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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 15-11-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 222/15 21-23.11.2015
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Ozgur: If Turkey does not send money, the breakaway regime will bankrupt; New "economic program" to be signed by the end of the yearTurkish daily Milliyet newspaper (23.11.15, online) reports that Birikim Ozgur, self-styled finance minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that Turkey finances every year the one fourth of the breakaway regime's budget. In statements to Milliyet, Ozgur described this contribution as "very important" adding that "we will bankrupt if Turkey does not send resources".
Ozgur noted that they must the soonest sign with Turkey their "economic program" for the period 2016-2018.The paper writes that the above-mentioned program is expected to be signed by the end of the year.
Arguing that Turkey has always been supporting the development of the Turkish Cypriots, Ozgur pointed out that with Turkey's aid they pay for the infrastructure investments, the defence, the private sector incentives and the salaries.
Noting that Turkey's annual aid and donations exceeded one billion Turkish Liras (TL), Ozgur added: "The aid is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the public finances. We also receive aid for the salaries in a sum which annually exceeds 200 million TL on average. Otherwise, the public finances would become non-functional".
Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriots are fortunate because a stable government exists in Turkey, Ozgur argued that in the past Turkey had been giving aid to the Turkish Cypriots without a plan, but now this has changed, as they have a program which should continue. "We must defend the programs we sign and as sides we must do our bid", he said and claimed that if they do their bid, a "north Cyprus" with a strong economy will not remain an unfulfilled dream.
According to Milliyet, the breakaway regime monthly pays 150 million TL for salaries and Turkey transfers a resource of 20 million TL every month for these salaries. It also spends more than one billion TL for investments and defense expenses.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (22.11.15), reports that in other statements, Ozgur said that a delegation of three "undersecretaries" at the self-styled prime ministry, the "ministry of finance" and the "ministry of economy" are currently visiting Ankara holding contacts as regards the new economic program between Turkey and the breakaway regime. He pointed out that they will exchange views during this visit and said that the delay in signing the new program derived from reasons that concern Turkey and mainly the recent elections.
 Tourist operator aims to bring 27,000 Russian tourists to the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (23.11.15) reports that the self-styled minister of culture and tourism Faiz Sucuoglu stated that one of the biggest tourist operators in the world who brings three million Russian tourists to Turkey, visited the breakaway regime and held contacts with the "ministry of tourism" as regards bringing Russian tourists to the breakaway regime.
Sucuoglu made these statements during an interview he gave to the paper where he reiterated that the breakaway regime aims to make the tourists, especially Russians, who do not want to visit Middle Eastern countries after the recent terrorist attacks in the area, to visit the "TRNC".
Sucuoglu stated that the tourist operator is determined to bring 27,000 Russian tourists in Cyprus, adding that they are thinking of applying the "touch down system" with planes which will bring the tourists in the breakaway regime via Turkey or other countries. He said that there are some troubles as regards this issue but they are on the way to solve them. "We will either solve or ? solve this issue", Sucuoglu stated. He also stated that "southern Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus is also aiming for the Russian tourist market. "But we are a step ahead of them", he claimed.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.11.15) reported that during a meeting he held with various members of the "tourism industry", Sucuoglu stated that there are two airway companies that are getting ready to bring Russian tourists in the breakaway regime and added that they are holding contacts with tourist operators in Moscow towards this direction.
He also said that they make preparations to increase the bed capacity of the hotels in the breakaway regime in order to meet the needs of Russian tourists. As he said, the breakaway regime has a 9,000-hotel capacity for the time being and they aim to increase this up to 19,000.
 Ertugruloglu expresses the belief that the new illegal Tymbou airport will be ready in 20 monthsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.11.15) reported that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, self-styled transportation minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the company which had undertaken the restoration project of the illegal Tymbou airport expressed the belief that this project will be completed within 20 months.
A briefing was held on Friday at the illegal airport by T&T Airports Operation, Construction, Industry and Trade Company Ltd, which has overtaken the "airport" for a period of 25 years. The company announced also its targets and gave information on what has been done until today as regards the construction of the new terminal and the new landing field.
The president of the administrative board of the T&T's partner Tas Yapi company, Emrullah Turanli said that when the project is completed, the operator will employ 500 persons and together with the personnel, who will work in other [relevant] places, the project will provide a job opportunity to around 2.000 persons. He said that according to his estimations, the "airport" will increase the number of its passengers from 3,5 million to 5-5,5 million.
Speaking before the briefing, Ertugruloglu referred to those who argue that "this project will never end" and said that they are determined to finish the project and argued that "Tymbou will put the TRNC on the map". He noted that Turanli had admitted that there was a delay of 2-3 years and promised to finish the project within 20 months.
Meanwhile, Cenk Coskun, director of Terminal Yapi Ltd, issued a statement noting that the license to build and operate the "airport" belongs to his company. He argued that a "law administrator" must be appointed until the "legal proceedings" launched by his company against Tas Yapi are completed.
 Turkish Cypriot daily says that the illegal Tymbou airport has been given to a Turkish businessman from President Erdogan's "close circle"Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (22.11.15) reported that the "officials" in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus are saying nothing for what is happening at illegal Tymbou airport, which "had been given away in a scandalous manner to a company from Turkey", and for the allegations expressed by the partners who are accusing each other. According to the paper, the regime's "officials" say nothing in order for not confronting with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
T&T company's officials, who had been given the administration of the "airport", are refraining from implementing the conditions of the privatization, but no one is asking or finds the courage to ask to whose pocket the forgone profits are going, notes the paper and wonders in which banks the income gathered for about three years is deposited and what kind of meetings are held with "ministers and princes" behind closed doors.
"The officials who do not want to come face to face with Tasyapi company's boss Emrullah Turanli, who belongs to Erdogan's close circle, are preferring to remain silent in order for not causing Ankara's reactions", writes the paper recalling that before coming to "power" the Democratic Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas had been stating that he would take illegal Tymbou airport back from the private company, but afterwards he stopped referring to the issue.
According to Afrika, an application submitted by Turanli to build a seven story hotel in Turkey had been rejected two years ago, but after AKP's victory in 1 November 2015 elections, the application was approved.
 The number of registered mobile users in the occupied area of Cyprus is 793,133Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.11.15) reports that there is a 65 million Turkish Lira increase in electronic communication in the last three years in the occupied area of Cyprus.
The paper, which cites information of the "information technology and communication foundation" reports that the use of smart phones increased up to 102% during the last two years while the number of the users increased to 230,000.
The users of mobile phones communicate mainly with Turkey, the UK, Nigeria, "northern Cyprus" and Pakistan.
Yeni Duzen notes that the number of the registered mobile users is 793,133 but adds that among them only 563,453 are active users.
 "YODAK" participated in the 10th European Quality Assurance Forum Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.11.15) reports that the so-called higher education planning evaluation, accreditation and coordination council ("YODAK") in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus participated in the 10th European Quality Assurance Forum, which took place in London on 19-21 November, 2015, hosted by the Quality Assurance Agency / UCL Institute of Education, and co-organised by ENQA (European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education), ESU (European Students Union), EUA (European University Association) and EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education).Prof. Dr Huseyin Gokcekus, chairman of "YODAK", and Prof. Dr Olgun Cicek, member of "YODAK" had bilateral meetings with the chairmen of Quality Assurance Agencies of many countries as well as with the chairmen of ENGA, EQAR and EURASHE. They discussed ways of cooperation within the "universities" and the development of joint projects.
In addition to this, an agreement was reached to organize workshops, panels and a series of conferences in cooperation with these institutions on the topic "Quality Assurance and Accreditation in the Higher Education" in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus in 2016.
 Passengers traffic via the illegal airports and ports in the occupied area of Cyprus for January-October 2015Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.11.15) reports that the number of passengers via the illegal airports and ports in the occupied area of Cyprus, excluding the "TRNC's citizens" increased by 9.3% for the period of January-October 2015, 266 thousands 111 persons more, in comparison to total 1 million 158 thousand 520 passengers in the same period of 2014.
According to figures given by the so-called police general directorate of the "ministry of tourism", the number of persons (excluding the "TRNC's citizens"), who visited the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus through the crossing points, were1 million 747 thousands and 203, while in the same period in 2014, the number was 1 million 687 thousands and 525 persons.
The paper also reports that the decline tendency from visits from the Turkish Cypriots, who live in London, through the illegal airports and ports in the occupied area of Cyprus, is continuing also in 2015 due to the closure of the "Turkish Cypriot airlines". It is reported that the Turkish Cypriots from London use the airports from the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus.
It is also observed that the passengers from Germany traveling via the illegal airports and ports in the occupied area of Cyprus were increased to 47 thousands 264 persons in 2015, compared to 23 thousands 890 persons in 2014.
 Profile of the persons visiting Arasta area in the occupied part of LefkosiaTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.11.15) reports about a survey regarding the Arasta area in the occupied part of Lefkosia, which was conducted by the tradesmen and small scale retailers of the area.
According to the results, 35,6% of the persons visiting the area are "TRNC citizens", 28,9% are tourists from Europe and 24,4% are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus.
The paper notes that the tourists visiting the area complained about the collapsing buildings of Arasta, the dirty environment and the bad condition of the surrounding roads.
 The Mersin Economy platform carried out contacts in the occupied area of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 20.11.15), a delegation from the Mersin Economy Platform headed by Feridun Gunduz met with so-called state and government officials of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on Friday.
The delegation met separately with self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu and the self-styled minister of economy, industry and commerce Sunat Atun.
During the meeting, Kalyoncu said that cooperation between businesspeople from both "countries" is important in increasing and developing job opportunities. He added that relations should be established on the basis of a win-win formula.
For his part, Atun touched upon the importance of the Mersin Port for the "TRNC", stating that most of their imports and exports are made through Mersin.
Noting that education and tourism are the most important sectors for the "TRNC'" economy, Atun said that the market percentage of the industrial products can be increased from 8% to 20%.
He also said that they aim to increase their share in foreign markets and to enable Turkish Cypriot brands to take their place in the Turkish market. Atun also added that their other aim is to make the "TRNC a transit centre".
During the meetings, Gunduz expressed readiness to contribute to the efforts towards further developing relations between them and increasing the volume of foreign trade of the "TRNC" through Mersin.
 An EU delegation to visit Ankara and discuss opening benchmarks for Chapters 23 and 24; Turkish citizens to travel visa-free to EU by 2018Turkish daily Sabah (online, 23.11.15) reports that while the EU is preparing to hold a joint refugee summit with Turkey on Nov. 29 in Brussels to conclude ongoing talks about its refugee action plan, diplomatic sources have said that an EU delegation will visit Ankara on Dec. 10-11 to discuss the opening benchmarks for Chapter 23 on judicial and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 on justice, security and freedoms.
The EU has opened 14 of the 35 negotiating chapters and provisionally closed only one even though Ankara has continued the negotiation process with the EU for 10 years. Chapter 22, which covers regional policy and coordination of structural instruments, was the last chapter opened in November 2013. The EU is planning to open Chapter 17 on economic and monetary policies in December to end a two-year hiatus. Turkey has completed the screening process, which is the first stage of the accession process, for all negotiation chapters on Oct. 13, 2006. However, the benchmarks associated with the opening of Chapters 23 and 24 were never delivered to Ankara and the EU's stance raises concerns regarding the transparency of the accession process. In the European Commission's 2015 Turkey Progress Report it raised concerns about judicial and fundamental rights and said that there has been a regression in these areas. This notwithstanding, the Turkish government constantly asks the EU to open these vital chapters for negotiations to restore the problematic areas together. In the latest progress report the European Commission suggests the restoration of all legal guarantees to ensure full respect for the independence of the judiciary in practice, establish a track record of investigations and ensure full respect for fundamental rights and freedoms, in particular the freedom of expression. Sources believe that discussions over the opening benchmarks for Chapter 23 and 24 will be useful to define the necessary reforms to solve these problems.
Despite efforts from Turkey for opening Chapters 23 and 24, talks have stagnated for a couple of years because of the blockage by the Republic of Cyprus. The ongoing reunification talks on Cyprus, however, have increased hopes for a permanent solution on the divided island. Diplomatic sources indicated that there is a high possibility of holding a referendum on Cyprus in March 2016 if the talks continue as they have. A permanent solution to the 40-year division of Cyprus could be a game changer for Turkey's EU bid via lifting the blockage of opening chapters. The negotiations on eight chapters cannot be opened at present due to a European Council decision of December 2006.
Meanwhile, the paper (online, 21.11.15) reported that the head of the European Union Delegation to Turkey, Hansjorg Haber, said a system for visa-free travel between the EU and Turkey is planned to start in 2018. Haber also said that if everything goes well, the plan may see early implementation in 2017.
Commenting on Haber and EU Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Stefano Manservisi's recent visit to the Trabzon Chamber of Commerce and Industry in northeastern Turkey on Nov. 20, the chamber head Suat Hacisalihoglu said that the EU's stance on visa-free travel for Turkish citizens looked "promising".
Explaining that the visa-free regime is planned for the end of 2018, Haber stressed the importance of "exchanging information on developments and being in contact".
Noting that the chamber has business development protocols with 35 countries, Hacisalihoglu said that more and more protocols are being signed with the EU every day. He added that he does not see many obstacles on the path to visa-free travel for Turkish citizens as the continuing relationship between the EU and Turkey is a sign of "integration".
 HDP says co-chair Demirtas escaped assassination attemptAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.11.15), Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas was targeted by an assassination attempt while travelling in his official vehicle but escaped unharmed, the HDP said Nov. 23.
Demirtas was in an armoured vehicle in the south-eastern province of Diyarbak?r late on Nov. 22 when it was hit by a single bullet at head height, the party said in a statement.
However, the Diyarbak?r Governor's Office denied that Demirtas had been the target of an assassination attempt or that the car was hit by gunfire. Demirtas "survived the assassination attempt unharmed thanks to the bullet-proof vehicle [in which] he was riding," the pro-Kurdish HDP said in its official Twitter feed.
Meanwhile, the Firat News Agency (ANF) said that neither Demirtas nor his guards had heard a shot being fired but noticed the bullet mark when getting out of the car at the end of the journey. There was also no indication that any bullet or cartridge had been found at the scene.
In a statement, the Governor's office said that the car had been examined by authorities and that a mark three centimetres in width and height had been found on the left side of the rear window. But it said no sign had been found that this was caused by "any kind of firearm" and it had in fact been produced by a "collision with a very hard object."
Speaking to daily Hurriyet, HDP Deputy Sirri Sureyya Onder raised the possibility that the assailants might have attacked the car while it was parked in order to intimidate the leader of the party.
 Turkish Minister talks energy security with senior US officialAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.11.15), Turkey's Energy Minister Ali R?za Alaboyun said that he discussed several key energy security issues with U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a closed meeting on Nov. 20. "We talked about security supply and security issues. We exchanged ideas about the integration of the Iraqi natural gas into the global system, how energy reserves in the East Mediterranean should be evaluated, and the existing situation regarding the gas pipelines that pass through Turkey," Alaboyun said after his meeting with Blinken in Istanbul.
Stating that Turkey is a "bridge between huge energy-producing countries and consumers," Alaboyun added that Turkey has the potential to host many more pipelines carrying energy sources, mainly gas, from east to the west.
"In our meeting with Blinken, we focused on the need to maintain the energy supply security of Turkey as well as Europe. The energy demand of both Turkey and Europe has been growing steadily. As Turkey, the energy supply security tops our agenda," he said.
Alaboyun also touched on the state of the planned Turkish Stream projects with Russia, about which question marks have arisen in recent months. Upon a question about media reports of surprising support for the project from the EU, he said Ankara is still keen to push ahead.
Turkey is positive about the development of the project as the gas flow from Russia to Turkey through the West Pipe will end by 2021 and this future deficit must be compensated somehow. "We'll give the details of the projects to the new cabinet, to be established very soon, and transfer the issue to the new Minister," Alaboyun added.
 Turkey's Parliament elects AKP's Kahraman as its new SpeakerAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.11.15), Ismail Kahraman, the Istanbul Deputy from the ranks of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has been elected as the new Parliament Speaker in the third round of the voting on Nov 22.
A veteran conservative politician, Kahraman served as Minister of Culture in the mid-1990s under Necmettin Erbakan's governments, which were later shut down by the Constitutional Court. Kahraman is known as one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's closest associates. After a break of 12 years, he returned to active politics through the Nov. 1 elections.
The first two rounds of voting failed to elect the Speaker as none of the four contenders could garner the 367 required votes. In the third round, however, when only 276 votes was needed, Kahraman won thanks to support he received from the AKP (which holds 317 parliamentary seats) and was elected as Parliament Speaker.
Other candidates included Ayse Gulsun Bilgehan, the Ankara Deputy of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Yusuf Halacoglu, the Kayseri Deputy of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, the Istanbul Deputy of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).
 HDP lawmaker sentenced to six years in jail for alleged PKK linksAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 21.11.15), a court in Turkey's eastern province of Van has sentenced a lawmaker from the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) to a prison sentence of six years and three months on charges of "being a member of the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] terrorist organization".
The verdict came late Nov. 20 from Van's Second High Penal Court in a case where six suspects stood trial on charges of "being members of the PKK terrorist organization and its affiliate KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union] ".
Four of the suspects, including the HDP's Van Deputy Lezgin Botan and former HDP Van Deputy Selami Ozyasar, were sentenced to six years and three months while two others were acquitted.
All four suspects were detained back in June 25, 2011 in Van during an operation by anti-terror squads. The arrests were part of a nationwide dragnet on suspected Kurdish separatists and militants and led to the arrests of senior officials, journalists and lawyers. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION