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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-03-27

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. 59/17 25-27.03.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci held a telephone conversation with the British Foreign Minister
  • [02] Ertugruloglu claimed that the conditions for returning to the negotiating table are not formed
  • [03] "Erhurman: The system established in this country since 1974 has ended"
  • [04] Ozersay alleges that the Greek Cypriots use the Cyprus talks to facilitate their hydrocarbon activities
  • [05] Denktas: The perception that Morphou is "a potentially to be returned area" is changing
  • [06] A delegation from IRI is carrying out contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] The "council of ministers" granted 38 "citizenships" within four days
  • [08] A delegation from the "Cyprus Turkish municipalities union" will hold contacts in Strasbourg and Brussels
  • [09] The majority of the narcotics in the occupied area of Cyprus come from Turkey
  • [10] The Turkish community in Britain including the Turkish Cypriot community is around half a million
  • [11] Erdogan: "Turkey may hold referendum on EU accession bid
  • [12] Turkey's MFA summons the Swiss Ambassador over PKK rally in Bern; Erdogan criticizes the Swiss government
  • [13] Turkish citizens abroad to start voting for the constitutional amendments referendum
  • [14] A&G Research Company analyses the "yes" vote tendency
  • [15] K?l?cdaroglu: "They target me because they can't criticize US or Russia"
  • [16] Selma Eylem is the new chairperson of "KTOEOS"
  • [17] The occupation regime attended the Travel Expo Fair in Ankara
  • [18] Akinci attended a ceremony for the "20th anniversary" of the establishment of the illegal UKU "university"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci held a telephone conversation with the British Foreign Minister

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (26.03.17) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held a telephone conversation with Boris Johnson, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. According to Akinci's "press office", the conversation lasted for 25 minutes and the call came from the British Minister.

    Akinci briefed Johnson on the recent developments as regards the negotiations, which had allegedly stopped with the Cyprus House of Representatives decision regarding the commemoration of the 1950 enosis plebiscite in schools. Akinci conveyed to his interlocutor the Turkish Cypriot side's "sensitivities" on the issue and its approach regarding the negotiating process from now on.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ertugruloglu claimed that the conditions for returning to the negotiating table are not formed

    According to illegal Bayrak television (25.03.17) so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu alleged that the conditions to return to the negotiating table are not formed.

    Speaking to illegal BRT, Ertugruloglu evaluated the Cyprus negotiations process and claimed that the Greek Cypriot side insulted the Turkish Cypriot "people" and therefore had to apologize. "They must apologize to the Turkish Cypriot people and accept the fact that the Turkish Cypriots are their equal partners for the conditions for the negotiations to restart to be formed", Ertugruloglu said, adding that although Turkish Cypriot leader Ak?nc? has given signals that he may be ready to return to the negotiation table he had made his spokesman deliver a statement on the issue.

    Alleging that it was the Greek Cypriot leader who had left the table by slamming the door behind him and that this was an insult to Ak?nc?, Ertugruloglu also reminded that the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser to Cyprus Espen Barth Eide made a statement that was contradictory to Akinci's statements and make Mr. Anastasiades look as though he was in the right.

    "If the president can stomach all of these insults and can accept the so called rectification of the Enosis decision then I want to let him know that he does not have the right to make the Turkish Cypriot people live through this ridiculousness. If he is returning to the table, he must clarify if he is returning to the table with minority rights" added Ertugruloglu

    He also questioned what Akinci will be discussing at the negotiating table if they don't have political equality. "Please clarify the situation for the Turkish Cypriot people" stated Ertugruloglu.

    [03] "Erhurman: The system established in this country since 1974 has ended"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.03.17) reports that Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that for his party the current self-styled government "has ended". "However, it is not only this government, but the system established in this country since 1974 has also ended", he noted addressing a meeting in occupied Kythrea. "This is why the election process has started for us", he said adding that the CTP will come before the "people" with "concrete projects".

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Erhurman expressed the view that the negotiations will resume, but this is not enough, because "result oriented negotiations should be held".

