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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-11-09

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 <>



  • [01] The criteria on the territory are being discussed today in Switzerland; Progress was achieved yesterday on the property issue
  • [02] Cavusoglu argued that there are issues agreed on the four chapters and other still need to be discussed, like the period of the rotating presidency
  • [03] Reference by Atun to Cyprus' natural gas and oil reserves
  • [04] "Solving the Cyprus puzzle will help Turkey's energy balance"
  • [05] Explosion at an electricity power plant causes a blackout in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [06] Ertugrulolglu: "The TRNC is the only way"
  • [07] Durust: "It is out of the question the return of Morfou"
  • [08] Turkish Cypriots protested against the HDP's Deputies arrestments; Grey Wolves tried to repulse the protest
  • [09] Students were arrested because they asked questions to AKP Deputy at "DAU"
  • [10] "The first TRNC fair and promotional days is beginning in Istanbul"
  • [11] EU lost credibility in the eyes of the Turkish people on anti-terror fight, Turkish Foreign Ministry says
  • [12] Commentary views Turkey-EU relations in light of the EU Progress Report 13 Erdogan, AK Party file criminal complaint on CHP's party caucus manifesto
  • [14] Albayrak: Turkey taking concrete steps to become energy trading hub
  • [15] Turkey building huge mosque in Djibouti
  • [16] Ankara congratulates Trump over presidential victory, calls for Gulen's extradition


    [01] The criteria on the territory are being discussed today in Switzerland; Progress was achieved yesterday on the property issue

    Under the title "Today the territory", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.11.16) reports that the territory issue is coming today at the negotiating table for the first time since 2004 in the Cyprus talks. During the third day of the negotiations at Mont Pelerin Summit in Switzerland, the leaders will exert efforts to reach a consensus in principle on the criteria which will constitute the basis of the "territorial adjustments as regards the administrative borders of the founding states", writes the paper.

    Citing sources close to Akinci's office, Yeni Duzen notes that in case of reaching an agreement in principle on the criteria, the negotiations will pass into the final stage of the "summit" on Friday 11 November. "In case the date of the five-party conference is not finalized, the agreement, which was reached in Cyprus and was conveyed in writing to the leaders by the UN, will be spoiled and the process will not proceed", argued the sources of the paper.

    Diplomatic sources have also said that among the criteria on which the Greek Cypriot side insists is the number of the Greek Cypriots who will return under Greek Cypriot administration (the number 100 thousands is mentioned), the size of the constituent states and the length of the coasts. The same sources noted that during the meetings held yesterday and the day before yesterday the rotating presidency issue, which is considered as difficult, was not discussed.

    Under the title "If there is no five party summit there will be no map", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.11.16) reports that the Turkish Cypriot side insists on holding a five-party conference, which it considers as "the most important point that will solve the Cyprus problem". "If the decision for a five-party summit, in which the guarantees and the territory will be solved, does not come out, the Mont Pelerin summit will fail", argues the paper adding that "in case the date for a five-party is not finalized, the Turkish side will not discuss a map at Mont Pelerin".

    The paper writes also the following:

    "Mustafa Akinci, who recalled the sensitivity of the Turkish Cypriots for the 'guarantees', accepted to discuss the criteria, but correlated the guarantees with the agreement for which earlier had been said that 'work with a pencil will be done on a map'. Akinci made no step backwards on this point. […] After the agreement on the criteria, an exercise of ideas on the guarantees could come onto the agenda. If a good will exists on this point as well, an end will be put to the issue of the territory and the guarantees during the five-party conference. […] The timetable at Mont Pelerin is working just like it was planned in Cyprus. During the first two days the leaders discussed the unresolved issues on the chapters of the EU, the Economy, the Governance and Power Sharing and the Property. During the first two days, they worked for about 25 hours. Today the criteria on the territory will be at the table […]"

    Under the title "Towards the end on the property", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (09.11.16) reports that progress has been achieved on the property issue which was discussed yesterday during the second day of the negotiations at Mont Pelerin. Citing sources from Akinci's office, the paper writes that the leaders discussed the property in the morning and the governance and power sharing in the afternoon. They made some progress on the property, which, however, has not been totally closed. No information was given as regards the issues on which progress was achieved. The paper writes that if an agreement on the criteria in the territory is achieved, the negotiations on Friday will pass to the final stage with two simultaneous phases. A date for a five-party conference will be determined and simultaneously a map will be put at the table for the first time based on the agreed criteria.

