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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-02-23
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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. 38/17 23.02.17
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Akinci's statement on the Cyprus talksAccording to illegal Bayrak television (23.02.17), the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci accused the Greek Cypriot side of continuing to blame the Turkish Cypriot side for the current impasse in the Cyprus negotiations process, instead of correcting its "mistake".
Akinci issued a written statement concerning today's scheduled meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, which was cancelled.
The meeting was called off after Akinci announced that he would not be attending on grounds that the Greek Cypriot side had not taken sufficient steps to rectify the situation.
"The Greek Cypriot side, instead of correcting its mistake is continuing to blame us. It has been claiming that we are making up excuses because we do not want to negotiate", Akinci said.
Alleging that a similar impasse had been experienced last year when he himself had attended a dinner at an international event upon the invitation of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan followed by a meeting with the UN Secretary General, Akinci claimed: "It seems Mr Anastasiades forgot that he had protested my actions by not meeting with me. He continued his meaningless stance for days and we were only able to return to the talks due to the patience I had shown as well as my determination for reaching a solution".
Supporting that "there is a great difference between attending a dinner and the decision to commemorate Enosis at schools which aims to fill the minds of Greek Cypriot youth with nationalist aspirations", Akinci alleged that the Greek Cypriot side refuses to understand the strong reaction the whole of the Turkish Cypriot community had put forward.
Akinci further claimed that the main reason why progress had been reached in the Cyprus negotiations process for the past 21 months is the great effort and constructive stance displayed by the Turkish Cypriot side to reach a federal settlement, something, which all relevant parties had seen, as he alleged.
"If a five-party conference was able to convene it was because the Turkish Cypriot side had played a great role", Akinci further said.
"Unfortunately, this is not the approach we see from the Greek Cypriot side," stated Ak?nc?, alleging that the Greek Cypriot side avoided taking a stance on the details regarding effective decision making in the federal committees, seeking only the majority of Greek Cypriot members.
"This approach is against an agreement for federal cooperation", he claimed, adding that the Greek Cypriot leadership was not promoting the idea and preparing the ground for a rotating presidency.
Reminding that a request to postpone the Geneva conference was not made by Turkey, but by Greece, Akinci further supported that the Greek Cypriot side cannot hide the fact that the rationale behind the vote for an Enosis day at schools was driven by electoral logic as elections in "south Cyprus" are a year from now.
 Akinci will participate at the 13th Conference of the Economic Cooperation OrganizationIllegal Bayrak television (online, 23.02.17) broadcast (http://www.brtk.net/akinci-pakistan-yolcusu/) that according to a press release by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci's office, Akinci will fly to Islamabad on February 27, to participate at the 13th conference of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), as a guest of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
Akinci will be accompanied by the "director of presidency" Gulden Ilkman, his private secretary Cenk Gurcag and his special advisor on economy Prof. Dr Omer Gokcekus.
Akinci and his delegation will return to the occupied area of Cyprus on March 3.
 "Akinci left the negotiating table"Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.02.17) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu "did what he had to do" during his illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and the negotiations were interrupted.
According to the paper, Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci could not be different than the past Turkish Cypriot leaders. "He burned the quilt because of fleas and disappointed those who had voted for him, but earned the appreciation of the nationalist front which had not voted for him", writes the paper adding that Akinci stated yesterday that he would not participate in the meeting with President Anastasiades planned for today within the framework of the Cyprus talks.
The paper noted that Akinci was not satisfied with the statement made by President Anastasiades that the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives regarding the commemoration of the 1950 plebiscite in favor of the unification of Cyprus with Greece [enosis] in schools was wrong. Akinci was also not satisfied with the move made by ruling DISY party on the issue, writes Afrika, which resembles Baris Burcu, Akinci's spokesperson, to Hasan Ercakica, former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat's spokesperson, and recalls that Burcu stated yesterday that they were expecting "concrete steps both at political and administrative level".
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.02.17) also reports that the negotiating process in Cyprus "officially stopped", after "entering into a deadlock with south Cyprus' insistence on enosis". "The Turkish Cypriot side decided not to participate in the meeting between the leaders today", notes the paper.
 Yildirim: Akinci's decision to leave the negotiating table was justifiedTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.02.17) reports that Binali Yildirim, Turkish Prime Minister, has reiterated the allegation that Turkey's effective guarantees are sine qua non for a solution in Cyprus. Speaking at Cankaya Palace in Ankara yesterday, Yildirim claimed: "This is also not enough. Let us say that, in spite of all that happened, there will be an agreement. What we call as four freedoms should be secured, the free entrance and exit from Cyprus of people, services, products and capital. This is also something we have asked from the EU".
Furthermore, Yildirim alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has been conducting an "operation of perceptions" in Cyprus by saying "we agreed, I will agree", but afterwards things from its subconscious came to surface. He claimed: "It took the decision on enosis [Translator's note: This is how he described the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives regarding the commemoration of the 1950 plebiscite in favor of the unification of Cyprus with Greece (enosis) in schools]. If you would take this decision, why were you keeping so many people busy for so long? This is diametrically opposite to the agreement. Akinci was justified in not going to the last meeting of the leaders. Therefore, this meeting will not take place. This is not a childish game. […]
From Cyprus' point of view, Turkey should be treated as if it has joined the EU. This is EU's duty. They are working on this. And Greece, Britain and Turkey are working on the issues of guarantees and security. And it is Akinci's and Anastasiades' duty to develop and single Cyprus based on the fair equality, a solution which will be consisting of two federations and will be satisfying the expectations of both the Geek and he Turkish Cypriot side. […]".
 Kalin: Enosis plebiscite justifies Turkish Cypriot concerns and demands for Turkey's security and guaranteesIllegal Bayrak (23.02.17 online http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=kalin-evaluates-enosis-decision) broadcast that Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin made an evaluation on the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives regarding the inclusion of the 1950 plebiscite on Cyprus' unification (enosis) with Greece in the list of the days which are celebrated at the secondary education schools in the government-controlled area of the Republic and said that this is in Greek Cypriot leadership's hand.
Kalin claimed that the Enosis decision signified the Greek Cypriot side's idea to annex the island with Greece and added that with this decision the Greek Cypriot side intended to revive this idea and dream.
Saying that "it was out of question to accept this idea", Kalin claimed the decision was important in terms that it revealed the true intentions of the Greek Cypriot side.
He also alleged that the situation served to justify Turkish Cypriot concerns and demands for Turkey's security and guarantees and added: "We have been saying from the very beginning that Turkey's presence in Cyprus as a guarantor power is not targeted at the Greek Cypriot side but is aimed for the protection of the Turkish Cypriots and for peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. We hope that the Greek Cypriot side will change its decision. Especially, bringing this decision to the agenda during a period where the negotiations process has entered a critical stage will of course have an adverse effect on the talks. It is the Greek Cypriot side who should take steps."
 CTP calls on leaders to solve crisisIllegal Bayrak (23.02.17 online http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=ctp-calls-on-leaders-to-solve-crisis) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) issued a statement calling on the two leaders in Cyprus to communicate, to find a way to resume the Cyprus negotiations process and to exercise a sincere effort towards reaching a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement on the basis of political equality.
In a statement evaluating the decision of the Cyprus House of Representatives on 1950 Enosis plebiscite, CTP said that both the decision itself and its implementation were extremely wrong and unacceptable.
According to the party, it would be wrong to evaluate this decision as just untimely and that doing so would only be trying to rectify a mistake with another mistake.
While the statement urged the Greek Cypriot leader to do his part in correcting this mistake immediately, it pointed out that the decision had harmed the negotiations process.
Stating that a serious effort had been put forward in the Cyprus negotiations process to this date and that important progress had been reached, the CTP statement said that great injustice would be committed against both Turkish and Greek Cypriots if all these efforts were wasted.
The statement also called on the two leaders to establish a mechanism for communication, to use a language which will restore the atmosphere of trust at the negotiating table and to transform the current situation into an opportunity to bring to the agenda the need for peace education to be used against those who oppose a settlement.
 Durduran called the two leaders to return to the negotiating tableTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (23.02.17) reports that the member of the "executive committee" of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), Albay Durduran, evaluating in a written statement the recent developments on the Cyprus negotiation talks, called the two leaders to return to the negotiating table the soonest possible, to discuss the core issues and to intensify their efforts by focusing on a framework agreement.
Expressing the view that it is not right to toughen your stance and put preconditions instead of trying to smooth down the situation, Durduran said: "The Turkish Cypriot side should not do this. By threatening for the future and behaving like this, someone is possible to think that it was expecting for this chance to utilize it".
Explaining that it should not be forgotten that there will not be other opportunity for the creation of a United Cyprus, Durduran recalled the threat of the change of the demographic structure of the island and added that if no solution is found, Cyprus would continuously experience several problems and would become a place which will always hope for help.
Stressing the need for the solution of the Cyprus problem not to be victimized by "political games", Durduran called the two leaders to return the soonest possible to the negotiating table.
 AKP Deputy said that there are 100 thousand Turkish voters in the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.02.17) reports that Abdurrahman Oz, Deputy with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Aydin and deputy chairman of the election affairs committee, said that the Turkish citizens, who live in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, will be able to vote in "TRNC" for the constitutional referendum on April 16, 2017, in case of making a registration at the illegal Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia until February 26.
Oz, who is currently in the occupied area of Cyprus with a committee, announced that the number of Turkish voters in the "TRNC" is around to 100 thousands, who can go to the polls.
Explaining that he is in the "TRNC" as the election affairs committee of AKP, Oz said that they are making efforts so the turnout in the referendum to be high. He further said that there are 100 thousand voters in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and 50 thousand university students. Noting that they, as AKP, attach importance to the youth, Oz explained that in this context, they are meeting with university students and informing them regarding the voter registration.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (23.02.17) reports that asked by the paper whether a rally will be held or not in the occupied area of Cyprus for Turkey's constitutional referendum, Oz replied that Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim expressed such a desire, but at this stage he does not know when it will be held, adding that it will be clarified in an advanced stage.
 A stolen Ottoman sword found at the British museumAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.02.17), the sword of Ottoman Sultan Selim II, who conquered Cyprus in 1571, was found in Britain. The paper reports that the sword, which was donated by Sultan Selim at the Selimiye mosque (Cathedral of Saint Sofia) in the occupied part of Lefkosia, was stolen 35 years ago and sold for four million sterling.
The paper further reports that this sword is now at the British museum. The general director of EVKAF Ibrahim Benter said that they will try to bring back the historical sword. He added that by using all the diplomatic channels they will ask the return of the sword. The sword will be on the market for the price of 15 million sterling.
 Turkey to EU: No summit, no progressTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (23.02.17) reports that the only way to jumpstart stalled Turkey-EU ties is to hold a high-level summit between the two parties, Turkish EU Minister Omer Celik has said, suggesting that it should occur in the first half of 2017 and produce concrete results in Turkey's accession process, as well as a visa exemption to Turkish nationals.
"There can be no progress [in ties between Turkey and the European Union] without a proper Turkey-EU summit," Celik told a group of journalists travelling with him to Warsaw for official talks on Feb. 22.
Turkey has long called on the EU to hold a high-level summit to revise issues of concern to both sides, especially on the implementation of the March 18, 2016, migrant agreement. Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m conveyed Ankara's message to the EU on the need to update the political framework during a trip to Malta, the EU's term president, last week.
Turkey's message included two important points, Celik said. "First, this summit should be held in the first half of this year. Second, it should not introduce theoretical perspectives but concrete progress. This summit should not be limited to issues related to Turkey's struggle against terrorism or migration. We want to see what can be produced in Turkey's accession process, as well as grant visa exemptions to Turkish nationals."
Although Turkey has fulfilled its obligations stemming from a March 2016 agreement, it needs to be seen whether the EU really wants to continue the deal or wishes to abandon it, Celik said.
Recalling that the EU was in a process of abolishing visa requirements for the nationals of Ukraine, Georgia and Kosovo, Celik said: "If the criteria is about security, there is no doubt that Turkey is much stronger in fulfilling it. There is no solid reason for not providing a visa exemption to Turkey."
Celik also said Turkey's ongoing struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in al-Bab, Manbij and elsewhere in Syria was part of an effort to ensure the security of European capitals from terrorists.
"Turkey was able to clear its borders of DAESH all alone while a coalition of 60 countries failed to do so. These borders are NATO borders as well and have been cleared of terrorists," he said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
Celik also drew attention to the EU's decision not to invite negotiating countries to the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaty, which will be held in Rome on March 25.
Expressing Ankara's disturbance, Celik said: "They said they have not invited the United Kingdom either. This reflects the EU's lack of vision. Putting countries that are negotiating to be admitted to the EU and, therefore see their future inside the EU, and the U.K., which decided to exit it, into the same basket is a clear collapse of vision."
The meeting, which is being organized by European Council President Donald Tusk, will be attended by the heads of state and governments of EU countries on March 25 in Italy.
Ties between Ankara and Brussels became increasingly tense last year after the European Parliament issued a recommendation to the EU to cut ongoing negotiations with Turkey upon Rapporteur Kati Piri's report.
When asked about Piri's presence in Ankara for official talks, Celik said he refused to give an appointment to her on the grounds that she was solely reflecting the position of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and was failing to draft a balanced text on Turkey.
"She should not report as if she is the spokeswomen of the HDP. Her reports are only the translation of HDP officials' routine statements into English," Celik said, calling on her to contribute to the Turkey-EU relationship and not damage it.
Still, Celik said Turkey's new EU ambassador, Faruk Kaymakc?, had related that Piri will exercise a more balanced position in her future works.
Celik also said a note on Turkey's upcoming referendum had been given to EU officials during Y?ld?r?m's meetings last weekend in Germany. The EU Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, demanded information on the content of the constitutional changes at a meeting that took place at around midnight, Celik said, underlining that the note was prepared and given to EU officials the following morning.
 Erdogan, Trump could meet in person before MayTurkish daily Yeni Safak (23.02.17) reports that preparations are underway for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump to meet in person before a NATO summit in May, Erdogan's spokesman said on Wednesday.
Speaking at a press conference in Ankara, Ibrahim Kalin said the two leaders were almost definitely going to meet on the sidelines of the NATO summit but efforts focused on getting them together even before that.
As both leaders will be at the summit, there must be a meeting, he said specifying that officials from both countries were working to organize a meeting before May.
He also confirmed that Erdogan would visit Russia in March to join a Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council.
Erdogan will also pay a return visit to Pakistan, the spokesman said, referring to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to Ankara, in which he will meet the Turkish President later on Wednesday.
 Yildirim: "Yes or no, Turkey will continue on its path after vote"Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (23.02.17) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m said that Turkey will continue on its path regardless of who wins the April 16 referendum on controversial charter amendments,
"Either 'yes' or 'no' could prevail in the referendum. If the 'no' votes prevail, we will continue," Y?ld?r?m told a group of journalists in a meeting at the Cankaya Mansion in Ankara on Feb. 22, adding that "the country won't be divided" by either result. […]
Noting that he does not rely on polls "unless he does them himself," Y?ld?r?m said everyone would learn what will happen on April 16. "We accept whatever the people will vote for with great pleasure. That's what's meaningful for us," he added.
During the meeting, Y?ld?r?m said they were defending the executive presidential system but that the CHP wanted to strengthen the parliamentary system. "Both could've happened. I told [CHP leader Kemal] Kilicdaroglu to bring both to the public, but he didn't want to," he said.
He also stated that the Turkish government would consider the deportation of the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen from the U.S. as a positive move if there is no direct extradition.
Touching on strategic relations with the U.S., Y?ld?r?m said they will continue in Syria and Ankara has "serious coordination with the new administration."
Responding to questions on whether close coordination with the U.S. has a negative effect on relations with Russia, Y?ld?r?m said "we can get along with both."
"Our relations with the U.S. are different from our relations with Russia. They are not alternatives to each other. We can get along with both," he added.
Yildirim also stated that Turkey's plan to launch the Raqqa offensive aims "to dry terror at its source and destroy it."
 Turkish opposition slams government over HDP co-leader's loss of seatTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (23.02.17) reports that the opposition in Turkey has slammed the ruling party over the termination of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Figen Yuksekdag parliamentary status, even as the Prime Minister hinted at further dismissals.
"It might work for you for today. You may get political benefit from it. But you are bringing down all conventions, traditions and democracy to the ground," Sezgin Tanrikulu, a main opposition Republican People's Party Istanbul lawmaker, said Feb. 21.
"I hope this will not pave the way for similar practices in the future," he said.
His comments came after Yuksekdag, who has been in jail for three months on terror-related charges, was stripped of her seat in Parliament for a prison sentence she received regarding terror propaganda that was made on Nov. 27, 2013, and approved by the Supreme Court on Sept. 22, 2016.
Her parliamentary status was dismissed after a Prime Ministry motion regarding Yuksekdag's sentencing was read out loud by the parliamentary speaker. The motion had been in the hand of Parliament for over five months.
According to the Constitution, the loss of the parliamentary seat "through a final judicial sentence or deprivation of legal capacity, shall take effect after the final court decision in the matter has been communicated to the plenary" of the parliament, without the necessity for a vote.
Tanr?kulu slammed Deputy Parliamentary Speaker Aysenur Bahcekap?l? for reading out the ministry's motion, saying that in previous cases, speakers have used their initiative to hold the motion until the end of the term as a matter of parliamentary tradition for immunity.
CHP Deputy Group Spokesperson Engin Altay also criticized the implementation of the parliamentary procedure.
"There is an unethical picture here," Altay said in Parliament on Feb. 21.
"You are presenting a document to the information of the General Assembly here under the 84th Article of the Constitution concerning the loss of the parliamentary membership of the leader of a political party but that political party has a group here; these friends need to be notified beforehand," he said.
HDP Mardin MP and law professor Mithat Sancar said the procedure was against the Constitution.
He said Yuksekdag's conviction for "terror propaganda" was not within the scope of the related constitutional framework since it was not included in the list of crimes that obstruct one's eligibility to be a Deputy and that the sentence had to last for more than a year to result in an MP being stripped of his or her membership.
"Even the reading of this motion in the General Assembly violates the constitution," Sancar said.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim answered question concerning Yuksekdag's situation, hinting at similar sanctions against other HDP lawmakers.
"Regardless of who it is, whenever someone is given a definite penalty, their situation will be read out in Parliament. This is what will happen from now on," Y?ld?r?m said Feb. 22.
Yuksekdag, who was a lawmaker from the eastern province of Van, was arrested on Nov. 4, 2016, over her alleged links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). She currently faces over 80 years in prison.
Meanwhile, the Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor's Office has demanded up to 38.5 years in prison for HDP Diyarbak?r lawmaker Altan Tan, who was taken into custody as part of a terrorism-related investigation.
 Headscarves now permitted in Turkish armyAnkara Anatolia news agency (23.02.17) reports that female members of Turkey's armed forces will be able to wear headscarves for first time, under a Turkish Defence Ministry policy announced Wednesday.
According to new ministry regulations, female soldiers can wear headscarves underneath their caps or berets as long as they are the same colour as their uniform and are without patterns.
In 2013, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party lifted a ban on headscarves in Turkey's civil service as part of a broader democratization package.
The regulation not only includes regular women military officers and non-commissioned officers but also women military cadets.
The move will come into force after being published in the Official Gazette.
 Court accepts indictment against Turkish fashion designer Sansal over 'inciting hatred'Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (23.02.17) reports that a court in Turkey has accepted an indictment prepared against Turkish fashion designer Barbaros Sansal and has said his trial would be held on March 16.
The court has ordered for the continuation of Sansal's detention and demanded one to three years in jail over charges of "inciting hatred and hostility among the public."
The court has clarified a previous indictment that was returned, which demanded three years in jail for Sansal, who was arrested on charges of "inciting hate among the public" in social media posts and video footage in which he "insulted" Turkey, on the grounds that the indictment had "inconsistencies."
The indictment against Sansal, who was deported from the breakaway regime and arrested in Turkey for social media posts shared in the early hours of Jan. 1, was not accepted by the court.
The court noted that the indictment claimed one of Sansal's tweets was sent from Istanbul, though the suspect was in Cyprus at the time.
It also said the content of the charge was "inciting hatred among the public," but the offense that referred him to the court for arrest, "insulting the Turkish nation," was also included in the file. This would create confusion in any trial, it ruled.
 New working hours at "public offices"Illegal Bayrak (23.02.17 online http://www.brtk.net/?englishposts=new-working-hours-at-public-offices) broadcast that the "government" of the breakaway regime the trade unions have finally reached an agreement on adjusting working hours at all "state and public offices".
According to the deal reached, "public offices" in winter will be open from 8am to 12:30pm and 1pm to 4:15pm 4 days a week and from 8pm to 12:30pm and 1pm to 5:30pm on one day of the week.
Summer working hours at "public offices" will be between 07:30am to 2pm 4 days a week and 07:30-12:30pm and 1pm to 5pm on one day of the week.
Commenting on the issue, "deputy prime minister and minister of finance" Serdar Denktas said that the agreement with the trade unions had been reached "within the framework of a set of principles". He said that the summer working hours that would be in place for 4 months would come into effect on the 2nd Monday of May and would end on the 3rd Monday of September setting out a 35 hour working week.
Denktas added that the "state employees" would be working a 40 hour week during the remaining 8 months in winter. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION
(CS / AM)