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

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. 214/15 11.11.2015

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Ak?nc?: "The TRNC will transform itself into the new Turkish Cypriot constituent state of the new partnership to be"
  • [02] The occupation regime launched preparations for the 32nd anniversary of its illegal declaration; The "Turkish Stars" to perform again in the "TRNC"
  • [03] Colak: "The current environment in Cyprus is very convenient for a solution"
  • [04] More on the prohibition of the performance of the call to prayer in the breakaway regime
  • [05] Turkey wants the "user" of the occupied property to contribute in the payment of compensations
  • [06] Focus on the Russian tourism market by the breakaway regime
  • [07] Columnist says that the "2016-2019 economic protocol" between Turkey and the breakaway regime will be very severe
  • [08] EU progress report urges Turkey to lift media curbs and revive settlement process
  • [09] Turkey's EU Ministry describes the EU progress report as "unfair" and partly intemperate; The paragraph on Cyprus is one-sided and biased
  • [10] Top EU officials to visit Ankara after the release of the progress report; The opening of new chapters among the matters of discussion
  • [11] Turkish columnist describes as a well-designed the EU progress report and calls the AKP government to utilize it to accelerate accession talks
  • [12] Erdogan: Turkey will build its future upon four pillars; one nation, one flag, one motherland, one state
  • [13] HDP to hold an ordinary congress to determine the future of its party' leader

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Ak?nc?: "The TRNC will transform itself into the new Turkish Cypriot constituent state of the new partnership to be"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (10.11.15) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? in statements during a visit paid to him by a delegation from the London based "Turkish Community Football Federation" headed by its "deputy chairman" Naz?m Celebi, has said that there is a need to strengthen the "institutions" of the "TRNC" before a settlement is reached in Cyprus.

    Akinci stated that the current "state" will be one of the two equal constituent wings of the new partnership. "The Greek Cypriots will have their own constituent state and the TRNC will transform itself into the new Turkish Cypriot constituent state", he said.

    (?)

    Also, touching upon the Cyprus problem, Akinci said that their current efforts are directed at achieving a bi-communal settlement based on the political equality of the two sides which the two communities would accept and endorse with a referendum.

    In regard to the upcoming "celebrations" to mark the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of the "TRNC", Ak?nc? said: "Yes we established a state, an administrative entity or structure. But we need to continue developing and growing stronger without postponing everything to after a settlement. In the end this entity or state will become one of the equal wings of the new federal partnership. The Greek Cypriots will have their own constituent state and that we too will have the same. Our constituent state will be from the transformation of the TRNC. That is why the more we strengthen our institutions, our economy and democracy, the better we will be prepared for a federal settlement".

    [02] The occupation regime launched preparations for the 32nd anniversary of its illegal declaration; The "Turkish Stars" to perform again in the "TRNC"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (11.11.15), preparations were launched in the "TRNC" to mark the 32nd anniversary of the "establishment" of the "TRNC".

    The Turkish aerobatics team, the Turkish Stars and the F-16 Soloturk will be performing above the occupation regime's sky on Sunday as part of the events held to mark the day.

    According to information provided by the "Cyprus Turkish Security Forces", the Turkish Stars and Soloturk will be flying over the Dr. Faz?l Kucuk Boulevard in the occupied part of Lefkosia, during the main ceremony.

    The jets will also fly over the Cengiz Topel Monument in occupied Lefka.

    Later in the afternoon, the aerobatics team and Soloturk will be putting on a show above the occupied Keryneia harbour and promenade.

    The Turkish navy's frigate Tcg Gokova and the Tcg Burakreis submarine which will be anchored off the coast of Keryneia and the Tcg Atak assault boat at the occupied Famagusta harbour will be open to visitors on Sunday.

    [03] Colak: "The current environment in Cyprus is very convenient for a solution"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.11.15) reports that "foreign minister" Emine Colak speaking to Kibris TV referred to the on-going Cyprus negotiations and stated that some issues that were difficult in the past, like the issue of property or the guarantees are difficult now as well; however progress has been made compared to previous years. She added that the current environment in Cyprus is very convenient for a solution.

