|Tuesday, 26 January 2021|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-09-26
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. 183/16 24-26.09.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 "No clear timetable came out from the tripartite summit"Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.09.16) reports that UNSG Ban Ki-moon, President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday in New York and that no clear timetable [for the Cyprus negotiations] came out from the tripartite summit which had been expected with interest.
The paper writes that in a statement after the meeting, the UNSG said that he encouraged the sides to continue the procedure in a decisive, courageous and creative manner and described the forthcoming period as having "vital importance" for Cyprus, expressing his readiness to support the sides in everything they will need, including the international aspect of the problem.
Evaluating the results of the meeting, Akinci said that the target of reaching a solution in Cyprus within this year was reaffirmed with the statement made yesterday by the UNSG. He noted that they want to launch intensified negotiations in October with the aim of minimizing the problems in the four chapters arguing that this understanding prevailed in yesterday's tripartite meeting.
Expressing the hope to be able to secure the conditions of a lasting peace which will satisfy both sides in Cyprus, Akinci argued that they want to reach a conclusion on the chapters of security and guarantees and the territory at a five-party conference to be held in the following stage.
Akinci described the tripartite meeting as "satisfactory" and claimed that it could have been more satisfactory if the Greek Cypriots did not exhibit their known stance against the timetable in the negotiations. He argued that there is anyway a timetable because the term of Ban Ki-moon in the office will be completed in the end of the year. He reiterated the view that if some technical issues remain for 2017 no serious problems will be created, but if the main issues are still open with the beginning of 2017, they will face a "situation of non-solution" which they do not wish, adding that time is limited not only for them but for the Greek Cypriots as well.
Recalling that when he was departing for New York he had stated that no miracles should be expected, Akinci said:
"No news for an agreement could come out of course from New York, while the negotiations still continue. I think that there is no reason for pessimism. There is also no reason for giving negative messages. Very comprehensive negotiations were held here today. There is an understanding on the road map, even though this is not said to the public. If this understanding does not prove itself within three months and we cannot produce a clear framework before 2017, then there will be reasons for being pessimistic".
Akinci noted that the UNSG said that he is ready to offer any support which the sides want for reaching an agreement in Cyprus and argued that Ban Ki-moon said that he will help in the international aspect of the problem, "that is the organization of a five-party conference".
Arguing that with yesterday's statement by the UNSG a "new period" started in the Cyprus problem, Akinci expressed the view that Ban Ki-moon is more enthusiastic than anyone else for reaching a solution in Cyprus and he wants to see a success during his own period at office. Alleging that if the "very precious" period by the end of the year is wasted and the problem is extended into 2017 as it is today, he worries that the solution will "remain for another spring". "And other things will be discussed in the solution which will remain for another spring", he alleged noting that everyone realizes that Ban Ki-moon's term in office will be completed in the end of the year, that a very short period of time remained for the solution and that this is a timetable. He claimed: "Since it is said that all sides have a will for a solution, we should see them to do what is required for this. We will do our part and we will expect from the Greek Cypriot side to do its own".
Akinci said that during the one and a half hour long meeting, they evaluated the negotiating process in a very comprehensive manner. He noted that both sides and the UNSG expressed their views and put forward "very clearly" the current stage of the negotiations.
Noting that their views are known and that the Greek Cypriot side also realizes their views, because "at every opportunity we explain that especially on the issue of the territory we want issues such as the names of places, the map and the percentages to be discussed only in a different format and be concluded in a series of meetings and afterwards we support passing to a five party conference and conclude the security and the guarantees". "We have anyway been explaining often how important the time element is and the dangers which leaving [the solution in 2017] could bring. We explained this once more", he added and claimed:
"We are referring to the last three months of the UNSG's term in office. His term in office is completed in the end of December. In his own statement, he anyway also underlined how important time is. In our joint statement we have asked for his further contribution in the process. He once more reaffirmed that he is ready for this and he is ready to offer any kind of contribution. He referred to this in his statement today. He gave a message as regards the international dimension of the issue. That is, he implied the five-party conference there and underlined that he will help us on this issue as well. An important point in the UNSG's statement is also that the 2016 target was reaffirmed. Therefore, with this statement of the UNSG we are beginning now the new period we have ahead us. We will return to Cyprus and in October we will enter into a process of intensified negotiations as we have thought before. The target here is to minimize the problems in the four chapters and contacting the UNSG to pass into another format afterwards".
