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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-02-15

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. 32/17 15.02.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Statements by Akinci after meeting Eide
  • [02] Akinci sends a letter to the UNSG on the House of Representatives' 1950 plebiscite decision
  • [03] Akinci reiterates that the Cyprus talks will become meaningless if the House of Representatives' 1950 plebiscite decision is not changed
  • [04] Eide: "We do not encounter a problem for the first time at the negotiations"
  • [05] Turkey urges the Cyprus government to cancel 'Enosis' commemoration
  • [06] Siber condemns Greek Cypriots' decision to commemorate the plebiscite on "Enosis"
  • [07] Akinci briefs "non-parliamentary" parties on the Cyprus negotiations
  • [08] Commentary: "If only the Greeks could abandon ENOSIS"
  • [09] Erhurman criticized the Enosis decision adopted by the House of Representatives
  • [10] Zaroglu expressed pleasure over Akinci's stance on the Enosis decision
  • [11] Columnist argues that Akinci will abandon the negotiating table
  • [12] Associations condemn Greek Cypriots' decision to commemorate the plebiscite on "Enosis"
  • [13] The second attacker of the Turkish Cypriot taxi driver has been arrested yesterday
  • [14] The occupation regime continues the illegal distribution of "citizenships"
  • [15] The "2nd international north Cyprus cycling tour" to be launched tomorrow
  • [16] Gezici survey: "The turnout will determine the referendum results"
  • [17] Main opposition will not appeal to Turkey's top court over constitution change

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Statements by Akinci after meeting Eide

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (15.02.17) (http://www.kibrispostasi.com/(canli)-cumhurbaskani-akinci-rum-lider-ve-partisi-gelecek) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, who met today with the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, the Turkish Cypriot political parties which are not represented in the "assembly" and the "solidarity movement", condemned again in statements, at the so-called presidential palace, the decision adopted with majority by the Cyprus House of Representatives regarding the celebration in the public schools of the 1950 plebiscite.

    "I have asked from the Greek Cypriot leader to recall his mistake. I have also spoken with Eide, {earlier} who was abroad, on the phone. Besides this, I have also sent a letter to the UN Secretary General. Today, I also had a face to face meeting with Eide with whom I discussed the issue. In the same way I conveyed to him on the phone the gravity and seriousness of this issue, I also did it today during our face to face meeting. I will go to the meeting tomorrow. And I will convey the same things to Anastasiades. Because I have realized from his response that the issue was not apprehended as serious. He has shown a disdainful approach towards this matter. It seems that he did not want to give further dimensions on this issue using an ascribing rhetoric for this historical event. What he wrote was based on the logic that 'the best defense is a good offence'. This is not the stance that we were expecting by the Greek Cypriot leader.

    There are various reasons for the reaction expressed by the Turkish Cypriot people on this issue. The leadership of the community [meaning President Anastasiades] should very well understand that we wish to build a peaceful future and a partnership under the umbrella of a federation. We have conveyed this to the UN and we have sent a letter to the Secretary-General. And the UN should understand this and undertake a role. The UN is the organization which provides good office mission to our efforts for a solution.

    The message of this incident is crystal clear and it's the following: "Such issues reveal clearly that Mr. Anastasiades and his party are thinking more about the forthcoming elections than the solution. For this reason, we have come across a very serious situation. We ask from the Greek Cypriot leadership, first to undertake steps on the issue of political equality which is a basic right for the Turkish Cypriots and constitutes a basic element of all negotiations, and also to prepare his community for the rotating presidency. We are expecting them to exhibit the same efforts which we do and prepare their community for a federal partnership, for sharing power with us. This is what they should do. Opposite developments do not contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem", Akinci stated.

    (AK)

    [02] Akinci sends a letter to the UNSG on the House of Representatives' 1950 plebiscite decision

    Under the title "The decision of commemorating enosis has dealt a serious blow to the process", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrisgazetesi.com/kibris/enosisi-anma-karari-surece-ciddi-zarar-verdi/12767) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has sent a letter to UNSG Antonio Guterres regarding the Cyprus House of Representatives' decision to commemorate the 1950 enosis plebiscite in the schools.

