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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-11-10

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. 213/15 10.11.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Kibris: EU Commission's 2015 Progress Report for Turkey refers to Ankara's "important contribution" to the solution in Cyprus
  • [02] Ak?nc? met the Australian High Commissioner
  • [03] A "parliamentary delegation" due to Brussels for contacts
  • [04] The Secretary General of the European Movement of Germany met with Turkish Cypriot businessmen in Berlin
  • [05] The "Association of retired military officers" expressed its support to Akinci
  • [06] The 2016 budget of the breakaway regime to be discussed
  • [07] Ozgur: The biggest problem of the "public finances" is the difficulties in the balance between revenue and expenses
  • [08] "KITSAB"'s figures show downfall on the occupation regime's tourism
  • [09] "The next government's foreign policy agenda"
  • [10] "The reconciliation process to proceed with a new road map"
  • [11] Turkes became officially a member of AKP

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Kibris: EU Commission's 2015 Progress Report for Turkey refers to Ankara's "important contribution" to the solution in Cyprus

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.11.15), the EU Commission's 2015 Progress Report for Turkey underlines Ankara's "support to the solution of the Cyprus problem" and describes as "important" the continuation of Turkey's "contribution and commitment" to the comprehensive solution". The paper notes that the report is expected to be announced today after the Commission has postponed its announcement twice. The report refers also to UN Secretary- General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide's efforts in the negotiations process.

    In the paragraph for Cyprus, it is said that Turkey has not fulfilled its obligations regarding the fully and without discriminations implementation of the Additional Protocol and has not lifted the obstacles for the free movement of goods within the framework of direct trade with Cyprus. It is also underlined that no progress has been achieved in the direction of the normalization of Turkey's relation with the Republic of Cyprus. It is noted that no chapter in Turkey's negotiations with the EU will be temporarily closed in case Ankara does not confirm that it fully implements the Additional Protocol.

    Referring to the property issue in Cyprus, the report says that the "Property Compensation Commission" has paid 238 million euro until today, that 6,216 applications have been filed to the "Commission" and that 321 of these applications were filed in the period June 2014 - August 2015. It also notes that within the same period, the "Commission" decided to pay compensation in 140 cases.

    As regards the political situation in Turkey, the report underlines that the reforms for the political criteria have slowed down and the practices contrary to the rule of law, the freedom of expression and the parliamentarian freedom continue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ak?nc? met the Australian High Commissioner

    According to illegal Bayrak television (09.11.15), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? met today the newly appointed to Cyprus Australian High Commissioner Alan Sweetman.

    The latest developments on the Cyprus negotiations process was discussed during the meeting held at the so-called presidential palace.

    The "coordinator responsible for foreign affairs Deniz Birinci was also present at the meeting.

    No statement was issued to the press before or after the meeting.

    [03] A "parliamentary delegation" due to Brussels for contacts

    According to illegal Bayrak television (09.11.15), a delegation from the "assembly" departed for Brussels this morning for a series of contacts at the European Parliament.

    The delegation which consists of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) "deputy" Armagan Candan, the National Unity Party (UBP) "deputy" Ergun Serdaroglu and the Democrat Party (DP) "deputy" Hasan Tacoy, will also be meeting with representatives of EU member countries.

    [04] The Secretary General of the European Movement of Germany met with Turkish Cypriot businessmen in Berlin

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.11.15) reports that Bernd Huttemann, Secretary General of the European Movement Germany held a meeting with a delegation of the "Turkish Cypriot businessmen council" (KTIAK) which is holding contacts in Berlin.

    The delegation is participating in a program of the Germany Business Life Associations Federation (BUV) and is holding contacts with various organizations and officials.

    Speaking during the meeting, Huttemann referred to the Cyprus negotiations. "The two sides in Cyprus, should never say never", he said. He went on and said that the two sides must do their share for a solution to be reached and added that just like the wall that separated Berlin has been lifted, the wall that separates Lefkosia must be lifted as well.

    On his part, the chairman of KTIAK, Ilker Zugurt stated that civil societies have a great mission in order to help towards ending the economic and political problems the Turkish Cypriots face for the last 50 years and added that they find very helpful any assistance offered to them by foreign organizations for lifting the "embargoes". He also said that they will meet with Karl Heinz Brunner, Deputy with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD).

    (CS)

    [05] The "Association of retired military officers" expressed its support to Akinci

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.11.15) reports that the "Association of retired military officers of the security forces commandership" of the breakaway regime organized a meeting in order to inform its members about the latest developments on the Cyprus negotiations.

    The spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Baris Burcu, participated in the meeting and exchanged views with the retired military "officials" about the progress of the negotiations.

    The retired military "officials" expressed their support to the Turkish Cypriot leader for his efforts to find "a permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem".

    (CS)

    [06] The 2016 budget of the breakaway regime to be discussed

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.11.15) reports that the "economy, finance and budget committee" of the breakaway regime's "assembly" will start discussing the "2016 annual budget" on November 13.

    The discussion will last 8 days and will be completed on November 25. According to the paper, the 2016 budget will be 4,476,452,000 Turkish Lira. The 2015 budget of the breakaway regime was 4,96,720,000 Turkish Lira.

    (CS)

    [07] Ozgur: The biggest problem of the "public finances" is the difficulties in the balance between revenue and expenses

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.11.15) reports that Birikim Ozgur, self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the biggest problem of the "public finances" is the "difficulties" in the balance between the revenue and the expenses. Addressing yesterday his first meeting with seven trade unions within the framework of the commencement of the discussions for 2016 "fiscal year protocol", Ozgur noted that their finances are "in a serious deadlock".

    According to Ozgur, the public debt exceeds 160% and the private debt 80% of the regime's "GDP". He said that these numbers should not frighten them and added that this does not mean that they cannot take steps. He argued that the Turkish Cypriots will overcome this, adding that they can set as a target to achieve an annual growth rate of at least 5% in the draft of the new three-year middle-term program which they are examining. He noted that if they can make investments of at least 20%, they will overcome many problems, including the financial problems which the "country" is facing.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] "KITSAB"'s figures show downfall on the occupation regime's tourism

    Under the front-page title: "Downfall on tourism", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (10.11.15) reports that the occupation regime's number of tourists declines every passing year, while the small and medium size tourism sectors are fighting to survive.

    According to figures given by the "Turkish Cypriot travel agencies' union" ("KITSAB"), during the last five years, 25 small size hotels operating in the "TRNC" suspended their working activities, while totally 30 tourist agencies closed.

    Also, according to "KITSAB"'s statistic figures, the annual growth of tourism between the years 2008-2015 was as follows: 5.5% in 2008, 25% in 2011, 14% in 2012, 19% in 2013, 8% in 2014 and 6% in 2015.

    Moreover, the figures said that the maritime lines in the "TRNC" are collapsing. While in 20015 the maritime lines were 25%, in 2004 the maritime lines decreased to 4%. According to these, in 2005 in total 219 thousand tourists travelled to the occupation regime across the sea while in 2014 the number of passengers decrease to 68 thousands.

    According to experts in the tourism sector, the main reason for the non-growth of tourism is the lack of policy by the "state" to promote and advertise the "TRNC" abroad. The figures show also a remarkable decrease on the number of tourism especially from the UK. According to the figures, the number of tourists from the UK in 2007 were 64 thousands, in 2009 68 thousands, in 2010 45 thousands, in 2011 67 thousands, in 2012 56 thousands, in 2013 54 thousands and in 2014 57 thousands.

    In statements to the paper, the "chairman" of the "KITSAB", Orhan Tolun explained the problems experienced on the tourism sector in the "TRNC" and supported that the statements made from time to time by several "state officials" concerning the "country's tourism" are misleading. He added that taking into consideration the figures, there is not in fact a growth on the tourism sector.

    Tolun added that the privatization of the illegal Tymbou airport and the increase of the prices, affected negatively not only the numbers of tourists but also those who provided services in the sector. He went on and said that the tourism fund is not transparent.

    (?)

    (AK)

    [09] "The next government's foreign policy agenda"

    In a commentary under the above title, columnist Burhanettin Duran wrote in Turkish daily Sabah (09.11.15) the following on what the new Turkish government's foreign policy agenda would include:

    "On November 1, a combination of the electorate's demand for stability and security, coupled with an overall dislike of coalition governments, paved the way to the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) success. The dual challenge of PKK and Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorism, which was a key issue during the lead-up to the election, will remain on the AK Party government's agenda. As a matter of fact, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu recently stated that the Turkish security forces would continue counterterrorism operations during the winter months - traditionally a period of relative calm due to inclement weather. Although structural economic reforms and proposed changes to the country's political system will be important over the short term, foreign policy will be the number one issue for the next government.

    There are a number of issues, including the Cyprus conflict and Turkey's relations with Armenia and Israel, which the AK Party government would like to address without further delay by developing new initiatives and taking the necessary steps to promote dialogue. It remains unlikely, however, for Turkey and the United States to improve their relations anytime soon provided that President Barack Obama will be leaving the White House soon. Having reduced Washington's Syria policy to counterterrorism, the Obama administration opted to watch the Kremlin's growing military presence and political influence in the war-torn country from the sidelines. As a matter of fact, some experts claim that the U.S. even welcomed the most recent developments, provided that a stronger role for Russia might help Washington manage the crisis with relative ease.

    Still, there is no doubt that Turkey and the U.S. will cooperate more closely on Syria in the foreseeable future. The first signs of improvement are already here: Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steve Warren told reporters last week that Washington would not provide weapons and ammunition to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces in Syria in an effort to appease the Turkish government, which has been critical of the U.S.'s role in northern Syria. On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgic said that Turkey welcomed the Pentagon spokesman's statement, which he described as "a satisfactory development."

    Moving forward, the Turkish government, which strongly opposes the westward expansion of the PYD-controlled parts of northern Syria, signals that they might assume a more active role in the anti-ISIS campaign. Speaking in Irbil last week, Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioglu argued that ISIS "placed our way of life and national security at risk" to state that Turkey planned to take military action against ISIS in the future.

    According to sources, the plan isn't limited to Syria. Instead, the Turkish government would like to assist Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in the fight against terrorists. Turkey developed the plan, sources claim, upon the discovery of certain documents during the massive anti-ISIS raid in Diyarbak?r last month, which revealed that the organization has taken steps to target Turkish citizens following Turkey's decision to authorize the passage of peshmerga fighters to Kobani. Over the past months, ISIS suicide attacks have claimed close to 140 lives in Suruc and Ankara - which is why the anti-ISIS campaign will remain a priority item on the next government's agenda. Ultimately, Turkey intends to become more actively involved in the Syrian conflict to empower the moderate opposition, limit PYD power and push for a diplomatic solution.

    There is a perfectly good reason why the future of Syria remains a key issue for Turkey: The Syrian conflict has been a key factor in the decline of political stability since 2013 and a driving force behind the PKK's renewed interest in violence at the expense of disarmament talks. At this point, it is virtually impossible to distinguish between Turkey's Kurdish question and the Syrian civil war, provided that the success of PKK offshoots in northern Syria, along with the international community's support for the PYD forces, pushed the PKK leadership away from the disarmament talks.

    At the end of the day, the AK Party reclaimed its parliamentary majority by winning 317 seats in the Turkish Parliament to form a single-party government and secure another four years in the driver's seat. The Nov. 1 parliamentary election, in this sense, will empower Turkey in the international arena and across its southern border. Moving forward, the key objectives will be to reach an agreement with Brussels over the refugee crisis, bridge the political gap with Russia, find a middle ground with Washington on the PYD's role, assistance to the moderate opposition and the fight against ISIS. Having won 49.4% of the vote last week, the AK Party now has the power to take Turkey's Syria policy to the next level".

    [10] "The reconciliation process to proceed with a new road map"

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.11.15) under the above title, publishes a commentary by columnist Nagehan Alci, who invokes government sources about the future of the reconciliation process and writes that the process will progress within a new basic framework that includes the following steps:

    "New players: The HDP is out of the equation now. Necessary legal regulations will be made for comebacks; however, the PKK or HDP will not be taken as interlocutors. A direct contact will be established with Kurdish tribes. Meetings will be held with religious opinion leaders and guard families and nongovernmental organizations will be introduced. In this way, it will be underlined that the HDP and the PKK are not the sole representatives of the Kurds.

    Positive discrimination for the region: Economic packages will be prepared for the region and projects will be developed for the youth of the region.

    New parties: The government will open the floodgates for political parties as alternatives to the HDP. There will be endeavors to disrupt the PKK's hegemony and tutelage.

    The PKK's parallel state will be eliminated: The PKK and the Kurdish Communities Union's (KCK) brutal acts, such as establishing courts, assigning policemen and imposing taxes on people in southeastern Turkey will be prevented.

    Additionally, the struggle with the PKK will continue. Operations against the PKK will continue both during summer and winter.

    These steps aim to liberate the Kurds from the PKK's assertion that it is their sole representative. Also, the continuation of military operations with the objective of eliminating the PKK underlines the fact that terror and the reconciliation process are perceived as two separate topics. Well, can such a road map succeed?

    Before the AK Party came to power in Turkey, the Kurdish identity was completely ignored, basic human rights were violated, speaking in the Kurdish language was forbidden and military tutelage dominated the country. In such an environment, the PKK took up arms against the military tutelage in the name of fighting for the Kurds' rights in a rather uniformist and Stalinist understanding and all other Kurdish political movements were suppressed by the state. This course of affairs turned into the PKK's tutelage over time as it came to disallow any other ideas and maintain its claim to be the sole representative of the Kurds by using the force of arms. The most important element in the disruption of the reconciliation process was that the PKK attempted to use the process as a weapon and, figuratively speaking, it tried to take the Kurds as hostage. If this cycle is broken and a sphere can be opened for Kurdish diversity, and the PKK, which is the last tutelary stronghold in Turkey, will be destroyed and the reconciliation process might grow into ultimate peace".

    [11] Turkes became officially a member of AKP

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (10.11.15) reports that Tugrul Turkes became officially a member of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    According to the paper, Turkes, who was previously a member of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and was expelled from his party after participating in the transitional government formed after the June 7 elections, stated that he run in the November 1 elections with AKP and that he no longer has any ties with his former party.

    (CS) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (AK/ AM)


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