    "Finally, concrete signs regarding the correction of the mistake started coming from the south [Translator's note: This is how he described the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus]", he claimed alleging that this process should have taken place, because it would not be able for us to advance in this country by ignoring and covering up our mistakes.

    Also, he argued: "However, it is obvious that the trust in this project was harmed. Now is the time for us to seriously bend over measures to rebuild this trust and on the other hand to have result oriented approaches in the negotiating process. We must not allow the past to drown the future".

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ozersay alleges that the Greek Cypriots use the Cyprus talks to facilitate their hydrocarbon activities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (27.03.17) reports that Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People's Party (HP), has described the course of the Cyprus negotiations as "not pleasant" and alleged that the Greek Cypriot side had rejected the solution of the Cyprus problem in 2004 when it saw that it would access the EU without a solution.

    In statements to the paper, Ozersay claimed that it is possible that the Greek Cypriot political leadership is avoiding the solution now to the extent it feels that it is able to extract and sell natural gas without a solution. Ozersay said he is allegedly worried that the Greek Cypriots use the negotiations to advance their works on the hydrocarbons issue and claimed that the Greek Cypriot side uses the continuation of the Cyprus negotiations as an element which facilitates its natural gas activities.

    Arguing that no one has the right to further disappoint the Turkish Cypriot "people", Ozersay expressed the view that the important thing is not the commencement of the negotiations, but the creation of the elements which will make the Greek Cypriot side to look "warmly" at the solution.

    Referring to the referendum on the constitutional amendments in Turkey, Ozersay said that they prefer Turkey, which is their "most important ally, friend and strategic partner", to be a secular, democratic, powerful and stable country based on human rights. He noted that they want Turkey to be respected internationally and have good relations with the other countries. Recalling of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's saying "peace at home peace in the world", Ozersay argued that Mustafa Kemal had not said this "for nothing". He noted that just like they do not want Turkey to interfere in their "elections" and "referenda", he also should not interfere in Turkey's elections and the choices of the Turkish voters.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Denktas: The perception that Morphou is "a potentially to be returned area" is changing

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (26.03.17) reported that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and self-styled deputy prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the "known perception" that occupied Morphou is an area "potentially to be given" back has started to slowly-slowly change.

    In statements during a visit to the occupied area of Morphou last week, Denktas argued that the "people" of the area "are slowly-slowly erasing this uncertainty from their minds".

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] A delegation from IRI is carrying out contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (25.03.17) reported that a delegation from the International Republican Institute (IRI) consisting of its Vice President Thomas Garrett and Jan Erik Surotchak, Regional Director for Europe are currently carrying out contacts in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The paper reports that the delegation with the aim "observation mission" had separate meetings with the self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus Tahsin Ertugruloglu, the self-styled deputy prime minister and "minister of finance" Serdar Denktas, as well as representatives of the political parties represented in the "parliament".

    During the meeting with Ertugruloglu, the delegation was briefed on the Cyprus talks and the Turkish Cypriot side's views on the Cyprus problem.

    During the meeting with Denktas, they were briefed on the historic process of the Cyprus talks and the approach of the Democratic Party (DP) on the Cyprus problem.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (25.03.17) reported that during the meeting with the leader of the Social Democracy Party Cemal Ozyigit, the last stage of the Cyprus talks was discussed and the possible referendum was evaluated too.

    According to the paper, the IRI is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that advances freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties.

    (DPs)

    [07] The "council of ministers" granted 38 "citizenships" within four days

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (25.03.17) the "council of ministers" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus continues to grant "citizenships". It is reported that 38 persons obtained the "TRNC citizenship" within four days, with the decisions of the "council of ministers" published in the "official gazette" between 20 and 23 of March.

    The paper reports that among those who obtained the "TRNC citizenship" were also Turkish businessmen. The paper publishes the name of the "new citizens".

    (DPs)

    [08] A delegation from the "Cyprus Turkish municipalities union" will hold contacts in Strasbourg and Brussels

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 27.03.17), a delegation from the occupied "municipalities union" in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus will be holding contacts in Strasbourg and Brussels.

