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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-04-30

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 79/15 30.04.15

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Davutoglu: Akinci will stay on the rails like Talat
  • [02] Turkish government and party officials continue their references to the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader's statements
  • [03] Turkish columnist believes that Erdogan's attitude to Akinci's election undermines Turkey's official position; More commentaries on the impact of Akinci's election
  • [04] Turkish columnist analyses the reasons why Akinci's victory is not desirable for the AKP government and Erdogan
  • [05] Turkish academicians evaluate Akinci's victory
  • [06] Rumours on who will be the next Turkish Cypriot negotiator
  • [07] Akinci's victory was also discussed during Turkey's NSC meeting
  • [08] National Unity Party is taking action after the "elections'" results
  • [09] The youth organization of CTP resigned over the "presidential elections'" results
  • [10] Gezici survey: 77.6% of the people are against a presidential system in Turkey; HDP passes the 10% election threshold

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Davutoglu: Akinci will stay on the rails like Talat

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (30.04.15, online) reports that Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu has referred to the tension experienced between Turkish officials and the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and said that Akinci will "stay on the rails" like former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has done.

    In statements to Milliyet, Davutoglu alleged the following on this issue: "[?] One of the most dynamic democracies in Europe exists, perhaps, in the TRNC [Translator's note: The breakaway regime established in the Turkish occupied area of the island]. It is even more [dynamic] than Turkey. After the establishment of the TRNC, military coups were materialized in Turkey. Everyone was tried in Cyprus, both the rightists and the leftists. We respect the preference of the TRNC people. The motherland conceptualization is much more conceptualization of a common destiny, belonging than meaning small or big. It will stay on the rails, do not worry. The same thing had happened when Mr Talat came, but he stayed on the rails. [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkish government and party officials continue their references to the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader's statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (30.04.15) reports that Turkish government and party officials continue making statements about the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci and the relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime established in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, especially after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks on Akinci's statements.

    Omer Faruk Oz, Deputy with the justice and Development party (AKP) and chairman of the "inter-parliamentary committee" between Turkey and the breakaway regime, stated that Cyprus, as he described the occupied area of the island, has come to the situation it is today with the high prices paid by "motherland" Turkey and the "TRNC" people. Therefore, he alleged, the Turkish Cypriot "people" are never annoyed by the word "motherland". He congratulated Akinci and argued that Turkey will continue carrying out a dialogue based on brotherhood and trust with him as it has been happening until today with all his predecessors, the self-styled governments and the Turkish Cypriot political parties. Replying to a question, Oz said that he sees not only Akinci's statements but all statements prior to the 7 June elections as a plan by certain international actors.

    Referring to the issue, Turkish Minister of Culture and Sports, Omer Celik stated that "if you quarrel from the beginning with the approach motherland daughter land, no one will listen to what you say in the future". He argued that it is not correct to exhibit a stance against the "motherland ? daughter land" expression and noted that this is an issue raised from time to time by some politicians from Cyprus. He said that he finds it difficult to understand why they [these politicians] are annoyed from this expression. "The TRNC is not any country for Turkey. Turkey is not any country for the TRNC", he argued and claimed: "In order for the TRNC being able to stand on its own feet as an independent state, Turkey and especially the AKP governments, instead of an aid strategy like in the past, have made a planning by which the standards of the TRNC's institutions are increased, the institutional standards are advanced and the TRNC becomes an attractive place in all fields".

    Asked to comment on Turkish President Erdogan's reaction to Akinci's statements, the co-chairman of the Peoples' Democracy Party (HDP) Selahattin Demirtas wondered where is [Erdogan's] respect to the will of the "nation" and the results of the "elections". He said: "He slams the president of an independent country because the candidate he wanted could not be elected. It should in any case be our daughter, he says. We say no, we cannot be equal. He says 'no you will be our daughter; we will be like the flesh and the nail'. This is what he says to the Kurds also. We will be the nail and the gentleman will be the flesh. Let them not be offended, but justice and equality in the whole world should not be only in words".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.04.15) reports that Gursel Tekin, general secretary of the Republican People's Party (CHP) was asked to comment on the issue and responded that there is absolutely no country with which Turkey has not argued in its foreign policy. "Unfortunately, this argument has been experienced with Cyprus as well which is our own part", he alleged describing the situation very saddening and expressing the hope that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will do something.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (30.04.15, online) reports that Devlet Bahceli, chairman of the Nationalist Action Movement (MHP), has argued that before saying that "the child wants to grow up", Akinci should realize the "historic dangers" and added: "While I wish success to the newly elected TRNC president, I remind him that trying to run before learning to walk is not a wise thing to do".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish columnist believes that Erdogan's attitude to Akinci's election undermines Turkey's official position; More commentaries on the impact of Akinci's election

    Columnist Semih Idiz, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.04.15), under the title "Turkey should heed the Turkish Cypriots", marks the following commentary:

    "President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and certain members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) are proving once again they are only democrats to themselves. Erdogan always underlines the fact that he is the people's choice, having been elected democratically.

    It appears, however, that he is not happy about the choice of the Turkish Cypriots, who overwhelmingly elected Mustafa Ak1nc1, a veteran left-wing politician and peace activist, as  president' over the weekend for the sake of the much desired change in their country, as well as a new understanding with Turkey.

    Worse than this perhaps is the fact that Erdogan's remarks belie Turkey's official thesis concerning the 'TRNC' (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus). This has always been that the "TRNC" is an independent state, with its own flag, government and parliament, and that Turkey is only there to protect its sovereignty and does not interfere in its internal affairs.

    After being elected, Ak1nc1 indicated in his victory speech that he would seek a relationship with Turkey that was on an equal footing and based on mutual respect, not on the  motherland-babyland' approach of the past.

    Erdogan responded angrily, saying,  Ak1nc1's ears should hear what his mouth is saying', and adding that Turkey had spilled blood on the Island and would continue to look on the  TRNC' as its  baby-land'.

    Taking his cue from Erdogan, Burhan Kuzu - an AKP deputy and head of the Parliamentary Commission on the Constitution - jumped into the fray. He accused Ak1nc1 of behaving  shamelessly', and suggested that Ak1nc1 was in fact the choice of Greek Cypriots, trying in this way to label him as a traitor.

     If the Greek side wants you to be elected, this alone proves that there is something crooked about you', Kuzu said, throwing all manners and diplomatic niceties out the window.

    Ak1nc1 did not take all this lying down of course and repeated his position, reiterating that he was seeking a "brotherly relationship" with Turkey.

    Judging by Erdogan and Kuzu's approach, the 'TRNC' is anything but independent. It seems Turkey wants northern Cyprus to remain at its behest in every way and not do anything that is not approved in Ankara first.

    Erdogan and those like him may not be aware but their approach only undermines Turkey's official position and provides ammunition for Greek Cypriots who have always claimed Turkey is an occupying and colonizing power on the Island.

    Unfortunately we see now that more and more Turkish Cypriots are coming around to the same belief and Ak1nc1's election by over 60% of Turkish Cypriot voters is proof of this. It is no secret that Turkish Cypriots have considered themselves trapped within the seemingly intractable Cyprus problem, unable to enter the international stage - even sporting events - as citizens of a sovereign state.

    This situation, from their perspective, can go on for another quarter century, during which the north of the Island will totally lose its Turkish Cypriot character, as more and more settlers from Turkey arrive. Even today Turkish Cypriots see themselves as a minority in their own country and have to in many instances cope with the arrogance of "dominant mainlanders".

    They can therefore not be blamed for seeking a way out of this morass and for electing a 'president' they hope will achieve their dreams. The traditional Turkish approach which says 'Turkey saved you from massacre and deportation by the Greeks in 1974, so you sit down and behave yourselves' is hackneyed by now.

    Unless Ankara comes up with policies that put the interests of Turkish Cypriots, and not Turkish settlers on the Island, first, it will also lose what little support it has left among Turkish Cypriots.

    We are at such a stage that it is not unimaginable that Ankara follows the fashion of the day it has set for itself in a huff and recalls its ambassador in Lefkosia also."

    Moreover, columnist Nedret Ersanel, writing in Turkish daily Yeni Safak (29.04.15), under the title "European army, Arabian army, and as one of the fresh ones, Cyprus?", argues that the victory of Akinci in the recent "elections" shows that new Turkish Cypriot leader is presenting a language and policy appropriate to regional equations, and even the global equations in the Mediterranean Sea. This will provide a manual for Egypt, Israel, Syria, Cyprus, Turkey, Greece, EU and England-US-Russia, due to their special positions on the island and in the Mediterranean Sea, while looking ahead.

    Meanwhile, columnist Serkan Demirtas, writing in Turkish daily Radikal (28.04.15), under the title "'How did Turkey lose Cyprus?", reveals the reason in the following commentary:

    "Turkish foreign policy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is today at the point of emotionally losing Cyprus because instead of seeing Mustafa Akinci's election as an opportunity for the resolution of the Cyprus problem in a way that could unlock the impasse in Turkey's EU membership, it chose to go into a polemic.

    (?) The following two significant messages interrelated with one another, secured electoral victory for Akinci: Firstly, he expressed a strong will to resolve the Cyprus problem and secondly, he pledged to reshape the relations with Turkey on the basis of two equal countries.

    (?)

    The most significant point that Turkish officials, notably, Erdogan miss out is in fact hidden in this view of Ankara's. Turkish Cypriots, who this year are going to celebrate the 32nd anniversary of their country's foundation, are troubled that Turkey sees them as 'the price to be paid' and constantly interferes in their internal matters while considering this a fair setup.

    In the 2010 elections, Ankara backed Mehmet Ali Talat against Dervis Eroglu. Recently it favoured Sibel Siber but none of the electoral strategies Ankara was involved with, including the assembly elections, worked out. Ankara appointed Ibrahim Akca, the undersecretary for the State Planning Organization in Turkey, as its ambassador to the 'TRNC' in 2011. That appointment was interpreted as ''Turkey appointed a governor to the TRNC' and seen as Turkey seeking to have a hand in Cypriot politics and economy rather than resolving the Cyprus problem.

    In parallel to these developments, attempts were made via the AKP to create a more religious life style in the 'TRNC'. When I was there in 2013 for the 30th anniversary of the 'TRNC's foundation', I heard critical comments in this regard both from politicians and from some high-ranking government officials.

    According to the reports that appeared in the Cypriot press at the time, while the total number of schools in the 'TRNC' was 160, the total number of mosques rose to 190, and in parallel to this, the curriculum was amended to include more religious elements.

    In the light of all these developments, one sees two main factors that shape Turkish Cypriots' view of the future:

    - Turkish Cypriots feel exasperated under Turkey's increasing political interference during the recent period and its attempts at social engineering. Instead of looking like Turkey and becoming 'little' Turkey, they chose to remain as a 'TRNC' that maintains its character and identity. That was the reason they elected Akinci, who read this quite well.

    - Turkish Cypriots are gradually losing their hope for the resolution process. Turkish Cypriots believe that the solution talks suspended during Eroglu's term because of Greek Cypriot policies opposing a solution will become meaningful again thanks to Akinci's innovative viewpoint. In this regard, they also seem to have given up on Turkey, whose influence in international relations is fast waning. With this electoral outcome, the Turkish Cypriot side seems to have taken a chance to go through a solution process, not in spite of Turkey but by forcing Turkey's hand.

    Had it been the other way around, Ankara would have seen the election of Akinci as a projection of and an opportunity for a solution that would also positively reflect positively on Turkey's EU negotiation process and taken a position accordingly. It would not have started a polemic as Erdogan did and rebuked the president-elect."

    (DPs)

    [04] Turkish columnist analyses the reasons why Akinci's victory is not desirable for the AKP government and Erdogan

    Under the title: "Turkish Cypriots cannot be New Turkey's foster-land", columnist Kadri Gursel in Turkish daily Milliyet (30.04.15) evaluates in its commentary Mustafa Akinci's election victory in the occupied area of Cyprus and supports that this victory symbolizes the secular and peculiar resistance of the Turkish Cypriot identity.

    Gursel underlines that this result, is not at all desirable for the AKP and Ankara because the AKP has always followed a policy towards dissolving the Turkish Cypriots identity and has exerted efforts in recent years to conservatize the character and structure of the "northern part" of the island and make it similar to that of Turkey's.

    The second reason which shows why the "election result" is not desirable for the AKP writes Gursel, is the fact that with Akinci, who won the 60.5% of the votes in the "TRNC", Turkey will find difficulties in continuing the tutelage regime it established during the period of Dervis Eroglu and it is obvious that the AKP government will not find a "liege man" like Eroglu in the northern part of the island.

