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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-04-18

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] Statements by Lavrov and Davutoglu on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Russia and Turkey disagree on Syria and on Cyprus
  • [03] Parents' try to save Cyprus 'marriage': Bagis
  • [04] The breakaway regime seeks seat in regional economic organization
  • [05] The assistant secretary general of EIT Organization carried out several contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Elcil criticized Turkish Cypriot "officials'" using double standards on gold and health
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot columnists criticize the regime's stance on the issues of oil, gas and gold
  • [08] Israeli firm which invested in occupied Cyprus says it does not recommend to other foreign firms to invest there
  • [09] Another example of Turkish Cypriots' separatist policy
  • [10] The EU Information Centre in the occupied area of Cyprus suspended its activities
  • [11] Turkish Minister of Education paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [12] Controversial statements about the destruction of antiquities at the ancient city of Gastria
  • [13] Yildiz: Turkey to hold on to TANAP, Nabucco pipeline shares
  • [14] CHP deputy chairman resigns following intra-party row
  • [15] Turkey plans to lure back capital deposited abroad
  • [16] THY makes deal with Airbus


    [01] Statements by Lavrov and Davutoglu on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.04.13) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu has argued that Cyprus's natural resources belong to all Cypriots and added that finding or developing these natural resources constitutes a framework that offers an opportunity for a "new solution". In statements yesterday during a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, Davutoglu claimed that peace is encouraged in such situations when the sides concerned come together and show will to effectively use these resources.

    Responding to questions, the Russian Foreign Minister said that, as in the past, his country is committed to the principles determined by the UN Security Council on the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission. Noting that there is a serious financial crisis now in Cyprus, the Russian Minister said that his country is ready to contribute in the preparations for the quick resumption of the negotiations within the framework of the UN.

    He added: "On the issue of the hydrocarbon resources we say that the rules of the international law should be respected not only in the Mediterranean, but in the entire globe and that this should be based on principles within the framework of the Convention [on the Law] of the Sea of 1982. On the Cyprus issue, we support every kind of explorations for natural resources, provided that this is for the benefit of all Cypriots. The opposite could not be conceived".


    [02] Russia and Turkey disagree on Syria and on Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 18.04.13), under the title "Russia, Turkey split on eve of Syria rebel meet", reports, inter alia, the following:

    "Moscow and Ankara are still split on ending the two-year long Syrian crisis ahead of a meeting of the core group of the Friends of Syrian People on April 20 in Istanbul.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish side has urged Russia to put pressure on Greek Cyprus [Trans. Note: Republic of Cyprus] to resume negotiations with Turkish Cyprus [Trans. Note: the breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus] to find a solution to the island's division and act more carefully in its offshore oil and gas exploration activities, diplomatic sources told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    Speaking after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said yesterday the Friends of Syria grouping of Western and Arab countries, opposed to the rule of President Bashar al-Assad undermined dialogue.

    'Right now we see this process is making a negative contribution to the (Geneva) decisions,' Lavrov told reporters in Istanbul, along with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu, referring to a 2012 accord among world powers in Geneva aimed at solving the Syria conflict through talks involving all parties. Lavrov came to Istanbul to attend the third meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group, a sub-organ of the Turkish-Russian High Level Cooperation Council. Lavrov's comments came ahead of a Friends of Syrian People meeting in Istanbul to be attended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as well as several of his Western and Arab counterparts. Russia is not a member of Friends of Syria mechanism.


    For his part, Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey have been doing its best by using any methods to prevent humanitarian tragedy in Syria. 'Stopping the humanitarian crisis as soon as possible is important for us. We tried to convince [Syrian regime] with bilateral talks, with Arab League and also we carried out negotiations with Russia and Iran. Friends of Syrian People meeting, which brings together almost 100 countries across the world, is one of these mechanisms,' he said. Davutoglu underlined that developments in Syria have carried out safety risks for Turkey. 'Turkey became the most affected country from the two-year Syrian crisis and the slaughter that al-Assad conducts against its people,' he said.

    'Both Scud attack against cities on border and Syrian operations that violate our border and possible chaotic situation which will likely to happen after Syrian regime collapse produce security risk for Turkey,' he added.

    Top diplomats also discussed the mutual commercial and economic cooperation between Russia and Turkey and future steps to taken toward the goal of increasing the volume of bilateral trade to $100 billion as agreed. (?)"

    Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 18.04.13), under the title "Russia and Turkey agree to disagree on Syria", reports the following:

    "It is business as usual in the improving field of economy, but there is a lot to be ironed out in regional politics; that could be the best way to describe the current level of relations between Russia and Turkey.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had extensive talks with his Turkish host, Ahmet Davutoglu, in Istanbul yesterday, April 17, in the framework of the third Joint Strategic Planning group meetings.

    Russia is one of Turkey's leading trading partners with a volume of $26 billion last year. The mutual trade contributes much to Turkey's trade deficit, in the first rank, since Russia is Turkey's number-one gas exporter. The Turkish energy minister recently said more than a quarter of Turkey's electricity production is dependent on Russian natural gas.

    Davutoglu and Lavrov reiterated the target pronounced before by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, to have a volume of $100 billion in the next two years, an ambitious target actually. But Russia is going to build Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, an important $20 billion investment on Turkey's East Mediterranean coast, right across from the island of Cyprus actually.

    Cyprus is one of the issues where Turkey and Russia fall apart. As Turkey's European Union Minister Egemen Bagis joked yesterday, the 'parents', in this case Turkey, Greece and the U.K., have been trying to save the 'marriage' between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, who have actually had separate beds for decades. Russian investors have enjoyed financial benefits from the EU member Greek Cypriot government for decades as well. But as the dolce vita is over with the eurozone economic crisis, Russian money there is looking for other destinations to park.

    Another political problem, a much bigger one, between Turkey and Russia is Syria. Russia has strong nerves to stand by its major ally in the region (providing the only naval base to Moscow) as Bashar al-Assad jets have started to bomb even the suburbs of its capital, Damascus, now. Lavrov and Davutoglu apparently agree on yearning about the human loss that the Syrian people are suffering, but that is the least common denominator and without much meaning other than lip service. The two countries part deeply on Syria and remained so right before a major meeting on Syria that is the Friends of Syrian People meeting on April 20 in Istanbul. As if to underline their agreement to disagree, Davutoglu met with Moaz al-Hatib, the leader of the Syrian National Coalition yesterday, in the same Ciragan Palace by the Bosporus where he had the meeting with the Russian delegation.

    U.N. Security Council permanent member Russia knows that without the U.S. putting its weight into the Syrian civil war, because of concerns about the radical group al-Nusra, with its declared links with al-Qaeda, seizing power, al-Assad would like to keep his post. Ironically the interests of Iran and Israel converge with Russian and American ones there enabling al-Assad to keep his post no matter the human cost in the country is. Turkey, having a 910-kilometer border in between and a painful Kurdish problem on both sides of the border, has been trying to cope with the situation ? including a refugee problem ? almost alone for nearly two years now."

    [03] Parents' try to save Cyprus 'marriage': Bagis

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 18.04.13), under the above title, reports the following:

    "Turkish [Trans. Note: breakaway regime] and Greek Cyprus [Trans. Note: Republic of Cyprus] are a couple whose troubled marriage requires the intervention of their 'parents' ? Turkey, Greece and Britain ? if the bond is going to be saved, Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bagis has said.

    'They are like married couples. Turkey, Greece and Britain are like parents who want to save their marriage. Both sides in Cyprus should decide if their marriage will continue or not, just like adults. Whatever their decision is, we will respect this,' he said in an interview with Luxembourg's Wort newspaper.

    Bagis also denied the Cyprus issue would be an obstacle preventing Turkey's EU accession, given that it had not hampered Greece's EU membership in the past.

    'We should encourage both sides in Cyprus to find a solution together,' Bagis said in an interview with Luxemburg Wort newspaper.

    Bagis also criticized the EU's visa procedure toward Turkey. 'It has not been possible to solve the visa issue due to prejudices against our citizens. The only member country of which its citizens need a visa to enter the Schengen zone is Turkey. This issue can only be solved if prejudges are left aside,' he said.

    The EU minister, however, also emphasized Ankara's desire to join the bloc. 'Turkey's interest in the EU continues strongly. For us, the European Union is the biggest peace project of humanity. If states that fought each other for hundreds of years, such as Germany and France, could come together under the EU, then Turkey should also join this Union,' Bagis said, adding that Turkey had been waiting for 45 years to start negotiations to join the 27-member bloc."

