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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 16-11-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 225/16 23.11.2016
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci: "We did not go to Switzerland in order to hand over the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people"Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.11.16) reports that Akinci expressed during the press conference he held at the illegal Tumpou airport that the search for an agreement will continue as long as a problem exists and noted that the importance attached to the summit meeting in Mont Pelerin urged Turkey and Greece to hold talks.
Noting that the date of a five-party conference was included in the summit agenda in Mont Pelerin for the first time, he asserted: "New convergences were achieved in the talks that were held from 7 to 11 November. One of the most important of those convergences was the agreement that the council of ministers of the federal structure that would be established in the future would be made up of 7 Greek Cypriot and 4 Turkish Cypriot ministers and that the approval of at least one Turkish Cypriot minister would be sought for any decision to be made."
Asserting that the Greek Cypriot side requested a break in the talks in the light of an important step the Turkish Cypriot side took on the criteria on land, he alleged: "However, we observed that illogical and unrealistic statements increased in Greece and the Greek Cypriot side during the recess."
Regarding the failure to reach an agreement on the land criteria and establish the date of the five-party conference on security and guarantees, Akinci noted: "Unfortunately, our adversary moved to nullify the Turkish Cypriot side's bargaining power in the talks by trying to achieve a result in its favor on the land problem, which would be simultaneously finalized at different desks when the five-party conference is held. Instead of focusing on an initial map, which would be taken up during the five-party conference, the Greek Cypriot side planned to solve the land problem in its favor using the number of the displaced people who might return to the north as a factor."
Akinci further accused the Greek Cypriot side of "adopting an unjust approach" and stressed that it wants to use the issues that are very important for the Turkish Cypriots as a trump card, solve the land problem in its favor, reject the adoption of the rotating presidential system and the principle of equal and effective participation in the decision-making mechanism, which would guarantee the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots, and leave various issues related to ownership unclarified. Noting that "such a negotiation process cannot be maintained," he claimed that the Greek Cypriot side carefully selected various provisions in the Annan Plan, which existed in 2004, but rejects those related to security, guarantees, and the rotating presidential system. He said: "The Greek Cypriot side created a deadlock by wanting to achieve a result on territorial arrangements before fully agreeing to the rotating presidential system, effective participation in the decision-making mechanism, and the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots.
Describing the territorial issue as one of the most difficult problems, Akinci stressed that he and his team went to Switzerland and took important steps with good will but noted that the initiatives he made were not reciprocated. "We went to hold talks. We did not travel to Switzerland to surrender the Turkish Cypriot people's rights. We always kept in mind that a solution can only be found on the basis of equality, freedom, and security. While respecting the Greek Cypriot community's rights, we expected the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people to be respected", he stated.
Akinci also claimed that the Greek Cypriot effort to finalize the land problem to be able to bring the Turkish Cypriot side to a point where it would not be able to hold talks was unacceptable and drew attention to the fragmentation in many countries in the world, noting: "Living in a divided island is unreasonable. Sharing prosperity together is logical."
Recalling the effort that has been made to solve the Cyprus problem by the end of 2016, Akinci drew attention to the election campaigns that will begin next year for the elections on the Greek Cypriot side in 2018 and the work that will be carried on the extraction of natural gas in south Cyprus and wondered whether the solution of the problem would be possible before 2017. That, he said "will come to light during the next few days."
Akinci urged the Greek Cypriot side to change the approach it maintained in Mont Pelerin and asserted that he will urge the "republican assembly" to hold an extraordinary meeting on Thursday.
Asked to comment on the return of displaced Greek Cypriots to the north, he asserted that an agreement was reached in the past for the return of 100,000 Greek Cypriots to the lands that would be given back and the return of another 60,000 Greek Cypriots to the north and says: "However, 60,000 of those people have passed away. So the actual figure might be a little more than 111,000".
Recalling the talks President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will hold during the first half of December, Akinci asserted: "The initial steps will contribute to the solution process if they pave the way for the adoption of a logical approach." Stressing that a five-party conference might be held from 17 to 19 December, he noted: "However, starting all over again as if nothing has happened is impossible."
Akinci concluded by saying that the Turkish Cypriot side will assess the situation and noted: "We will not avoid the talks. That is out of the question. If fair conditions exist for the talks, the Turkish Cypriot side will not adopt a position that will undermine the goal of solving the problem and make it responsible for the no-solution on the island."
 Turkish MFA said important chance missed with Swiss talksAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (online, 23.11.16), Turkey is determined to find a solution to the long-divided Cyprus problem, a Foreign Ministry Spokesman late Tuesday after UN-mediated reunification talks failed the previous day.
"Turkey's determination to find a viable solution to Cyprus continues", said Huseyin Muftuoglu. "We think that a very important opportunity has been missed in this critical phase of the process," he added.
