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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-04-28

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. 79/16 28.04.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci to send the new "elections law" back to the "assembly"
  • [02] Occupied Keryneia is facing water problems
  • [03] Hahn: Real litmus test for Turkey is the accession negotiations
  • [04] Erdogan cited the Green Line in Cyprus as an example of how a safe zone can be created in Syria
  • [05] Davutoglu condemned Bursa attack; "Turkey will not step back from the fight against terrorism"
  • [06] Davutoglu: New Constitution to include liberal secularism
  • [07] "Three hard tests for Davutoglu"
  • [08] Turkey and China agree to enhance relations at Asian forum
  • [09] Russian Rosatom to sell 49% shares of Akkuyu nuclear plant due to financial problems
  • [10] The illegal YDU university to chair an international conference in Vienna

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci to send the new "elections law" back to the "assembly"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.04.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will send back to the breakaway regime's "assembly" the "law on elections and referendum" which was unanimously approved last week.

    Citing information obtained by Kibris Time newspaper, Yeni Duzen notes that Akinci has some reservations on the issue of the period for which one should live in the occupied area of Cyprus in order for being able to run for "candidate". Meanwhile, some "deputies" of the National Unity Party (UBP) ? the major "coalition partner"- are also said to be against this "law".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Occupied Keryneia is facing water problems

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (28.04.16) reports that occupied Keryneia, known as the city of tourism for the occupied area of Cyprus, is facing a "water crisis" like many other areas of the occupied part of the island, in spite of the fact that drinkable water is coming from Turkey's Anamur area. The paper writes that this water is flowing into the sea because of the lack of concern by the regime's "governments".

    Occupied Keryneia needs 550 tons of water daily and it is given only around 350-400 tons, "officials" said adding that taking some measures was inevitable.

    Erdinc Akun, head of occupied Keryneia "municipality's" water affairs, told the paper that the water problems increased during the past 15 days and added: "We are forced to give water once every 3-4 days to some areas. The citizens are complaining but nothing can be done".

    The continuous increase of population and the return of summer house owners to their homes in parallel to the construction activity in the area cause an increase of the need for water, he said pointing out that he has no other option in these circumstances than cutting the water supply.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Hahn: Real litmus test for Turkey is the accession negotiations

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily New (online, 28.04.16) reports that "the real litmus test" for Turkey in terms of relations with the European Union will be the accession negotiations if the country truly wants to become a member of the 28-member club, a senior EU figure has said.

    The clear remarks by EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn came on April 26, just days after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Ankara would stop taking back migrants when asked what Turkey would do if the EU tried to delay the visa portion of a March accord which intended to stem illegal migration into Europe, mainly due to influxes triggered by the conflict in Syria.

    "I think many of us are always clear that we are not satisfied with the current situation," Hahn said, speaking with a group of journalists, when reminded of the apparent damage to the EU's image and credibility in Turkey because a considerable part of the society has been convinced that the EU has misused the priority of rights and freedoms in the name of finding a solution to the refugee crisis.

    "Once again, the real litmus test for Turkey will be the accession negotiations. This is the key and here we will see what the real aim of Turkey is. If the real aim is to become member, then of course the rule of law is at top of the priorities. This is why nowadays, due to the energization of the accession process we applied, we would like to start as soon as possible with Chapter 23 [Judiciary and Fundamental Rights] and 24, and as we do nowadays with all the other accession countries, we will conclude our process by closing Chapters 23 and 24 [Justice, Freedom and Security]. So the final assessment by the European Commission will only be done if 23 and 24 is closed," Hahn said in the southeastern border province of Sanliurfa during a visit to a refugee camp managed by Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in Harran district.

    "If there are developments which are not in line with our understanding of rule of law, no matter if it is a journalist, a judge or an academic, it is raised by us. I can only urge everybody, if there is a real will to cooperate with us, to understand that if cooperation means cooperation without future membership, this is a different situation. If cooperation means to finally have a membership, then the situation is different. It is up some of our neighbours and Turkey; it is one of those neighbours, to decide if they want to become members, yes or no. So far, my knowledge is they want to become members and in that respect, we expect certain reorientations in the way Turkey is developing itself," he said.

    Echoing previous remarks by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a joint visit to the southeastern border province of Gaziantep on April 23 along with European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Davutoglu warned Turkey would stop taking back migrants from Europe if the bloc failed to keep its word on visa-free travel for its citizens.

    "This kind of tone, this kind of language is certainly not the language [used] among the people who want to become not only partners, but friends, who want to become a member of a club. I think in that sense, we expect mutual respect in the way how we communicate, number one," Hahn said of Davutoglu's remarks.

    "Number two, [I don't exactly take such threats personally] because I don't want to comment on it to stay polite because it is honestly among the people trying to achieve a common goal; this is not the way forward," he said.

    "We have agreed on an action plan and this action plan covers many, many elements. Of course the refugee crises is, if you like, a triggering element of this action plan. Visa liberalization is one element. And I think and I am convinced that there is a mutual understanding that everything should be done within a certain time frame. Our understanding was always if Turkey wants to speed up the process leading to visa liberalization, we are more than happy. In the past, there was not this kind of urgency. If this is now the case, fine, but we cannot renounce our conditions because we are negotiating with other countries like Ukraine, Georgia but also Kosovo very recently on visa liberalization and there we apply a certain methodology, certain criteria."

    Hahn described the state of affairs surrounding media freedom in Turkey for both Turkish and foreign journalists as "a very huge concern."

    "Because it is definitely not in accordance with our rule of law standards. That is why I personally believe very strongly in this accession process momentum because if we are negotiating Chapter 23 and 24, we have exactly this kind of leverage which allows us to discuss with our Turkish colleagues about, for instance, this issue: freedom of expression. The same applies for the independence of the judiciary and other things. And that's why this is something which not only applies for Turkey, but also applies for the countries in the western Balkans", he said.

    Hahn shied away from making a clear-cut comment on Parliamentary Speaker Ismail Kahraman's remarks suggesting on April 25 that the principle of secularism "must be removed" from Turkey's Constitution.

    "First of all the decision about the constitution is subject to a decision of the Turkish Parliament, and the Turkish Parliament is elected by the Turkish people. So I don't want to intervene about what is decided by the Turkish Parliament. I cannot make any comment on what it means for our accession negotiation. Usually we are cooperating with the Venice Commission, which is an institution of the Council of Europe. They are very well experienced in looking at Constitutions and they are making their comments, which is a very strong reference for us. This is what I can say for the moment," he said.

    [04] Erdogan cited the Green Line in Cyprus as an example of how a safe zone can be created in Syria

    Turkish daily Sabah (online, 28.04.16) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to journalists on his official visit to the Croatian capital of Zagreb, addressed the debate sparked by Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman's opinion that secularism should not be mentioned in the new draft Constitution prepared by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He said secularism ensures the state is of equal distance to people of all beliefs.

    There is a serious effort taking place to prepare a new Constitution and he expressed his opinions," Erdogan said, noting that Kahraman, as a member of the AK Party, had sworn to uphold the party's regulations on secularism. "This means he accepts the AK Party's policies on the matter. He just cited certain examples from around the world during a scientific meeting on constitutions."

    The suggestion to introduce a presidential system to replace the current parliamentary structure has generated serious criticism, Erdogan said, but argued that critics have not proposed any alternatives to ensure a smoothly running state system.

    Erdogan also briefed the members of the press on topics such as his visit to Azerbaijan, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue and the ties with the U.S., which have been under significant strain due to U.S. President Barack Obama's administration's open support to the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD).

    Referring to the Syrian border with Turkey, Erdogan noted the significant deployment of military hardware near the Syrian border in Kilis to prevent DAESH from further hitting the town. "Next month, the U.S. will be sending HIMARS batteries, which have a maximum range of 90 kilometers. All necessary measures are taken to protect our security."

    He also repeated his opinion on the necessity of establishing a safe zone in northern Syria: "If the world wants to end the refugee flood, the necessary amount of land in the north should become safe. Once that happens, our Syrian brothers currently living in tent or container cities can move there." He said new towns could be built there so Syrians could lead comfortable and safe lives.

    He cited the Green Line in Cyprus, secured by U.N. peacekeepers, as an example of how a safe zone can be created in Syria.

    When asked about stories in the German media on Germany seeking a base near Incirlik, he said: "Such matters depend on developments. As a NATO member, such deployments benefit us. Germany or France building such a thing near Incirlik could benefit us, we should not forget," but added that such matters can only happen with Ankara's permission.

    Commenting on the ties with EU, Erdogan criticized EU officials for asking for projects to invest in rather than supporting Turkey's efforts to care for Syrians.

    When asked if he found the EU sincere when it comes to lifting visa restrictions on Turkish nationals for the bloc's Schengen zone, Erdogan said that the lifting of visa restrictions was already an obligation the EU has to implement. "We had already signed the necessary documents when I was Prime Minister, agreeing on the lifting of the visa [requirement] in October 2016. I don't understand how doing the same thing four months earlier can be promoted as a huge deal. No one had the right to act as if they are doing Turkey a great favour. I openly said this to European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Both are very good friends of mine. However, our conversation took such a turn that I was forced to take a stand. I told them: 'Support us if you want. What projects are you talking about?' We will see how much of the promised money they will release by the end of the year."

    [05] Davutoglu condemned Bursa attack; "Turkey will not step back from the fight against terrorism"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.04.16) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in Ankara on Wednesday that Turkey will not step back from its fight against terrorism despite facing attacks.

    In statements in a press conference at the airport before his departure for his official visit to Qatar, Davutoglu wished the injured in Wednesday evening's Bursa attack in north-western Turkey a speedy recovery.

    A suicide blast killed one person and injured 20 others at the entrance of a historic bazaar in Bursa.

    "We will continue to take a principled stand against terrorism and terrorists wherever and however it occurs," Davutoglu said.

    About the warnings issued by the U.S. for its citizens in Turkey, Davutoglu said that such alerts were, unfortunately, giving rise to psychological unrest.

    "Currently, there are no countries in the world, which are not vigilant against terrorism? A person visiting Paris, Brussels or Istanbul is not under less risk than a person visiting Bursa today," Davutoglu said.

    [06] Davutoglu: New Constitution to include liberal secularism

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.04.16), Turkey's new Constitution will contain the concept of liberal secularism, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Wednesday.

    Speaking at a meeting of the provincial heads of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara, Davutoglu said that the new Constitution would include the elements of liberal secularism "in a way that ensures the freedom of religion and faith".

    "In our new Constitution, we will include a sense of secularism that is not authoritarian but liberal. The AK Party is not pursuing anything else in this regard, and we don't think it is correct to make any speculations regarding this matter," he said, referring to the recent debates over Parliament Speaker Ismail Kahraman's remarks that secularism "must be removed" from the new Constitution that is currently under discussion in Turkey.

    The Prime Minister went on to say that the principle of secularism has always been a part of the AK Party's statutes, and was also included in the draft constitutions written by the party so far. "Within this framework, the new Constitution will include the principle of secularism in a way that ensures the freedom of religion and faith, and that the government keeps an equal distance from all belief groups," he said.

    Davutoglu also said that the writing process for the new Constitution had begun this week, adding that it was based on extensive consultations with academics and opinion leaders, as well as through deliberations within the party.

    [07] "Three hard tests for Davutoglu"

    In a commentary under the above title in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.04.16), columnist Murat Yetkin, supports that there are three important thresholds or tests ahead of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in the next two months which can be decisive for Turkey in closing the gap with the West.

    According to Yetkin, "the first one is the visa-free travel scheme for Turkish citizens as a part of the immigration control deal between Turkey and the European Union (EU). (?).The second one is the normalization of Turkey's relations with Israel. (?).

    The third and perhaps most difficult one would be Cyprus. All parties express optimism for a reunification agreement between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to come out of the ongoing talks under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). The pace is a bit slow now due to the elections on the Greek part of the island. So far the talks have failed numerous times, the last being in 2004 following a referendum in which the Greek side voted negatively but was taken into the EU as a member. If an agreement takes place, it would not only be a major breakthrough in peace, stability and trade in the Eastern Mediterranean (considering gas fields off Cyprus and Israel) but also might bring a boost in Turkish-EU relations. The Greek Cypriot government vetoes the opening up of five negotiation chapters with Turkey, two of them being about judicial reforms and rights and freedoms, as two areas of criticism in Turkey.

    If Davutoglu manages to pass all three tests, he is likely to empower his hand inside and outside Turkey".

    [08] Turkey and China agree to enhance relations at Asian forum

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.04.16), Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed on Wednesday to enhance bilateral relations in areas such as counter-terrorism, joint projects and tourism.

    Speaking at a meeting of an intergovernmental Asian forum in Beijing, the top diplomats stressed the need to work together against terrorism and shared ideas on how such cooperation could be increased, according to Turkish diplomatic sources.

    The sources, who remained anonymous under foreign ministry protocol, said that Cavusoglu told his counterpart of Turkey's efforts to prevent foreign terrorist fighters and human trafficking.

    Beijing is hosting the fifth regular Foreign Ministers' meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) from Wednesday to Thursday. Nearly 40 delegations from member states and observers are expected to attend the gathering.

    Wang underlined that China and Turkey are both founding members of CICA, where China assumed the chairmanship from Turkey in 2014.

    He said China was ready to collaborate in efforts to establish regional security and infrastructure to promote development in the Asian region, according to a statement posted on Beijing's foreign ministry website.

    Turkish diplomatic sources revealed that the Foreign Ministers also discussed economic cooperation and planned joint projects such as a railway across northern Turkey and a nuclear plant in the country.

    They also suggested that Turkish and Chinese contractors could work together in third countries. Cavusoglu was also set to meet his Belarusian and Ukrainian counterparts.

    [09] Russian Rosatom to sell 49% shares of Akkuyu nuclear plant due to financial problems

    Turkish daily Sabah (27.04.16) reported that the state-owned nuclear energy giant Rosatom which was affected by Russia's economic recession in recent years, decided to sell 49% of its shares in Turkey's first nuclear power plant project.

    Emphasizing that there have already been concerns regarding the financial health of the state-run company and its ability to finance projects in the wake of Russia's deep economic problems -- fuelled by low oil and gas prices and Western sanctions associated with the Ukraine crisis -- sources indicate that Rosatom's willingness to sell so many shares has nothing to do with the November 24 crisis between Turkey and Russia.

    Expressing that Rosatom's partial sale of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, Turkey's first nuclear plant project, should be considered normal, energy experts stress that the sale has importance for Turkey in terms of potential construction work on the power plant.

    The nuclear plant in the southern province of Mersin is the first of three nuclear power plants that Turkey currently plans to build to reduce its dependence on imported energy from exporters such as Russia and Iran.

    Turkey launched the construction of its first nuclear power plant in negotiations with Russia in 2010 for greater energy independence. The $20 billion project will consist of four units, each of which will be capable of generating 1,200 megawatts of electricity.

    Rosatom is constructing the Akkuyu power plant and it is expected that the facility will produce approximately 35 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year once completed. Its service life is estimated to last 60 years. Akkuyu power plant is forecast to begin operating in 2023 at the latest.

    [10] The illegal YDU university to chair an international conference in Vienna

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (28.04.16) reports that the illegal Near East University ("YDU") will chair the International Conference on Application of Fuzzy Systems and Soft Computing (ICAFS-2016) which will take place on August 29-30 in Vienna, Austria.

    According to the paper, the conference is organized within the framework of the Science Direct and Scopus program.

    More than 100 scientists from several countries such as Japan, the US, Germany, Russia, Poland, Turkey, the UK, Azerbaijan and Austria, are expected to participate to the conference.

    (AK) TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    (DPs/AM)


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