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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-10-06

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. 189/15 06.10.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci draws attention to the importance of a "clear Turkish Cypriot majority" of properties and population in the north part of the island
  • [02] Turkish daily argues that the breakaway regime handled to Turkey the right to administrate the water five years ago
  • [03] Kilicdaroglu: "We wrote nationalism in Pentadaktylos mountains"
  • [04] Denktas announced that the graves at the occupied villages of Maratha and Santallari will reopen; More remains of missing persons were found in the "central prison" area
  • [05] Colak continues her contacts in Washington; Self-styled deputies carried out contacts in Brussels
  • [06] Bahcesehir University to open a "private refugees' university" in the occupied area of Cyprus; Statements by Durust
  • [07] Turkey's Civil Aviation Authorities to educate the staff of the occupation regime's "civil aviation authorities"
  • [08] Turkish MFA summons the Russian Ambassador over second airspace violation; Davutoglu: Military to react if Russia violates Turkish border again
  • [09] President Erdogan criticizes EU's inaction over Syrian crisis
  • [10] EU postpones progress report on Turkey amid negotiations on refugees
  • [11] Columnist: "Turkey's EU bid marked by mutual insincerity"
  • [12] Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Dumanl? quits post due to pressure on media

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci draws attention to the importance of a "clear Turkish Cypriot majority" of properties and population in the north part of the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.10.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that during the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem they are concentrated on the criteria in the property issue and expressed the belief that after this issue is settled the other chapters will reach a solution in a rational way.

    In an exclusive interview with Kibris after completing his contacts in New York, Akinci drew attention to the importance [for the Turkish side] of designing the criteria on the property issue in such a manner that the Turkish Cypriots to have the "clear majority" of properties in the northern part of the island. He argued that the Turkish Cypriot should also have the majority of population in their own area and noted that in all the agreements it is written that the solution will be bi-zonal and bi-communal. Akinci said that in the EU officials and other officials whom they meet understand this and believe that a way could be found.

    Asked whether they are considering of a certain percentage of Turkish Cypriot majority in population and properties, Akinci replied: "It is important to accept this in principle, because as of the beginning of the 1990's it was turned into UN parameter. It has been approved in the UN Security Council Resolution No 750. What is understood of bi-zonality is for the two communities being the clear majority in their own area. This means that it will not be a little bit higher than 50% but much higher of course. I do not want to give a percentage in this sense. The important thing is to agree on this issue and be able to prepare the criteria on the property within the framework of this mentality. Therefore, I think that having a clear majority will be one of the founding stones for leading us to the success in the Cyprus negotiations. If we are able to overcome this issue within this framework on the property, and I believe that we will be able to do it, I believe that we will be able to reasonably find ways out in the other chapters which will come onto the agenda".

    Akinci noted that another point on which the Turkish Cypriot side is "sensitive" is the issue of turning the agreement into primary law of the EU. This requires that the agreement is endorsed by the parliaments of all 28 member states, he said, but if there are some people who believe that there could be other ways, the Turkish Cypriots are open to suggestions.

    Referring to the issue the so-called permanent derogations from the EU law, Akinci alleged that these should be evaluated as "natural right" of the Turkish Cypriots instead of being considered as limitation of the rights of the Greek Cypriots or the other EU citizens.

    Asked whether permanent derogations will be needed in case bi-zonality is guaranteed in the criteria for the property, he replied: "This does not have this meaning. We want some provisions of the agreement to become primary law of the EU in order for the agreement not to be worn though in courts. [?] We know that the permanent derogations are something which is not very popular in the EU, but in spite of this some countries secured these derogations when carrying out their accession negotiations to the EU. A part of them is permanent and a part is temporary. Now it is talked of temporary derogations for us, but being primary law is very important. The Turkish Cypriot community must find the ways of being able to have the majority of property ownership and population in its own area. In this sense, understanding should be shown to our sensitivities. [?]".