It is important to continue talks, he said, and immediately decide a date for a final summit that will be attended by the guarantors of the island: Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
 Tsipras to visit Turkey over the Cyprus issueAccording to Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 22.11.16), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras held a telephone conversation, in which they discussed the Cyprus negotiations, on Nov.18.
On the phone, as the paper claims, they both decided to come together as two guarantor countries before the upcoming UN summit which will convene with 5 countries over that matter.
The information, received from international sources, emphasized that after the telephone call, both sides have converged on arranging a face-to-face meeting via diplomatic efforts.
According to the article, even though it is yet to be officially announced, Tsipras is scheduled to visit Ankara to meet with President Erdogan on December 4.
 Denktas and Ozgurgun evaluate the results of the Mont Pelerin talksAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.11.16), self-styled deputy prime minister Serdar Denktas made statements regarding the Cyprus issue and the ongoing Cyprus negotiation process.
He said that the road map drawn on the Cyprus issue by former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Raif Denktas had been thrown to the corner and added that a brand new map is trying to be brought forward.
Evaluating the news from Switzerland, Denktas said that they are trying to set a date for a five party conference and that this would mean that together with the issue of security and guarantees a map would also be discussed.
Explaining that up until now the information received showed that the new agreement to emerge was not in the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot "people", Denktas alleged that there was an approach that would lead the Turkish Cypriot people to become economically poorer while the Greek Cypriots would become richer.
He further claimed that for years there had been a propaganda campaign within the younger generation bidding against Turkey but that this campaign had no effect on the "people".
"The military leaving the island and moving away from Turkey will lead to the end of the Turkish Cypriot people. To be rid of the Turkish presence in Cyprus will also work against Turkey. Turkey's power in the eastern Mediterranean will cease and more importantly the stability on the island will also be removed", Denktas alleged.
Referring to the reportedly unfulfilled promises made by the European Union during the 2004 Annan Plan era, Denktas argued that in a short period of time similar promises will be made to the Turkish Cypriot "people" once again.
On the same issue, self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, evaluating the result of the Mont Pelerin talks to "BRT", claimed that the negative outcome of the summit was neither the Turkish Cypriot side's nor Turkey's fault.
Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot leader had shown a more flexible stance than expected, he asked as to how much more could the Greek Cypriot side's attitude which demanded everything be tolerated.
Asked how he could evaluate the result of the Mont Pelerin summit, Ozgurgun alleged that neither the Turkish Cypriot side nor Turkey could be blamed at this stage. He also claimed that the current situation resulted from the Greek Cypriot side and Greece.
 First evaluation of the Mont Pelerin talks by Turkish Cypriot political parties and organizationsTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.11.16) reports on the first reaction statements by several Turkish Cypriot parties and organizations in the Turkish Cypriot side on the outcome of the talks in Switzerland.
According to the paper, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in a written statement, expressed sorrow over the outcome of the Mont Pelerin talks, adding at the same time, that it does not find it right to make further statements on the issue before having an informal briefing by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci regarding the context of the negotiations and the stance of the sides.
The statement added the following: "A remarkable progress was achieved by the sides on the negotiation process until so far, and what should be done, is to take into account this element and exert efforts to continue working. We call all the involved parties to show an encouraging and constructive stance in order not to become distant from the perspective of the solution and we would like to announce that we are ready to do all the necessary towards this direction", said the statement.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis (23.11.16) reports that Asim Akansoy, "deputy" with CTP, commenting on his personal account on social media the outcome of the talks in Switzerland, expressed sorrow over the statements by the "presidential spokesman" Baris Burcu after the collapse of the talks in Mont Pelerin, who referred to a "maximalist stance by the Greek Cypriot side". Describing as "unfortunate" the statement made by Burcu, Akansoy stated that these statements were to the direction of legitimizing the non-solution on the island.
Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.11.16) reports that the deputy chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) Mustafa Genc, expressed disappointment over the negative outcome of the talks. He however, stressed the need not to lose their hopes and added that they have the need to exert efforts all together and with common sense, after evaluating the process, in order to help the process move forward.
Moreover, Okan Dagli on behalf of the "Solution and Peace Platform", called the two leaders and the UN to protect and continue the process. "We call the leaders instead of entering into a blame game, to continue the constructive dialogue with the aim to reach to a solution. "The delay of the process and the creation of fake crises is not to the benefit of the people in Cyprus", the statement said.
Furthermore, Huseyin Angolemli, "deputy" with the Social Democracy Party (TDP), stated that there is no other way than the two sides to continue the process with a new format. "We will wait and make further statements afterwards", he added.
Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (23.11.16) reports that Tozun Tunali, chairman the Social Democrat Party (SDP) stated that although the Cyprus reunification talks ended without any result in Switzerland, they still have hopes concerning the five-party meeting. Tunali stressed the need for the UN to realize that the responsibility for the negative outcome of the talks belongs to the Greek Cypriot side.