    According to a press released by the "Cyprus Turkish municipalities union", the delegation consists of the "president of the Cyprus Turkish Municipalities Union" and self-styled mayor of occupied village of Geunyeli Ahmet Benli, the self-styled mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci and the self-styled mayor of occupied Morphou Mahmut Ozcinar as well the "general secretary of the union" Huseyin Kole.

    The delegation will first attend the committee meetings of the European Council's Local and Regional Administrations Congress which will be held between the 28th and 30th of March in Strasbourg under the "Greek Cypriot side's council term presidency" (editor's note: as they refer to the Cyprus Presidency of the Council).

    The delegation will also hold a series of high level contacts in Strasbourg.

    On the 30th of March, the delegation will meet with the EU Head of Unit for Cyprus Settlement Kjartan Bjornsson in Brussels.

    The projects and investments planned to be realized in the "TRNC" will be on the agenda of the meeting.

    The self-styled mayor of occupied Dikomo Yuksel Celebi will also attend this meeting.

    [09] The majority of the narcotics in the occupied area of Cyprus come from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.03.17) reports that Mahmut Baris Sel, "director" of the "narcotics and smuggling preventing office" which is bound to the "police", has said that the majority of the narcotics come to the occupied area of Cyprus from Turkey. In statements to the paper, Sel noted that the drugs are detected mostly in the occupied part of Nicosia and that the age of the most users varies from 19 to 50 years.

    Sel said that 689 drug cases came up within the period 2015-March 2017 and "legal action" against 897 persons was taken regarding these cases.

    According to Sel, they mostly confiscated Indian cannabis. In 2015 they confiscated 1 kg 612 gr 882 mg of cannabis, in 2016 9 kg 723 gr and by 23 March 2017 2 kg 155 gr. Moreover, in 2015 they confiscated 9 kg 338 gr 374 mg cannabinoid drugs. In 2016 they confiscated 3 kg 356 gr 558 mg and in the first months of 2017 1 kg 97 gr of this drug.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The Turkish community in Britain including the Turkish Cypriot community is around half a million

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (26.03.17) reports that Cinar Ergin, General Consul of the Republic of Turkey in London, stated that although the total Turkish community in Britain is around half a million, only 90 thousands Turkish citizens are registered and there are another 50 thousands Turkish citizens, who are not registered. In addition to this, Ergin said that the Turkish citizens are around to 250 thousands.

    Ergin also explained that if you also estimate the Turkish Cypriot community then the Turkish community in Britain comes up to half a million.

    (DPs)

    [11] Erdogan: "Turkey may hold referendum on EU accession bid

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (25.03.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on March 25 that Turkey may hold another referendum on whether to continue with EU accession talks, following the April 16 referendum to shift to an executive presidential system.

    "Right now we are holding a referendum on April 16. After that we could choose to do another on the EU accession talks and we would abide by whatever our people would say there," Erdogan said at the closing ceremony of the Turkish-British "Tatl?dil" Forum in the southern province of Antalya.

    "Turkey has waited at the door [of the EU] for 54 years," he added, referring to 1963 when Ankara partnered up with the bloc's then Economic Union.

    Earlier in the day, Erdogan warned that the country is "not anyone's stooge," amid increasing tension with EU member countries.

    "[The EU] says it will not take us into the EU if the 'yes' side wins on April 16. If only they would make this decision. It would make our work easier. It would allow us to take swifter decisions. April 16 is a breaking point for us. For that reason, a 'yes' vote is very important. We will discuss this in detail because Turkey is not the stooge of anyone. Everyone should know that," Erdogan also stated at a rally in Antalya.

    (?)

    Separately, on March 26, Erdogan also repeated his vow to continue to call Europeans "fascists" and "Nazis" as long as they call him a "dictator," speaking at an opening ceremony in the Gaziosmanpasa district of Istanbul.

