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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-08-04

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. 145/15 04.08.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci: "No discussion on maps, percentages and names of villages has taken place at the negotiating table"; "We are at the beginning of the road on the property issue"
  • [02] Kalyoncu called on the Turkish Cypriots to trust Akinci and not to worry over the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Colak: "Going beyond the parameters of the joint text is out of question"; she comments on the property issue
  • [04] Eide calls on the NGOs to contribute to the efforts for a Cyprus settlement
  • [05] Statements by Talat on the property issue
  • [06] "Immovable property commission" called on the Turkish Cypriots to stay calm
  • [07] Columnist: "Money talks; even the Church in 'Greek Cyprus' wants now a solution"
  • [08] Gurcafer said that a Cyprus settlement will contribute to the development of the building sector
  • [09] So-called minister of education: "I will not give permission for the establishment of more universities in the TRNC"
  • [10] Gezici survey: The Turks want formation of coalition government, but view Erdogan as major hurdle

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci: "No discussion on maps, percentages and names of villages has taken place at the negotiating table"; "We are at the beginning of the road on the property issue"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.08.15) under the title: "We are at the beginning of the road on the property issue", reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements during a meeting he held yesterday with a delegation of KAMU-SEN trade union, stated, inter alia, that they are at the beginning of the road on the property issue.

    Supporting that an info pollution has been created towards the property issue, Akinci said that the recent reports published in the press regarding this issue do not reflect the truth. He added: "Maps, percentages and names of villages have not yet been discussed at the negotiating table. When the time comes, we will discuss these issues. It is still too early", Akinci stated.

    Supporting that they will not move forward and make any steps that will put the Turkish Cypriots at any risk, Akinci added that what he wants, is to see the people live in prosperity and peace.

    Reminding of the fact that they are running on the third month since the resumption of the 47 years prolonged- Cyprus negotiation talks, Akinci said that he feels happy since the "people" believe that the talks will yield a result.

    "The Cyprus negotiation process and the developments over this process are related with our future", Akinci stated and announced that next week he plans to brief the "government" and the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the "assembly" about the recent developments on the Cyprus problem. He also added that he had already held a meeting with the "speaker" of the "assembly" Sibel Siber and that he plans to inform the "deputies" in the "assembly" next month.

    Stating that he gives a great importance in the solution of the Cyprus problem which will be to the benefit of both sides, Akinci added that they are also faithful to the 11th of February Joint Declaration agreement which refers to the principles of norms of the EU. "By adopting the EU norms, does not mean giving up bi-zonality", Akinci explained. He continued and reiterated that the Cyprus negotiation process is a UN process. "In 2012 there was a representative from the EU. The same person has been appointed again. The technical and expertise information will continue", he added.

    Describing as an info pollution the allegations that "Akinci and Anastasiades will come to an agreement and finish this job", Akinci explained that the "people" will approve the agreement to be reached and added that enough time will be given prior to the referendum, in order to explain to the "people" the context of the agreement.

    Supporting that no agreement can become viable without being approved by the "people" first, Akinci stated that he will keep his promises and support the three most important issues for the Turkish Cypriots which are their freedom, equality and security.

    Explaining that the negotiation process has entered into a serious stage, Akinci said that they are still at the beginning. He pointed out that he will defend the Turkish Cypriot's rights until the end and called everybody not to be anxious. "The solution to be, will protect our rights and at the same time will respect the opposite side's rights. The final agreement will be accepted and approved by the people. I will do all necessary in order to bring you to this point", Akinci concluded.

    Speaking in his turn, the chairman of KAMU-SEN trade union Mehmet Ozkardas stated that they support the efforts towards reaching a comprehensive solution on the Cyprus problem.

    Expressing their full support to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Ozkardas underlined the need not to deviate from the February 11th 2014 Joint Declaration.

    Ozkardas said also that they conveyed to Akinci their worries towards the reports published in the Greek Cypriot press which caused confusion to the "people" and added that the "president", as he called the Turkish Cypriot leader, will give the necessary explanations.

    (AK)

    [02] Kalyoncu called on the Turkish Cypriots to trust Akinci and not to worry over the Cyprus problem

    Under the front page title: "Do not be anxious on the Cyprus problem", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.08.15) reports on statements by so-called prime minister Omer Kalyoncu who stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriots not to worry over the agreement to be reached on the Cyprus problem, since, as he said, the final agreement will be approved by the "people" through a referendum.

    Speaking in a televised program broadcast by Kibris TV, Kalyoncu supported that some organized bodies are trying to damage the well-progressed negotiation process. Kalyoncu referred to the allegations and the criticism towards the property issue and the issue of "bi-zonality" and stated that these are intentional. He called also the "people" not to hear that criticisms and to trust the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and their negotiator Ozdil Nami who behave very responsibly, as he said.

    Stating that the Cyprus problem and the internal problems are the most important issues which are included into the agenda of the new "government program", Kalyoncu added that a wide base "government" was necessary in order to work towards these issues.

    Referring to the issue of hydrocarbons, Kalyoncu reiterated that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on the wealth of the island and stressed the need for a solution on the Cyprus problem to be found the soonest possible, in order as he said the Turkish Cypriots to be able to benefit from this wealth.

    (AK)

    [03] Colak: "Going beyond the parameters of the joint text is out of question"; she comments on the property issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.08.15) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Emine Colak, in a meeting with the so-called Turkish Cypriot civil servants trade union (KAMU-SEN), said that going beyond the parameters mentioned in the joint text which was signed on 11 February 2014 is out of question and said that the leaders and the negotiators had discussed about how to formulate these parameters. She also said that the negotiations proceed quickly but this is not actually surprising since the negotiation chapters had been discussed before.

    She explained that the effort is to reach a settlement on guarantees so that both communities to feel safe, and proceed according to the law and the EU principles on sensitive issues such as property.

    Colak noted that the EU policies protect the rights of the persons who have the property deeds in the relevant period as well as the rights of the users. Global exchange has fallen off the agenda long time ago, but each topic was discussed in its own mechanisms such as compensation, exchange and return.

    Noting that there is false reports about the EU's role in the process, Colak added that the EU is not a party at the table but the EU provides technical assistance only. She mentioned that there are sensitive points in sharing information related to the negotiations and said that there are drawbacks in sharing the details of the ongoing negotiation process. She added: "It is true that the problems in sharing information are increasing speculations and creating materials to malevolent persons, but beside our need and right for information, it is vital for us that our negotiator has a strong hand in the process. Let us be more patient and understanding".

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (online, 04.08.15) broadcasts that Colak, speaking on "BRT" this morning, has said that the issue of property, territory and guarantees are the stickiest issues in the Cyprus problem. She said that the solution of these problems has been left to the end of the current negotiations process. She also said that the solution to be found to the property dispute will not aim at only satisfying one of the sides in the dispute. "The property issue will be solved on the basis of criteria which will ensure that no one suffers or is aggrieved", Colak noted. She however added that the decisions and rulings of the European Court of Humans Rights needed to be respected. "However discussions on these issues as Mr Ak?nc? has stated are still continuing and have not been finalized", she said.

    On the issue of the UK's stance on the guarantees, Colak said that the British government supported the ongoing process in the island despite keeping its distance from the talks.

    Stating that the two sides had started the negotiations on areas where they could reach agreement the easiest, Colak said: "This was the right strategy in terms of creating a positive atmosphere. The property, territory and guarantees issues are the stickiest. We need to assess the situation on both sides. There are properties on which people have constructed their families and lives on. People are worried they will be forced or kicked off the properties currently in their possession. Of course we can't make everything public but lack of information causes fear and concern".

    Colak also pointed out that when it comes to solving the property dispute, the interests and positions of both parties will be taken into account. "It's not like the will of only one of the two sides will be respected" she said.

    Pointing out that there is no such thing as global exchange, Colak reminded that the ECHR states that property disputes can be settled through compensation, exchange and restitution. "These have different criteria. All cases will be individually examined and will be solved on the basis of pre-determined principles. It's important that we balance the individual's right to property and the rights of the current user of the property".

    Colak explained that there will be a series of criteria on which property cases will be settled and then there will be a mechanism which will implement the criteria in question. She however added that an extensive study is needed into how the properties in the "North" are in use. "What have we done with Greek Cypriot properties? Did we hand out these properties in exchange for properties left in the South? First of all we need to do our homework on this. Then we have to ask the question as to how all these properties will be financed. Who will bear the cost? Would it be fair to demand compensation from the current user? All these issues will be evaluated. Perhaps we might find international funds for the property issue", Colak said.

    In response to a question regarding the illegal immovable property commission, Colak said that millions of sterling pounds in compensation had been paid out by the "commission" over the past 10 years. She however added that there were a number of applicants who were unhappy with the "commission's" ruling and had applied to the ECHR. "Some of the cases have been settled but the compensations have yet to be paid" she added. She concluded by saying that efforts are exerted to solve outstanding problems at the "commission".

    (DPs)

    [04] Eide calls the NGOs to contribute to the efforts for a Cyprus settlement

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (04.08.15) reports that Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, who visited yesterday the occupied town of Famagusta and came together with members of the Famagusta Initiative, said that the negotiations are moving forward at an extremely fast pace and the issues of property and economy are discussed at the negotiating table. He noted that although the issue of Famagusta has not been discussed yet extensively, they agreed that Famagusta should be included in the UNESCO Cultural Heritage. He explained that every week in the meetings they take the issues further and the necessary issues are discussed more are going into more details.

    In a short statement to the press after the meeting, Eide said that the solution should be done by the Cypriots and not only from the leaders. He added that the solution is necessary for the economy development and the formation of a just community. Eide said that he discussed the Cyprus problem with the Initiative, adding that during these discussions creative ideas are being formed and he will continue to cooperate with the Famagusta Initiative.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.08.15) reports that Eide, replying to questions by the activists, said that the support of the non-governmental organizations for a comprehensive solution is very important and added: "Do not leave the solution process only to the politicians, take also charge in this process". He further said that the NGOs should also contribute on how the United Cyprus will be created. Eide argued that probably Famagusta will be a very important advanced town in the future to the economy of the country. Underlining the importance of reaching a solution in Cyprus, Eide expressed his view that a settlement will have economic benefits for everyone on the island.

    Asked to comment on the opening of the Deryneia crossing-point, Eide said that the opening of this crossing-point is not easy due to technical factors and added that there are a number of problems regarding that crossing point.

    Speaking after the meeting, the spokesman for the Famagusta Initiative Serdar Atai said that they had held a very productive meeting with Mr Eide.

    (DPs)

    [05] Statements by Talat on the property issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (04.08.15) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader and chairman of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-United Forces) Mehmet Ali Talat, in statements to a televised program broadcast by Ada TV, stated, inter alia, that the reports published in the Greek Cypriot press as regards "maps and names of villages", do not comply with the truth and are completely unrealistic.

    On the property issue, Talat stated that it is a novelty the former owner of a property to give up from having the last say in his property. Supporting that it is an internal issue of the "TRNC" the issue which is related with the holders of a right and the opportunities the state creates, Talat underlined that the solution will be a facilitator for those who left their property in the "south".

    Concerning the Property Commission to be established, Talat stated that it will implement the property criteria to be agreed upon and pointed out that it would not make any ethnical division towards the Turkish settlers. "What is important is the acceptance of their citizenship", Talat added.

    (AK)

    [06] "Immovable property commission" called on the Turkish Cypriots to stay calm

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 04.08.15), the chairman of the ""immovable property commission" Gungor Gunkan, in statements to the "BRT" regarding the property issue, called on the Turkish Cypriot "people" to stay calm regarding the property issue as the Cyprus negotiations process is continuing.

    "All issues will be discussed during the negotiations and the new criteria will be discussed with the property commission. They will try to solve this issue from its foundations, there is no need to be concerned" said Gunkan.

    He said that the "immovable property commission" has emerged within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations process aimed at dealing with the Greek Cypriots who left behind properties in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus either through compensation, exchange or restitution.

    "The commission is working to solve the Greek Cypriot property issue in the fastest and most effective way", claimed Gunkan and added that while evaluating the property issue they need to know the owners of the property in 1974. "The law is about the 1974 owner and its heirs", said Gunkan.

    Touching upon the Cyprus problem, Gunkan said that until now during the Cyprus negotiations process now is the time they have been most hopeful. "We are most hopeful of the negotiations between Akinci and Anastasiades", he concluded.

    [07] Columnist: "Money talks; even the Church in 'Greek Cyprus' wants now a solution"

    Columnist Barcin Yinanc, under the above title, publishes the following commentary, in the Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.08.15):

    "I know quite a number of Turkish elites who, frustrated with developments in Turkey, decided to settle in Turkish Cyprus (editor's note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) over the course of the last decade.

    Following the failure of the 2004 Annan plan, I had found this choice a bit odd, as pessimism reigned over 'Turkish Cyprus'.

    Now those who settled in the north of the island must feel vindicated seeing the current state of affairs in Turkey, where the film is being rolled back to the 1990's.

    While the Kurdish peace process in Turkey is in shambles, the peace process in Cyprus has picked up momentum, and this time going back to a 2004 outcome looks like a dim probability.

    'We first sat down to the table to do screening; then we started reaching a very speedy agreement on a lot of points', a member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team told me.

    The unprecedented momentum that seems to surprise everybody both on and off the island is attributed to the 'right constellation of stars'.

    For the first time there is leadership on the relevant sides with the wish to work for a reunited Cyprus.

    First, the change came on the Greek Cypriot side. We don't need to revisit the credentials of Nikos Anastasiades, who was an isolated political figure to lobby for a 'yes' campaign in 2004. His election was the first sign of a change of mind-set on the Greek Cypriots' part. But his election victory came also as a result of the deep economic crisis which hit the south (editor's note: the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus). In addition, Greece's economic troubles seem to have multiplied the sufferings of the Greek Cypriots.

    'Greek Cypriots played in 2004 what they thought to be their best hand. They thought things would get better after they entered the European Union. It did not. Now they are playing their second best hand', a Turkish Cypriot familiar with the ongoing negotiations on the island told.

    'When we used to approach the Greek side for cooperation, the business circles were unwilling', saying, 'We have a state policy; let the politicians solve the issue first.' Now that approach has changed', said a Turkish Cypriot businessman.

    Even the Church, which plays an important role in the south's political life and had been a staunch critic of the Annan peace process in 2004, seems to have changed its attitude on the prospects of a settlement. After all, as is the case with Greece, the Church in 'Greek Cyprus' is said to be a big stakeholder in the economy!

    The leadership change in the 'south' was recently followed by a change in the leadership of the 'north'. It is no surprise that with Mustafa Akinci's election in April, negotiations are back on track and progress is fast.

    The fact the 'no' camp on both sides have become anxious and started to voice criticism is also a testament that substantial progress is being made.

    One needs to mention Athens and Ankara while talking about the right constellation of stars. Greece is busy with economic troubles while Ankara is busy with political troubles. That's not helpful, although both sides on the island value the fact the whole process remains so far 'Cypriot owned'. This is a sensitive point to take into account; if we are to learn from the lessons of the Annan process, the failure at that time was attributed to the fact that the Greek Cypriots were convinced it was a solution imposed by outsiders.

    Even if embroiled in their internal and (for Turkey) regional troubles, both capitals and even the Western powers need a 'good story'. So one would only expect them to make their utmost contribution."

    [08] Gurcafer said that a Cyprus settlement will contribute to the development of the building sector

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (04.08.15) reports that the chairman of the "Turkish Cypriot building contractors union" (KTIMB) Cafer Gurcafer, in statements to the paper, believes that none will suffer with the solution. The reason is that the value of a property will rise fivefold, he said, and explained that an apartment, which is sold 60 thousand British pound in the occupied part of Nicosia, an equivalent one is sold for 200 thousand euro in the government controlled area of Nicosia. Gurcafer said that on the property issue the model will not be whether the Turkish Cypriot side or the Greek Cypriot side is 100% content.

    Gurcafer further said that due to the uncertainty at this moment the building sector has been affected negatively in the "north".

    (DPs)

    [09] So-called minister of education: "I will not give permission for the establishment of more universities in the TRNC"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.08.15) under the title: "It is a period of change in education", reports on statements by so-called minister of education Kemal Durust who visited yesterday the paper and explained the "government's program" and all the articles related with the education sector.

    Speaking to the paper, Durust said they will table a lot of regulations in the field of education and added that it is time for action for the current "government".

    Durust explained, inter alia, that he has not had any intention to give other permissions for the establishment of more "universities" in the "country". He pointed out that in 2009 while he was at the post of the "minister of education" there were only 7-8 "universities" comparing with today that the number of "universities" has reached to 16. "This is very dangerous. I will not give permission for the establishments of more universities from now on. [?].

    (AK)

    [10] Gezici survey: The Turks want formation of coalition government, but view Erdogan as major hurdle

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 03.08.15), the majority of Turkish citizens is in favour of the formation of a coalition government and see President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the biggest factor preventing the emergence of such a coalition, a polling company has revealed.

    The Gezici Research and Polling Company asked 4,860 people in a nationwide survey between July 25 and 26 their views on recent developments in the country, such as the ongoing talks between political parties to form a coalition government or the dissolution of the settlement process -- launched in 2012 to resolve the country's Kurdish issue -- after renewed armed clashes with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    A full 70.2% of respondents expressed their desire for the formation of a coalition government, an increase from the 53.6% who expressed the same in a previous survey by the company before the June 7 election.

    The survey found that 66% of those who voted for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the June 7 election are also in favour of a coalition government and want Erdogan and interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to increase their efforts to that end.

    When asked which factor has contributed to the failure of the formation of coalition government, 56.8% said Erdogan was the biggest hurdle to the emergence of a coalition.

    Following the June 7 general election in which no single party received enough seats in Parliament to form a government; Erdogan has been criticized for conducting a strategy aimed at preventing the formation of a coalition government.

    Speaking to journalists on Friday on his way back to Turkey from a visit to China, President Erdogan said a coalition government would not bring the country any benefit. "However, it is possible to form a minority government that would bring Turkey to a snap election", he said. Erdogan also told reporters in Istanbul on July 24 that if no parties are able to form a coalition, the country would then hold another general election within 90 days.

    Citizens view the recent outbreak of violence and chaos in the country stirred up by military clashes between the army and Kurdish militants as well as radical Islamist groups as an attempt to manipulate voters' decisions in a snap election, according to the survey.

    A total of 64.5% of respondents said that the current chaotic atmosphere is an attempt by the AK Party to increase its votes, especially those from nationalist citizens, in a possible snap election in the coming months.

    A similar view was upheld in a report published by Istanbul-based consulting firm S Bilisim Danismanlik on Aug. 1 that argued support for the AK Party goes up when violence increases in Turkey.

    The report also stipulates that the AK Party had benefitted from previous instances of increased violence, such as the Gunes Harekati (Operation Sun) by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against PKK militants in 2007.

    Respondents also expressed their discontent with the recent policies of the AK Party in the fields of the economy, security and democracy.

    When asked whether the AK Party was successful in solving the problems of the country and in governing the country, 70.9% of those surveyed responded negatively.

    Citizens are also concerned about their security in the country, with 85.5% of respondents saying security along Turkey's borders was not under control.

    A full 84.2% also stated their opposition to a military campaign against Syria, deeming such an operation unnecessary.

    When it comes to the economic well-being of the citizens, the survey reveals major dissatisfaction by citizens over their financial statuses, with 67.4% of respondents saying they have a hard time making ends meet. Furthermore, 21.2% stated they were unemployed.

    Of those surveyed, 61.8% believe their economic status will improve if a coalition government is formed.

    The respondents were also disgruntled with the extensive powers of the President, stating their preference for a president with more limited powers. A total of 67.2% of respondents said the government should be more independent from the President when making decisions.

    Erdogan is also seen as more authoritarian and oppressive by citizens. Of those surveyed, 66.1% said that Erdogan acts as a one-man show and adopts a harsh discourse in politics, with 67.6% qualifying Erdogan as becoming more authoritarian and oppressive.

    Since his presidential term began last August, Erdogan has filed 718 lawsuits on charges of insulting the President against journalists and other people over news reports as well as their social media posts.

    The record number of legal proceedings against dissidents is considered a new method of intimidating political opponents who do not share the government's views. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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