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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-04-04

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. 61/16 01.-04.04.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] CTP-UBP "coalition government" falls after the withdrawal of UBP; statements by Ozgurgun
  • [02] Akinci evaluates the situation after the withdrawal of the UBP from the self-styled government
  • [03] AKP evaluates "government crisis" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [04] Reactions to the political crisis created following UBP's withdrawal from the "government"
  • [05] Scenarios for forming a new "government"
  • [06] Akinci sees a Cyprus settlement in ten years from now more difficult than now, perhaps impossible
  • [07] Ak?nc? held a phone conversation with Lidington; Akinci's planned visit to the UK was discussed
  • [08] Statements by Erdogan on the Cyprus problem
  • [09] Uras expressed optimism over a solution on the Cyprus problem within the year
  • [10] Akinci against closing "DPO" down
  • [11] Benli invited a committee from the Council of Europe's Local and Regional Authorities to visit the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [12] Harmanci announced that the opening of Paphos Gate crossing point is in the agenda
  • [13] Colak briefed students on the Cyprus problem
  • [14] Erdogan's interview with CNN; "We have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press in Turkey"
  • [15] Erdogan "saddened" over Obama's press freedom rebuke

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] CTP-UBP "coalition government" falls after the withdrawal of UBP; statements by Ozgurgun

    According to illegal Bayrak television (04.04.16), after the National Unity Party (UBP) decided to withdraw from the government, 5 UBP "deputies" handed in their letters of resignation today to so-called prime minister Omer Kalyoncu.

    The so-called minister of communications Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the "minister for economy, industry and commerce" Sunat Atun, the "minister of tourism" Faiz Sucuoglu, the "minister for national education" Kemal Durust and the "minister for public works, environment and culture" Kutlu Evren presented today their resignations.

    Also, the Republican Turkish Party's assembly will convene tonight to discuss the latest developments within the "government".

    Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (02.04.16) the National Unity Party (UBP) has decided to withdraw from the "government" and bringing an end to the coalition with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-UG).

    The decision was announced by the UBP leader Huseyin Ozgurgun following today's meeting of the National Unity Party assembly.

    Ozgurgun said that the inability to pay the March salaries of public servants prompted them to question their position within the "coalition government".

    He added that the UBP had decided to withdraw from the CTP-UBP coalition following careful deliberations.

    Relations between the two parties had been tense since February, when the UBP had warned it would pull out due to disagreements with the CTP over the terms of the "agreement between the TRNC government and Turkey" on the management of the water pumped from Mersin to the "TRNC".

    There are rumors that the UBP will now form a coalition with Serdar Denktas's Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) and independent "deputies".

    Meanwhile, so-called prime minister Omer Kalyoncu is expected to resign after the UBP leaves the coalition.

    The UBP last year formed a coalition government with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG) on July 15, 2015, under Kalyoncu. The move came after former Prime Minister Ozkan Yorganc?oglu stepped down on July 4, 2015, after losing a party leadership vote in June.

    The CTP-BG currently has 20 seats in the "TRNC's parliament", and the UBP has 18.

    The Democratic Party-National Forces (DP-UG) has 5 "deputies" and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) has 3, while there are 4 independent "deputies".

    [02] Akinci evaluates the situation after the withdrawal of the UBP from the self-styled government

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.04.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that the thing he wants the least now is the creation of a climate of crisis and chaos in the occupied area of Cyprus. During a visit to occupied Chatoz village yesterday Akinci replied to questions regarding the problems experienced in the so-called government of the occupation regime. Akinci noted that the most important thing for the "country" is stability and the negotiations process. He said:

    "The negotiating process we are currently carrying out is the future of the Turks of Cyprus. It is an issue of our future generations getting rid of the uncertainty for the future by becoming part of the international community being much happier, in tranquility and peace. In such a process the last thing which is desired is a crisis, but if in spite of this this is turned into a crisis we will face it".

    Akinci noted that the National Unity Party's decision was not "officially" conveyed to him and that if the resignation of the "government" is submitted to him, he will immediately launch consultations with the leaders of the parties represented in the "assembly". "I will not allow a delay", he added.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] AKP evaluates "government crisis" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (04.04.16) the Deputy Chairman of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Mehmet Ali Sahin was asked for his views regarding the developments within the "TRNC government".

    Sahin said that he was saddened to hear of the development but added that the "government" could solve its problems with good intentions.

    Emphasizing his hope that the "TRNC" will not be left without a "government", that a new "government" will be formed and by receiving a vote of confidence will start serving the Turkish Cypriot people, Sahin said that the Turkish government proposes that everyone act calmly and approach the subject with the "TRNC's" interest at heart and not political party's interests.

    [04] Reactions to the political crisis created following UBP's withdrawal from the "government"

    Under the title "Political chaos", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (03.04.16) reported that following the decision unanimously taken by the National Unity Party (UBP) to withdraw from the "coalition" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the UBP will participate in a "coalition government" only if the "prime minister" comes from the party.

    In a statement after the above-mentioned decision, UBP's chairman, Huseyin Ozgurgun said that the difficulties and the "unnecessary waste of time" in relation to the water issue and in the signing of the "protocol for economic and financial cooperation" with Turkey have been conveyed to the "people" as a "big problem". He added that in the light of the decision regarding the payment of wages in installments the "government coalition" has become non-viable.

    According to the paper, the pressure exerted by "bureaucrats from Ankara" to sign the "protocol' with Turkey influenced UBP's decision to withdraw from the "government", because the UBP wants the "protocol" to be signed without any change, while the CTP was trying to negotiate provisions such as the changes in "judiciary", the privatization of the "electricity authority" (KIB-TEK) and the granting "citizenship" to thousands of settlers from Turkey.

    Self-styled prime minister Omer Kalyoncu described the reasons of UBP's withdrawal from the "government" as "inconsistent". He said that on the water issue they acted according to the "government's protocol" adding that "the main problem is the difference in DNA" between the UBP and the CTP.

    CTP's chairman Mehmet Ali Talat stated that in these conditions their party does not consider it propper to participate in any "government formation" which is not "sensitive" on the issue of the "economic program and the financial protocol".

    The chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas stated that he had no meeting with UBP officials and added: "I told them that I will not meet them before the government ends. I did not participate in the conspiracies. After this stage, we are open to any option".

    The leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Cemal Ozyigit said that he will not participate in a "government" which will sign the "economic package". He added: "The aim of the government to be established is important, but the structure of the current parliament is not ok. The way for the people should be paved".

    Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People's Party (HP), stated that the only option given this development is to hold "early elections". He argued: "Following the referendum for the constitution, the parliament lost its legitimacy. We are ready for elections".

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.04.16) reports that Abdullah Kormazhan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has argued that having a new "government' from the current "parliament" will be catastrophic. In a written statement, Korkmazhan said that the BKP demands "early elections" the soonest.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Scenarios for forming a new "government"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.04.16) reports about the scenarios for forming a new "government" after the decision of the National Unity Party (UBP) to leave the coalition "government" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    According to the paper, eyes are today on Akinci who will decide which party will be handled the mandate for establishing a new "government". It also writes that the bargain between UBP and the Democratic Party (DP) has already started with the latter demanding 4 "ministries" in order to form a "coalition government" and UBP insisting on giving only 3.

    The paper furthers reports that a surprise alliance between CTP ?DP can also be formed and writes that a group inside DP has already exerted efforts so that a meeting between Mehmet Ali Talat and Serdar Denktas is held.

    In addition, Diyalog (04.04.16) reports that in case a coalition is formed between UBP-DP, a new road map will be followed by the two parties based on 8 principles. According to these, the economic protocol between Turkey and the breakaway regime will be signed, the money that will be received by Turkey in the protocol framework will be used for paying employees, the tenders for the water distribution will start right away, electricity will be received by Turkey, 10,000 "citizenships" will be granted, power and authorities will be given to the Turkish army so that the trust of the Turkish Cypriots is safeguarded and bureaucratic obstacles that prevent investments are lifted.

    (CS)

    [06] Akinci sees a Cyprus settlement in ten years from now more difficult than now, perhaps impossible

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.04.16) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that important developments have taken place in the ongoing negotiations during the last ten and a half months, adding that they have not wasted a year. He also said that today a solution is more difficult than it was ten years ago, and in the next ten years a solution will be more difficult than today and may even be impossible.

    Noting that in a possible solution there will be areas in the "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) that will be unprepared; Akinci said that a preparation process is needed. He noted that the ad-hoc committees are working for the harmonization with the EU actively. He explained that the Turkish side will not apply again to the EU, however the Turkish Cypriot "people" are preparing for this, without meaning that they are unprepared. Akinci stressed that the two sides should embrace and create an atmosphere in which they can live in harmony and in co-existence.

    Addressing the 53rd ordinary general meeting of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Akinci recalled that significant developments have been occurred under the chapter of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs), such as facilitating crossings at the check-points, the de-mining works and the connection of the electricity grid.

    Akinci further said that with the work of the Education Committee, a more peaceful environment will be passed on to the future generations.

    Noting that the Turkish side allowed excavations in the effort to locate remains of missing persons in over 30 military areas, Akinci said that the construction tender for the works regarding the crossing points of Deryneia and Apliki was completed.

    Stressing that the cooperation regarding the mobile broadband connection, which he considers of vital importance experiences difficulties, Akinci argued that due to a legislative regulation in the Greek Cypriot side, this cooperation has not been feasible yet.

    Akinci noted that the Turkish Cypriot side wants to live in peace and democracy, adding that a solution in ten years from now will be more difficult and perhaps impossible.

    (DPs)

    [07] Ak?nc? held a phone conversation with Lidington; Akinci's planned visit to the UK was discussed

    According to illegal Bayrak television (02.04.16) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? spoke over the phone on Friday with the British Minister of State for Europe David Lidington.

    Lidington expressed London's satisfaction and support to the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process.

    According to a statement released by the so-called president's office, Lidington expressed his country's support to the ongoing process on the island.

    Stating that Ak?nc? and his negotiating team are displaying a constructive stance in the talks, Lidington said that the UK is extremely pleased with the progress achieved so far.

    The statement said that Ak?nc? for his part underlined the importance of Britain's support to the process.

    According to the press release, the two also discussed the details and possible dates for Akinci's visit to the UK upon an invitation made by the British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

    As it has been announced, Akinci's visit to London is planned to take place shortly after the EU referendum in the UK scheduled to take place on the 23rd of June.

    [08] Statements by Erdogan on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.04.16) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of his contacts in Washington, delivered a speech at the Brookings Institute where he also touched upon the Cyprus issue.

    "As the motherland and a guarantor power, our determination continues towards reaching a just and comprehensive solution in Cyprus. Our priority is to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem within this year which will safeguard the equality and rights of the Turkish Cypriot side. We hope that the positive atmosphere which emerged after the restart of the negotiations last May will continue and the opportunity taken will be used", Erdogan said.

    Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot side on numerous occasions had shown its will for a solution, he said it will be possible to reach a solution in Cyprus if the Greek Cypriot side responds positively to this.

    Drawing attention to the fact that many regional opportunities including the realization of the energy projects would be possible with a solution in Cyprus, he stressed that within this framework the water supply project to the "TRNC" has particular importance.

    Noting that Turkey is sincere on sharing the water for the establishment of cooperation between the two sides, Erdogan expressed the hope that both "peoples" on the island will benefit from this project, which could meet the water needs of the whole island after a just and comprehensive solution.

    "In fact I named this water project as the 'peace water'. The reason I put this name was; the Greek Cypriot side still satisfies its needs with water tankers and if they want, the TRNC could share the water with them. We are still at the same point" Erdogan said.

    Erdogan also called on the international community to sincerely support efforts towards finding a solution in Cyprus.

    [09] Uras expressed optimism over a solution on the Cyprus problem within the year

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.04.16) the Turkish Ambassador to Athens Kerim Uras has stressed that the Cyprus issue could be solved within this year.

    Uras delivered a speech at a conference organized by the International Relations Department of the Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences at the Thrace University.

    During his speech, Uras evaluated the Cyprus issue and shared his views on the subject.

    Reminding that Turkey and Greece which have good relations have been experiencing problems on Cyprus, the Aegean and on minority issues, Uras expressed the need to solve the Cyprus issue first.

    "Cyprus is at an important turning point. Everyone is talking about a solution in Cyprus in 2016. We can divide the Cyprus issue under the chapters of governance and power sharing, economy, EU matters, property, territory, security and guarantees. My point of view is that property is the toughest issue. However, good progress has been achieved on this issue. This time, we, the motherland countries are not involved in the process and we have left it to the Cypriots. Hopefully, we will be able to talk about a positive development or maybe a solution on the Cyprus issue by the end of this year. Of course, this will open Turkey's path for EU membership and will also solve many other issues" Uras said.

    [10] Akinci against closing "DPO" down

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.04.16) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci commented on information that the "State Planning Organization" (DPO) will be closed down in the framework of the "2016-2018 economic protocol" and stated that he conveyed to "prime minister" Omer Kalyoncu that he is against such a development.

    He made these statements during a meeting he held with civil servant workers.

    He also stated that the "DPO" can be organized in a better way in order to be more effective noting that closing "DPO" down is not on his agenda.

    (CS)

    [11] Benli invited a committee from the Council of Europe's Local and Regional Authorities to visit the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.04.16) reports that Ahmet Benli, self-styled mayor of occupied Gonyeli and head of the Turkish Cypriot so-called municipalities' union which participated in a meeting of the Council of Europe's Local and Regional Authorities held in Strasbourg between 22 and 23 March, has said that the Council of Europe is expected to be impartial in the process during which "serious steps are taken" in the direction of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Ahmet Benli invited the Monitoring Committee, which will visit Cyprus between 5 and 7 April, to evaluate the "European Charter of Local Self-Government", to cross over to the occupied area of the island.

    He said:

    "In the meeting in Strasbourg it was conveyed to us that the evaluation will be made only in the south as a requirement of the status of Cyprus. We shared our sorrow. We once again call the Council of Europe to be impartial and we want to say that we are expecting them in the north [?]

    It is not easy to change our legal position in the Council of Europe in an environment of a non-solution in the Cyprus problem. It should not be forgotten that Cyprus is a member of the EU. However, we can turn our observer status into an advantage in the sense of reminding this institution of it, taking our struggle to the international field and improving our conditions".

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Harmanci announced that the opening of Paphos Gate crossing point is in the agenda

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Haberal Kibrisli (04.04.16), the self-styled mayor of the municipality in the occupied part of Nicosia Mehmet Harmanci said that they have come to an agreement with the Nicosia Mayor Constantinos Yiorkadjis to open a crossing point for pedestrians at Paphos Gate and a crossing point for vehicles at the "Caglayan Gate". The efforts for the opening of those gates are continuing, Harmanci said, adding that when these projects materialize they will bring liveliness in the area.

    During a visit within the Venetian Walls in the occupied part of Nicosia, Harmanci stressed that this area has improved the last two years. He added that the opening of the "Cyprus American University campus" in the area, as well as the restoration of the Armenian Church were positive contributions to the area.

    (DPs)

    [13] Colak briefed students on the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (02.04.16) so-called foreign minister Emine Colak briefed a group of International Relations students studying at the American University's campus in Brussels on the Cyprus problem.

    Colak who provided the students with a brief history of the Cyprus problem, explained some of the challenges faced by Turkish Cypriots because of the fact that the "TRNC" is not recognized internationally.

    Pointing out that both leaders currently at the negotiating table are determined and committed to reach a settlement on the island, Colak said that both the EU and the guarantor states wanted to see the Cyprus problem solved.

    She expressed the view that a settlement on the island will bring an end to the tense relations between Turkey and Greece as well as contribute to the economic development of the region.

    Stating that the Cyprus negotiations process resumed and picked up pace following the election of Mustafa Ak?nc? as "TRNC president", Colak said that the Turkish Cypriot side continues to be cautiously optimistic.

    [14] Erdogan's interview with CNN; "We have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press in Turkey"

    Turkish Daily Hurriyet Daily News (04.04.16) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected criticism that he has been "waging a war" against press groups, saying "criticism" should not be confused with "insult and defamation."

    Speaking to CNN International's Christiane Amanpour in an exclusive interview in Washington, where he was to attend the Nuclear Security Summit, Erdogan said he was "not at war with the press."

    "We have to define what war against press stands for in your point of view and in my point of view," he said.

    "We have never done anything to stop freedom of expression or freedom of press. On the contrary, the press in Turkey had been very critical of me and my government, attacking me very seriously. And regardless of those attacks, we have been very patient in the way we have responded to those attacks," Erdogan added.

    (?)

    Erdogan also harshly criticized consuls general, including the British and German envoys in Istanbul, for recently attending the first hearing in a trial of Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul, who are accused of espionage after reporting claims that Turkey's intelligence agency funneled weapons into Syria.

    "It's OK for journalists to come as observers of the trials. It's different to have consuls general attending tribunals collectively, supporting people who allegedly engaged in espionage. [This] will never be tolerated," he said.

    "My country has laws. If a member of the press or an executive of a newspaper [is] engaging in espionage, disclosing a country's secrets to the rest of the world, and if this conduct becomes a part of a litigation, then that will result in a verdict. This will be the case wherever you go around the world. Engaging in actions that are not allowed by law should have certain prices to pay," he added.

    The global terror threat and the conflict in both Turkey's southeast and the wider region were also addressed in Erdogan's interview with CNN.

    Erdogan said that he believed many European countries have "failed to address the significance of the terror threat and have not done enough to fight it."

    He criticized those countries for allowing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to spread, accusing many European states of "not having met their obligations" regarding the flow of jihadists from Europe.

    Erdogan particularly slammed Belgian authorities for showing "similar negligence" in handling the case of Ibrahim El Bakraoui, the suspected Brussels bomber who was captured by Turkish authorities and deported to the Netherlands last year. The Belgian authorities flagged him soon afterward.

    "We have been calling on all countries for a common stance against terrorism, and many of the EU member states seem to have failed to attach the significance that this call deserves," Erdogan said.

    "We were left alone by Western countries. Our intelligence-sharing expectations were never met," he added.

    (?)

    Erdogan also said that Turkey, the U.S. and other international allies "had to work together and jointly for the protection of the territorial integrity of Syria and for the establishment of a long-lasting peace."

    "I'm not in the position to allow the handing over of some parts of Syria to some terrorist organizations. Should that mistake ever be made, I would always be reminded about it," he said.

    Asked which terror organization he was referring to, Erdogan replied: "The YPG [the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Unit], the PYD [the Democratic Union Party] ... and if Daesh [ISIL] has an intention of that sort then it would also never be allowed."

    Turkey and the U.S. are at odds over the designation of the PYD and the YPG, which Turkey sees as terror organizations as it regards them as offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The U.S. sees the PYD and the YPG as reliable partners in the fight against ISIL in northern Syria.

    Erdogan also claimed that freedom of the press and expression are "irrelevant obstacles," despite the fact that the EU has repeatedly warned that these rights are "nonnegotiable" conditions.

    "Although we were one of the first applicants for EU membership, we're still waiting at the doorstep. We are still being kept busy with irrelevant obstacles, but we are very patient", Erdogan added.

    [15] Erdogan "saddened" over Obama's press freedom rebuke

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.04.16) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his discontent with U.S. President Barack Obama's light criticism of eroding press freedoms in Turkey.

    "I have been saddened that this kind of statement has been made in my absence. These issues did not come up on the agenda of our meeting with Mr. Obama," Erdogan told a group of journalists on April 2, as he wrapped up a visit to the U.S. capital where he attended the Nuclear Security summit.

    Obama met Erdogan in Washington for closed door talks on March 31. As of April 1, Obama said it was "no secret" he was troubled by "some trends" within Turkey.

    "I think the approach they have been taking toward the press is one that could lead Turkey down a path that would be very troubling," he said, speaking to reporters at the conclusion of the Nuclear Security Summit.

    Obama also noted that he had expressed these sentiments to Erdogan "directly."

    However, Erdogan has insisted that no such comment was made by Obama during their meeting. "I have not been told this kind of thing. Besides, in our previous telephone conversations, we agreed that talking face to face would be more useful rather than talking through the press," Erdogan said.

    "Such insults and threats are not permitted in the West," he added. "Had Obama put these issues [about press freedom] on the agenda during our meeting; then I would have told him [explained this] by presenting all of these examples," Erdogan added. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (AK/AM)


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