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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-01-27

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] Eroglu: The Greek Cypriots want Famagusta area; Talat: Eroglu did everything to ruin the negotiating process
  • [02] Nami: Barbaros vessel may resume exploration
  • [03] Eroglu discussed natural gas issues with ODTU and Kadir Has Universities
  • [04] How the Turkish Cypriot politicians assess SYRIZA's election victory in Greece
  • [05] Erdogan and Davutoglu on Tsipras' election victory
  • [06] CHP's Logoglu and HDP on the election victory for Syriza
  • [07] Columnist comments on Turkish-Greek affairs after Tsipras' election victory
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot Businessmen's Council (KTIAK) held contacts in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague
  • [09] The breakaway regime promotes health tourism
  • [10] "TRNC" will be represented at PACE
  • [11] Erdogan: Time to discuss the presidential system; Cyprus did not abide by the EU rules
  • [12] Bozkir: Turkey ready to open any EU chapter chosen by lottery
  • [13] Hungary backs Turkey's EU membership
  • [14] CHP Deputy resigned


    [01] Eroglu: The Greek Cypriots want Famagusta area; Talat: Eroglu did everything to ruin the negotiating process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (27.01.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the Greek Cypriots wanted "the borders of Famagusta municipality" and added: "They come before us with these excessive demands. There is a wish of forcing our people living within the Famagusta municipality borders to migrate again. We are looking for an agreement by which our people will not migrate again".

    In statements during a visit to occupied Famagusta area, Eroglu argued that he is a person who had been at the negotiating table for five years and has negotiated "in the direction of people's views and expectations", trying to do the best for carrying the "people's voice" to the negotiating table.

    Referring to the accusations made against him by the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) that he does not want a solution, Eroglu alleged: "Anastasiades abandoned the table. No one says that he does not want a solution. Who want a solution, the one who stays at the table or the one who abandons it? Unfortunately, our people say this before the Greek Cypriots say it. [?] It is ridiculous for them to say that I do not want a solution even though that they are the ones who left the table".

    Eroglu alleged that they want an agreement, but not any agreement and added that they have to know what it is meant by a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal based on political equality.

    Referring to the presence of the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus, he claimed that as long as UNFICYP is on the island it is not possible for the Greek Cypriots to reach an agreement with the Turkish Cypriots.

    Insisting on the allegation that the Greek Cypriots prepared a map on the territory issue, Eroglu said that "a lady is going around and tries to present us as liars by saying that there is no map". Eroglu argued that "a map prepared by the Greek Cypriots exists" and reiterated the allegation that the Turkish Cypriot side had submitted criteria on the territory issue during the Geneva tripartite summit and that the UN Secretary-General had said that a map cannot be submitted without an agreement on all the other issues. He argued:

    "That is why Anastasiades came with names of villages this time. We ignored them. The whole of the Famagusta borders will remain to the Greek Cypriots. They want South Mesaoria, from Yerolakkos to Morfou, from Koma tou Yialou to Karpasia. In parallel to this [they want] touristic antiquities and religious places and the villages around them, Kythrea, Neo Chorio, Trahoni and Voni. When we put these side by side, does a map not come up? And they do not remain with this. They will settle their refugees in the lands which will remain to us".

    Noting that the Greek Cypriots do not accept Turkey's guarantees, the existence of the Turkish army and the Turkish settlers, Eroglu said that what he described as "excessive Greek Cypriot demands", including the "demands" on the territory issue could not be accepted and added that we are far away from reaching an agreement.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.01.15) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has accused Eroglu of doing whatever he could to ruin the negotiating process. Talat noted that with Turkey's "suggestion" Eroglu stated that he would continue negotiating from the point at which Talat had left the negotiations. He added that, in spite of this, he first took out the "cross voting" principle from the package submitted on the chapter of governance and power sharing and led the package to collapse. Afterwards, he added, Eroglu abandoned the negotiations because of the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, waited for the presidential elections and used delaying tactics during the process before reaching the joint declaration.

    "When the negotiations would start, the Greek Cypriots showed as pretext the natural gas explorations and the process ended before starting", he argued and claimed that "only academic discussions were held" during the negotiations. He alleged that Eroglu not wanting a solution, prevents pressure to be exerted on the Greek Cypriots and that if the negotiations were going well Turkey would not search for natural gas [in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone].


    [02] Nami: Barbaros vessel may resume exploration

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 27.01.15), self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami has said that the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa seismic research vessel, which is currently being kept anchored off the coast of occupied Famagusta as a good will gesture in support of the UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide's efforts to restart the negotiations process, could resume exploration activities in the coming days should the Greek Cypriot side resume its aggressive stance.

    Evaluating the latest developments on the Cyprus problem on "BRT's morning news program", Nami said that the UN Special envoy had adopted a balanced stance regarding his statements to the press following the briefing he gave to the UN Security Council.

    Pointing out that the UN Secretary General's report extending the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping mission in Cyprus for a further 6 months is quite balanced; Nami said that the report openly stated that it is the Greek Cypriot side which had left the negotiating table.

    Pointing out that reference in the report to the "isolations" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots is a positive development; Nami said that the isolations Turkish Cypriots are subjected to must also be mentioned in the UN Secretary General's UN Security Council Report. "There is no room for isolations in an environment where peace negotiations are continuing. The EU member countries owe the Turkish Cypriots in terms of lifting the isolations", he claimed.

    Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot side is disappointed with the fact that no mention was made in the UNFICYP report that Turkey had issued its NAVTEX on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots, Nami said that this is something which the Turkish Cypriot side has desired to see in the report.

    Claiming that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades had accused the UN Secretary General of blackmail following the report, Nami said that the Greek Cypriot leadership has failed to conjure the support it has been seeking from the international community.

    Asked to comment about the issue of the fenced off town of Varosha being used by some of the "presidential candidates", Nami explained that the issue of the fenced off town of Varosha is part of the Chapter on Territory and that the issue has not even been discussed by the leaders at the negotiating table.

    [03] Eroglu discussed natural gas issues with ODTU and Kadir Has Universities

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 26.01.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met with a joint delegation from the "Middle East Technical University's (ODTU) North Cyprus Campus" and Kadir Has University.

    During the visit the rector of Kadir Has University Mustafa Aydin said that they wanted to carry out joint activities on the natural gas and hydrocarbons issue, adding: "These activities could be seminars and panel discussions".

    Eroglu, for his part, drew attention to the fact that the eastern Mediterranean region is a hot topic of discussion at the moment and added that both universities have drawn attention to a very important topic. "Arguments over natural gas are the reason behind the Greek Cypriot side leaving the negotiations. Whereas we could have overcome the problems through discussions at the negotiating table but unfortunately our collocutors chose to leave the table", Eroglu claimed.

    Alleging that there are signals that the Greek Cypriot side could return to the negotiating table with new preconditions, Eroglu claimed: "It has never been possible to win any gains at the negotiating table through preconditions. So instead of discussing preconditions we should be discussing the real issues." He added that years will pass if preconditions are discussed.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriot side has been at the negotiating table since 1968,

    Eroglu alleged that since then all of the agreed documents and solution plans that emerged have been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side. "So if the Greek Cypriot side is going to continue to reject agreements then the time has come to discuss how long the negotiations will carry on", Eroglu claimed.

    [04] How the Turkish Cypriot politicians assess SYRIZA's election victory in Greece

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.01.15) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that SYRIZA's election victory in Greece's parliamentary elections is very important and the world left-wing parties will benefit if SYRIZA's leader Alexis Tsipras fulfills his promises. In statements to KIBRIS TV, Talat noted that he can understand the hope which is created within the Turkish Cypriot political parties after SYRIZA's victory, but argued that SYRIZA will not be interested very much in Cyprus because of the many problems which Greece is facing. Even if it is interested, he added, its interest and influence will not be like "Turkey's interest and influence which we are used to seeing". In the end of the day, the Republic of Cyprus is a recognized state and takes its own decisions, Talat noted.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.01.15) reports that Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said that his party has close relations with SYRIZA and described the latter's stance on the Cyprus problem as "positive", recalling that it had supported the "yes" vote during the Annan Plan referendum. He noted that SYRIZA supports normalization and detente with Turkey and a federal solution under the UN umbrella in Cyprus. He said that SYRIZA is a "serious chance" for the Cyprus problem.

