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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-12-30

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 244/13 28-30.12.13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: the crisis in Turkey will not influence the negotiating process in Cyprus
  • [02] Eroglu: if there is no solution in Cyprus until April, we will make new assessment and ask Turkey to support our decision
  • [03] Tension escalates within the CTP-DP "coalition government"
  • [04] DP and UBP have reportedly agreed to cooperate, if the CTP-DP "coalition government" collapsed
  • [05] Talat: Single sovereignty and single citizenship have been already accepted by Turkish Cypriots
  • [06] Ozyigit: the UN parameters should be taken into consideration in the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [07] The minimum wage of the breakaway regime is 1.560 TL
  • [08] Erdogan: We're not done yet; Main opposition says Erdogan is a "gang leader"
  • [09] Cavusoglu raps Fule for remarks on graft scandal
  • [10] Davutoglu calls on Gulen Movement for dialogue
  • [11] Gold at centre of corruption, money laundering allegations hitting Turkish gov't

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu: the crisis in Turkey will not influence the negotiating process in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.12.13) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the recent crisis in Turkey will not influence the negotiating process in Cyprus. In statements to Turkish Cihan news agency, Eroglu said that they will not accept any "excessive demands" that will be possibly submitted by the Greek Cypriots due to their encouragement by Turkey's internal problems.

    "Turkey has transferred these problems to justice. I think that this internal problem will soon be solved through the government in Turkey giving a chance to justice's neutrality", he argued claiming that "the Cyprus problem has not been influenced by the recent developments experienced in Turkey".

    Eroglu said that the UN Secretary-General will submit a report on Cyprus to the Security Council in January and added that during a telephone conversation he had held with Ban Ki-moon, he asked him to be objective in this report. He alleged that usually the UN Secretary-General is not objective in his reports on Cyprus and tries to keep the balances because "they are afraid of facing the Russian veto" at the Security Council.

    Eroglu reiterated the allegation that no joint declaration is needed for the resumption of the Cyprus talks and noted that when he was "elected" he sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General expressing the commitment to continue the negotiations from the point they had been left. "Instead of giving this commitment, the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades has brought up the joint declaration drollery. This issue has been turned into a drollery now. The UN should exert pressure on the Greek Cypriots to put an end to this drollery", he alleged.

    When he was reminded of the complaint submitted last week to the UN by the Republic of Cyprus on the grounds that the Turkish Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha vessel was holding seismic explorations in the Mediterranean violating Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, Eroglu confirmed that the vessel held seismic explorations and argued: "Turkey continues holding seismic exploration in the Mediterranean. This issue is not a secret".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu: If there is no solution in Cyprus until April, we will make new assessment and ask Turkey to support our decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (30.12.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has argued that 2013 was not a good year for the Turkish Cypriots, that the expectations of the "people" from the "government" have not been materialized and that they are entering into 2014 disappointed.

    In statements to Diyalog's general publishing director, Resat Akar, Eroglu argued that in order for the "coalition government" to continue its existence, the big "partner" should take into consideration the small "partner". Referring to the issue of the temporary employees in the "government" who have become a point of disagreement between the "coalition partners", Eroglu said: "The people who were employed have committed no crime. If we are looking for someone who has committed a crime, we have to put emphasis on those who employed them". Eroglu argued that it is the Republican Turkish Party's (CTP) "great duty" to continue the life of the "government".

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Eroglu alleged that their first target for 2014 is a referendum regarding the solution of the problem and added that this should be held in March or April. "If this is not realized, we have to make a new evaluation and take some decisions. Afterwards we will go and ask Turkey's support", he said.

    Eroglu noted that intensive contacts will continue during the forthcoming days and "if the Greek Cypriot side sits at the table with us, we will do whatever we can for materializing the solution".

    Eroglu criticized those who relate the solution of the economic problems with the solution of the Cyprus problem and argued: "I do not think that this is right. South Cyprus [Translator's note: this is how he describes the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus], Greece, Spain and many other countries are facing economic problems in spite of the fact that they are EU members. It is not correct to say that the economic problems will cease to exist if there is a solution".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Tension escalates within the CTP-DP "coalition government"

    Under the title "Tense day", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.12.13) reports that Republican Turkish Party (CTP) reacted to a statement made yesterday by the chairman of the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) and self-styled deputy prime minister, Serdar Denktas who said that he might end the "coalition government", if the 366 temporary employees hired during the National Unity Party's (UBP) period were fired.

