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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-02-17

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. 32/14 15-17.02.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Ozersay: The visits to Athens and Ankara will be held on 27 February
  • [02] Davutoglu describes the joint declaration as a big diplomatic success
  • [03] Davutoglu: EU's 'principled attitude' vital in Cyprus talks
  • [04] Nami is going to Brussels for contacts
  • [05] Nami does not accept Ozersay's capacity as negotiator of the Turkish side; He describes the occupied closed city of Varosha as risky issue at the first stage of the negotiations
  • [06] Eroglu, Nami and Talat on the resumption of the Cyprus talks
  • [07] Eroglu evaluated the joint statement
  • [08] Harmanc?: Varosha issue, Famagusta port and Tymbou airport should be a part of a comprehensive solution
  • [09] UN's Ban Ki-moon plans high-level engagement for the Cypriot talks
  • [10] Turkish ambassador to Athens: Gas reserves key for Cyprus resolution
  • [11] Sibel participates in the 9th Parliamentary Union Conference of the OIC in Tehran
  • [12] Thirty-four civil society organizations expressed their gratitude to Erdogan for his efforts in the breakaway regime
  • [13] The breakaway regime participated in the "BIT Milano-2014" tourism fair
  • [14] 185 passengers arrived in the occupied Ercan airport with a charter flight from Helsinki
  • [15] Turkish Parliament approves controversial bill on judicial body

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Ozersay: The visits to Athens and Ankara will be held on 27 February

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.02.14) reports that Kudret Ozersay, the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side in the Cyprus talks, has said that the visits of the negotiators of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities to Athens and Ankara respectively will be held on 27 February.

    In statements to Kibris, Ozersay noted that Turkey and Greece have consulted with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and agreed on the above-mentioned date for holding the visits of the negotiators. He said that the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot community, Andreas Mavroyiannis will meet with the Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry and he will meet with the Undersecretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.02.14) broadcast that Ozersay, evaluating his meeting with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Mavroyannis on Friday, said that the meeting had been conducted in a cordial atmosphere and that they had discussed on how to proceed with the talks.

    Reminding that the joint statement notes the leaders' determination to resume structured negotiations in a results-oriented manner, Ozersay said: "We as the Turkish Cypriot side informed our collocutor what we thought structured negotiations meant and put forward out proposals which take place in three steps. During out next meeting the Greek Cypriot side will respond to our proposal."

    Explaining that they had come to an agreement in principle to meet twice a week Ozersay said that this was necessary adding that if accepted they could carry out more meetings during the week.

    Noting that they also put forward a proposal regarding the leaders meeting and are waiting for a response, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator said that the negotiators' next meeting is scheduled for the 19th of February.

    On the same issue, under the title "Turkish, Greek Cypriot negotiators to visit Athens, Ankara", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.02.14) reported that Osman Ertug, Turkish Cypriot leader's special advisor and spokesperson, told Today's Zaman on Friday about the planned visits by the two negotiators to Ankara and Athens, that "this is a historic development."

    "Such unprecedented visits will build confidence and create a better atmosphere for the Cyprus peace talks," Ertug added.

    Ertug stressed that the Turkish Cypriots will have the opportunity to express their views directly to the Greek government and in turn listen to their thoughts, rather than communicating through reports. Greek Cypriots will also be able to do the same in Turkey, he said.

    Responding to a question on whether he is hopeful for the peace talks in Cyprus, Ertug stated: "Let's say I am cautiously optimistic. There is a positive atmosphere and the significant support of international powers, Turkey and Greece. I do not want to draw too rosy a picture to ensure that we do not become disappointed. But we are certainly more hopeful than before the start of the talks."

    Ertug has told Sunday's Zaman (online, 16.02.14) that Turkey supports the reconciliation talks to resolve the conflict on the island, adding that the "TRNC" (Editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) also shares this enthusiasm.

    Mehmet Hasguler, a professor of international relations at Canakkale University who focuses on the Cyprus dispute, said Turkey is promoting accelerated talks over the island since this would contribute to its foreign relations.

    In remarks to Sunday's Zaman, Hasguler said that with an attempt to resolve the Cyprus issue, Turkey may accelerate its accession negotiations to become a member of the EU.

    He also noted that a solution in Cyprus would strengthen relations between Turkey and Israel which are critical due to a natural gas dispute involving Cyprus.

    Commenting on Anastasiades' remarks in his latest press conference, Ertug told Sunday's Zaman that he hopes Anastasiades will not maintain the same attitude during the next peace talks between the two sides. "His comments on the joint statement [during his address to Greek Cypriots] are one-sided and treat the Turkish Cypriots like a group of secondary importance," said Ertug.

    [02] Davutoglu describes the joint declaration as a big diplomatic success

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.02.14) reported that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu has described the joint declaration as a "very important diplomatic success". In statements on a television program in Turkey, Davutoglu argued that Turkey and the "TRNC", the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, are stronger than ever since the "cause of Cyprus" started.

    Davutoglu said that during the past 4-5 months, a "determined and very effective diplomacy" was carried out and for three months they have been working on the text of the joint declaration. He noted that they gathered all the officials in Cyprus [Translator's note: in the occupied area of the island] at Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's office and during a working dinner, the "government" and the "opposition" parties all fully agreed once more on the issue of which the fundamental parameters in that text should be.

    He went on and alleged: "This is a very important diplomatic success. For the first time all sides in the TRNC agreed on these parameters? During my meetings with my interlocutor the Greek Foreign Minister I have ever since said 'let us go together to the island, if we will bring peace. I am ready to go to the south. Let us have lunch in the south together or breakfast. Afterwards let us have dinner in the north together. Then let us meet all together in the middle wherever they want and have coffee. So that they see that Turkey and Greece have decided together to solve this?"

    Asked whether there are some points on which concessions have been given in comparison to the Annan Plan, Davutoglu replied, inter alia, the following: "In this manner a foggy cloud is created. What concessions have been given comparing to 2004? What happened? ? Everybody is praising Turkey because of Cyprus. They are praising the Turkish Republic? If EU's chapters 23 and 24 are substantial, this text is the complete substance of the 40-year long Cyprus negotiations, including the plan of 2004. Turkey and the TRNC are stronger than ever since the Cyprus cause have started".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Davutoglu: EU's 'principled attitude' vital in Cyprus talks

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.02.14), the European Union (EU) should take a just, principled and determined stance in the Cyprus issue and not favour the Greek Cypriot administration (editor's note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus) during the ongoing peace talks just because it is a member country, Turkey's Foreign Minister said Friday, in a joint press conference with his Dutch counterpart Frans Timmermans in Ankara.

    Davutoglu said there is a positive momentum which is very promising in terms of reaching a comprehensive settlement of the longstanding problem in Cyprus, adding: "Now it is time to construct a building out of this momentum. (?) A Cyprus in peace should be established".

    Davutoglu also called on the EU not to favour any side during the negotiation process. He said it would be a mistake if the EU chooses to favour the Greek side just because it is an EU member.

    He stressed that both Turkish and Greek sides sit around the negotiation table on equal terms.

    Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans also commended the leadership that all parties showed for the adoption of a joint communique. "I have seen strong political willingness to create some dynamics, which is a very necessary development in our joint future," he said.

    He said a resolution to the Cyprus conflict will bring economic advantages to the whole region.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.14), under the title "Netherlands will welcome Turkey as an EU member state, Dutch FM says", reported that opening negotiation on chapters 23 and 24 with the European Union will engage Turkey in the debate over the rule of law, visiting Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans has said.

    Timmermans voiced his personal support for opening the chapters but said his government and Parliament would have the final word on the issue.

    "The Netherlands will be one, once negotiations have finished, who gladly welcome Turkey among the EU member states. It's only fair that the process that started with the intention of making Turkey a member of the EU should lead to its membership if we can conclude the negotiations in a positive way," the Dutch minister said.

    "At some stage, Turkey will have to end its negotiations with the EU and Turkey will then make the choice whether to become a member of the EU," he said.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, for his part, expressed Turkey's expectation of support from the Netherlands on the opening of negotiation Chapters 23 and 24, along with support for new rounds of talks for the reunification of Cyprus.

    [04] Nami is going to Brussels for contacts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (17.02.14) reports that self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami is going to Brussels on 17th February, to make presentations at the European Policy Center and at the European Union Socialist Group meeting. The meeting will take place at the European Parliament Nami where will also have "official contacts".

    He will be accompanied by the "ministry private secretary" Huseyin Ozel and the "coordinator of the EU coordination center" Erhan Ercin.

    [05] Nami does not accept Ozersay's capacity as negotiator of the Turkish side; He describes the occupied closed city of Varosha as risky issue at the first stage of the negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (16.02.14) reported that before even the negotiations start, the debate as regards who will be carrying out the negotiations is getting harder. In statements to the paper, the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Ozdil Nami said that he "does not adopt the capacity of the negotiator" of the Turkish Cypriot side which is attributed to Kurd?et Ozersay. He noted: "We do not adopt the capacity of 'negotiator' attributed to these special representatives. They are there on behalf of the leaders".

    Nami argued that the "allegations" that the new negotiating process is controlled by international actors are not correct and added that the joint declaration completely belongs to the Cypriots and it was not prepared by the Americans or the UN.

    Nami referred to the return of the occupied closed city of Varsoha to its legal owners and claimed that this issue is a "risky approach" during the first stage of the commencement of the negotiations. He recalled that Varosha is an issue of territory.

    Meanwhile, in statements to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (17.02.14), Nami replied to those who criticize him for holding many contacts on the Cyprus problem. He argued that he is holding these contacts within a "legal framework" and added that many "authorities" are related to the Cyprus problem. "What we call Turkish side is not only the president of the republic", he noted.

    Nami criticized the fact that the two community leaders did not determine how often they will be meeting within the framework of the Cyprus talks and argued that saying that the leaders would meet when it is regarded to be necessary "is not in harmony to a disciplined, good structured negotiating format".

    Nami argued that the leaders are distanced from the negotiating table and added that "we do not find this structure to be sound". "We do not see it as an approach which will produce results", he noted arguing that the Turkish Cypriot leader and President Anastasiades should closely interfere in the issue.

    Moreover, in an interview with Turkish Cypriot Realist newspaper (16.02.14), Nami said that there is a team which is visible at the buffer zone in the negotiations and various intensive processes will be happening in the preparation of the documents and the formation of the perceptions in centres which will influence the process. "We as foreign ministry will be in the focal point of these", he added.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Eroglu, Nami and Talat on the resumption of the Cyprus talks

    Columnist Yusuf Kanli, in Turkish daily Hurrieyt Daily News (online, 17.02.14) under the title "Skepticism over talks' success in northern Cyprus", talked separately with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, self-styled minister of foreign affairs Ozdil Nami and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the resumption of the Cyprus talks and wrote the following:

    "Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu was unsure whether he was happy or not with the resumption of the Cyprus peace-making diplomacy with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades. 'Give me some time, after few meetings I will make a decision over whether I should have hope [for the success of the process]', he said. Yet, Eroglu was confident that whatever he agrees upon would receive the support of his people.

    Talking with the Hurriyet Daily News during a luncheon at his office in the northern half of the divided Nicosia, Eroglu underlined that he wanted to have a deal with the Greek Cypriot side by March or April. But after so much skidding on a joint text demanded by the Greek Cypriot leader for the resumption of the process, he was now unsure. 'We could have finished the job [the negotiations] this way or the other within three months. Now that we have been praised so much by American President Barrack Obama, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others, they will not let us [say we have failed] ? I am sure we will be forced to stay in the process.'

    Why is American involvement so important? According to Eroglu, Americans have vital interests in the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East. 'The Americans are not here for either mine or the Greek's black eyebrows and eyes [a Turkish proverb, meaning affection]. Large states have interests and their interests always come before the interests of smaller states. It is unfortunate, but true. A settlement in Cyprus will have results bigger than Cyprus itself?'

    The island's offshore hydrocarbon riches, as well as the political situation in the entire region were elements dictating an end to the more than half-century-old Cyprus problem. Joking, Eroglu said the interests of the big powers will make it difficult to say 'We failed'. Yet, he said he fully agreed with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu that the Cyprus problem ought to be resolved 'this way or the other'. Everyone knows what 'this way' is, but what about 'the other' or Plan B? Eroglu was tight-lipped on the issue, saying nothing lasts forever and the Cyprus talks should come to an end as well.