    "If they close the borders on my Minister and issue a flight ban on another, will I remain silent? You will call the President of the Turkish Republic a 'dictator'? When we call them fascists and Nazis, they are disturbed. Are you not the ones who put swastikas on the walls of our mosques? Have you not torn down and burned our mosques?" Erdogan further stated, giving examples from the Solingen incident and the NSU trial in Germany.

    "You are fascists, fascists. You can be disturbed by the Nazi comparisons as long as you want. But if you draw swastikas on the walls of our mosques and do not hold the people responsible to account, you cannot get rid of this stain," he added.

    (?)

    [12] Turkey's MFA summons the Swiss Ambassador over PKK rally in Bern; Erdogan criticizes the Swiss government

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.03.17) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Switzerland's Ambassador to Ankara on March 26 to express its reaction over an outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rally targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the Swiss capital Bern.

    The move comes one day after the Swiss Deputy Ambassador was summoned to the Ministry in the absence of Ambassador Walter Haffner, who was not in the city at the time.

    An official said that the Ministry protested the meeting of the PKK supporters and conveyed Ankara's reaction to the Deputy Chief of Mission of Switzerland in Ankara.

    Erdogan was targeted at the rally with a banner that read "Kill Erdogan." The Swiss police did not interfere against the banner, which had a photo of Erdogan with a gun pointed to his temple. "We are protesting this rally that explicitly promoted violence and terrorism and has been permitted, and we ask Switzerland to take immediate legal action against this offense," the Ministry said in a statement late on March 25.

    It also added that Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu called his Swiss counterpart about the rally, expressing his reaction.

    Meanwhile, Erdogan in statements during an opening ceremony in Istanbul's Gaziosmanpasa district on Sunday slammed Switzerland over the demonstration with his banner and said the crowd included supporters of terrorist groups.

    "When you look at the Swiss Parliament today, extremist terror organizations put my picture along with a gun put to my temple. Can there be such a mentality? The country is Switzerland. There are many like that," he said.

    "It is very interesting indeed that this terrorist organization is taking to the streets hand in hand with their [Switzerland's] leftist parties," Erdogan said.

    "Where is this place? Switzerland. Where is this place? The Netherlands. Where is this place? Belgium. Where is this place? Germany," Erdogan said in reference to the EU countries allowing public demonstrations of the PKK.

    "When we say this, they get upset. Don't. What goes around comes around," Erdogan added.

    Erdogan also alleged that Turkey did not harbor any hostile feelings for any country or society, and just wanted to establish "the best" relations with everyone.

    "I have a message for our neighbors and in particular the European countries, U.S. and Russia. We are not enemies with anyone. Quite the contrary, we would like to establish the best possible political, economic and social relations with each country and society," Erdogan further added.

    (?)

    [13] Turkish citizens abroad to start voting for the constitutional amendments referendum

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.03.17) reported that he Turkish citizens living in six European countries will be able to vote as of Monday in the referendum on constitutional changes.

    Voting in Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Denmark will last until April 9.

    Ballot boxes will be available in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hannover, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Mainz, Munich, Nuremberg and Stuttgart for two weeks.

    Nearly 3 million Turkish immigrants live in Germany and about half are eligible to vote in the referendum on the proposed constitutional change for a transition to a presidential system of governance.

    Turkish citizens will also vote in Austrian cities of Vienna, Salzburg and Bregenz, Belgium's Brussels and Antwerp, as well as Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Strasbourg and Bordeaux in France.

    In Switzerland, voting will take place in Zurich, Geneva and Bern and in Denmark at the Copenhagen Embassy.

    Around 3 million Turks living abroad who are eligible to vote in the referendum will vote in 120 Turkish missions in 57 countries.

    Citizens in Japan, China, and South Africa will be able to vote at Turkish missions for one day only on April 9.

    In the U.S., the voting process will start on April 1, in the United Kingdom on April 6, in the "TRNC" and the Netherlands on April 5, in Italy and Saudi Arabia on April 7 and in Greece and Russia on April 8.

    At customs gates, voting will start on Monday and will last through April 16.