    Murat Kanatli, member of the executive committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), said that it is still early to comment on SYRIZA's stance as regards the Cyprus problem. Noting that Tsipras has stated that he would pay its first visit abroad as Prime Minister to Cyprus, Kanatli noted that he expects Greece and Turkey to unite and become a "coercive element" for a solution in Cyprus.

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that SYRIZA's victory is a "very exciting" development and expressed the hope that SYRIZA will improve the relations between Turkey and Greece and soften the relations between the Greek Cypriot community, Turkey and Greece.

    Kudret Ozersay, candidate in the forthcoming "presidential elections", has argued that SYRIZA will focus on Greece's internal structural problems and therefore he does not think that the Cyprus problem and other issues will be in the foreground. He added though, that when serious crises exist within a country its administrators might prefer to direct attention to external issues by creating "others" and "enemies". He noted that he cannot predict SYRIZA's stance on the Cyprus problem and expressed the view that the economic situation in the government-controlled area of Cyprus and to what extent the Greek Cypriot leadership will be able to direct the community is more important than SYRIZA's stance.

    Mustafa Akinci, also candidate in the forthcoming "presidential elections", has expressed the hope that SYRIZA's victory will positively influence the Cyprus problem and noted that he expects SYRIZA to "see the solution in Cyprus more warmly". He argued that Greece could contribute in the solution of the problem, just like Turkey, but the ones who should actually solve the problem are the communities living on the island.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (27.01.15, online) reports that National Unity Party (UBP) "deputy", Sunat Atun said that he does not feel Tsipras has made sensible promises ahead of the elections and they do not expect him to make any moves on Cyprus until he had secured his country's political and economic stability. Atun said it would be interesting to see how Tsipras would "bury Troika", as he promised.

    Mehmet Cakici, "deputy" and former leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that he believed SYRIZA would force the Cyprus issue because of their radical attitude and left-wing stance. Cakici noted that he believes the party will display a different stance. He also added that the TDPs policies are similar to SYRIZA's.


    [05] Erdogan and Davutoglu on Tsipras' election victory

    Turkish Hurriyet newspaper (27.01.15) reports that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan wished all the best for Alexis Tsipras to his election victory and stated that for Turkey no difference made is as regards who is on the head of the Greek state.

    "The continuation of relations between the states is essential. It does not matter who is on power. The strengthening and the development of Turkey-Greece relations is one of our main goals. Congratulations for the elections' results", Erdogan stated.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.01.15) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has telephoned Tsipras to congratulate him for his party's victory.

    "I've just called and congratulated the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras," Davutoglu wrote on Monday on his official Twitter account.

    Davutoglu also said he hoped that the new term would be beneficial both for the Greek citizens and for the relations between Greece and Turkey. The Turkish Premier added that he wished to welcome and meet Tsipras in Ankara soon.

    [06] CHP's Logoglu and HDP on the election victory for Syriza

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 26.01.15), under the title "Greece's Syriza starts afresh with Turkey" reported that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Adana Deputy Faruk Logoglu said that the election victory for Syriza is a positive development for Greece and that it will subsequently have a positive effect on Turkey as well.

    Speaking to Today's Zaman, Logoglu said: "But in the short run, the new steps and reforms the new Greek government will follow are not likely to be reflected in bilateral relations." Logoglu said that he doesn't expect a significant change regarding the Aegean continental shelf issue or the ethnically divided island of Cyprus. He stressed that all parties in Greece see Cyprus as part of the Hellenic world.

    Veteran diplomat Logoglu also said that the Turkish minority in Western Thrace will be affected positively by this change, as left-wing parties like Syriza have a positive approach to minorities. He said there may be some positive changes such as expanded acceptance of the use of the Turkish language, the appointment of muftis and the election of members of the Turkish minority to public offices.

    With regards to the potential problems between Greece and the EU on austerity issues, Logoglu said that the EU and Greece have the capacity to overcome them. "The EU will find a way out of its problems with Greece. There were other crises in the EU before, including eurozone issues, and the EU was able to overcome these problems," Logoglu added.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.01.15), under the title "Turkey eager to continue spirit of cooperation with Syriza gov't", reports that the co-leaders of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) sent a joint congratulatory message to the new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

    "We believe that the principles of justice, equality and freedom that you have claimed will overcome the pressure imposed on the Greek people by the neo-liberal Troika", said HDP co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag in their message sent on Jan. 26.

    Describing Syriza as a "sister party" as both the HDP and Greece's new ruling party aspire for "equality and freedom for all oppressed peoples across the entire world", Demirtas and Yuksekdag emphasized "the importance they attach to HDP-Syriza solidarity and strategic cooperation".

    [07] Columnist comments on Turkish-Greek affairs after Tsipras' election victory

    Under the title "Prospects for Turkish-Greek ties look good", columnist Semih Idiz, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.01.15) claims that the Cyprus problem is no longer one of the central issues in Turkish-Greek affairs in his following commentary:

    "The advent of Syriza and its young and energetic leader Alexis Tsipras is good news for Turks of my generation, as it must be for all left-leaning Europeans. This is a first for Europe, and it has revived the youthful and idealistic optimism of many people, which has been missing for some time.

    It will not be long, however, before a sense of realism will have to set in once the honeymoon comes to an end. Tsipras will first have to negotiate for a coalition and then come to terms with the very real problems Greece is faced with. It is obvious that it cannot overcome these problems without outside help, whatever its election promises were.

    European officials who have been using Greece as something of a whipping boy these past few years, however, will also have to come to terms with what the results of the Greek elections represent for Europe. There is a wake-up call for them too. Eyes are now turned to Spain, and many are wondering whether there will be a chain reaction in other European countries whose economies have come to the brink of collapse.

    The bottom line is that Europe's economic planners will also have to face the fact that there is a very real need to put people, not finance, first in dealing with the ongoing economic crisis. They are faced with a situation where 'it is not all about the economy, stupid!'

    Many in Ankara will no doubt be wondering what this left-wing swing in Athens means for Turkish-Greek relations. It is not hard to see that the prospects are good. The first positive outcome for Ankara is that the far-right and rabidly anti-Turkish (and generally xenophobic) Golden Dawn party did not make a major leap forward, even performing fractionally worse than it did in the June 2012 elections.

    The Turks say that wolves hunt in the mist, and it is generally at such hard times that parties like the Golden Dawn often increase their support base. But the Greeks have shown that they are too wise to fall for that one.

    A party that won the elections on a 'people first' ticket is also good for Turkey, because it will be concentrating on improving the lives of the citizenry, rather than trying to divert attention away from problems with populist and nationalist rhetoric.

    The last thing a Syriza-led government will want at a time like this is unnecessary friction with Turkey. Especially when it is not faced with a bellicose Ankara, and when developing economic ties with Turkey will also be part of the solution for Athens.

    More and more Greeks have come around to understanding the significance of having a country to their east that is economically growing and also becoming an energy hub, which will provide important advantages for Greece.

    There are also issues like illegal crossings by refugees in the Aegean and the threat from groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which will require the continuation of efforts for more cooperation between the two countries.

    The Cyprus issue, while it comes up every now and then, is no longer one of the central issues in Turkish-Greek affairs, since the Greek Cypriot administration is able to do its own bidding now in the EU as a full veto-wielding member.

    Good relations between Ankara and Athens, on the other hand, could have a positive influence on trying to solve the Cyprus problem. Pushing an anti-Turkish nationalist line is clearly not going to get results for the Greek Cypriots either, when they too have experienced an economic meltdown.

    In the backdrop to all of these is the fact that social and cultural interaction between Greeks and Turks is also increasing, which only adds to hopes for even better ties between the two countries under a Syriza-led government in Athens."

    [08] Turkish Cypriot Businessmen's Council (KTIAK) held contacts in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.01.15) reports that a delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Businessmen's Council (KTIAK) held contacts in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague where they underlined that halloumi cheese belonged to all Cypriots.

    The head of the KTIAK Ilker Zugurt led a delegation of 12 businessmen and visited Holland upon an invitation by the European Turkish Business World Federation (UNITEE). Zugurt said that their first visit was to the Netherlands where they held very productive meetings. He noted their aim was to create contacts with business circles and politicians in Brussels as well as other EU countries. He went on and stated that the "embargoes" faced by the Turkish Cypriots harm the economy and added that they are exerting efforts to change this or even to ease the "embargoes". He also said that UNITEE will help them towards this goal and has already declared that it will make the necessary infrastructure for this. "In this framework a better representation of the TRNC abroad will be safeguarded", he stated.

    Members of the delegation who also made statements to the press pointed to the issue of halloumi cheese and said that both sides needed to benefit from the halloumi registrations.

    [09] The breakaway regime promotes health tourism

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.01.15) reports that the hospital of the illegal Near East University (YDU) participated in the Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair (EMITT) in Istanbul taking initiatives to promote health tourism services by the breakaway regime.

    According to the paper, Ahmet Savasan, member of YDU hospital' board member held meetings in the fair with many representatives of various countries, mayors and foreign journalists and promoted the offerings in health tourism in the breakaway regime.

    The paper writes that the chairman of the Global Healthcare Travel Council, which was established in Turkey with Turkey's initiative, Emin Cakmak visited the pavilion of the "TRNC" and adds that efforts are made so that the breakaway regime also becomes member of the Council. Many countries including Turkey, Brazil, Germany, Hungary, Canada and Azerbaijan are some of the countries which are already members of the Council.

    [10] "TRNC" will be represented at PACE

    Illegal Bayrak television (online, 26.01.15) broadcast the following:

    "The republic's assembly (editor's note: the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) will be represented at the winter meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

    The Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) 'deputy' Prof. Dr Mehmet Caglar and the National Unity Party (UBP) 'deputy' Tahsin Ertugruloglu who will attend the meetings in Strasbourg left the 'republic' on Sunday."

    Moreover, speaking to the "BRT" (27.01.15), Caglar said that they are working on opening up an art exhibition in Strasbourg titled "Cyprus from Past to Present" which would include political cartoons by Turkish Cypriot cartoonists or screening of films made in Cyprus.

    Caglar and Ertugruloglu are also expected to exchange views with Greek parliamentarians on the impact the victory of the radical left SYRIZA party in Greece will have on the Cyprus Issue. They will return to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on the 1st of February after completing their contacts.

    [11] Erdogan: Time to discuss the presidential system; Cyprus did not abide by the EU rules

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 27.01.15) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to journalists accompanying him during his four-day African tour that included visits to Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, said that in order for Turkey to become stronger, it needed to shift from the parliamentary system to a presidential one. Erdogan said that the biggest advantage a presidential system would bring was the elimination of a multi-headed decision-making mechanism. Swift decision-making would reflect in rapid implementation. "We would be deceiving ourselves if we said our current decision-making mechanism allows for us to act swiftly," he argued. President Erdogan noted that he has been in support of a switch to a presidential system since the late 1990s when he served as Istanbul's mayor. When asked whether there could be any differences of opinion with the government, he said he believed Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu agreed with him on the issue.

    He underlined the importance of efficiency in managing people, capital and information. "We can be more efficient. It is clear we currently are not. We need to introduce an economy based efficiency. If we do that, it will immediately produce results. Whatever we have achieved in terms of investment was accomplished by overcoming significant obstacles. If we have a presidential system, I believe we would secure much better results in terms of investments in people and infrastructure," he said.

    Erdogan also said that 12 years ago when the AK Party first came to power, he had personally travelled all over Europe to improve ties and provide a boost to the membership negotiations. "At that time, the attitude of European leaders was more positive. The current ones can't even understand the EU acquis. Then, we could attend leaders' summits." However, once German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had come to power, they passed a decision not to invite candidate members to these summits, the President noted. He also criticized the EU's 2004 decision to accept 10 new members, which he described as political. "They didn't care whether these countries abided by the EU acquis. Greek Cyprus (editor's note: as Erdogan refers to the Republic of Cyprus) did not abide by the EU rules. Turkey had progressed much further."

    He further said that the government needed only two months to complete each chapter once the EU says it could go ahead. "But still they delay. We asked them to cooperate to build the Nabuco pipeline. They couldn't find the money. We started the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline Project with Azerbaijan. One thing is clear. If Turkey remains determined in its EU trajectory while they, sometime in the future, decide not to allow us in, I believe Turkey will go on its own and implement its own criteria."

    [12] Bozkir: Turkey ready to open any EU chapter chosen by lottery

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.01.15), Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkir has laid down an assertive challenge to the EU, suggesting that Ankara is ready to open any negotiation chapter with the 28-member bloc within two months of the chapter being chosen randomly by lottery.

    "Turkey is at a point where it can open all of the chapters," Bozkir told state-run Anadolu Agency on Jan. 26. "In my contacts with the EU Commissioners, I have always voiced this particularity: Put the numbers of all unopened chapters in a sack and draw. Whichever number is drawn at random, we are ready to open that chapter in two months," he added, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos.

    "It is a problem for the EU that it has opened 14 chapters and closed one chapter. The EU has to assume the responsibility for opening chapters," Bozkir said, adding that Chapter 17, which concerns the economy and monetary policies, could not be opened due to political blockages from within the EU.

    As a result of Turkey not having fully implemented the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement, which requires it to open its seaports and airports to Cyprus ships and planes, the EU decided in December 2006 that eight negotiation chapters could not be opened and that no chapter could be provisionally closed until Turkey meets its obligations.

    Opening benchmarks for Chapter 23, on the judiciary and fundamental rights, and Chapter 24, on justice, freedom and security, have been on the EU's agenda as part of Turkey's membership bid, but the Cyprus government's veto has been impeding the process.

    [13] Hungary backs Turkey's EU membership

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.01.15), energy cooperation, trade volume and EU membership topped a high-level meeting on Monday between Hungary and Turkey's Foreign Ministers in Ankara.

    During a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Hungary's Peter Szijjarto said: "I would like to stress that we look to Turkey as an important partner of the EU and Hungary. We support all kinds of negotiations and talks between Turkey and the EU."

    Stating that the EU has lost significant part of its competitiveness during the last years, Szijjarto said: "We think that in order to regain competitiveness, we have to work together very closely with those countries and regions of the world which are emerging rapidly and which produce significant economic growth." Szijjarto added that Turkey is one of these countries.

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu thanked the Hungarian government for its "unconditional" support for Turkey's membership of the EU. Both countries are aiming to boost trade volume to $5 billion and are examining new energy policies after Russia's axing of its South Stream project in December.

    "We are looking for new alternatives since the cancellation of the South Stream project and Turkey is an important factor," Szijjarto said and added that Russia plans to transmit the gas to Europe via Turkey and Hungary is open to talks with Ankara about how to transmit the gas to Central Europe when a deal is struck.

    [14] CHP Deputy resigned

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 27.01.15), Birgul Ayman Guler, the Izmir Deputy for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), who was referred to the party disciplinary committee following her claims that the CHP and Gulen Movement are in an alliance, resigned from the party yesterday.

    Guler did not deliver a plea to the disciplinary committee yesterday and said that the party administration turned the committee into a dismissal mechanism in order to remove pressure on its policies. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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