    But would he accept under duress the sort of a Greek dominated resolution he has been battling all along against. 'No way', the grey haired president said, stressing he was sure an overwhelming majority of his people would say 'yes' to a deal in simultaneous referenda on a settlement plan. But, he said, he would never ever agree to anything that fell short of the fundamental demands and expectations of his people. 'Whatever text I agree on, my people will accept it. I am acting with the awareness and responsibility of this', he said.

    Saying that during a discussion with former Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias told him that he was lucky, because he was negotiating with a pro-settlement opponent. In response, Eroglu said, he told Christofias that indeed he was lucky to be talking with an opponent whose 'yes' would mean an overwhelming Turkish Cypriot 'yes' in a referendum.

    Yet, in a separate interview with the Daily News, Foreign Minister Nami believed the Greek Cypriots will not say 'no' this time either, because Greek Cypriot leadership learned well in the 2004 referenda the price of a 'no' vote. He said, as was said in the joint statement, a deal will be subjected to simultaneous referenda only when the leaders agreed so.

    Nami, like Eroglu, agreed with Davutoglu that time has come to finish off the Cyprus problem this way or the other, but he was critical of the pace of the process. He said if chief negotiators are to meet every other week and leaders are to meet once a month, would it be logical to expect a Cyprus deal in five months or so?

    Nami, a politician who developed a reputation of being 'pro-settlement' and has been often accused by his opponents for conducting 'unauthorized parallel negotiations' with the Greek Cypriot side, did not share complains from the 'close circle' of Eroglu that Turkish Cypriots were bypassed by Ankara in the process that led to the resumption of the talks. 'Ankara and northern Cyprus have been in close contact all through the process', he said, but from his stress on north Cyprus, it was apparent that Ankara preferred to work with him rather than the official negotiating president to overcome the deadlock over the joint text. Ankara, with American encouragement, becoming involved in the process, bypassing the Turkish Cypriot presidency and dealing directly with Nami, created some concerns among Turkish Cypriots that something odd might be in the pipeline.

    Eroglu said he might have wanted the inclusion of some other elements, like a reference to the continuation of the 1960 guarantee system or a statement barring unilateral representation of the entire island by one of the two constituent states, but as it was agreed, the current text was welcome, because it was just a tool to get the talks resumed. Besides, he said, there were some very important elements in the text, such as for the first time, it was stated that the new federation will come to being with the agreement ? that is virgin birth ? or it would be created by two 'equal' constituent states and will be bi-zonal and bi-communal and that feature would be reflected all through the new state.

    But, was there indeed reason to celebrate? According to former President Talat, his political arch foe Eroglu was on the right track and must be encouraged to continue walking on that road. Talking with the HDN, Talat said he was confident that Eroglu was prodded by some factors to walk that difficult road, but now that he has taken so many important steps, political differences must be abandoned and he should be encouraged to continue further.

    'I already declared that if he continued on this road and delivered a settlement, I will support Eroglu in the elections next year', Talat said smiling with the happiness of seeing Eroglu so much accused of being an anti-settlement politician now continuing a settlement process with Turkey's strong encouragement.

    The cross visits representatives of Eroglu and Anastasiades will be making to Greece and Turkey respectively might not help to achieve any landmark development, Eroglu, Nami as well as Talat agreed in separate interviews. Yet, all three politicians stressed the psychological importance of such trips. (?)"

    [07] Eroglu evaluated the joint statement

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.02.14), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, during his address to the Turkish Cypriots, made evaluations regarding the views of the Turkish Cypriot side on the joint statement.

    Claiming that it wasn't easy bringing the Greek Cypriot side to the negotiating table but that they were determined to do so, Eroglu noted that they confirmed the principles and concepts that are rooted in the EU parameters with the joint declaration.

    Alleging that statements made by the Greek Cypriot leader regarding the joint declaration were in conflict with the realities, Eroglu said: "The joint statement is not a document that takes the sensitivities of one side into consideration. That is not possible. We would never allow such a document to take place".

    Laying emphasis on the fact that the Greek Cypriot side has accepted the fact that sovereignty emanates equally from Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots by accepting the joint statement, Eroglu said that the new partnership will contain two constituent states and these will have equal political status. He added that the fact that this has been recorded is also very important.

    He also alleged: "The joint statement clarifies that the comprehensive solution plan will be put to simultaneous referenda and not the federal constitution. The new partnership will be established after the referendum has taken place. This is important as it proves that the Republic of Cyprus during the negotiations process will not able to work on constitutional changes in order to transform itself into a federal state".

    [08] Harmanc? argued that the returnof the fenced off city of Varosha, the opening of occupied Famagusta port and the start of flights to illegal Tymbou airport should be a part of a comprehensive solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi in English (16.02.14) reported that the so-called general secretary of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Mehmet Harmanc?, said that the confidence building measures should be on the agenda parallel to the negotiation process.

    Harmanc? listed the occupied fenced off city of Varosha "Maras" and European Parliamentary elections as two topics that can be approached in this framework and said: "In order to prepare for a bi-communal federal solution, we should take some concrete steps".

    "In this framework returning Varosha to its legal owners under UN's supervision, opening Famagusta port to free trade and start of international flights from Ercan airport [Translator's note: illegal Tymbou airport] as a part of a comprehensive solution, is what TDP has been arguing for many years. Harmanc? also reminded that according to the 1979's Second Summit agreement, returning Varosha prior to a comprehensive settlement did not contradict with the comprehensive solution.

    "European Parliament elections can be a very important opportunity for confidence building measures. Two of the seats of the Cypriot delegation belong to the Turkish Cypriots and it is important to do legal work on this, so the Turkish Cypriots can realize their legal rights", Harmanc? said.

    [09] UN's Ban Ki-moon plans high-level engagement for the Cypriot talks

    Under the above title, columnist Serkan Demirtas in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.14), reported that only a few days after talks were launched in Cyprus, a high-level U.N. delegation, led by Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, paid a visit to Ankara to hold talks with Turkish officials on both the Cyprus and Syria talks.

    According to diplomatic sources, meetings between the Turkish and U.N. officials were focused on two main topics, Syria and Cyprus, both regional problems awaiting a political solution under the U.N.'s auspices.

    The most important message Feltman delivered to Ankara was the fact that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants to play a very strong role during the negotiations and is planning a high-level engagement. He has already made it clear in his written statement that the U.N. will pledge its resolute commitment to the efforts of the Turkish and Greek Cypriots. The U.N. is still working on how to define the Secretary-General's commitment to the process. But differently from the 2004 Annan Plan process, the U.N. Secretary-General will have no authority of filling in the blanks of an agreement. The U.N.'s role in the 2014 process will be a limited one in a bid to create "a fully Cypriot plan" and is believed to increase the probability of its approval by both communities in referenda.

    Ankara welcomes the U.N. and Ban Ki-moon's commitment to the process, but also makes it clear to the U.N. that the settlement of the Cyprus problem is a matter of urgency for Turkey.

    This sense of urgency introduced by Turkey has a direct link with its ambition to give momentum to its nearly de facto suspended negotiations with the EU for full membership. Resolving the Cyprus problem would help Turkey to open at least 10 chapters, but in general give a huge boost to the accession process. This surely will have an impact on the domestic political arena, especially on the eve of critical elections.

    However, this urgency could also cause the Turkish side to give unnecessary concessions to the Greek Cypriots on a number of very vital issues, Demirtas concluded.

    [10] Turkish ambassador to Athens: Gas reserves key for Cyprus resolution

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.02.14), without a resolution settlement in the last 50 years, the Cyprus issue remains unresolved and is directly related to a settlement over sharing of natural gas, water, and electricity resources between the Turkish and Greek parts of the island, allegedTurkish Ambassador to Greece Kerim Uras.

    "The Greek Cypriot administration [editor's note: the Republic of Cyprs] became an EU member just one month after it rejected the Annan Plan. Following that, eight of the chapters in Turkey's EU accession were blocked," claimed Uras, alleging that the Cyprus issue has evolved much more negatively for Turkey after the Greek side's unilateral accession to the EU.

    "Even though we lost so much time, the recent joint statement (of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders) gave a new momentum to the negotiations. We hope things will speed up during this process," Uras said.

    Uras also emphasized that if there is a settlement from the negotiations, Turkey's EU bid will be more positively received. He said that in such conditions, "Cyprus would become Turkey's forefront supporter in the EU, instead of being an actor restraining the bid."

    Uras also mentioned another long-term dispute between Turkey and Greece over the territorial rights in the Aegean and the east Mediterranean.

    Egypt and Greece decided to resume negotiations for establishing an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean in late 2013, something which frustrates Turkey in the absence of a delimitation agreement between Turkey and Greece. Uras said that the Greek press reports that the ongoing negotiations between Greece and Egypt are not going well.

    Uras said that Egypt is unwilling to move forward with this project taking into account Turkey's position, however, Greece regardless still wishes to pursue the project despite Turkey's objections.

    The dispute concerns the areas of continental shelf to be attributed to Turkey and Greece beyond the six mile territorial sea in the Aegean.

    [11] Self-styled "assembly" speaker participates in the 9th Parliamentary Union Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Tehran

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (17.02.14) reports that the self-styled speaker of the "assembly" Sibel Siber participates in the 9th Parliamentary Union Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is held in the Iranian capital Tehran.

    Siber held a meeting with Umit Yardim, the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran and gave interviews to some media representatives.

    Speaking to IRNA State Agency and to Asya newspaper, Siber gave information about the launching of Cyprus negotiations and the "embargoes". She also said that the participation of Turkish Cypriots with the observation status at the OIC is very important, stating that this is a great opportunity for the "national cause" of the Turkish Cypriots and for their voice to be heard. As regards the launching of negotiations, she said that the support of Islamic countries is necessary.

    Siber also evaluated the relations between Iran and the breakaway regime, saying that there are culture connections between them which needs to be strengthen even more.

    The paper also writes that Siber will hold today meetings with various speakers of parliaments.

    [12] Thirty-four civil society organizations expressed their gratitude to Erdogan for his efforts in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.02.14) reports that 34 organizations, representing 40.000 persons, under the name "Cypriot Civil Initiative Platform" sent a letter expressing their gratitude and respect to the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, a letter published in the Turkish pro-Erdogan press.

    [13] The breakaway regime participated in the "BIT Milano-2014" tourism fair

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (14.02.14) reported that the self-styled ministry of economy, tourism, culture and sports has attended the "BIT Milano-2014" tourism fair, one of the biggest tourism fairs in the world.

    According to a statement of the self-styled ministry, the occupied area of Cyprus tourism potential was promoted at the stand of the breakaway regime.

    [14] 185 passengers arrived in the occupied Ercan airport with a charter flight from Helsinki

    According to illegal Bayrak television (15.02.14) the first chartered flight to take place in 2014, was from the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

    Within this framework, 185 tourists arrived at the occupied area of Cyprus in illegal Tymbou airport.

    The tourists were greeted with flowers and local folk dance shows upon their arrival.

    "The undersecretary of the ministry for tourism, culture and environment", Sahap As?koglu said that workings that have been taking place in the tourism field are finally on track and the chartered flights are taking place in a more professional manner".

    [15] Turkish Parliament approves controversial bill on judicial body

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.02.14), tension in Parliament boiled over again Feb. 15 as the government succeeded in passing a controversial judicial reform package amid fisticuffs and injuries, even as the opposition vowed to take the package directly to the Constitutional Court without waiting for a presidential evaluation.

    Dozens of MPs fought during the tense 20-hour debate on a law to reshape the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), and insults flew back and forth between the parties, while one opposition lawmaker was hospitalized following an attack by a Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy.

    After the law is sent to his office, Gul will have two weeks to approve or veto it.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 16.02.14) reported that opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has continued his criticism of the stance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan since a major corruption scandal erupted on Dec. 17, 2013, saying that Erdogan is trying to control the judiciary to save himself from legal troubles.

    Claiming that Erdogan is on the path of a one-man dictatorship in Turkey, the MHP leader said absolute power corrupts politicians, leading them to call the opposition traitors and to level all kinds of insults at those who do not like them. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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