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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-01-25

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. 15/16 23-25.01.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci: "We participated in Davos having a state and without paying any cost"
  • [02] Akinci: "I felt the international support in Davos. It is the first time that a Turkish Cypriot president comes here"
  • [03] Akinci: "Even if the International community does not recognize the TRNC it recognizes the existence of Turkish Cypriots"
  • [04] Akinci evaluated his contacts in Davos to TRT; He met with Cameron
  • [05] Akinci met with CHP foreign relations committee
  • [06] Siber addressed the 11th Conference of PUOICM
  • [07] Delegation of the so-called assembly carries out contacts in Brussels
  • [08] Biden appreciates Turkey's critical role on the Cyprus issue
  • [09] Davutoglu on the Cyprus problem
  • [10] Commentary: Political resolve fuels hope over Cyprus
  • [11] Turkish Cypriot columnist: "Great progress has been achieved on the property, the chapter will be closed within a month"
  • [12] Izcan described the meetings at Davos as an important development for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [13] Turkey's MFA press release regarding Greek Defence Minister's statements
  • [14] Seventeen thousand foreigners bought property in the breakaway regime during the last sixteen years
  • [15] Serdar Denktas called the Turkish Cypriots to evaluated well the text of the agreement to be for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [16] Ozersay started visiting occupied villages in the breakaway regime spreading his political views
  • [17] Caglar due to Strasburg for PACE's meeting
  • [18] Colak met with the Vice President of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
  • [19] Legal action may be taken against academicians in the occupied area of Cyprus who signed the "Academics for Peace" initiative
  • [20] CHP delegation to pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus as peace deal on the horizon
  • [21] Omer Nasit the new chairman of DEV-IS trade union
  • [22] Biden highlights the need for freedom of speech in Turkey; Erdogan: "Terror propaganda beyond limits of free speech"
  • [23] Demirtas and Yuksekdag re-elected as HDP co-chairs

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci: "We participated in Davos having a state and without paying any cost"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.01.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has alleged that they have participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos having a state and without paying any price for this. In statements at the illegal Tymbou airport last night after his return from Davos, Akinci noted that they had the opportunity to convey the Turkish Cypriot community's "peaceful, modern and rational messages" at an international platform in Davos. "The few days we have spent there were useful for the Turkish Cypriot people and Cyprus", he argued.

    Noting that he had heart some evaluations regarding Davos, Akinci claimed: "That place is not a place where you go by paying a price, by paying a cost. We have participated there having a state. We did not go by paying any cost".

    Pointing out that participating in the Economic Forum in Davos was an "important experience", he added that "value and respect' was shown towards him and the Turkish Cypriot "people". He said: "I do not perceive it as a personal matter. In my self the Turkish Cypriot people and their elected leader were valued and respected".

    Arguing that in all the platforms they have participated they had the opportunity to once more express the Turkish Cypriot "people's" pro-peace identity and determination for a solution, Akinci said: "The will for a solution which we have exhibited in the negotiating process by protecting our legitimate rights is known and appreciated in the world. I beg for evaluating the invitation to Davos within this framework".

    Recalling that they had a tripartite meeting with the UN Secretary-General and evaluated the situation in the negotiating process, Akinci noted that "we have tried to make a plan for the future". Noting that this tripartite meeting was something in which he was participating for the first time, Akinci added: "Going to Davos in the name of the Turkish Cypriot people was something that happened for the first time [?]"

    Akinci also said that he met with the US Vice President Joe Biden and the UK Prime Minister David Cameron and participated in a meeting under the title "The expectations from 2016".

    Akinci was asked whether he had met with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. He replied that he had the opportunity to talk on foot with the Greek Prime Minister and added that this meeting was not like the other meetings. He added: "We shook hands, we saluted each other, he said he wished for the Cyprus problem to be solved and we wished for Greece to overcome its problems".