    In his letter Akinci reiterated the view that in case the above-mentioned decision is not annulled, a serious blow will be dealt to the building of trust between the two sides in Cyprus and the negotiating process will suffer a great damage. Akinci asked Guterres for the UN to undertake an initiative in the direction of the annulment of the decision.

    Moreover, Akinci argued that during a period when the continuation of the Cyprus Conference in March was decided, the decision was not in harmony with the calls of both the UNSG and the UN Security Council regarding the need of taking steps for building trust in the island and preparing the communities for the solution.

    Akinci claimed that the decision sows the seeds of division in the minds of the young generations by targeting students of secondary schools and makes meaningless the mutually accepted confidence building measures. "The target of enosis is the main reason of the emergence of the Cyprus problem and brought only sorrow and pain to Cyprus", he argued.

    Noting that he was surprised by the fact that the issue came onto the agenda after 67 years by the far right-wing ELAM party and was adopted at the Cyprus House of Representatives, Akinci said that the issue causes even more sorrow by the fact that President Anastasiades' DISY party has contributed in the taking of this decision.

    Recalling that a Technical Committee on Education has been established for the development of the culture of peace in education, Akinci claimed that it is evident that actions are not taken with the responsibility [of developing the culture of peace].

    Akinci argued that when the attacks against Turkish Cypriots in the government-controlled area of the island are also taken into consideration, the decision of the House of Representatives increases the security concerns of the Turkish Cypriots and puts forward the need for a mechanism which will prevent these tendencies in case of a solution.

    Akinci said that they are aware of the risks which exist in 2017 in the efforts towards a solution and pointed out to the importance of avoiding moves which make the difficult duty of finding a viable and lasting solution in Cyprus even more difficult with such steps.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Akinci reiterates that the Cyprus talks will become meaningless if the House of Representatives' 1950 plebiscite decision is not changed

    Under the title "If the Greek Cypriot Parliament's decision is not corrected, the negotiating process will become meaningless", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/akinci-rum-meclis-karari-duzeltilmezse-muzakere-surecini-anl) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci commented again today on 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").

    In statements during a meeting with a delegation from the "Solidarity Movement", Akinci argued that there are some initiatives to present the above-mentioned decision as not important and made a call in the direction of "correcting the situation" the soonest. "Otherwise, the forthcoming negotiating process will become meaningless", he alleged noting that the decision of celebrating the plebiscite for enosis in the schools has aroused indignation and caused mistrust in the Turkish Cypriot community.

    "We need confidence building measures, we do not need behaviors which will denude trust", he said and alleged that, as "elected president", he is the first who opposes to statements regarding the annexation of the occupied area of Cyprus to Turkey. "It is our right to expect the same stance from the elected leader in the south as well", he claimed describing as unacceptable the fact that the House of Representatives' decision was supported by DISY, President Anastasiades' party.

    He argued: "In spite of the fact that ELAM is a small party, it dragged behind it a big part, just like the big majority of the Parliament came to the point of approving the procedure of exiting from the EU (BREXIT) that had been launched by a very small party in the UK. Therefore, we did not underestimate this issue and we do not intend to underestimate it".

    Reiterating the allegation that the decision for using the cell phones in the entire island within the framework of confidence building measures was not implemented because of a law in the Republic of Cyprus, Akinci argued that the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus should work for this but instead of helping the cell phone communication between the two communities, it took such a decision [regarding celebrating enosis plebiscite in the schools].

    Akinci said that their duty is to work for the young generations to live in peace and tranquility in Cyprus. He noted that moving towards a federal solution is their fundamental target, but the recent incident has dealt a serious blow to the process.

    During the meeting, the Solidarity Movement handed over to Akinci a report on the stone quarries in the occupied area of Cyprus. Akinci described the stone quarries as the "bleeding wound of our country" and said that protecting the environment is one of their main duties.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Eide: "We do not encounter a problem for the first time at the negotiations"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/eide-muzakerede-ilk-kez-sorunla-karsilasmiyoruz-15022017) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met today with the UNSG Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, in view of the meeting to be held between the community leaders tomorrow within the framework of the Cyprus talks.