    She also said that the two leaders in Cyprus are pro-solution and added that they have both demonstrated their will for a settlement. She also said that the support of Turkey and Greece, as well as the support of the EU and USA, is needed for a solution to be reached. She added that the recent statements made by the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades, that a solution could be reached until May, are very encouraging.

    Asked about the work of the "Information and Promotion Department", she stated that it is focused on "solution", "things to be done after the solution" and "Turkish Cypriots demands and questions".

    Referring to her contacts abroad, Colak stated that she visited New York, Washington and Paris and informed "high ranking" officials she had contacts with on the Cyprus problem and the positions of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (CS)

    [04] More on the prohibition of the performance of the call to prayer in the breakaway regime

    Under the title "We even overpassed Iran", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.11.15) reports about the issue occurred after a "court" in the breakaway regime prohibited the performance of Adhan (Muslims' call to prayer) at the Morning Prayer time as well as other Arabic prayers after a lawyer filed a "complaint" saying that the noise bothers him.

    The paper writes that Serden Hoca, who is one of the oldest members of the negotiation team of the Turkish Cypriot side, stated that last year has traveled to Iran and he has not heard the Adhan through loudspeakers at any of the cities that he visited. When he asked why, he was given the answer that the Adhan was not transmitted through loudspeakers due to respect towards pregnant women, eldest persons and young children.

    Commenting on the issue, Afrika notes that neither the Turkish Cypriot political parties nor the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made any statement on the prohibition of the performance of the call to prayer, which was published in a provocative way by some Media in Turkey. The paper claims that the Turkish Cypriot political parties have not reacted fearing that they could lose the votes of the settlers. The only party that commented about it was the United Cyprus Party (BKP). The party's chairman Abdullah Korkmazhan said that the freedom of religion and the freedom or faith must be respected; however "court's" decisions must be respected as well.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (11.11.15) reports that the "Alperen Hearth", who is activated in Turkey, stated that is against the "court's" decision and that it will work towards its cancellation. "Alperen Hearth" has also sent a letter to Akinci and to Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan protesting on the prohibition of the performance of Adhan.

    (CS)

    [05] Turkey wants the "user" of the occupied property to contribute in the payment of compensations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (11.11.15) reports that the land on which "ministries" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus are built have "officially become Turkish property" last September by the payment of a compensation of 2.6 million sterling pounds as a result of a decision taken by the "Property Compensation Commission" ("PCC") on 6 March 2014.

    Murat Metin Hakki, advocate in the above-mentioned case, told the paper that the payments by the "PCC" "have extremely slowed down" and "warned" that the "Commission" might stop being functional depending on the result of an appeal examined by the "high court" and the way for the Greek Cypriots to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) may open again.

    Hakki argued that the payment of the compensations has deliberately been slowed down by Turkey and the reason for this is a "law" which Turkey wants to pass in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Noting that Turkey exerts pressure on the "government" of the breakaway regime to pass the "law", Hakki said that "with this law it is provided for 30%-40% of the compensations to be paid by the current user of the property". He argued that the "government" is hesitating to bring the issue onto the agenda and this is why Turkey slowed down the payment of the compensations, something which causes big problems.

    Hakki said that the compensation for the above-mentioned immovable property was paid to the Greek Cypriot owners in September 2015, but he does not know through which resources. He noted that the "ministries" are built on 28 plots of land which belongs to two Greek Cypriot brothers.

    The paper writes that there is a big decrease in the number of cases filed to the "PCC". The total number of applications made since 2006 is 6.232. Most cases (1926 totally) were filed in 2011. In the first eleven months of 2015, only 153 applications were filed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Focus on the Russian tourism market by the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.11.15) reports that following the crash of the Russian plane in Egypt and the fears occurred for terror attacks that led to the cancellation of flights and of tourism exertions in the area, the breakaway regime and Turkey are now focused on the Russian tourism market aiming to bring Russian tourists to Turkey and to the occupied area of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, the "ministry of tourism" of the breakaway regime has started working towards this direction since the Russian tourists operators are looking for new tourists' destinations and cheaper flights. For this reason, the so-called permanent undersecretary of the "ministry of tourism", Sahap Asikoglu is traveling on November 13 to Turkey, in order to hold a meeting with a team of the Turkish Airlines.

    Commenting on the issue, Asikoglu stated that the Russian tourism market is a huge market and that the help of the "state" is needed so that they will have a share of it.

    (CS)

    [07] Columnist says that the "2016-2019 economic protocol" between Turkey and the breakaway regime will be very severe

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.11.15), columnist Hasan Hasturer reports that the "201-2019 economic protocol" to be signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus will be much more severe than the previous "protocols". "If rumors are correct the last hole in the belt will not be enough to tighten the belt", he notes.

    According to Hasturer, the biggest problem of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) ? National Unity Party (UBP) self-styled government is the fact that "it has no idea of what is happening in the country". Noting that the fish in an aquarium dies when it starts moving more slowly, Hasturer argues that "there is no economic move by the Turkish Cypriots in the economic sense".

    He notes that if no solution is found to the shrinking of the market, the entire business sector, except for few companies the number of which could be counted on the fingers of the one hand, will collapse before the summer of 2016. He adds:

    "[?] In the past, the 13th wage was bringing a smile in the face of the market. This year, the 13th wages are long gone. Most of the public employees and pensioners, complied with the call of the banks, paid an interest, took the 13th wage and spent it. The banks, not the employees and the pensioners, are waiting for the 13th wages to be paid. The gentlemen are not aware of the fact that no one cares about when the 13th wage will be paid.

    Yesterday, I listened to the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Farmers' Union, Huseyin Cavus Kelle. When I listened to him my soul darkened. If what he was saying was not correct, I would not pay attention, but everything was correct. The CTP, which had been trying to make the farmers arise some years ago by saying 'we are losing our country' when the abolishment of the support to the producers had come onto the agenda, now, with the winds of liberalism, is keeping under control the annihilation of the producers. [?]

    It is sad but true that in the period we are now, the aim is to primarily neutralize the organizations which have the potential to act. [?] At all events, if the economic conditions do not improve and the CTP-UBP government does not take steps in the right direction, we will witness the widest solidarity of action in history. [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] EU progress report urges Turkey to lift media curbs and revive settlement process

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.11.15-online in English) reported that the European Commission urged on Tuesday the EU candidate Turkey to lift the restrictions on media freedom, respect human rights and re-launch peace talks with the militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the violence-wracked southeast of the country.

    The EU severely criticized Turkey for a series of flaws in its respect for human rights and democratic standards at a time when the bloc is seeking Ankara's help dealing with the migrant crisis, the worst Europe has faced since World War II.

    In its annual progress report on Turkey, whose decade-long accession talks with the EU have largely stalled, the Commission said that on political issues "the pace of reforms slowed down," adding that some key legislation "ran against European standards."

    The full report, long delayed until after the election on November 1, also said that "major shortcomings remain" when it comes to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Ambassador Hansjorg Haber, the head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday that the EU's postponement of the report would have had no effect on the election because the environment in Turkey was already quite unsettled.

    In an initial assessment for the European Parliament, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn told legislators that "over the past year, significant shortcomings affected the independence of the judiciary as well as freedom of assembly and freedom expression."

    He specifically cited "increased pressure and intimidation of journalists and media outlets" on top of the muzzling of internet reporting.

    When he was asked about the government's seizure of critical media outlets only days before November 1 election, he highlighted the urgent need for the speeding up of the process of Turkey's EU accession negotiations.

    The Commission also noted concern with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push for a constitutional overhaul that would give him much greater powers.

    However, the EU executive's criticisms were cloaked in diplomatic language, reflecting the political sensitivity of dealing with a large, strategically important country whose cooperation Brussels sorely needs in tackling Europe's migrant crisis.

    "Turkey needs to move because there are many areas where they need to deal with basic principles, the fundamentals," Hahn told the European Parliament, referring to human rights and freedom of expression.