    [04] The breakaway regime seeks seat in regional economic organization

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 17.04.13) reports, inter alia, the following:

    "TRNC [Trans. Note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] is seeking full membership in the regional Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), of which it has been an observer member since October 2012, in an effort to break the 'embargo' and 'isolation' it has been made to suffer for years.

    'We are pleased with the observer status, but our aim is to achieve full membership [in the ECO], KKTC President [Trans. Note: Turkish Cypriot leader] Dervis Eroglu said on Tuesday evening at the opening ceremony of the 1st ECO University Sports Games.

    Eroglu called on the international community to stop the 'unjust isolation' imposed on the 'TRNC', which is not recognized by any country other than Turkey. 'We don't want sports to be part of politics,' he said at the ceremony held in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    The fact that the ECO University Sports Games are being held in the 'TRNC' represents a major achievement for the 'TRNC', with the games being the first international sports event to be held in the 'country'. 'Northern Cyprus' is unable to participate in any international sports competitions or similar events.

    (?) Irsen Kucuk, 'prime minister of the TRNC', described ECO's decision to hold the event in Lefkosia both meaningful and courageous. 'It's a big step for the national teams -- even at the university level -- of five countries, all United Nations members, to be in the TRNC for the first time', Kucuk said.

    (?) The University Sports Games may be taken as a clear message to Greek Cypriots that a two-state solution is also on the table for the Turkish side. Turkish Youth and Sports Minister Suat Kilic also noted that the event is an important step for ending the isolation of the 'TRNC', a condition the Minister said was not at all in compliance with the values sports represent.

    Students from six of the member states of the ECO, namely Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, in addition to the 'TRNC' will compete in the four-day event, which will conclude on April 19. A total of 279 competitors from eight countries will participate in sporting events including athletics, swimming, gym-soccer (soccer played in a gymnasium), table tennis, badminton, tennis, chess and wrestling. (?)"

    [05] The assistant secretary general of EIT Organization carried out several contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (18.04.13) reports that the assistant secretary general of the Economic Cooperation Organization ((ECO) (EIT), Hayri Maraslioglu who is illegally visiting the occupied area of Cyprus within the framework of the 1st International University Olympic Games, carried out yesterday several contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Maraslioglu and a delegation from the Republic of Turkey met first with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.

    Speaking during the meeting, Eroglu said that Turkey is a strong country in the region and expressed the belief that the Turkish Cypriot's position at the EIT Organization will be improved.

    Referring to the 1st International University Olympic Games, Eroglu said that it is an honour for the occupation regime to organize them, especially taking into consideration that the "TRNC" a "country" which is not recognized and it is under "embargoes".

    In his turn, Maraslioglu said that the organization of the Olympic Games in the "TRNC" constitutes only the beginning of the cultural and economic cooperation between the "TRNC" and EIT. Stating that the occupation regime participates to the EIT meeting long times, Maraslioglu pointed out that with their participation as an "observer member", they achieved to have a more official representation.

    Maraslioglu met also with the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    Kucuk referred during the meeting to the strong ties between Turkey and the occupation regime and said that they were benefited a lot from Turkey's experiences on the economy, while Maraslioglu assured that they will give any kind of support to the "TRNC" against their struggle for the lifting of the "embargoes".

    Maraslioglu later met also with the so-called foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun. The latest informed him about the efforts the occupation regime exerts towards the lifting of the embargoes". Maraslioglu stated during the meeting that he felt pleasure over his visit to the "TRNC", adding that they will work in near future in order to boost their cooperation with the "TRNC".

    Maraslioglu met further with the so-called minister of finance Ersin Tatar.

    Tatar pointed out during the meeting that the "TRNC", as he called the occupation regime is an observer status at the EIT Organization and added that the organization of the sport games in the "TRNC" by this organization is extremely important as he said.

    Maraslioglu said during the meeting that the member countries of the EIT Organization will strengthen their ties with the occupation regime in the future.

    Lastly, Maraslioglu met with the so-called minister of economy and energy, Sunat Atun.

    Atun pointed out during the meeting that the occupation regime cannot export to the global markets its products because of the "embargoes", as he said, and stressed the need for the "embargoes" to be lifted.

    Stating that "motherland Turkey", as he called Turkey, is a leader country in the region, Atun said that the political influence of Turkey could benefit a lot for the solution of the Cyprus problem, as well as to the strengthening of the economic and political status of the "TRNC".

    ***Translators Note: [EIT that is the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Economic Cooperation Organization is an intergovernmental regional organization, established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Member States.

    ECO is the successor organization of Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) which remained in existence since 1964 up to 1979.

    In 1992, the Organization was expanded to include seven new members, namely: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.

    More information about the ECO Organization can be found at the website:]


    [06] Elcil criticized Turkish Cypriot "officials'" using double standards on gold and health

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.04.13) reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) Senel Elcil, criticized the self-styled officials in the breakaway regime who reacted to the information that because of the economic crisis, the Republic of Cyprus plans on selling gold reserves that exist in the Central Bank of Cyprus, but did not say anything when the free health services towards the Turkish Cypriots were ended.

    Elcil, said that no one reacted on the health issue, but when rumors were circulated about the gold selling, everyone remembered that the Republic of Cyprus is a common state. He said that when the Republic of Cyprus announced that the Turkish Cypriot must pay fees in hospitals, the "officials" said that "our hospitals are enough to offer health services". However, when the issue came to gold they said that "we have also rights to the gold of the Republic".

    Elcil, however, also criticized the decision for charging the Turkish Cypriots for the health services they receive, noting that free education and free health services are a state's obligations.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot columnists criticize the regime's stance on the issues of oil, gas and gold

    Under the title "The 'rights are ours', whose are the usurpations?" Turkish Cypriot columnist Cenk Mutluyakali reports the following in daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.04.13):

    "We do not forget at all our rights in the 'Republic of Cyprus'. Very well, what about our 'duties'? That is, the 'properties' in the south for example are ours and the properties in the north are also ours? Is that so?

    The 'gold' is ours, it is our 'right' from the Republic of Cyprus (!) Then, why we have 'left it and went away'? And actually, there is the 'Treaty of Guarantee' from which we give no concessions. Whose is its 'content'?

    Article one of the Republic of Cyprus's Treaty of Guarantee says: '?The Republic of Cyprus is committed not to join fully or partially any state or any political or financial union. Therefore, it forbids any kind of act which would encourage directly or indirectly the union with any other state or the division of the island?'

    'Whatever suits us' are our rights in the 'Republic of Cyprus'. We could ignore whatever does not suit us, in the end!

    The passport is ours, the identity card is ours. The health service is ours! Really, what will happen with the 'properties' on which we have 'settled' and distribute them as if they belonged to our father? Are they also our rights from the 'Republic of Cyprus' or they are our usurpations? The oil is ours! The gas is ours! The gold is ours! Very well, whose is the 'division'?

    We started referring more and more to our rights deriving from the 'Republic of Cyprus'. Very well. What have we done with our duties? What have we done with our struggle to enter into 'the international law', which the entire world would accept? I wonder, has the target for a 'United Cyprus' been abandoned? Let them give us our gold, our natural gas, our oil. Let them give us our identity card, our passport. And let us remain alone with our 'division'! Let the best university, lyceum teams and clubs from Turkey go and play their matches in the south, within the framework of our rights in the 'Republic of Cyprus' actually (!) And let second class [teams] come to us and let us rejoice that 'we have broken the embargoes'!"

    Meanwhile, in its main editorial today (18.04.13) Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper also refers to the reactions of the Turkish Cypriot side on the same issues. Under the title "Who are we?" the paper reports, inter alia, the following:

    "The Greek Cypriot side has found the solution for overcoming a serious bend in the economic crisis by selling 14 tons of gold purchased in 1960 and kept in the Central Bank. As soon as a statement was issued on this matter, our side became a 'Superman'! ?

    Since our negotiator, the president of the Republic wants a share from the gold, he should bring up the issue on the agenda when he goes to the negotiating table. Let us see, what reply he will get? Will Anastasiades tell him, perhaps by wringing his hands, that 'then come and fill your places in the parliament? What will happen, if he tells him this? Or what will happen, if he asks about the situation we have turned Varosha into?

    Let jokes aside, it is possible for us to say that we struggle desperately within a complete lack of policy. On the one hand you will say that the TRNC is an independent state and on the other you will participate in the negotiations and say that 'not agreeing is also an agreement' and above all as soon as you see a 'pie with honey' you will say 'we also have a share'.

    It is as if in this side we live within a rule of law deriving from the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and we abide by this and we want a share from the gold as well! It is as if we are not the side which exploited the Greek Cypriot properties to the bone! ?"


    [08] Israeli firm which invested in occupied Cyprus says it does not recommend to other foreign firms to invest there

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.04.13) reports that Itai Stadler the deputy chairman of the engineering body of the TAHAL Israeli desalination firm which is located in occupied Voukolida village confirmed that due to malfunctions the factory does not give water to the regions, however he made strong accusations against the self-styled government accusing it for not paying the firm for two years now for the services the company offers.

    Stadler who said that the company spent millions of dollars to build the desalination company said that the negligence and the behavior of the "government" astonishes the company which chose the breakaway regime to invest and said that they will not recommend to other countries to invest to occupied Cyprus.

    [09] Another example of Turkish Cypriots' separatist policy

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.04.13) reports that the representatives of the Turkish Cypriots, who participate in meetings in Brussels, have reacted to the decision of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus that they should fly to Brussels through legal ports of the Republic of Cyprus as it is Larnaca airport.

    Reacting to this decision, the Turkish Cypriot NGOs have decided to fly with their own means to Brussels in order to participate in the meetings in Brussels from the illegal airport of Tymbou.

    Dr Erhan Ercin, "head of the EU Coordination Centre", commenting on this decision, said that it violates the EU law. He added that the EU citizens cannot be compelled from where they will fly. He also said that he supports the decision of the Turkish Cypriot NGOs to travel to Brussels with their own money via the illegal airport of Tymbou.

    [10] The EU Information Centre in the occupied area of Cyprus suspended its activities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (18.04.13) reports that the EU Information Centre which has opened in the occupied area of Cyprus in 2009 and provided services to the Turkish Cypriots under the sponsorship of the EU Financial Aid Program, has suspended its activities as of yesterday, writes the paper.

    According to the paper, the EU Information Centre chairman Kudret Akay whose contract expires, has given a reception last night during which he expressed his sorrow over the fact that the Center will suspend its activities after four years of functioning.

    Speaking also during the reception, Alessandra Viezzer, the Representative of the Office of the European Commission in Cyprus thanked Akay for the successful services he provided to the Turkish Cypriots and said that the Information Center will go into action again although there will be a short suspension of its activities.

    Also, Mrs. Beatrice Vecchionic, charge d'affairs at the Embassy of Italy in Cyprus, has also attended the reception, writes the paper.


    [11] Turkish Minister of Education paid an illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (17.04.13), Turkey's Minister for National Education Nabi Avci paid an illegal visit on Wednesday to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, his first overseas visit since coming to duty.

    Turkish Minister Nabi Avci met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday morning. The so-called minister for national education youth and sports Mutlu Atasayan, the so-called Turkish ambassador to the occupied part of Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca and ERoglu's undersecretary Hasan Gungor were also present during the meeting.

    Making a short speech, Eroglu pointed to the importance of dialogue between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the field of education and added that they were always in sincere dialogue on the issue.

    Avci, for his part, said that he was aware of the importance the "TRNC" gave to the education sector and expressed the belief that cooperation between the "TRNC" and Turkey will continue to develop in this field.

    Avci later met with the "TRNC assembly speaker" Hasan Bozer, who pointed to the importance of education and added that through education the "country" could reach to a better position.

    Kucuk welcomed the Turkish Minister and pointed to the importance of further developing relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime.

    He also added that Turkey's support to Turkish Cypriots' national cause further strengthened the hand of Turkish Cypriots at the negotiating table.

    Avci then held a meeting with the so-called minister of education Mutlu Atasayan.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.04.13) reports that Turkish Minister of National Education Nabi Avci came together with students and teachers in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and talked about the Fatih Project.

    During a meeting with Kucuk, Avci said that they want to share the experiences on, enhance and enrich the Fatih Project and added: "The relationship between Turkey and the TRNC will increase. In this relation education will constitute an important place."

    The Fatih Project is a "Movement to Increase Opportunities and Technology" of the Turkish government which seeks to integrate state-of-the-art computer technology into Turkey's public education system.