Asked whether President Anastasiades agreed on this, Akinci replied that everyone agrees and that these issues are discussed, but there could be a problem on the issue of writing them down and announcing them to the public. He argued that this might not have been expressed in this manner in the UNSG's statement, but this is the climate which prevailed in the meeting.
Referring to the territory issue, Akinci alleged that speculative information in the Greek Cypriot press harms the climate and that it would be better if the territory, the map, the percentages and the names of places were discussed outside Cyprus and in a series of meetings. He argued that no one opposes to this.
Referring to the rotating presidency, Akinci argued that there could be no solution in Cyprus without the rotating presidency, which he described as an "important element of the political equality" for the Turkish Cypriots. He reiterated that he will not submit to referendum an agreement which will not include the rotating presidency.
 Statements by Eide to Turkish Cypriot media: The disagreements are less than 10Under the title "Eide: A new tripartite summit in the horizon", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (26.09.16) reports that Espen Barth Eide, UNSG's special adviser on Cyprus, has argued that the two leaders in Cyprus agree that the issues on which agreement has not been reached are not many. In statements made to Esra Aygin, the paper's correspondent in New York, Eide said:
"Actually the remaining issues are some political issues of strategic importance. I can say that their number has one digit. And this means that they are mostly nine. The security and guarantees and the territory are two of them [?] The one side wants more things to be said and the other less. Actually they think exactly the same thing in principle. Even though no date has been set, there is a consensus as regards the issue of a new tripartite meeting in the near future [?]".
Asked to say what happened in the tripartite meeting yesterday, Eide said that the leaders told the UNSG "using almost the same words" where they are and what should be made. He expressed the belief that another conclusion from the meeting was that the chapters of governance and power sharing, economy, the EU and the property could be settled within a short period of time, except for one issue, which is the rotating presidency.
"The UN has no timetable. There is only a goal set by the two leaders. However, we recall the people that time is of vital importance and the UNSG said this today, because we see the opportunity and we know that we will not be able to wait for the window of opportunity to remain open for very long".
Asked to comment on what went "wrong" in the tripartite meeting and the expected road map was not produced, Eide said that the sides agree on the issue of where they want to go, but they face difficulties on the issue of how to walk this road and how they will plan it. Arguing that there is a "big difference in the political culture" of the two sides, Eide alleged that even though the Greek Cypriot side knows that this issue should be completed and return there [to New York] within a few weeks, it does not want to say it in order for not giving the impression that the UN exerted pressure or there is an artificial time table. He claimed that the format and the dates are very important from the point of view of the Turkish Cypriot side's political culture. "I must help them in overcoming the problem", he said alleging that "open-ended processes can lead us nowhere."
Eide said that they have to change their methodology in the forthcoming process since the two leaders need to personally follow the political issues. Noting that the leaders should determine the policy, Eide said that other should deal with the technical details. He noted that they should now prioritize the issues according to their importance, the leaders to deal with the issues of strategic importance and others to discuss the less important issues.
Asked what is important in the new process, Eide replied that this is the leadership, as the international support and help is there and the guarantor powers want the problem to end, something which they have openly said. "Now this issue is in the hands of the Cypriots more than ever. The decisive characteristic of the following months is leadership", he argued. He further alleged that he faces difficulties to find an issue about which to say "yes, the Cyprus problem may remain unsolved because of this issue". Eide said that both leaders exert every effort they can to lift the obstacles in front of the solution in both communities. "And this is a very big burden. I see this", he added arguing that we now have a better, more advanced and more modern document than the Annan Plan.
