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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-02-14
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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. 31/17 14.02.17
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci wants an initiative by Eide for President Anastasiades not to sign a decision adopted by the House of RepresentativesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a telephone conversation yesterday with the UNSG Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, asking him to undertake an initiative for President Anastasiades not to sign the decision adopted with majority by the House of Representatives as regards the celebration in the public schools of the 1950 plebiscite, during which the vast majority of the Greek Cypriots had voted "yes" to the unification of the island with Greece ("enosis").
According to Akinci's office, the Turkish Cypriot leader told Eide that this celebration would be contrary to the efforts having as target to find a federal solution on the island. He also argued that it is unacceptable to describe enosis, which caused a lot of pain to the Greek Cypriot youth and Cyprus, as "sacred".
 Akinci threatens to blow up the Cyprus talks because of a decision adopted by the Cyprus House of RepresentativesUnder the title "If no step will be taken, no meaning is left for negotiations", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that they have conveyed to the UN their disappointment regarding the decision adopted with majority by the Cyprus House of Representatives as regards the celebration in the public schools of the 1950 plebiscite, during which the vast majority of the Greek Cypriots had voted "yes" to the unification of the island with Greece ("enosis"). Akinci called yesterday Elizabeth Spehar, UNSG's Special Representative in Cyprus, to his office and conveyed to her his views on the above-mentioned issue.
In statements after the meeting, Akinci said that they would wait to see the steps to be taken by President Anastasiades until the meeting between the community leaders on Thursday. Referring to the meeting to be held on Thursday, Akinci noted: "I will go to that meeting, but the only issue in this meeting will be this [the decision of the House of Representatives]. Nothing else will be discussed".
Akinci underlined the annoyance of the Turkish Cypriot side for the above-mentioned decision and alleged that if the decision is not corrected no meaning will remain for the Cyprus negotiations.
Akinci claimed that President Anastasiades should decide as to whether he "will seriously exert efforts for a solution with us at least in March and April" and "think of the elections later and evaluate the possibilities for elections which a federal solution will bring" or "he will be busy with the elections in his own community".
Akinci described the decision taken by the Cyprus House of Representatives as "a decision which brings the dream of enosis onto the agenda" and added that he explained to Spehar the seriousness of the matter. He also claimed that the fact that a plebiscite held in 1950 with an idea, which has been causing concerns to the Turkish Cypriots for years, came onto the agenda in 2017 is an "extremely serious development". According to Akinci, the fact that the majority of the parties were dragged behind a fascist and racist party such as ELAM should be seriously discussed. Another aspect of the seriousness of the issue, he claimed, is the fact that the ruling DISY party had approved the proposal at the parliamentary committee and indirectly gave its approval at the plenary session by abstaining from the voting.
Arguing that a new culture of peace is needed for being able to reach a solution in Cyprus, Akinci alleged that injecting the dream of enosis to the youth in such an environment and a mentality which sanctifies that plebiscite is a great blow to the ongoing negotiating process, taking into consideration that this could be done with the aid of President Anastasiades' DISY party.
Akinci said that after the decision was taken he had made a call for its annulment, but nothing happened in spite of the fact that two days passed since that call. Akinci described the declaration of the regime's "assembly" on the issue as timely and added that he conveyed to Spehar the Turkish Cypriot side's serious reaction, disappointment and condemnation regarding this decision. Akinci also claimed that the UN could not ignore this fact and added that they expect an initiative by the UN. He said that they asked Spehar to convey their view to the UNSG.
Arguing that the steps which President Anastasiades will take are important, Akinci claimed that this is not a small incident and alleged that if President Anastasiades wants a federal solution, he should not approve these actions which will keep the ideal of the unification with Greece alive, just like he [Akinci] is allegedly the first who reacts against those referring to the annexation of the "TRNC" to Turkey.
Akinci alleged that just like he tries to prepare the Turkish Cypriot 'people' for the solution on the difficult issues, President Anastasiades should also prepare his people for the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots, their effective participation in the decisions, and the rotating presidency. "In case steps are not taken on these issues, we will continue beating the air and taking a result may become impossible", he claimed.
Akinci said that they will act by taking one step at a time in the light of the developments and added that the meeting planned to be held today between the negotiators of the communities will most probably be postponed.
 Reaction statements by several Turkish Cypriot political parties which are not represented in the "assembly"Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.02.17) under the front-page title: "Reactions are raised" for the decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament for the Enosis", reports that the small parties which are not represented in the occupation regime's assembly, issued yesterday separate statements condemning the Enosis' celebration decision.
In a written statement, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan described the decision as unfortunate and wrong. He added that the decision does not contribute to the solution efforts and condemned all the Greek Cypriot political parties except of AKEL for implementing fanatical and sectarian policies in this critical stage of the negotiation talks, following along after fascist ELAM party.
Izcan further stated that the policies of Enosis and Taksim have lead Cyprus to disaster.
Meanwhile, the New Cyprus Party (YKP), in a written statement read by Murat Kanatli, "secretary of the executive committee", condemned the Enosis decision and announced that they have decided not to attend the meeting-discussion which was to be co- organized by the YKP- the Cyprus Green Party and the Citizens of Alliance Party, in order to discuss the issue of security and guarantees.
Kanatli explained that they took this decision for two reasons. The first one is the decision approved by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus to celebrate the 1950 Enosis referendum and the worries that will be created in both communities by the political reactions. And the second reason is that the results of the study which were to be presented in the meeting will not be valid.
Also, the chairman of the "Rebirth Party" Erhan Arikli criticized the so-called government, the "assembly" and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci for a weak reaction against the Enosis decision.
In a written statement, Arikli called Akinci to suspend the Cyprus negotiation talks in order to draw the attention of the international community. He also alleged that this decision has revealed the Greek Cypriot side's real purpose and face.
 Reaction statements by KTOS and KTOEOS on the Enosis decisionTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.02.17) reports that the chairman of the "Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Union" (KTOEOS) Tahir Gokcebel, in a written statement, said that the decision for Enosis was taken by a separatist and fascist mentality and called President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to show a political will for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Also, the general secretary of the "Turkish Cypriot Teacher's Trade Union" ("KTOS") Sener Elcil described the Enosis decision especially in this period of intensified talks for the solution of the Cyprus problem, as a provocation from ELAM.
Stressing the need for the activities of ELAM to be forbidden, Elcil added that they are determined to go to the court against the decision of the House of Representatives.
 Eroglu accused Akinci of dividing the people to those who want solution and those who do notTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.02.17) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu accused Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci of dividing the people to those who want solution and to those who do not want solution.
Replying to questions by journalist Levent Ozadam at Radio Vatan, Eroglu alleged: "While the Turkish Cypriots are saying that they are doomed to find solution in the Cyprus problem, President Anastasaides tells them 'pay the price to save you'."
Eroglu further claimed that Akinci made a mistake by submitting map at the negotiating table without taking first what they wanted, alleging that Akinci with his stance showed that he will give more land in order to get what he wants.
Commenting on Akinci's statement "if there is no Cyprus settlement, we will continue our way with the TRNC", Eroglu claimed: "It does not happen with just saying it. (…) Instead of sitting at the negotiating table for 50 more years, it is a condition to make an effort to recognize the TRNC. It can be successful. However, everything has timing".
 Turkey will give two billion TL to the breakaway regimeTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.02.17) reports that the "council of ministers approved two separate protocols regarding the utilization of grants and credits which are provided to the TRNC by Turkey's sources for the year 2017, which was signed in Ankara in January 23, 2017, between the prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun and Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes". It was decided that the "protocols", which were published in the "official gazette" to be submitted in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime to be informed.
According to the paper, Turkey will give to the breakaway regime for 2017, 765.9 million TL as credit and 1 billion 92 million TL as donation in case the necessary conditions are implemented.
The donation will be distributed as follows: 511 million 833 thousands TL for investments, 212 million TL for real sector projects and 22 million TL for defence payments.
 Turkey nominated Turkish Cypriot Rasit Pertev as candidate to the post of President of the IFADTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (14.02.17) reports that Turkey nominated the Turkish Cypriot Rasit Pertev as candidate to the post of President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The appointment will take place during IFAD's 40th Governing Council meeting held at the organization's Rome headquarters on February 14 and 15.
According to the paper, Pertev was "minister of agriculture, forestry and energy" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus during the Annan referendum and at the same time Turkish Cypriot negotiator for the UN Peace talks in Cyprus. Since 2013, he has served as Secretary of IFAD.
 A Turkish Cypriot academician to attend an international conference in MalaysiaTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.02.17) reports that the Turkish Cypriot lecturer of the faculty of architecture of the illegal Near East university, Dr. Ozge Ozden Fuller, has been elected as member of the scientific committee at the international conference called "International Conference on Geoscience, Energy and Materials».
The conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between April 10-12, 2017.
 Figures on the number of Greek Cypriots and foreigners who crossed into the "TRNC" in 2016Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.02.17) reports that according to figures of the "tourism planning department", 1,206,000 tourists have crossed into the occupied area of Cyprus in 2016. The majority of the tourists were British citizens and the least of them were from Bosnia Herzegovina.
According to the figures, the number of the Greek Cypriots who had crossed to the occupied area of Cyprus in 2016 was 1 million 12 thousand. Comparing with 2015, this number has been increased by 7.2%, since in 2015, a total of 944,099 Greek Cypriots crossed over to the "TRNC".
 One of the attackers of the Turkish Cypriot taxi driver has been arrestedTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.02.17) reports that the Police of the Republic of Cyprus informed Ali Karapasa, a Turkish Cypriot taxi driver who was attacked by two Greek Cypriots in the area near the Ayios Dhometios barricade three months ago, that it has arrested one of the attackers.
Karapasa, had submitted a complaint at the Cyprus police over the issue.
In statements to the paper, Karapasa said that the Greek Cypriot Police is closely concerned about his case and informed him that they will arrest the other suspect as well.
 Turkey's official gazette publishes referendum schedule; possible early elections in November 2017According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.02.17), Turkey's Supreme Election Board announced on Monday the official schedule for the upcoming referendum on a government-proposed switch to a presidential system.
According to the Official Gazette published Monday, the public campaign for the April 16 referendum will kick off Feb. 16 and will continue through April 15.
Turkish citizens living abroad will be able to vote between March 27 and April 9, according to the publication.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.02.17), under the title "Presidency mulling steps to take if system change approved in Turkey's referendum", reports that the Presidency is already preparing a to-do list to immediately carry out certain regulations stated in the constitutional amendment ushering in a shift to an executive presidency in the event that the system change is approved in the referendum on April 16.
According to the presidential sources, if the amendment passes in the referendum, the first move of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will be to formally re-establish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's link with the AKP.
In order to do this, an extraordinary congress will be convened to elect Erdogan as the leader of the AKP, three years after he left the chairmanship. Erdogan, the founding leader of the AKP, ruled the party until he was elected President in mid-2014.
After taking the party leadership back, Erdogan will be able to convene the AKP's parliamentary group and address AKP lawmakers on a weekly basis. He will also work at the AKP headquarters as party leader once a week.
According to the AKP's plan, Erdogan will also attend general assembly meetings in Parliament both as a President and as leader of the AKP.
Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m, meanwhile, will continue in his post until the next parliamentary elections.
If the public approves the constitutional changes, the presidency will be re-designed in accordance with two Vice Presidents, with offices for them and their staff.
The AKP is considering possible early elections in the event of both results of the referendum, including holding an early election in November 2017 if the public does not vote for the amendment "in order to regain the public's trust".
If the public votes in favour of the changes, the relevant legislation is planned to be completed within six months, following a possible early election again in November 2017.
 Kurtulmus: "PKK/PYD replacing Daesh in Raqqa threatens Turkey"According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.02.17), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus, speaking to media after a cabinet meeting in Ankara on Monday, said that liberating the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from Daesh but leaving it in the hands of the terrorist PKK/PYD would pose a serious threat to Turkey.
"If you said, 'We'll liberate Raqqa but replace it [Daesh] with the PYD/YPG,' this would create a first-degree national security threat to Turkey," Kurtulmus said, referring to the PYD, the terrorist PKK's branch in Syria, and the YPG, its armed wing.
Turkey can take further steps as part of a deal with the international community to liberate Raqqa from Daesh and make sure that the city is not replaced with PKK/PYD elements, said Kurtulmus.
 Commentaries on Raqqa operationColumnist Asli Adintasbas, writing in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (12.02.17), under the title "A proposal to Trump", publishes, inter alia, the following commentary:
"(…) The surprise was President Erdogan's proposal to Trump regarding Ar Raqqa, the bastion of ISIS. As already known, Erdogan had previously told Obama, 'Conduct the Ar Raqqa operation against ISIS not with the YPG [People's Protection Units] but with the moderate opposition that we support'. However, after months of deliberation, the Americans settled upon the YPG instead of the 20,000-strong opposition army.
Whereas, the new idea aired during the Erdogan-Trump conversation was that the bulk of the Ar Raqqah operation should be conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK]. The idea is to besiege ISIS' citadel Ar Raqqa under the TSK leadership (with the participation of the Arab opposition), very much like the Al Bab operation.
Look, I am not a pacifist. I understand Turkey undertaking military engagements abroad under an exigency, and will support it if possible. But, this Ar Raqqa thing does not sound logical to me. (…)
First, Ar Raqqa is not directly related to the security of our borders or to our desire to prevent the unification of the Kurdish cantons. There was a logic to the 1974 Cyprus operation, there is a logic to the cleansing of Turkish borders of ISIS, but seizing the capital of jihadists 145-km deep inside Syria has no strategic prerogative for Turkey. (…) Our motive, on the other hand, is to prevent Americans partnering with Kurds.
This motive, however, is not enough reason to march on Ar Raqqah. The only way to stop the Syrian Kurds, or a Kurdish formation there, from becoming a threat to Turkey is to reconcile with the Syrian Kurds, as once was attempted in the past, and acquiesce to a reasonable northern Syria map, on the condition that Kurds agree to confine their claims only to Kurdish-inhabited regions. (..)"
Meanwhile, columnist Ibrahim Karagul, writing in Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (online, 10.02.17), under the title "Is the Raqqa operation a trap? Why did CIA Chief Pompeo come?" commented on Raqqa operation as follows:
"Will the joint Raqqa operation that the U.S. wants to launch with Turkey veer from its objective or weaken the Euphrates Shield intervention aimed at preventing the terror corridor in north Syria, which aims to siege our country?
There are more crucial questions. There is a horrific confidence crisis between Turkey and the U.S. A new approach is in question in the Trump era and of course it is too early to say certain things. The U.S.'s attitude is going to be very closely and very carefully followed by the Turkish public. Because the new security problems faced by Turkey are not classic but existential problems; they have become problems that have the power to directly determine the country's future.
We are not dealing then with classic terrorism, but dealing with states that are hiding behind terrorism. We are not fighting the PKK and Daesh, but the states that control them. We are dealing with known terrorist organizations, unknown structures, influence circles, economic crisis scenarios and plots aimed at achieving a "no" majority vote in the upcoming referendum. (…)
The al-Bab operation is a historical outburst aimed at negating the map plan trying to be formed in northern Syria and made to completely siege and close in on Turkey. It is Turkey's biggest geopolitical move after the Cyprus intervention. It is to save the future of our country, to secure its integrity.
It should not be perceived merely like a fight against terrorism, because it isn't. Both the corridor and Turkey's intervention is a plan much beyond the fight against terror. Because the "corridor project" does not belong to terrorist organizations; it is the states' project. It is neither ethnic nor sectarian; it is completely a power struggle.
It is the showdown of the states there, not organizations. This showdown is related to regional and global power maps, the reformation of the region, the re-drawing of borders, the division of some countries and plans to build new states. (…)".
 Expulsions roil MHP as 'base divided' ahead of Turkey's constitutional referendumTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.02.17) with the above title reported that Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy Chair Semih Yalcin has admitted that the party's base includes people who plan to vote "no" in the upcoming constitutional referendum, as the MHP referred four dissident members to its disciplinary board.
"'No' votes could come from MHP base in a limited number in the constitutional change referendum, from those who are affected by 'chronic opposition'", Yalcin told daily Sabah on Feb. 13, while claiming that a majority of the MHP base will vote "yes" in the public vote on whether to shift the current parliamentary system to an executive presidency.
Dissident members of the MHP previously announced that they had formed a group to campaign to vote "no" in the upcoming referendum.
The committee will be led by Meral Aksener, Sinan Ogan, Koray Aydin and Umit Ozdag, who all tried to run for the MHP leadership last year but saw their attempt stymied by their party and the court system.
Meanwhile, the MHP has referred four prominent dissidents to its disciplinary board in order for them to be expelled from the party. Yusuf Halacoglu, Ismail Ok, Ogan and Nuri Okutan were referred to the Central Disciplinary Board for "acting against party discipline and hierarchy". They are also accused of violating the party's bylaws. All four Deputies supported the MHP dissidents' referendum campaign.
According to media reports, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli ordered the party members to take action against naysayers in the party.
"There is a proper way of saying 'no.' The Central Disciplinary Board should take action and start the process for the expulsion of these lawmakers who acted against party discipline", Bahceli reportedly said in a party meeting in the Central Anatolian province of Konya, daily Sozcu reported on Feb. 13. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(DPs / AM)