    Replying to a question, Akinci said that he sees positively the issue of the cross-voting and that this is an element strengthening the federal structure, but in order for the Turkish Cypriot side to accept this, the rotating presidency must definitely be materialized. He argued: "We can evaluate the cross-voting issue provided that we agree on the rotating presidency. However, discussing the cross-voting issue without concluding the rotating presidency is meaningless. [?] I think that it would not be a bad situation if a person who will be the president of the entire united federal structure in rotation is voted by a certain percentage of the other community ? and in the beginning this could influence by 10% - 15% and be limited in this number. The person, who will be elected there, regardless of which community he comes from, will act knowing that he will have to take into consideration the worries of the other community".

    Akinci noted that the process is quick and that the time for the involvement of the guarantor powers is approaching because their target is an early solution. He said that during his meeting with the UN Secretary-General they discussed the further contribution of the guarantor powers in the procedure. Commenting on the UNSG's statement on the issue Akinci said that the procedure is a Cypriot-led process and that the security and guarantees is one of the six chapters. He added: "Therefore, even though we say that this will be discussed in the end, because we are experiencing a quick process and we aim at an early solution, the General ? Secretary's statement is tantamount to that we are coming to the point at which the guarantor powers will enter into action [...]"

    Akinci noted that the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriots and the perceptions of the Greek Cypriots of what constitutes a threat should seriously be taken into consideration and expressed the belief that a formula which will protect the sensitivities of both communities can be found on the issue of security and guarantees.

    Akinci expressed the view that cross-visits of the negotiators of the communities to Ankara and Athens respectively should take place and that this will positively contribute to the promotion of the relations. He said that during their meeting in New York, the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told him that he had submitted a proposal to his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras for visiting Cyprus together through Larnaka International Airport and meet with the two leaders in a tripartite and four-party meeting. He added: "This is actually a courageous step on Davutoglu's behalf. This kind of gestures is good from the point of view of smoothing the relations between the sides and facilitating their coming together as well as increasing the contribution of Greece and Turkey to this issue".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkish daily argues that the breakaway regime handled to Turkey the right to administrate the water five years ago

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (06.10.15) about the water project and the problems occurred as regards its administration.

    Under the title "The ownership was given and we had no idea", Detay reports that all the details regarding the administration of the water brought from Turkey were signed between Ankara and the breakaway regime in 2010; a protocol that the "assembly" approved and was even published at the "official paper" of the so-called state and became a "law" in 2012. The protocol was signed between the then "prime minister" Irsen Kucuk and the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek. According to the agreement signed, the pipe lines and the places of the water installation will be a property of Turkey for 30 years; that is until the year 2042.

    Meanwhile, Yeni Duzen reports that Birol Cinar, the chairman of the "TRNC state water affairs", stated that currently there are no technical issues as regards the water project and its distribution is expected to be launched on October 28 starting from occupied Lefkosia.

    Havadis writes that the reactions against efforts of Turkey to administrate the water continue. The chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) Tozun Tunali stated that 51% of the water must ne administrated by the breakaway regime and the rest by Turkey. He also accused the National Unity Party (UBP) of giving the rights for the water administration to Turkey during it was in power and called on the current "government" to take a stance on the issue.

    On its part, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Abdullah Korkmazhan stated that the majority of the Turkish Cypriots believes that the water must be administrated by the "municipalities" will be distributed and expressed the party's disagreement over the privatization of the water administration.

    (CS)

    [03] Kilicdaroglu: "We wrote nationalism in Pentadaktylos mountains"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Dialog newspaper (06.10.15) reports that the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CTP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu referred to Cyprus in the framework of the election campaign in Turkey.

    Kilicdaroglu stated that his party "wrote nationalism in Pentadaktylos Mountains". "We took this culture from Ecevit", he added.

    (CS)

    [04] Denktas announced that the graves at the occupied villages of Maratha and Santallari will reopen; More remains of missing persons were found in the "central prison" area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (05.10.15) reported that the so-called assembly accepted unanimously the "draft bill on the war veteran's families and disable association law".

    Speaking during the meeting of the so-called assembly, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas said that following an allegation that Greek Cypriots were buried in the graves of those buried in the occupied villages of Maratha and Santallari cemeteries, the "council of ministers" decided for the graves to be reopened.

    Denktas stressed the need for the "ministerial council" to withdraw its decision and said: "This is totally wrong. We should not permit this to happen. Such a search cannot take place there".

    On his turn, the so-called prime minister Omer Kalyoncu, commenting on the speculation saying that the proposal to reopen the grave had come from the Turkish member of the Committee of Missing Persons, said that the decision to reopen the grave was taken on 12 September 2015 by the "ministerial council".

    Kalyoncu also said that it was the first time he heard about the allegation that a Greek Cypriot was buried in those villages.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.10.15) reports that the remains of 20 more missing persons were found during the excavation works which are taking place in the area behind the "central prisons" in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    Speaking on the issue, Murat Soysan, assistant to the Turkish Cypriot member in the Committee of the Missing Persons (CMP), confirmed that they found the remains of 20 more missing persons and added that they have also found new remains during the excavations they launched yesterday.

    Soysal added that they have launched excavations in the area as they received information that around 40-50 Greek Cypriots, were buried there in 1974.

    (AK)

    [05] Colak continues her contacts in Washington; Self-styled deputies carried out contacts in Brussels

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 05.10.15), self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak has moved on to Washington after completing her contacts in New York.

    Colak who delivered speeches at the Islamic Cooperation Organisation's (OIC) Annual Coordination meeting and the extraordinary meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organisations (ECO) Council of Ministers as part of her contacts in New York, briefed the participants on the Cyprus issue.

    She also demanded from all OIC member countries to take concrete steps towards lifting the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Colak who will hold a series of contacts in Washington is expected to return to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (06.10.15) reports that a delegation from the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, consisting of the self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Armagan Candan, the self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP) Ergun Serdaroglu and the self-styled deputy with the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DPUG) Hasan Tacoy, carried out contacts in Brussels between September 29 and October 1.

    During the visit to Brussels, the delegation met with officials of the European Parliament and permanent representatives of the EU member countries and the European Commission in Brussels.

    During their contacts, they discussed the latest stage reached in the Cyprus talks, the duties of the EU for financing the Cyprus settlement, the acceleration of the EU harmonisation process of the Turkish Cypriot side, the Turkish Cypriots' relations with the EU institutions, the development of the Green Line Regulation in a way that will benefit the Turkish Cypriot side, as well as the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriot on some issues and particularly on the halloumi/hellim issue.

    The delegation also met with representatives from the political groups of the European Parliament: the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats), the Socialist Group, the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group and the Group of the Greens.

    [06] Bahcesehir University to open a "private refugees' university" in the occupied area of Cyprus; Statements by Durust

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (06.10.15) reports that according to a statement issue by the Board of Directors of the Bahcesehir University, the university has decided to open a "University for Refugees" in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, the Bahcesehir University is planning to build a university campus in the "TRNC for refugees" in one year. The "University" will be call "Baris University- University or Peace" (BAU).

    The Bahcesehir University announced that they have already made the application for the establishment of the "university" in the "TRNC" and it has been accepted. The aim is to enroll 3,000 refugee university students.

    As the paper writes, the project was to be realized two years ago in Alexandretta, however, this didn't materialize. So, in order to serve refugee students, the university changed their path and decided to set up a private "university" in the TRNC.

    In statements on the issue, the president of the Board of Directors of Bahcesehir University, Enver Yucel, said that the university aimed to serve all war struck youths. It also aims to become a platform for academicians hit by war. Yucel added that they aim to give education in English and Arabic and added that they will also ensure that the university will become a regional research centre.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (06.10.15) reports that the so-called minister of education Kemal Durust, in statements on the issue, said that they received an application from the Bahcesehir University 3-4 months ago for the establishment of a "refugees' university" in the "TRNC" and added that the "ministry" still evaluates the application and should first take the permission of the "higher education planning evaluation, accreditation and coordination council" ("YODAK") towards this issue.

    Commenting also on this issue, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) in occupied Famagusta said that he was informed about this issue by the media and added that they will examine this issue taking into consideration all "regulations".

    (AK)

    [07] Turkey's Civil Aviation Authorities to educate the staff of the occupation regime's "civil aviation authorities"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (06.10.15) reports that the so-called assembly approved yesterday the "resolution of the amendment of the protocol envisaging cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC in the Civil Aviation".

    In statements during the meeting of the assembly, Hasan Tacoy, "deputy" with the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) said that the protocol was signed during the term of the previous "government" and added that according to the agreement signed with Turkey's Civil Aviation Authorities, experts from Turkey will be visiting the "TRNC" to educate the staff of the "civil aviation authority" in the "TRNC".

    (AK)

    [08] Turkish MFA summons the Russian Ambassador over second airspace violation; Davutoglu: Military to react if Russia violates Turkish border again

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 06.10.15), Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the Russian Ambassador to the Ministry once again over a second airspace violation which took place on October 4.

    Acting Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Ahmet Muhtar Gun expressed Turkey's "strong" reaction to Russia's second airspace violation during his meeting with Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov late Monday.

    Russian fighter jets previously violated Turkish airspace on October 3.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 05.10.15) reported that Turkey has warned that it will react if Russia again violates Turkey's border with Syria after Russian aircraft breached Turkish airspace over the weekend, with Moscow saying the incident was not intentional but due to a "navigational error".

    "Let me put it bluntly: Turkey's rules of engagement are valid for Syria's, Russia's or another country's warplanes. The Turkish Armed Forces have been issued with open instructions. Even if it's a flying bird, whoever violates Turkish airspace will be subject to the necessary actions", Davutoglu told Haberturk TV in an interview on Oct. 5, stressing that Russia must not escalate tension in Syria.

    "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," a written statement by the ministry said Oct. 5.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey had warned Russia to prevent a repetition of such violations, adding that the Russian authorities had assured Turkey that they would not be repeated and that the Oct. 3 violation was unintentional.

    "I just spoke with our chief of General Staff. We have given the necessary instructions to our Foreign Minister. Diplomatic traffic has begun. Our position is very clear; we'll warn any country that violates our borders in a friendly way. Russia is our friend and neighbour. There is no tension between Turkey and Russia in this sense. The issue of Syria is not a Turkish-Russian crisis," he said.

    The Ministry summoned the ambassador of Russia in Ankara, Andrey Karlov, and strongly protested the violation.

    Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu also called his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, to lodge a protest warning him not to repeat similar incidents.

    Sinirlioglu also conducted telephone calls with his U.S., French, Italian and British counterparts to evaluate the situation and met NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels. Russian violations of Turkish airspace are "unacceptable," the NATO chief said Oct. 5.

    A spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters on Oct. 5 that Russia's operations in Syria would not cause a worsening in relations with Turkey and that the cooperation of the two countries have a strong base.

    Russia's Defence Ministry said Oct. 5 that its warplanes had carried out strikes on nine Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets, including command centres and communications posts in three provinces in the past 24 hours.

    [09] President Erdogan criticizes EU's inaction over Syrian crisis

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 06.10.15), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday during his visit in Brussels that Turkey's spending of $7.5 billion on sheltering about 2 million Syrian refugees in the country was not "sustainable", criticizing the European Union's inaction regarding the crisis.

    He said, of the $7.5 billion, Turkey had only received $417 million in foreign aid. "While we host 2.2 million refugees, Europe as a whole houses less than 250,000 refugees in total," Erdogan said at a televised meeting with Belgian business leaders.

    President Erdogan was welcomed by Belgian King Philippe in an official ceremony in Brussels on Monday. Erdogan was also accompanied by Minister for EU Affairs, Beril Dedeoglu, Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu, Energy Minister Ali Riza Alaboyun, and Culture and Tourism Minister Yalcin Topcu during his visit.

    The EU, which pledged at least 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) for Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries last month, says it wants to help Turkey absorb and integrate more migrants on its own soil and cooperate closely with Greece in preventing mass migrant flows.

    The Turkish President had told supporters in France the day before, "What do they say to us? ... 'Oh my, don't open your doors, don't let them reach us."

    Erdogan later on met with the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. Following the meeting, the two leaders held a press conference, during which various topic were touched upon.

    While Slovakia has made clear it will only accept Christian refugees and not Muslims, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban has described the influx of refugees as a threat to Europe's "Christian roots" and responded to the crisis by erecting a fence on its southern border with Serbia.

    Faced with the worst migrant crisis since World War II, the EU has expressed its willingness to help Turkey integrate more migrants on its soil in order to prevent mass inflows of refugees arriving in neighbouring Greece.

    "The situation where hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing to the EU via Turkey must be stopped; we cannot do it on our own, we need the Turkish side," European Council President Donald Tusk said.

    But Erdogan, stressing that the root cause of the migrant crisis was the war in Syria, once again reiterated his calls for a buffer zone, used as an area to host refugees, and a no-fly zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz said following his meeting with Erdogan that such a measure had to be decided by the United Nations Security Council.

    Erdogan also touched upon Turkey's current accession process to EU. He said, "I told during my meeting with Tusk that Turkey's accession to EU should be devoid of artificial political barriers and it should be revitalized".

    Erdogan also called on EU member states to take a tougher stance against the PKK.

    "PYD [Democratic Union Party, the Syrian affiliate of the PKK] is a terrorist organization like the PKK and they work together. We cannot speak of good terrorist versus bad terrorist," Erdogan said. "Daesh [Arabic acronym for ISIS] is a terrorist organization and so are the PYD and the PKK. I wholeheartedly believe [our] European friends will show sensitivity to this point," Erdogan added.

    Another point that was discussed during the meeting was Russia's violations of Turkish airspace, which Donald Tusk said were "worrisome". NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg had also earlier said that Russian violations of Turkish airspace were "unacceptable", calling an emergency meeting of alliance countries to discuss the crisis affecting a key member state.

    [10] EU postpones progress report on Turkey amid negotiations on refugees

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 05.10.15), the European Commission has postponed the publication of its annual progress report on Turkey amid negotiations with Turkey on how to stem the flow of refugees to Europe. Commission officials have confirmed to Today's Zaman that the report, which was originally scheduled to be published on Oct. 14, has now been put on the agenda for Oct. 21. The Commission confirmation comes on the day when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Brussels after almost two years.

    The European press reports that a group of EU members led by the UK has also asked the Commission to delay the report until after the general election in Turkey to be held on Nov. 1 so as not to influence the outcome. The Commission has reportedly rejected the British proposal but agreed to postpone it for a week.

    Although the EU is not giving Erdogan the red carpet treatment, according to EU officials, he will be received at the highest level possible. Erdogan will meet all the three leaders of the most prominent EU institutions: Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission. The four men will then have a dinner to carry on their talks on the refugee crisis.

    Erdogan is strongly criticized by the European institutions for his increasingly authoritarian style, but Brussels thinks he could be the ultimate recipe to stop the refugee influx, which has sowed discord and panic across the continent.

    The speculations that the postponement could also see the softening of the progress report language on Turkey if EU leaders could get what they want from Erdogan was dismissed by EU diplomats.

    A Commission spokeswoman said the only reason was the EU summit on refugees a day before Oct. 14, which could have overshadowed the progress reports. Maja Kocijancic, the Commission spokeswoman, told Today's Zaman that the progress reports on candidate countries would be the first enlargement package under the new Juncker Commission and the reason to change the date was to attract the attention the reports deserved.

    "This is the first enlargement package under the new Juncker Commission. The package includes a mid-term strategy for the first time and the country reports will be different in presentation than in the past. There is a strong interest by the President and all the colleagues that the package gets the media and public attention it deserves. In this context, given the European Council next week, which will have a strong focus on migration, the preference is to present a week later to ensure the package gets the media and public attention it deserves," she said.

    [11] Columnist: "Turkey's EU bid marked by mutual insincerity"

    Columnist Semih Idiz, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 06.10.15), evaluated the EU stance on the visit of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Brussels, in the following commentary:

    "Turkey's EU ties are back on the agenda again with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Brussels this week. Press reports in the lead-up to his visit, during which he will meet the heads of the European Council, Commission and Parliament, suggest that Erdogan will get a warmer reception than he otherwise might have.

    The reason for this, however, highlights the insincerity on the EU side, which is showing once again that it is being driven by self-interest rather than any goodwill toward Turkey. There is also insincerity on the Turkish side with regard to its EU bid, of course.

    Viewed from the EU's perspective, it appears that the driving force with regard to its ties with Turkey today is the crisis involving Syrian refugees. European countries want the refugees to be either stopped at the Syrian border, or accommodated in Turkey.

    Put plainly, they want to prevent the flow of mostly Muslim migrants from the Middle East to Europe, and want them to stay in predominantly Muslim Turkey.

    They cannot blame Ankara for their refugee crisis, of course, because Turkey is coping with its own refugee crisis that is far greater than the EU's. So there will not be angry accusations levelled at Erdogan, but enticements dangled under his nose. If anything, Erdogan will be the one wagging his finger given his penchant for this.

    Reports in the European media show that Erdogan will also not be taxed about his autocratic ways and undemocratic bid for absolute power in Turkey. One of the enticements presented to him, on the other hand, will reportedly be the easing of visa restrictions for Turks.

    Whatever the EU decides in this regard, its steps will have to be visible and come into force soon, if not immediately, to work. That remains an open question. There will also be the enticement of money to help Ankara with its refugee crisis, although few believe this will be anywhere near what Turkey's needs to cope with this crisis.

    What is not expected, however, is for the EU side to take steps that would advance Turkey's membership bid in any meaningful way. That remains a bridge too far for today's Europe. Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, nevertheless, know that if the EU gives them sufficient "gifts," especially with regard to the visa regime, they can use this to their advantage in the lead-up to general elections just three weeks from now.

    So the calculations on the Turkish side with regards to Erdogan's Brussels visit are also marked by insincerity. All Erdogan wants from this is political capital to boost his ambitions, and it seems he may get some. Otherwise, he has never displayed a major desire for EU membership, either as Prime Minister or now as President, given the restrictions this would place on his anti-democratic ways.

    This brings us to former President Abdullah Gul and his insincerity with regard to Ankara's membership bid, despite the strong support he ostensibly gave to this as President.

    Gul tweeted a message a few days ago marking the 10th anniversary of the start of membership talks, having been largely instrumental in starting them. He still remains keen on this membership, saying the advanced democratic and social standards this will bring are vital for Turkey.

    Yet one has to seriously question whether he did all he could to advance this bid, especially during the Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013. At the time he endorsed Internet legislation which restricted the freedom of expression, and later also endorsed legislation which effectively placed the judiciary in Turkey under executive control.

    In other words, he acted as a rubber stamp for Erdogan's anti-democratic ambitions.

    Today, Turkey is a much less democratic country than it was 10 years ago when its candidacy for EU membership was accepted, and Gul also has a hand in bringing this about.

    This is why Turkey's membership bid, which no one believes in anymore anyway, is marked by insincerity on both sides."

    [12] Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Dumanl? quits post due to pressure on media

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 05.10.15) reported that Zaman daily Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli has resigned from his post over "unlawful pressure" on him and the media in general.

    Dumanl? released a statement on Monday to announce that he sees that he cannot perform his job as the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily due to recent pressure on him and the media. "I think I have been unable to sufficiently and efficiently contribute to the Zaman daily where I have been serving since 2001 and that my health does not allow this either. For this reason, I resign from the post of Editor-in-Chief which I have sincerely tried to maintain as much as I could," Dumanl? said.

    The Zaman daily administration issued a statement following Dumanl?'s resignation, announcing that Cihan news agency General Manager Abdulhamit Bilici replaced Dumanl? as the Editor in Chief.

    Police officials raided the office of Zaman on Dec. 14, 2014 and detained Dumanl? and several other journalists, including STV network executive Hidayet Karaca, scriptwriters and producers as part of a government-initiated media crackdown. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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