    Meanwhile, Rasih Resat, editor-in-chief of Kibris Postasi, argues that 10 November will be the most crucial day of the negotiations at Mont Pelerin. He claims that two possibilities exist: 1) If there is no agreement on the criteria, the negotiations will be 100% interrupted. 2) If there is an agreement on the criteria, the possibility of the interruption of the negotiations falls to 50%.

    Resat alleges that the "good scenario" will be President Anastasiades not to "back down" from the agreement, which was registered in the UN archives and was submitted to the leaders as official document, and the process at Mont Pelerin to continue. He claims that the only thing which President Anastasiades should do is to keep his word and declare a date for a five-party conference for concluding the guarantees by the mid of December issuing a joint written statement with Akinci, before putting to the table a 'draft' of the map based on the [agreed] criteria. He alleges that the "bad scenario" will be President Anastasiades not to keep his promise, just like ha has allegedly done in New York, and pose obstacles to determining a date for a five-party conference, in which case the negotiations will be interrupted and no map will be submitted on 11 November. "If the effort fails and they do not return with a date for a five-party conference from Switzerland, the Greek Cypriot side will have great responsibility, because the agreement on this issue is a UN document", he claims.


    [02] Cavusoglu argued that there are issues agreed on the four chapters and other still need to be discussed, like the period of the rotating presidency

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 09.11.16), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, evaluating the Cyprus negotiations process that is taking place in Mont Pelerin in Switzerland, said that Turkey wants the issue of territory, property, guarantees and security to be the last issues to be taken up on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking during a parliamentary debate at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that a critical phase had been reached at the Cyprus talks and added that both sides had made progress on 4 chapters. "They have come to an agreement on some of the issues on the four chapters but there are still things that need to be discussed. For example the period of the rotating presidency", argued Cavusoglu.

    Claiming that it is out of question to give any concessions on the guarantee issue, the Turkish Foreign Minister drew attention to the developments taking place around Cyprus and added: "Natural gas and petrol, that's where all eyes are. To its east, we used to have ferryboat trips to Syria now there are warships between Cyprus and Syria. Everyone is in Syria. There are the Russians, the Americans, Iranians, Hezbollah, Shi'ite, PKK, YPG, DAESH, El Nursa and then there is the threat of more refugees. Who is going to protect the Turkish Cypriots against these threats? Therefore the protection of the Turkish Cypriots is very important to us". He further said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is also insisting on the condition of Turkey's guarantees on the island.

    Cavusoglu also argued that Turkey aims to contribute to the solution process of the problems that exist in the region and drew attention to the frozen disputes that exist in Karabakh, Serbia, Crimea and Cyprus and said that all of these situations pose possible threats. He noted that if you cannot prevent the problem then you can contribute to its solution.

    [03] Reference by Atun to Cyprus' natural gas and oil reserves

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.16) reports that Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy and energy of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has said that the natural gas and oil resources found in the area are "of great importance to the country" because they are "a great factor" both for the economy and the solution [of the Cyprus problem].

    Replying yesterday at the "assembly" to a comment made by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, "deputy" with the Republican Turkish Party, Atun alleged that in "south Cyprus", as he described the government-controlled area of the Republic, tenders for parcels 6, 8 and 10 have been evaluated, the fact that a vessel comes from Turkey to the "TRNC" to conduct researches is allegedly "used as a threat for abandoning the table" and there is no problem when they [the Republic of Cyprus] conduct researches.


    [04] "Solving the Cyprus puzzle will help Turkey's energy balance"

    Under the above title, Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper (08.11.16) publishes the following article:

    "The reopening of Turkey's relations with Israel and Russia also opens the competition between Israeli natural gas and Russian natural gas for Turkey. All diplomats and heads of state say that they welcome the improvement of relations among all countries, but in the end the market for gas imports in Turkey is predetermined.

    In the context of its new Energy Union project, the EU is more likely to look favorably upon gas imports from Israel and Cyprus than from Russia. This is because of the founding principles of the Energy Union, which include the security of energy supply through the diversification of suppliers. This need to diversify suppliers should, all other things being equal, encourage the logic of Turkish energy cooperation with Israel.


    There are significant doubts about whether Russia is able to finance the Turkish Stream project.

    The low price of gas on the world market today, together with long-term corporate structural problems, has created a "perfect storm" that significantly impairs Gazprom's ability to undertake foreign projects.


    Returning to the Cyprus situation: It is not possible to construct an Israeli-Turkish pipeline without Cypriot permission, because such a pipeline passes through the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus and across its continental shelf. That would require cooperation with Israel, for the simple reason that it is uneconomical to develop the Cypriot fields alone.

    Israel's Leviathan and Tamar fields together are estimated to hold 900 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, of which approximately 150 bcm is tagged for export. Technical studies show that a pipeline to Turkey is the most feasible route. A route from Cyprus to Greece would require a 1,100 km deep-water pipeline, but one to Ceyhan would be under 500 km and the waters of the eastern Mediterranean Sea are relatively shallow.

    The EU has studied a route that carries the gas to Cyprus, from where it would go to either Crete or the Greek mainland, thus enabling exports of Cyprus's gas as well. Liquefying the gas for maritime transportation, once considered an alternative, turns out to be uneconomical. A further variant being studied is to build a station from which both Israeli and Cypriot gas would be pumped, for transmission to Turkey.

    Discussion among Cypriot and Israeli industrial and government circles have been under way for some time. The political resolution of the division of Cyprus would open the way for trilateral Cyprus-Israel-Turkey cooperation. Especially given the relatively new energy dimension of relations, certainly this would be a win-win-win situation. Reunification of Cyprus could permit development not only in the off-shore Aphrodite field to the south of Cyprus, but also fields off the north of the island, benefiting its whole population.

    In addition, Cyprus is an EU member. In the event of the successful resolution of the political division of the island republic, there is little doubt that Brussels would smile upon investment in its offshore gas fields. It might even implicitly guarantee markets, as a reward for the conflict settlement itself, even while insisting that any development be economical on its own terms.


    A 500-kilometer deep-water pipeline from Israel to Turkey would have to be financed by private investors, possibly with the participation of a state-owned company. An intergovernmental agreement, probably including a reunified Cyprus, would be necessary to establish the framework for such investment. This kind of agreement would guarantee the predictability of the business environment that investors will need in order to have confidence to invest (and for insurers and re-insurers to be willing to accept the risk). The sooner this happens, the faster the project can develop."

    [05] Explosion at an electricity power plant causes a blackout in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.16) reports that the "entire country" remained without electricity and two workers were poisoned by carbon dioxide emissions as a result of an explosion which happened yesterday afternoon at the electricity power plant in the occupied area of Keryneia. Electricity supply stopped in a big part of the occupied area of the island, such as in the entire city of Keryneia and its industrial area as well as in occupied villages such as Karakoumi, in a part of Thermia, in the area west of Kazafani, in Agios Georgios and in Bogazi.

    The "general director" of the "electricity authority" (KIB-TEK), Gurcan Erdogan stated that because of the damage all power plants stopped operating and 40 MW of electricity is not supplied. He said that until the damage is restored and until the morning, electricity will be supplied in rotation in all areas.


    [06] Ertugrulolglu: "The TRNC is the only way"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (09.11.16) reports that the so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu, in statements yesterday in the so-called assembly, claimed that the establishment of a federation in the island is impossible from the technical point of view.

    Stating that he is amongst the supporters of the "TRNC" until the end, Ertugruloglu argued that the continuation of the existence of the "TRNC" is not an obstacle against a possible agreement with the Greek Cypriots.

    He further stated that he supports the "equal sovereignty" of the Turkish Cypriots and alleged: "If there will be a solution, let it be, I argue that there will not be finally but it may be happen. I do not say that it will not be absolutely, but if they will impose a solution in the island, let them impose it. If they want to turn the only island which leaves in peace into a battle zone let them impose it. I am just expressing our sensitivities and what we think and do not think. The important thing is what we are going to do in case of a non-solution. This is valid in every country. We should try to create ambiance of consensus. What will be your prediction in the day when there will not be a solution? Will the process continue in the same way? Is this a serving against the Turkish Cypriot people or the opening of a new page on the Cyprus problem?", Erturgruloglu wondered.

    Ertugruloglu claimed also that the picture is not rosy on the Cyprus problem and stated that although the Greek Cypriot side is presented as an "angel without wings", in fact, it disregards the "rights" of the Turkish Cypriot "people" and does not want a solution.

    He went on and said that although he is personally accused of being "fascist and a person who oppose the solution" because of his latest statement that "the annexation with Turkey is an alternative", Ertugruloglu said that he will continue speaking about the "realities" and recalled the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci in the past that "either there will be a solution or the Greek Cypriots will find Turkey as a neighbor".



    [07] Durust: "It is out of the question the return of Morfou"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (09.11.16) under the above title, reports that the so-called minister of public works and transportation Kemal Durust, replying to the statements made yesterday by the chairman of the occupied Morfou District's Development Society (GUKAD) Resat Kansoy, who sent a letter to Akinci in Switzerland asking for the establishment of a "Common Morfou" and to exert efforts for the establishment of a common state", alleged that it is out of the question the return of Morfou.

    Reminding of the fact that today's situation in Morfou is very different from the past since a lot of investments took place there, Durust claimed also the following: "Morfou is not even on the negotiating table and is not included on the issues for bargaining. […] We will continue our investments there both in economy and infrastructure. The return of Morfou is out of the question. Even if an agreement is reached, this should be fair and equal. Nobody will accept the Turkish Cypriot people to become refugees again", Durust alleged.



    [08] Turkish Cypriots protested against the HDP's Deputies arrestments; Grey Wolves tried to repulse the protest

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.11.16) under the title: "No passage to fascism" reports that several political parties, organizations and NGOs in the occupied area of Cyprus organized yesterday a protest in front of the building of the so-called Turkish embassy in the occupied area of Cyprus, in order to condemn and criticize the arrestment of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) Deputies in Turkey.

    According to the paper, the protest took place under strict measures taken by the so-called police, which controlled all protesters one by one.

    The paper adds that another group composed by Grey-Wolves held another protest in the same place with the aim to repulse the first protest. The Grey-Wolves were shouting slogans such as "Allah-u ekber. The so-called police prevented clashes between the two groups, writes the paper.


    [09] Students were arrested because they asked questions to AKP Deputy at "DAU"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.11.16) reports that when some students tried to ask some questions to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Deputy Hamza Dag, who was a "guest speaker" at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University ("DAU"), they were first assaulted and then put into custody by the police of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Commenting on the arrests, Cemal Ozyigit, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that no person or institution has the right or the authority to restrict the fundamental human rights and freedoms.

    In a written statement, Ozyigit criticized the incident and asked the release of the students.


    [10] The first "TRNC fair and promotional days" is beginning in Istanbul

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.11.16) broadcast that the first "TRNC fair and promotional days" is beginning in Istanbul.

    The fair is being hosted by the Turkish Economy Ministry and is being carried out in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry of Economy and Energy, Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the Ministry of National Education and Culture.

    The fair is taking place between the 9th and 13th of November at the Istanbul CNR Expo Fair grounds.

    The "minister for economy and energy" Sunat Atun, "minister for national education and culture" Ozdemir Berova and the "minister for tourism and environment" Fikri Ataoglu will be attending the fair.

    "The fair aims to promote the island's culture, nature, cuisine, tourism potential and investment opportunities in the TRNC", Bayrak broadcast.

    A variety of corporations and institutions from Turkey will also be taking part in the fair.

    Bayrak also broadcast that self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun went to Istanbul to attend the opening of the fair. Ozgurgun will also hold a series of contacts during his stay in Istanbul.

    [11] EU lost credibility in the eyes of the Turkish people on anti-terror fight, Turkish Foreign Ministry says

    Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper (08.11.16) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized the European Union for failing to comprehend Turkey's efforts in anti-terror fight and said recent statements made by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are unacceptable.

    In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the EU fails to understand Turkey's sensitivities regarding its anti-terror fight.

    While highlighting Europe's indifference to the July 15 coup attempt and failure to react against it, the statement said that the EU should understand that it cannot evade responsibility by simply 'condemning' terror attacks in Turkey.

    "The EU, which does not openly call on the PKK to lay down arms, and allows PKK terrorists to freely wander in their countries and conduct anti-Turkey propaganda and other activities, and even allows the PKK to open exhibitions in the hallways of the EU Parliament, has essentially lost its credibility in the eyes of the Turkish people" the statement said and added: "Therefore, we consider such statements null and void."

    [12] Commentary views Turkey-EU relations in light of the EU Progress Report

    Turkish T24 internet side (08.11.16) publishes the following article by

    Yalcin Dogan under the title: "Most Damning Report of Last 18 Years"

    "On one side, 85 %, on the other side, 15 %.

    Some newspapers in the Western media have recently been referring to the same survey all the time. At the end of almost every news report about Turkey, there is the same question about the survey:

    ''Under the current political and legal conditions in Turkey, should the European Union continue full membership talks with Turkey?''

    Here is the average outcome of the survey done by six or seven newspapers: Some 85 % said, ''No.'' In other words, the talks should be ended.

    The institutional criticism from the EU, criticism from some EU member countries, and the way Turkey responds to this criticism are rapidly undermining the bilateral relationship. As the Europeans list their heavy criticism, Turkey is putting on airs as if to say, ''I do not care; it goes in one ear, out from the other.''

    Following any operation or arrest that takes place in Turkey, the EU starts talking about ''red lines.'' When Turkey responds in a similar way, the red lines are, in fact, being crossed every day in ''the diplomatic sense.''

    The platform debate is gradually vanishing. The rope is becoming increasingly frayed.

    The criticism voiced by EU officials must have resonated with the public because the view that ''the talks should be ended'' jumped to the very high figure of 85 % for the first time.

    Such a high % is a first.

    Concerns Over Democracy, Law

    The European Union is publishing its routine ''Turkey Progress Report'' tomorrow. Ahead of its publication, I gained access to some information about the report. According to this, the report is strongly condemning Turkey in terms of rights and freedoms.

    Even though there is not much reaction to the declaration of OHAL [State of Emergency], the report states that OHAL practices have removed the supremacy of law.

    It is stressed that arrests are violating the universal legal principles. Large number of examples are given in this regard.

    The concern over the termination of freedom of press and expression is voiced in the strongest terms. Various examples are given about the arrest of journalists and all sorts of crackdown on the media.

    While Turkey is supported in its struggle against terror, concern is voiced over the universal legal standards taking a back seat once again during that struggle.

    It is expressed that democratic state of law is heavily wounded.

    It is said that the judicial independence is being trampled upon. It is stated that the separation of powers principle, the indispensable rule in every democracy, is de facto removed.

    Based on the claim in the report that the ''migration deal,'' which the EU focused on for months and was the topic of many talks with Turkey in that regard, entered a risky path, one concludes that the EU does not have high expectations from that deal any more.

    There can be one concrete outcome of this. There is no such view in the progress report, however, if nothing comes out of the migration deal, it appears that it will also take a very long time to ''lift the visa practice.''

    In the Progress Report, which includes strongly worded expressions and heavy criticism, there is another vital issue, in addition to the concerns over the rule of law and democracy, which is highlighted:

    The EU report is voicing highly serious warnings given that Turkey's growth rate dropped, investments are reduced, import revenues dropped, current account deficit increased, the dollar spiked significantly against the Turkish lira, in comparison to other currencies, and foreign capital investment shrunk.


    The only topic the report backs Turkey about is the ''Cyprus talks.'' The EU is expecting or hoping to see positive developments in Cyprus, at least in the medium term.

    However, on the other side…

    Despite all this heavy criticism and the 85 % ''No'' vote in the surveys, the EU still does not appear to have the intention to suspend its relations with Turkey, ''for the time being.''

    In fact, it makes a proposal:

    ''The chapters 23 and 24 should be opened.''

    This means the following:

    The talks between Turkey and the EU are continuing as per topics, in the form of headings (chapters) as it is the case with any country. The total number of topics of discussion is, I think, 39 chapters. In other words, 39 topics, 39 headings.


    Turkey's response to EU criticism is not a secret any more. It is not difficult to predict that the mind-set that regards as ''null and void'' the rulings of the European Human Rights Court, let alone reports, and goes on to rebuke this universal court, will also respond to this report by saying, ''it is null and void, I do not accept it, I do not see it, and I return the report back to its author.''


    If the practices in Turkey continue along these lines, a heavy darkness is awaiting the Turkey-EU relations. In a broader narrative and sense, the ''Turkey-West relations'' are currently derailed. Similarly, if things continue this way, this will inevitably have detrimental political and economic effects for Turkey."

    [13] Erdogan, AK Party file criminal complaint on CHP's party caucus manifesto

    Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper (08.11.16) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) filed criminal complaints Tuesday regarding the accusations in main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) party caucus manifesto released on Monday.

    AK Party General Secretary Abdulhamit Gul said on posts on his Twitter account that a criminal complaint has been filed to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. "The party caucus manifesto of CHP is full of lies, defamation and insults against our party, president, nation and country" Gul said. "As long as CHP stands by terror groups and stand against the republic and people, it will be taught a lesson by this nation," he added.

    In a very harsh manifesto on Monday, the CHP criticized the detentions and arrests of pro-PKK Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) deputies in ongoing terror probes before their guilt was proven by a court. CHP also criticized the probe against Cumhuriyet daily, which is being accused of acting on behalf of PKK and Gulenist Terror Group (FETO), demanding an immediate release of its executives and journalists.

    The manifesto also accused President Erdogan and the ruling AK Party of cooperation with FETO, PKK and Daesh terror groups, which has said the main basis of Erdogan and AK Party's complaints.

    In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (08.11.16) reports that Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has slammed the Republican People's Party (CHP) for criticizing the arrest of the co-leaders and 10 lawmakers from the People's Democratic Party (HDP), arguing that such criticism is tantamount to lending support to terrorism.

    "As the party that boasts about founding the republic, the CHP's leading of a campaign [to criticize the arrest of HDP MPs] and mobilization for these separatist traitors have passed into our political history as a black stain," Bahceli told a parliamentary group on Nov 8.

    Finally, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.11.16) reports that the Republican People's Party (CHP) will continue to "stand by all the oppressed" in Turkey, despite growing pressure from the government, CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has vowed, refuting accusations that his party supported terrorism.

    "Our party assembly got together and issued a declaration. Now I understand they are very uncomfortable with this … We said: 'No to coups, no to dictatorship, long live democracy.' They are uncomfortable with that," Kilicdaroglu said on Nov. 8 in his weekly address to the CHP parliamentary group.

    He was responding to strong criticisms from both Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli, who have slammed the CHP as lending support to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) by denouncing the arrest of Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers and daily Cumhuriyet journalists.

    "We have been attacked by two sides: On one side the PKK and on the other the AKP [Justice and Development Party]. They are collaborating," Kilicdaroglu said, brandishing a photo of HDP lawmakers together with government officials while negotiating a solution to Kurdish question. "I ask now: Who are they?" he added.

    [14] Albayrak: Turkey taking concrete steps to become energy trading hub

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (09.11.16) reports that aiming to consolidate its position centered among energy-rich countries, Turkey is moving forward confidently to become an energy trading hub, playing a crucial role in projects to diversify energy resources and transportation routes, according to Energy Minister Albayrak

    Turkey will take concrete steps to utilize its geopolitical position near oil and gas-rich countries in the Middle East, Caspian region and Central Asia to become an energy trading hub, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said.

    Turkey's geopolitical position has a crucial role to play in projects to diversify energy resources and transportation routes and fill the gap in the inactive energy market in southeastern Europe, Albayrak said before the Parliament's Plan and Budget Commission.

    "We aim to establish a natural gas trading center in Turkey. In line with this aim, projects like TANAP and the TurkStream [natural gas pipelines] will contribute to this objective. We have also accelerated work toward launching the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) storage and Floating Storage Regasification (FSRU) units that will be established in Turkey for the first time."

    Albayrak noted that the government is currently working to develop an energy strategy to involve greater competition, more transparency, better protection for consumers and environmental sustainability.

    Presenting the Energy Ministry's 2017 budget, Albayrak said that work on the two FSRU projects, with 20 million cubic meters of capacity in the Gulf of Iskenderun, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, on the southern coast of Turkey and the Gulf of Saros, off the Gallipoli Peninsula in northwestern Turkey will continue in 2017 while construction of the projects is planned for completion in 2019.

    [15] Turkey building huge mosque in Djibouti

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (09.11.16) reports that Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet) is building a 4,000-person capacity mosque in Djibouti, a country located in the Horn of Africa. The local coordinator of Diyanet, Giyaseddin Karatepe, said the mosque, to be named after Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, will open within the next two years.

    The mosque will be part of a complex and the project was started after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed Djibouti's National Assembly on Jan. 24, 2015 promising to build the place of worship. The project, which will cover a 10-hectare plot, aims to further develop bilateral ties with the small but strategically important country.

    The mosque will be designed according to Ottoman architectural style and will include an education center, a conference hall, a library and social facilities. "Once completed, it will be the largest mosque in the region," Karatepe said.

    [16] Ankara congratulates Trump over presidential victory, calls for Gulen's extradition

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (09.11.16) reports that the Turkish government has congratulated Donald Trump for his presidential victory on Nov. 9, while repeating its call for the extradition of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused of orchestrating the failed coup attempt of July 15.

    "We congratulate Mr. Trump," Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said. "I am openly calling on the new President from here about the urgent extradition of Fethullah Gulen, the mastermind, executor and perpetrator of the heinous July 15 coup attempt, who lives on U.S. soil."

    Yildirim added that Gulen's extradition could mark a "new beginning" in Turkey-U.S. relations.

    "I am sure that the strategic partnership of Turkey and the U.S., which is based on a long history, has created an opportunity for the new President, paying attention to Turkey's sensitivity in the fight against terrorism, carrying forward traditional friendly relations prioritizing peace and security in the region," he said.

    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also congratulated Trump, vowing to strengthen strategic cooperation with Washington.

    "We congratulate @realDonaldTrump, President-elect of the USA. We desire to reinforce with the USA our strategic cooperation based on trust," Cavusoglu tweeted.

    Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, meanwhile, said the U.S. voters had "refused to have their national will dictated."

    "Nobody wins elections through newspaper headlines, polls, [and] television. Ultimately, it is the people who vote. What I see is that American nationals said 'no' to the dictating of their will," Bozdag told state-run Anadolu Agency.---------------------------------------------------



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