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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-11-07

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. 213/16 05-07.11.2016

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci spoke to AA prior his departure for Switzerland; "A formula that will be of the benefit of both sides is possible to be found"
  • [02] Akinci commented on talks in Switzerland; warns against failure
  • [03] Akinci briefed political parties
  • [04] Erdogan and Akinci discussed Cyprus reunification ahead of Mont Pelerin talks
  • [05] "Barbaros" will conduct seismic research off the coast of Cyprus in the upcoming period
  • [06] Ertugruloglu: "Annexation with Turkey is an alternative as well"
  • [07] Siber: "We should be protected with the EU derogation for a fair and viable solution"
  • [08] Denktas said that he will reject any "imposed solution"
  • [09] Talat: "If I was in Geneva I would discuss maps"
  • [10] Eroglu reiterated that he will not vote any agreement that does not include Turkey's guarantees
  • [11] The "immovable property commission" paid 2,121,000 sterling in exchange of a Greek Cypriot land in occupied Vasilia
  • [12] " GAU" participated in a business forum in "Gagauzia"
  • [13] The "TRNC" will participate in the World Travel Market in London
  • [14] Erdogan: I don't care if they call me a dictator
  • [15] EU officials' comments on HDP based on distorted info, PM Yildirim tells Schulz
  • [16] Turkish EU Minister Celik calls EU envoys for meeting after arrests criticism
  • [17] Turkey's HDP decides to halt parliamentary works after arrest of Deputies
  • [18] Standard & Poor's upgrades Turkey's outlook to 'stable'

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci spoke to AA prior his departure for Switzerland; "A formula that will be of the benefit of both sides is possible to be found"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.11.16) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in an exclusive interview to Ankara Anatolia' correspondent in the occupied area of Cyprus prior to his departure for Switzerland, stated that the reason of working is to reach a solution on the Cyprus problem and argued that a formula that will be of the benefit of all sides is possible to be found on the Cyprus problem.

    Evaluating the Cyprus negotiation process and the summit meetings that will take place in Mont Pelerin, Akinci stated the following: "The framework of the five-day summit that will be launched today in Switzerland is clear. First, we will discuss the four chapters. In the first stage, we will exert efforts to achieve more progress on the five chapters that are under discussion during the last 17 months that are: the Governance and Power Sharing, the EU, the property and the Economy. Then, we will proceed to the second stage. At the second stage, we will negotiate and try to reach to an agreement on the criteria related with the territory regulation adjustments. If we reached to an agreement on the criteria, it is possible to move forward to the third and the last phase in Switzerland", stated Akinci.

    Referring to the third stage of the summit in Switzerland, Akinci stated the following: "In order to be able to launch discussion at the third stage of the summit of the territory issue and discuss maps in a concise manner, it is necessary to reach to an agreement and make clear and definite the date of the five-party meeting into which Turkey, Greece and the UK will also participate and also discuss and complete the chapter of security and guarantees. After determining the date of the five-party meeting, we can simultaneously launch discussing in a concise manner towards maps the territory issue", Akinci further said.

    He continued and warned that it is out of question to bring to the agenda maps if a date of a five-party meeting is not determined and even if they even reached to an agreement on the criteria on the territory issue.

    Referring to the agreement they had reached with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades in the presence of the UN's Secretary General during the three-party summit in New York on September 25 that "all chapters are bounded to each other for a comprehensive solution", Akinci claimed that President Anastasiades has unilaterally violated the agreement. "[] The Greek Cypriot side tries to separate the territory issue with the issue of security and guarantees. All chapters are bounded to each other for a comprehensive solution. Like it or not all chapters are connected to each other", Akinci further said.

    Referring to the authorities to be given to the federal government to be in a possible solution, Akinci stated that they have almost reached to an agreement on this and explained that that it has been provided in a great extent and with different regulations that the Turkish Cypriots approval on the decision making in the federal level will be necessary.

    Akinci went on and added that according to the figures provided by the so-called ministry of interior, the "citizens" of "northern Cyprus" are 220 thousand. "All citizens of the TRNC, either living abroad or in Cyprus, would become both citizens of the EU and the federal state to be from the first day of the solution and without any discrimination of their origin", Akinci also said.

    Evaluating the issue of the rotating presidency, Akinci said: "On the rotating presidency, the Turkish Cypriots should by all means be one of the two elements of the political equality. There is not a clear agreement on this issue yet, but, if a solution is reached, this issue should definitely be a part of the solution. If this is not accepted, then the Turkish Cypriots will not approve a possible solution plan. Our position on this issue is obvious and clear".

    Speaking on the possibility of not reaching to a solution on the Cyprus problem, Akinci pointed out that they will not move forward with the current structure in the next 50 years and added that 2016 is in fact a natural timetable for the negotiations.

    ()

    (AK)

    [02] Akinci commented on talks in Switzerland; warns against failure

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.11.16) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci gave a press conference on the Cyprus solution process and the talks in Switzerland.

    Akinci asserted that he will head a 16-member delegation to Switzerland via Turkey on Saturday and noted that he will hold talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his stopover in Istanbul. Stressing that talks are held on the establishment of a bizonal and bicommunal federation based on political equality as called for by the joint declaration on 11 February 2014, he noted: "The structure will be equally made up of Turkish and Greek Cypriots. It will be established that the founding states will use the residual powers that will remain outside the constitution. The residual powers will be completely and irrevocably used by the founding states without interference by the federal government. There will be two founding states. They will function in accordance with their residual powers."

    Asserting that an agreement has been mostly reached on the approval of the decisions that will be made at federal level by the Turkish Cypriot side, he said: Another factor is the decision that has been made for the adoption of the presidential system.

    Akinci stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side calls for the approval of decisions by the president and the vice president. He noted: "However, the Greek Cypriots hesitate on the matter. We find it difficult to understand why the president and the vice president should not have a say in the decisions that are made in the meetings they attend."

    Describing the rotating presidential system as one of the two basic principles of the Turkish Cypriot people's equality, he said: "A clear agreement does not yet exist on that. But the matter will be included in an agreement for the solution of the problem that is, if there will be one. I clearly know that the Turkish Cypriots will reject an agreement if the Greek Cypriots do not accept the rotating presidential system."

    Akinci also described the principle of equality as an essential factor and noted that there will be equality in the federal judiciary and public administration will be based on the agreed 67 - 33 percent ratio. Asserting that the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] citizens will become the citizens of the United Cyprus on the first day of the solution of the problem, he stressed that the founding states will have the right to make international agreements.

    Touching on the problem of ownership, he said that he believes that solving the problem to a great extent through compensation is possible and noted: "A single formula does not exist for that purpose. However, the problem will mostly be solved through compensation."

    Responding to a question as to whether his objective and views comply with Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastassiadis's views and objectives, Akinci asserted: "I believe that Nikos Anastassiadis acts with good will. I want to believe that he wants a solution to be found. I wish to say something again. He might be upset. But it is not my intension to upset him. The presidential candidates of the two largest political parties need the votes of the political parties that are opposed to the establishment of a bizonal and bicommunal federation to be elected. That is like a brain, half of which concentrates on the solution of the problem and the other half thinks about the elections."

    Akinci said that they will go to Switzerland to achieve their objective of solving the Cyprus problem in 2016 and warned that there will be nothing to discuss after 10 years if they fail. He wonders what will be left to talk about if the starting point is no troops and no guarantees and said: "The security of one side must not pose a threat to the other."

    Asked whether bizonality and the principle of explicit majority in the founding states might be watered down, he said that the settlements are full of people in the north and that the [Greek Cypriot] understanding that the grandsons of the displaced people who passed away must have the right to return is wrong. He asserted: "We have limited the right of legal residence though a mutual agreement."

    Responding to a question on the criteria related to the land problem and whether talks will be held on a map if the date of the five-party conference is established, Akinci recalled the Greek Cypriot side's objection to his proposal that the talks should be held for three or four days on the land problem and then on security and guarantees and said that the Greek Cypriots insist on separating the land problem from the other issues. He asserts, "Whether we like it or not, all the problems are linked together."

    Asked to comment on the cost of the solution to be found and whether or not he might resign if the process fails to yield a result, Akinci stressed that he would be acting in an irresponsible way toward his "people" if he resigns and said: Losing the historic opportunity that exists at this time will be a great pity. The young generations on the island want to get rid of the problem which makes their future unclear. We want to create a good future for the young generations. On the financial cost of the solution, he stressed that the reports on an estimated 24 billion euros might be misleading.

    Regarding a question as to whether Ankara might make a financial contribution to the solution of the problem, Akinci stressed that Turkey will do so if all the sides concerned fulfill their responsibilities.

    Asked whether the two leaders would call for a yes vote in the referendum if all the obstacles against the solution of the problem are removed, Akinci noted: I believe our Greek Cypriot friends will not avoid that. If we achieve a result, that is, if we find a model for the solution of the problem one which I will be able to propose to my people -- then I and the Greek Cypriot leader will not hesitate to ask for a yes vote.

    Akinci also responded to a question on the status of the those who were given "citizenship" after the two leaders' decision on the population ratio by recalling his statement that no one will be put on ships and sent back to Turkey and noted: "Those who have work permits will continue to work. Their permits will be extended. We might need an additional workforce if the economy improves after the solution of the problem. We will be able to meet our need for workers from Turkey. "Nikos Anastassiadis and I agreed that the demographic structure must not be disrupted through citizenships. The Turkish Cypriot population will increase in a natural way. So will the Greek Cypriot population. I believe that the demographic structure of Cyprus must not be disrupted through artificial means."

    Akinci further stressed that the failure of the talks in Switzerland will end the hope for the solution of the problem in 2016 and said: "I believe that the current process is most probably the last effort by my generation to find a federal solution. We held talks 57 times in 17 months. We met with the interlocutors 129 times. Mentioning the number of times we consulted with the technical committees is unnecessary. So, let us not waste all the effort and work that has been done thus far. Let us not waste the important progress we achieved".

    [03] Akinci briefed political parties

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.11.16) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met with leaders and representatives of political parties with "seats in parliament". The upcoming talks in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland were the agenda of the meeting.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, National Unity Party (UBP) "deputy" Izlem Gurcag who attended the meeting on behalf of UBP leader and "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun said: "Our main concern and sensitivity which Akinci has been made well aware of is security" she said, adding that "the issue of security and Turkey's unilateral right to intervene was the principle upheld by her party".

    The leader of the Democrat Party-Deputy, "deputy prime minister and minister of finance Serdar Denktas" refrained from commenting too much, stating that they will get a clearer picture after Mont Pelerin. He added that his party's concerns still remained.

    The leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat said that they had found the opportunity to convey their views to Akinci regarding talks to be held in Switzerland. Stating that the timing of the talks in Mont Pelerin was right, Talat said: "My expectation is that everything will go on as expected. It seems our side has an approach as if they will not be discussing maps in Switzerland. What is important is that the decision to hold a multilateral conference which will put maps on the table emerges from the summit. That would be the greatest success."

    The leader of the Social Democratic Party Cemal Ozyigit said that there was a need to support the two leaders more which was what they as the TDP were trying to do.

    [04] Erdogan and Akinci discussed Cyprus reunification ahead of Mont Pelerin talks

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (06.011.16) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met in Istanbul on Saturday evening to discuss the latest developments in reunification talks for Cyprus ahead of the much-awaited Mont Pelerin talks in Switzerland.

    According to the President's office, in their meeting held at the Trabya Mansion, Erdogan and Akinci reiterated that they were determined to reach a peaceful solution on the Cyprus issue which will be discussed in talks in the Swiss resort of Mont Pelerin.

    Underlining that these talks marked the beginning of a sensitive process for both sides, Erdogan and Akinci both agreed that the dual structure of the society in the island should be under legal guarantee.

    Erdogan also wished Akinci the best of luck in the upcoming talks in Switzerland, the office added.

    [05] "Barbaros" will conduct seismic research off the coast of Cyprus in the upcoming period

    Under the title "Barbaros is returning", Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (05.11.16) reported that Besim Sisman, the General Director of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TP), in a statement to Ankara Anatolia news agency, said that the "Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa" vessel will conduct important seismic research off the coast of Cyprus in the upcoming period. He added that upon the completion of explorations, the company could drill off the coast of Cyprus.

    Sisman further said: "However, because such investments are expensive, we are waiting for the oil prices to be corrected before we proceed with such a procedure".

    (DPs)

    [06] Ertugrologlu: "Annexation with Turkey is an alternative as well"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (07.11.16) publishes an interview with the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Tahsin Ertugruloglu who stated that he does not believe that the Switzerland Cyprus summit between the two Cypriot leaders will have a positive outcome.

    Ertugruloglu alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side has other alternatives in case a solution is not reached and claimed that annexation with Turkey or the Taiwan and Kosovo models are some of these alternatives.

    He further argued that he does not believe that there will be a document by the end of this year as regards the solution, despite Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci having a different opinion. "I believe that the Greek Cypriot side wants to say neither yes nor no. From their point of view the most reasonable development would be not to go on referendum", Ertugruloglu claimed.

    He went on and alleged that in the future the security and the foreign policy of the Turkish Cypriot community will be depended on Turkey and only in internal issues and community issues will the Turkish Cypriot side have autonomy, like the Taiwan and Kosovo models. "Annexation with Turkey is an alternative as well", he also claimed.

    (CS)

    [07] Siber: "We should be protected with the EU derogation for a fair and viable solution"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (07.11.16) under the front-page title: "We should be protected by derogations for a fair and viable solution", reports that the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Sibel Siber, evaluating to the paper the two leaders' summit in Switzerland, wished Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci good luck to the process and stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriots to insist on the EU derogations, otherwise, as she alleged, the "viability of the solution would be under a risk".

    Reiterating the strong willingness of the Turkish Cypriots for the solution, Siber stated that she supports the "continuation of Turkey's active and effective guarantees" in Cyprus.

    Siber said also the following: "An international formula envisaging that NATO or the EU would be a guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots cannot be submitted. We hope that after reaching to a solution the two communities will be able to live in peace. But we need time for this. [] It is different to speak about signing a solution and different to speak about signing peace. We should see the realities. And in this sense, Turkey guarantees are disincentive", Siber claimed.

    ()

    (AK)

    [08] Denktas said that he will reject any "imposed solution"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.11.16) reported that the self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of finance Serdar Denktas evaluated the Cyprus summit that is taking place between the two leaders in Switzerland and argued that it is dangerous to act with the reason that a solution must be reached no matter what.

    Denktas, who was speaking during a meeting of the Democratic Party in occupied Famagusta, stated that if there is a positive outcome of the summit, then the next step is for the leaders to discuss the issue of guarantees. According to claims by Denktas the Greek Cypriots will be focused on making the position of the Turkish side weaker on the issue of guarantees and on the issue of the withdrawing of the Turkish army. He also stated that if an agreement is reached based on these elements, he will reject it.

    (CS)

    [09] Talat: "If I was in Geneva I would discuss maps"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (07.11.16) under the title: "Maps should be discussed", reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in an exclusive interview to the paper, evaluating the two leaders' summit in Switzerland, argued that the territory issue is bounded with the issue of security.

    Evaluating to the paper the Cyprus negotiation process and the summit to be launched today in Geneva, Talat said: "If I was there I would discuss maps but I would make a good preparatory work for this first. Today it is said that no maps would be discussed and this means that no good preparation was made. I would discuss maps but firstly I would say that 'let's set a date for a five-party meeting. Our side has connected the determination of a date for a five-party meeting with the discussion of maps. But as soon as a date is determined, they would need time for the maps. And I think that time runs fast", said Talat.

    Talat warned also that if two "yes" do not come out from two possible referenda, the solution will get difficult since time runs.

    ()

    (AK)

    [10] Eroglu reiterated that he will not vote any agreement that does not include Turkey's guarantees

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (06.10.16) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said that he will not say "yes" to an agreement, which does not include the continuation of Turkey's guarantees.

    In an interview to the journalist Mert Ozdes, Eroglu, stressing the importance of the issue of guarantees and territory, said: "The issue of guarantees is Turkey's decision, however, I am thinking that Turkey may abandon from its active and effective guarantees in return of a permanent [military] base. I cannot say 'yes' in such guarantee system". He further argued that evaluating the situation in the Middle East, he does not expect that Turkey will approve any change of the current guarantee system.

    Commenting on the Cyprus talks in Mont Pelerin, Eroglu argued that it is wrong according to him, the map and figures to be discussed without becoming first clear the date of the five-party meeting, because Anastasiades' hand will be strengthened then. He added that for this reason, he does not think that there will be a positive outcome from the meeting.

    (DPs)

    [11] The "immovable property commission" paid 2,121,000 sterling in exchange of a Greek Cypriot land in occupied Vasilia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.11.16), under the title "Balina is finally a Turkish property", reports that the 66 years-old Greek Cypriot Christopher Stylianou, legal owner of 80 donums land (approximately to 20 acres) in the occupied village of Vasilia, came to an agreement with the "immovable property commission" for 2 million 121 thousands sterling in exchange for his 60 donums (approximately to 15 acres) of land.

    Murat Metin Hakki, the Turkish Cypriot lawyer of Stylianou, said that the 60 donum plot in the occupied village of Vasilia includes the "military recreation facilities" of the Turkish occupation forces on the beach, adding that from this moment the "military facilities" are a Turkish property. Hakki added that it has not been yet a decision for the rest 20 donums ((approximately to 5 acres).

    (DPs)

    [12] " GAU" participated in a business forum in "Gagauzia"

    Turkish Cypriot daily reports that Serhat Akpinar, "chancellor of board of administrators" of the illegal Keryneia American University ("GAU"), participated in the 2nd business forum in "Gagauzia". The forum was hosted by Irene Vlah the "governor of Gagauzia" and supported by Octavian Calmic Prime Minister of Moldova.

    Tugrul Turkes, deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus affairs also participated in the forum.

    (DPs)

    [13] The "TRNC" will participate in the World Travel Market in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (05.11.16) reported that the "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) will be represented at the World Travel Market in London between 7 and 9 of November.

    In a press release by the "tourism and environment ministry", the self-styled minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu will also attend the fair.

    (DPs)

    [14] Erdogan: I don't care if they call me a dictator

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.11.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has defied EU criticism over the arrests of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers and journalists, saying that Turkey is "no longer subject to orders."

    "I don't care if they call me a dictator or whatever else. It goes in one ear, out of the other," Erdogan said on Nov. 6 in Istanbul during a ceremony to receive an honorary doctorate.

    "What matters is what my people call me," he added.

    The West should not hope to "bring Turkey into line" with such pressures as "newspapers, caricatures, calling us a dictator, and so on, expecting that we would take a step back. They should not expect this. We know these [tactics] very well," Erdogan said.

    After "incidents experienced over the past three years," Turkey has changed its point of view of events and has drawn a new path for itself, he said, adding that Ankara's "criteria is now to do whatever it takes for the future of our country and nation."

    Erdogan added that the West will "eventually understand that I have come to serve my people, not dominate over them."

    His latest angry remarks came after EU officials and governments criticized Ankara after nine lawmakers of the HDP, including its co-leaders, were arrested on Nov. 4 on charges of terrorism. The arrest of nine Cumhuriyet journalists on Nov. 5 added to the criticism.

    However, the Turkish President said those arrested were involved in "terrorist activities," and complained that the EU did not give enough support in Turkey's fight against terrorism.

    "When did the Western world have a good dream about Turkey, ever? It never did. What can Turkey, which has been kept waiting at the door of the European Union for 53 years, expect from the West? Let's not fool ourselves. We will take matters into our own hands," he said.

    Erdogan also accused Europe of "aiding terrorism" by supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    "Europe, as a whole, is aiding terrorism. Even though it has declared the PKK a terrorist organization, this is clear ... We see how the PKK can act so freely and comfortably in Europe," he said, noting that he has "handed over 4,000 [National Intelligence Organization] MIT files to the German Chancellor on suspected terrorists."

    "In a meeting we held in Istanbul about six months ago, I asked her if she remembered the 4,000 files. She said she did. I asked her what happened to those files. She said there were now 4,500. I asked her what will happen now. Late justice is not justice at all, and I told her that they were delaying justice," Erdogan said.

    [15] EU officials' comments on HDP based on distorted info, PM Yildirim tells Schulz

    Turkish Daily Sabah (05.11.16) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz on Saturday that comments from some European officials, regarding the detention of pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Deputies are based on distorted and missing information, as well as baseless prejudice, as he informed him about the details of the current situation in Turkey, saying that the procedures are carried out independently by the judiciary and are based on the rule of law.