    Ozkan Yorgancioglu, self-styled prime minister, issued a written statement yesterday noting that the solution to the problem would be for these temporary employees to take an exam together with other candidates and to be hired if they pass. "Any other practice except this will help neither in easing the public conscience nor in increasing productivity in the public sector", he argued.

    Yorgancioglu said that "breaking out in noisy arguments" regarding some employments which "have not positive influence on the necessity of the public sector to offer services" is tantamount to "political exploitation".

    Meanwhile, the general secretary of the CTP, Kutlay Erk stated yesterday that the contracts of these 366 persons will not be renewed when they end. "The decision announced by the prime minister on this issue will be implemented. We will not make a step backwards".

    DP-UG's general secretary, Bangu Sonya said yesterday that the employments were "legal" and referring to Denkrtas noted that the party has taken no decision in the direction of leaving the "coalition government" because of these employments.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] DP and UBP have reportedly agreed to cooperate, if the CTP-DP "coalition government" collapses

    Under the title "5+5", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.12.13) reports that if the "government" crisis is not over by today, the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) self-styled coalition government is almost ready.

    According to the paper, the DP-UG and UBP agreed on principle to share the "ministries" by taking five each, in case the DP- Republican Turkish Party (CTP) "coalition government" collapses, because of the issue of the 366 temporary employees hired during the UBP period.

    Citing reliable sources, the paper writes that the meetings between DP and UBP have been held since Thursday and during these meetings the two parties discussed the issue of holding the "prime minister's office" in rotation of two years each.

    The biggest support to a possible UBP-DP "coalition" is reportedly being offered by their so-called mayors, who believe that such cooperation will facilitate their "re-election".

    The two parties reach the number of 26 "MPs" together, as DP-UG has 14 "seats" at the "assembly" and the UBP 12. However, as 26 is considered to be "critical number", they are reportedly thinking of transferring an "MP" from another party in order to reach 27 "seats".

    DP's chairman Serdar Denktas is expected to meet with CTP's chairman Yorgancioglu today.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Talat: Single sovereignty and single citizenship have been already accepted by the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.12.13) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in an interview to a TV programme, asked to comment on the relations between Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and self-styled minister of foreign affairs Ozdil Nami, said that there are no doubts for Nami's intention for solution, however, Eroglu's stance creates doubts.

    Noting that normally the "foreign minister" don't take part in the negotiation process of the Cyprus problem, Talat claimed that Nami is a special situation and with his experience on the Cyprus talks, with his vision for solution, his participation at the negotiation process will create a highly positive impact in internal and external affairs.

    Referring to the joint statement, Talat said that the issue of a single sovereignty and a single citizenship, which was included in the Annan plan, was accepted by the Turkish Cypriots. He added that in case that this was said by the first day, there would not be any problem for the joint statement.

    [06] Ozyigit: The UN parameters should be taken into consideration in the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (30.12.13) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy party (TDP), has said that his party wants the UN parameters to be taken into consideration in the solution of the Cyprus problem. In an interview with illegal TAK news agency, Ozyigit, noted that a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation should be established in Cyprus and argued:

    "Recently we are seeing that the dominant mentality on both sides is trying to impose on the other what it has in the back of its mind. We think that sincerity is needed. Our wish is the realization of the principles of a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship and the powers which are not determined and transferred to be sovereignly used by the founding states. In our view, in the structure to be established both sides should have autonomous structures. The security forces should be established depended on the central authority in a manner by which they could carry out control and supervision. With arrangements made after the establishment of the federal structure, no permission should be given to the separatists creating a basis to be organized. It should be guaranteed that the structure to be established is not divided".

    Referring to the issue of the joint declaration, Ozyigit said that the TDP does not support the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, but it supports the document submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side to the Greek Cypriot side through the UN.

