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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 14-07-07

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. 124/14 05-07.07.14

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu evaluates Friday's meeting with President Anastasiades; "The common use of the water to be transferred from Turkey", among the proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side
  • [02] Zaman argues that Erdogan and Davutoglu try to stall the Cyprus negotiation process; Eroglu reportedly used a curse word in his comment to Anastasiades on Famagusta during Biden's visit
  • [03] Turkish columnist argues that Turkey cannot become EU member under Erdogan's rule
  • [04] Fule's article in Turkish daily notes that a full implementation of the Additional Protocol would allow an immediate resumption of negotiations
  • [05] Statements by the Greek Foreign Minister to Hurriyet
  • [06] Statements by Eroglu and Akca in occupied Morfou Festival; Eroglu: "We have not discarded Morfou"
  • [07] Nami goes to Brussels for series of contacts
  • [08] Watson held contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus; he met with DP, UBP and Siber
  • [09] Emek Insaat Construction company won the arbitration case against EU Program Support Office
  • [10] Turkey's government announced a road map for the return of PKK militants
  • [11] Article in Vatan argues that Ankara changed position on the issue of Kurdish independence
  • [12] CHP seeks Socialist International support to follow voting process in Europe
  • [13] Erdogan's presidency logo includes prophet's name in Arabic, according to a Turkish Minister

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu evaluates Friday's meeting with President Anastasiades; "The common use of the water to be transferred from Turkey", among the proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side

    According to illegal Bayrak television (05.07.14) the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that the EU matters and the issue of citizenship was discussed during his meeting yesterday with the Greek Cypriot leader, as he called President Nicos Anastasiadis.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting which lasted for an hour and half, Eroglu said that they had held fruitful discussions on confidence building measures and the technical committees.

    Stating that convergences have been reached on some of the confidence building measures, Eroglu said: "the joint visit to the anthropological laboratory of the Committee on Missing Persons was an issue on both of our agendas. We have reached an agreement on this".

    Stating that some of the proposals for confidence building measures tabled by the Greek Cypriot leader was unacceptable for the Turkish Cypriot side, Eroglu said that President Anastasiadis, despite the Turkish Cypriot side's repeated objections, continued to try and bring the issue of Maras [Translator's note: occupied fenced off city of Varosha] to the table.

    Stating that all proposals and views put forward at Friday's meeting will be evaluated on Monday's meeting, Eroglu said that the issues of EU and citizenship were of utmost importance for the Turkish Cypriot side.

    "The permanent derogations and the recognition of the agreement to be reached as primary law is vital for us. The Greek Cypriot side has a different approach to these issues. Nevertheless, it is critical for us that any agreement to be reached must become EU primary law. Why? So, that we avoid going to courts as and when a settlement is reached. However, if the Greek Cypriot side does not embrace the idea that the solution to be reached is bicommunal and bizonal federation on the basis of political equality, if it doesn't see this as a lasting solution, then this will mean that all we will be accomplishing is joining the EU under the authority of the Greek Cypriot state. What we are trying to accomplish here is a new partnership", he said.

    Stressing that the Cyprus Turkish side also has sensitivities on the issue of citizenship, Eroglu reminded that permission was being granted to Greek Cypriots to carry out their religious duties in some churches in the "north".

    "We have similar demands for places of worship in the south. This was discussed at the meeting" he added.

    Stating that proposals to open new crossing points were also brought to the table by the Greek Cypriot side, Eroglu said that similar proposals had been made by the Turkish Cypriot side in the past which had been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side. "The issue of opening new crossing points is a sensitive subject which must be evaluated carefully. We shall be re-discussing these proposals on Monday.

    "We hope that we will conclude Monday's meeting with concrete results", Eroglu added.

    Responding to a reporters' question as to whether serious divergences did exist between the positions tabled by the two sides, Eroglu said that this was the case but that they will continue to work to overcome these differences in the meetings ahead.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.07.14) reported that during Friday's meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and President Anastasiades, the Turkish Cypriot side has submitted totally 15 constructive proposals.

    According to the paper, amongst them it is remarkable the proposal made by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding "the common utilization of the water to be transferred from Turkey". "The Turkish Cypriot side, concerning the water to be transferred from Turkey, has made a proposal for the establishment of the joint working group which will discuss how this water will be used by the two sides in the future", writes the paper.

    [02] Zaman argues that Erdogan and Davutoglu try to stall the Cyprus negotiation process; Eroglu reportedly used a curse word in his comment to Anastasiades on Famagusta during Biden's visit

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (05.07.14) cites information according to which the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have been making a concerted effort to stall the Cyprus negotiation process behind the scenes.

    The paper writes that steps that have been taken by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on the foreign policy front this year in hopes of keeping Western criticisms at bay regarding problematic issues on democracy and freedom in Turkey, such as resuming negotiations for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and normalizing ties with Israel and Armenia, seem to be stalled and are far from convincing the United States and European powers.

    "Feeling weak and uneasy at home and vulnerable and isolated in its foreign relations, the AK Party is desperately seeking to build up credibility with the US and European Union and has pushed certain issues on foreign policy to appear upright in the eyes of West. The Cyprus issue has come forward this year as appearing to be moving forward following negotiations that began on Feb. 11 after intense diplomatic efforts by the US administration.

    A former diplomat speaking under the condition of anonymity told Sunday's Zaman that even though Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have repeatedly expressed to US officials that they want a solution in Cyprus, they have been making a concerted effort to stall the process behind the scenes. The diplomat suggested that the Cyprus issue has actually not been moving forward towards a comprehensive solution, even after the US showed its commitment to the issue with a visit from US Vice President Joe Biden to the island in May", the paper writes.

    Reporting about Biden's visit to Cyprus, the paper writes that Biden was neither expected to push for a solution in Cyprus nor to press the two sides for a settlement during his visit; when he arrived to the island he made that clear by saying it would be up to the people of Cyprus to find a comprehensive solution. But he was expected to announce that the US would finance the reconstruction of Varosha. Sources who closely follow the issue told Sunday's Zaman that the US would initially contribute $1 million to establish a delegation to work on a "feasibility survey" for Varosha.

    "The feasibility survey was thought to be part of confidence-building measures between the KKTC and Greek Cyprus by Americans. But Biden did not make an announcement regarding the survey during his visit because Turkish Cypriots had learned of the idea and opposed it by saying reconstruction efforts for Varosha could only take place after a comprehensive solution has been reached in Cyprus.

    One anonymous source told Sunday's Zaman that when Biden met with both leaders at Ledra Palace for dinner and spoke about opening up Varosha for reconstruction before a final settlement in Cyprus, Eroglu addressed Anastasiades in the Greek-Cypriot dialect and expressed that there would be no way that Turkish Cypriots would accept the offer to discuss Varosha; Eroglu reportedly used a curse word in his comment to Anastasiades. Seeing Anastasiades' reaction, Biden reportedly asked what Eroglu had said. Anastasiades translated what Eroglu had said into English for Biden, including the curse word, and supposedly because of that exchange, Biden did not announce the Varosha feasibility survey", according to the paper.

    [03] Turkish columnist argues that Turkey cannot become EU member under Erdogan's rule

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (06.07.14) published an article by Ali Yurttagul under the title: "Erdogan not convincing over EU membership bid", where he notes that Turkey's problems as regards its EU membership are due to the fact that Turkey was unable to show determination and decisiveness on the matter.

    The article goes as follows: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not convincing anyone about the European Union membership bid. I am not saying this because he barely touched on the issue in his presidential candidacy speech but because he has had no real EU policy over the last four years. His remark "We will work hard to grow the economy, improve democratic standards and to become [a] member of the EU" makes it seem as if he has worked tirelessly so far. But a review of the last nine years of negotiations illustrate that this matter is not proceeding well.

    So far only 14 out of 35 negotiation chapters have been opened. In addition to the nine chapters suspended by a joint decision of the EU member states, chapters on justice, energy policies and others were vetoed by Greek Cyprus in 2009 and never opened. This is not because Cyprus is a strong actor but because Turkey was unable to show determination and decisiveness on the matter. Only one out of five chapters vetoed by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was reopened and the vetoes over the other chapters remain. Expectations that relations with France would improve after Hollande was elected Ppresident did not materialize.

    There are three chapters that could be opened. There are no political obstacles in front of the chapters on social policies, public tenders and market competition. I will not discuss the tenders and the competition issues, but why hasn't the social and employment policy chapter been opened in the span of nine years? This chapter remains unopened because Turkey resists implementing the EU and International Labour Organization (ILO) standards in the work place. The Soma disaster would not have taken place if this chapter had been opened. Union rights in Turkey are not adequate.

    Erdogan and Egemen Bagis, former chief EU negotiator, failed to establish a strong dialogue. Bagis relied on bossy language, like the Prime Minister; he relied too heavily on his personal connections. Eventually, he failed to make any progress. Connections are, of course, important, but it should be noted that the EU has developed on a culture of solidarity rather than on one of a recognition of mutual interests. Because the continent had a bitter experience in the repercussions of bossy language, Europe is not intimidated by the rhetoric of Russian President Vladimir Putin or Erdogan, and for this reason they are particularly sensitive to this matter. The style and strong language of Erdogan and Bagis closed the doors to Brussels and other European capitals.

    The institutional framework of the talks has yet to be established. [?] The negotiations are currently undertaken by a small group of bureaucrats. Instead of Ankara, the EU institutions are managing the coordination in the negotiations. [?] The recently adopted law on restructuring the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) not only suspends judicial independence but also violates the EU criteria as well as the Constitution. Antidemocratic laws, including those on the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and those banning Twitter, were adopted. Who would take the remarks of a politician responsible for these bills and a regulation on improving democratic standards seriously? Who would believe that Erdogan is sincere in his remarks on full membership in the EU? [?]"

    [04] Fule's article in Sabah notes that a full implementation of the Additional Protocol would allow an immediate resumption of negotiations

    Under the title "What are Turkey's next steps on its way to Europe?", Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule, in a column written exclusively for Daily Sabah (07.07.14) calls on Turkey and the EU to work together to make 2014 the year of the EU and referring to Cyprus notes that a full implementation of the Additional Protocol would allow an immediate resumption of negotiations. The article goes as follows:

    "Does Europe need Turkey? Does Turkey need the EU? Will Turkey become a member of the Union? I heard these questions many times during my visits in Turkey and during my meetings about Turkey's accession.

    My response has always been that it is not about whom needs who more, but that it is about the reality of our already existing deep ties in many fields. It is about the huge joint potential offered by our relations, shared strategic interests and cooperation that can be best realized in the context of the accession process. Turkey is one of the countries under my responsibility where my team and I spent most of our energy, time and resources trying to move things forward. We were always in agreement with our Turkish partners that the EU accession process is the best framework for the modernization of Turkey - a goal all of us have in common.

    And while we managed to create renewed momentum in the last year with the Positive Agenda, [?] this year has been marked by developments which have raised serious concerns and even doubts over Turkey's commitment to European values and standards. Does it mean that we are giving up on Turkey? Definitely not. We want to see Turkey consolidate its remarkable achievements made since 1999, when it became a candidate country, and cement its position as a modern European state. We are committed to support Turkey in this and to share our experiences with it. But we also need to see that Turkey itself wants to continue to move in the right direction. A strong commitment by Turkey to further reforms is indispensable. [?]

    The accession process is the engine of our relations. [?] I have said and I am convinced that more Chapters should be opened, notably Chapter 23, to facilitate more concrete and stringent negotiations. But, in fairness, this cannot be used as a reason to deviate from fundamental principles we already subscribed to together at the very beginning of the accession process.

    Let us also not forget that any progress will be linked to progress on issues in Cyprus - and I commend Turkey's commitment to support the settlement process. However, a full implementation of the Additional Protocol would allow an immediate resumption of negotiations on 8 chapters.

    I have encouraged my Turkish partners to pursue a close dialogue with the European Commission in the area of the rule of law and fundamental rights. [?] This is not a bureaucratic or academic exercise [?] It is about Turkish citizens and their freedoms in a modern state where democratic principles are deeply rooted, a culture of pluralism thrives and the rights of people are respected and upheld by an independent and impartial judiciary. [?]

    Reforms need to be inclusive, and a part of this is that Civil society needs to be consulted and have an environment conducive to it playing its essential role to the full. [?]

    There is a chance, [?] to achieve real results in these essential areas and set the tone for the October Progress report that will allow us to widen and deepen what we all recognize to be a relationship of strategic importance. [?] It will be the last Progress Report of this Commission but it will serve as a basis for the new Commission to determine how to continue the EU/s engagement with Turkey. I hope Turkey will provide us with the positive substance to achieve it, because the future of the accession process will be determined by Turkey's own decisions, efforts and credibility. We look to work together with Turkey to fulfill the commitment to make 2014 the year of the EU."

