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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-05-04

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. 80/15 01-04.05.15

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Ak?nc? officially takes over the "presidency"; Statements by Akinci and Eroglu during the handover ceremony
  • [02] Akinci- Arinc's joint press conference
  • [03] Akinci will visit Ankara on May 6
  • [04] Akinci's interview with Turkish Star newspaper; He clarifies that some statements have not reflected what he said
  • [05] Nami appointed as negotiator
  • [06] Nami is reportedly appointed as negotiator upon Ankara's wish; Reactions to Nami's appointment
  • [07] Cavusoglu on Akinci: Some warnings could be given at the beginning
  • [08] Cavusoglu responded to Kotzias' statement
  • [09] Bozkir says Turkey slowed down the EU membership process to the protect Turkish Cypriots' rights
  • [10] Yildiz: Delivering Greek Cyprus gas via Egypt not feasible
  • [11] Turkey has given nearly 9 billion TL in direct aid to "TRNC" since 2006
  • [12] Talat to be a candidate for the CTP' leadership
  • [13] Nationalist MHP announces election manifesto ahead of June 7
  • [14] Erdogan says has right to use state money to hold pre-election rallies
  • [15] Turkish commentary draws attention to lack of interest in EU membership during election process in Turkey

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Ak?nc? officially takes over the "presidency"; Statements by Akinci and Eroglu during the handover ceremony

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.05.15) reported that the newly elected "TRNC president" Mustafa Akinci has officially assumed his duties from the former "president" Dervis Eroglu in a ceremony which took place at the so-called presidential palace.

    As the paper writes, the handover ceremony was attended by a huge number of Turkish Cypriot politicians, "ministers" and parliamentary deputies", political party representatives, "representatives" of civil society organizations and others. Among the participants were the "speaker" of the so-called assembly, Sibel Siber, the so-called prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the so-called Turkish ambassador in the occupied part of Nicosia Halil Ibrahim Akca, the "Turkish Peace Forces Commander" in the occupied area of Cyprus, the "chief" of the "Supreme court" Safak Oneri and others.

    Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for Cyprus Affairs Bulent Arinc attended also the ceremony, representing the Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    After the handover ceremony, both the former and the new "presidents" delivered speeches addressing the guests.

    Speaking at the hand-over ceremony, the former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu congratulated Mustafa Akinci for his election success and wished him a productive five year term in his office in the "presidency".

    Referring to his five year term in "presidency", Eroglu said that he is honored for serving the Turkish Cypriots. He alleged that he had always followed a policy in order to preserve a safe environment and security in the "country" and added that he has always followed a humanitarian and realistic policy.

    Referring to the Cyprus negotiation talks, Eroglu stated: "Together with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades we signed the 11st of February 2014 joint declaration and we reached to the give and take phase. It was an important development that the UNSG's Special Advisor Eide made statement and said that at the end of 2015 separate referendums would be held. It was an important gain. What it should be done from now on is to reach to a positive result which will lead to a comprehensive solution in the Cyprus problem".

    Eroglu criticized also the Greek Cypriot side for its intransigent attitude at the negotiating table and alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side which is always in favor of the solution has suffered from the so-called isolations.

    Eroglu said that he always put the nation first and added that he is ready to give advices to Ak?nc? if he requested.

    On his part, the newly elected "president" Mustafa Ak?nc?, addressing the people, started his speech by saying that he was aware of the major responsibility he was taking on and thanked everyone for all their support.

    Touching upon his vision which he shared during the "presidential election" campaign period, Ak?nc? said that this vision was approved and supported by the majority of the people and that his vision reflected the needs and demands of the Turkish Cypriots.

    "The status quo in Cyprus cannot be sustained; this situation poses great threats against the peace and wellbeing of our county and the whole region. As the 11th of February's Joint Declaration also outlined, Cyprus is in need for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and this model will benefit both sides of the island. Such a solution will also contribute to the stability of the whole region. In that regard my main focus is a solution ?oriented politics", stated Akinci.

    Referring to the meeting scheduled to be held with the UN's Special Advisor in Cyprus Espen Barth Eide next week, Akinci stated that they will try to contribute to the preparing of the infrastructure for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiation process. I believe that the solution opportunity which was missed 10 years ago exists again. The only thing needed for this, is both sides to show a mutual will and to understand the mutual benefits of a solution, he added. .