    Ballot boxes have been placed at customs offices at the following Turkish border points: Sarp, Kapikule, Ipsala, Hamzabeyli, Dilucu and Derekoy; in the following airports: Sakirpasa, Esenboga, Antalya, Cardak, Eskisehir, Elazig, Gaziantep, Hatay, Istanbul Ataturk, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, Adnan Menderes, Erkilet, Konya, Dalaman, Bodrum-Milas, Samsun, Trabzon and Zonguldak; and in the port gates of Kusadasi, Ayvalik, Derince, Mersin, Tasucu, Marmaris and Samsun.

    In Turkey, 55.3 million people who are eligible to vote will cast their votes on April 16.

    The constitutional changes have been discussed since Erdogan was voted President in August 2014. The 18-article bill was passed by Parliament in January, with 339 votes in favor -- nine more than needed to put the proposal to a referendum.

    The reforms would hand wide-ranging executive powers to the President and the post of Prime Minister would be abolished. The President would also be allowed to retain ties to a political party.

    Other changes would see the minimum age for parliamentary candidates reduced to 18 and the number of Deputies will rise to 600. Simultaneous parliamentary and presidential elections for a five-year term would be held in November 2019 under the new Constitution.

    [14] A&G Research Company analyses the "yes" vote tendency

    Under the title "The rate of those who will cast a vote for 'yes' because of Erdogan increases", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (26.03.17) reports that the A&G Research Company conducted a face-to-face interview survey with 5,912 participants on March 11-13 across seven districts of Turkey and 42 provinces in regard to voting "yes" accordingly their education, age, gender.

    In light of the survey, as the education level increases, those who will vote yes for stability increases. As the age increases, the ratio of those who will vote "yes" because Erdogan said it increases.

    The following table shows the reasons of the voters who will cast their vote for "yes" among women and men:

    women men total

    Because Erdogan said "yes" 54.6 48.1 51.4

    For stability in the country 40.8 47.3 44.0

    In order for not having other terrorist attacks 33.2 27.4 30.4

    In order to fight better the terrorism 28.4 25.4 27.0

    For not having two heads of political powers 10.2 13.6 11.8

    Because the parliamentary system does not function 6.8 10.5 8.6

    others 2.0 2.3 2.2

    No answer 0.7 0.8 0.8

    The following table shows the reasons why the AKP (Justice and Development Party) followers and the MHP (National Movement Party) followers will vote for "yes":

    AKP MHP others Total

    Because Erdogan said 'yes' 53.5 30.1 46.6 51.4

    For stability in country 44.5 45.2 29.3 44.0

    In order for not having other terrorist attacks 29.9 31.9 46.6 30.4

    In order to fight better the terrorism 26.6 34.3 15.5 27.0

    For not having two heads of political powers 11.7 16.9 8.6 11.8

    Because the parliamentary system does not function 8.3 10.8 6.9 8.6

    Others 1.8 4.2 5.2 2.2

    No answer 0.5 0.0 10.3 0.8

    (DPs)

    [15] K?l?cdaroglu: "They target me because they can't criticize US or Russia"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.03.17) reported that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) head Kemal Kilicdaroglu accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supporting that he cannot target the U.S. and Russia, so instead targets the CHP.

    "He cannot raise his voice against [Russian President Vladimir] Putin. He cannot raise his voice against the United States. They have both supported the [Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units] YPG and established bases in northern Iraq and in Syria. Turkish troops are now isolated in Syria, but those who shout against Germany and the Netherlands are afraid of shouting against America and Russia," K?l?cdaroglu told reporters en route to the southeastern province of Diyarbakir on March 25.

    Kilicdaroglu also recalled the recent Israeli ban on the use of loudspeakers to amplify calls to prayer in mosques, questioning why Erdogan has not criticized the ban. "Instead he says, 'Hey K?l?cdaroglu!' This shows how weak he is and how isolated he is in the world," he said.

    K?l?cdaroglu further criticized the government for picking quarrels with other countries in order to "create the image that the whole world is against us," saying that this tactic not only damaged Turkey but also the Turks abroad.

    Addressing the negative direction of the Turkish economy, Kilicdaroglu stated that investments have stopped and the rising dollar can only be checked with unregistered money. "Turkey has reached the position of becoming a money laundering country," he stated, adding that blame for problems lies not with the parliamentary system but with bad administration.

    K?l?cdaroglu said that the political leaders in the "yes" camp choose to target him because they have not strong arguments to defend the charter change.

    "I am trying to explain why the constitutional amendment should be rejected. Meanwhile, they are trying increase 'yes' votes by attacking me," he added.

    "Yes" votes in favor of the "one-man rule" should consider the situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya to see the model they have been proposing for Turkey, K?l?cdaroglu said.

    The CHP leader stressed that the constitutional amendments proposed should not be considered in terms of a particular person or party, but rather about the way Turkey is administered.

    "'Yes' votes may be in favor of a particular person, but this could lay the ground for major mistakes by others in the future, he said.

    K?l?cdaroglu also stressed that the nationalist grassroots did not fell into "trap" like Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli, and would vote overwhelmingly in favor of "no."

    K?l?cdaroglu further supported that some four million Syrians in Turkey will be granted citizenship if "yes" votes emerge in the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.

    "Did those (four million Syrians) come to Turkey due to the parliamentary system? Who brought them from Syria? Now they are saying 'We will grant four million Syrians citizenship after 'yes' votes emerge.' We should all sit and think," K?l?cdaroglu further stated.

    (?)

    [16] Selma Eylem is the new chairperson of "KTOEOS"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (25.03.17) reported that Selma Eylem is the new chairperson of the "Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Union" ("KTOEOS").

    Also, Aziz Selengin became the new "general secretary" of the union.

    (AK)

    [17] The occupation regime attended the Travel Expo Fair in Ankara

    According to illegal Bayrak television (25.03.17) the "TRNC" is being represented at the Travel Expo fair which is taking place in Ankara, Turkey.

    A house replicating the Melendra Cyprus House was set up at the fair and has received much attention.

    The fair highlights Mediterranean and Cypriot Culture and Cypriot cuisine and allows people who are visiting the fair to make purchases at the fair.

    (?) In statements about the fair, Ismet Esenyel, "undersecretary" of the so-called ministry of tourism and environment, stated that he "ministry's" efforts towards broadening the "TRNC tourism sector" and the tourism representatives support to its efforts are very important.

    Esenyel alleged also that the occupation regime's stand at the fair received much attention."We must offer eco-tourism, guest housing at villages, nature walks all alternative tourism options", said Esenyel.

    Pointing to the importance of making people see in Turkey that they must visit the "TRNC", Esenyel said that last year around 500 thousand people from Turkey "visited" the "TRNC", adding that this year they aim to increase this number to 850 to 900 thousand.

    [18] Akinci attended a ceremony for the "20th anniversary" of the establishment of the illegal UKU "university"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.03.17) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci attended on Friday a ceremony for the 20th "anniversary" from the establishment of the illegal International Cyprus University ("UKU").

    Speaking during the ceremony, Akinci referred to the remarkable increase on the number of "universities" in the "TRNC" and alleged that it is nice when the number of "universities" is increased, he, however, stressed the need for the "universities' quality of education" to be increased as well.

    Akinci recalled that during the 1990s, banks in the occupied area of Cyprus where opening new branches in every corner of the "country" but afterwards, they were forced to close as a result of a crisis. "We do not want to experience the same thing with the universities", stated Akinci, stressing the need for the "universities" to increase their quality in order to be able to face international competition.

    In his turn, the "rector" of the illegal UKU, Dr Halil Nadiri, recalled that the "UKU university" was established in 1997 with 3 "faculties" and 1 "institution of higher education" and added that today the "university" has in total 10 "faculties", 8 "institutions of higher education", 133 different programs and 16,000 students.

    (AK)

    ?????????.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (AK/ AM)


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