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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-10-30

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. 206/15 30.10.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci: The solution of the Cyprus problem will facilitate Turkey's international relations and help reaching its big global targets
  • [02] Erdogan: "The water from Turkey can be water for peace"
  • [03] UBP's election congress to be held on Saturday and Sunday
  • [04] Turkey marks the Republic Day with absence of military displays
  • [05] Turkey's national day was celebrated with a military parade only in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Commentary: "AKP-MHP highway to determine poll outcome"
  • [07] Increase in voter turnout expected in Turkey's Nov 1 snap elections
  • [08] New rumours on the establishment of a new formation by Gul and opponents within the AKP party

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci: The solution of the Cyprus problem will facilitate Turkey's international relations and help reaching its big global targets

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.10.15) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has argued that a peaceful, modern, European and world-citizen Cyprus will facilitate Turkey's international relations and definitely help it in reaching its "big global targets".

    Addressing yesterday the military parade in the occupied part of Nicosia on the occasion of the 92nd anniversary from the establishment of the Republic of Turkey, Akinci argued that the Turkish Cypriots, as a community which has internalized Ataturk's "peace in the country, peace in the world" principle, are exerting efforts for laying the foundations of a just and lasting peace in Cyprus.

    Akinci expressed the belief that a new bi-zonal, bi-communal united federal structure based on the political equality of the two founding states will benefit not only the island but the region as well.

    Akinci alleged that Turkey has contributed a lot to the efforts for finding a solution in Cyprus until today and expressed the belief that this contribution will continue.

    Akinci further argued that Turkey has become one of the most important countries of the region thanks to "its deep historic roots and the modern principles on which it is based".

    Referring to the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with Turkey, Akinci said that there is no need to say how important Turkey is for the Turkish Cypriots and noted that the Turkish Cypriots are nourished "from the historic and cultural veins of the close, warm and sincere feelings' they have towards Turkey. He added that every good development in Turkey gives them Joy and every bad development saddens them deeply.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Erdogan: "The water from Turkey can be a water for peace"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.10.15) reports that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaking on a TV program responded to questions regarding the water pipeline project.

    Erdogan stated that if the Greek Cypriot side faces difficulties with water at one point, then the water brought from Turkey can be offered to them. "The water from Turkey can be a water for peace", he said. However, he claimed that as it was expected the Greek Cypriot side rejected the offer.

    Reminding that the massive project had cost 1 billion 600 million lira to construct, the Turkish President said that the breakaway regime will have potable water as well as water to use for agriculture because of this project.

    (CS)

    [03] UBP's election congress to be held on Saturday and Sunday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.10.15) reports that the election congress of the National Unity Party (UBP) will take place in two days on Saturday, October 31 and on Sunday, November 1.

    According to the paper, on Saturday the seven candidates who are running for the position of the party's leadership will deliver their speeches. The voting will be held on Sunday. In case no candidate succeeds to be elected from the first round, the two persons who will receive the most votes will run for a second round.

    Allowed to vote will be the persons who hold an UBP-member card. The members of the general committee of UBP will also be elected during the congress.

    (CS)

    [04] Turkey marks the Republic Day with absence of military displays

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (online, 29.10.15), Turkey marked the 92nd anniversary of Republic Day on Thursday with landmark ceremonies where pompous displays of military power common in military regimes were largely absent and students were spared from performing excruciating routines.

    Low-key was the keyword in Thursday's ceremonies to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Republic Day, the day that the country was founded by a group of military officers who helped the country win its independence following a brutal war.

    In line with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government's efforts to keep ceremonies more accessible to the public and nowhere near a show of military might as is the case in some countries such as North Korea, ceremonies were the scene of unprecedented changes.

    For the first time in the brief history of the Republic of Turkey, tanks and artillery were absent from a parade at the heart of celebrations in capital Ankara, although soldiers, a staple of the ceremonies, were still present, but in smaller numbers.

    Another landmark change was the absence of students from elementary, middle and high schools who were forced to parade and perform dances as well as stand for hours in the rain or under the sun in past events. Instead, professional dancers performed at events in Ankara.

    A notable absence from the ceremonies were leaders from opposition parties, except for Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of Republican People's Party (CHP), which was founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who also founded the Republic.

    This year's ceremony was held with more music, and included the Presidential Symphony Orchestra taking part for the first time. Their performance of local and foreign pieces was followed by an Ottoman military band, which was never included in ceremonies in the past as it was associated with the predecessor to the Republic, the Ottoman Empire.

    Parades, central to the day's celebrations, were attended by police officers, search and rescue teams and people from other emergency services. Foreign students in Turkey also attended the ceremonies, bearing their countries' flags.

    Addressing the crowd that had gathered, Erdogan said that Turkey was determined to overcome challenges and threats against the state "crowned with the Republic and founded after a historic struggle for independence."

    Erdogan, who strives for more public access to the presidency and government, had hosted an unusual reception at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday on the occasion of the Republic Day. He hosted people from all walks of life at the compound instead of the usual crowd of elites.

    He said Turkey's struggle to reach "the level of modern civilizations" ? an ambition of Ataturk ? was still continuing, and Turkey recently became a rising star in the world. "Today our country is the hope of oppressed people," Erdogan said, pointing to Turkey's expanding role in the international community under the rule of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) of which he is a founder. He also highlighted the struggle to reach the party's 2023 goals, a set of projects for economic and social development, and said that on the 100th anniversary of the Republic these projects will "absolutely" be achieved.

    [05] Turkey's national day was celebrated with a military parade only in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.10.15) reports that the 92nd anniversary from the establishment of the Republic of Turkey was celebrated yesterday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and the military parade sealed again these celebrations.

    The paper notes: "[..] Even the fascist AKP government in Turkey abandoned holding a military parade! Of course this is not because they are in favor of demilitarization [of the political life], but because they do not love Ataturk. How about you? Are you necessarily going to prove that you support Ataturk with these demonstrations? [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Commentary: "AKP-MHP highway to determine poll outcome"

    Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.10.15), believes that it is the direction and density of traffic on the AKP-MHP highway that will end up having the biggest effect on the outcome of the elections in the following commentary:

    "Research companies have been revealing the results of their opinion polls just a few days ahead of Turkey's Nov. 1 re-election.

    All except one predict that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be around the 42-43% band, plus or minus 2 points. The outlier comes from A&G, whose chairman Adil Gur has claimed that the AKP could win 47.5% of votes and thus regain the majority it lost on June 7 by a clear margin, re-establishing single-party rule. If that turns out to be true, it would mean a rise in AKP votes of almost 7% in just five months.

    None of the polls predict a drop in the votes of the social democratic opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), which won 24.8% in June. They now show the CHP in the 26-28% band, despite an estimated 2-3% of potential CHP voters (out of the whole electorate) who are likely to vote for the Kurdish problem-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), especially in big western cities, in order not to let the HDP drop below the 10% threshold. If the HDP does not pass the threshold it will not be able to enter parliament, which will mean almost certain victory for the AKP and President Tayyip Erdogan due to a complicated calculation method determining the number of seats won.

    Both President Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hoped that a resumption of terror acts by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) could make Kurdish voters regret voting for the HDP, thus returning some of them back to the AKP and pushing the HDP below the threshold. But this seems unlikely. None of the polls show the HDP below 10% and some even show it above the 13.4% it received in June.

    No polls show the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) above the 16.3% it won in June, and it is estimated to be in the 13-14% band by most.

    MHP leader Devlet Bahceli's main disadvantage is the "Mr No" perception he has among MHP voters and others. In contrast to Bahceli, CHP head Kemal Kilicdaroglu was open to almost all formulas suggested by Prime Minister Davutoglu after the inconclusive June 7 vote. Bahceli also turned down proposals from Kilicdaroglu, on the grounds that he did not want to be in the same picture as the HDP.

    Bahceli thought the resumption of PKK attacks and the government's striking back, (shelving the peace process), could be to the advantage of the MHP, proving what his party has been saying for years and luring votes from the AKP to the MHP. It is true that there is transaction between the MHP and the AKP in terms of Turkish nationalist votes: Turkey's Ottoman past means that Islamist and Turkish nationalist ideologies are not totally separable.

    The AKP also has a similar transaction with the HDP in terms of pious Kurdish votes. But developments in recent months, including the worst terrorist act in Turkish history, committed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which killed at least 102 people on Oct. 10 in Ankara, have antagonized the situation and blocked the traffic flow from the HDP to the AKP.

    These transactions, or "voter channels" between the parties, are not one-way anyway. Rather, they are like two-way highways. The opinion polls fail to measure the true density or direction of traffic between the AKP and the MHP. It could well turn out to be a failure for either the MHP or the AKP on Nov. 1. Still, the MHP has the particular disadvantage of Tugrul Turkes, Bahceli's former deputy, crossing to join the AKP to become Davutoglu's Deputy Prime Minister. So there is a probability that more MHP votes will flow to the AKP than vice versa.

    Whatever the result on Nov. 1, it seems that it is the direction and density of traffic on the AKP-MHP highway that will end up having the biggest effect on the outcome."

    [07] Increase in voter turnout expected in Turkey's Nov 1 snap elections

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 30.10.15), Turkey's voters are expected to head to polling stations on Nov. 1 in even greater numbers than the June 7 elections in a development that could be advantageous for all parties, according to survey companies.

    Ozer Sencar, the chairman of the pollster Metropoll, said that they expected the turnout to be between 84% and 86%, while underlining that the choices of around 2 million university students would play a decisive role after Oct. 30, the day after the Republic Day, which is an official holiday, was also declared an administrative holiday by the government. The selection of Nov. 1 as a poll day raised question marks as to whether some civil servants and university students living in cities other than their hometowns might plan to extend their one-day official Republic Day holiday to head home to vote.

    Sencar also anticipated that some Kurdish voters living in eastern and south-eastern Anatolia might not cast their votes either because they were forced to leave their hometowns due to the ongoing conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) or because of an environment of pressure. According to the latest survey by Metropoll, 85.8% of voters are expected to cast ballots on Nov. 1.

    Tarhan Erdem, the founder of the KONDA research company, agreed that the voter turnout would increase in the critical election. "All sides have been feeling ambitious, with both the ruling party and the opposition parties struggling to win. The share of votes by all parties will be preserved," Erdem said.

    Bekir Agirdir, general manager of KONDA, said that they expected a 91% turnout, confirming that the increase in the turnout would have an equal impact on the share of parties.

    The results of the last four elections held in Turkey display a gradual increase in voter turnout. According to figures by the Supreme Election Board (YSK), 32,768,161 of 41,407,027 eligible voters cast their votes in the Nov. 3, 2002, parliamentary elections. The turnout was 79.14% with 31,528,378 valid votes.

    In the July 22, 2007, parliamentary elections, 36,056,293 of 42,799,303 eligible voters cast their votes. The figure represented a turnout of 84% with 35,049,691 valid votes.

    In the June 12, 2011, parliamentary elections, 43,914,763 of 52,806,322 eligible voters cast their votes. The turnout was 83.16% with 42,941,763 valid votes.

    As for the June 7 elections, 47,507,467 of 56,608,817 eligible voters cast their votes, good for a turnout of 83.92% with 46,163,243 valid votes.

    Nonetheless, there was a crucial difference in the June 7 elections as expat voters were able to cast their votes in a parliamentary election at polling stations placed in diplomatic locations around the world, not just at customs gates. When expat votes are ignored, the turnout was 86.43%, as only 32.5% of eligible expat voters cast their votes in the June 7 election. The number of new eligible voters reached over 1,270,000 for the Nov. 1 elections, while it was 1,041,000 for the June 7 polls. This increase is expected to be reflected in the overall turnout.

    All political parties have expressed hope about the outcome of the Nov. 1 vote, as they all expect an increase in their vote share.

    Mustafa Atas, the executive in charge of the party's organization for the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the caretaker of the interim government, believes that there is a seasonal advantage when compared to the June 7 vote.

    "Citizens are already located where they are registered as voters. We haven't exerted a special effort for increasing participation," Atas said, while noting that they had instructed local branches to make necessary arrangements, such as facilitating transportation, for voters who want to vote but are outside of their provinces at the moment.

    The deputy chair of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Haluk Koc, expressed hope of a higher turnout, citing how crucial the Nov. 1 vote is for the future of the country. "Those who ignore their duty to cast votes will not have the right to complain about any negative situation that could emerge after the elections. The voters will decide with what kind of an understanding the country will be ruled," Koc said.

    The Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP) deputy chair, Semih Yalcin, also believes that the voters will manifest their will in the ballot boxes. "We believe that the voters will question who is taking them to ballot boxes again and that they will bury those who didn't like the nation's declaration of will on June 7 in those boxes," Yalcin said.

    The spokesperson of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Ayhan Bilgen, said they did not expect a decrease in the turnout, although he acknowledged that there might be "weariness and fatigue" among voters for having to go to an election just five months after the latest one.

    "On the other side, we believe that they would like to have their will for conciliation and a coalition displayed through the casting of their votes. The participation of seasonal workers will also increase in the autumn," Bilgen said, noting that he did not expect the extended official holiday to have a negative impact on the turnout.

    "The curfews declared during campaigning [in eastern and the southeastern Anatolia] were aimed at decreasing the turnout. The presence of many security forces at polling stations on voting day will also be psychologically irritating and will have a deterrent impact," he said.

    [08] New rumours on the establishment of a new formation by Gul and opponents within the AKP party

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (28.10.15) reported that supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) which belong to the opposition wing of the party and are close to former President Abdullah Gul, speak strongly about the rising of a new formation, in case that the climate of tension and polarization continues in Turkey and in case that Erdogan would continue with the same governance approach after the November 1st election result.

    According to the paper, the opponents within the AKP underlined the instability which exists inside the party due to Erdogan's intervention.

    Meanwhile, the paper underlines that despite that Gul did not seem to be very wilful to return to politics, during the last 20 days, he adopted a warmer attitude towards the establishment of a new formation, taking into consideration the current conditions.

    (AK) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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