    Ozyigit said that since 1974 the "administrators" in the occupied area of Cyprus are used to establishing good relations with Turkey and to getting instructions, instead of "trying to get hold of the administration". He added that they have transferred the will of the Turkish Cypriot community to the governments in Ankara and succumbed to the impositions coming from there. He argued that in case the TDP comes to "power", it will reject the economic packages [which come from Ankara].

    However, he went on saying that the TDP attaches importance to their relations with Turkey. "TRNC and Turkey have inseparable ties, but these relations should be reshaped at an equal level on the basis of mutual respect", he argued. He alleged that the "TRNC" should prepare its own views and proposals for a socioeconomic structure that could stand on its own feed and, if needed, it should be ready to discuss with Turkey, the EU, the UN or other international organizations the program it has prepared.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The minimum wage in the breakaway regime is 1.560 TL

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.12.13) reported that self-styled minister of labour and social security Aziz Gurpinar announced that the minimum wage in "TRNC" (transl. note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) has increased from 1.415 TL to 1.560 TL. The decision will take effect as of 1st of January 2014. (1 euro equals 2.944 TL)

    [08] Erdogan: We're not done yet; Main opposition says Erdogan is a "gang leader"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 29.12.13) reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has amped up the volume of his vitriolic attacks amid a graft scandal that has rocked the government firing more salvos at a prosecutor who was controversially removed from duty for carrying out a new corruption case.

    "We will expose them if they cause this country's division by abusing their power. How is this, prosecutor? Hold on, we are not done yet. You distribute statements in front of the courtroom. What prosecutor comes out onto the street to distribute statements?" Erdogan rhetorically asked prosecutor Muammer Akkas during a mass opening ceremony in Manisa's Akhisar district on Dec. 29.

    Akkas denounced "pressures" on the judiciary last week after police refused to carry out arrest orders against 41 suspects prior to his removal from the case by the head of Istanbul Prosecutor's Office. The investigation he was working on was reportedly bigger than the first graft probe that has shaken the government and included many prominent businessmen, including the executives of companies that form part of the consortium that won the tender to build Istanbul's controversial third airport.

    Erdogan also said the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would not permit any corruption. "Even if it's our father's son or our child, we will not give any room to corruption."

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 29.12.13), under the title "Main opposition leader says Erdogan is a 'gang leader'", reported that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Sunday continued to criticize the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government due to its alleged involvement in corruption, saying Prime Minister Erdogan's Cabinet is a "criminal gang."

    "Just as he said 'there are gangs within the state,' I told him to convene the Cabinet and see the gang. If you look in the mirror you will see the gang leader," Kilicdaroglu told Erdogan. He also said if there is a gang within the state as Erdogan claims, he wonders why the Prime Minister has not taken any action against it over the past 11 years when it was in power.

    Kilicdaroglu said that for the first time in the history of the Turkish Republic, a Prime Minister is defending those involved in corruption and it is impossible to call someone who defends "thieves" as the prime minister.

    Moreover, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of trying to cover up a recent graft probe in which four government Ministers are also involved.

    Maintaining that Erdogan is extremely afraid that Ministers and bureaucrats will be tried in court for corruption, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli said at a party meeting on Sunday that "those in power are disrupting a fair trial [of those accused of corruption]."

    Bahceli lashed out at Erdogan, saying, "He is putting obstacles before prosecutors [investigating the corruption probe], preventing the police from carrying out their duty."

    According to the MHP leader, Erdogan was trying to cover up the corruption in government when he recently said, in relation to the graft probe, that the government was now leading a war of independence against some foreign powers. "How in the world could covering up corruption be presented as a war of independence?" the MHP leader demanded to know. "The prime minister claimed, without shame, that there is no corruption and bribery [within the government], but that claims voiced by representatives of the 'interest rate lobby' and 'gangs' are just slander aimed at stopping Turkey from getting stronger," Bahceli added.

    [09] Cavusoglu raps Fule for remarks on graft scandal

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 29.12.13) reported that newly appointed Turkish Minister responsible for European Union affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule for his recent comments regarding the highly publicized corruption case.

    "We expect our European friends not to make pre-judgment statements when it comes to commenting about Turkey's domestic politics," Cavusoglu said, according to Turkish TV network NTV.

    Cavusoglu also added that Turkey firmly believes in the "rule of law," signalling that the Turkish government will secure the independence of the judiciary during the investigation period. He added that Turkey is sincerely committed to its obligations arising from the EU acquis and the principle of the rule of law.

    "I invite our European friends to avoid bias and maintain equanimity when commenting on domestic developments in Turkey which also have political dimensions," Cavusoglu said, adding that there should be no doubt that Turkey will overcome this challenging process through the guidance of democracy and the fundamental principles of law.

    "On this occasion, I would like to reiterate the importance of opening Chapters 23 and 24 to negotiations without delay, as indicated in the European Commission's 2013 Progress Report on Turkey," the Minister stated.

    [10] Davutoglu calls on Gulen Movement for a dialogue

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 29.12.13) reported that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, delivering constructive messages to move away from political crisis over the graft probe, has invited the Fetullah Gulen movement to engage in "dialogue and a strategic look toward the horizon".

    "We should build dialogue, instead of physical barriers," Davutoglu said on Dec. 29 in a televised interview, "There is a way out of this crisis, let's have dialogue... That is why Erdogan invited Gulen to Turkey".

    Davutoglu assured that his government was determined to be a strict follower of allegations of corruption and bribery.

    "The issue has turned into something other than corruption and has taken a dimension of revenge as I see on the face of the prosecutor that was delivering the statement," the Minister noted referring to the prosecutors of a recent graft probe, who are said to be close to the Gulen Movement. "Reading a statement does not suit a prosecutor," he said, adding that the judicial system should be purified from all sorts of feelings of revenge.

    The recent political crisis between the government and Gulen movement has reached a point which would "please those who are uncomfortable with Turkey", the Minister said.

    In the international arena, some circles conducted "psychological operations" during the last two years, which were more intense over the past year, against him with "demonizing" tactics launched to smear the government. Those circles tried to paint him as a warmonger, because the government was against an "oppressor" in Syria, Davutoglu said.

    Some circles in the international arena preferred Turkey's "static" foreign policy of the 90's, which was "merely involved in nearby crises" such as Cyprus, he said, noting that now the country had advanced its influence in the world.

    [11] Gold at centre of corruption, money laundering allegations hitting Turkish gov't

    Journalist Mustafa Sonmez, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 28.12.13), with the above title, reported that corruption operations that topped Turkey's agenda and caused Ministers' resignations are continuing with focus on gold.

    The operations, encompassing three different investigations, including land planning frauds, the exploitation of public assets and else, but for now the most striking allegations that horrified the public are the ones including "gold," briberies paid over it and Minister's sons accused of receiving those briberies...

    Gold has become the main subject of "money laundering" claims since recognizing Turkey's bullion gold trade's boom since 2011. Turkey exported $1.5-billion worth of gold, while importing $6.2-billion gold in 2011, but the export explosion came in 2012 and reached $13.3 billion in one year. The country's import was $7.6 billion that year. In 2013, import came to the forefront again and reached $13 billion. What was happening, why did gold trade burst?

    Turkey could not pay for the natural gas it buys from Iran in foreign exchange due to U.S. sanctions on banks. So, how could it return the money? A way to bypass sanctions was found: Iran was going to be paid in Turkish Liras and then the country would use those liras to buy gold in Turkey, which would look like Turkey is exporting gold to Iran. Since there are not billions of dollars' worth of gold bullion in Turkey, it needed to be imported from Switzerland. An intermediate station was also found to avoid the U.S.' rage and that was the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A part of the gold looked like it was exported from Turkey to the UAE and was transferred to Iran's accounts. In the same way, gold was imported from the UAE.

    Overall, Turkey's gold exports within the past four years, between 2010 and 2013, have amounted to $27 billion and its imports have appeared to be $18 billion. Some $8 billion of the exports seem to be exported to Iran, while exports to the UAE also constitutes $6 billion, which can also be regarded as going to Iran. Therefore, $15 billion of Iranian natural gas was paid for in this way. Most of this gold was procured by Switzerland, while a small part has been brought by Dubai. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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