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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-01-13
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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. 07/16 13.01.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Explosion at Istanbul's Sultanahmet squareAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.01.16) reports that ten people were killed in a blast at Istanbul's Sultanahmet tourist district Tuesday morning.
The provincial governor's office reported that 15 wounded in an explosion in the area around Sultanahmet Square at 10.20 a.m. local time (08.20 GMT). The square lies between two of Istanbul's most popular tourist attractions, the Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) and Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia).
Early speculation suggested a suicide bomb had been detonated although there was no official confirmation. Police cordoned off the square and closed down the local tram service while nearby attractions also closed.
The area, on the European side of Istanbul, is home to the city's most popular tourist sites and contains hundreds of hotels and restaurants. The square, which is dotted with gardens, fountains and benches, is usually thronged with tourists throughout the day.
 Erdogan: Turkey will stand firm against terrorismTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (13.01.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking to ambassadors at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, condemned the attack in Istanbul and expressed his condolences for those who died in the explosion, and wished a speedy recovery for the injured.
"I strongly condemn the terror attack which was carried out by a suicide bomber of Syrian origin," Erdogan said and added: "We do not see any difference between terrorist organizations, be it ISIL or the PKK. The first target of every terrorist organization in our region is Turkey because Turkey pursues each terrorist organization with the same determination," he said.
 Davutoglu: Turkey resolves to not step back from anti-terror fightAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.01.16) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stated that the bomb attack in Istanbul that killed 10 people, including several Germans, will not deter Turkish security forces from pursuing their ongoing counter-terrorism efforts,
In remarks made during a meeting at the Cankaya Palace Davutoglu said: "We will continue our fight against terrorism with the same resolve, and will never take a step back". Davutoglu said the suicide bomber was a "foreign national ISIL member", while the victims in the attack included several foreigners. According to the Turkish Premier, a Turkish citizen and several German nationals were among the injured.
Earlier, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters that 10 people, including the bomber was killed and 15 others were injured in the blast. "Two of those injured in the attack are in critical condition while three others had left the hospital," Kurtulmus said. He also revealed that the bomber was born in Syria in 1988, and had recently entered Turkey illegally from Syria, adding that the authorities were trying to "determine the identities" of those killed.
Later in the evening, Davutoglu's office said that the Turkish Premier made a phone call to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and offered his condolences over the German deaths in the attack. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office, Davutoglu told Merkel in a phone call that an investigation into the incident was being meticulously carried out and "all necessary information will be shared with German officials".
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also called Merkel to condole with families of the German victims, according to sources at the Turkish presidency. During the phone conversation, Erdogan highlighted that terrorism had no religion, nationality or identity; he assured Merkel that the wounded would be given the best treatment.
 Turkish opposition says government unfit to rule following deadly attack in IstanbulTurkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (13.01.16) reports that Turkish opposition leaders have lashed out at the Turkish government for being incapable of ruling the country following the deadly attack on Tuesday in Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet neighborhood.
"This government is unqualified to govern Turkey [and] is unable to govern," said Kemal K?l?cdaroglu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), as he called on the government to resign.
K?l?cdaroglu strongly criticized the government at his party's parliamentary group meeting saying, "Turkey can't be governed by third-class people."
Recalling that following another deadly suicide attack in Ankara in October last year he had offered the government a blank check for it to eradicate terrorism in the country, the CHP leader argued that the government can no longer come up with excuses.
Selahattin Demirtas, the leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has vowed his party will do its best for the perpetrators of the attack to be brought before justice. Condemning the bomb attack in Sultanahmet, Demirtas added, "We hope these attacks will not remain unresolved like the previous attacks".
Demirtas also criticized the Parliament for failing to convene to discuss terrorism.
CHP Deputy Chairman Veli Agbaba has put the blame for the bomb attack on the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), claiming that potential suicide bombers are all over the country.
Mustafa Destici, the leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP), said those in power need to act in a more careful way given that Turkey will also apparently be targeted by terrorist organizations in the future.
 Turkish saily argues that the recent terrorist attacks on Turkey is result of ill-advised security policiesToday's Zaman newspaper (13.01.15) reports that Turkey has been targeted in the past year by a series of terrorist attacks in which dozens of people have been killed, with the latest one in Istanbul's Sultanahmet, as its security policies have failed to recognize the regional realities, many security experts have agreed.
Speaking with Today's Zaman on Tuesday, retired Lt. Col. Mithat Is?k, who formerly headed the Bordo Bereliler (Crimson Berets), an elite unit of the army, said the government's problematic foreign policy towards Syria has played a key role that turned Turkey into an open target for many terrorist organizations, such as ISIL, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), both operating in Syria and Turkey.
Speaking to Today's Zaman on Tuesday about the suicide bombing, Armagan Kuloglu, a former commander of the air cadet school of the land forces, stated that the attack points to deficiencies in security.
Mesut Ulker, a retired colonel and strategist, told Today's Zaman on Tuesday that the failure in the country's security is due to the massive dismissals and reassignments of skilled members of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and the security forces who had previously dealt with planned acts of terrorism.
Nihat Ali Ozcan, a security analyst from the Ankara-based Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV), told Today's Zaman that the attack doesn't come as a surprise since Turkey has been fighting against ISIL and the PKK for over a year.
 Akinci will accept a possible invitation by the UNSG for tripartite meeting in Davos; He briefed the regime's "assembly" on the negotiationsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.01.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci has said that he did not receive any invitation by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon to meet with him in Davos later this month together with President Anastasiades. Asked by Kibris to comment on the issue, Akinci noted that if he receives such an invitation, his reply will be positive.
Akinci said that he had been positive for such a meeting while visiting New York [few months ago], but the Greek Cypriot side was not positive. Noting that he will be pleased if he receives such an invitation, Akinci recalled that the Cyprus negotiations are being held under the auspices of the United Nations and such an invitation would be good from the point of view of making an evaluation.
Meanwhile, the paper reports also that Akinci participated yesterday in a 7-hour long extraordinary session of the breakaway regime's "assembly" and briefed the "deputies" on the latest situation in the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Akinci replied to "deputies'" questions and listened to their views.
In joint statements after the briefing with the "assembly speaker" Sibel Siber, Akinci said that all their efforts in the Cyprus negotiations are directed towards a "happy and peaceful future for the people". He noted that within this framework, the briefing of the "deputies" yesterday is described as "one of the important steps in the intensified negotiating process in the road towards this end".
He said that regardless of their political views and the party they represent, their common denominator is the happiness of their "people". "It is their peaceful future and tranquility, it is rescuing the future generations from the uncertainty and reaching much more beautiful days in our country", he added pointing out that he will continue briefing the "deputies" when this is necessary.
On her part, Siber recalled that this was Akinci's second briefing to the "assembly" and added that in the way for the solution they will try to find what is best for their "people".
 Talat in Brussels to meet with SchulzTurkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (13.01.16) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader and leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Mehmet Ali Talat flew yesterday to Brussels in order to meet with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.
Meanwhile, the paper reports that Talat made a statement via a post on social media on the water issue. He said that the discussions on the water crisis issue complicate the political atmosphere, the Cyprus talks and affect them all. He added that on Thursday night he will attend the meeting of CTP's party assembly and will evaluate the stance of the National Unity Party (UBP).
 Atun: The water from Turkey cannot be used because of CTP's indecisivenessTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.01.16) reports that Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy, industry and commerce of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that in order for the "people's" prosperity to increase and the agricultural sector to be revived, the water from Turkey should be used, claiming that this water could not be transferred to the network because of the "indecisiveness of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the "major coalition partner".
In statements to a television program, Atun said that the National Unity Party (UBP), the "minor coalition partner", is preserving the same views on the issue since 2010.
Atun noted that on the water issue they could establish a model such as the "Competition Council" within a structure which will implement what it considers to be correct without taking orders from any political "authority". "A private company will make the distribution of the water and collect the revenues making the necessary investments for this and the state with the municipalities will secure the necessary control and order", he added.
 Eroglu: If I was in Ozgurgun shoes I would not enter into a "coalition government" with the CTPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.01.16) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader and honorary president of the National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis Eroglu has said that if he was in UBP's chairman Huseyin Ozgurgun shoes, he would not enter into a "coalition government" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).
In statements to a television program, Eroglu argued that the "government" should reach a consensus the soonest on the water issue and the economic protocol and make an agreement with Turkey. "Otherwise, either another governmental model will be established or early elections will be held", he added.
Noting that he opposes to the "coalition" with the CTP, Eroglu said that he had not discussed the issue with the administration of the party and did not feel the need to express his views on the issue because he had not been asked to do so.
Replying to a question regarding the recent statement issued by the so-called embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Nicosia on the water issue, Eroglu expressed the view that it would be more correct if the statement had been made by a Minister from Turkey or by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tugrul Turkes. "Just as Mr Turkes made a statement later", he added.
Eroglu described as wrong and not complying with the political ethics the fact that a "minister" of the "government" reached an agreement with Turkey on the water issue and the CTP assembly rejected this agreement afterwards. He argued that the debates and the statements on the water issue have reached a dimension which could harm the Turkish Cypriots and "this is saddening".
 Ozyigit: "The Turkish Cypriots want to live in a system of democracy, transparency and accountability"Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (13.01.16) reports that the leader of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit, in a written statement yesterday, stated inter alia, that the Turkish Cypriots want to live in a "system" of democracy, transparency and accountability.
Stressing the need for everyone to struggle for the above principles, Ozyigit added that the Turkish Cypriots want to be "masters of their house" and called everyone to support their efforts for reforms and change.
Pointing out to the recent quarrel between the "government" and the so-called Turkish embassy in the occupied area of Cyprus as regards the issue of the water management, the recent statements made by the National Movement Party's Deputy Ozdag on the Cyprus negotiation talks, the scandal which came to light with the illegal Tymbou airport and the quarrel between the so-called minister of transportation, Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the so-called "ombudsman", Ozyigit said that all these issues prove the need for the system to change.
Referring especially to the recent statement by the "Turkish embassy" on the issue of the water management, Ozyigit described it as unacceptable and said that the statement expressed the uneasiness of the Turkish Republic on the water issue.
Underling the responsibilities of the two "coalition parties" in the "government" towards the crisis occurred with the water management; Ozyigit accused the "government" of being unable to produce decisions by its own.
He added also the following: "As Turkish Cypriots we demand, together with the solution to be, the common state to be established to administrate our institutions. However, in this period and until the solution, we demand by all to respect our demand to be self- administrated on water, electricity and telecommunication".
 The Alevi Culture Centre sent a letter to Ban Ki-moonAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog (13.01.16), a delegation from the Alevi Culture Centre in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus headed by its chairman Metin Kaya handed over to the UN officers at the Ledra Palace crossing point a letter to be conveyed to the UN Secretary-General Bah Ki-moon.
In the letter, the Alevi Culture Centre asks from the UN and from every community especially the EU and the USA to be more determined and give a loud voice to their vital requests like to stop conflicts, to stop violence and cease fire without wasting time.
In the letter, the Alevi Culture Centre describes that in the last period in Turkey, the radical Islam continues to be increased more with each passing day and dictates every field of their lives with armed conflicts, terror actions, arrests of politicians, journalists, mayors and violations of the individual rights and freedoms.
 "Court decision" orders T&T airport company to pay to the occupation regime the amount of 18 million euroTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.01.16) under the title: "18 million euro have passed to the 'state treasury'", reports that the "lawsuit process" between the T&T Airports Operation, Construction, Industry and Trade Company Ltd and the "state" which was continuing since 2012, has been completed recently.
According to the paper, the "state" has signed an agreement with the T&T company on December 2012, envisaging the transfer of illegal Tymvou airport's "operating rights" to the T&T company for a period of 25 years. According to the paper, in spite of the fact that T&T company paid the contract price which was 100 million euro, it did not paid the VAT which was 16 million euro.
After the completion of the "lawsuit process", the "court" ordered the company to pay to the "state" the amount of 18 million euro.
In statements to the paper on the issue, so-called minister of finance Birikim Ozgur verified the "court's decision" and said that as soon as this amount of money is transferred to the "account of the ministry", this will cover their cash requirements and the "state" will be able to pay the 13 salaries.
 Erdogan slams academics over petition, invites Chomsky to TurkeyTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (13.01.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly reacted to a petition signed by more than 1,000 local and international academics calling on the Turkish government to end the security operations being committed in southeastern Anatolia and to return to table for talks to resolve the Kurdish issue, describing the signatories as "ignorant."
After an urgent meeting on Jan. 12, the Supreme Education Board (YOK) announced that legal action would be taken over local academics who have signed the petition.
Some 1,128 academics from 89 different universities - including foreign scholars like Noam Chomsky, David Harway and Immanuel Wallerstein - signed the petition titled "We won't be a part of this crime," which called on Ankara to end the "massacre and slaughter."
Erdogan, in an address to Turkish ambassadors gathered for an annual conference, lashed out at the signatories and said human rights violations in the southeast were being committed by terrorists, not by the state.
"Hey, you so-called intellectuals! You are not enlightened persons, you are dark. You are nothing like intellectuals. You are ignorant and dark, not even knowing about the east or the southeast. We know these places just like we know our home addresses," he said, reiterating his position that Turkey's problem is "not a Kurdish one, but one of terror."
The Turkish President also said he wanted to invite all foreign signatories to Turkey. "Let them come to Turkey. They shouldn't sign such declarations in vain. We are ready to tell them what is happening in the southeast from A to Z. [?] Let our ambassador from the United States invite Chomsky, who has made statements about Turkey's operations against the terrorist organization. Let's host him in the region," Erdogan added.
Immediately after the speech, YOK also issued a statement on the academics' declaration. "The declaration issued by a group of academics that describes our state's ongoing struggle against terror in the southeast as 'massacre and slaughter' has put our entire academic world under suspicion," read the statement issued by YOK.
"This declaration cannot be associated with academic freedom. Providing the security of citizens is the primary responsibility of the state," it said, adding that all rectors and an inter-university council would soon meet to discuss the issue.
 Erdogan files 93 criminal cases for insult in 3 monthsTurkish Daily Today's Zaman newspaper (13.01.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been the complainant in 93 criminal complaints for cases of insult in the three-month time frame of October to December 2015, according to a recently released report on news portal bianet.org.
Of the 93 people accused under Articles 125 and 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), 42 are journalists.
Article 125 reads, "Anyone undermining the honor, dignity or respectability of another person or who attacks a person's honor by attributing to them a concrete act or fact, or by means of insult shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of between three months and two years or punished with a judicial fine." As for Article 299, it mandates that anyone convicted of insulting the President serve a jail term of between one and four years.
In the months from October to the end of December, 34 journalists were in prison. Since then, several have been released.
Television suffered from the most censorship with 18 channels being cut off from broadcasting. Access to 13 websites was also blocked, four magazines were censored and books by four authors were removed from circulation. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)