Meanwhile, under the title "Eide: The disagreements are less than ten", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (26.09.16) publishes statements made by Eide to its correspondent in New York Rasih Resat after the tripartite meeting. Eide argued that the Cyprus problem has not come to its "last mile" and that what is needed now is for the two leaders to show leadership. He further claimed that the disagreements between the sides are less than ten, that leadership is needed to solve these issues and that the leaders are ready to solve them.
Asked to comment on the "high expectations" of the Turkish Cypriot side from the tripartite meeting and on the statements of the UNSG which were described as "not satisfactory" by the journalist, Eide said that the meeting was very useful pointing out that expecting a result [such the one reportedly expected by the Turkish Cypriot side] "would be extremely optimistic". He argued that "there is a road map the name of which is not said" and that a new intensified process will begin in October. He expressed the view that the leaders should show leadership in the first period of October and that the few issues which have not been agreed in the first four chapters will be negotiated by the leaders themselves.
Commenting on the issue of as to whether a solution could be reached within the next 90 days, Eide said that in the past solutions had been reached within shorter periods of time and to much more difficult problems. "If there is a will for a solution, a way is always found", he noted.
Referring to the existing problems, he said: "One of these problems is the property and in order for this problem to be fully overcome the chapter of the territory should also be discussed, because these two issues are completely related to each other. Therefore, it is not possible to close the property without discussing the territory".
 Akinci met with Cavusoglu in New YorkIllegal Bayrak television (24.09.16) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Evaluating his meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Akinci pointed to the fact that he is holding very important meetings while in New York and that these meetings gave him an opportunity to exchange views with the people he met with.
Explaining that the process was being carried out through dialog and consultations with Turkey, Akinci said that this has gained significance at the current stage reached during the talks. He also pointed out that Turkey would continue to hold discussions with Greece on the issue of guarantees.
"[?] We have reached the last phase of the efforts for solving the Cyprus problem. All of our efforts are aimed at bringing forward a political framework by the end of 2016 and we have always said that technical details may continue in 2017." All of the chapters becoming more defined will benefit both sides in political terms otherwise 2017 will be a year of great risks' said Akinci and added that his meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister contributed greatly to the process and was very beneficial.
 Akinci: A Cyprus settlement within 2016 is possibleTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.09.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said that there are many reasons for a solution in 2016, adding that after so much effort the last months, the Cyprus settlement may be possible within 2016. He further said that it is time to create a future in peace for the future generations, and for the Cypriots, who used to share the problems and the pain of the past, to share now the prosperity and wealth.
Speaking to the press after a 20-minute meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York, Akinci referred to the security issue, and noted that the critical point on this issue is the need of the community not to feel that it is threatened by the other side. He further said that the key word on the security issue is "empathy".
Asked to comment on how the UNSG can be involved on the negotiation process since his duty will come to an end by the end of the year, Akinci said that the General Secretary has said it openly that he will assist in any way is asked by the two sides, affirming his personal determination on this.
Commenting on the issue of Turkey's guarantees on Cyprus, Akinci reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot "people" want the continuation of Turkey's guarantees, adding that the sensitivities of both sides on this issue should be taken into consideration.
Asked whether there will be a five-party meeting, Akinci said that a roadmap is expected to turn out from the trilateral meeting. He also reiterated the potential dangers if they enter 2017 without a Cyprus settlement, by explaining that there will be a new UN General Secretary and a new U.S. administration and they will need time to be informed on the Cyprus problem.
 Cavusoglu to Havadis: "This is the last chance for the solution"Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (24.09.16) under the front-page title: "It is not a threat but the reality: This is the last chance for the solution", published an exclusive interview by Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to the paper's correspondent in New York, Esra Aygin, prior to the tripartite meeting.
According to the paper, Cavusoglu has sent important messages concerning the guarantee issue and the cost of the solution.
Describing the current negotiation process as the "last chance for the solution", Cavusoglu said that this is not a bluff or a threat but the reality. He added that they would not even like to think for other alternatives in case of a non-solution. "Let's evaluate the point we have reached until today", Cavusoglu said.
Referring to the issue of security and guarantees, Cavusoglu stated that the worries of the two communities concerning the issue of security should be satisfied. "After all, the two peoples would live together. Both sides should be satisfied in order to say yes to a referendum. The Turkish Cypriot side cannot forget the incidents experienced in the past. And I am sure that the Greek Cypriot side as well. We can reach to a result if looking the issue from a positive perspective", Cavusoglu said. Stating that Turkey and Greece are holding an unofficial dialogue towards the issue of guarantees, Cavusoglu stressed the need for finding a formula that will take into consideration the sensitivities of both communities.
Asked to reply to the question whether Turkey will finance a possible solution on the Cyprus problem and whether Turkey will write off the "TRNC's debt", Cavusoglu stated the following: "Neither Turkey, nor Greece will unilaterally cover the cost of the solution. The EU, the international community and the other countries that support the solution, we should all exert common efforts towards this. In such a case, again Turkey would contribute more. Regarding the loan and the fund to be established regarding the properties, Turkey would again contribute more. In a possible solution, great economic opportunities will come up. Implementing these opportunities would be of the benefit not only of the two sides, but also of Turkey, Greece and the whole region as well".
Regarding the occupation regime's debt, Cavusoglu stated that this matter will be solved between Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot founding state. "This issue should not become an issue of bargaining in the current negotiation process. We would settle this matter between ourselves", Cavusoglu stated, adding also, that Turkey and the "TRNC" will proceed with economic and structural reforms until a solution is found, in order to cover the gap exist between the two sides in their economy.
Replying to another question, Cavusoglu stated that nobody can impose a solution in the island. "If this happens, then the solution would not be viable. For this reason, there would not be any impositions, the solution will be found by the two sides at the negotiation table. Finally, there will be referenda. The two sides will not accept anything imposed by others. The solution to be found should be approved and accepted by the two peoples", said Cavusoglu.
Asked to reply to the question "what will happen if a solution is not found within 2016, Cavusoglu stated that the Cyprus problem has been prolonged and will not be discussed open-ended. He stated that he does not want to say what will happen in case of a deadlock".
 Havadis paper reports that it is time for leadership on the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.09.16), on its front page under the title "Now is the time for leadership", reports that Esra Aygin, paper's correspondent to New York, wrote that according to EU and UN sources, issues that need time and technical work for the Cyprus talks had fallen behind and after this, political will, courage and leadership is needed. The same sources stressed that the international community expects leadership from Akinci and Anastasiades.
According to diplomatic sources, no one will force them for a multi-party meeting, if the sides are not ready for this. However, international actors share the view that the completion of this issue would be considered a historical mission after so much distance has been covered. Evaluating the current stage as a "historical opportunity for solution", the diplomatic sources argued that none of the issues, which have not been agreed yet, can be a reason for not reaching to a solution.
 Ertugruloglu held contacts in New YorkIllegal Bayrak television (24.09.16) broadcast that self-styled foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu has been holding contacts while in New York.
He met with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadiyarov and informed him regarding the latest phase reached at the Cyprus talks. Both came to an agreement to take steps that will further develop the already existing relations between the two "countries".
Meanwhile Ertugruloglu also met with the UN Secretary General's Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous. During the meeting the duty of the Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus was taken up and the Turkish Cypriot side's stance was also discussed.
 Denktas on the negotiation processTurkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (26.09.16) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and "deputy prime minister", Serdar Denktas, in statements during a ceremony for the 24th anniversary from the establishment of his party, referred, inter alia, to the Cyprus negotiation process and stated that he does not trust at all the Greek Cypriot side.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot's mentality has not changed at all, Denktas alleged that the Greek Cypriot side's aim is to disconnect them from Turkey, to lift totally the guarantee system and to Hellenize the island of Cyprus.
Denktas further alleged that the only way for the federation to be established and be viable is the agreement to be achieved to be signed between the "TRNC" and the Republic of Cyprus. He claimed that otherwise, it will not be a federation based on the equality, but it would mean that the Turkish Cypriots would accept minority rights and to be a part of the Republic of Cyprus.
Denktas reiterated further that the "existence of the TRNC" is the only security for the Turkish Cypriot "people".