    "The Cyprus Republic which is under the control of the Greek Cypriots has unilaterally entered the EU but due to wrong financial decisions have suffered from an economic crisis. On the other hand, the natural gas discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean has created new dynamics for a solution. However, disputing over this gas, which has not even been excavated, is not the right path to take. Instead, we need to share this wealth justly. With the solution, transferring the gas to Europe via Turkey seems to be the most logical, the most rational and cost effective way", stated Akinci.

    In his speech, Ak?nc? also touched upon the importance of the implementation of the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in parallel with the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem and said that these measures will contribute to the daily lives of the two communities. "In this framework, we will exert efforts for the opening of the closed city of Varosha for settlement under the UN supervision, and the simultaneous opening of the Famagusta port and Ercan airport for direct trade and flights. I believe that the CBMs will contribute to the efforts for a comprehensive solution. In this framework, the opening of new crossing points and the mobile telephone connection of the two communities is absolutely very important", Akinci added.

    (AK)

    [02] Akinci- Arinc's joint press conference

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (01.05.15) under the title: "We are more hopeful about the solution", reported that the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Bulent Arinc, who carried out an "official" visit in the occupied area of Cyprus in order to attend the "oath-taking ceremony" of Akinci, held a joint press conference, after their face to face meeting and the meeting of their delegations.

    Speaking during the press conference, Arinc said that they are now more hopeful towards reaching to a result at the Cyprus negotiation talks.

    Stating that together with the "election" of Akinci as the "TRNC's president" they have become more hopeful in terms of a solution, Arinc noted that Turkey is prepared to carry out its duties at the negotiating table.

    Arinc stated also the following: "Turkey is a brother country that wants to share even its bread with the Turkish Cypriots. There has always been the relationship of elder brother and younger brother within our culture. This expresses affection, and sincerity. And as the respected President has stated, a brotherly relationship expresses respect and friendship. The relationship of brotherhood exists in our traditions. We respect this style of the President."

    In his turn, the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that he will work in close relationship with the "government" and expressed his pleasure over hosting Arinc in the "TRNC" on such an important day.

    Stating that the "TRNC" has a "parliamentary system", Akinci said: "I have given one promise to the people? I said that I am going to be sensitive toward social issues as well. Consequently, I am going to work in a close relationship with the government".

    Referring to the face to face meeting he held with Arinc, and to the inter-delegation meetings, Akinci said that the delegations discussed the ties between the two "countries". "I am convinced that they held an excellent and beneficial meeting", Akinci stated.

    As regards the issue of the occupation regime's relations with Turkey, Akinci said that he has the responsibility to do whatever he can in terms of their relationship with Turkey and noted that he held a face to face meeting with Arinc within this framework.

    Akinci said also that during his meeting with Arinc, the existing protocols between the two "countries", and the things that have been done within the scope of these protocols, had been put on the table.

    Indicating that Arinc's duties will come to an end following the June elections in Turkey, Akinci said: "I want to convey to him my wishes for health and well-being." Akinci also thanked Arinc for the services he has provided to the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Arinc, for his part, stated that he had taken part in the swearing in and transfer of authority ceremonies on behalf of the Turkish government and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and said that Akinci had been elected as a "president" with a great success.

    Pointing out to the fact that the "elections" had taken place in a fair and equal way Arinc said: "Even if the turnout was a bit low, the citizens exercised their votes freely. The result of the elections should be respected", he noted.

    Supporting that Turkey's relations with Cyprus are based on the past, Arinc added: "Our ties are not like our relations with any other country. We are people who have supported one another on every issue, and who have waged the struggle for survival together."

    Noting that Akinci follows a certain line in politics, Arinc said: "We observed with appreciation the speeches he made a while ago".

    Noting that a new era is beginning on Cyprus, and that he is expecting positive developments to take place in terms of politics, Arinc said: "Our only desire is to be able to attain a Cyprus that is able to stand on its own feet, and whose economy has developed."

    (AK)

    [03] Akinci will visit Ankara on May 6

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (02.05.15) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will visit Ankara on Wednesday the 6th of May 2015.

    Akinci will be visiting Ankara upon Turkish President Erdogan's invitation. According to the statement issued by the "presidency" the newly appointed Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami will be accompanying Akinci during his visit. Before being appointed as the new negotiator Nami was expected to hold contacts in Berlin this week, according to the paper.

    [04] Akinci's interview with Turkish Star newspaper; He clarifies that some statements have not reflected what he said

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (03.05.15, online) reports the following on an interview given by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to Turkish Star newspaper:

    "Akinci has hit back at claims made by Greek FM Kotzias that the treaty of guarantees on Cyprus can be terminated unilaterally.

    Commenting on a statement made by Kotzias in which he said that Greece is not interested in keeping guarantees in Cyprus, Akinci said that there are five players on the aspect of the Cyprus problem.

    'There is Turkey, Greece, Great Britain, South Cyprus and the TRNC. Therefore, one side saying guarantees should be ended cannot end the other guarantors' rights'.

    Akinci told Star newspaper that the Cyprus problem will now be the most important issue on his agenda with negotiations expected to restart in mid-May.

    'Our hope is that these negotiations will culminate in a positive result in 2015. We have discussed this issue with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Arinc and Turkey's wishes are in the same direction.'

    Akinci went on to question the willingness of the Cypriot government to share power in a post-solution Cyprus. 'The Greek Cypriot side operates under the assumption that it is the only sovereign country and the sole protector of citizens' rights. I believe this is wrong.'

    He added: 'Natural gas is a wealth belonging jointly to both communities and I believe that this resource can fund the solution. It is wrong for it to be turned into a point of friction, even before it is unearthed'.

    'If they accept that on this island, they are politically equal with us, then we will have overcome the most important obstacle. Agreement on all other issues will become easier.'

    Akinci also criticized the confidence-building measures (CBMs) unilaterally announced by President Nicos Anastasiades earlier this week. 'It was hardly appropriate to announce these through the press', he said.

    Some of the press reports included the demining of areas in the Kerynia mountain range and in particular around the Five Finger [Pentadaktylos] Mountains".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (04.05.15) reports that Akinci issued a written statement noting that in spite of the fact that in Star newspaper's report there are some correct expressions used by himself, in the title and in some subtitles the paper used some expressions which do not reflect what he said.

    Akinci noted that the treaty of guarantees is an international agreement and the sides concerned are Turkey, Greece, Britain, the Turkish Cypriot side and the Greek Cypriot side. He noted that the current agreement will be valid until there is no other final form approved by the sides. He said that Greece cannot change the treaty unilaterally and added that if there is an agreement between the sides, the treaty could take a new form. "I think that this is not the hottest issue on the agenda right now", he argued.

    Referring to the four-paragraph confidence measures package announced by President Anastasiades, Akinci said that he wants to hear these measures by the President himself and expressed the view that announcing the measures to the press first was not a very "elegant" thing to do. He noted that the measure regarding the minefields on Pentadaktylos Mountains should have been materialized earlier and added that if the Turkish side knows such places, it should also announce them to the Greek Cypriot side. He said: "Of course steps which will bring the two sides closer to each other and lead their relations to a better level are positive. I do not want to react negatively. Let me listen to them first".

    Akinci expressed the view that measures such as the connection of the two sides' cell phones, the commercial vehicles crossing over to the government ? controlled area of the island, the opening of more crossing points and the lifting of what he called as obstacles on issues such as the exports of halloumi-hellim cheese would be very useful and would really create trust in the Turkish side.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Nami appointed as negotiator

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (02.05.15) reported that the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci announced that he will appoint the self-styled foreign minister Ozdil Nami as his new negotiator in the Cyprus talks.

    The statement by the "president's office" read as follow: "As I repeatedly stated throughout my election campaign I believe that there is currently an important window of opportunity for a settlement in Cyprus. In addition to having a vision for EU membership and a settlement, I believe that Mr Nami, who has been serving as 'foreign minister, can make serious contributions to the negotiations process with his experience and knowledge".

    According to the statement, Akinci said that Nami accepted the appointment and he will step down from his current post in the coming days.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (02.05.15) reported that Nami, speaking to Ada TV, confirmed his appointment. He added that for a long time now, they have struggled in order to be able to have a solution that will defend the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot "people". Nami also said that a new excitement has been born, and they will try with all their strength so 2015 to be a year of solution.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 03.05.15) reported that Nami, assessing his new role as negotiator to paper's reporter Eniz Orakcioglu, said that this new job means an important responsibility.

    Nami said that he received positive reactions from the public and thanked everyone for their support and faith in him. He noted that Akinci had pointed out that there are many valuable people who can contribute to this process, adding that with a good negotiating team they can lead this the best way possible. He concluded by saying that for him to be brought in at this stage was an honour.

    (DPs)

    [06] Nami is reportedly appointed as negotiator upon Ankara's wish; Reactions to Nami's appointment

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.05.15) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has been appointed to the post of the Turkish Cypriot negotiator upon pressure exerted by Ankara. Under the title "Ankara asked it, Ozdil Nami became negotiator", the paper describes as "disappointing" this decision by the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, noting that Nami's appointment "shocked" Akinci's supporters.

    The paper writes that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who is preparing to undertake the leadership of the "ruling" Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has submitted a proposal to Nami to become the new "prime minister" of the regime after Ozkan Yorgancioglu's resignation. Talat himself cannot undertake this duty because he is not a "deputy". According to Afrika, Nami preferred the post of the negotiator and accepted Akinci's proposal.

    Under the title "When Ankara requested it, Ozdil Nami became negotiator and not a prime minister", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (04.05.15) reports that according to correspondence acquired by the paper, Nami rejected Talat's proposal after Akinci's proposal and a request by Turkish officials.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (03.05.15) reports that Mehmet Cakici, "deputy" and former chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has said that he was surprised by this decision, adding that he did not expect any of the "deputies" to be appointed as negotiator. Pointing out that this was Akinci's opinion, Cakici noted that he was expecting the appointment of a more neutral, independent and young academician. However, Huseyin Angolemli, "deputy" with the same party, described the decision as a correct one, pointing out that Nami is an experienced person.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (04.05.15) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, self-styled prime minister of the regime and CTP's chairman, described Nami's appointment a "great fortune" for the negotiating process, as he could significantly contribute to the process because of his 10-15 year experience.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (03.05.15) reports that "everyone is satisfied" with Nami's appointment and refers to statements by political party officials.

    Hasan Tacoy, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), said that Nami's appointment was a positive development and noted that he personally knows Nami's abilities both as negotiator and in the international relations. He said that he was confident that Nami will execute his duties in the best possible manner.

    Ersin Tatar, "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP), has recalled that during his "election" campaign Akinci had said that he had a 30-member negotiating delegation. He added: "Now he stated that he will appoint Mr Nami as negotiator. Therefore, if Mr Nami's appointment as a negotiator has been imposed by some circles, the extent of this complying with Mr Akinci's standing upright is disputable". Tatar described as interesting Nami's appointment noting that his views are different than Akinci's views on issues such as the occupied fenced off city of Varosha and the Turkish NAVTEX instruction. "I wonder how they will solve this", he said.

    Abdullah Korkmazhan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) said that they respect Akinci's decision adding that the important thing is the materialization of his four-dimensioned vision announced before the "elections".

    Finally, former Turkish Cypriot's negotiator, Ergun Olgun said that the negotiator should be very careful and behave in a diplomatic manner and added that he should be a person who can and have the power to undertake initiatives and take steps forward and a person who knows the Turkish Cypriot leader's views and thoughts. "In this direction, Ozdil Nami is a good choice", he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Cavusglu on Akinci: Some warnings could be given at the beginning

    Istanbul HaberTurk (02.05.15) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave an interview during the return flight from Boznia-Herzegovina where he replied to questions about the issues occurred between the new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the Turkish government. The interview was as follows:

    "Question: Is the polemic with the new president on the KKTC going to have a lasting and adverse effect?

    Cavusoglu: What Mustafa Akinci said was not all that unpleasant. But some warnings could be given at the beginning. I think that Akinci is going to work in close cooperation with Turkey. Our attitude and Akinci's attitude concerning the settlement process are the same. I spoke with him on the phone after he got elected. His desire to work closely with Turkey is very good. He wants to come to Turkey. In the end, motherland, baby nation. Naturally we have fraternal feelings. The motherland will know its responsibilities. The baby nation will know its responsibilities. We shall always continue on our path with this understanding. Our goal is a settlement. It is not to belittle the KKTC. The term baby nation is something the people of the KKTC have adopted. It expresses the truth. There is no point in developing a complex over it. Turkey does not have a superiority complex and the KKTC does not have an inferiority complex."

    [08] Cavusoglu responded to Kotzias' statement

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 02.05.15), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called upon Greece to focus towards restarting the stalled Cyprus negotiations process and to work towards achieving a settlement within a year.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister's remarks came in response to an earlier statement by his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias that Greece wanted to abandon its guarantor rights on Cyprus.

    Replying to a reporter's question how he evaluates Kotzias' statement during his visit to Mersin, Cavusoglu said that Turkey is a guarantor power in Cyprus on the basis of international treaties and agreements. He added: "Greece should focus on encouraging the Greek Cypriot side to work towards a solution and should play a positive role so that we can achieve concrete results from the talks within a year".

    Noting that Turkey will continue to be by the side of the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus), Cavusoglu expressed the hope for a settlement on the island.

    "Let us reach a settlement in Cyprus on the basis of two founding states. In other words let us reach a settlement on the basis of the joint declaration signed by the two leaders in Cyprus on February 2014. Only then will it be possible to lower the number of troops on the island to around 600 as envisaged by the 2004 Annan Plan. In any case, once the two communities start living together and start sharing economic interests over natural gas and oil, everything will start working out on its own", he said.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister also expressed the view that Athens should look positively on the introduction of confidence building measures.

    Also commenting on the summit held in Cyprus with Greece and Egypt, Cavusoglu claimed that no delineation agreement or limitation agreement is valid in the Eastern Mediterranean in the absence of Turkey. "We shall not allow it. This is extremely clear", he said.

    (DPs)

    [09] Bozkir says Turkey slowed down the EU membership process to protect the Turkish Cypriots' rights

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.05.15) reported that Turkey's EU Minister Volkan Bozkir stated that Turkey's EU membership bid has been at a standstill because of the Cyprus problem.

    "If we had a mentality of sacrificing the Turkish Cypriots, we would now probably have become an EU member," Bozkir said in a live TV interview on Turkey's state broadcaster TRT on Thursday evening. Bozkir said Turkey had to slow down its EU membership bid in order to preserve the Turkish Cypriots and their rights.

    He took the opportunity to say that he had congratulated the new Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. Bozkir said Akinci's remarks were "unfortunate," adding that he wished Akinci would come to Turkey.

    "Here we can develop a common strategy," he said. "He can sit at the negotiation table with powerful backing from Turkey. Hopefully, the Cyprus problem can be solved."

    [10] Yildiz: Delivering Greek Cyprus gas via Egypt not feasible

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.05.15) reported that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister, Taner Yildiz has deemed that delivering natural gas from the Republic of Cyprus via Egypt was not feasible.

    "It is said that they will bring the gas to Egypt as liquefied natural gas [LNG]," Yildiz said, during a breakfast organized for economic journalists in Kayseri. "When declining oil prices and high cost of LNG are taken into consideration, I do not find this decision feasible for them. This decision represents only a political obstinacy." He said delivering gas through Egypt would be a decision taken purposefully so as not to pass the natural gas via Turkey.

    In addition, Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.15) reports that Professor Volkan Ediger, director of the Centre for Energy and Sustainable Development at Kadir Has University, stated that precious loneliness, which has been used by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to justify Turkey's contentious relations with some of its neighbours, is working against the country's energy interests, according to an energy expert.

    Ediger stated the following: "In the course of the last 10 years, southern Cyprus has signed three agreements on exclusive economic zones (EEZ) with three of its neighbours: Israel, Egypt and Lebanon. What did we do? We did almost nothing. There is no doubt that unless there is stability in the region, these energy resources will not be exploited. Syria is at war, and there is contention between Turkey and Israel and contention between southern Cyprus and northern Cyprus. If that is the case, so long as Turkey is not in the equation, the cooperation between Israel, Egypt, southern Cyprus and Greece will not be taken too seriously. But let's not forget that southern Cyprus has been active on the issue. It has created a win-win situation by involving eight or nine countries. It has signed agreements with three countries; by inviting Total, it brings France into the picture, with ENI, Italy, and with Nobel, the U.S. Southern Cyprus is in an alliance with seven or eight countries. What are the countries that we are allied to? Zero. Perhaps Turkey is counting on the fact that not much can take place in the end without Turkey being included in the picture. Perhaps. Or perhaps these are not issues we focus on. [?] The fact that the leaders of southern Cyprus, Greece and Egypt met [last week] is proof that we have lost our influence in the region. The Greek Cypriots have got the Israelis and the Egyptians on their side, while we are in a hostile relationship with Egypt, Israel and Syria. "I guess you are alluding to precious loneliness, he said.

    [11] Turkey has given nearly 9 billion TL in direct aid to "TRNC" since 2006

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 01.05.15) reported that the Turkish state has granted TL 9 billion ($ 3.36 billion) in total to "Turkish Cyprus" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) over the last 10 years. Also, the foreign trade volume between them has reached $1.3 billion

    The "TRNC" received almost TL 9 billion ($3.36 billion) in direct state assistance for security, investment and credit from Turkey since 2006, according to figures compiled by Anadolu Agency. Trade figures also show that Turkey has played an important role in developing the "TRNC's economy". Bilateral foreign trade volume, which is one of the main factors showing the bourgeoning economic ties, annual trade between "TRNC" and Turkey has increased by 60% between 2005 and 2014 to TL 1.3 billion.

    Despite the global economic crisis, positive developments in foreign trade have highlighted the importance of Turkey for the "TRNC's economy".

    According to the data of the Turkish Statistics Institute, despite certain "sanctions and embargoes", the foreign trade volume between the two countries increased by 60% between 2005-2014, reaching $1.3 billion and the "TRNC" received both investment and loan incentives from Turkey along with other similar grants, totalling nearly TL 9 billion.

    As of last year, mineral oils and fuels were the two product groups most exported from Turkey to the "TRNC", equalling $402 million, followed by boilers, machinery and mechanical devices worth $71 billion and plastic products worth $57.2 million.

    Products sold by the "TRNC" to Turkey last year were mostly dairy products, eggs, honey and other animal products, equalling $27 million. While imports of fresh fruit were around $15 billion, iron and steel imports were around $8.8 million.

    One of the most important economic areas between Turkey and the "TRNC" was Turkey's support for the "TRNC" to achieve a balanced budget. Further, Turkey's stance was supporting the payment of the "TRNC government officers' wages and helping out with government expenses". Since 2006, 2013 was the year in which the highest grant was awarded to "TRNC", equalling TL 1.7 billion.

    The development of the economy and social life on the island was also due to the increase in the number of students. The number of universities increased in the "TRNC" and between the 2013 and 2014 academic year, the number of students increased by 13% to 62,726, out of which 34,858 were Turkish citizens. Turkey's support for the "TRNC" was not only limited to grants for the budget and foreign trade, but also the "TRNC Drinking Water Procurement Project", which ensured that drinking water and water for irrigation is delivered to the island through 80-kilometer-long pipes.

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (02.05.15) published the following table showing Turkey's aid distribution during 2006-2015:

    Years	Security	Investment	Credit	incentives	Total
    (million TL)
    

    2006 0 0 250 45 295

    2007 125 210 225 40 600

    2008 136 200 225 0 561

    2009 160 150 293 33 636

    2010 180 225 590 15 1,010

    2011 185 235 500 20 940

    2012 185 403 400 1 989

    2013 206 1,055 415 1 1,677

    2014 237 544 416 10 1,207

    2015 250 366 406 10 1,032

    Total 8,947

    (DPs)

    [12] Talat to be a candidate for the CTP' leadership

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.05.15) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat announced that he will be a candidate for the leadership of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) at the party's congress which will be held on June 14.

    In the framework of his announcement, Talat issued a 25-point manifesto as regards the future of CTP and his role. Some of the main points of this manifesto are as follows:

    1. CTP will be the pioneer for change in the country

    2. Support will be given to federation efforts

    3. Securing public participation in the process

    4. Establish a timetable for civilianization of the police force

    5. Continue sensitive friendly-brotherly relations with Turkey

    6. Administration for the water coming from Turkey. Opposed to privatization"

    (CS)

    [13] Nationalist MHP announces election manifesto ahead of June 7

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (04.05.15) reports that under its main election slogan "Walk with us Turkey", the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) announced its election manifesto almost a month before the June 7 parliamentary elections through a meeting held in Ankara on Sunday.

    The MHP, the third largest party in terms of votes in 2011's general elections, was the last major party to announce its election manifesto. As expected, the MHP's main election promise is using all means to end the terror without dialogue or mutual steps, and the party promises to end Turkey's on-going reconciliation process. However, the party also put forward a comprehensive economic promises package along with its high profile candidates such as former Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz.

    Starting on May 6, the MHP will speed up its election campaign with meetings in around 60 provinces, while the party will reportedly spend 40 million Turkish liras ($14.8 million) for its campaign.

    Speaking on Turkey's current system debate, Bahceli denounced the presidential system put forward by AK Party and stated that the June 7 elections will bring an end to this debate. The MHP's manifesto states that the parliamentary system based on Turkey's unitary state structure is the most suitable way of governance for the Turkish people.

    Just like other opposition parties, the MHP's election manifesto includes important promises in the economy field. Bahceli said that the MHP's economy promises will cost TL 71.9 billion. MHP promises to increase employment by 4.5 million people to 29.1 million, which currently stands at 25.4 million as of January 2015 data. Subcontracted government employees will be hired permanently, the manifesto says, while promising 700,000 additional jobs per year.

    Cemevis, houses of worship for Turkey's Alevi community, will be granted legal status and will benefit from government aid, the manifesto says.

    The party aims to double both the economic growth and GDP per capita by reaching an average 6.6% growth rate per year and $20,000 per person. Public lands will be allocated to poor citizens, the manifesto states, and the MHP's earlier project of "Hilal Kart", a social aid card to be given to families, is also included within the manifesto.

    The party also promises to increase disability pensions to TL 400 and pensions paid for people who are 65 and over to TL 350. Each successful student will be provided with a TL 10,000 interest-free loan to be collected after employment.

    [14] Erdogan says has right to use state money to hold pre-election rallies

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (03.05.15) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has already been criticized harshly by the opposition for participating in current political campaigns in favour of the ruling Justice and Development Party despite his duty to be "impartial" under the Turkish Constitution, has said that he has the right to use state resources to conduct campaign rallies across Turkey ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections.

    Speaking during a rally in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir on Saturday, Erdogan said: "Are you asking with whose money I am holding rallies? I am holding [them] with state money. It is my legal right. I am standing here as the president of this country. I am here after I took 52% of the vote," referring to criticism by pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas. In an election campaign speech to Turkish voters in Paris, Demirtas said Erdogan is committing a crime by violating the Constitution, which dictates that the President be politically impartial.

    [15] Turkish commentary draws attention to lack of interest in EU membership in the election process in Turkey

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (04.05.15) published a commentary by Ali Yurttagul under the title "A Deafening Silence on the EU Front" in which attention is drawn on the fact that there is lack on Turkey's EU bid during the election campaign in Turkey:

    "It's really no surprise that the European Union and topics surrounding Turkey's quest for accession are barely mentioned on election platforms and in manifestos. The talks, which have been going for 10 years now, are at an impasse; the entire concept of membership has lost most of its believability for people. The process itself, which officially began back in December 1999 with the Helsinki Summit, has fallen so far into the background that even the press hardly deigns to touch it these days.

    In the meantime, the relative lack of interest in the entire issue is vividly reflected in the election manifestos and platforms we are hearing these days from various political parties. Unlike a decade ago, the EU is no longer being linked broadly with topics like peace, democracy, social and basic rights, and economic development and prosperity. At most, the EU and the topic of a possible Turkish membership fall under the category of "foreign policy" in election platforms. And in that category, the quest for accession is not included in the first sentences, but sprinkled lightly into later paragraphs.

    Quite a few factors come into play where the EU's fall from the Turkish agenda is concerned [?] Also, the EU's stance when it comes to Cyprus has made it difficult for Turkish opposition parties to criticize the ruling party on the topic of accession talks. Brussels has shown nothing but one-sidedness and inconsistency, and has ultimately wound up alienating Northern Cyprus, despite the latter's support for the United Nations project.

    Yet another factor making things more complicated when it comes to Turkey and the EU is the economic crisis, particularly the Greek situation. Voices on the right and the left of the Turkish vista point out now that the EU, rather than being the font of prosperity and development that many had professed it to be, might in fact end up being a source of crisis, or perhaps the main factor responsible for an economic crisis. To further this view, many influential Justice and Development Party (AKP) politicians, as well as journalists writing for the pro-government media, talk frequently of the "collapsing West" these days, reflecting a possible revival of the old Welfare Party (RP) spirit. [?]" TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (CS/ AM)


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