euro reached record levels yesterday comparing to the Turkish lira (TL). One sterling pound reached 5.880 TL, one dollar 4.130 TL and one euro 5.150 TL. The paper notes that actually the foreign exchange is not going up, but the TL is the one which is “melting”. The paper argues:
“[…] It continuously falls. It melts! The money which you have in your pocket decreases and your debts in foreign exchange increase a little bit more every day! You are going bankrupt, you hit the bottom. The minimum conditions of living are continuously annihilated in the system in which the value of many things is estimated in foreign exchange! And you still insist leaving solution aside on this island and sit in Turkey’s arms. At the negotiating table you defend Turkey’s interests and not the interests of the community. If there is no solution for the foreign exchange, why are you sitting at these seats?”
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.18) reports that Dr. Ahmet Varis, chairman of Turkish Cypriot physicians trade union (TIP-IS), has warned that offering health services in the “public” sector might stop, if the appropriate timetable for health is not prepared and the personnel, infrastructure and “legal” deficiencies are not overcome. Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Varis referred to the branches which have closed down due to resignations submitted by doctors and added that nearly 300 doctors in the “public” hospitals examined around one million patients in 2017.
Recalling statements saying that the population in the occupied area is 300 thousand persons, Varis referred to the politicians and asked them the following: “How can we explain the fact that only in the public health centers the number of examinations is around one million?”
He said that the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that the time of examination should be 20 minutes for each patient and added that examining patients every 5-6 minutes is not acceptable in modern health systems.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the “deputy prime minister and foreign minister” Kudret Ozersay went to Jeddah, Qadar, after an official invitation by the General Secretary of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
According to a statement issued by the so-called “foreign ministry” Ozersay in the framework of his one-day visit, held contacts with OIC General Secretary Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen.
“Ozersay was escorted by Gulfem Vezisoglu Sevgili, director of the department of the foreign ministry for relations with the OIC, by Gunes Onar, director of political affairs of his office and by Cagri Kalfaoglu, who is second secretary at the foreign ministry”, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the “mayor” of the “municipality” of the occupied part of Lefkosia, Mehmet Harmanci will be attending the 21st Eurasian Economic Summit which is to take place in Istanbul tomorrow.
Harmanci will be attending the summit as a guest of the Marmara group foundation and will be delivering a speech.
Within the framework of his stay in Istanbul, Harmanci will meet with the Mayor of Kadikoy municipality in Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the President of Bosnia Herzegovina, Marinko Cavara and the President of Montenegro Filip Vujanovic will also deliver speeches during the summit writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the Turkish Cypriot teacher’s trade union (KTOS) has attended that annual general conference of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) which took place in Birmingham, UK.
Along with KTOS, trade union’s representatives from Iraq, Bahrein, Turkey, Portugal, the Netherlands, the USA, Germany, Ghana, Spain and other countries attended the conference. Also, more than 300 school representatives from several countries participated.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (11.04.18) reports that the occupation regime’s police academy has been “represented” in the 7th International Association of Police Academies Conference (INTERPA) which took place in Doha, Qatar. The 7th Annual INTERPA Conference was held on 2th-04th April of 2018 and was hosted by the Qatar Police College.
The main theme of the Conference was “New Trends in Combatting Terrorism and Extremism". The “police academy” of the occupation regime which is among the founding members of the Association, made a presentation during the conference.
INTERPA reached 72 member institutions from 56 different countries with new participations.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily news (10.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-refutes-russian-call-for-syrias-afrin-130097) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Russia’s stance on the future of Syria’s Afrin region, saying on April 10 that Ankara itself would decide the details of returning the area to the Syrian people.
“We know very well who we’ll hand Afrin to. First, let’s talk about handing over areas controlled by other countries in Syria to Syria,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara following a speech to his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers, dismissing comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“When the time comes, we will give Afrin to the people of Afrin personally, but the timing of this is up to us, we will determine it, not Mr. Lavrov,” he said.
Lavrov said on April 9 that the easiest way to normalize the situation in Afrin, which Turkey took from the hands of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) as part of the ongoing “Operation Olive Branch” was to put the area back under the control of the Syrian government, the Interfax news agency reported.
While Turkey is cooperating with both Russia and Iran to wind down some of the violence in Syria, Ankara has long demanded that President Bashar al-Assad must go. Assad’s main backers are Moscow and Tehran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had also said Afrin should be handed over to Syria’s army.
Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.18-https://aa.com.tr/en/economy/turkey-france-aim-for-20b-trade-volume-by-2019-end/1114169) reported that Turkey and France have set a bilateral trade volume target of €20 billion ($24.7 billion) by the end of 2019, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci told Anadolu Agency on Tuesday.
Zeybekci held bilateral meetings with his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire and Minister of State in the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, during his visit to Paris held under the scope of Turkey-France Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO).
"We have set the target of raising our trade volume, which was $14.7 billion at the end of 2017, to €20 billion ($24.7 billion) by the end of 2019 and we will work one by one for this," Zeybekci said.
He further said that issues regarding the Customs Union deal between Turkey and EU had been discussed during his meeting with Lemoyne.
Zeybekci said that both countries were like-minded on the deal. "We know very well that France also supports the Customs Union. We are pleased that France agrees with us and our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan," Zeybekci said and added: "It will take some time but we will see France's support in EU meetings and during the process [of the Customs Union] in the forthcoming months, we obtained a promise of this here."
Despite not being a member of EU, Turkey is a member of the Customs Union agreement since 1995.
He added that talks with the Minister would continue in June and in autumn.
Zeybekci said that cooperation between Turkey and France in other countries was also addressed.
"We spoke about Africa, Middle East regarding business opportunities, regarding trade and economy," Zeybekci said.
Turkey's export to France stood at nearly $6.6 billion while its import from the country was more than $8 billion in 2017, TurkStat data reveals.
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/iyi-party-felicity-party-democrat-party-to-form-natural-alliance-for-presidential-elections-130091) reported that the İYİ (Good) Party will be in a “natural alliance” with the Felicity Party (SP) and the Democrat Party (DP) for the second round of the presidential elections in 2019, Deputy leader Aytun Çıray has said, announcing that the İYİ Party leader Meral Aksener will run for President in the first round.
“As of today, we have formed an alliance on the basis of certain principles. There will be an alliance with the SP and the DP in the second round of the presidential election,” Cıray told daily Sözcü on April 8.
Turkey is preparing for three crucial elections set to take place in 2019, one of which will determine the future President and will pave way for a new executive system approved by the April 2017 referendum on Constitutional amendments.
Opposition parties have accelerated their efforts to determine their strategies for the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections, as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) have already announced an alliance for the presidential race.
Cıray said Aksener, a former MHP lawmaker, will run for President from their party, adding that they were not considering forming an alliance for the first round of the presidential race.
According to the new system, the candidate will have to gain 50% of the votes to win the presidential seat in the first round. But if none of the candidates obtain 50% in the first stage, the first two candidates receiving the highest votes in the first stage will compete in the second round.
“There is no doubt that Aksener will be our presidential candidate. We are also sure that we will pass to the second round. Surveys, public opinion polls and fieldworks being carried out are indicating that,” Cıray said.
He stated that opposition parties agree on common principles such as “sticking to the Constitution and the parliamentary system,” adding that there will be a “natural alliance” among those who believe in such principles in the second round.
(…)Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıcdaroglu announced that he will meet Aksener on April 12 along with CHP delegations.
Kilicdaroglu had earlier said that the CHP is not considering forming an alliance for the elections but will carry out meetings with other parties to “ensure poll safety.”
The CHP has criticized a new legislative package that paves way for pre-election alliances and stipulates changes in the elections law, while also calling on other opposition parties to form a “unity in principles.”
Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.04.18-http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/jail-sentence-for-hdp-deputy-burcu-celik-ozkan-stiffened-130062) reported that the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office has prepared a summary of proceedings against eight Deputies of the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) on the grounds of “insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish state, its army and police forces,” “acting against the law on political parties,” “making terror propaganda,” and “insulting the President.”
The summary of proceedings said that HDP Deputies Osman Baydemir, Alican Önlü, Feleknas Uca, Sibel Yiğitalp, Nadir Yıldırım, Dilek Öcalan, Mizgin Irgat, and Garo Paylan had “praised” the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Öcalan, in their speeches and publicly expressed condolences to the killed PKK militants, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on April 10.
The summary of proceedings, asking for the removal of the parliamentary immunities of the eight Deputies, have been sent to the Justice Ministry, the agency said.
In May 2016, the Turkish Parliament approved a law stripping its members of immunity from prosecution, which allowed prosecutors to pursue members of Parliament who face investigation.
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