    [12] Controversial statements about the destruction of antiquities at the ancient city of Gastria

    Under the title: "No 'trust' in statements made", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.04.13) reports that the journalist of the paper, Aysu Basri Akter has discussed the issue of the destruction of antiquities at the ancient city of Gastria in her program broadcast by Genc TV.

    The paper writes that after the superficial statement made by the so-called ministry of tourism the other day, that no destruction was made to the antiquities at the ancient city of Gastria, Tuncer Bagiskan, expert archeologist who participate to the program, has stated that all kind of works that will take place at the region will pose a risk for the region and he accused the "administration board" of the "immovable antiquities and monuments department" for partisanship and lack of confidence.

    Meanwhile, speaking during the program, Dogan Sahir, chairman of the "Green Peace Movement", said that Gastria region is a valuable region and a protected area, adding that any kind of works in the region poses the region under a great risk. Sahir added that the fact that petrol installations are found there constitutes a threat for the whole region.

    Also, Yeni Duzen writes that after visiting K-Pet Company installations at Gastria region, the chairman of the "administration board" of K-Pet Company, Okan Haciali, has stated that no destruction was made to the area because of the works which are taking place there for the increase of the capacity of the storages. He went on and said that after launching their works in the area, they first taken a preliminary license for weed cleaning and added that if there will be any complaint, the "governor" should ask them to suspend their works.


    [13] Yildiz: Turkey to hold on to TANAP, Nabucco pipeline shares

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 17.04.13), under the above title, reports, inter alia, the following:

    "Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on Wednesday stressed the importance of Ankara's stake in two Caspian gas pipelines, telling the press that it would ensure the country's role as an energy corridor for Europe.

    The Minister said that Turkey's state oil firms, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and the Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS), would maintain their existing 20% stake in the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline project (TANAP), words which come amid a selloff of some of the remaining 80% of shares by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). Various international news outlets this month reported that SOCAR would sell a 29% stake in the field to Norwegian oil firm Statoil, as well as international oil giants BP and Total. 'We plan to keep the second largest stake in the TANAP project,' Yildiz said during the press conference.

    The shakeup in ownership in the TANAP pipeline also comes as a major stakeholder dropped out of the parallel Nabucco pipeline on Sunday. This week German utility company RWE sold its stake in Nabucco, turning over its 17% share of the project to Austrian energy company OMV. Yildiz said that Ankara's oil companies would also maintain their existing stakes in that project, which is shared with firms in Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

    The two pipelines, which link Turkey and Europe to large reserves of natural gas in the Caucasus, are considered essential for reducing the dominance of Russia in Turkey and Europe's gas trade. The Minister has also said the pipelines will make energy-poor Turkey into an energy hub for greater Europe. 'Turkey will be both the country benefitting the most from this and the country helping other nations the most,' he said.

    TANAP, which is expected to be completed in 2018, is projected to have a capacity of around 16 billion cubic meters a year. Ankara says around 6 billion will be consumed by Turkey, while the rest will be sent to Europe.

    Yildiz also said more domestic energy reserves might be tapped in Turkey's Southeast should Ankara successfully conclude its three-decade-long conflict with Kurdish terrorists.

    'Energy investment will be one of the things most radically changed by the settlement process [with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)],' the Minister told a gathering of journalists on Wednesday, highlighting the reserves of natural gas and shale gas revealed by government-funded surveys of the country's far Southeast. 'Hopefully these reserves will be better explored if, God willing, the settlement process is successful,' he added, referring to talks aimed at a disarmament and withdrawal of the terrorist PKK group."

    Moreover, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 18.04.13), under the title "KRG pipeline for international export to be 'finished'", reports that tThe Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is on track to finish the pipeline in the third quarter, linking Genel Energy's Taq Taq oilfield with an existing Iraq-Turkey crude pipeline, according to four Turkey-based industry sources.

    Turkey has given the green light to the plan, under which oil from Taq Taq will enter the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline at Fishkhabur pumping station near the Turkish border, from where it will flow directly to Turkey's southern port of Ceyhan for shipping to international markets, the sources said.

    The move will help Kurdistan significantly increase its oil exports but could upset the Iraqi central government, which sees independent exports from the north as illegal and says growing trade between the KRG and Turkey threatens to split Iraq.

    [14] CHP deputy chairman resigns following intra-party row

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (17.04.13) with the above title reports that Gulseren Onanc, a deputy chairwoman of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), has resigned after mounting criticism within the party against her pro-settlement statements concerning the government's ongoing peace efforts seeking a political and peaceful solution to the decades-old Kurdish conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands.

    Onanc recently said 65% of CHP supporters endorse the ongoing settlement process, a statement that clearly contradicts the official position of the main opposition party, whose chairman, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, regularly criticizes the government over its policies concerning the Kurdish issue.

    How Onanc's resignation will affect the party in the days to come remains unknown.

    [15] Turkey plans to lure back capital deposited abroad

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 18.04.13) reports the following:

    "Finance Ministry is working on a new cash repatriation law to bring Turkish citizens' assets abroad to the country as main opposition party, CHP, claims that it will facilitate money laundering.

    Turkey's Finance Ministry is working on a new cash repatriation regulation to draw back $130 billion worth of citizens' money abroad amid the country's increasing lustre in the world, Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has said.

    A cash repatriation law designed to bring assets home came into force in 2008 during the beginnings of the global economic crisis, Babacan said, but added that a similar could be considered once more.

    'When we enacted the first one, there was an economic crisis in the world. Turkey had not yet become prominent. Cash repatriation will be more effective in this period [thanks to Turkey's greater prominence in world affairs],' Babacan said during a visit to Atlanta on April 16.

    Under the 2008 cash repatriation law, a 2% tax was applied on assets coming in from abroad, together with a 5% tax on assets in the country, Babacan said, adding that they were now working on a new tax rate. Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek confirmed yesterday that they had started work on the cash repatriation law under the direction of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    But main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) General Vice President Faik Oztrak, who opposes the cash repatriation, said in a written statement yesterday that the new law would facilitate money laundering.

    'Will the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] make peace with those who mix fair and unfair money?' Oztrak said, musing whether it was one of the conditions of the negotiations between Erdogan and jailed outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    'As Parliament made a law on preventing money laundering in February, will it make a new law to launder money now?' he said, questioning whether it would be possible to determine which money came from drug trafficking, bribery, the arms trade or terrorism.

    The cash repatriation law came into force in 2008 with the aim of 'creating resources for investments that can resolve production, employment and inflation issues, maintain economic revival, provide financial resources to overcome the global economic crisis with minimum damage and reinforce enterprises' capital structures.

    According to the law, real and corporate person's financial instruments (money, exchange, gold and other capital market instruments) abroad and property abroad will be declared and registered and repatriated to the national economy. Instruments in the country that are not listed as equity capital by enterprises must also be declared and used as capital in order to reinforce the capital structure.

    More than $50 billion of the total registered assets abroad worth $130 billion is traded on the Unites States Treasury securities, said Babacan, who visited the U.S. with a delegation of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) for Turkey Investment Week. Babacan said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had 3 million members, adding that Turkey needed to draw the attention of U.S. business leaders.

    The deputy prime minister also said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce planned to bring a procurement committee to Turkey. 'U.S. investors that have $3 trillion are looking to make foreign investments. We'd like to take a share of these investments.'"

    [16] THY makes deal with Airbus

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.04.13), Turkish Airlines (THY) on Wednesday signed an agreement with Airbus to add 117 more planes to its fleet.

    Turkish Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek, Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Binali Yildirim, THY Chairman of Board Hamdi Topcu, CEO of THY Temel Kotil and President and Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Fabrice Bregier were present at the signing ceremony held in Istanbul.

    European-made 117 planes will be added to the fleet of THY by the end of 2020, with the agreement signed. Number of planes in the THY fleet will reach 375 by the end of 2020 and the average fleet age which is currently 6.6 will be reduced to five with the

    Turkish Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek delivered a speech at the signing ceremony where he stated that the THY Airbus cooperation was an important turning point. "THY is a success story not only in Europe but also in the world despite the global economic crisis. I believe, the cooperation of THY and Airbus will pave way for developing Turkish civil aviation as well as aircraft industry," Simsek said.

    Also speaking at the signing ceremony, President of Airbus Fabrice Bregier stressed that the THY would be among the top 10 airlines of the world soon.

    THY Chairman of Board, Hamdi Topcu underlined that it was their aim to be one of the world's best 10 airlines. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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