 Turkish commentaries on Turkey's benefits if there is a solution on the Cyprus problemTwo Turkish columnists evaluate the recent developments on the Cyprus talks and called on Turkey to focus on the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Under the title: "If you have some sense, focus on Cyprus'", Asli Aydintasbas writes the following on Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (23.09.16):
"[?] There are only two formulae for Turkey to come out of the vicious circle the country's foreign policy is in, and the low level dispute it is engaged in with its Western allies. [?] The first one is the peace process in the Kurdish question (regrettably Ankara is currently not open to this idea) and the second one is a settlement in Cyprus.
For the first time in a decade, the settlement in Cyprus is once again on the agenda. It is within reach. If Ankara is to focus on this a little bit, it is not difficult to make it happen.
Let me first explain how this issue will make life easy for Turkey. If there is a settlement, Turkish Cypriots will join the European Union right away, Turkish will officially become an EU language, Turkey's EU process will come off the fridge, and the closed EU chapters will open easily. I am not imagining things. I am talking about a gigantic, in fact, a tectonic improvement in foreign policy. The majority of the chapters cannot be either opened or concluded because of the Cyprus blockage. This situation will inevitably change. The resumption of the EU process will automatically improve the quality of the democracy a notch and help us to take a breather.
There is more to it; in line with the newly initiated normalization process with Israel, Turkey will be able to create new resources for itself out from the petrol and natural gas fields off Cyprus. It will feel comfortable in terms of energy and its dependence on Russia will be reduced.
All this is not a dream. As I said, it is within reach. Nevertheless, Ankara has to focus on the issue a bit, pursue it and hold the hand of KKTC leader Mustafa Akinci, who is making an effort of his own accord. (I am merely saying, ''hold his hand'' without suffocating him.)
I am not sure whether Ankara is capable of doing this. These days FETO [Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization] is the only topic on the agenda! Ankara hears very little other than its own echo. The entire bureaucracy from the Foreign Ministry to the Finance Ministry is dedicated to this issue. Since 15 July, there is not even any strategic focus let alone any strategic depth. In its place, there is a Turkish style MGK [National Security Council] mindset and an obsession with FETO. What is needed is a courageous and solid approach similar to the one put forward during the Annan plan period. The fundamental principle of this approach has to be about reaching out to Europe once again via the KKTC and totally focusing on the negotiation process in a way that shatters cliche views. If this happens, there will be another referendum on the island in early 2017. As far as Turkey is concerned, the issue should not be about having three or five thousand more or less troops on the island but about the big picture, which is to rebuild the strategic bond with the West via Cyprus.
Under the title: "'Cyprus Settlement, Turkey'", Mensur Akgun writes the following in Karar Online magazine (21.09.16)
" Given the news reports from both sides of the island [?] it appears that a settlement is possible and an agreement has been reached on a large number of issues. However, there are still reservations around land, property, and guarantees. We hope that the negotiations in New York will help advance the process and progress is made toward the settlement of the dispute.
* * *
However, we have to acknowledge that these sort of problems, which are an accumulation of years, are always difficult to resolve. Prejudice, vested interests, security concerns, and naturally, interference from outside make efforts for a settlement more complicated. [?]
It is true that Turkey previously, most manifestly in 2003, backed a settlement. It did everything it could for the implementation of the Annan plan. However, between 2003 and 2106 a lot has happened and the circumstances under which politics could create a settlement have changed. Turkey's EU membership is no longer on the agenda, partially because of its own stance as well as those of some of the main EU member states, and also because of the reasons stemming from EU's own crisis.
Settlement of the Cyprus dispute will remove the technical obstacles facing Turkey's accession negotiations, but the political obstacles will regrettably remain. That is why the EU lost its position as a power that can encourage Turkey and Turkish Cypriots to reach a settlement. Turkey backs the settlement process mainly because Turkish Cypriots want such a settlement and it avoids paying the price of deadlock, adding more problems to its current ones. Turkey's expectation to benefit from the hydrocarbon reserves in the Mediterranean obviously plays a role in the country's ongoing support for a settlement.
However, Turkey's support should not be taken for granted. If the UN or all third parties likely to get involved in a solution and of course, the Greek Cypriot leadership really want a solution, they have to take into account Turkey's expectations, which also include the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. We should not forget that Turkey has been part of this equation from the very outset. Aside from the period of the Ottoman Empire, it has been involved in this problem since the 1950s.
As it is the case in almost any settlement of a problem, it is imperative to find a settlement that will satisfy all the sides in Cyprus at an optimum level. For its part, Turkey, too, needs to achieve an outcome from the settlement that will, in its perception, safeguard, consolidate, and bolster its interests at least in one arena. Given that the EU membership promised in 1999 is not on the agenda any more, the concrete benefit a settlement will offer Turkey should be made clear.
This should not be misunderstood; this does not mean in any way that talks should be held with Turkey instead of the Turkish Cypriots. Parameters for the settlement of the problem will be agreed upon by the direct sides, and first and foremost, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots will come to an agreement. There is already a widespread agreement on the settlement parameters negotiated over the years. Nevertheless, it should also be not ignored that Turkey needs to benefit from such a historic negotiation."
 Most effective counter-Daesh fight waged by Turkey, Erdogan saysTurkish daily Sabah (26.09.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to journalists on the Presidential plane on his way back to Turkey from New York where he attended the annual opening of the U.N. General Assembly, said the most effective fight against Daesh was waged by Turkey contrary to the concerted disinformation campaign.
The Syrian crisis remained the top priority of world leaders, argued Erdogan, adding that he himself had explained the current state of affairs in the country to all those who asked. "I had a phone conversation with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin yesterday [Thursday]. We talked about the airstrike on the aid convoy going to Aleppo. Evidence points toward the Assad regime being responsible for the attack."
He strenuously objected to identifying Daesh as an "Islamic State." "Such a terrorist group cannot be linked with Islam in any way. Abbreviations such as ISIL or ISIS contain the words 'Islamic State.' This is unacceptable. That's why we call them Daesh."
Erdogan said no matter where the leader of the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) fled, Turkey will be pursuing him. He also said their efforts to inform all countries of the danger posed by FETO was continuing determinedly.
Among the heads of state and government with whom Erdogan held one-on-one meetings during his visit to New York were the Emir of Qatar, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, the Presidents of Ukraine and Slovenia and the Prime Ministers of the U.K., Pakistan, Greece and Japan. He also met with the representatives of various Turkish nongovernmental organizations, American Muslim and Jewish groups, and a delegation of American businessmen led by Michael Bloomberg.
 Turkish officials criticize Moody's cutting Turkey's credit rating to 'junk' levelTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.09.16) reports that senior Turkish officials have criticized the cutting to Turkey's sovereign credit rating by ratings agency Moody's, claiming that the move is "biased" and does not reflect the realities of Turkey's macro indicators.
Moody's cut Turkey's long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings by one notch to the speculative or "junk" level of Ba1 with a "stable" outlook late on Sept. 23, citing risks related to the country's sizeable funding requirements and a slowing in its GDP growth and institutional strength.
The Moody's cut came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized ratings agencies in an interview with Bloomberg in New York.
"I don't care at all [if they downgrade]," Erdogan said, accusing them of making decisions based on politics rather than economic fundamentals.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the action showed Moody's was "not impartial" and not basing its ratings solely on economic factors.
"We don't believe these assessments are impartial. We believe they are attempting to create a certain perception of the Turkish economy," Yildirim told reporters on Sept. 24.
Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said Moody's had "turned a blind eye" to recent reforms and steps Ankara has taken to boost growth and savings.
One of his first responses to Moody's downgrading came from Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek. "The best reaction to rating agencies is to accelerate structural reforms further and to maintain our fiscal discipline," Simsek tweeted, adding that the economic fundamentals of Turkey are robust and resistant to shocks.
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci also criticized the move, saying the decision "does not reflect the realities" of the Turkish economy.
Moody's, which had previously delayed its decision, cited the increase in the risks related to the country's sizeable external funding requirements and the weakening in previously supportive credit fundamentals, particularly growth and institutional strength, as reasons for the downgrading.
The agency said it expects the deterioration in Turkey's credit rating to continue over the next two to three years.
 British FM Johnson pleased to hold talks with Syrian opposition, Turkey a vital partner to the UKTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (26.09.16) reports that British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Ankara on Sunday for a two-day visit to show solidarity with Turkey after the failed July 15 coup attempt against the Turkish government perpetrated by the members of Gulenist terror cult.
During his visit, he will hold talks with Turkish officials, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the Syrian opposition. In a tweet, he said that Turkey is a "vital partner" to the United Kingdom. Johnson also emphasized that he was "pleased" to visit Turkey for the first time as Foreign Secretary.
Johnson, accompanied by a delegation from the U.K., will be staying in Turkey from Sept. 25-27.
The Secretary, who himself has Turkish heritage, is scheduled to visit the parliament in a trip intended to demonstrate Britain's solidarity with Turkey following a failed coup in mid-July which was perpetrated by a small Gulenist junta embedded in the Turkish military.
Johnson will also be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and EU Minister Omer Celik.
 Stability in Turkey is in the interest of Europe and Hungary, Hungarian Ambassador to Ankara saysTurkish daily Sabah (25.09.16) publishes an interview by Hungary's Ambassador to Ankara Gabor Kiss who stated that his country has done a lot to protect the EU's external borders and that Hungary cannot be punished for protecting the EU's values. He added that Hungary will take the necessary measures to guarantee its own security as well as that of Turkey
The Hungarian refugee policy has been criticized by Turkey and several EU countries since Europe began struggling to cope with the refugee crisis last year. However, the tone of criticism rose to another level when Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn suggested the suspension or even expulsion of Hungary from the EU last week. Refraining to comment on this statement, Ambassador Kiss said in his exclusive interview to Daily Sabah that these kinds of ideas reflect a very isolated opinion and that many of these messages are actually intended for internal consumption. Underlining that Hungary has no intention to leave the EU whatsoever, Ambassador Kiss said that Hungary, has done a lot to protect the EU's external borders and his country cannot be punished for protecting the EU's borders and values.
Regarding the July 15 failed coup attempt, Ambassador Kiss stressed that Hungary has condemned the coup attempt since the very first moment.
 Turkey's top business group lobbies in Germany to restore confidenceAnkara Anatolia news agency (24.09.16) reported that Turkey's largest business group sought to assure German businesspeople on the political and economic stability in the country following the failed July 15 coup attempt.
Cansen Basaran-Symes, chairwoman of the influential Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD), said the defeated coup attempt led to confusion among German business partners, but their exchanges in Berlin offered a better picture of the situation.
"We are closely following the German media coverage and the negative atmosphere regarding Turkey since the July 15 coup attempt. Our aim with this visit has been to correct the wrong perceptions, by clearly telling what has really happened in Turkey. We have had very fruitful meetings," she told a press conference.
The Turkish businesswoman also stressed the importance of reviving Turkey's stalled EU membership talks, to facilitate positive developments in the country.
"We believe that Turkey's EU process has become more important than any time before. During our meetings in Germany we have underlined the need for creating a positive agenda between the EU and Turkey again," she said.
Basaran-Symes called on Germany to use its influence for reviving EU-Turkey ties, by opening chapters 23 and 24 in Turkey's EU membership talks, which cover the reforms in the fields of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights.
 AK Party deputy chairman: More than 500 party members identified as suspected FETO affiliatesTurkish daily Sabah (25.09.16) reports that Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy chairman in charge of organizations Mustafa Atas stated that the party has been conducting a comprehensive investigation against those members who may be affiliated with the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO), further noting that 519 party members along with 100 provincial and district heads with links to FETO have been identified.
According to information received by Al Jazeera Turk, the AK Party administration has been following three criteria throughout the investigations against its provincial, district and municipality organization members since the beginning of August. While the three criteria have been indicated as "Strong Suspicion, Suspicious and Weak Suspicion," AK Party's Atas said, "We are conducting our investigations carefully as we do not want to make any unfair judgment." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION