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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-10-19

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. 197/15 17-19.10.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] The water transfer project inaugurated in Turkey
  • [02] The water transfer project inaugurated in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [03] Seventeen organisations demonstrated against the water project
  • [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the opening ceremonies of Anamur dam and Panagra dam
  • [05] Reports about the price of the water transferred from Turkey
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot columnist: They even brought people from Turkey; we were like guests at the ceremony in occupied Panagra
  • [07] Colak: The Turkish Cypriots expect a considerable grant from the Obama administration"
  • [08] Akinci met with EU Commissioner Cretu
  • [09] Afrika refers to allegations that an agreement has been reached on the population in case of a federal solution
  • [10] A Turkish Cypriot real estate agent alleges that they could pay the compensations for the occupied Greek Cypriot properties
  • [11] A Pakistani Minister is illegally visiting the occupation regime
  • [12] Illegal GAU university attended international events abroad
  • [13] Merkel says Germany ready to support Cyprus and help Turkey
  • [14] Erdogan: The EU woke up late to Turkey's role on migrants

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] The water transfer project inaugurated in Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.10.15) broadcast that the Anamur leg of the water project was inaugurated on Saturday with a ceremony attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, "prime minister" Omer Kalyoncu, the Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Works Veysel Eroglu as well as other Turkish government and state officials.

    Delivering a speech at the inauguration ceremony in Anamur, Mersin, Davutoglu praised the project. He said that motherland Turkey and the "TRNC" were now joined physically with a bridge of water.

    Expressing his belief that the two "peoples" on the island can live together side by side, the Turkish Prime Minister said that water pumped to Cyprus will serve as a catalyst for peace on the island. "We hope that the water will bring not just life but also peace" he said.

    He said that Turkey sincerely supports a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in Cyprus and added: "Let this become the first step and symbol for a beacon of stability in the region". "We shall continue to do all we can for the prosperity of the TRNC" he added.

    Akinci said that the water will transform Cyprus into a green island, will increase production and will help develop the "TRNC economy". "Such a development will allow the TRNC to stand on its own feet?this will be vital for a settlement in the future. It will allow the Turkish Cypriots to become more competitive within the EU. The project and the technology used is the first of its kind. [?] We could establish an energy corridor combining the natural gas of neighbouring countries marketing via Turkey. This is the most feasible way as experts have expressed. More importantly we can increase the capacity of the water with the current technology and perhaps share it with our Greek Cypriot neighbours or other countries in the region. So we can truly speak of this water as a water of peace" he said.

    Erdogan for his part said that the project, the first of its kind in the world, was a source of pride for Turkey. He said that the water will bring an end to the "country's" water shortages and will be enough to meet the island's water needs for the next 50 years.

    [02] The water transfer project inaugurated in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.10.15) reports that speaking at the opening ceremony of Panarga Dam in occupied Myrtou, in the framework of the inauguration ceremony for the water project transferred from Turkey, Turkish President Erdogan stated that they would, if requested, also provide water to the Republic of Cyprus: "If the people in the south say 'we also want to benefit from this water', we will name this water 'Peace Water' and carry them water because what actually matters to us is humans."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? "prime minister" Omer Kalyoncu Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs Veysel Eroglu, "ministers and deputies" were present at the opening ceremony.

    Expressing his pleasure to inaugurate the pipeline project with the people of Cyprus, Erdogan said: "I commemorate our soldiers and the mujahidin, who sacrificed themselves for the survival, rights and freedom of the Turkish Cypriots on these lands with grace. I wish a long and healthy life to our veterans who are still with us." He also said that he had closely followed every phase of this project, and added: "Today, we are proud and joyful to deliver our promise. This project, including its treatment facility and distribution lines, cost TL1.6 billion. I wish it will bring prosperity to our countries and our region."

    "As a guarantor country and the Homeland, Turkey is sincere about finding a solution to the Cyprus problem in the negotiations, which recently gained impetus," Erdogan said and he alleged the following: "During the efforts so far, we have always been one step ahead. We have always acted sincerely and on good will. Nobody can ignore this fact; It has always been the Turkish Cypriots, who wanted a fair, permanent and sustainable peace in the Island. Today, we continue to defend that the Cyprus problem be resolved in a comprehensive way that will ensure the political equality and legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriots because we view this issue from a much wider perspective. Solution in Cyprus will contribute to peace and stability in Eastern Mediterranean."

    "We will continue to work to successfully conclude the negotiation process and we will continue to provide any and all kinds of support so that the Turkish Cypriots have a more prosperous future," President Erdogan said and further stated: "It should be our priority to ensure that the Turkish Cypriots grow more prosperous, develop economically and stand on their own feet."

    In statements during the inauguration ceremony for the water project which took place in Gecitkoy [Panagra Dam] in the occupied area of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, stated, inter alia, that the water from Turkey is a "breath of fresh air" which will contribute to the future of Cyprus, the solution and the peace process.

    Stressing the need for the water from Turkey to be well managed, Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot "people" and their organizations should find the most rational and constructive way to manage the water.

    Reminding that in 1988 a ceremony took place for the transferring of water from Turkey to the "TRNC" via balloons, Akinci recalled that former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel said that Turkey was planning to transfer water to the "TRNC" via pipelines after two years. "This project was a difficult project, but the will existed. The late Demirel had not the luck to attend, but Erdogan is here", Akinci said.

    Pointing out that President Erdogan is behind this project, the one who supported it and made it become a reality, Akinci thanked Erdogan for his contribution.

    Akinci also stated the following: "Now, they share the water with us. This is not only water. It is also a contribution to the future of Cyprus. If it is evaluated together with the energy resources in the Easter Mediterranean, imagine the natural gas to pass via a corridor from Cyprus to Turkey and from Turkey to be transferred to Europe. And think about the electricity networks which interconnect south Cyprus to interconnect us with Europe via a cable which will pass from Turkey. New horizons will open with the viability of this engineering map. I consider that in the way that we could share this water with the south, we could come to the position to be able to share it with the Middle East as well. This project has been launched as a dream. If my vision about the Eastern Mediterranean could become a reality, this would be beneficial for all regional countries. The ties of the Turkish Cypriots with the Greek Cypriots, the ties of Turkey together with Greece and the EU will enter a new path. All these issues are very important issues and will have positive in effects our region", added Akinci.

    Describing the water project as a milestone and a first of its kind, Akinci further said that the water from Turkey will change the color of the island. "In real terms, Cyprus will become a green island", Akinci said.

    (AK)

    [03] Seventeen organisations demonstrated against the water project Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (17.10.15) broadcast that 17 organisations held a demonstration outside the "Turkish embassy" to occupied Lefkosia to protest against the water project transferred from Turkey and against the Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

    Among the organisations protested were the New Cyprus Party (YKP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), the Feminist Initiative and others.

    The demonstrators held black balloons and placards which read : "The water you have brought will not clean the blood of the lives you have taken".

    The Chairman of the KTOS Sener Elcil read out a short statement after which the demonstrators held a minute silence in memory of the people who died in the bombing in Ankara last week.

    The joint statement said that the "project of the century was the disaster of the century" and the water project would bring an ecological disaster with it. It went on to say that they were there to protest as well as mourn those who lost their lives.

    The 100 black balloons were left to the sky after which the demonstrators left peacefully.

    [04] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the opening ceremonies of Anamur dam and Panagra dam

    The main issue in the Turkish Cypriot newspapers on Sunday (18.10.15) was the opening ceremonies of Anamur dam in Turkey and the Panagra dam in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus within the framework of the "water supply project".

    The Turkish Cypriot papers covered in their front pages the ceremonies with the following titles:

    KIBRIS: "The water of peace".

    HAVADIS: "The running water for peace and prosperity"

    VATAN: "We gave the name Peace Water and we will give to the South too"

    AFRIKA: "The 3rd operation in the island". It is the only paper, which reported on the protest demonstrations against the water project in its front page instead of the opening ceremonies.

    YENI DUZEN: "Rally in Anamur, opening in Camlibel (occupied village of Myrtou". The paper reported that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned the opening ceremony at the Anamur dam to a rally for the upcoming elections in Turkey. Erdogan criticized harshly the domestic policies in Turkey against the opposition.

    HALKIN SESI: "Let it be the water of peace"

    KIBRISLI: "The centennial missing is finished". The paper reported that the strong links between the motherland and the child-land have connected eternally.

    STAR KIBRIS: "Thanks Motherland"

    DETAY: "1453 soul came to our rescue"

    DIYALOG: "Now, we are united"

    KIBRIS POSTASI: "The water was dedicated to the 'peace hope'?"

    YENI BAKIS: "A flow to the solution"

    (DPs)

    [05] Reports about the price of the water transferred from Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.10.15) broadcast that the head of the "Municipalities Water and Sewerage Enterprises" BESKI and head of the "Turkish Cypriot Municipalities Union" Ahmet Benli said that managing and operating the water are two separate things and added that "in democracy the management is always the people and the operating is always the states or the private sectors".

    Touching upon the pricing of water, Benli said that currently 15 cents is paid for from its source, 25 cents for it to be distributed by the state and goes for 45 to 50 cents as the real price of the water.

    Noting that once the water from Turkey arrives and is distributed there will be a major difference in water prices, Benli warned that after calculating all the expenses involved in obtaining the water, the real price of the water may be higher than 60 to 80 cents.

    He also said that according to their sources the amount of water used by the population of the breakaway regime in 2015 is 38.8 million cubic metres.

    Giving information about the reason behind BESKI's establishment Benli said that their main aim was to show the "people" how successful they could be and give a new dynamism and morale to the public.

    (TR. Note: BESKI was established with the aim of administrating the water which came from Turkey to the occupied area of the island.)

    [06] Turkish Cypriot columnist: They even brought people from Turkey; we were like guests at the ceremony in occupied Panagra

    Under the title "Not being able to administrate even the ceremony, not only the water", columnist Sami Ozuslu in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.10.15) refers to the ceremonies held on Saturday at Anamur in Turkey and in occupied Panagra village area in the occupied part of Cyprus regarding the project for bringing water from Turkey to the occupied area of the island.

    Ozuslu writes that he was offended by the way the ceremonies were held and explains:

    "[?] Let us continuously say that we want the administration of the water, we could not administrate even the ceremony organized in our own country! Let me say it in another way: We participated in absolutely no point of the ceremonies organized for the water. Neither in Anamur nor in Panagra. In fact, we understood that the president and the prime minister went [Translator's note: he means Mustafa Akinci and Omer Kalalyoncu] to Anamur when the TRT started its live broadcasting. And we saw that 'our people' were also there! When they went there and how they arrived? No one knew it. The Turkish Cypriot press has once more been treated as being 'third class' [press]. Was it only in Anamur? No, the 'boss' at the ceremony in Panagra were also the employees brought from Turkey. They have organized everything. We were almost like 'guests'. In any case, the presenter of the ceremony behaved in this manner. While called Erdogan 'our president', he announced Akinci as 'the TRNC president'. I do not know about you, but I was offended. [?]

    The ceremony held in Anamur was turned into a rally of the AKP with the pretext of 'the opening ceremony of the water'. [?] Davutoglu, who makes known his views in every occasion, without deviating from his ideology, declared to friends and enemies that 'they united the TRNC and the island of Cyprus with Anatolia through pipelines forever'. Davutoglu talked like a Grand Vizier whose country is a bed of roses and not like a responsible prime minister of a country in which more than 100 people died about a week ago. [?]

    Perhaps many of us do not realize it, but even participants from Turkey were brought for the ceremony at Panagra! Those who would go from here were probably not considered to be sufficient. A person who talked to Kanal SIM said that 'I came from Adana for the ceremony'. Not only water came with pipelines. Together with the water, the organizers of the ceremony also came, a presenter came, and persons providing security came. Even 'persons to shout slogans' came!

    I do not know about you, but I was offended by this. The water came, let us rejoice, let us be happy, yes. [?] However, if we will suffer in this manner after the water comes, no! [?] And if my president and my prime minister will become a side dish at pre-election rallies, if they will be forced to put up with religious and racist slogans shouted without showing any respect to their political line and stance and if they will not be able to reject this, no!

    We were not able to administrate not only the water, but even the ceremony for the water! This was the clearest message given on 17 October 2015. I do not know about you, but I was very, very offended".

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Colak: The Turkish Cypriots expect a considerable grant from the Obama administration"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet (online, 18.10.15) reported that the Turkish Cypriots expect a considerable amount of grant from the Obama's administration for the Cyprus settlement. The paper reports that while US Secretary of State John Kerry's arrival to the island in the coming month is expected, it is also hoped that Washington's support for the compensation that the Turkish Cypriot side will pay to the Greek Cypriots on the property chapter of the Cyprus talks.

    The paper also reports that a financial contribution is expected for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which will witness an intensification of the Cyprus talks in the coming months, from the USA which was the architect of the declaration signed by both Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in February 2014.

    The self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Emine Colak evaluated, in the paper, her contacts in her recent visit to Washington with officials from the US Congress and the US Administration. Colak said: "We are obliged to be in harmony and synergy with Turkey. We cannot solve the Cyprus problem without Turkey. However, without the Turkish Cypriots we cannot quit without solution". She asked Ankara's support on this issue. Noting that three issues have remained for solution, Colak said that these issues are the property, the territory and the guarantees.

    Colak said that the position of the "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) on the property issue is that the solution should be harmonize to the bi-zonality, which will respect the property rights. She added: "The TRNC will gear the choices for exchange and compensation from the return formula, which will turn the demography in the north in favour of the Greek Cypriots for the solution of the property problem. The Turkish Cypriot side wants to exchange 400 thousands donum land which belongs to the Turkish Cypriots in the south (translator's note: the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus) in equivalent to 1.5 million donum land of the Greek Cypriots in the north (translator's note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus)." In addition to this, it is planned that the fenced off town of Varoshia as well as the green line land property will be left to the Greek Cypriots. The paper reports that the Turkish Cypriot side aims to find financial support from international institutions and the US Administration for the compensations for the remaining property of the Greek Cypriots.

    On the guarantee issue, the Turkish Cypriot side wants at least the treaties of guarantee and alliance of 1959 to stand until Turkey joins the EU.

    (DPs)

    [08] Akinci met with EU Commissioner Cretu

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.10.15) broadcast that the EU Commissioner for Regional Policies Corina Cretu met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as part of her contacts on the island.

    Speaking to reporters after her meeting with Cretu, Akinci said that he had found the opportunity to convey to the EU Commissioner his views and positions regarding the Cyprus problem. "She was already informed of the process and she told us how much she appreciated our efforts".

    Akinci also said that he had shared his thoughts with the EU Commissioner regarding the protest staged by the Lefkosia "mayor" Mehmet Harmanci, "not just as the TRNC president but also as a former mayor".

    "The EU's stance was totally against the spirit of the current atmosphere prevailing on the island. There have been two municipalities in the capital Lefkos?a since 1958 and the Lefkosia Turkish Municipality is a local administration engraved in the 1960 Constitution. Instead of posing to the press with both Mayors in the UN controlled buffer zone she chose to take a photo with the Greek Cypriot Mayor of Lefkosia, posing in front of a wall dividing the capital with Turkish and TRNC flags flying in the background. This didn't look good. I conveyed to her that what she did was not right and that it would have been much better if she, in line with the current atmosphere, had posed with both Mayors at a more suitable location" he argued.

    Pointing out that Ms Cretu was greatly disappointed when she heard these words, Akinci claimed that the EU Commissioner had promised to make up for her mistake.

    [09] Afrika refers to allegations that an agreement has been reached on the population in case of a federal solution

    Under the title "220 thousands the maximum", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.10.15) refers to allegations that the sides have "reached a certain agreement on the problem of the population from Turkey [living] on the island that constitutes one of the most fundamental issues of the negotiations" for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to the paper, the fate of the Turkish settlers has started to be clarified in the negotiations. Arguing that during the Annan Plan period the Greek Cypriots had accepted 42 thousand Turkish settlers to become citizens of the federal state, the paper claims that "the Greek Cypriots have started behaving more generously now".

    "This number has been increased and raised to 220 thousands together with the Turkish Cypriots", argues Afrika adding that "if 100 thousand Turkish Cypriots exist, it was accepted that the people from Turkey will be 120 thousands".

    It is said that priority for the citizenship of the federal state will be given to those settlers who were born in Cyprus or are married to a Cypriot. According to Afrika's information, those who remain outside this number will be granted the right to reside and work on the island based on certain criteria.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] A Turkish Cypriot real estate agent alleges that they could pay the compensations for the occupied Greek Cypriot properties

    Under the title "'There will be no compensations problem'", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.10.15) reports that Hasan Sungur, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot so-called real estate agents' union, has alleged that if the Turkish Cypriots sell half of the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled area of the island, they could pay the compensations to the Greek Cypriots for their properties which are currently under Turkish occupation.

    In statements to the paper, Sungur said that the Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied area of the island are around one million and 350 thousand donums [Translator's note: A land measure of around 1000 square meters], and the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled area are 450 thousand donums.

    Sungur argued that 30%-40% of the so-called title deeds given by the breakaway regime for the occupied Greek Cypriot properties are given as "equivalent" for property abandoned in the government-controlled area, while 60% for allotted property, for "fighters" etc.

    He said that today you can buy a property in occupied Arsos, Trimithounta or Melusha villages for 1000 Turkish liras (TL) per donum, "if it is not a Turkish property", but three kilometers away, in Athienu village, one donum is 95 thousand -100 thousand sterling pounds.

    He alleged:

    "If we sell half of the Turkish properties in the south (and in any case those who have taken equivalent property in this side renounced their rights and the properties passed to the state) we will pay the compensation of the Greek Cypriots. I am not a politician or a negotiator. We definitely have no compensations problem."

    Replying to a question, Sungur said that on Sunday a delegation of real estate agents from Ankara (TEMFED federation) will visit the occupied area of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots will explain to them why they should invest in the occupied area of Cyprus. He noted that TEMFED has brotherly relations with the Russian Real Estate Agents' federation and will help them to directly reach the Russian market.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] A Pakistani Minister is illegally visiting the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.10.15) reports that the Minister of Law, Human Rights and Assembly's foreign Relations of the Pakistani Government, Imtiyaz Shahid has arrived illegally in the occupied area of Cyprus the other day, upon an invitation by the "British University of Nicosia" ("BUN").

    According to a statement issued by Hasan Ali Bicak, "rector" of "BUN", the Pakistani Minister carried out a series of "official" contacts in the "TRNC" with the aim to develop more the friendly ties between the two "countries".

    Expressing pleasure over Shahid's visit to the "TRNC", Bicakli said that their prior aim, is to further develop the cooperation between the two "countries" in the fields of higher education.

    The Pakistani Minister, who is expected to depart from the occupation regime on October 25, will give also a conference at the illegal university on the issue of "Human Rights".

    (AK)

    [12] Illegal GAU university attended international events abroad

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.10.15) reports that the "deputy chairman" of the "administration board" of the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU) Asim Vehbi has represented the occupation regime in an international platform.

    According to the paper, Vehbi attended a conference called "Congress of the International Union of Military Science".

    The conference took place in Helsinki, Finland with the participation of around 150 experts in the field of military science from 21 countries.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli (18.10.15) reported that the illegal GAU university attended also the 22nd International Seminar on Urban Form (ISUF 2015), hosted in Rome by the Faculty of Architecture of 'Sapienza' University.

    The occupation regime was represented at the forum by Dr. Alessandro Camiz, member of the academic staff of the "faculty of architecture, design and fine arts" of the illegal GAU.

    (AK)

    [13] Merkel says Germany ready to support Cyprus and help Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (19.10.15) reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that her country is ready to extend support to Cyprus while helping drive forward Turkey's European Union accession process.

    Merkel held a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Sunday, after the two had a meeting on a number of issues, including the Syrian crisis and influx of refugees. The Chancellor made it clear that Germany would offer assistance to Ankara in exchange for Turkish help in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe.

    Asked by reporters how Cyprus could be convinced to give the green light to Turkey's path to the EU, Merkel said that Germany will offer support to Cyprus. "Of course, the consent of all member states is required for accession. Of course we will offer our support to Cyprus" Merkel said.

    Reporting on the same issue, Hurriyet Daily News (19.10.15) reports that Merkel has pledged to give support to four Turkish demands on which Ankara has insisted in return for agreeing to a migrant action plan with the European Union.

    "There are four elements. Germany is ready to give support on these issues," Merkel said Oct. 18 during a joint press conference with her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Davutoglu said Turkey was ready to work with Germany and the EU on the migration crisis and would take all measures to prevent human trafficking. However, Ankara is focused on four issues, the Prime Minister said: the opening of negotiation chapters, visa liberalization, the transfer of 3 billion euro from the EU to Turkey for migrant support and the invitation of Turkish leaders to EU summits.

    Davutoglu stressed the "fair share of the burden" on the migration problem and welcomed Merkel's approach on the issue, while noting that the figures were of secondary importance.

    Davutoglu expressed Turkey's expectation for the implementation of visa privileges for Turkish nationals by 2016, in return for a readmission agreement which would pave the way for the EU to send migrants back to Turkey. "In terms of the migration crisis, we seek to contribute a new vision to relations between the EU and Turkey and get out of its frozen situation," he said.

    "We agreed on accelerating the opening of negotiation chapters 17, 23, 24," he said.

    Expressing support for the Turkish demands, Merkel especially highlighted that they would work to open Chapter 17, and said they would "discuss" details on Chapters 23 and 24. The German Chancellor also reiterated her country's longstanding hesitations about Turkey's prospective membership in the Union and said, "Turkey's full membership is an open-ended issue."

    The two leaders also discussed Syria, with Turkey informing the German Intelligence information.

    [14] Erdogan: The EU woke up late to Turkey's role on migrants

    Hurriyet Daily News (18.10.15) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed on Oct. 16 that the European Union had "woken up too late" to Turkey's importance in stemming the flow of refugees from Syria and accused it of "insincerity" in talks on Turkish membership.

    Erdogan said NATO member Turkey's proximity to Syria and its key role in handling the refugee crisis had strengthened its case for EU membership.

    "The West and Europe's security and stability is contingent on our security and stability. They have accepted this now. In the talks I held in Brussels last week they accepted all this. It can't happen without Turkey," he said at a meeting of the W20, an offshoot of the G20, which Turkey is chairing this year, aimed at boosting the role of women in the global economy.

    "So if it can't happen without Turkey, why don't you take Turkey into the EU? The problem is clear but they are not open. They are not clear. They say 'We made a mistake on NATO, let's not make the same mistake on the EU.' That is the problem," Erdogan added. "We have spent $8 billion [on refugees] until now. How much support did the world give us? $417 million," he stated.

    Erdogan also questioned whether Brussels had really started treating Ankara's long-standing membership application seriously. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (CS/ AM)


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