    In a statement to the press following the meeting with Akinci, Eide said: "Tomorrow's leaders' meeting is important; we do not encounter a problem for the first time at the negotiations. The aim of the negotiations is to solve the problem and not to stir trouble up. If we will compare the climate relative to before, the climate among the two sides is not good at this moment".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrisgazetesi.com/kibris/akinci-bugun-eideyi-kabul-edecek/12717) recalls Akinci's statement that 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") will be the only issue on the agenda if no steps are taken on this issue.

    (I/Ts. / DPs)

    [05] Turkey urges the Cyprus government to cancel 'Enosis' commemoration

    According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 15.02.17), the "TRNC" (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) and Turkey's Foreign Ministry urged the Greek Cypriot administration (editor's note: the Cyprus government) on Tuesday to annul the introduction of a commemoration in Greek Cypriot schools of the plebiscite on "Enosis," which is the idea of Cyprus being annexed to Greece.

    A meeting between Turkish and Greek Cypriot negotiators was cancelled Tuesday over a Greek Cypriot move to honour "Enosis," reports said.

    On Monday, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told reporters the meeting on the island between Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami and Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis "will probably not be held" due to the controversial move.

    On Tuesday evening, Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement, saying it "joins the statements made by Akinci, in which he called on the Greek Cypriot leader to annul the said decision".

    "The Greek Cypriot leader's characterization of this decision as 'a simple reference to a historical fact' and his depiction of it as being equivalent to the celebrations of the anniversaries of the July 20 Cyprus Peace Operation and the Nov. 15 founding of the TRNC, on the other hand, are both meaningless and unacceptable. The Cyprus Peace Operation aimed to put an end to the humanitarian tragedy caused by a mentality rooted in delusions of 'Enosis'," the statement said and added "that the decision by the Greek Cypriot side will not contribute to confidence-building between the two "peoples" on the island or contribute to the ongoing negotiation process.

    Moreover, the statement claimed that the Greek Cypriots' refusal to accept Turkish Cypriots as co-owners of the island will make it difficult to achieve results with regards to resolving the conflict.

    [06] Siber condemns Greek Cypriots' decision to commemorate the plebiscite on "Enosis"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.02.17), the self-styled speaker of the parliament Sibel Siber has claimed that "the Greek Cypriot Parliament's decision to mark Enosis at schools was an act of disrespect towards Turkish Cypriot existence and identity on the island".

    Speaking during a ceremony on Tuesday, Siber stated that "the Turkish Cypriot people as one of the two peoples living on the island wanted its social entity and identity to be respected" and added that the idea of Enosis is the root cause of the Cyprus problem.

    Claiming that Enosis meant disrespecting and ignoring the existence and identity of the Turkish Cypriot "people", Siber argued that it is unacceptable to keep the idea of Enosis alive and to sow the seeds of hostility towards the other community.

    "Our people have a strong will to live in peace on the island and we should be proud of this. We, despite our pains, made a clean break and have always kept our will strong for a solution which will ensure that the bitter experiences of the past will not be experienced again. We supported all UN parameters for a solution and accordingly took the necessary steps", Siber noted.

    Reminding that the Turkish Cypriots had said yes to the Annan Plan in 2004, she said: "While the hope of our people was high that the ongoing negotiations will result with a solution by bringing Enosis to the agenda is a big disrespect committed against our people. It is unacceptable to bring Enosis to the agenda when the Turkish Cypriot people still have deep and fresh pains in their social memory. It is unacceptable to imbue students with Enosis, to keep this idea alive and to ignore the Turkish Cypriot people".

    "Solution is different than peace" Siber said, adding that if a society did not prepare for a solution then even a best solution to be found will not be viable.

    "It is the peace culture which will make a solution viable. It is difficult to reach a viable solution in this country while poisoning youngsters with enmity towards the other community through their education system at schools. We may put a signature to a solution however it is not possible to make it viable without adopting a peace culture. You can reach a solution at the table but peace can only be achieved in the hearts of the people. It is the peoples who can achieve and protect peace", Siber concluded.

    [07] Akinci briefs "non-parliamentary" parties on the Cyprus negotiations

    Illegal Turkish Cypriot Bayrak television (15.02.17, online, http://www.brtk.net/cumhurbaskani-akinci-bilgilendirme-toplantilarini-surduruyor/) broadcasts that today Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci will brief on the Cyprus problem the Turkish Cypriot political parties which are not represented in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Akinci was expected to hold consequent meetings with representatives from the New Cyprus Party (YKP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the People's Party (HP), the Communal Liberation Party-New Forces (TKP-YG) and the Revival Party (YDP).

    Under the title "The politicians are hopeless", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/siyasiler-muzakere-surecinden-umitsiz-15022017) reports that in statements after the meeting the common view of the party representatives is that there is a deadlock in the negotiations and that the process has collapsed.

    BKP's chairman, Izzet Izcan noted that only the supporters of the status quo and the non-solution will be happy if the work done until today is wasted. Therefore, he added, the correct thing to do is to continue the negotiating process, hold the Cyprus Conference in Geneva and find a solution to the Cyprus problem by overcoming these difficulties the soonest.

    TKP-YG's chairman, Mehmet Cakici said that they want a just and equal agreement to the Cyprus problem and argued that they see Akinci's struggle in this direction and for advancing the process. He alleged that the election campaign for the 2018 presidential elections started with problems, that reference is made to enosis and that things may become tougher. He claimed: "There is no situation deriving from us. We will become no one's minority. We will not accept their actions which will spoil the conditions in which an agreement could be made. We support the president in this sense. […] The information we received satisfied us. There was nothing which we did not know, but hearing this from the president is different".

    Cakici, who is also a "deputy", complained about the fact that he had not been invited during a briefing with the parties represented in the "assembly". "I have not come from Thailand's assembly', he noted.

    Tolga Atakan, HP's general secretary, said that the meeting was useful and recalled his party had been stating that the Greek Cypriots had exhibited certain insincerity even when they were referring to finding a solution by the end of 2016. He alleged that the latest developments show this and that the campaign for the presidential elections of 2018 started early. Describing as "very important" the meeting between the leaders which will be held tomorrow, Atakan said that they are cautious on the issue of creating a new climate for extending the negotiations after February 2018. "We want a more closed timetable, a productive process", he claimed.

    YKP's chairman, Erhan Arikli said that as far as he saw "the process has been interrupted" and "the injury time is being played". "I do not think that there will be a development from now on", he argued adding that the Turkish Cypriots have to continue their "internal efforts" because otherwise time is working against them.

    KSP's general secretary, Mehmet Birinci said that they were convinced once more that the solution in Cyprus does not depend on the good will efforts of the two Cypriot leaders and that the problem cannot be solved without struggling against the British and American imperialism. "We expect nothing from negotiations held in this manner", he added.

    Ali Uncu, member of SDP's administrative committee, alleged that a deadlock is being experienced in the solution process, that the Greek Cypriot side made a step backwards on some issues, that when so-called agreed matters were written down on paper it seemed that agreement did not exist on them and that some agreements and cooperation should be made with Turkey and Israel on the energy issue with or without a solution, but in case of a solution these will be developed.

    Finally, Murat Kanatli, member of YKP's executive council, has alleged that the negotiations have collapsed since last autumn and that the initiatives to revive them led nowhere. He claimed that the problem is deep and that "they will reach nowhere with the comprehensive solution".

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Commentary: "If only the Greeks could abandon ENOSIS"

    Under the above title, columnist Ilnur Cevik, writing in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 15.02.17) publishes, inter alia, the following commentary:

    "For 43 years we have been hearing that a settlement on the Cyprus issue is just around the corner. Yet we have never managed to turn that corner and it seems now that turning it remains a tough prospect.

    (…)

    In recent months there has been some euphoria that at last the Cyprus problem will be solved simply because Cyprus observers felt the hawkish Turkish Cypriot leaders had been replaced by the left-wing President Mustafa Akinci, who they felt would deliver a settlement.

    It is true that Akinci was eager to become the Turkish Cypriot leader to mend fences with the Greek Cypriots and help to forge a settlement and thus go down in history as a peacemaker. It is true that he gave the Greek Cypriots more concessions than they could have dreamed of, yet this was not sufficient to appease the Greeks. In fact there were rumours that in some cases he did not even consult Ankara about these concessions and proposals.

    (…)

    Yet at the end of the day he too experienced the incredible Greek Cypriot intransigence that has paralyzed the Cyprus peace process for four decades.

    (…)

    It seems the Greeks never abandoned the dream of ENOSIS. The Greek House of Representatives has adopted a resolution calling on all schools to mark the anniversary of the 1950 referendum of joining the island with Greece. This has been strongly protested against by the Turkish Cypriots.

    (…)

    Akinci has to face the ugly realities of Cyprus that late President Rauf Denktas underlined for years when he was looked down upon as an uncompromising old statesman. He now is experiencing the hard facts that even being a social democrat will not help in forging a settlement on Cyprus."

    [09] Erhurman criticized the Enosis decision adopted by the House of Representatives

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi (15.02.17-online) (http://www.kibrispostasi.com/erhurman-enosisi-20-temmuzla-karsilastirmak-son-derece-yanli) reports that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, condemned the decision of the House of Representatives regarding the celebration of Enosis referendum in schools and warned on the dangers of this decision.

    In statements in a private television channel, Erhurman alleged: "The Enosis idea is not included in the Republic of Cyprus' Constitution. Neither in the 11th of February joint declaration. I have not understood why it should be remembered now. It is tremendously wrong to compare the July 20 with Enosis. The Greek Cypriot side should undertake a positive step against this mistake. Their behavior is spoiled. They make a breach not only in the solution but also in peace".

    (AK)

    [10] Zaroglu expressed pleasure over Akinci's stance on the Enosis decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.02.17-(http://www.kibrisgazetesi.com/kibris/ydp-akincinin-tutumundamemnun/12707) reports that the general secretary of the Rebirth Party (YDP) Bertan Zaroglu, expressed in a written statement satisfaction over the stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci on the decision approved by the House of Representatives for the celebration of the Enosis referendum in schools.

    Zaroglu expressed pleasure over the suspension of yesterday's meeting between the two negotiators and also over Akinci's statement that the issue of the Enosis referendum will be the only one in the agenda in his meeting with Anastasiades tomorrow.

    Claiming that it is a "great misfortune" the comparison made by President Anastasiades between the Enosis referendum and the "1974 peace operation celebrations", as he called the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, Zaroglu alleged that the "1974 peace operation" brought peace and stability on the island, protected thousands of Greek Cypriots and brought democracy even to Greece.

    (AK)

    [11] Columnist argues that Akinci will abandon the negotiating table

    Under the title "It seems it is time to abandon the table", columnist Gokhan Altiner Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (15.02.17, online, http://www.kibrispostasi.com/index.php/cat/1/col/160/art/30080/PageName/KIBRISPOSTASI) argues that it is time for Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to abandon the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem because of the issue that had come up after the approval of a decision by the Cyprus House of Representatives regarding the celebration of the 1950 enosis plebiscite in the schools and the dimensions which the issue has taken after Akinci's reaction.

    Altiner writes, inter alia, the following: "[…] Let us say that Akinci complained to the UN on this issue. He shouted, but went to the negotiations. […] I wrote it yesterday as well. How and in which form he will continue these negotiations? What he will discuss at the table? If he did not react so hardly, so seriously, this incident might have not taken such big dimensions and abandoning the table or interrupting the negotiations might not have come onto the agenda. He could have continued the negotiations by saying 'you know the Greek Cypriots, what shall we do, in spite of everything, we will push for a solution'.

    […] From now on Akinci does not have the possibility or the luxury of sitting at the table. The opposition will be accusing Akinci with all its force by saying 'are you discussing with a Greek Cypriot leader who wants enosis?' I am writing it very clearly here that no journalist will or will be able to defend Akinci on this point. That is, the argument that 'let them go away, we will corner them and we will make an agreement' will not function in this process. […]

    Since we established a separate state, this country is mainly governed by parties having the right-wing ideology. All of us know how well the economic situation of most of the people is. It is good to defend, to support the TRNC, but if we had strengthened its economy, every president of the republic would have been stronger at the negotiations. If the UBP and DP, which dominate over this country for years, could create a state [strong] like a king, Akinci could have said now 'we do not want your solution, we are good like we are' […]".

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Associations condemn Greek Cypriots' decision to commemorate the plebiscite on "Enosis"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 15.02.17), numerous societies, associations and trade unions have expressed their reaction to the Cyprus House of Representatives' decision to mark the 1950 pro-Enosis plebiscite in schools.

    The organisations have all expressed the joint view that the decision harmed the ongoing negotiations process and that the decision should be retracted.

    The "Retired Military Officers Association" sent a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, condemning the decision and demanding that the United Nations launch an initiative to have the Cyprus Parliament withdraw the bill.

    Officials from the association handed the letter to UN officials at the Ledra Palace checkpoint.

    The "Cyprus Turkish National Existence Council" sent a letter to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci expressing its concerns regarding the Cyprus negotiations process. The council chairman Vedat Celik in his letter argued that "the status the Greek Cypriots see fit for us with the support of the EU and UN is not one as federal equal partners but as a protected minority. The Turkish Cypriots will absolutely not accept a solution under such circumstances".

    The "Cyprus Turkish Platform" in its statement claimed that the decision taken by the Cyprus Parliament was a clear indication of the Greek Cypriots intolerance for Turkish existence on the island. It strongly condemned the decision taken by the Cyprus Parliament alleging that the mentality of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo has not changed in all these years.

    [13] The second attacker of the Turkish Cypriot taxi driver has been arrested yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.02.17- http://www.yeniduzen.com/ikinci-saldirgan-da-yakalandi-86544h.htm) reports that the Police of the Republic of Cyprus has arrested yesterday the second suspect who is believed to be related with the attack against the Turkish Cypriot taxi driver, Ali Karapasa in the area near the Ayios Dhometios barricade three months ago.

    Karapasa, had submitted a complaint at the Cyprus police over the issue.

    (AK)

    [14] The occupation regime continues the illegal distribution of "citizenships"

    Under the front-page title: "Non-stop" reports that the so-called coalition government of the National Unity Party-Democratic Party (UBP-DP) continues non-stop the illegal distribution of "exceptional citizenships" based on the "article of the exceptional granting of citizenship".

    According to the "official gazette" of the occupation regime dated February 10, the so-called council of ministers has decided the illegal "granting of citizenship" to 13 persons, including the Turkish very well -known artist Argun Korhan Sayginer.

    The paper adds that during the last six months, the occupation regime has illegally granted 144 "exceptional citizenships".

    (AK)

    [15] The "2nd international north Cyprus cycling tour" to be launched tomorrow

    According to illegal Bayrak television (14.02.17) the "2nd international north Cyprus cycling tour" will be held between the 16th and 19th of February.

    Preparations are continuing for the "event" which will be attended by approximately 20 professional teams from different countries.

    Meanwhile, athletes and members of the Astana City Contitental (Kazakhstan), ISD Jorbi Continental Team (Ukraine) και Kazakhstan National Team (Kazakhstan) are already in the occupied area of Cyprus for the event, which is organized under the auspices of the so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    More than 20 teams and 250 cyclists from Turkey and Europe will attend the event.

    (AK)

    [16] Gezici survey: "The turnout will determine the referendum results"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (online, 15.02.17, http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/english/676409/Yesincrisis.html ) reports that the AKP (Justice and Development Party) is having trouble with its plan to make Erdogan into the "single man". With the AKP and its unconditional supporter, Bahceli's MHP, having close to a 60% share of the vote, this share remains stubbornly below 45% in the referendum. This indicates that more than 10% of these two parties' voters will not vote 'Yes'.

    Even if the desertions from the 'Yes' block are attributed to the MHP base, there is a group in the AKP that does not support 'Yes'. The AKP top brass, reckoning on some of their former administrators and MPs who for some time have been ostracised but have not given expression to their critical attitudes voting 'No,' will try to persuade both this group and MHP people.

    According to research conducted in 24 provinces and 85 sub-provinces by Gezici Research Centre, the referendum result is on a knife edge. 'Yes' has a 48.9% of the vote, while 'No' is supported by 51.1%. According to Murat Gezici, if the turnout is high, 'No' has a higher chance of winning.

    Some of the table published in the paper regarding results of Gezici survey (http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/foto/fotogaleri/675727/1/Gezicininanketi...Sonucusandigakatilimbelirleyecek.html):

    What would you vote in the referendum? % Distribution of the undecided voters (%)

    I will vote yes 43.7 48.9

    I will vote no 45.7 51.1

    I have not decided 10.6 -

    Total

    100 100

    Which party did you vote in the general elections November 1, 2015? I will vote yes I will vote no I have not decided Total

    AKP

    (Justice & Development Party) 82.3 7.8 9.9 100

    CHP

    (Republican People's Party) 3.8 93.1 3.1 100

    MHP

    (Nationalist Movement Party) 16.7 64.4 18.9 100

    HDP

    (People's Democratic Party 9.1 89.3 1.6 100

    SP

    (Felicity Party) 10 60 30 100

    BBP

    (Great Union Party) 66.7 33.3 0 100

    DP

    (Democratic Party) 50 0 50 100

    Others 40 60 0 100

    I did not vote 21.4 50 28.6 100

    (DPs)

    [17] Main opposition will not appeal to Turkey's top court over constitution change

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 14.02.17) reports that main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has announced that his party will not appeal to the Constitutional Court over the constitutional amendment that will be voted on in a referendum in early April.

    "If the sovereignty of the people is at stake, the high council on this subject is the council of the people. That's why we will not appeal to the Constitutional Court," Kilicdaroglu said on Feb. 14 addressing his party's parliamentary group.

    "Until April 16, when the decision will be made, we will entrust the next 60 days to the nation's justice", he added.

    His comments came after the CHP's harsh criticism of government-sponsored constitutional amendment prompted speculation that the party may appeal to the top court.

    Prime Minister Binali Yildirim commented on the decision, saying the CHP "must have understood that no positive result would emerge from the Constitutional Court".

    The CHP says that the proposed constitutional amendment violates the principle of separation of powers and will amount to a "regime change".

    "That's why I am saying that if you say 'no,' Turkey will take a deep breath", Kilicdaroglu said, listing his opposition to the charter.

    "Should the President biased or impartial? Since the Republic was established the President has been impartial. The President must be impartial because he represents 80 million," he said, referring to the amendment which re-establishes President's links to a political party.

    "Should one person have the authority to abolish Parliament? Such authority was not even given to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk", Kilicdaroglu added.

    "If a person has been corrupt and 550 representatives that you have elected cannot ask 'Where did you spend this money?' then you should go to the polls and say 'no' with your full belief," he said.

    Recalling the latest decrees that dismissed hundreds of academics from universities across Turkey, Kilicdaroglu said that the suppression "violates the right to free expression". "You are dismissing university teachers whose thoughts are not suitable for you. On what ground are you dismissing those university teachers?" he said, adding that academics are legally allowed to be members of political parties.

    "The number of journalists imprisoned after the Sept. 12 [1980 military coup] was 31. The number of journalists imprisoned after July 20 [2016 state of emergency declaration] now exceeds 150", Kilicdaroglu said, repeating his earlier description of the first declaration of the state of emergency as a "coup". TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs / AM)


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