Also, the People's Party (HP) in a written statement said that it would be better to make a general and healthy evaluation of the situation, instead of entering into a blame game.
Moreover, the "deputy chairman" of the newly established Revival Party (YDP) Sunalp Dervis Sencer, congratulated the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for protecting the "rights and profits" of the Turkish Cypriot "people" at the negotiating table until the end. Expressing disappointment over the negative outcome of the talks, Sencer stated that they will make further statements after having a detailed briefing.
 Eroglu: "It is necessary to declare to the world that the Cyprus problem cannot remain unsolved forever"Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (23.11.16) under the title: "There is no point in waiting the Greek Cypriots at the negotiating table", reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, evaluated yesterday during a meeting he held with Turkey's KAMU-SEN Federation, the outcome of the talks in Switzerland and claimed that there is no point in waiting the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table.
Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of showing an intransigent attitude at the talks in Mont Pelerin in spite of the Turkish Cypriot side's flexible stance, he alleged that the Greek Cypriot side wants all its demands to be met without giving anything on the territory issue, claiming also that it accepted none of the Turkish Cypriot side's red lines. "It is necessary to declared to the world that the Cyprus problem cannot remain unsolved forever", Eroglu added.
Stressing also to the importance of the continuation of Turkey's guarantees, Eroglu recalled that the "assembly" has approved a "decision" envisaging that Turkey cannot give up from its guarantees in Cyprus.
Referring to the bi-communal event organized on Monday night at the buffer zone, Eroglu claimed that it was not crowded, alleging that this is an indicator that the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots are not interested any more on the negotiation process.
 Turkish Cypriot columnist emphasizes that Turkey forced the Turkish Cypriot side to lead the process into a collapseTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.11.16) under the title: "Crucial question in Mont Pelerin", publishes a commentary by columnist Sami Ozuslu, who examines in its column the reasons which lead the process into a deadlock and underlines that the reasons given for this cannot be only these: "[…] The real answer in the question 'What happened in Mont Pelerin and the process collapsed?' cannot be only those given. There was an "inside" question [meaning behind the doors] to Baris Burcu. And as I realize, there was the 'crux' of the matter.
A journalist from the Turkish media asked Baris Burcu the following: "You decided to come to the 2nd round in Mont Pelerin without having the UN's assurance concerning Greece's stance. Was not this a mistake?
I would make an estimation on this: This question was a question directed from the Turkish Foreign Ministry! However, there were some details about the context of this question that we were not able to learn.
And my comment is the following: Ankara did not give its approval for the second Mont Pelerin summit. We went there by ourselves, we sad there, but Turkey pushed the Turkish Cypriot delegation to the wall prompting to 'ruin the table'. 'Finally they found an excuse, and they decided to leave the table. They found and used as an excuse the Greek Cypriots that would return to the north. Obviously the Greek Cypriots stepped back on this. This is what Burcu says.
And this situation pushed the Turkish Cypriot leadership to the position of 'being the side which ruin the table'.
Though, except from the short statement, the UN kept silent, so there is a possibility for the process to be revived", writes Ozuslu.
 President Erdogan: EP vote on Turkey's membership has no valueTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 23.11.16) reports that Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at the meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, criticized the bloc for failing to take concrete action against terrorists.
"Whatever the result, this vote has no value for us" the President said, adding that the EU is taking sides with terrorist organizations by criticizing Turkey's fight against terrorist organizations, especially the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) following the July 15 failed coup attempt.
"We have made it clear time and time again that we take care of European values more than many EU countries, but we could not see concrete support from Western friends ... None of the promises were kept", Erdogan said.
On Tuesday, the European Parliament's main groups said they will vote this week to freeze membership talks with Turkey, while EU foreign policy chief warned against such a move, saying that it would not benefit the bloc.
President Erdogan warned the EU last week to make a decision by year's end on Turkey's membership or he would call a referendum on the matter.
 NATO chief recalls Turkey's commitment to Article 5 amid calls to join Shanghai 5According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.11.16), Turkey would never take steps to undermine NATO's collective defence and unity as spelled out in Article 5, the alliance's chief has said, recalling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's commitment to NATO membership amid the revival of a discussion on Turkish participation in the Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization, known as the Shanghai Five.
"I am absolutely certain that Turkey will never do anything which undermines this collective defence, Article 5, and the unity in NATO," Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Hurriyet Daily News in Istanbul on the side-lines of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly meetings late on Nov 21.
Erdogan resurrected his long-standing ambition to join the Shanghai Five as Turkey's ties with the European Union have deteriorated in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt.
But Stoltenberg, who had a lengthy meeting before the interview took place, remains sure Turkey will remain committed to its NATO membership. "President Erdogan stated very clearly that he is strongly committed to NATO and to our collective defence rules".
This is essential for Turkish security and all of Europe, the Secretary-General stated. "The strength and the success of NATO are based on the fact that an attack on one NATO ally will trigger a response from all allies. And I am absolutely certain that Turkey will never do anything which undermines this collective defence, Article 5, and the unity in NATO."
Although Turkey has been pursuing positive dialogue with Russia after ties began to normalize following a jet crisis one year ago, it has not objected to NATO's plans to increase its presence in the Black Sea region.
The Montreux Conventions grants Turkey control of the Bosphorus and Dardanelles while restricting the passage of naval ships from countries that are not on the Black Sea.
On the ongoing disagreement between Turkey and the EU that prompted calls for the suspension of accession talks with Ankara, Stoltenberg chose not to comment, saying: "I am, and NATO is not, part of the dialogue, part of the talks between the European Union and Turkey. And these talks will only become more complicated if I started to become involved and comment on them".
 MHP head Bahceli: AKP's charter offer 'reasonable'According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.11.16), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) head Devlet Bahceli has said that his party has completed its study of a constitutional change draft submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and found it "generally reasonable".
"There are some [items] in the draft that we approve and some that we object to. First of all, we hope it will be useful to keep the constitutional amendment narrow. We think the AKP's amendment proposals are generally reasonable. We will hopefully reach a consensus in mutual talks," Bahceli said at his party's parliamentary group meeting in Ankara on Nov. 22.
The MHP first received the draft legislation from the AKP on Nov. 15, with the latter seeking to introduce a presidential system to replace the current parliamentary model since Recep Tayyip Erdogan became Turkey's first head of state elected by popular vote in August 2014.
Bahceli again hinted at a potential alliance between the MHP and the AKP in the near future, saying his party does "not have any other choice … considering Turkey's worsening domestic issues".
Any new constitutional draft needs to secure 330 votes in Parliament in order to go to a referendum. The AKP has 316 seats and the MHP has 40 seats at Parliament.
If the draft constitution is able to secure more than 367 votes, it can pass directly without the need for a referendum. However, the AKP has said it will take the new Constitution to a referendum even if it exceeds the 367-seat threshold at Parliament.
 Commentary: "Freezing Turkey-EU talks will benefit no one"Columnist Serkan Demirtas, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.11.16), publishes the following commentary with the above title:
"The European Parliament will vote on a resolution on Thursday that suggests temporarily freezing Turkey's accession talks in the light of an increase in the violations of human rights and the deterioration in the use of fundamental freedoms in the aftermath of July 15 coup attempt. The EP's Turkey Rapporteur, Kati Piri, clearly stated the mood of European lawmakers in a comprehensive interview with daily Hurriyet's Cansu Caml?bel on Nov. 21.
'Week after week things have been going in a worse direction... Turkey is declining in all of the rule of law indexes and freedom of media indexes … Until we see a reversal of this decline it is not credible to talk about opening new chapters or taking new initiatives,' Piri said, calling for cutting only accession talks and not the whole dialogue.
It's pretty sure that the [European] Parliament will vote in favour of freezing talks but it requires the EU Council's unanimous decision before going into effect. It's therefore not going to be easy for the Parliament to convince all governments to support their point.
However, the lawmakers' vote will sure have serious consequences. It will constitute a first in enlargement history in which the parliament will call on the EU to suspend talks with a candidate country, demonstrating the poor prospect of a potential Turkish membership in the union for the foreseeable future.
Second, it will also lay bare the real intention of political parties across Europe and how they differ with their respective governments when it comes to giving a decision on Turkey's continued accession process. This should be seen as a very significant move when considering that prominent European countries will go to elections in 2017 when populist political movements will likely prevail.
Third, it could turn into a death blow for the negotiations on the implementation of the readmission agreement in return for the granting of visa liberalization to Turkish nationals. More worrying, it could also result in the entire migrant collapsing – a development that could irreparably damage Ankara-Brussels dialogue.
It's true that things are not going in the right direction in Turkey, and those who read this column are quite aware of the critical situation in terms of the deterioration of democratic norms, fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law. These are key criteria for a country aspiring to be among the respected nations in the world, if not a member of the EU.
However, the EU, the European Parliament and other European institutions should also engage in some self-criticism over the double standards they have been imposing on Turkey since full membership talks began in 2005. Or they should better inquire into their too-weak and too-late response to the July 15 coup attempt, which caused deep frustration in Turkey, even among pro-EU circles. Forgetting all these and focusing on just one aspect of this issue would be a very big mistake.
European lawmakers should give a chance to the efforts of the Council of Europe which preferred to engage with Turkey in the aftermath of July 15 while all European institutions opted to criticize the Turkish government.
At this stage, the vote of European parliamentarians to freeze talks will have no leverage whatsoever on Turkey, except for further fuelling populist, discriminatory and radical political moves in Europe." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION