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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-06-11

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. 107/15 11.06.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Bozkir: 2014 Progress Report is unacceptable and will be returned without being opened
  • [02] Akinci: Whatever government is formed in Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot side will be in a close contact with them on the Cyprus talks
  • [03] Burcu's statements on the Cyprus talks
  • [04] Akinci said that "he will be evaluating a request by those taking part in the yacht rally to sail around the island freely"
  • [05] More developments about Corendon came into light
  • [06] "Caner Gonyeli search and rescue exercise" started
  • [07] The Turkish Cypriot electricity "authority" will go bankrupt by the end of the year
  • [08] Residents of occupied village of Lefka protest against the mines to be operated
  • [09] Davutoglu: AKP respects people's coalition choice
  • [10] Columnist evaluates Erdogan ? Baykal meeting and enumerates the parties' positions on forming a government
  • [11] Turkey's EU membership bid backed by Romania

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Bozkir: 2014 Progress Report is unacceptable and will be returned without being opened

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.15), Turkey rejected a 2014 progress report on EU membership compiled by the European Parliament on Wednesday.

    The country's EU Minister Volkan Bozkir said that Ankara will return the report, which covers the reforms Turkey has made to comply with to join the EU, without opening it.

    Three key sticking points for the Turkish government were the definition of the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 as genocide, declassifying the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) as a terror group and any suggestion of an end to the EU's economic contributions to Turkey.

    "I had earlier informed the EU Parliament about the report and said if [these] three elements were included, we would return it", Bozkir said. He added: "The report will go into history books as the first one rejected by Turkey and described as 'unacceptable'."

    Bozkir claimed the report had put a block on the negotiations for Turkey's accession rather than encouraging them. He also raised the issue of Cyprus, where a newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader is building ties with his Greek Cypriot counterpart to reunify the island, suggesting the report may affect the process.

    The Minister added that the report would not have any effect on the Turkish economy or financial markets.

    The European Parliament approved Turkey's 2014 progress report on Wednesday by 432 votes in favour, 94 against and 127 abstentions.

    In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "The Resolution of the European Parliament (EP) regarding the European Commission's 2014 Turkey Progress Report was adopted in the EP Plenary on 10 June 2015.

    The EP Resolution, which was drafted this year by Mrs Kati Piri, Dutch member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, confirmed that Turkey is a strategic partner of the EU with its role in cooperation in the fields of economy, energy security and foreign policy, as already indicated in the 2014 Enlargement Strategy of the European Commission.

    We continuously express to the EU authorities that Turkey sees accession to the EU as a strategic choice and resolutely continues to work in the direction of full membership. In order to reinforce and encourage this resolute stance, we expect the European Parliament to be fair and objective in its Resolutions on Turkey and to voice its criticism and expectations in a balanced manner.

    However, the EP Resolution, which contained a balanced and constructive critical tone in its first draft, has unfortunately been changed into a one-sided text far from being objective in the process of adoption by the EP Foreign Affairs Committee. This attitude continued in the plenary of the EP, and thus one of the most unfortunate Resolutions on Turkey has been adopted by the EP. It is obvious that this Resolution will not contribute to our cooperation with the EP.

    The frequency of the Resolutions against Turkey and their content with prejudiced statements and criticism undermine our relations with the EP, which took office after the elections held in May 2014. They also aggravate concerns that the EP is unwilling to include Turkey in the EU project.

    We do not accept this Resolution and will return it to the EP as it contains unfounded allegations against our country in many fields. The EP [European Parliament] decision draft, which was a balanced one and had constructive criticism in it in the first take, was transformed into a one-sided, far-from objective text during its process in the EP Foreign Affairs Committee."

    Speaking after the vote, the Parliament Rapporteur's for Turkey, Dutch socialist MEP Kati Piri, said: "The EU and Turkey are important strategic partners and it is in the interest of both to have a close and effective cooperation". However, she said there are still "concerns on certain developments" and urged Turkey to "respect media freedom, free expression and judicial independence".

    Piri welcomed the recent general election in Turkey, saying it "demonstrated the resilience of Turkish democracy and the democratic spirit of its citizens". She added: "Turkish voters have indicated that they want change. Our reaction should not be to shut the door. This report also clearly calls for more, not less, engagement with Turkey at all levels."

    The report praised the country for efforts to reach an "inclusive and sustainable" settlement with its Kurdish population and asked the European Commission to "support the Turkish government's efforts to conclude the peace process with the Kurdish community, through socio-economic and educational programs in the southeast of Turkey."

    Despite criticism over "government interference" in the judiciary and bans on social media, the report praised the country for its "invaluable support" for Syrian refugees.

    It also urged the European Commission "to review the conduct of the EU accession negotiations with Turkey and to consider how EU-Turkey relations could be improved and intensified".

    [02] Akinci: Whatever government is formed in Turkey, the Turkish Cypriot side will be in a close contact with them on the Cyprus talks

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 11.06.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? has said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to work in close dialogue with any new government to be formed in Turkey towards reaching a settlement in Cyprus.

    Speaking on the results of the Turkish general elections yesterday, Akinci said that the outcome of the elections in Turkey was the decision of the Turkish people. "Everyone will be respectful of the decision taken by the Turkish people for their own future. What can be expected of us is to respect the outcome" he said.

    Responding to a question as to whether the results of the elections will impact the Cyprus negotiations process, Akinci reminded that past and present Turkish governments always supported the Cyprus negotiations process. "I don't know how the new government in Turkey will be but no matter who forms the new government we shall continue to work with them in close dialogue towards reaching a successful conclusion to the Cyprus negotiations process.

    [03] Burcu's statements on the Cyprus talks

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 11.06.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu said that the two Cypriot negotiators will come together on 12 June and 15 June for day long meetings.

    In a press release issued today, Burcu said that the negotiators' endeavours to speed up the process will continue till the leaders meeting on the 17th of June which will be attended by the Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades.

    "A day before the actual meeting, the leaders will hold separate meetings with UNSG Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide in the morning. Eide will meet with the negotiators on the same day (16 June)", read the statement.

    According to Burcu's statement during today's meeting which lasted around 4 hours the negotiators developed a joint work principle in order to harmonize the Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) with the substantive talks.

    "The negotiators have decided to prioritize economic issues. In this regard technical committees on economy will produce common ideas for the heading" said Burcu.

    [04] Akinci said that "he will be evaluating a request by those taking part in the yacht rally to sail around the island freely"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 11.06.15), the 4 day "sail season celebrations" at the "Karpaz Gate Marina" kicked off last night with the cocktail of the 26th Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami were amongst those who attended the event.

    Akinci, in a statement, said that he will be evaluating a request by those taking part in the yacht rally to sail around the island freely. "As and when the Cyprus problem is solved, a large number of problems seen unsolvable will be solved. But the important thing is to solve these problems before a settlement", he said.

    [05] More developments about Corendon came into light

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.06.15) continues publishing information about the tour operator company Corendon, which announced that it will suspend its entire operation in the occupied area of Cyprus and writes that very strange developments came into light concerning the Jasmine Court hotel in occupied Keryneia which was rented to the company by a Turkish family called Topal.

    According to the paper, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which is among the leading banks in the UK and also one of the "legal owners" of the "Jasmine Court hotel" in occupied Keryneia, filed a lawsuit in the "Property Compensation Commission" demanding either "compensation" or the "return" of the management of the hotel. The case is still in progress, writes the paper.

    Speaking to the paper about the issue, the Turkish Cypriot lawyer of the RBS Sinan Semiler said: "According to the TRNC's laws, proceeding to the renting of the Jasmine Court hotel to a company or to another person whilst the hotel was hired by Topal family, is not possible to happen. This is the reason why Corendon is leaving the island".

    Semiler stated further that the owners of the hotel prior to 1974 were a Cypriot of Armenian origin and the RBS, who both applied to the "Property Compensation Commission" asking either "compensation" or the "return" of the hotel.

    Meanwhile, the paper reports also on statements by the so-called minister of economy, tourism, youth and sports Mentes Gunduz who said, inter alia, that Corendon's decision to suspend its operation in the "TRNC" is a very disappointing development which caused distress to several circles in the "country".

    Gunduz added that he has sent the issue to the "assembly" in order to be discussed immediately and added that he had also informed the so-called prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the so-called minister of finance Zeren Mungan and former "minister" Serdar Denktas.

    Stressing the need for steps to be taken in order to win back Corendon, Gunduz said that they will do all the necessary. He explained that he has already undertaken initiative in order to meet with Corendon's officials and exchange views about the problems occurred. "Winning back the company which has transferred tourists to the country and promoted our country abroad several times in the past, is a precondition", Gunduz added.

    (AK)

    [06] "Caner Gonyeli search and rescue exercise" started

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 11.06.15), the land phase of the "2015 Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli search and rescue exercise" which is being conducted with the participation of civilian and military units from Turkey and the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) was held yesterday.

    Before the land phase, a press briefing of the 2015 Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue Exercise was held at the occupied Bogazi military headquarters of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus.

    Speaking at the press briefing, the "Turkish Cypriot security forces", the "Security Forces" Commander Brigadier General Ilyas Bozkurt said that successful search and rescue operations required professionally trained staff, good planning and coordination and a readiness 24 hours a day.

    He said that the "Martyrs Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue Exercise" was held to test the "TRNC's" capabilities and to highlight its authority to conduct such operations within international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the Turkish Search and Rescue zone declared by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

    General Bozkurt also gave information about the current exercise as well as it aims. The land phase of the exercises was conducted at 101 in the occupied Saint Hilarion Area.

    Meanwhile, the sea phase of the exercises which was scheduled to be conducted off the coast of occupied Famagusta today has been postponed to tomorrow.

    According to the "Security Forces Commandership Press Office" statement, the second and third phases of the exercise were postponed due to bad weather conditions.

    On the same issue, "BRT" also broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci visited the TCSG Yasam ship which will be taking part in the sea phase of the "2015 Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue Exercise".

    Self-styled prime minister Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the self-styled minister of environment and natural resources Hakan Dincyurek and the self-styled minister of public works and communications Hasan Tacoy were amongst those who visited the vessel, docked at the occupied port of Famagusta.

    A briefing was given to Ak?nc? about the vessel and the exercise during his visit.

    Giving the briefing, Lieutenant Colonel Oguz Aybek said that the main duty of the vessel which belonged to the Turkish Coast Guard is to enforce the law and maintain the security of life and property within the maritime waters of Turkey in accordance with the national and international law. He also provided information about the general features and the military capabilities of the ship.

    Briefing Akinci about the Exercise, Colonel Suleyman Yarayan said that the exercise was being conducted for the first time this year under the control and administration of the Coast Guard Command. He also added that the main aim of the exercise is to test the military capabilities of Turkey's and the "TRNC's" search and rescue units, to increase the level of cooperation on search and rescue activities between the two "countries" and to improve the operation procedures of the units taking part in the exercise.

    Noting that the land phase of the exercise was conducted yesterday, Colonel Yarayan also provided information of the scenario of the sea phase of the exercise which will be conducted tomorrow.

    [07] The Turkish Cypriot electricity "authority" will go bankrupt by the end of the year

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.06.15) reports that Ismet Akim, chairman of the administrative council of the Turkish Cypriot so-called electricity authority (KIB-TEK), has said that KIB-TEK loses 60 million Turkish liras every two months because of the increase in the price of fuel. In statements to Kibris, Akim noted: "We have lost 60 million TL in two months. If the government does not take our proposals into consideration, we will shut down the institution by the end of the year".

    Akim said that they have decreased their prices but the fuel cost, which had been 600 US dollars per ton in January, raised to 1,200 US dollars today. He noted that they are losing money every month and criticized self-styled prime minister, Ozkan Yorgancioglu, adding that "if a problem exists here, the prime minister should solve this problem".

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Residents of occupied village of Lefka protest against the mines to be operated

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 11.06.15), the "Lefka Region Civil Society Organisations Coordinatorship" (STOK) blamed the so-called ministry of environment and resources for being on the side of the companies who want to operate mines in occupied Lefka instead of siding with the residents of the village who are opposing to the mines to be operated.

    In a press release, STOK reiterated their stance on the issue and said that they will not allow mines to operate in the occupied village of Lefka. Residents of Lefka region who are still suffering from the pollution caused by the Cyprus Mines Cooperation (CMC) works with record number of cancer cases observed monthly are concerned with the latest developments.

    [09] Davutoglu: AKP respects people's coalition choice

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.15), Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stressed that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) respects the Turkish people's choice, after the June 7 election that produced no majority government.

    "Our people opted for a coalition. We will not argue against it but will try our best to do our part," he said at a live interview on state broadcaster TRT on Wednesday evening.

    Davutoglu highlighted that the will of the nation is beyond argument, ruling out any resentment on the part of AKP towards the Turkish people for the decline in their votes compared to previous elections. "What is right is whatever the people say. You can't have resentment towards the people, or take offense," he said.

    The Prime Minister said it was instead a development that merited self-assessment. Davutoglu maintained that the results could not be justifiably called a failure for his party, saying: "The Turkish people said 'we continue to confer the main responsibility over our future to AKP to form the government. We will remain calm and united. Just as we successfully managed the administration for 12 years in power, so are we the only ones now to make the coalition a success."

    "But if they [negotiation efforts] yield nothing, we will not leave the country with an interim government or shut the parliament, but will go to the public again to ask what their new order is," he said.

    Davutoglu touched on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's meeting earlier in the day with Deniz Baykal -- former leader and freshly-elected MP of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) -- who will preside over the assembly, as the oldest Deputy at 76, until a Speaker is elected. Davutoglu ruled out any negotiation between the two over a possible coalition during the meeting. "Our President is not part of the coalition talks, but is the holder of the seat that could remove any deadlock. He may come into play only to overcome crises," he said.

    Davutoglu ruled out any "red lines" while searching for a coalition partner, but said his party has its own political and moral principles. "I have never used the term 'red line' even in diplomacy. Politics is conducted not on lines but on a course and towards a direction," he said.

    [10] Columnist evaluates Erdogan ? Baykal meeting and enumerates the parties' positions on forming a government

    Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 11.06.15), under the title "Erdogan's Baykal move before Davutoglu's coalition talks", evaluates the meeting as follows:

    "Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, not Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, made the first political move after the Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority in the recent election, meeting with Deniz Baykal, the former head of the social democratic Republican People's Party (CHP) on June 10.

    It appears that Erdogan sent a message to Baykal, who was in his constituency in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya on the night of June 9, after accepting the resignation of Davutoglu (a routine) but also asking him to form a new government and stay in power until then. Baykal apparently did not respond immediately and asked CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu about it. (?) It was to be held at the residence of the Foreign Minister - currently used by Erdogan - rather than in the controversial Presidential Palace, which the CHP does not recognize the legitimacy of. Baykal then took the first plane from Antalya to Ankara, where he and Erdogan had a one-on-one meeting lasting more than two hours.

    Baykal said afterwards that he "saw that Erdogan was open to coalition possibilities." He later told the Hurriyet Daily News that he did not in particular mean a coalition between the AKP and the CHP, but all combinations including the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP). Baykal's most important message to Erdogan was probably advising him not to force his constitutional limits, as voters demanded, and to encourage the parties to agree on a stable coalition government.

    It seems that after meeting with Baykal, Erdogan might allow all coalition scenarios to be exhausted rather than push PM Davutoglu and the AKP for an early election to try once again to shift from a parliamentary to a presidential system through an AKP majority (which didn't emerge on June 7).

    Before updating the positions of the political parties before Davutoglu begins his tour to establish a coalition (or minority) government, one must recall the significance for Turkish politics of the first Erdogan-Baykal meeting back in 2003.

    At that time, Erdogan had been banned from politics and was not a member of parliament, so he was not even able to lead his own party as Prime Minister. It was Baykal who let that happen through a constitutional amendment, thus allowing Erdogan to lead the government. That move by Baykal changed the course of Turkish politics.

    Today, Erdogan is the President and Baykal is set to open parliament as the most senior Deputy, also serving as the temporary Speaker until a new one is elected. It may be worth noting that the Parliament Speaker is the substitute for the President in the latter's absence.

    Will this second meeting after 12 years change the course of Turkish politics again?

    Here are the latest positions of the four parties in Parliament before the start of coalition talks:

    Davutoglu's first choice is an AKP minority government, but no other parties are likely to approve of this.

    His second best choice is a coalition with the MHP. But MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has two conditions for a coalition: Erdogan should withdraw to his constitutional limits (and he should not be involved in daily government politics), and the Kurdish peace process (which Bahceli describes as a "dissolution process") should immediately be stopped. Davutoglu rules out any coalition with the HDP and a coalition with the CHP is his least favoured option.

    Kilicdaroglu's first choice is to remove the AKP from power through a coalition with the MHP. But the seats of the two parties do not add up to 276 seats, which is the necessary number to pass a vote of confidence. Meanwhile, Kilicdaroglu's least favoured option is a coalition with the AKP.

    The HDP, meanwhile, as its co-chair Selahattin Demirtas has stated a number of times, wants to stay out of any coalition, but could give outside support to non-AKP options. On paper the HDP could support a CHP-MHP coalition, but the MHP would not like to be part of a coalition that survives thanks to the HDP, whose number one priority is a constitutional solution to the Kurdish problem.

    Kilicdaroglu, who ran under an election campaign slogan declaring "Vote them out", will have great difficulties in explaining a coalition with Davutoglu with the shadow of Erdogan lurking behind him. The CHP head has the example of German and Greek social democrats eroding after joining coalitions with bigger conservative partners. On the other hand, Davutoglu is aware that he must compromise on issues important to the other three parties, like the struggle against corruption. Essentially this would mean admitting the cases that he had to deny all along.

    It is certainly not an easy puzzle to solve. But as Suleyman Demirel, the master of coalition politics in Turkey, once said, "There is always a solution on legitimate grounds"."

    [11] Turkey's EU membership bid backed by Romania

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.15), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, during an official visit to Romania, discussed relations, trade and EU membership with his counterpart.

    Bilateral relations, trade volume and EU membership topped a meeting on Wednesday between Romania and Turkey's Foreign Ministers in Bucharest.

    During a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Romania's Bogdan Aurescu said: "We will continue to support Turkey's EU accession bid, and the relative reforms it is making to join."

    Turkey and Romania aim to boost bilateral trade volume to $10 billion.

    Cavusoglu said that their trade volume has increased to $6 billion in the last 13 years, adding "This shows us that there is a potential and Turkey and Romania can reach $10 billion soon."

    Cavusoglu also said that there are 7,000 Turkish companies operating in Romania and they have $6 billion of investment there. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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