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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-03-22

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>


  • [01] Cavusoglu: The Cyprus talks were interrupted because the Greek Cypriots did not take into consideration Turkey's wishes
  • [02] "7,672 persons have fulfilled a requirement and have the right to obtain a citizenship"
  • [03] Denktas: "In such atmosphere the Cyprus talks can only continue as a hobby, but you cannot reach a solution"
  • [04] "Granting exceptional citizenships is continuing"
  • [05] Columnist says that the Cyprus negotiations will not resume at least until the 16 April referendum in Turkey
  • [06] Ozgurgun: "The Turkish Cypriots will continue to exist in Cyprus forever"
  • [07] MEP Dr Meinel has reportedly alleged that he visited the occupied area of Cyprus because the reunification of Cyprus is not possible
  • [08] The inhabitants in occupied Vasilia village to protest against the construction of a teleferic on the "Cornos hill"
  • [09] Figures by the municipality of occupied Lefkosia about the city's development
  • [10] Turkish Transport Minister: "Turkey seeks reversal of US flight laptop ban"; Turkish Ambassador slams US ban
  • [11] Erdogan: "Turkey to sit and talk about its future with the EU after charter referendum"
  • [12] Turkey's EU Minister Celik slams Hahn of acting like a "colonial governor"
  • [13] AKP decided that the Turkish Ministers will not hold charter referendum campaigns in Netherlands and Germany
  • [14] "Turkey's foreign policy displays a messy picture"
  • [15] Moody's revises outlook of 14 Turkish banks to negative


    [01] Cavusoglu: The Cyprus talks were interrupted because the Greek Cypriots did not take into consideration Turkey's wishes

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (22.03.17, reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has alleged that many opportunities for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem had been wasted and that the negotiations which started in February 2014 were suspended because the Greek Cypriot side did not take into consideration Turkey's wishes.

    Speaking at the National Press Center in Washington DC at a panel organized by the Turkish Heritage Organization under the title "Turkish-American Strategic Cooperation: Looking at the future", Cavusoglu described the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus as "last opportunity" and alleged that the Greek Cypriot side "still dreams of uniting Cyprus" and does not accept that the Turkish Cypriots are real owners of the island. Cavusoglu expressed the hope that the Greek Cypriot side will allegedly do what it should so that the opportunity is not wasted this time.

    Under the title "Cavusoglu: The negotiations were suspended because Turkey's wishes were not taken into consideration", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.03.17, refers to the same statements noting that Cavusoglu alleged that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not enough for ensuring security in the Eastern Mediterranean adding that the "security deficiency" on the axis of Syria is still a "very important problematic field".

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (22.03.17, reports that Cavusoglu claimed that the main problem in Cyprus is the fact that the Greek Cypriot side does not see the Turkish Cypriots are co-owners of the island and equal partners.

    Referring to the relations between the USA and Turkey, Cavusoglu said that they are two powerful allies, which could ensure "positive change" in case they work together. "Therefore, it is important for the USA and Turkey to understand and help each other", he added and argued that the return of Fethullah Gulen to Turkey [who Ankara considers as the head of FETO Terrorist Organization responsible for the 15 July coup] and the US support to the PYD [considered by Turkey as PKK's branch in Syria] are two issues, which shade the relations between Turkey and the USA. Cavusoglu described these two issues as "key factors" in the relations between the two countries and expressed the hope that the new US administration will "put things right".

    Noting that Turkey takes seriously into consideration the new US administration's call on NATO member-states regarding a better and fairer sharing of the burden in the organization, Cavusoglu said that Turkey is in the second place in NATO from the point of view of its defense expenses. He noted that they do whatever they can to reach the target of increasing their defense expenses to 2% of the GDP as decided at the Warsaw Summit and added that in 2016 they increased their defense expenses by around 4,5% and they will further increase them in 2017.

    Describing the EU as "Turkey's strategic preference", Cavusoglu claimed that the EU is not as committed to its promises as Turkey and that a "fundamental lack of understanding" exists in the EU regarding what is happening in Turkey and beyond. Cavusoglu alleged that Turkey saved Europe from the refugees coming to Europe through the Aegean Sea, by taking measures reducing migration by 98% last year, but the European leaders do not want to accept this, "because they are blind by their political calculations".


    [02] "7,672 persons have fulfilled a requirement and have the right to obtain a citizenship"

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (22.03.17), the self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of finance Serdar Denktas said that a research is been made within the "laws" in order to grant "citizenship", adding that all kinds of investigations are also made including a FETO one (translator's note: if the person has connections with the Fethullah Gullen movement).

    Addressing the "parliament" of the breakaway regime yesterday, Denktas argued that they are not thinking of stopping granting "citizenships" and they are not under any pressure to stop doing it. Denktas was replying to criticisms on this issue by the "deputy" of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Asim Akansoy, who argued that it was reported that the "coalition government" will grant "citizenship" to all those who have completed eleven continuous years in the occupied area of Cyprus with a "work permit".

    Noting that according to a research, 7,672 persons have fulfilled this requirement and have the right to obtain a "citizenship", Akansoy wondered whether these persons have already obtained the "citizenship" adding that it is not correct for the "citizenship policy" to be determined by the Cyprus problem.


    [03] Denktas: "In such atmosphere the Cyprus talks can only continue as a hobby, but you cannot reach a solution"

    Under the title "The negotiations cannot reach a result", Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (22.03.17) reports that self-styled deputy prime minister and leader of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas argued that "the people have given up to rely on a Cyprus settlement", claiming that "in such an atmosphere the talks can only continue as a hobby, but you cannot come to a conclusion".

    In a post on his personal facebook account, Denktas wrote: "Sometimes foreign diplomats from abroad ask me how the Cyprus problem has not been solved for forty years now. A duty which has been imposed to the UN Secretary-General since 1964. Within the framework of this duty, we are trying to solve this problem still in 2017. I explain to them piece by piece. The Greek Cypriots found out that the Turkish Cypriots, which were seen as a minority at the Constitution of 1960, were given more rights. They tried to take them back with force. The Turkish Cypriots said that 'these are our rights' and when they objected it the problem began. From then on, the years have passed and we are at 2017. Anastasiades for the first time at a presidential level expressed clearly that 'it is unacceptable for the minority to demand so much'. This is the problem. In such environment the Cyprus talks can continue only as a hobby, however you will not be able to reach a solution.

    All right, what do the Turkish Cypriots want? Actually, the answer to this is very clear now. There is absolutely not an issue to become a province of Turkey or to become a patch on the Greek Cypriots with minority rights. Especially today, the basic argument of all the political parties represented in parliament is to shape in a better way the administration of the TRNC (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus). Our people have given up relying on a Cyprus settlement. Many young entrepreneurs make investments today on their own country, on the land they live without having cold feet. Beyond doubt, our motherland Turkey is our most important supporter and our door to the world. We continue to strengthen more as a country on the fields of education and agriculture as well as on the agricultural potentials created by the water which has been transferred to North Cyprus. Once more, I owe a debt of gratitude to our founder president (translator's note: he refers to his father Rauf Denktas) who leaves a legacy, although he is remembered by some as 'Mr No'".


    [04] "Granting exceptional citizenships is continuing"

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.03.17), the "coalition government" UBP-DP continues to distribute "exceptional citizenships", despite the public debate.

    The "council of ministers" granted the "TRNC citizenship" to Cennet Kaya Uzun, born in 1983 in Ceyhan and to Muhammed Al-Shanableh, born in 1991 in Altindag. The decision was published in the "official gazette" on March 20, 2017.


    [05] Columnist says that the Cyprus negotiations will not resume at least until the 16 April referendum in Turkey

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (22.03.17) under the title "The Turkish Cypriots have something to worry about" columnist Levent Ozadam reports that the Cyprus negotiations will not resume at least until the 16 April referendum regarding the constitutional amendments in Turkey. Ozadam writes, inter alia, the following:

    "According to some people, returning to the negotiating table would be tantamount to a historic mistake. A very serious pressure has been established on president Akinci on this issue! We do not know whether he will return. However, what we know is that these issues are jointly decided with Ankara! And because Ankara is focused on 16 April nowadays, it is obvious that at least until that day the negotiating table will not be established! As far as we understand, after that date new strategies will be developed, [and] decisions will be taken accordingly. We think that the will on this issue is not totally in our hands and this extremely narrows the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team's field of action!

    Those who do not want to return to the table or say that this should happen should say the following as well. Let us say that the negotiations ended unsuccessfully and everyone withdrew into his own shell, something which most probably will happen! What is your alternative? Saying 'let us not return to the table', without putting this forth, consists of empty talk only! Some might say that the motherland is enough for us. Its contributions for years cannot be doubted of course! However, the current situation is not viable. The Turkish Cypriots have anyway absolutely no possibility of seeing their future in these conditions! And this causes very pessimistic pictures in our people. Can there be anything worse than the concern about the future in this life?! [?]"


    [06] Ozgurgun: "The Turkish Cypriots will continue to exist in Cyprus forever"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (22.03.17) so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun alleged that the Turkish Cypriot "people" will continue to exist in Cyprus forever.

    "This is the struggle we are giving" Ozgurgun said, speaking at the inauguration of the new building for the "department of agriculture" in occupied Famagusta.

    Underlining the importance of production in the struggle for existence, Ozgurgun claimed that the Turkish Cypriots could only exist on these lands by supporting farmers and livestock breeders.

    He added that they were working to ensure that the Turkish Cypriot "people" existed on the island equally, freely and humanely.

    He also pointed out it is not possible to move forward without the support of Turkey. "The struggle for the Cyprus cause cannot be waged without motherland Turkey", Ozgurgun further alleged. .


    [07] MEP Dr Meinel has reportedly alleged that he visited the occupied area of Cyprus because the reunification of Cyprus is not possible

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.03.17) reports that Dr Gunther Meiner, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and Chairman of the International Diplomats' Union, has alleged that he visited the occupied area of Cyprus because he thinks that the unification of the island is not possible.

    According to a statement by the illegal "American University of Keryneia" ("GAU"), the "university's" "founding rector" and chairman of its administrative board, Serhat Akpinar has been appointed to the "northern Cyprus presidency" of the International Diplomats' Union. Akpinar hosted Dr Meinel in his office. The latter congratulated him for these new duties and said that Akpinar will officially undertake the duty as "Cyprus chairman" with a ceremony which will take place in Germany in the end of April. According to the statement, Meinel "stressed that they realized their visit to the TRNC because they think that the unification of Cyprus is not possible".

    In his statements, Akpinar said that the "GAU" has campuses in seven countries and successfully promotes the "TRNC" in the world. He argued that this will be further developed with his recent appointment as the "northern Cyprus president" of the International Diplomats' Union.


    [08] The inhabitants in occupied Vasilia village to protest against the construction of a teleferic on the "Cornos hill"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.03.17) reports that the inhabitants in occupied Vasilia village will organize a protest on Saturday March 25, to express their reaction over the allegations that the "municipality" of occupied Lapithos will offer the "Cornos hill", the second highest mountain in the occupied area of Cyprus, to a private company in order to utilize it for a project.

    In statements on the issue, "lawyer" of the inhabitants and "member of the municipality board", Emre Efendi condemned the fact that this place will be given for investments to a private company and argued that it is "unreasonable" since the natural beauty of the place will be destroyed.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.03.17) reports that Efendi has stated to the paper, that the above mentioned place will be given to a private company with the aim to construct a teleferic.

    According to the paper, the "municipality" of occupied Lapithos has already launched works for the construction of the teleferic since the project has been approved already by the two "departments" of the "ministry of tourism and environment", the "department for the protection of the enviroment" and the "antiquities department". The project for the "construction of the teleferic" is expected to come to the agenda of the so-called council of ministers very soon, writes the paper.

    However, in statements to the paper on the issue, the "director" of the "department for the protection of the environment" Abdullah Aktolgali, denied the allegations that "permissions" for the realization of the project were approved. He, however, admitted that the "municipality" applied to the "environmental assessment committee" but alleged that the "committee" did not take any decision yet.


    [09] Figures by the municipality of occupied Lefkosia about the city's development

    Under the title: "6000 new residences in Lefkosia in 5 years", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (22.03.17) reports that according to figures given by the municipality of the occupied part of Lefkosia, within the framework of the "city master plan", 6,200 residences and 646 workplaces were built in a period of 5 years (from 4 June 2012 until today).

    According to the paper, the new "master plan" for the occupied part of Lefkosia is under preparation and will be set into force in July 2017.

    In statements on the issue, the mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia, Mehmet Harmanci, stated, inter alia, that the changes to be made on the "new master plan" should cover the needs of the city and added: "With the changes which took place in 2012, there were a lot of anomalies. The Plan became the toy of the politicians. With the new plan, the political willpower will be tested again".


    [10] Turkish Transport Minister: "Turkey seeks reversal of US flight laptop ban"; Turkish Ambassador slams US ban

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.17) reports that Turkey said on Tuesday that it would ask the United States to reverse a ban on electronic devices larger than mobile phones in the cabin of flights from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

    Airlines hit by the ban include flag-carrier Turkish Airlines, which has the highest foreign sales of any Turkish company. The airline's profits have already been hit by a slew of terror attacks in Turkey in 2016.

    Speaking on the issue, Turkish Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan stated that Turkish officials were speaking to their relevant American counterparts regarding the ban, which applies to direct flights to the US.

    Arslan said that he hoped there would be a "positive" outcome from the talks, which began Monday. "Annually, 80 million flights take off from Istanbul and in my opinion, people should not confuse it" with less high-profile destinations, Arslan added.

    "In that sense, we already take all kinds of security measures."

    Laptops, tablets and portable game consoles are affected by the ban, but they may still be stowed in the hold in checked baggage.

    The new emergency ruling affects passengers on approximately 50 flights per day from some of the busiest hubs in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Turkey.

    US officials defended the decision, saying it was the "right thing to do" to secure the safety of those travelling.

    Other airlines affected include Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.

    Turkish Airlines -- in which the government holds a stake of just over 49 percent -- issued a statement earlier Tuesday confirming the ban.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah (21.03.17) reported that Turkish Ambassador in Washington D.C. Serdar K?l?c slammed the U.S. government's decision to subject Istanbul and Turkish Airlines to this ban.

    Kilic described the decision as unacceptable as Istanbul Ataturk Airport's extensive security measures make the airport much safer than some European nations. "We will talk to our American counterparts, and ask them whether additional security measures are needed in Turkey in response to some possible threats" Kilic further said.

    [11] Erdogan: "Turkey to sit and talk about its future with the EU after charter referendum"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.03.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 21 that Turkey could review relations with Europe after the April 16 charter referendum following unprecedented tensions between Ankara and Brussels.

    "Once April 16 is over, we will sit at the table. This cannot continue this way. We, as Turkey, will do what is necessary," Erdogan stated.

    Turkey and Europe are at loggerheads with Ankara accusing some European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands of "Nazi methods" by banning the rallies of Turkish Ministers ahead of the charter vote.

    "We will ask for an account from the Netherlands of how brother Huseyin Kurt was dragged on the ground," Erdogan said, referring to a police intervention on demonstrators who were protesting a ban on rallies by Turkish politicians on March 11. Dutch police used water cannon and horses to break up the protests. Kurt was one of the protesters who faced police violence.

    "Turkey will no longer be threatened by the EU membership process", Erdogan said, adding that from now on, it will not permit any Europeans on Turkish soil to carry out "spying" under various pretexts.

    "The European Union process, the readmission agreement, this and that, from now on, you can't threaten us with these anymore," he said.

    "This Europe, like before World War II, is a racist, fascist, cruel Europe... An anti-Muslim and anti-Turkish Europe," Erdogan said.


    [12] Turkey's EU Minister Celik slams Hahn of acting like a "colonial governor"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.03.17) reports that Turkish EU Minister Omer Celik, in response to EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn statements that "prospected constitutional changes in Turkey would make the country's accession to EU "unrealistic."", called Hahn to stop acting like a "colonial governor" and instead mind his own business by enhancing the enlargement processes of candidate countries.

    "It is not the EU's Commissioner for Enlargement who will decide whether Turkey will undergo a system change. He should not forget this: He is the Enlargement Commissioner of a Union based on political values. He should not fancy himself as a colonial governor. I think he misunderstands his position," Celik told daily Hurriyet in an interview on March 21.

    Celik's words came after Hahn told to German media that the prospect of Turkey joining the EU is becoming "more and more unrealistic." He said he could not rule out that the EU may soon stop accession talks with Turkey and that a continuation of those talks was only possible if there are "substantial advances in the area of the rule of law." "But the authoritarian course of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the planned constitutional changes toward a presidential system represented "a departure from Europe," he added.

    "However, what Turkey and the EU are going through is not a crisis between the two sides but just a reflection of the crisis of values being witnessed inside the European continent", Celik further alleged.

    "European integration might have been possible by turning crises into opportunities in the past. This is the first time that they failed to turn the economic and migrant crises into opportunities," Celik said, adding that the EU also failed to upgrade its political values in this period.

    "The Commissioner for Enlargement and neighborhood policy cannot introduce any positive agenda with respect to his own domain. And this is not only about Turkey but also on Balkan countries. However, he is specifically producing anti-Turkey sentiment. I made these warnings again and again. This person is responsible for enlargement but he brings his ideological prejudices against Turkey to the fore. And he acts like the Commissioner responsible for preventing enlargement," he stated.

    Recalling that Hahn was from Austria whose leaders are heavy Turkey-skeptics, Celik accused the Commissioner of acting like the Spokesperson of the Austrian Foreign Minister, Sebastian Kurz. "He cannot repeat the views [on Turkey's membership] of Austria as the Enlargement Commissioner. He is not the Spokesman of the Austrian Foreign Minister but he speaks like him. The statements of the Austrian Foreign Ministry are xenophobic and Islamophobic," he said.

    "Cutting accession talks with Turkey is not Hahn's business", added Celik.


    "Hahn also cannot talk about Turkey's President in this fashion and cannot make statements that are not in line with political ethics. I don't think he read the constitutional amendments and understood them", Celik also said, adding that it's' the Turkish people who will decide whether to vote 'yes' in the referendum. "We won't accept such an intervention against our national will. These interventions are undemocratic and will distance them from European values. We are warning European progressive and democratic people. Let's protect Europe from this danger. This is necessary for Turkey's national interests and Europe's democratic future," he added.

    [13] AKP decided that the Turkish Ministers will not hold charter referendum campaigns in Netherlands and Germany

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.03.17) reports that the Turkish officials will not campaign for the charter referendum in the Netherlands and Germany amid the increasing tension.

    The Justice and Development Party's (AKP) Netherlands campaign manager, Mustafa Aslan, also told Dutch broadcaster NOS that no Turkish Ministers would come to the Netherlands to campaign for the April 16 referendum.

    "The party decision was taken on March 20", Aslan added.

    Turkish officials will also not hold referendum campaigns in Germany following a decision made in Ankara, according to another party official.

    "All future events that were planned have been canceled. That is a decision that was made in Ankara," Aslan further said.

    Around 260,000 Turks will cast their votes between April 5 and 9 in the Netherlands for the Constitutional referendum on shifting Turkey to an executive presidential system.

    Nearly 3 million Turks live in Germany and around half are eligible to vote in the referendum on the Constitutional changes.

    The German government has authorized the opening of 13 polling stations to allow Turkish nationals to cast their votes between March 27 and April 9, adding that the approval was conditional on continued respect for German laws and regulations.

    [14] "Turkey's foreign policy displays a messy picture"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (22.03.17) under the above title, columnist Serkan Demirtas writes the following: "Turkey's foreign policy is currently displaying a cluttered picture on two main reasons and processes. First, the impact of the July 2016 coup attempt on Turkey's bilateral and institutional relationships is still in place.

    Second - related to the first reason - the upcoming referendum on key constitutional amendments made averting crises with prominent European countries - that are also in election processes - impossible.

    Turkey's traditional and long-standing foreign policy is based on two pillars: Establishing strong bilateral and institutional bonds with the Western world and sticking to peace through multilateral friendship agreements with regional countries. This policy does also envisage redressing balance between global powers at a pinch and in line with Turkey's national interests.

    All of these aspects of well-tried Turkish foreign policy have nearly been abandoned. A rough summary of the performance of the current Turkish foreign policy would tell us that decades-old political and diplomatic investment into the European Union and Europe in general no longer promises a long-term partnership for a sound and productive cooperation. On the contrary, a thick shadow was cast upon it because of a deep mutual mistrust.

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement that Turkey will review its relationship with the EU after the April 16 referendum only pleased Turkey-skeptics in Europe, far-right politicians and political parties across the continent as well as Turkey's regional rivals, which seek a weaker Turkey in the future.

    On ties with the United States, Turkey seems to be disappointed as the new Administration under President Donald Trump will unlikely deliver the Turkish government's two top demands. It won't end its alliance with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. On the extradition of Fethullah Gulen, a self-exiled cleric believed to be the mastermind of the July 2016 coup attempt, Washington will unlikely meet Ankara's demand soon either. It's estimated that the legal case on Gulen's status will not be accomplished in less than three years, if that would begin today.

    Turkey's relationship with Russia has two legs: Cooperation in Syria and efforts to normalize bilateral ties. On Syria, a process that was launched with Moscow, led to a fragile ceasefire and the Astana process, with the participation of Iran. Turkey could successfully clear its border of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and allowed the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to get the control of al-Bab.

    Both Russians and Americans told Ankara that they won't support any attempt to go further south or the east. In a bid to kill Ankara's plans to launch an offensive toward Manbij where the PYD elements have long been stationed, both Washington and Moscow deployed troops to the region "to deter" Ankara.

    Russians have repeated the same move in Afrin, which recently is under PYD control, as part of a series of moves that indicate Moscow's revisited rapprochement with the Syrian Kurdish groups.

    It should be noted that the truce in Syria is still very fragile and reports of clashes between the opposition groups and the regime are sufficient to be wary of. Idlib, a northwestern Syrian town, which is very close to the Turkish border, is still home to a number of opposition groups as well as some radical ones and can turn to become the Syrian regime's new target. This scenario will surely cause grave problems to Turkey.

    The Turkey-Russia normalization process is also problematic, as the latter still imposes sanctions on Turkish agricultural imports. Russia still has not appointed an Ambassador to Ankara after the assassination of former envoy, Andrey Karlov, in late December.

    This picture depicts that Turkish foreign policy has major problems to resolve in both eastern and western fronts. Situated on a geographically very important location with full of existentialist problems, Turkey has no luxury to take erroneous steps by weakening its traditional alliances. There is a very urgent need for the recalibration of Turkish foreign policy, if not now, after the referendum".

    [15] Moody's revises outlook of 14 Turkish banks to negative

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.03.17) reported Moody's Investors Service has taken rating actions on 17 Turkish banks, changing the ratings outlook from stable to negative on 14 of the lenders.

    The ratings of one additional bank were also downgraded with a negative outlook, while the ratings of two other banks were affirmed with outlooks unchanged.

    The outlook change was prompted by the deterioration of the outlook for Turkey's credit profile as captured by Moody's decision to change the outlook on Turkey's Ba1 government issuer rating from stable to negative on March 17, said the rating agency.

    On March 20, Moody's said its decision to affirm and change the outlook from stable to negative on the long-term deposit and debt ratings of 14 banks reflects Moody's expectation that these banks' ratings would come under pressure from a combination of the weakening capacity of the government of Turkey to provide support in case of need, as implied by the negative outlook on the sovereign rating; and the increasingly adverse macroeconomic environment in Turkey.

    "Economic prospects have worsened significantly since Moody's last rating action on Turkish banks in September 2016 and the rating agency expects this will negatively affect the banks' asset quality, earnings generation and capital and may lead to heightened foreign currency refinancing risk," read the statement.

    The affected institutions include Akbank, Alternatifbank, HSBC Turkey, ING Turkey, Finansbank, Ziraat Bank, Halk Bank, Vakiflar Bank, Turk Ekonomi Bankas?, Garanti Bank, Yap? Kredi Bank, Is Bank, TSKB and the GRI Export Credit Bank of Turkey.

    Moody's also downgraded Sekerbank long-term deposit ratings from B1 to B2 and standalone Baseline Credit Assessment (BCA) from b1 to b2 and assigned a negative outlook to the long-term deposit ratings. The action captures Moody's expectations that the financial fundamentals of the bank will deteriorate more in the adverse operating environment than other rated Turkish peers.

    Moody's affirmed Burgan Bank's local and foreign currency deposit ratings at Ba3 and its BCA at b2. The outlook on the long-term deposit ratings remains stable, given the expected resilience of the bank's financial fundamentals despite the challenging environment.

    Moody's also affirmed Denizbank's local and foreign currency deposit ratings at Ba2 and its BCA at ba3. The long-term deposit ratings continue to have a negative outlook. The outlook reflects Moody's expectation that while the bank's fundamentals remain compatible with the current rating level, Denizbank shows some vulnerability to further deterioration amid the current operating environment.


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