    Asked about the issue of the guarantees and his meeting with the British Prime Minister, Aknci said that they conveyed to Cameron the situation in which the negotiating process is and expressed their views on the issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Akinci: "I felt the international support in Davos. It is the first time that a Turkish Cypriot president comes here"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.01.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the interest exhibited in Cyprus during the Economic Forum in Davos was remarkable. In statements to Kibris' correspondent to the Forum, Akinci noted that in his meetings with many heads of state and CEO's of leading world companies he felt "effort and support" for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Akinci said that in a possible solution the support of the IMF and the World Bank will be needed and added that he met with the Heads of these organizations and both gave him positive replies.

    Akinci argued that 2016 is a year during which all sides will come face to face with the reality and added that they are exerting efforts for the process to end positively.

    Wishing for the Cyprus problem to be concluded in the first half of 2016, Akinci argued that because of the parliamentary elections and the election campaign in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus, the process will come to a "sensitive point". "If a solution cannot be found in May, it is not the end of the world", he said adding that after the parliamentary elections in the government-controlled area of the Republic they could continue from the point they were left and end this journey within 2016.

    He noted: "We are tired of disappointments. All Cypriots, both in the south and the north, are tired of hoping every time and of these hopes not being materialized. We have to secure that these are left behind. This is what is expected from us by the young generations".

    Noting that he does not expect the world to create the solution in Cyprus and that the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots are those who will create the solution, Akinci said: "We are the main actors in the country. We will create the solution".

    Referring to his meetings in Davos, he argued: "The contacts in Davos were positive from the point of view of some things happening for the first time. It is the first time that a Turkish Cypriot president came here. Even though the world has not recognized the TRNC, the Turkish Cypriot people are an entity. Everyone realizes this. Everyone knows that no result could be achieved in Cyprus without the contribution of the leader elected by the Turkish Cypriot people and without the contribution of the people. Whether is recognized or not, these people have been represented here. It is something happening for the first time from this point of view".

    Referring to the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, Akinci said that Eide is a member of the Administrative Council of the World Economic Forum and Head of Geopolitical Relations. He described as an advantage for Cyprus the fact that such a person is the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Akinci: "Even if the International community does not recognize the TRNC it recognizes the existence of Turkish Cypriots"

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (24.01.16) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that the international community has seen that without the contribution of the Turkish Cypriots and their leaders, the Cyprus problem cannot be solved. He also stated that the International community may not recognize the "TRNC", but recognizes the existence of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Akinci made these statements to Milliyet upon his return from Davos.

    "This is the first time that a president of the Turkish Cypriots came here. Even if the international community does not recognize the TRNC, it recognizes the existence of the Turkish Cypriots. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows that without the contribution of the Turkish Cypriot people and the leader they have elected, the Cyprus problem cannot be solved", Akinci argued.

    He went on and said that both the international community and the two communities in Cyprus got tired of the Cyprus problem and added that it must be solved in 2016.

    He also said that the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon would be as happy as the Cypriots in case the problem is solved and added that because of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem the young people of Cyprus have been induced to behave negatively. "All these must stay in the past. This is what young people expect from us. This was one of the main issues of my candidacy. We must safeguard the youth from the uncertainty of the future, he stated.

    (CS)

    [04] Akinci evaluated his contacts in Davos to TRT; He met with Cameron

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.01.16), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has reiterated the importance of technical and financial support for a settlement in Cyprus.

    Speaking in an interview to Turkish State Television-TRT in Davos, Akinci said that the world which is rigged with conflicts and wars needs a good example which the settlement of the Cyprus problem can provide.

    Highlighting the importance of his participation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Akinci said that he found the valuable opportunity at the summit to meet with heads of state and governments to convey the Turkish Cypriots' strong determination and will for a settlement on the island.

    Touching upon the issue of hydrocarbons, Akinci reiterated that transporting the natural gas discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean through a pipeline from Turkey to Europe via Cyprus is a serious alternative that should be considered. He also said that there is an alternative energy project planned to bring electricity from Israel to Cyprus through an underwater cable.

    On the issue of the water pumped to the occupied area of Cyprus from Turkey, Ak?nc? said that the project can be expanded to supply water to the whole island.

    Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side continues to remain committed and determined in reaching a settlement on the island, Akinci hoped that the Greek Cypriot side too will continue to remain committed to achieving that goal. Pointing out that it is their aim to transform Cyprus into an island of peace in 2016; Akinci underlined the importance of reaching a viable and sustainable settlement.

    Responding to a question as to whether or not a referendum is in sight for June this year, Akinci said that he does not know if that will be possible. However he said that the goal is to reach a settlement as soon as possible.

    "The upcoming elections in South Cyprus (editor's note: as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus) as well as the current Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis' candidacy for the chairman of the UN General Assembly could impact the process. That is why we were wishing for an early solution", he said.

    Stating that there still remain obstacles in the talks that need to be overcome, Akinci said that it will be wrong to say that everything is picture perfect in the negotiations process. "Nevertheless we are cautiously optimistic" he said.

    Meanwhile, Akinci met with the British Prime Minister David Cameron on Friday within the framework of the Davos World Economic Forum Congress. Although no statement was released after the meeting, Akinci, who spoke to the press later, said that the meeting was conducted in a friendly atmosphere and they had exchanged views with regards to the negotiation process.

    He added that the British Prime Minister extended the UK's support to the talks.

    [05] Akinci met with CHP foreign relations committee

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.01.16), the Turkish Republican People's Party (CHP) has expressed support to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in the Cyprus negotiations process.

    A delegation from the CHP's foreign relations committee, which is currently in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus for a series of contacts, met today with Akinci.

    The chairman of the committee Ozturk Yilmaz, who is leading the delegation, presented Akinci with a letter from the CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu conveying his best wishes. Yilmaz said that they are in the "TRNC" to personally see the level of progress in the ongoing negotiations process.

    Stating that the Cyprus issue is a national cause for his party, Yilmaz expressed the CHP's support to Akinci in the ongoing talks.

    Akinci, for his part, stated that Kilicdaroglu in his letter had reiterated his support for a settlement in Cyprus which safeguarded the freedom, political equality and security of the Turkish Cypriot "people". "We hope that all parties within the Turkish Grand National Assembly express the same kind of support. The time for a solution in Cyprus has come", said Akinci, claiming that the Turkish Cypriots had laid the foundations of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation in Cyprus in 1974.

    He however pointed out although the physical boundaries of such a settlement have been created, the legal basis and its international acceptance have not been achieved.

    Stating that important progress has been achieved in the talks, Akinci expressed the hope that 2016 will be the year a settlement will be reached on the island. Expressing the wish that Turkey too will benefit from a settlement on the island, Akinci said that Turkey is the most important country in the region and that any settlement to be reached on the island will reshape the Eastern Mediterranean's energy policies.

    Akinci also said that he is happy to see that the Cyprus problem ceased to be exploited for domestic politics in Turkey.

    [06] Siber addressed the 11th Conference of PUOICM

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.01.16), the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is being represented at the 11th Conference of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUOICM).

    The self-styled speaker of the parliament Sibel Siber and an accompanying delegation from the "parliament" are attending the meetings in Bagdad.

    The "TRNC parliamentary delegation" headed by Siber and which consists of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) "deputy" Huseyin Ercal, the Democrat Party National Forces (DP) "deputy" Fikri Ataoglu and the Social Democratic Party (TDP) "deputy" Huseyin Angolemli travelled to Bagdad together with the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Ismail Kahraman and a delegation from the Turkish Parliament. As part of her contacts, Siber delivered a speech at the conference today.

    The delegation, who attends the PUOICM meetings as an observer, will also hold meetings with the Speakers of Parliament of the participating countries.

    [07] Delegation of the so-called assembly carries out contacts in Brussels

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.01.16), a delegation from the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is in Brussels for a series of contacts with EU officials.

    The delegation is made up of Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) "deputy" Armagan Candan, the National Unity Party (UBP) "deputy" Ergun Serdaroglu, the Democrat Party-National Forces (DP-UG) "deputy" Hasan Tacoy and the Social Democratic Party (TDP "deputy" Zeki Celer.

    The delegation, which will be holding contacts at the European Parliament and Commission, will be meeting with representatives and MEPs from the Christian Democrats, the Socialists and Democrats, the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists, the Liberals, the Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Greens groups.

    The delegation is expected to take up issues such as the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process, the EU's financial and technical contributions to a settlement in Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriots' harmonization process to the EU.

    Efforts to make Turkish an official EU language in line with an initiative launched by the Greek Cypriot side is also expected to be discussed during the meetings.

    Candan will also be participating a meeting of the Socialist Democrats as an observer.

    [08] Biden appreciates Turkey's critical role on the Cyprus issue

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.16), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul on Saturday, commenting also on the Cyprus problem, said: "How much I appreciate your commitment to try to end years of deadlock, conflict in Cyprus".

    Biden said that he had separate meetings in Davos this past week with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades. He added that both parties are heading toward a negotiation agreement and appreciated Turkey's "critical role". Biden also thanked Davutoglu for his strong support for the solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem will strengthen the energy security of Europe.

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 23.01.16) reported that Davutoglu, for his part, thanked Biden for visiting Cyprus, adding that the United States will have an important role in the Cyprus peace talks. He also said: "We hope to reach a permanent solution in Cyprus in the following days, weeks or months. I thank the US Vice President Joe Biden and his team for their fruitful meetings".

    Biden also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting was closed to the press.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 25.01.16) reports that Turkey and the United States are singing the same tune on a number of key regional issues including a Turkish military camp on Iraqi soil and the total closure of a key stretch of the Turkish border with Syria, but they remain in disagreement over the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, following Biden's official visit by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Turkey.

    Washington recognized the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey was as much of a threat to Ankara as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Biden said.

    [09] Davutoglu on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.01.16), the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who has reiterated his country's desire to join the European Union, said that Ankara is fully aware of the obstacle the Cyprus problem poses in achieving that goal.

    Speaking in an interview to the German Press Agency, Davutoglu said that becoming a full member to the European Union is a strategic objective for Turkey. "Yes. This is not only a desire. This is a strategic objective for us. Of course, we know the difficulties like the Cyprus question. There will be a positive development in the Cyprus question to find a final resolution. There has been a very positive momentum in EU-Turkish relations in the last three months. And at the end of all these improvements, I am sure, Turkey, one day, will be a member of the EU", he added.

    [10] Commentary: Political resolve fuels hope over Cyprus

    Columnist Selin Naci, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 25.01.16), reports in her following commentary that 2016 marks a critical year for Cyprus:

    "Turkey has made a diplomatic jumpstart to 2016.

    The settlement of dormant conflicts gained momentum with the Nov. 24, 2015, downing of a Russian jet as Turkey felt the urge to enhance its security ties with NATO and reinvigorate negotiations for EU membership while seeking ways to mend the broken ties with countries such as Israel and Egypt in order to diversify its economic markets and energy resources.

    In this context, the Cyprus issue, which continues to loom over Ankara's potential EU membership, has regained importance. The settlement of the Cyprus conflict is crucial in terms of maintaining security in the Mediterranean during such a tumultuous period. It will also provide a healthier ground for energy cooperation between Turkey and Israel and thus contribute to Europe's energy security.

    Will peace find a chance?

    Long-stalled peace talks have been reinvigorated following Mustafa Akinci's election as northern Cypriot president (editor's note: Turkish Cypriot leader) last April. Akinci's goodwill and faith in the reunification of Cyprus found resonance with his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Anastasiades.

    The synergy between the two has even enabled them to set a timeline for the resolution of the Cyprus conflict by March. Indeed, as a result of intense negotiations, the parties have reached a common understanding on the main issues ? even if they are still short of full agreement.

    In this respect, the declarations made by Akinci and Anastasiades at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week were encouraging. (?)

    Amid the good news from Davos, Turkey hosted last week U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is known for his close ties with the Greek lobby and his efforts for the resolution of Cyprus. During a joint press meeting, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu thanked Biden for visiting Cyprus in 2014 and said the U.S. would play an important role in Cyprus peace talks.

    Indeed, with the wind at his back following the Iranian nuclear deal, the settlement of the Cyprus issue presents an opportunity for U.S. President Barack Obama to build on his legacy before he leaves office.

    Just as diplomatic efforts over Cyprus are accelerating, Istanbul Kultur University's Global Political Trends Centre organized a roundtable meeting last week hosting Andros Kyprianou, general-secretary of the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL), who was scheduled to have a meeting with both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministry the next day.

    When asked about the current state of the peace talks, Kyprianou said he remained hopeful, while underlining three focal points requiring settlement: power sharing, property rights and security.

    According to Kyprianou, the sides have largely reached a consensus on how to share executive power. However, little progress has been made regarding the property rights of refugees.

    The people who lost their homes have three options ahead ? return, resettlement or compensation.

    Kyprianou said the amounts of compensation proffered by the leaders are an exaggeration, and claims that without knowing the number of people who would apply for the compensation option; it is not possible to determine the exact amount to be paid as compensation.

    Since neither the Greek nor the Turkish side are able to undertake the financial burden of compensation, they have both turned to third parties such as the EU and the U.S. for financial assistance ? something that Kyprianou describes as the cost of peace in Cyprus.

    As for the most troubling part of the negotiations, security, Kyprianou particularly emphasizes the future positions of the guarantor states.

    Despite the sincere commitment of the parties, it would seem unlikely that a settlement will be reached before the Greek Cypriot parliamentary elections in May. However, shared economic and security interests in the region create a strong incentive for all parties to benefit from the resolution of the Cyprus issue. Particularly, diplomatic resolve of the parties presents an unprecedented window of opportunity that shouldn't go wasted.

    Thus, 2016 marks a critical year for Cyprus."

    [11] Turkish Cypriot columnist: "Great progress has been achieved on the property, the chapter will be closed within a month"

    Writing in her column in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.01.16), columnist Esra Aygin reports that great progress has been achieved in the property chapter during the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and that "it seems that this chapter has come to the point of being completed within a month the most".

    Under the title "The last level in the negotiations", the columnist writes, inter alia, the following: "[?] The sides, which started the negotiations in the property chapter with positions very different from each other, are in a consensus now on how the property problem should be solved. In the negotiations, in parallel to criteria such as that the property should be vacant in order for being included in the properties to be returned and that no development should have been made on it, the criterion that the person who demands the return should have an emotional bond with the property has been decided, that is, he should have considered this property as 'home' for a period. The experts agree that the number of the Greek Cypriots who will gain the right of return within the framework of the emotional bond [criterion] does not exceed the few thousands.

    The day when Property Commission to be established with the solution solves all the property applications on the basis of the criteria set by the sides, it has become definite with the conditions of the agreement that the majority of population in the Turkish Cypriot founding state will belong to the Turkish Cypriots. The fact that majority of property in the Turkish Cypriot founding state will belong to the Turkish Cypriots is guaranteed by leaving the power of regulating the rules of acquiring a property to the founding states. [?]

    Meanwhile, in case of a solution, Turkey will be treated before federal Cyprus as an EU member state, but in case of granting citizenship it is noted that the 4 to 1 Greek-Turkish balance will be protected. [?]

    It is noted that one month period is mostly needed for the property chapter coming to the point of being closed. [?]

    How the process will advance from now on depends very closely on the signal which the Greek Cypriot side will take from Turkey on the issue of guarantees. [?]

    Actually, neither the Turkish Cypriot side nor the Greek Cypriot side are expecting for the issue of guarantees to endanger the negotiations. The continuation without a change of the 1960 guarantees' structure is not realistic, when it is taken into consideration the fact that the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots is guaranteed and reference is made to a Turkish Cypriot entity that will be much stronger and equal in the new federal Cyprus, and will possess the one of the two federal states of a federation which is member of the EU. However, the Turkish Cypriot side is not expected to totally abandon Turkey's guarantees. Among the formulas which could be found are alternatives such as guarantee structures which do not have armies and include sanctions and embargoes or temporary unilateral guarantee structures. [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Izcan described the meetings at Davos as an important development for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (25.01.16) reports that Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), evaluated in a written statement the results of the Davos summit and said that important steps were taken at Davos for the peace in Cyprus.

    According to Izcan, in the framework of the efforts exerted for "2016 to become the year of peace in Cyprus", very important steps were taken at Davos and at the same time a lot of important meetings towards the Cyprus problem had taken place. "Our duty is to evaluate the opportunities arisen in front of us", said Izcan and added that his party will continue supporting all the steps towards the peace and solution.

    Evaluating as a very important development for the solution of the Cyprus problem all the meetings that took place at Davos between the two leaders, as well as with the UN's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Izcan said: "An early solution would be for the benefit and interest of the other side as well".

    Referring to the issue of the natural gas, Izcan stressed the need for the revenues of the natural gas to be used for the economic development of Cyprus to be after the solution and not for military purposes.

    Stating that they are pleased from the fact that a remarkable progress has been achieved on the 4 out of the 6 chapters of the Cyprus problem at the negotiation talks, Izcan stressed the need for the two leaders to continue the negotiation progress with the same decisiveness and good will, in order as he said, to be able to achieve progress at the remaining chapters.

    (AK)

    [13] Turkey's MFA press release regarding Greek Defence Minister's statements

    According to the official website of Turkey's MFA (http://www.mfa.gov.tr), the following press release was issued on January 23. 2016 regarding the statements of the Greek Defence Minister Kammenos:

    "We regret the statements of Mr Kammenos, Minister of National Defence of Greece, at a press conference held on 18 January 2016, following his meeting with the Minister of Defence of the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (editor's note: as they refer to the Cyprus Defence Minister), who visited Athens.

    We condemn his baseless and unethical expressions uttered after the meeting concerning our country and the Cyprus issue.

    At a time when a positive atmosphere prevails in Turkish-Greek relations and in Cyprus towards a comprehensive settlement, the improper statements of the Minister of National Defence of Greece at the press conference, give the impression that he is uncomfortable with this positive atmosphere. We strongly reject his ill-considered statements constituting a paradigm of irresponsibility.

    We expect the Greek authorities to act with a befitting sense of governmental responsibility and refrain from statements that may damage the atmosphere of collaboration that we are trying to cultivate between our countries."

    [14] Seventeen thousand foreigners bought property in the breakaway regime during the last sixteen years

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.01.16) reports that according to information by the "ministry of interior", the immovable property sold to foreigners in the breakaway regime has been increased in the last 16 years and notes that between 2000-2015, almost 20,000 Turkish and foreign citizens have applied to buy property in the occupied area of Cyprus and property was sold to 17,000 foreigners.

    According to the paper, there was an extreme rise in selling properties to foreigners especially after 2003-2004. In the period 1974-2002 only 1,859 foreigners applied for buying property in the breakaway regime, while the applications between 2003 and October 2015 rose to 16,453.

    The paper writes that the total number of foreign buyers is 16,927 and adds that they prefer to buy are apartments, building plots and fields.

    (CS)

    [15] Serdar Denktas called the Turkish Cypriots to evaluated well the text of the agreement to be for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Democrat Bakis newspaper (25.01.15) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG), in statements during a visit he paid in the occupied villages of Limnitis and Potamos tou Kambou, evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and called all the "Turkish Cypriot citizens" to evaluate very well the text (plan) of the final agreement to be for the solution of the Cyprus problem and then decide whether to say "yes" or "no" to the referendum.

    Reminding of the fact that the whole international community respected the "no" vote of the Greek Cypriot side at the referendum for the Annan plan, Denktas stressed the need for the decision of the Turkish Cypriots in a possible new plan to be respected as well.

    Reiterating that the "TRNC citizens" would reject any solution which would not envisage the existence of Turkey's effective and active guarantees, Denktas argued that the principle of the "political equality" and "sovereignty" are not protected well at the negotiating table.

    On the property issue, Denktas alleged that those who will lose their properties will become poor.

    Also, on the territory issue, Denktas said that the approach that the Turkish Cypriots would become refugees again should be abolished. "All these are sensitive issues for our people. Nobody should expect from the Turkish Cypriots that they would approve a solution which would not take into consideration their sensitivities", Denktas added.

    (AK)

    [16] Ozersay started visiting occupied villages in the breakaway regime spreading his political views

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (25.01.16) reports that Kudret Ozersay, the chairman of the newly established People's Party (HP) heading a delegation started visited various villages in the occupied area of Cyprus informing the inhabitants about the party's positions in various issues.

    The delegation launched its visits in the occupied villages of Zodia and Potamos and the persons who live in the villages asked Ozersay what will happen to the villages in case a solution is reached and the area would be under Greek Cypriot administration and the inhabitants would have to abandon the area, as it is said.

    "We must come to a decision. This area is a part of our country and we without taking a stance against the solution we should try to create the structure of its development", he stated and added that people should not listen to speculations and work to improve their lives and the area.

    (CS)

    [17] Caglar due to Strasburg for PACE's meeting

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (25.01.16) reports that Mehmet Caglar, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), has departed for Strasburg in order to attend the winter session meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

    The meeting with take place between January 25-29.

    Caglar is expected to return to the occupied area of Cyprus on January 30 after completing his contacts in France.

    (AK)

    [18] Colak met with the Vice President of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.01.16) reported that self-styled foreign minister Emine Colak met with the Vice President of the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities Gaye Doganoglu and her accompanying delegation.

    "The President of the Turkish Cypriot association of municipalities (KTBB)", so-called mayors of the occupied village of Gunyeli mayor Ahmet Y. Benli and occupied Morphou mayor Mahmut Ozcinar were also present at the meeting.

    In her speech during the reception, Doganoglu expressed her pleasure for being in the "TRNC" and also stated that the status of delegation and representation was given back to "KTBB" last year at the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, adding that this is a welcoming development.

    Colak, for her part, referring to the return of the status back to "KTBB" last year at the Council of Europe Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, said that this will provide more active participation of the "Turkish Cypriot local administrators" in the meetings and added that this is a gratifying development.

    [19] Legal action may be taken against academicians in the occupied area of Cyprus who signed the "Academics for Peace" initiative

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.01.16) reported that legal action may be taken for academicians in the occupied area of Cyprus and signed a petition of the "Academics for Peace" initiative.

    Legal action against the Turkish academicians who signed the petition was taken in Turkey.

    The petition was signed by more than 1,000 Turkish 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.

    Afrika noted that the academicians in Turkey lost their jobs anf faced criminal accusations and wonders what actions will be taken for the Turkish Cypriot intellectuals, academicians, writers and artists who also signed the petition.

    (CS)

    [20] CHP delegation to pay an illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus as peace deal on the horizon

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 24.01.16), a delegation of the main opposition party Republican People's Party (CHP) is to have talks at the start of the week with leading political figures in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus as expectations for a deal between the Turkish and Greek Cyprus sides on the divided island are on the rise.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, self-styled parliament speaker Sibel Siber, self-styled prime minister Omer Soyer Kalyoncu and former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu are among the figures the delegation will meet with during their illegal visit, which is to start early on Monday.

    Both the Turkish and Greek Cypriots have spoken positively about the ongoing peace talks that restarted several weeks after Akinci was elected "president", in April last year.

    The main opposition party delegation, composed of the party's members on the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission, will be headed by Ozturk Yilmaz, Turkey's former Consul General in Mosul. Ahmet Ak?n, Mevlut Dudu, Serkan Topal, Eren Erdem and Oguz Kaan Salici are other CHP Deputies who are part of the delegation for the two-day visit.

    Y?lmaz, who was held captive for more than three months in 2014 by the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) when it captured Mosul, is the only person who had a diplomatic career among the CHP Deputies in the Foreign Affairs Commission.

    The delegation is to return to Turkey on Tuesday evening.

    [21] Omer Nasit the new chairman of DEV-IS trade union

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (24.01.16) reported that DEV-IS trade union in the occupied area of Cyprus held its 18th ordinary general congress during the week-end.

    According to the paper, Omer Nasit has been elected as the new chairman of the union.

    (AK)

    [22] Biden highlights the need for freedom of speech in Turkey; Erdogan: "Terror propaganda beyond limits of free speech"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.01.16) reports that U.S. Vice President Joe Biden highlighted the need for freedom of speech and press in his address in Turkey to NGOs and reporters on Jan. 22, as he also backed a group academics who are under fire after a petition. "Two of the most important basic rights we Americans believe and your Constitution says are basic, fundamental rights," Biden said.

    "If you don't have an ability to express your opinion, to criticize a policy, to offer competing ideas without fear of intimidation or retribution, the country is robbed of opportunity and the country is being robbed of possibilities," he said.

    Biden said that free expression and a strong Turkish democracy matter "not only to Turks but to America as well".

    During his speech, Biden mentioned Turkey's occasional moves to restrict social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. "When internet freedom is curtailed and social media sites like YouTube or Twitter are shut down and more than 1,000 academics are accused of treason simply by signing a petition, that's not the kind of example that needs to be set in the region," he said.

    On the same issue, HDN (online, 24.01.16) reported that conducting terrorist propaganda is beyond the limits of free speech, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stressed during a meeting with Biden, a day after the latter emphasized the need for freedom of speech and press in Turkey in an address to NGOs and reporters.

    During their 2.5-hour meeting in Istanbul, Erdogan reportedly called for more "sensitivity" from ally countries in Turkey's "fight against terror", and asked that they avoid statements in support of groups that "try to undermine" Turkey's efforts.

    [23] Demirtas and Yuksekdag re-elected as HDP co-chairs

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.01.16), Selahatin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag have been re-elected as co-chairs of opposition Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) during the party's general congress held on Sunday in Ankara.

    Yuksekdag and Demirtas managed to secure the votes of 624 delegates out of the 626 who voted. There are a total of 1049 HDP delegates. The election also saw 76 members of the 100-seat party council replaced. Founded in 2012, the HDP has 59 Deputies in the 550-seat Turkish parliament.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (online, 23.01.16) reported that Demirtas, speaking at the sixth Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK), said on Saturday that he is "proud to be a traitor", amid ongoing criticism against him and his party for failing to put distance between themselves and the PKK terrorist organization.

    "We would be proud to be regarded as traitors in such a fascist state," Demirtas told the audience.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 24.01.16) reported that Demirtas said that the HDP will be part of a commission that will be set up with the participation of the political parties represented in Parliament for talks to reform the current Constitution.

    Speaking at his party's second ordinary congress on Sunday, Demirtas emphasized that despite the fact that the HDP has radically different ideas from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) about the principles to be included in the new Constitution, such as the definition of equality and justice, his political party will take its place in the planned commission. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/ AM)


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