    The Commission report comes at a difficult time for Turkey, when fighting has resumed between its security forces and PKK militants after the collapse of a ceasefire. Turks have also just handed Erdogan's AK Party, in power since 2002, a further four years in power in a Nov. 1 election that saw a sharp rise in social and political tensions.

    "The Commission hopes to see an end to the escalating violence in Turkey and the return to negotiations on a lasting solution on the Kurdish issue," said Hahn.

    As Hahn spoke in Brussels, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told state broadcaster TRT that his new government would pursue major economic, social and judicial reforms in the next six months, without giving details. He also called for an executive presidential system. (?)

    Instead of coming closer to EU standards on democratic principles, the report said, there is "significant backsliding in the areas of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly."

    It said that corruption in Turkey remains widespread and its fight against it "inadequate."

    For all these reasons, there is still a strong belief the EU should not be too accommodating toward Ankara, migrant crisis or not.

    "This report highlights how wrong it would be for the EU to try and outsource its refugee crisis to Turkey," said Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) in the European Parliament.

    "The EU will only be able to maintain pressure on Turkey, with regards to democratic reforms and its policy on Syria, if we are able to fully control migration and external EU borders ourselves," Verhofstadt said.

    (?)

    Hahn also said that Turkey's accession talks could speed up in the event of a peace deal between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots in the 'north" of the island who are backed by Ankara.

    (?)

    [09] Turkey's EU Ministry describes the EU progress report as "unfair" and partly intemperate; The paragraph on Cyprus is one-sided and biased

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.11.15-online in English) reports that Turkey has swiftly dismissed the European Union's criticism about the dramatic curtailing of press freedoms as well as significant shortcomings affecting the independence of the judiciary, while calling on the European bloc to appropriately interpret "facts" about followers of the government's ally-turned foe U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

    Turkey has also refuted the EU's worries about the political ambitions of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country's President after a decade as Prime Minister, and is widely seen as wanted to turn the presidency into a powerful executive system.

    Turkey's EU Ministry said in a written statement released in Ankara on November 10, only hours after the European Commission released its progress report on Turkey in Brussels, the following: "While reforms launched in recent years within the framework of political criteria have been mentioned in the report generally in a positive way, it is seen that criticism has predominantly intensified on the rule of law and judicial system and freedoms of assembly and press".

    "It is being evaluated that some findings in these fields which appear in the report don't adequately reflect reform work by our country; that they are unfair, even partly intemperate; and that they overlook the balance of freedom and security, which need to exist in democratic states governed by the rule of law", said the EU Ministry.

    "It is obvious that making comments and reaching findings that are based on generalizations in regards to cases about which judicial processes are ongoing, would first and foremost be contradictory to the principle of independence of judiciary. In recent years, in order to strengthen independent and impartial judicial power and freedom of expression, Turkey adopted six Judicial Reform Packages. The Judicial Reform Strategy, which has been updated this year, is the clearest indication that work on this matter will continue by gradually growing," the statement said.

    "Additionally, it is not possible to accept considerations about the use of authorities, granted to him by the constitution, by our President [Erdogan] who was elected by a popular vote for the first time," the Ministry highlighted.

    "It is seen that reference has been made to the parallel structure in some parts of the report," it said, using a term coined by Erdogan and the government to describe Gulen's followers and their influence in public office.

    "Turkey will continue with determination its fight which it has been conducting against this structure that threatens national security, disrupts public order, harms internal independence of the judiciary and runs illegal activity under the guise of domestic and external legal [structures]. In this respect, we expect the EU to appropriately read the facts about the parallel structure and display required sensitivity against his unlawful structure and its activities," the Ministry added.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (11.11.15) under the title: "One sided the view about Cyprus", reports that Turkey's EU Ministry, in a written statement after the release of the report, evaluated the paragraph about Cyprus which is included in Turkey's EU progress reports for 2015, as biased and one sided. The Ministry underlined in the statement that Turkey supports the efforts for reaching a viable solution on the Cyprus problem based on the political equality of the two people in the island and the bi-zonality".

    The Ministry's statement called also the EU to abandon its biased point of view on Cyprus in order to be able to contribute to a comprehensive settlement. "The EU should take into account the realities on the island and should be impartial and encouraging for a settlement. This is necessary for sake of the EU's own consistency and credibility", said the statement.

    (AK)

    [10] Top EU officials to visit Ankara after the release of the progress report; The opening of new chapters among the matters of discussion

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.11.15) reported that top EU officials are set to pay a visit to Ankara for talks expected to focus on the refugee crisis, shortly after the release of a progress report in which the EU's executive body accused the full membership candidate of backsliding on the rule of law, rights and the media, while calling on the new government to take urgent action.

    The scathing report on Ankara's EU candidacy, praised Turkey for housing Syrian refugees and for cooperating on the migration crisis. "After the elections, we will now discuss different issues," the EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said at a press conference in Brussels, as he presented the enlargement package on November 10.

    Hahn further said that he and the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans were due to fly to Turkey immediately following the press conference.

    "Preparations to open Turkey's accession talks with the EU on Chapter 17 covering economic and monetary policy are almost completed", Hahn said.

    Recalling that out of the 35 chapters Turkey must conclude as part of its accession negotiations, the "Greek Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus is called, has blocked six, Hahn said that the Chapter 23 on the judiciary and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 on justice, freedom and security were among those six chapters.

    "Positive outcomes of talks on Cyprus might coincide with Chapter 23 and Chapter 24 preparations. This might ease the situation on opening these chapters," Hahn said, referring to the U.N.-led talks to resolve the decades-long Cyprus conflict.

    (?)

    [11] Turkish columnist describes as a well-designed the EU progress report and calls the AKP government to utilize it to accelerate accession talks

    In a commentary entitle: "AKP should take the EU report as a guiding spirit for reforms", Serkan Demirtas, columnist in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (11.11.15) writes the following:

    "After nearly a month of delay, the European Union released its annual Progress Report on Turkey which both details the deficiencies of Turkish democracy and outlines a short-term list of priorities for the acceleration of accession talks.

    The report heralds the rapidly approaching opening of Chapter 17 on economic and monetary policy that would underpin envisaged high-level economic dialogue with Turkey. However, it recalls the need to define the necessary benchmarks to open Chapters 23 ? judiciary and fundamental rights ? and 24 ? justice, freedom and security ? which are key chapters to provide a road map for Turkish reforms.

    This year's report is slightly different from previous ones as it provides a list of priorities for every chapter and for the meeting of economic and political criteria. As Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu already announced that they were working on a set of reform to be announced within a few weeks, this list of priorities introduced by the EU will be beneficial if the next government pays attention.

    It was no surprise that the report singled out the state of freedom of expression and of assembly, judicial independence and impartiality, as well as the laws restricting the use of the Internet.

    'After several years of progress on freedom of expression, serious backsliding was seen over the past two years, with some level of preparation in this field. While it had been possible to discuss some sensitive and controversial issues in a free environment, ongoing and new criminal cases against journalists, writers or social media users are of considerable concern. Changes to the Internet law, which are a significant setback from European standards, increased the government's powers to block content without a court order on an unduly wide range of grounds'.

    On the rule of law, the report urges Turkey to create a political and legal environment that allows the judiciary to perform its duties in an independent and impartial manner, with the executive and legislature fully respecting the separation of powers; limit the role and influence of executive power within the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and provide sufficient guarantees against transfers of judges against their will; as well as introduce further safeguards against any interference by the HSYK in judicial proceedings.

    On the fight against corruption, it calls on Turkey to strengthen the independence of the prosecution and law enforcement agencies in high-level corruption cases; adopt legislation ensuring deterrent sanctions for corruption offences and ensure their effective enforcement; and adopt an updated anti-corruption strategy and action plan setting out a clear vision while selecting a realistic number of priorities to tackle corruption effectively, as well as establish an independent anti-corruption body in line with U.N. Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) provisions.

    On freedom of expression, the EU urges a number of steps to address shortcomings detailed by the report, especially on the freedom of press. Here are the EU's expectations from Turkey in the coming year:

    -Act against the intimidation of journalists in all forms, especially in investigating all physical attacks and threats against journalists while actively preventing attacks on media outlets, but also defuse the tense political climate, which creates an environment curtailing freedom of speech in the media and on the Internet.

    -Ensure that the defamation law and other similar offenses are not used as a means to put pressure on critics by ensuring courts are fully aware of and apply the case law of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    -Ensure that existing legislation, notably the Internet law, complies with European standards and is implemented in a manner which ensures proportionality and equality before the law.

    The report also outlines Turkey's 12-month priorities in every chapter so that the accession process can be accelerated.

    This new format of the Progress Report is well-designed and can be used as a good tool for the Turkish government if it wants to accelerate accession talks. As cited in the detailed report, Turkey's next government should prioritize the amelioration of the state of freedom of expression and the press in Turkey.

    This requires a complete mental revolution on what freedoms and rights are ? something that should apply to all top Turkish leaders, including the President".

    [12] Erdogan: Turkey will build its future upon four pillars; one nation, one flag, one motherland, one state

    Turkish daily Sabah (10.11.15-online in English) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a ceremony on Tuesday to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk , the founder of the Republic of Turkey, said that the last 13 years constitute the most successful period in the Republic's history. "Over this time the country strengthened its democracy and human rights as well as the rule of law", he said.

    Underscoring that the Republic of Turkey is the name of the state embraced by 78 million people, Erdogan ensured that there is no going back for the country on the progress it has made in democracy, human rights and the rule of law. "The Republic of Turkey has recorded its greatest achievements in the last 13 years of its 92-year-old history. Has our Republic suffered a loss over the course of this period? [If yes] somebody should prove it to us so we can see," Erdogan said, adding that the Republic has never before been exposed to such threat and concerns about the regime should fall off the agenda.

    Erdogan once again highlighted four main elements that Turkey cannot give up. "I'm saying one nation, one flag, one motherland, one state. We cannot make any concessions here," he said. He also emphasized that these principles constitute the four pillars upon which Turkey will build its future.

    Touching on the November 1 elections, Erdogan called on the Turkish people to believe in the nation. "The November 1 elections have opened the way to a four-year period of stability and confidence. Let's not abstain from talking about or discussing anything. We, as rulers of this country, shall fulfill what falls on our shoulders and leave the ultimate decision to our nation," Erdogan said.

    In line with the aforementioned message regarding the path ahead of the country, Erdogan emphasized that Turkey should now focus on the future in order to achieve this prosperity.

    Erdogan also reminded the citizens of their ancestral ties to the land and called on the Turks to defend their homeland. "We cannot leave the Ottoman [Empire] or Seljuk [Empire] aside while protecting the Republic. We are not a tribal state but the descendants of noble ancestors," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan last week laid emphasis on Turkey's goals for 2023 as well as the obstacles it has overcome: "Turkey now leaves behind a tough period that started with the Gezi protests, intensified with the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 coup attempts and further escalated with terror incidents." Erdogan also highlighted the significance of solidarity: "Let's work together toward creating a Turkey where conflict, tension and polarization are nonexistent and everyone salutes each other in peace."

    Erdogan further called for reforms, including the making of a new Constitution.

    [13] HDP to hold an ordinary congress to determine the future of its party' leader

    Turkish daily Sabah (10.11.15) reported that following the Peoples' Democratic Party's (HDP) drop in votes in the November 1 elections, squeaking over the 10% election threshold, the party has announced it will hold an ordinary party congress on January 17, 2016.

    While it is unknown whether the HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag will maintain their positions, the party will organize a party conference with high participation of party members. The HDP's party council recently said: "The results [of the elections] cannot be evaluated as a failure," and further discussed reasons for the loss of support, future of the reconciliation process, changing party policies, new period in assembly and relationship with the PKK organization.

    Although there have been no certain statements regarding Demirtas' candidacy for party chair, it is unlikely for him to become a candidate due to the HDP's two-term policy in the party constitution. In addition, Yuksekdag indicated that "the new term will be a new process of struggle for the party," as the HDP lost nearly 30 Deputies in Parliament. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (AK/ AM)


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