    Referring to Akinci's speech in Inonu Square after his "election" as regards the ties between Turkey and the "TRNC" and his reference to the "Turkish Cypriot's existence", Gursel supports that Akinci's words mean that he supports the Turkish Cypriot identity and the establishment of friendship ties with Ankara, based on equality and not on the logic of motherland-foster land. "Ankara considers that this is something that enforces the hands of the Greek Cypriot side. Akinci's aim is a federal solution for the Cyprus problem, within the EU. All these are enough to cause anger to President Erdogan", Gursel wrote.

    Concluding its commentary, Gursel wonders whether Ankara and Erdogan which are uncomfortable with the "blow in of the status quo" by the secularist/leftist Akinci, will try to sabotage the Cyprus solution process.

    Something that should not be forgotten writes the columnist is that if Cyprus moves towards a solution path, that would also mean that the abandoned Turkey's EU process will be revived?This causes another crucial questions writes the columnist that is whether Erdogan wishes Turkey's EU process to be revived?

    "In order to reply 'YES' to the above question, we should first reply 'YES' to the following question: Does the ruling party in Turkey have the capacity to find solution to any of its big problems?", concludes the columnist.

    (AK)

    [05] Turkish academicians evaluate Akinci's victory

    Turkish daily Taraf newspaper (29.04.15) reported that the election of Mustafa Akinci in the "presidency" of "north Cyprus", a man who is a supporter of the federal solution in Cyprus and his statements against Turkey's interference in "north Cyprus", has caused tension between Ankara and Lefkosia.

    According to the paper, evaluating Akinci's victory and the changes that this may bring, two Turkish experts (academicians) are of the opinion that Akinci who supports the federation system in the island, will be the man that could force the Greek Cypriot side to a lasting solution.

    Evaluating Akinci's victory, Cengiz Aktar, Professor at Bahcesehir University and Director of the Department of EU Relations in Istanbul, stated that Akinci was the only one amongst the "presidential candidates" that Ankara did not wanted to be elected. He predicted that Ankara's ties with Lefkosia will be strained more since Akincis rhetoric about the federal solution does not represent Ankara's political line.

    Aktar supports further that the "election results" in "north Cyprus" have shown that the current status quo in the island will not continue any more. "This situation is undoubtedly very important since it will affect Turkey's policy. If Turkey returns to the federal solution in Cyprus which was supported during the period of 70-80s, this could affect even the solution process. In any event, Akinci's election with the rhetoric of a federal Cyprus means that Turkey's Cyprus policy has been bankrupted.

    Also, commenting on Akinci's election, Dr. Soli Ozel, member of the academic staff of the Department of International Relations of Kadir Has University, stated that Akinci has a profile which does not comply with the official positions of Turkey about the island. He added that Akinci is the name that will force the Greek Cypriot side to a solution.

    (AK)

    [06] Rumours on who will be the next Turkish Cypriot negotiator

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (30.04.15), there were news yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus that Prof. Dr Ahmet Sozen was appointed as the negotiator for the Cyprus talks by the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    The paper reports that some "citizens" prefer to believe that this report is not correct, adding that they want to see Ali Erel at the negotiating table.

    Meanwhile, the paper reports that some Greek Cypriot journalists called yesterday Dr Sozen to verify the news whether he is the new Turkish Cypriot negotiator or not. They said that Dr Sozen told them "Akinci appointed me".

    However, Akinci denied it and added that he has not appointed anyone yet.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 29.04.14) reported that according to speculative information received by the paper, Akinci is planning on appointing Prof. Dr Ahmet Sozen as the new negotiator and Asst. Prof. Meltem Onurkan Samani as the "presidential under-secretary".

    When handed his mandate, Akinci told the paper that he had a team of 30 working with him; many of them had valuable pasts and others were valuable people already within the "state". He further said that they would be looking at this issue closely.

    [07] Akinci's victory was also discussed during Turkey's NSC meeting

    Turkish daily Hurriyet (30.04.15) reports that Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) was convened on Wednesday and discussed various issues that threaten the country's security and focus on its strategy to battle the Gulen Movement, whose members allegedly infiltrated the government's key bodies in a bid to take control of state institutions. The new atmosphere created in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus after the "presidential elections" was also discussed during the meeting, the paper reports.

    The meeting, chaired by President Erdogan, also focused on the current state of the reconciliation process, regional matters and lasted about seven hours.

    However, Hurriyet (online, 30.04.15) reports that there was no reference to the "presidential elections" held in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus last Sunday in the written statement issued after the meeting

    (DPs)

    [08] National Unity Party is taking action after the "elections'" results

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.04.15) reports that the after making an evaluation of the "presidential elections'" results, the National Unity Party (UBP) decided to take some important decisions. The party's central committee came together yesterday for this reason.

    According to the paper, it was decided that the party's extraordinary congress will be held on October 31. In addition, changes on the top leadership of the party will take place prior to the constitutional congress which was scheduled for June 6. The paper also writes that important changes will take place as regards the structure of the party, giving the youth and women organization equal participation rights to all the party's organs.

    Speaking after the meeting, UBP' leader Huseyin Ozgurgun stated that he was given extort and discipline authorization which will start to apply over the party's members.

    (CS)

    [09] The youth organization of CTP resigned over the "presidential elections'" results

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (30.04.15) reports that the younger generation of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) party members decided to resign over the failure of CTP on the "presidential elections".

    According to the paper, the chairman of the Youth Organization of CTP, the members of the Youth Organization and the chairmen of the district youth organizations of the party resigned and as a result the extra-ordinary congress of the party which was scheduled for June 14 with the aim only to select the party's new chairman, may become an election congress after this development.

    From the other hand, the central committee of CTP issued a written statement noting that it will continue with its duty until June 14, however after the election of the new Party's chairman it will also resign so a new central committee to be formed.

    (CS)

    [10] Gezici survey: 77.6% of the people are against a presidential system in Turkey; HDP passes the 10% election threshold

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 28.04.15) reported that a survey conducted by Gezici Research in April has revealed that 71.4% of Turks do not believe they would receive a fair trial under the current judicial system of the country if they have to go to court in the future.

    The survey polled 4,860 people from 36 provinces across Turkey to measure public perceptions of various issues occupying the country's agenda. When asked whether they believe they will be tried fairly if they are involved in a crime in the future, 71.4% said "no," while only 28.6% said they believe they will receive a fair trial.

    In response to a question asking if they believe the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government and former Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are currently intervening in the judiciary, 71.7% of the participants said that Erdogan and the government have an influence on the judiciary while 28.3% said "no".

    The survey also questioned whether the participants support or object to President Erdogan's ambition to establish a Turkish-type presidential system. A total of 77.6% of respondents said they are against a presidential system in Turkey, while 22.4% support the establishment of a presidential system in the country.

    According to the survey, 67.2% of respondents believe President Erdogan is becoming increasingly authoritarian and repressive, while 32.8% do not think so. Of the survey participants who voted for the ruling AK Party in the elections, 29.6% believe Erdogan is authoritarian while the rest say they don't find Erdogan authoritarian.

    The poll also asked what the respondents think about the suppression of journalists and media outlets that are critical of the AK Party government and the smear campaigns targeting them. When asked whether they believe a planned attack is under way against the media in Turkey, 65.2% of respondents said "yes", while the remaining 34.8% said they do not believe the media is under an organized attack.

    Since the scandalous Dec. 17 graft probe, the AK Party government and its former leader Erdogan, who is currently President, have launched a battle against critical media. The government has sent tax inspectors to these media outlets, and controversial courts have ruled that some critical newspapers must publish disclaimers for some coverage that angers either the government or Erdogan. These courts, known as penal courts of peace, were established by the AK Party government last year.

    According to the survey, most Turks believe there is serious polarization between different groups in society. A total of 70.2% said there is polarization while, just 29.8% of respondents said Turkish society is not polarised.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Zaman (online, 29.04.15) reports that the results of the question "Which party are you going to vote for in the 7 June elections?" the Gezici survey company received the following responses:

    AKP (Justice and Development Party): 38.1%

    CHP (Republican People's Party): 28.5%

    MHP (National Movement Party): 18%

    HDP (Peoples' Democratic Party): 11%

    Union of Forces (SP [Felicity Party] and BBP [Grand Unity Party]): 4.1%

    Other: 0.3%

    (DPs) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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