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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-10-05

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. 188/15 03-05.10.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci met with UNSG Ban Ki-moon
  • [02] Akinci met with Kerry
  • [03] Akinci evaluated his contacts in New York: "The very fact that they were held during the UN General Assembly Session is a gain'
  • [04] Kibris: Akinci and the UNSG discussed the missing persons and the Deryneia crossing point
  • [05] Colak expects from ECO member countries to lift the reportedly international isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots
  • [06] Sinirlioglu discussed Cyprus with Eide and Kerry in New York
  • [07] Ozgurgun: Chance of Cyprus settlement is zero
  • [08] Talat: "May 2015 is a logical timetable"
  • [09] The "founding director" of the illegal YDU University held contacts in Ukraine
  • [10] Kalyoncu: We have the last word as regards the water issue
  • [11] The KTTO proposed the model of "public-private partnership" for the administration of the water from Turkey
  • [12] Columnist: "I have started to seriously worry that Turkey's policy is to annex Cyprus"
  • [13] Sucuoglu held contacts in Ankara
  • [14] Turkish Cypriot businessmen who make huge endorsements in the UK ask for facilitation to invest in the breakaway regime
  • [15] Erdogan slams Russia for 'grave mistake' in Syria before key visit to Europe
  • [16] Turkey summons the Russian Ambassador over airspace violation
  • [17] Turkey's main political parties announced their manifesto for November 1 elections
  • [18] Erdogan reacts after Turkey's election body rejects polling station changes

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci met with UNSG Ban Ki-moon

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 03.10.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that the property issue needs to be solved in a manner which will not upset the social order in the "country".

    Speaking to reporters following his meeting on Friday with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Akinci described his meeting with the UN Secretary General as effective and productive. "We discussed the progress achieved in the talks with the UN Secretary General", he said.

    Stating that he had found the opportunity to convey the Turkish Cypriot side's views regarding the stage reached in the talks, Akinci said that important progress had been reached on the chapters of power sharing and governance, economy and EU matters. He said that the UN Secretary General also shared his views on the level of progress achieved.

    Pointing out that the talks will be focusing on the thorny issues of property, security and guarantees over the next few months, Akinci reminded that he had reached an agreement with his Greek Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades on establishing a joint property commission made up of a specific number of Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and a foreign member to deal with property cases after a settlement is reached. "The decisions of this commission will be based on the criteria to be determined and set by the two sides. Our negotiators will be negotiating and determining what these criteria will be. I am hoping that we will achieve positive results in a short period of time", he added.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side is sensitive on the bizonality of a settlement to be reached; Akinci reminded that this principle is included in the 11 February 2014 declaration. He expressed the view that compensation will play an important role in the creation of a post-settlement property regime. "This is why the financing and funding of a settlement has become important more than ever", he added.

    Akinci highlighted the importance of reaching a win-win solution in which none of the two sides will be able to establish dominance over the other. Stating that a settlement will not only benefit Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots but the whole region as well, Akinci reminded that the two sides had agreed to speed up the negotiations process in November.

    Reiterating his view that a solution is possible in a matter of months, Akinci said that a settlement can be reached before the parliamentary elections in Cyprus in May if both sides pushed harder. "This could be possible if we work hard in November, December and January. The critical issue here is the criteria that we will determine and agree upon", he added.

    Pointing out that the criteria on property will be a test; Akici said: "We are talking about a bizonal, bi-communal settlement. Each community will make up the majority of the population in their own respective constituent state. This has been a UN parameter since 1992. I believe that we can find principles that can safeguard and guarantee this."

    Responding to a question regarding the issue of hydrocarbons, Akinci said that hydrocarbon reserves discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean can work as a catalyst for a settlement in the island.

    Self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami, Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu and the self-styled foreign ministry undersecretary Erhan Ercin were also present at the 30 minute meeting which took place at the UN General Headquarters.

    Meanwhile, the UN Secretariat issued a statement following the meeting between Akinci and Ban.

    The statement issued by the UN Secretary General's Spokesperson's Office said that the UN Secretary-General and Mr Akinci discussed the significant progress made by the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot leaders since the resumption of the negotiations aimed at achieving a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

    "The Secretary-General welcomed the positive and constructive spirit demonstrated by the leaders, as well as their commitment to intensify the pace of the leaders' meetings in the months to come in order to reach a settlement as soon as possible. The Secretary-General and Mr Ak?nc? also discussed the involvement of the Guarantor Powers in the process", the statement read.

    It also said that the Secretary-General assured Mr Ak?nc? of his personal and the United Nations' steadfast commitment of continuing to facilitate the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders in the talks.

    [02] Akinci met with Kerry

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 03.10.15), John Kerry has expressed the wish to visit Cyprus in November, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Friday after meeting the US Secretary of State in New York.

    Akinci said that Kerry had expressed continuing US support for a Cyprus solution based on a bizonal, bizonal bicommunal federation. He also said that Kerry had expressed his wish to visit Cyprus in November.

    Akinci briefed Kerry during the 45 minute meeting on the Cyprus negotiations and reaffirmed his determination to reach a solution as soon as possible with the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

    Meanwhile, self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak, Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami, Akinci's spokesman Baris Burcu, the self-styled foreign ministry undersecretary Erhan Ercin and the "representative" of the breakaway regime in New York Mehmet Dana were also present at the meeting.

    [03] Akinci evaluated his contacts in New York: "The very fact that they were held during the UN General Assembly Session is a gain'

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.10.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that his contacts in New York had a "concrete gain" and added that the very fact that they were held in the period of the UN General Assembly Session was a gain by its own. Akinci completed his meetings in New York the day before yesterday.

    Evaluating his contacts, Akinci underlined the importance of holding contacts during such an intensive period as "the president and officials" of the unrecognized "TRNC state". He said that they had the chance to convey their views and found support.

    Akinci recalled that they met with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini and foreign Ministers of many countries. He argued that this was the first time they had very comprehensive and high level contacts and this is a result of the "decisive stance of the Turkish Cypriot people on the issue of the solution" of the Cyprus problem.

    According to Akinci, it could be said that the international community's interest in the solution of the Cyprus problem increases. He added that while the negotiations are advancing in the direction of the UN parameters, they started searching for resources to finance the solution and described this as "very important development".

    Replying to a question, Akinci said that they have not directly discussed the issue of the financing of the solution with the General Secretary of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Iyad Emin Medeni, but he said that he had told him that the property issue will mainly be solved through compensations and that financing will be needed. Akinci noted that they will discuss this issue in detail with Medeni in the future and expressed the belief that the Islamic world will contribute in the financing of the solution.

    Describing his contacts in New York as "productive", Akinci said that the officials they met see that there is a window of opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem, but they are worried on the issue of making use of this opportunity. Akinci noted that the Greek Cypriot side is against putting a timetable in the negotiations, but the negotiations could not be prolonged. He added that in his contacts he saw that the view that a solution should be reached and a referendum should be held before the parliamentary elections of May 2016 in the Republic of Cyprus was widely spread.

    Referring on the property issue, Akinci said that they are determining the criteria at the moment and when they settle this issue they will have covered a lot of distance and the issues of territorial adjustments, property and guarantees will remain. He noted that they will pass to the security and guarantees if they reach a result by moving fast on these chapters just like they did in the first three chapters. He expressed the view that the important thing is to find a formula in which the Turkish Cypriots will feel safe, but the Greek Cypriots will not feel threatened.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Kibris: Akinci and the UNSG discussed the missing persons and the Deryneia crossing point

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.10.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has briefed the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on the issues of the missing persons and the opening of the Deryneia crossing point.

    According to Kibris, Akinci told the UNSG that from now on the Turkish occupation army will be giving faster and easier permission for investigations of places where missing persons are thought to be buried in areas considered as military zones. It is hoped that due to facilitating the investigations in about 30 places of burial of missing persons in military zones the remains of more missing persons will be found, writes Kibris.

    On the other hand, Akinci told the UNSG that the existing road [called Vehit Guner Street by the Turkish Cypriots] will be used when the Deryneia crossing point will be opened.

    Diplomatic sources say that these two issues have been successfully settled as a result of "silent diplomacy" carried out by Akinci with Turkey's civilian and army officials. If no obstacle comes up, the Deryneia crossing point is expected to open by the end of the year.

    The sources said that the army officials changed their stance on the issue of the Deryneia crossing point when Akinci explained to them that because of the deadlock on that issue the Turkish Cypriot side will be weakened in the negotiations for solving the Cyprus problem and that this harms the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. The issue was on the agenda of the illegal visit which the Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Hulusi Akar paid to the island last month. Before that Akinci had discussed the issue with the Turkish Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and Feridun Sinirlioglu respectively. According to Kibris' sources, General Akar gave the order to the commanders of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus that Akinci "has the final say" on this issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Colak expects from ECO member countries to lift the reportedly international isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 03.10.15), self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak, who is continuing her contacts in New York, delivered also speeches at the meetings of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) and the Islamic Cooperation Organisation (OIC). She also met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu.

    According to a press release by the "foreign ministry's information department", Colak, who addressed the OIC Annual Coordination meeting, drew attention to the war and conflict waging on in the Middle East. She said that the world could not stand by and watch the region fall into pieces.

    Also delivering a speech at the extraordinary meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers in New York, Colak touched upon the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process, the water project from Turkey as well as higher education and tourism in the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).

    She said that the "TRNC" is expecting member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) to help take steps towards lifting the reportedly international isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    Stating that the "Turkish Cypriot State", which shared a common history and culture with ECO member countries, remained committed to the Economic Cooperation Organisation's aims, Colak asked for the renewal of the "TRNC's 'observer status'" within the organisation first granted in 2012.

    Reminding that the negotiations aim at reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem have resumed since May this year, Colak argued that a solution in Cyprus, if both sides remain committed, can be found not in several years but a matter of months.

    [06] Sinirlioglu discussed Cyprus with Eide and Kerry in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.10.15) reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu held a meeting with Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly in New York.

    Following the meeting, Eide stated that the conditions for the solution of the Cyprus problem are much more convenient than before and added that the following months will be important for the negotiations. Referring to the property issue, he stated that he does not think that money will be offered by the IMF, adding that the EU and USA are studying the options for economic support after a settlement in Cyprus is found.

    The paper also reports that Sinirlioglu held face-to-face talks with his U.S. counterpart John Kerry on Thursday amid escalating tensions between Russia and the West over Syria. The paper writes that the Cyprus problem was on the agenda of the meeting between the two men. Turkish Foreign Ministry sources said that the closed-door meeting in New York focused on recent developments in Syria, including Russia's airstrikes to bolster the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

    (CS)

    [07] Ozgurgun: Chance of Cyprus settlement is zero

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi Daily News (online, 05.10.15), the party leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) and partner of the "coalition government" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Huseyin Ozgurgun, in a written statement recently, said that the water project from Turkey to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus could be an issue that would affect the "coalition government".

    Ozgurgun said that he met with the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat and discussed this issue several times. He added in fact that the "coalition partnership" is going well but the water project is such that it can affect it. Ozgurgun said that Turkey has spent billions on this investment and therefore has a right of saying in the project; he doesn't think that being obstinate to Turkey is the right path. He said that listening to their views and cooperating with them on the matter would be more beneficial.

    Ozgurgun further said that he discussed with Talat the scenario if the "local councils" do not accept this formula because at present the "local councils" distribute water and collect money in return. If, however, the "local councils" form a consortium they will also be able to participate in tender.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (online, 05.10.15) reports that Ozgurgun, evaluating the ongoing negotiations process to the Anatolian Agency, said that the problem is mainly a mentality issue. "If an agreement will be found in Cyprus, it should be with the natural desire of the two sides however this natural desire is not possible today", Ozgurgun argued.

    "As long as the Greek Cypriots keep seeing Cyprus as a Greek island we cannot solve the problem by dealing with details", he added.

    Stating that Turkish Cypriots are seeking a solution on the basis of equality, he said the two side's possibility of reaching an agreement is zero.

    [08] Talat: "May 2015 is a logical timetable"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (05.10.15) under the title: "May 2015 is a logical timetable", reports on statements by the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) Mehmet Ali Talat who evaluated to the paper the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the property issue, Talat said that in spite of the fact that there is nothing new at the negotiation talks, he is still optimistic for the progress of the talks.

    Stating that during his term in "presidency" and the negotiation talks he carried out with former President Demetris Christofias, no progress was achieved on the property issue due to the unchanging stance of the Greek Cypriot side, Talat said that after 2010 and the Demopoulos case; the Greek Cypriots were obliged to abandon their positions. "The progress being achieved during the negotiation talks between Anastasiades and Akinci is of course much more than ours. We haven't been able to make any positive step on property. And this because the Greek Cypriots, prior to the announcement of the Demopoulos' cases, supported that 'all the decisions belonged to the owner of the property'".

    As regards the issue of guarantees, Talat said that the worries expressed by the Greek Cypriots towards the issue of guarantees are groundless. He added that he considers the discussion of the issue at the current phase of the talks as not beneficial. Talat went on and stated that the main and the most important guarantee is the trust between the two communities and proposed to leave behind the system of guarantees.

    Commenting on the latest statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who has said that the solution is possible until May 2016, Talat said that Akinci's timetable is very logical, otherwise, as he said, the solution process will prolong.

    (?)

    Evaluating also the rumors that a "no" will come up from the Turkish Cypriot community in possible referenda on the Cyprus problem, Talat said that all these allegations are groundless and were exaggerations.

    (AK)

    [09] The "founding director" of the illegal YDU University held contacts in Ukraine

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (05.10.15) reports that according to a statement issued by the "Cyprus health tourism council", the "founding director" of the illegal YDU University, Ahmet Savasan together with representatives of the "health and education sectors" from "north Cyprus", attended the "MTEC Kiev-Medical Travel Exhibition and Conference" which took place in Kiev, Ukraine.

    According to the statement, Savasan and his accompanied delegation met with Ukraine's Minister of Health Oleksandra Povlenko and other parliamentarians.

    Savasan and Povlenko discussed during their meeting the possible steps that could be taken for the mutual development of Ukraine and the occupation regime's cooperation in the fields of health and tourism.

    Also, Savasan and Povlenko discussed and agreed during the meeting that Ukrainian doctors will be sent to the "faculty of health sciences" of the illegal YDU University in order to provide academic information and have access to the innovative practices and implementations that exits at the "YDU hospital".

    Within the framework of his contacts in Ukraine, Savasan also met with the chairman of the Health Committee of the Parliament of Ukraine, parliamentarian Olga Bogomolets with whom he discussed a possible road map that could develop the cooperation of the two "countries" in the fields of health and tourism.

    (AK)

    [10] Kalyoncu: We have the last word as regards the water issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (05.10.15) reports that the self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu referred to the issue of the administration of the water that will be transferred from Turkey and stated that the breakaway regime will have the last word on the issue.

    Kalyoncu claimed that there is not an argument between the breakaway regime and Turkey as regards the water and noted that there is definitely not a "water crisis". "We will use the water, therefore we will be the ones to manage it", he stated, adding that there is a discussion between the breakaway regime and Turkey but not an argument.

    Kalyoncu was asked to comment on rumors that the "Turkish embassy", in the occupied area of Cyprus exerted pressure on the "government" for the water administration but stated that he refuses to comment on rumors in order not to give them gravity and importance. "In the end we will take the decision", he said. He also denied reports that Turkey does not trust the Turkish Cypriots to administrate such a huge and expensive project.

    (CS)

    [11] The KTTO proposed the model of "public-private partnership" for the administration of the water from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (05.10.15) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO), in a written statement concerning the issue of the "administration" of the water to be transferred from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, supported that the quarrels concerning the administration of the water, might cause a political crisis in the "country".

    Supporting that the cost will be very high for the Turkish Cypriot community to pass on to the public sector the monopoly of the administration of the water, the KTTO proposed the model of partnership of the public and private sectors.

    The Chamber called all the involved parties to undertake their responsibilities in order for the discussions towards the administration of the water to end soon. The Chamber added that the political, economic and ecological benefits of the water to be transferred from Turkey should be taken into consideration.

    The Chamber added in the statement that it is ready to provide any kind of support for solving the issue of the administration of the water for the benefit of the community.

    (AK)

    [12] Columnist: "I have started to seriously worry that Turkey's policy is to annex Cyprus"

    Under the title "Is the TRNC being closed down?" Turkish Cypriot columnist Sami Ozuslu writes in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.10.15) that the privatization of the administration of the water to be brought from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus will be tantamount to integration and annexation of the occupied area of the island to Turkey.

    Ozuslu writes, inter alia, the following:

    "The debates on the water have once more brought seriously onto the agenda the Turkey-TRNC relations and their international repercussions.

    Those who approach the issue only with the mentality that 'our state and municipalities cannot administrate the water, and that they will go bankrupt' are either not seeing the danger which is approaching, or they have another road in their mind. The name of this road is integration! That is annexation!

    The elements of the deep state which had drawn the Cyprus Recoupment Plan, aimed at binding the whole of Cyprus to Anatolia. [?] Very well, however, have Ankara's aims not changed since 1950's? Is the policy of binding Cyprus to Anatolia still continuing? Is the Cyprus leg of the crashed into the wall in every field foreign policy of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's and Ahmet Davutoglu's Turkey to 'definitely bind at least the half of it which we occupy, if not the whole of it'? I have honestly started to seriously worry about this. [?]"

    The columnist notes that the water issue seems to be the "clue" of "a very critical strategic plan". "Talking about a clue is actually nugatory. Perhaps it would be more correct to talk of the 'last blow', because we are very close to the end now", he says adding that after taking a few more steps they could declare to the world that they have completed the integration.

    Wondering what will the need for the "TRNC" be after that, the columnist argues that the security of the Turkish Cypriots is ensured by the Turkish General Staff, they carry out their foreign relations through the Turkish embassies, they travel using Turkish passports, they use the Turkish Lira, their "central bank" is directed by a person appointed by Ankara, their post code is "Mersin 10, Turkey" and their budget's road map is drawn by the three-year "protocols" signed with Turkey.

    Moreover, Ozuslu reports that the "municipalities" are directly bound to Turkey's so-called aid delegation in the occupied area of Cyprus and this delegation decides which projects will be implemented every year. "The mayors have many times heard that 'if you build a mosque there, the pavement project will be ok'", notes the columnist adding:

    "We have given them the airlines; we have given as a gift the only operational airport. The capital of Turkey has already taken over the country in the field of tourism to a great extent. Now let us hand over the water and the electricity and let it all be over. [?] No function is left for the TRNC anymore. If it is closed today, nothing will change in our lives. [?]".

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] Sucuoglu held contacts in Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak tevivion (02.10.15) reported that the self-styled minister of tourism Faiz Sucuoglu held contacts in Ankara.

    As part of his contacts he met with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes and Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Yalcin Topcu.

    The economic development of the breakaway regime and the cooperation opportunities in the field of tourism between the two "countries" were discussed during the meetings.

    Speaking during the visits, Sucuoglu asked for support to declare 2016 as the "North Cyprus" year in Turkey in order the breakaway regime to be promoted more effectively in Turkey.

    On his part, Turkes expressed his readiness to support the promotion, branding and development of the "TRNC's" tourism sector. Responding positively to the request to declare 2016 as the "North Cyprus" year in Turkey, he said that his "ministry" is ready to make the necessary contribution for the realization of the project if the breakaway regime is ready.

    Turkish Minister Topcu expressed the desire "for the TRNC to reach to its rightful place within the international community".

    Also expressing support to the proposal to declare 2016 as the "North Cyprus" year in Turkey, he said: "I will do my best to make sure it is discussed and approved at the Council of Ministers meeting."

    BRT also broadcast that Sucuoglu met with the Governor of Ankara Mehmet K?l?clar. The water transfer project from Turkey was on the agenda of the meeting.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.10.15) reports that Sucuoglu also met with the chairman of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) which will offer education to the personnel of the new archeological museum of the breakaway regime. TIKA will also provide assistance for the restoration of ancient works.

    [14] Turkish Cypriot businessmen who make huge endorsements in the UK ask for facilitation to invest in the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.10.15) reported that Turkish Cypriot businessmen who live in the UK and, as alleged, make 50 billion sterling endorsements per year ask for facilitation to invest in the breakaway regime.

    Speaking during a reception at the Turkish Cypriot British Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber's chairman Muhammet Yasarata claimed that there are 300,000 Turkish Cypriots living in the UK for the time being who own 100,000 residences and added that the companies of the Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK make 50 billion sterling endorsements per year. He also stated that it is their priority to make investments in the breakaway regime but added that this must be facilitated by the "state".

    (CS)

    [15] Erdogan slams Russia for 'grave mistake' in Syria before key visit to Europe

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 04.10.15) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dubbed Russia's bombing campaign in Syria "unacceptable" before embarking on a visit to Europe, where he will hold critical meetings with EU leaders that are expected to be dominated by the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Europe's growing migration crisis.

    "As Turkey, the steps that Russia is taking at the moment and the bombing campaign in Syria have no acceptable side", Erdogan told reporters at a press conference at the airport on Oct. 4 before departing for a two-day state visit to Belgium.

    "Russia is at the moment making a grave mistake. This may be a sign of a step that will take it to loneliness in the region. The fact that it is taking these steps despite Turkey saddens us," he said, adding that he conveyed his reaction to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the telephone "a few days ago".

    Moscow's commencement of bombing raids in Syria could bring Russian warplanes to the very borders of NATO member Turkey, which is itself being used as a base for U.S. and allied air strikes. The dangers of unintended clashes and uncertainty over Russia's intentions have raised concerns in Western capitals.

    Tensions over Turkey's stalled EU bid, a Turkish government corruption scandal and a cancelled visit by Erdogan as Prime Minister in 2011 mean that Erdogan will not be getting the red carpet welcome in Europe.

    His visit comes only days before the official annual progress report is due to be published on Turkey's EU membership bid and weeks before the country holds a snap election on Nov. 1.

    The EU has been especially critical of the crackdown on the media in Turkey, which languishes far down global press freedom rankings. Scores of people have been investigated on accusations of insulting Erdogan, who remains nonetheless Turkey's most popular politician.

    The President will visit Strasbourg, where he will attend a mass rally to "condemn terror", as a spiral of violence has gripped Turkey since a two-and-a-half year long de facto non-conflict ended in July with renewed fight between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    As part of his bilateral visit, he will hold talks with Belgian King Philippe and Prime Minister Charles Michel as well as with the presidents of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate.

    On the EU front, Erdogan will hold both separate meetings with European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Parliament President Michael Schulz.

    During a dinner meeting, Erdogan will join Tusk, Juncker and Schulz, with the meeting effectively turning into "a quartet mini summit."

    Concerns over Russia's latest moves in Syria are likely to top the agenda of the mini summit.

    Sources say the EU side may use the meetings as an opportunity for bargaining over Turkey-EU relations by asking the candidate country to shoulder further burden through accelerating implementation of the EU-Turkey Readmission Agreement in turn for facilitating the ongoing visa liberalization process.

    [16] Turkey summons the Russian Ambassador over airspace violation

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 05.10.15) with the above title reports that Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday has summoned the Russian Ambassador to the Ministry over an airspace violation.

    According to a statement by the Ministry, Russian fighter jets have violated Turkish airspace on October 3. "A fighter aircraft belonging to the Russian Federation violated Turkish airspace at 12:08 [0908GMT] south of the Yayladagi/Hatay region", the statement read.

    "The Russian aircraft exited Turkish airspace into Syria after it was intercepted by two F-16s from the Turkish Air Force, which were conducting patrols in the region."

    Yayladagi lies to the north of a region where Syrian government forces are facing rebel groups not linked to ISIS.

    The Russian Embassy in Turkey has admitted that Russian aircraft violated Turkish airspace, the paper reports. "Such an incident actually took place," Embassy spokesman Igor Mityakov said.

    "As far as I know, explanations about this matter were given to a military attache at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow," Mityakov said.

    Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu telephoned Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to complain about the incident and the Russian Ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry. Acting Undersecretary Ahmet Muhtar Gun protested "strongly" about the incursion to the Ambassador and demanded it never happen again.

    Gun said that Russia would be held responsible for any "undesired incident" resulting from a future violation. Sinirlioglu also spoke to Turkey's NATO allies about the incident.

    [17] Turkey's main political parties announced their manifesto for November 1 elections

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 05.10.15), the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), launching its snap election manifesto, has pledged to restrict the power of the Turkish President to a "symbolic level," lifting the controversial discretionary fund recently granted to Turkey's head of state.

    The party would make legislative amendments to strengthen the separation of powers, HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said at the launch on October 2. The party unveiled its new slogan "With purpose, peace. With purpose, HDP", as Demirtas vowed that from now on the Kurdish movement would move forward with "politics and peace."

    "I can only thank those who exerted positive efforts for the benefit of the people, and who placed stone after stone going forward. But from now on we'll go on our way with the HDP," he said, in an apparent reference to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    The HDP co-chair again vowed to cross the 10% election threshold in the snap poll to be held Nov. 1. "They said we would be below the threshold [in the last election in June]. But we'll bury the palace [presidency] under peace," Demirtas said.

    At the same event, HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag voiced the slogan, "We'll not let you be dictator," in reference to the party's June 7 election campaign motto, "We'll not let you be President," addressing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ambition to change Turkey to an executive presidential system.

    Meanwhile, the HDP will lift the economic embargo on trade with Armenia to develop bilateral relations, support efforts for the reunification of Cyprus, and pursue Turkey's EU membership process, Yuksekdag said.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.10.15) reports that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has unveiled the election manifesto of his Justice and Development (AK) Party ahead of Turkey's Nov.1 polls.

    From the manifesto titled "Turkey's Roadmap with Peace and Stability," Davutoglu introduced the his party's main campaign themes, such as state protection of human dignity and democracy, equal citizenship, the drafting of a new constitution plus measures towards a people-oriented economic development.

    "The AK Party manifesto is a reformist manifesto which cares about human dignity. It [the manifesto] is inclusive and aims at the growth of the Turkish economy," Davutoglu said.

    Davutoglu stressed the need for a new civilian constitution in lieu of the post-1980 constitution currently in force, saying that a new healthier political system requires a new constitution that will focus more on fundamental rights and freedoms.

    As expected, Davutoglu revealed the other significant part of the election manifesto as the government's fight against any kind of terrorism, the PKK and the so-called 'parallel state'.

    He described AK Party as the "architect, enforcer and engine of the solution process" ? referring to the early 2013 government initiative that aimed at ending the decades long conflict with the PKK.

    Saying that the AK Party will work to make peace prevail on Turkish land, Davutoglu added: "We will never give up until terrorists bury their guns."

    The manifesto announced by Davutoglu also brings forth equal citizenship as a "principle of human dignity". "No Turkish citizen will not be exposed to any discrimination based on people's faith, color, gender, language, race, political view, philosophical mindset or lifestyle," Davutoglu said.

    The Turkish Premier also mentioned the introduction of a presidential system, which featured prominently in the AK Party's June 7 election program, saying that his party believed it was the "effective and dynamic governing system" that their "New Turkey" vision necessitates, in order to prevent the "re-occurrence of past political instabilities".

    Moreover, Turkey's opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has said it is ready to form a post-election coalition with all parties except for the People's Democratic Party "which is an extension of the PKK".

    MHP leader Devlet Bahceli was speaking as his party launched its election manifesto in Ankara on Saturday ahead of Turkey's Nov. 1 polls.

    He said that in a case where the Nov. 1 contest threw up a similar stalemate to that seen after the July 7 general election, the MHP is ready to work with the Justice and Development (AK) Party or Republican People's Party (CHP).

    However, despite being ready for coalition, Bahceli said that their "aim is MHP's single-party government".

    After June's election, the MHP had said that its four principles for working a governing coalition included: the end of the PKK 'solution process'; probing the 17 and 25 December 2013 corruption cases; the protection of the first four articles of Turkey's constitution; and the withdrawal of the President to "legal limits".

    The MHP's election manifesto ? called You Know Best, Turkey ? is a five-pronged strategy focusing on social and administrative reforms, the economy, the struggle with poverty, counter-terrorism, and anti-corruption. Its slogan in the upcoming election will be: "Vote for the future of the country."

    Bahceli vowed that his party would "scrap the roots of separatist terror," referring to the PKK. The MHP has been against the so-called 'solution process' which aimed to end the decades-long conflict between Turkish state and PKK terror organization through peaceful means.

    On foreign policy, Bahceli said the aim of the party is to ensure peace and stability in the region and to strengthen relations with neighbours.

    On the same issue, Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu also announced on Wednesday his party's election manifesto and introduced candidates for the upcoming Nov. 1 general election.

    The opposition leader presented the election manifesto called "Turkey First," a five-pronged strategy focusing on the economy, education, the judiciary, politics and society. Kilicdaroglu said there was no other political party except the CHP that revealed Turkey's problems.

    For foreign policy, Kilicdaroglu said: "Foreign policy has to be turned around 180 degrees". He said that foreign policy should be established according to the country's interests. The leader reiterated the motto: "Peace at home, peace abroad".

    Regarding Turkey's issues for the Kurdish community, Kilicdaroglu stated that the CHP was the only party that could provide peace and said the centre of "social reconciliation" is the Grand National Assembly, Turkish parliament.

    The CHP promised to resolve Kurdish issues in a transparent and democratic way based on equal citizenship.

    [18] Erdogan reacts after Turkey's election body rejects polling station changes

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 05.10.15) reports that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has branded the Supreme Election Board (YSK) wrong after it rejected calls for the relocation of ballot boxes in several eastern and southeastern districts, saying it would be responsible for any undesired consequences.

    "This is where the YSK is on the wrong track. It is the district election authorities which determine the voting neighbourhoods in the districts. The YSK is not really interested in this," Erdogan said Oct. 4 at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before departing for France's Strasbourg to attend an "anti-terror rally".

    "I hope we will not come across the problems we encountered during the June 7 elections. If so, the YSK will be responsible for them," Erdogan said.

    In a majority of votes, the YSK rejected calls for the relocation of ballot boxes in several districts.

    The YSK's decision came after a number of local election councils in eastern and southeastern Turkey asked that polling stations be moved in certain neighbourhoods due to security concerns in the upcoming election amid deadly renewed conflict between security forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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