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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-01-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 19/15 29.01.15
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Turkey's MGK decided for Turkey to possess its own platform, after Erdogan's instructionsTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (28.01.15) reports that Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) has decided during its last meeting that "Turkey should have in its possession its own drilling platform; either by buying one or by manufacturing one".
According to the paper, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has put forward the issue into the agenda of MGK in order for steps to be taken for the protection of Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean. In this framework, Erdogan has given instructions to Turkey's National Security Council to discuss the issue in details.
Erdogan who pointed out that they will mobilize all their means in order to use all their rights in the Mediterranean; he gave instructions to take the necessary steps in order to have their own drilling platform.
Stating that foreign oil exploration companies should not carry out drilling activities in controversial areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said: "We will take matters into our own hands".
According to the decision which was received by MGK, Turkey's TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) will increase its effectiveness in the Eastern Mediterranean by possessing a drilling platform it has found, costing 1,5 billion dollars. The above mentioned platform belongs to a well-known energy company, writes the paper, and adds that Turkey with this investment will have the potential to operate in all regions without it being necessary to look for agreements with big firms for carrying out drilling in the Mediterranean.
The paper adds that Turkey's TPAO will carry out new partnerships since after possessing its own drilling platform, it will make drilling agreements and seismic researches with other countries as well, besides the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
 Nami evaluates Tsipras election victoryAccording to illegal Bayak television (online, 28.01.15), self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami, evaluating the early election results in Greece to the Ankara Anatolian news agency, said that the Turkish side is hoping for better relations with the Greek side after the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) won the elections.
Nami expressed the hope that the newly elected Greek Prime Minister will inspire the Greek Cypriot side towards a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Noting that once a solution is found to the Cyprus problem peace will spread in the region and economic gains will be achieved, Nami said and added that they hoped that the New Greek government will inspire and encourage the "Greek Cypriot Administration" (editor's note: as he refers to the Cyprus Government) to work towards a settlement.
Nami also expressed the hope that the Greek government will meet the expectations of the Greek nation.
"It is Greece's own concern whether or not it will fulfil its responsibilities on the Cyprus problem" Nami, pointing out that Greece has not been involved with the Cyprus problem for some time due to its domestic problems.
Reminding that Greece as a guarantor power has responsibilities on the Cyprus issue; Nami said: "The UN Secretary General is currently carrying out a good offices mission. The UN is expected to contribute to a settlement. The latest UNFICYP report has been published and we are now waiting for the decision to be taken by the UN Security Council. The UN Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide has pointed out that he will continue his efforts to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. He said that both sides desired the resumption of the talks. That is why we are expecting Greece to contribute to efforts aimed at restarting the stalled negotiations process".
Nami also expressed his hope that relations between Turkey and Greece will further improve with the new government in Greece and added: "Greece is a country supporting Turkey's EU membership and we hope this government will carry this support even further. (?) It is a known fact that the economic relations with Turkey are very important for Greece. The lingering of the Cyprus problem prevents the relationship from reaching its full potential".
 Turkish Cypriot negotiator urges suspension of gas drillingTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 28.01.15) reports that Greek and Turkish Cypriots should both agree to suspend the search for offshore natural gas until they have reached a settlement to reunify their divided island, the chief Turkish Cypriot negotiator has said, as Turkey's Foreign Minister expressed hopes of finding a solution to the issue with the new Greek government.
"We will hopefully look forward to finding an arrangement during which both sides will refrain from continuing activities in the sea, get to the negotiating table and find a way to deal with the hydrocarbons issue," said Ergun Olgun, the Turkish Cypriot negotiator.
Both sides should agree to suspend exploration to open the way for a resumption of the peace talks, he told Reuters in an interview.
Olgun also accused the Greek Cypriot side of using gas exploration as "a pretext to continue with the perpetuation of the status quo in Cyprus."
Finding oil or gas could be a blessing or a curse, Olgun said during a visit to Brussels where he was holding talks with European Commission and European Parliament officials.
"Unfortunately Greek Cypriots have managed it in a way that it has turned into a curse so far. But we can turn it into a blessing with the understanding that we will benefit from hydrocarbons following a settlement of the Cyprus issue", he claimed.
The recent slide in energy prices is not helping the case for exploration off Cyprus, Olgun said. "Why should we artificially put before a Cyprus settlement an issue which economically no longer makes sense? Petrol companies are withdrawing their interest," he added.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.01.15) reports that Olgun, speaking to the paper, said that the reasons a Turkish Cypriot delegation went to Brussels, is that the Cyprus negotiation process has entered its last stage and they will discuss in EU circles the path they can follow to safeguard a comprehensive solution in the coming period. He added that they will explain to EU circles the Turkish Cypriots' perspectives and they will also hear the thoughts of the members of the EU Commission and the European Parliament.
Olgun also said that the delegation, who went to Brussels on the day before yesterday, will hold meetings on practical issues like halloumi / hellim and will search for ways to obtain cooperation in a way that respect to the rights of both sides is shown.
Meanwhile, evaluating UN Secretary General's special envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide's latest statements on the UN Security Council, Olgun said: "All great minds think alike" and added that the obstacles before the negotiations should be lifted.
 European Commission tries to find a solution to the continually decrease of the trade within the Green Line RegulationAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.01.15), it is reported that the European Commission will continue to look for ways to develop the Green Line Regulation.
Citing sources by the Commission, the paper reports that it is interested at the moment on authorizing the trade of farm fish. In the past years, permission to the trade of fresh fish and potatoes cultivated with certified seeds was also given.
According to sources, the yearly report of the Commission on the Green Line Regulation notes that there is an important decrease of the Green Line trade. In the report, an emphasis to the problem regarding the processed food was also given. Reminding that the Direct Trade Regulation is still pending at the European Parliament, the sources added that the Commission did not think of a new initiative that will take the place of Direct Trade. However, it is reported that in case all the concerned sides of the Cyprus problem include Direct Trade in the Confidence Building Measures, then the Commission will support it.
The sources noted that the proposal of Direct Trade is on the table as part of the Cyprus problem, adding that there is also the view that direct trade of Turkish Cypriots with the EU for supporting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community may help the reunification of Cyprus.
 Turkish Cypriot columnist: Turkey wants to legalize the illegal fait accompli created in 1974 with the occupation of CyprusUnder the title "While Tsipras is preparing to visit Cyprus", columnist Mehmet Levent writes in Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.01.15) that everyone is curious to see the views and the steps which the newly elected Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will take as regards Cyprus.
Noting that it is not very difficult to predict Turkey's expectations from Tsipras, Levent argues that the Greek Prime Minister will become the "number one supporter of the solution and reconciliation", if he says "stop the explorations for natural gas and return to the negotiating table, accept the sharing of natural gas with the Turkish Cypriots, accept Varosha to be returned after the comprehensive solution, do not react to Turkey's drilling for energy resources in Cyprus' territorial waters, accept the lifting of the embargoes implemented on the Turkish Cypriots and opening of negotiation chapters as regards Turkey's EU accession and accept that all Turkish citizens who were granted the TRNC citizenship will become citizens of the newly established state".
Levent adds, inter alia, the following:
"The 'solution' which Erdogan and the AKP want is known. They are after a 'solution', which will secure the legalization of all illegal fait accompli that Turkey created in 1974 with the occupation of the northern part of the island and are at the same time crimes of war! Tsipras adopting all these, which would be tantamount to accepting such an illegality, the occupation and the war crime as a solution, is something that cannot be imagined.
Therefore, hoping that the outstanding change in Greece will contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem is nothing more than dreaming, because of the ongoing negative stance of Turkey! It is unfortunately nothing else than very excessive optimism to think that Turkey will abandon this negative stance and its demands and be able to turn into an opportunity for a real and fair solution in Cyprus the big change that occurred with a leader like Tsipras.
[?] Tsipras is a big opportunity for Greece. However, because of Turkey's and its supporters' negative stance, unfortunately it does not seem possible for him to contribute in the solution of the Cyprus problem, even if he wanted it!"
 AKP Deputy alleged that SYRIZA's positions on the Cyprus problem, the Aegean issue and Israel are very close to Turkey's positionsUnder the title: "SYRIZA's Cyprus positions are close to ours", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi reports on statements by Burhan Kuru, "Deputy" with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul and Chairman of the Constitution Commission in Turkey, who in a message in his personal account in twitter concerning SYRIZA's victory in Greece, alleged that the messages SYRIZA sent concerning the issues of Cyprus, the Aegean and Israel, are very close to Turkey's positions.
 Turkish Cypriot columnist assesses how Turkey and Turkish companies exploit the occupied area of CyprusUnder the title "The awry relations with Turkey", columnist Basaran Duzgun explains in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.01.15) how Turkey and Turkish companies economically and politically exploit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Duzgun refers to an activity planned for yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors' Union as a protest against the fact that tenders for projects in the occupied area of Cyprus are invited only in Turkey. He notes that the protest did not take place yesterday as a result of an agreement reached with the self-styled government. He goes on and writes, inter alia, the following:
"[?] I do not know why it was cancelled and how the government will solve this problem. The problem, however, exists for 30 years. And even if it has caused debates and protests from time to time during these 30 years, it has somehow not been solved. Just like many other problems have not been solved. The business world (justifiably in my view) says 'invite the tenders here, let us also participate, and let this be life saving for the economy which is anyway in crisis. Those who secure the opening of the tenders in Ankara are defending this by saying 'we give the money, so these tenders are for our building contractors'. That is, those who give the money appoint who will do the job. [?]
A similar situation exists in the advertisements of the companies which have Turkey as their origin or the products which come to the TRNC from Turkey or in the social responsibility projects.
For example, AKSA company controls almost half of the electricity consumption in the TRNC. It earns a guaranteed amount of money of around 40 million dollars. Very well, have you ever seen an advertisement of AKSA in the newspapers or on televisions? AKSA company is the sponsor of not one but two teams in Turkey's Super League. It spends a lot of money for these sponsorships. Very well, what does it spend in the TRNC? In which social responsibility project it contributes? How much money it spends from the two-billion dollar products that come from Turkey? Let me tell you how much. [This money] is not even a drop in the ocean. [?]
The same is valid for Turkish Airlines or the other [companies]. The deposits in the banks from Turkey exceed one billion, but you cannot see them performing even one activity here. The same [is valid] for the gigantic hotels which are exempted from any kind of tax and tariff. They are going further and attempt to direct the TRNC administration, politics and media.
It is obvious that this cannot continue like this. And a government of socialist origin has really a lot to do on this issue. [?]"
 Asikoglu: "The economic crisis in Russia might affect the TRNC's tourism"Under the front-page title: "We need a new strategy in tourism", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.15) reports on statements by Sahap Asikoglu, "undersecretary" of the so-called ministry of tourism who in statements to the paper, referred, inter alia to the economic crisis in Russia and warned that this might have a negative effect on "TRNC's tourism sector".
Stating that because of the economic crisis in Russia, it is expected that this year the number of Russian tourists who are travelling to Antalya will be decreased by 1,5-2 million, Asikoglu explained that this will also affect the tourism in the "country" and added: "The hotel prices in Antalya will be reduced. We will be forced to be competitive. For this reason, we need a new strategy. As a ministry, it is essential to rush forward. The same situation existed in the case of the UK as well and we achieved to attract tourists at the last minute with the advertisements we did. We must do the same this year as well".
Referring to the occupation regime's tourism, Asikoglu said that it is going well and added that the number of tourists and the overnight stays have increased. He added that the tourism revenues for 2014 are 714 million dollars, (1 billion 677 million 900 thousand T.L) and stressed that they expect the tourism revenues for 2015 to reach 735 million dollars.
Referring to the "tourism sector" in 2015 and 2016, Asikoglu predicted that a serious crash might be experienced because of several external factors. "We have a serious problem. We have launched a charter flight project which is a highly subsidized project. Since our country is not recognized, the number of flights was not enough. And we were not in a position to predict this", he said.
Supporting that the "budget amount" which is allocated for the "tourism sector" in the "country" is very restricted, Asikoglu stressed the need for this amount to be increased in order to be able to promote the "TRNC" more.
Explaining that they have asked for an additional allowance of 10 million T.L (around 3 million Euro) from the "state" for this year, Asikoglu stated that they will use this money in order to advertise and promote the "TRNC" in Germany, the UK and Scandinavian countries.
Regarding the tourist agencies which transferred tourists in the occupation regime with charter flights, Asikoglu said that they have only paid them 70% of incentive fees and clarified that they will give them the remaining 30% as soon as they will be able to have the money from the 2015 budget.
As regards the number of tourists in the occupied area of Cyprus, Asikoglu said that for 2014 it was approximately 1 million 200 thousand and added that they expect that in 2015 they will increase by 7-10%.
Concerning the occupation regime's participation in fairs abroad, Asikoglu said that it is the first time since 1974 that they participated in nine different fairs abroad in one week.
Stating that they participated in work shows in Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin, he added that they attended tourism fairs in the Netherlands and Finland and said that they are planning to participate in 10 more fairs.
 The occupation regime's Federation of Judo Hapkido and Kickbox to attend IKSA meeting in the Chech RepublicTurkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (29.01.15) reports in its sport pages that the "chairman" of the "Judo Hapkido and Kickbox Federation", Niyazi Demirel will fly to Prague tomorrow in order to attend the International Sporting Kickboxing Association (ISKA) meeting of directors, which is scheduled to take place there between January 31-February 1st.
According to the paper, Demirel, besides attending the meeting, will further carry out contacts with the President of ISKA, Cory Schafer and the ISKA's UK Executive Director Paul Hennessy.
 Turkey's EU Minister: Turkey is ready to join EU in 2 yearsAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.01.15), Turkey will be ready to become a full member of the EU in two years' time, Turkey's EU Minister said on Wednesday.
To gain membership, Turkey must also successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters, which involve reforms and the adoption of European standards. So far, 14 chapters have been opened, while 17 remain blocked and another four have yet to be discussed.
"Turkey will have all the chapters closed in two years' time," Volkan Bozkir told the Anatolia news agency during his official visit to Spain's capital, Madrid.
Bozkir added that Turkey's aim is to reach the EU's standards. Saying that Turkey is economically in a much better situation compared with many other EU countries, Bozkir added: "The EU does not have the luxury not to enroll Turkey".
The Minister also said that today's realities made it impossible for the EU to act as a Christian association and added that the union needs Turkey.
 Erdogan will visit Latin AmericaUnder the title "Erdogan going to Cuba, no plan to build mosque", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 28.01.15) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Cuba as part of a Latin American tour next month, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said at his first press conference at the newly built presidential palace, adding, however, that there is no plan to lay the groundwork to build a mosque there.
News reports have said that Erdogan will oversee the beginning of construction of a mosque when he visits Cuba in mid-February, in line with his controversial remarks in November that Muslims discovered America first and that a mosque once sat on a hill along the Cuban coast.
"I will talk to my brothers in Cuba and a mosque would suit the top of that hill today as well. We would build it if they [the Cuban government] say so," Erdogan then said.
"There is no plan to lay the groundwork for a mosque during our Cuba visit. It's not in our program," Kalin told reporters.