    Yildirim spoke to Schulz in a phone conversation and highlighted that Turkey is fighting a number of terrorist groups including the PKK and Gulenist terror cult (FETO), prime ministry sources said.

    According to the sources, Yildirim expressed that Turkey is disturbed by the support of some European political circles to terrorist organizations and distortion of facts about what is going on in Turkey.

    He noted that the recent PKK attack in Diyarbakir, which took place shortly after the detention of pro-PKK HDP Deputies for failing to testify in a terror probe, demonstrates this example and highlighted that politicians cannot be exempt from the law if they openly support terrorism.

    In this regard, he noted that everybody should respect the decisions taken by independent courts in Turkey.

    HDP politicians have long been accused of openly voicing their support for the PKK terror group as well as glorifying suicide bombers, inciting violence, hatred and providing assistance to terrorists.

    Meanwhile, Schulz and Yildirim agreed on strengthening the dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and Europe.

    [16] Turkish EU Minister Celik calls EU envoys for meeting after arrests criticism

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.11.16) reported that Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik has invited envoys of European Union member countries in Ankara for a meeting, following strong European criticism of the arrest of pro-Kurdish lawmakers.

    The Minister will address Ambassadors regarding the "latest developments" in Turkey, a written statement said on Nov. 6.

    EU Commission and member states have reacted angrily to the jailing of nine Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers, including co-chairs Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, with EU officials and politicians of member states making a series of phone conversations with their Turkish interlocutors over the arrests.

    European Parliament President Martin Schulz made a phone conversation with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, while Celik had phone conversations with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and met with the Ambassador of Slovakia, which is currently holding the term presidency of the EU.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu spoke to his Estonian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian counterparts, along with Council of Europe General Secretary Thorbjorn Jagland, about the arrests.

    Sources in Ankara say Cavusoglu and Celik told EU officials that "all citizens are equal under the law and nobody is above the law," while also expressing Turkey's discomfort with the PKK and its affiliates "getting support in European countries."

    EU Mogherini and EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn had said in a joint statement the EU was "gravely concerned," adding that the HDP co-chairs were "our trusted and valued interlocutors."

    "These developments ... compromise parliamentary democracy in Turkey," they said.

    Compounding the tensions, an Istanbul court on Saturday ordered the jailing pending trial of nine executives and editorial staff from the opposition daily Cumhuriyet.

    [17] Turkey's HDP decides to halt parliamentary works after arrest of Deputies

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.11.16) reports that the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has decided to halt all its parliamentary works following the arrest of nine of its lawmakers, including co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag.

    "We have decided to halt our works in the legislature," HDP spokesperson Ayhan Bilgen said on Nov. 6.

    Bilgen added that this meant the party would not attend any commissions or the General Assembly.

    The decision came two days after nine HDP lawmakers, including Demirtas and Yuksekdag, were arrested in a probe launched against 14 of the party's Deputies over alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    [18] Standard & Poor's upgrades Turkey's outlook to 'stable'

    Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper (05.11.16) reports that Turkey's outlook was revised up to 'stable' from 'negative', global ratings agency Standard & Poor's.

    The upgrade reflects the Turkish economy's resilience against regional and domestic risks, as the agency said it believes Turkish policymakers would continue to implement reforms for economic stability.

    "Government policy is gradually refocusing on measures to reduce external vulnerabilities, albeit in the presence of weaker growth and moribund private investment, Standard & Poor's said in a statement.

    The country's internal environment was also considered in the decision to revise the rating. "State of emergency following the coup attempt in July 2016 is likely to remain in place until at least January 2017," it said.

    "We factor our expectation of ongoing domestic political volatility -- related to the constitutional reform process, the ending of the Kurdish peace process in mid-2015, and heightened instability along Turkey's southeastern border with Syria -- into our ratings at the current level."

    "The government projects the regulation will create 6.7 million contributors to the PPS and 90 billion Turkish lira (4 percent of 2016 GDP; about 26 billion) of savings in 10 years," it noted.

    Turkey's foreign and local currency credit ratings. Meanwhile, remained unchanged at 'BB' and 'BB ', respectively. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (CS/AM)


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