    [05] Statements by the Greek Foreign Minister to Hurriyet

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (07.07.14) publishes an interview by the Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos who stated that the implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and the normalization of Turkey's relations with the Republic of Cyprus, would impart significant momentum to Turkey's European perspective.

    Venizelos stated that Turkey and Greece could "create fresh momentum for overcoming the chronic points of bilateral friction," and voiced confidence both for the future of bilateral relations and for the stabilizing role they could play for the whole region.

    "At a time of uncertainty and regional instability in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek-Turkish cooperation is a major attainment that must be safeguarded, because it is a stabilizing factor for the whole region," Venizelos told the Hurriyet Daily News in an exclusive interview.

    As talks continue for a diplomatic solution on Cyprus, Venizelos stressed that the Greek Cypriots were waiting for a "positive response" from the Turkish Cypriots to recent proposals. "Our firm position is that an agreed, comprehensive, viable, functional and just solution can be reached based on the Resolutions of the U.N. Security Council and the European acquis. In the present phase, we are awaiting an exchange of proposals from both sides on all the issues in the talks, as has been agreed on. We also think it would be positive if there was a favorable response from the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish sides to the very constructive proposals made by Cypriot President [Nicos] Anastasiades for the adoption of confidence-building measures, with the focus on the opening of Famagusta," he said.

    He also emphasized the importance of Cyprus in Turkey's EU accession process. "Of course, the implementation the long-awaited Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and the normalization of Turkey's relations with the Republic of Cyprus, would impart significant momentum to Turkey's European perspective. Greece continues to support systematically and sincerely this perspective, so long as Turkey meets its accession obligations," Venizelos said.

    He also linked the Cyprus solution to the question of minority rights on the island. "I would like to note that the implementation of the Additional Protocol, the normalization of Turkey's relations with the Republic of Cyprus, compliance in practice with the principle of good neighborly relations, and respect for fundamental rights ? including religious freedoms and minority rights ? are prerequisites for the accession of every candidate country; prerequisites that all the member states have agreed on.

    Consequently, they concern not only Greece and Cyprus, but the EU as a whole. The EU's calls for the meeting of these terms and prerequisites should be taken as an opportunity for the promotion of democratic reforms and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as for the practical manifestation of good neighborly relations," he said.

    "Respect for international law ? and particularly for the Law of the Sea ? and the achievement of a just and viable solution on the Cyprus issue, in accordance with the U.N. Security Council resolutions, could really change the regional state of affairs, making the Eastern Mediterranean a pole of regional stability that could contribute to European energy security. It would also bolster growth, create new jobs, and contribute to the promotion of regional cooperation," Venizelos added.

    [06] Statements by Eroglu and Akca in occupied Morfou Festival; Eroglu: "We have not discarded Morfou"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (05.07.14) the 37th Morfou Orange Festival kicked off last night with an opening ceremony.

    The opening was attended by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Sibel Siber, the "Turkish ambassador" to occupied Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca as well as other "government" and "state officials".

    [?]

    Delivering a speech at the festival the so-called Turkish ambassador to occupied Lefkosia, Akca praised the organizers of the festival, stating that there was a reason why the Orange Festival was such a success.

    Akca said that citrus production in the region will be revitalized with the arrival of water from Turkey, resulting in higher quality production and increased exports to other countries. "We are ready to finance such a big project", Akca he said.

    Also speaking, Eroglu said that he has found the opportunity to attend most of the Orange Festival held annually over the past 37 years.

    Welcoming the words of the city's "mayor", Eroglu underlined the importance of investing and looking after one's own region.

    Stating that each passing "government" gave more and more importance to Guzelyurt, as he called occupied Morfou area, Eroglu said that despite the absence of tourism investments in the region, there were two "universities" in the area and that new investments were being made in other fields.

    Meanwhile, under the front page title: "Eroglu: We have not discarded Morfou", Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (07.07.14) reports on statements by Eroglu during the festival and writes that Eroglu pointed out that despite what someone's say, they are not willing to give up Morfou.

    (AK)

    [07] Nami goes to Brussels for series of contacts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (07.07.14) reports that the self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami flew to Brussels today for series of "high level contacts".

    During his visit to Brussels Nami will be accompanied by the "undersecretary of foreign ministry" Erhan Ercin, "executive assistant" Huseyin Ozel and "second secretary" Yasa Yesilada.

    [08] Watson held contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus; he met with DP, UBP and Siber

    According to illegal Bayrak television (05.07.14) the President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Sir Graham Watson paid yesterday a series of contacts in the "TRNC"

    As part of his contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus, Watson visited the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Sibel Siber and the so-called foreign minister Ozdil Nami.

    Speaking during his meeting with Siber, Watson expressed happiness over being in Cyprus during a time which the future of Cyprus is being discussed and the possibility of a federation, that will be formed by two equal founding states and will be bizonal and bicommunal, will emerge.

    Explaining that as part of his contacts in the "TRNC" he will hold meetings with leaders of two political parties which want to further develop relations with the Liberal Democrat Party, Watson added that in "south Cyprus" he will come together with United Democrats who are a member of the Liberal Democrat Party.

    He also expressed happiness over having the opportunity to discuss with the "speaker" of the "parliament" and "foreign Minister" the Cyprus negotiations process which had restarted in 2014 on the basis of the joint statement agreed upon by the two sides. He also expressed the belief that the peoples in Cyprus will have a brighter future.

    Also speaking, Siber noted that she had the chance to meet with Watson in the past and said: "He is a valuable MP who approaches our problems and a solution with maturity and who understands us well."

    "We keep on saying that having contacts with us would contribute to peace and a solution. What we expect from all parliamentarians at the EU, from foreigners and from the foreign representatives in Cyprus is to have contacts with us and listen to us. Because we say that a solution in the future will be between the two communities. It is not enough only to listen to one community which can make its voice heard with its state status. I am also calling on the Greek Cypriot Administration not to protest such contacts because these contacts are necessary for a solution. We are the representatives of this community elected through democratic elections. Having contacts with us means listening to the voice of the community and this will give a positive acceleration to the solution process", she alleged.

    Watson also met with officials from several political parties in "TRNC", as part of his contacts in the island.

    Watson visited the Democratic Party- National Forces (DP-UG) and the main opposition National Unity Party.

    The leader of the Greek Cypriot United Democrats Party (EDI) Praksula Antoniadu Kyriaku also accompanied Watson during the visits.

    Watson who was unable to meet with DP leader and "deputy prime minister" Serdar Denktas who underwent an angiography on Thursday, met instead with the "secretary general" of the DP-UG Hasan Tacoy and the party's "foreign relations secretary" Serhat Kotak.

    Speaking during the visit, Watson expressed his party's view that the whole island should be included in the European Union. Welcoming the increased involvement of the US in the negotiations process, Watson said: "I hope that the two peoples in the island will be unified soon".

    Tacoy for his part, expressed his party's desire to strengthen and develop relations with the Liberal Democrats in Europe. "We desire to develop our relations with EDI for a solution in Cyprus as well as a better future", he said.

    Watson and his delegation visited also the National Unity Party (UBP) and met with occupied Lefkosia "deputy" Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the "deputy" in occupied Famagusta Hamza Ersan Saner.

    [09] Emek Insaat Construction company won the arbitration case against EU Program Support Office

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (07.07.14, online in English) Emek Insaat (Construction Company) who started a legal battle against the EU Program Support Office after suffering 8 million euro financial loss, won the arbitration case.

    Emek Insaat who suffered a loss worth 8 million euro due to problems with the occupied Famagusta Sewage System and Water Supply Network Project, won the arbitration case which is finalized in UK courts.

    Speaking to Kibris Postasi after the ruling was made, the "chairman" of "Cyprus Turkish Building Contractors Association" (KTIMB) Cafer Gurcafer accused occupied Famagusta Municipality and Turkish Cypriot "government" for not standing beside Emek Insaat during the process.

    "All of the officials are responsible, no one stood beside Emek Insaat. In my opinion both Famagusta Municipality and our government are guilty. I will be hard on their heels. They will pay the price" said Gurcafer.

    Emek Insaat which was turned down by the local courts due to EU's legal impunity in the "north", appealed to arbitration court in UK on April 10. An arbitration case was finalized on July 3 in favor of Emek Insaat.

    Gurcafer criticized the "government", the EU and the occupied Famagusta and said that things would not go this far if "north Cyprus laws" allowed local companies to seek justice here.

    "Emek Insaat became the scape goat during this process despite being the ones who suffered from injustice" said Gurcafer and added that there are many Turkish Cypriot contractors that suffer from problems with the EU Program Support Office but not all of them have the means to appeal to arbitration.

    Gurcafer said that just before the decision of arbitration case was announced EU officials had contacted KTIMB and requested a meeting. "EU officials are coming to meet with us on 9 July. They contacted us the day before the decision was announced, so they probably knew the decision before hand so that's why they decided to meet with us", added Gurcafer.

    [10] Turkey's government announced a road map for the return of PKK militants

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (07.07.14) reports that daily Sabah reported today that the Turkish government's road map for a new wave of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question, includes the return of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants to Turkey, between one to three years.

    The government will take action after the parliamentary approval on a bill that mainly offers legal protection for the actors in the ongoing process, as the draft is expected to be voted on this week. The plans will be put into effect by the beginning of next year, Sabah also said.

    The plan includes paving the way for the return of the militants who were not involved in armed action and are now in Europe or northern Iraq in one year.

    The number of militants at Kandil is estimated at 5,000.

    The PKK members who immigrated to European countries, particularly to Germany, France and Sweden, or those who have already founded businesses in northern Iraq, will return in two years, while the duration for those with an Interpol Red Notice on their name will be three years.

    However, another plan will be valid for key PKK members who are known by name in Turkey.

    The newspaper also noted that Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said that the government was working on a scheduled action plan for the "[militants'] return."

    [11] Article in Vatan argues that Ankara changed position on the issue of Kurdish independence

    Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (05.07.14) published an article by Rusen Cakir under the title: "Why does Ankara no longer fear and independent Kurdistan?", in which he argues that Ankara changed position on the issue of Kurdish independence. The article is as follows:

    " [?] Interestingly enough, up until very recently Turkey used to be named as the first country that would oppose any Kurdish declaration of independence. Accordingly, it was asserted that Washington was working very hard both openly and clandestinely to convince Ankara to accept an independent Kurdistan. But given where we are now, if Arbil were to declare independence Ankara is pretty near the bottom of the list of those countries that would object. I do not think that this is "an American project." While intense economic relations with the Iraqi Kurds starting with oil deals are extremely important, America has not been the key in the Kurds getting to this point.

    What actually lies behind Ankara not being as uncomfortable as it used to be with the thought of an "independent Kurdistan" and in fact being able to take up positions of encouragement from time to time is the fact that the notion of forming an independent state has surprisingly few proponents among the Kurds in Turkey. We need to look for the reasons why an independent state is not acceptable even though the Kurd political movement is as powerful as it is in Abdullah Ocalan and the ideas he developed after being imprisoned on Imrali Island [?]

    In terms of population and social, economic and cultural levels the country that is most important for the Kurds is indisputably Turkey. Therefore, it would be unreal to expect the Kurds in Turkey to continue as they are now with no status whatsoever once an independent Kurdish state is formed in Iraq. Besides, like I said before, the formation of an independent Kurdistan will definitely cause the idea of a separate state to flourish again among the Kurds in Turkey.

    If the plan is not to see Turkey divided, the solution process needs to be brought to a rapid conclusion in such a way as to grant the Kurds a status they will be happy with. And while doing all this, the Kurds in Iraq, Syria and even Iran should be taken into consideration. [?]"

    [12] CHP seeks Socialist International support to follow voting process in Europe

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.07.14) reports that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has sought support from the Socialist International (SI) and the Progressive Alliance to encourage Turkish citizens living in Europe to cast their votes in the upcoming Turkey's presidential election on Aug. 10.

    The CHP asked both the SI and the Progressive to follow and observe the voting process in their respective countries.

    With around 2.8 million Turkish citizens eligible to vote living abroad, all main political parties have been trying to remind Turks about the importance of the upcoming elections for Turkish democracy, writes the paper.

    [13] Erdogan's presidency logo includes prophet's name in Arabic, according to a Turkish Minister

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.07.14) reported that the official presidential election campaign logo of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan includes the name of the Prophet Muhammed in Arabic, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said.

    "Did you know that 'Muhammed' in Arabic is used in the logo of our presidential candidate, Mr. Erdogan?" Simsek wrote via his Twitter account. The logo stirred a debate after it was first shared with the public, with many suggesting that it resembled the logo used in U.S. President Barack Obama's campaigns in 2008 and 2012. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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


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