A Turkish delegation travelled in April to Cuba to seek permission to build a mosque in the Cuban capital of Havana. Turkish media has subsequently reported, however, that Cuban authorities rejected the request, submitted by Turkey's Religious Affairs Foundation (TDV).
Kalin was appointed presidential spokesman in December. He became the first spokesman for the Turkish presidency, as part of a restructuring in the presidential team following Erdogan's election to the top state post in an election on Aug. 10.
 Turkey's population figures releasedAccording to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 29.01.15), the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) has released the latest figures on Turkey's population. According to the latest data released by TUIK, Turkey's official population in 2014 was 77,695,904, an increase of 1,280,040 people compared to the previous year.
Turkey has a population of 38,984,302 men (who make up 50.2% of the total population) and 38,711,302 women (49.8% of the total population), according to the data.
The report has also stated that the yearly population increase was 13.3% in 2014, a slight decrease on the 13.7% increase in 2013.
The urban population makes up 91.8% of Turkey's total population, an increase of 0.05% compared to the previous year.
The population in Turkey's most populated city, Istanbul, has also continued its increase with 1.5% added to the population in 2014. Istanbul's current population was declared as 14,377,018. Ankara's population of 5,140,072 and Izmir's population of 2,787,539 followed Istanbul as the second and third most crowded cities in Turkey.
The median age for Turkey's population has been declared as 30.7 in 2014, an increase on the age of 30.4 recorded in 2013. The median age is 30.1 for men, and 31.3 for women according to statistics released.
Turkey has been placing an emphasis on the proportion of its population made up by young people, but with such an increase in its median age group, the figures are likely to change.
 A journalist faces 2 years in jail for insulting President on FacebookAccording to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 28.01.15), a journalist in the southern province of Adana is facing two years of imprisonment after a prosecutor filed a criminal case against her for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Facebook, the Dogan news agency reported on Wednesday.
Mine Bekiroglu, a 28-year-old journalist who works for a local newspaper, was detained by the Adana Police Department Cyber Crimes Unit on Feb. 15, 2014, over claims that she insulted then-Prime Minister Erdogan on Facebook. Bekiroglu's personal computer was seized for examination and she was released pending trial after interrogation.
The prosecutor of the case prepared an indictment against Bekiroglu, seeking a prison sentence of between one and two years. The Adana 6th Criminal Court of Peace recently accepted the indictment. Bekiroglu, who says her Facebook posts about Erdogan did not include an insult but only comments and criticism, is expected to appear before the court soon.
 Presidential system to be included in AK Party's election manifestoAccording to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 29.01.15), with only months left before the June 7 national election, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has stepped up its efforts to shift the Turkish political structure toward a more comprehensive and applicable presidential system. A presidential system that was mentioned by both President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he was directly elected as president, and AK Party officials, is expected to be included among the party's 2015 election campaign promises.
The presidency model on which the party works is expected to be based on the decision-making processes between state mechanisms. Reportedly, the AK Party is not interested in bicameral legislature, or the navette system used in France, since it is reminiscent of the 1960 Constitution enacted after the 1960 coup d'etats, which was the first coup in modern Turkish history where the Constitution introduced a senate to form a bicameral system. The party is working on a unicameral system instead of this model.
The presidential model brought to the table by the AK Party stipulates that the President is the head of executive power. He represents the Turkish State and the unity of the nation. The President will be directly elected and his/her tenure will be five years. The President cannot be elected more than twice. Like the current system, the President will approve laws and will have the authority to assign or discharge senior public officials and to assign or discharge ministers.
The duties and responsibilities of the current Parliament will continue, as it will have the authority to enact a law, to approve a budget, to decide to issue money or wage war. It will be responsible for controlling the executive.
It is expected that all details of the presidency system will be brought to the table after the June 7 national election. Governmental sources say that the presidential system will be the framework and details will be clarified after negotiations.
The presidency model aims to create a political ground where each segment of the society is represented in the Parliament. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION