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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-04-10

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. 69/17 08-10.04.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci on Friday's voting at the Cyprus House of Representatives
  • [02] Akinci: Do not expect unilateral steps
  • [03] Ozgurgun accused the Greek Cypriot side of playing new Byzantine games
  • [04] Ertugruloglu on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Eroglu alleges that commemorating 1950 plebiscite in schools will be happening in another manner after last Friday's decision
  • [06] Talat argues that time frames for a solution became narrow
  • [07] Ozyigit described the decision by the Cyprus House of Representatives as positive development
  • [08] Tatar claimed that the presentation of the Cyprus Parliament's vote on Friday as a gesture is wrong
  • [09] The occupation regime continues prohibiting religious services in occupied Orthodox churches
  • [10] Foreigners who bought houses in occupied Agios Ambrosios were deceived by the constructor
  • [11] Reports about a secret meeting between Serdar Denktas and Nicolas Papadopoulos
  • [12] Atun stated that "a green energy era" will be launched in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [13] ACRE accepted the UBP
  • [14] The occupation regime attended the "Global Health Sport Congress and Fair" in Antalya
  • [15] A hospital to be built in the occupied peninsula of Karpassia
  • [16] Festival on the breakaway regime to take place in London
  • [17] Erdogan: "Europe 'will pay for what they have been doing'"
  • [18] Erdogan tells Russia to reconsider support for Assad; Cavusoglu: Turkey does not need to choose between Russia and US
  • [19] 43,480 Turkish citizens voted in the occupied area of Cyprus for April 16 referendum

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci on Friday's voting at the Cyprus House of Representatives

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 08.04.17), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci made a statement regarding Friday's voting at the House of Representatives.

    He said that the decision taken on February 10th, regarding the commemoration of Enosis plebiscite in public schools, led to a great public indignation and reaction among the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Ak?nc? said that this decision also caused discomfort among the Greek Cypriot community and added that the developments which do not contribute to the much coveted peace culture in Cyprus have undoubtedly affected the Cyprus negotiations process negatively and caused a disruption of the dialogue.

    "We welcome the step taken by the two major parties of the Greek Cypriot Parliament DISY and AKEL towards rectifying this mistake, despite their different ideologies. As we criticize the wrong that we see, we should also be able to applaud the right acts, when we see them. With this decision of the Greek Cypriot parliament to rectify the said decision, we must look forward, with the understanding that the Enosis plebiscite will not be among the event that will be commemorated in schools", said Akinci.

    He added that while building the future, it is imperative to develop a culture of peace, tolerance and cooperation, instead of dwelling on concepts such as Enosis, Taksim or annexation.

    "In the negotiation process which will resume on Tuesday, April 11th, we must work towards making a new beginning and establishing a new structure that will provide the conditions for sustainable peace in our island. Time is running out. We are really at a crossroad. I hope and wish that all interested parties are aware of this and will act accordingly" said Akinci in his statement.

    [02] Akinci: Do not expect unilateral steps

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.04.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that no unilateral steps should be expected during the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Speaking during a festival in the occupied area of the island yesterday, Akinci referred to the resumption of the negotiations tomorrow and argued: "We will be realists and reasonable. If the other community approaches [the issue] in the same manner, this will have a meaning. Zero army zero guarantees is not a realistic and reasonable approach. We should be realists, reasonable and cautious in order for a solution to be successful. We are taking into consideration all these".

    Akinci, who will meet with the UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide today and later will brief the political parties represented in the "assembly", said that a "serious shuttle diplomacy" should be carried out by the UN both between the two communities and between the three guarantor powers, but added that "we do not want arbitration and official proposals in writing". He argued: "We want bridging ideas and proposals. The UN officials could develop helping understandings by remaining impartial and protecting equality".

    Referring to the resumption of the process tomorrow, Akinci claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side will take steps with good will in the direction of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on political equality and that it is important for the Greek Cypriot side to also come to the table being committed to the basic philosophy of the federation.

    Noting that it is possible for a framework to come out in April and May, Akinci argued that "if the framework comes out, it will be easier to fill it up". Expressing the view that we cannot build the future with concepts of the past, Akinci said that the concepts of enosis, division and annexation belong to the past and the Cold War Period. He alleged: "We can build the future with the concept of peace and the federal culture. Just like we cannot make a solution with concepts and approaches belonging to the past, we cannot build it either with the concepts of minority and majority. There is no concept of minority-majority in the federal understanding, there is political equality. In the federal understanding there is no place for the mentality that we are the majority and whatever we are saying will happen. We do not speak of a unitary state where the decisions will be taken with simple majority".

    Noting that political equality does not mean numerical equality in all institutions, Akinci said: "We will be numerically equal in the important federal organs. In the Senate we will be 20-20. In the Lower Parliament it will be according to the population proportion. However, every decision taken in the Lower Parliament will not be implemented unless it passes from the Upper Parliament, where numerical equality will exist. Equality of 4-4 will exist in Judiciary. The presidency of the Federal Court will be rotating every year".

    Recalling that in the first weeks of July drillings for natural gas in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone have been announced, Akinci alleged: "If drillings start without a solution, new tensions, new confrontations may come up in that place where we could cooperate. We want cooperation and to jointly benefit from this wealth and not new tensions and confrontations. This is why a solution is needed".

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozgurgun accused the Greek Cypriot side of playing new Byzantine games

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.04.17) broadcast that self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun alleged that the latest decision to reverse a Cypriot Parliamentary decision to commemorate the 1950 'ENOSIS' (union with Greece) plebiscite in public schools was nothing more than a trick. "This is another Byzantine game played by the Greek Cypriots", he claimed.

    In a written statement Ozgurguhn alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side's desire to reach a settlement continues but reminded that the issue had been a direct act of disrespect to the philosophy of the talks.

    "The Greek Cypriots are trying to trick us with the amended bill which hands over the authority on the issue to the education ministry. The decision does not show that the notion of ENOSIS which is the root cause of the collapse of the 1960 partnership republic in its 3rd year and the Cyprus problem has been abandoned. To the contrary it shows that by handing over authority to the Education Ministry which is under the influence of the church, it has achieved further importance" he claimed.

    Ozgurgun also accused the Greek Cypriot side of being insincere in achieving a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement on the basis of political equality of the two "peoples" on the island.

    "The Greek Cypriots have not abandoned aspirations for Enosis. Everyone is fully aware of the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades's mentality which perceives Turkish Cypriots as a minority" he claimed.

    Ozgurgun also expressed doubts as to whether the talks could move forward as the negotiations had entered a deadlock at a stage when the discussions had been carried to a 5-party conference as even maps had been exchanged.

    [04] Ertugruloglu on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.17) reported that so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side did not run away from the Cyprus negotiation talks, claiming that it wishes to carry out negotiations that will have a positive outcome.

    In exclusive statements to a program broadcast by illegal Bayrak television, Ertugruloglu alleged that 50 years had been stolen from the Turkish Cypriots with the negotiation processes held until so far, arguing that the continuation of the negotiation process under the current conditions will be the reason for the Turkish Cypriots to continue living in uncertainty and will be also nothing else but accepting that they will continue to live under "isolation" and "embargoes".

    Alleging that it is not possible for the negotiation process to yield a successful outcome if the Turkish Cypriot side is considered a community" while the Greek Cypriot side is considered a state, Ertugruloglu said: "Let's not allow them to steal us more time. The negotiation process of the past 50 years should be crossed examined. We are ready for a partnership but as a state, not as a community".

    Supporting that the main objective of the Greek Cypriot side is to continue the open-ended talks, Ertugruloglu claimed that the Greek Cypriot side felt "uncomfortable" when the negotiation talks were stalled, because their aim as he alleged, is to keep the Turkish Cypriot side at the table, and prevent it side from finding the opportunity to make any other decision.

    Stressing the need to re-examine the past 50 years of the negotiation talks, Ertugruloglu claimed: "The Greek Cypriot side has no intention to hold another referendum, neither to say 'Yes' to the agreement or to say 'No' for a second time. So considering this, what can we negotiate?", he wondered.

    Asked to reply to the question "What will be the plan B' of the Turkish Cypriot side?", Ertugruloglu stated: " We cannot make other decisions as long as the negotiation process is kert alive with several tricks. As a matter of fact their aim is this. Even if the TRNC continues the path of its recognition, it can only succeed this by having Ankara's support. We should by all means put this issue into the agenda. What I have realized from our people is that they wish to continue with the recognition path if the negotiation talks yield no result. But in order to achieve this we need to consult with the motherland. Without the support of our motherland we will not succeed anything", Ertugruloglu alleged.

    (AK)

    [05] Eroglu alleges that commemorating 1950 plebiscite in schools will be happening in another manner after last Friday's decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.17) reported that former Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the commemoration of the 1950 enosis plebiscite in schools will be happening in another manner after the decision taken last Friday in the Cyprus House of Representatives to authorize the Minister of Education to decide on which days will be commemorated in the schools. Addressing the Regular Congress of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Eroglu claimed that the fact that the proposal submitted by DISY had been rejected by 20 Deputies shows that ELAM could have a say in the House of Representatives.

    Eroglu alleged that the main target of the Greek Cypriot side in the negotiations is to impose a plan which will return the Turkish Cypriots back to the pre-1974 period. He claimed that the aim of the Greek Cypriots is to keep the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiating table while drillings for natural gas start and then to declare Turkey as the side which abandoned the negotiating table.

    "Anastasiades thinks nothing else than spreading the negotiations in time", he alleged and argued that the Turkish Cypriots should keep their indispensable conditions at the negotiating table. "Turkey's effective and active guarantees, effective participation in the decision taking organs and turning the agreement into EU's primary law are the Turkish Cypriot side's indispensable conditions", he claimed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Talat argues that time frames for a solution became narrow

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.17) reported that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has claimed that the time frames for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem have become very narrow and that this time has even expired, because the campaign for the February 2018 presidential elections in the government-controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus has already started.

    Addressing the Regular Congress of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Talat alleged that the solution of the Cyprus problem depends on the commitment of President Anastasiades to really solve the problem. Noting that there is no alternative other than this, Talat recalled that the Republic of Cyprus' exploration activities for natural gas will begin and claimed that in the light of these developments he does not see possible the continuation of the negotiations.

    According to Talat, a safe future, the political equality and the effective participation in the decisions are the elements which the Turkish Cypriot side cannot abandon. He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side's mentality should change in this direction and that only if this mentality is established the hydrocarbon explorations could be annulled. He argued that the annulment of these explorations seems very difficult because of the presidential elections in February 2018.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Ozyigit described the decision by the Cyprus House of Representatives as positive development

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (10.04.17) reports that the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit described the decision taken last Friday in the Cyprus House of Representatives to authorize the Minister of Education to decide which days will be commemorated in the schools as a positive development.

    Ozyigit further said that with this decision the Cyprus talks will resume on April 11 and it is a reply to those who were claiming that the negotiation cannot start before Turkey's referendum on April 16.

    (DPs)

    [08] Tatar claimed that the presentation of the Cyprus Parliament's vote on Friday as a gesture is wrong

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.04.17) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled deputy with the National Unity Party (UBP), evaluating the decision taken last Friday in the Cyprus House of Representatives to authorize the Minister of Education to decide which days will be commemorated in the schools, claimed that it is wrong to present the decision as a "good gesture" towards the Turkish Cypriot side.

    In a written statement, Tatar alleged that the Greek Cypriot leadership will start hydrocarbon exploration with the support of all political parties, and follows a provocative stance by ignoring Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

    (DPs)

    [09] The occupation regime continues prohibiting religious services in occupied Orthodox churches

    In his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.17) Serhat Incirli reported that the occupation regime did not give permission this year for the religious service held at Agios Georgios Exorinos church in occupied Famagusta on Holy Friday since 2014. The "Famagusta Initiative" stated that in spite of the efforts exerted by the "Famagusta Our City" organization, the "TRNC government", in an unjustified manner, did not give permission for the religious service "only for punishing the inhabitants of Famagusta".

    Okan Dagli, spokesman of the Initiative, recalled that Greek Cypriot political party leaders, foreign diplomats and Ambassadors participated in the services, which had been live broadcast and influenced the whole world. He also reminded that the Republic of Cyprus gives permission to Turkish settlers to cross over to the government-controlled area of the Republic and pray at the Hala Sultan Mosque in Larnaka. Describing these two actions as "symbol of good will", Dagli noted that "the restrictions of the activities in Famagusta since the past year, however, shadow the will of the Turkish Cypriot side for peace".

    Commenting on the issue, the columnist writes, inter alia, the following: "This prohibition has no justification! This prohibition cannot have any reasonable explanation! This prohibition is fascism! This prohibition is worse even than the evil called ELAM! It has only one aim: To prevent the possible positive development of the negotiations! I am ashamed! [?]"

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Foreigners who bought houses in occupied Agios Ambrosios were deceived by the constructor

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.17) reported that British and Irish people who bought houses at the "Olive Grove" houses complex in occupied Agios Ambrosios village, wrote an open letter to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and to "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun, asking for their help because their houses are planned to be sold in an auction by the "Central Cooperative Bank" on April 16.

    According to the paper, the persons, the majority of whom are retired foreigners, published the letter in social media and argued that they paid for these houses 13 years ago and started living there, receiving the "title deeds". However, the constructor of the house managed to get a loan using the plot that the houses were built on as mortgage, despite the fact that 31 houses were built in it. It is estimated that the houses will be put for sale in the auction because the constructor was not able to pay back his loan, writes the paper.

    (CS)

    [11] Reports about a secret meeting between Serdar Denktas and Nicolas Papadopoulos

    Under the title: "Secret visit to the south?" Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.04.17) reports that according to some claims a secret meeting took place between Serdar Denktas and Nicolas Papadopoulos which according to the paper aimed to sabotage the Cyprus negotiations.

    According to the claims, that were circulated in social media, self-styled deputy prime minister Serdar Denktas crossed to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus through the Agios Dhometios barricade, as a passenger of a vehicle owned by Turkish Cypriot Eray Ozseyhan with TK400 registration numbers and held a secret meeting with DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos on October 16, 2016.

    According to these claims, during the meeting the decision to commemorate the 1950 'ENOSIS' (union with Greece) plebiscite in public schools was discussed in order for the Cyprus talks to be sabotaged. After this meeting ELAM submitted his proposal to the Parliament, the paper writes citing the claims.

    Afrika, asks Denktas to reply to the following questions:

    Did you meet or not with Papadopoulos?

    If you met, why the meeting was kept a secret?

    What was discussed during the meeting?

    Did you have any co-operation or were you involved with the ELAM proposal?

    (CS)

    [12] Atun stated that "a green energy era" will be launched in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (10.04.17) reports that so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun, in exclusive statements to the paper, explained the "renewable energy resources regulation" to be implemented in the occupation regime, stating that a "a green energy era" will be launched in the "TRNC".

    Explaining the importance of the "regulation", Atun alleged that the "solar energy will be supplementary to the electricity which will be transferred via cable from Turkey".

    Underlining the importance of solar energy, Atun recalled that the energy infrastructure in the occupied area of Cyprus is 98% dependent on fuel oil. Atun further said that with the use of solar energy, they will be possible to save 33 million TL in one year for the "TRNC's 300 thousand population". He further stated that every citizen will be able to save 100 TL in average and also in the first stage they will be able to save 10% of energy annually.

    [13] ACRE accepted the UBP

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 08.04.17), the National Unity Party (UBP) has become a member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE).

    During a meeting in the Albanian capital of Tirana the UBP's membership to the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe was approved.

    During the voting of the membership it received 21 approvals, 3 rejections and 3 abstentions.

    The Justice and Development Party from Turkey, the Conservative Party from the UK and the Law and Justice Party from Poland are just some of the leading members of ACRE which is also the 3rd political group in the European Parliament.

    [14] The occupation regime attended the "Global Health Sport Congress and Fair" in Antalya

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (10.04.27) reports that the "chairman" of the "Turkish Cypriot health tourism council" Ahmet Savasan who attended the "Global Health Sport Congress and Fair" in Antalya as a head of a crowded delegation, alleged, in the framework of his contacts there, that the "aim of north Cyprus is to bring to the country 100 thousand people in ten years in the fields of health and sport tourism and to gain more than 1 billion euro".

    Savasan who met also with Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during the fair, claimed after the meeting that Turkey does not separate its own interest from the "TRNC's interests". He added that Cavusoglu expressed his support and encourage to the "TRNC' stand" from the first day of the fair.

    Savasan stated further that in the framework of his contacts in the fair, he met with tourist professionals from different countries such as New Zealand and Canada.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (10.04.17) reports that so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu attended also the "Global health and sport tourism fair" (HESTOUREX) in Antalya, where he met with several NGO representatives and investors.

    Atatoglu met further with the General Director of the Turkey's Ministry of Tourism and Culture, responsible for marketing and promotion Irfan Onal. Speaking during the meeting, Ataoglu claimed that Turkey is the most important point from which the "TRNC" attracts most tourists.

    Atatoglu also announced that they will launch promotion days of the "TRNC" in Turkey where they will have the chance to tour several districts of Anatolia.

    (AK)

    [15] A hospital to be built in the occupied peninsula of Karpassia

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 08.04.17), steps have been taken for a hospital to be built in the occupied peninsula of Karpassia.

    Hasan Celik, self-styled headman of occupied village Tavros, hosted a dinner for "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun to thank him for taking a decision to build a hospital in the region.

    Speaking during the dinner, Celik said that although they had been working for years to have a hospital built in the area, only "Ozgurgun's government" had ever decided to build one in the area. "People in the region are delighted, we would be honoured if the hospital is completed quickly", said Celik.

    Ozgurgun, for his part, claimed that his "government" pays extra importance to the health and agricultural sector and therefore does not shy away from any expenses in these sectors. He added that the project for the "Karpaz hospital" is ready and that a founding laying ceremony will be held very soon.

    Ozgurgun further alleged that "the government is doing all it could to bring new investors to the country, as new investments meant new jobs, more income and the increase of the level of prosperity in the country".

    [16] Festival on the breakaway regime to take place in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (08.04.17) reports that the first festival on the breakaway regime will take place in London between 5-6 of May under the title: "Festival of North Cyprus".

    "The hotels, universities, banks and culture" of the occupied area of Cyprus will be presented at the festival in which tourist agents will participate.

    According to the paper, the festival will take place in "The Business Design Center" in Islington which is one of the biggest fair arenas in the UK. The festival will have the slogan: "We introduce the TRNC to London" and will be promoted with a big advertise campaign, according to the paper.

    (CS)

    [17] Erdogan: "Europe 'will pay for what they have been doing'"

    Under the title "Europe going crazy over proposed executive presidency in Turkey: Erdogan", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 09.04.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on April 9 that European countries are going crazy over the proposed executive presidency in Turkey which will go to a public vote on April 16,

    "You have seen what happened in Europe. Why did they go crazy? Why did they go mad? They saw what this system will bring Turkey. Turkey is leaping, growing. This makes them go crazy," Erdogan said at a rally in the western province of Izmir.

    "I expect a serious explosion of votes in Europe" because the Turks on the continent are "oppressed and humiliated", he claimed.

    Europe "will pay for what they have been doing," Erdogan said, reiterating that Ankara would reconsider Turkey's EU membership bid will be after the April 16 referendum.

    "But our people will also ask for it; the time is coming. We will make them pay the price after April 16", the President said.

    After the April 16 referendum, "Turkey's democracy will be strengthened," Erdogan argued, noting that both proponents and opponents of the charter amendments needed to be respected.

    He criticized Republican People's Party (CHP) Konya province Deputy Husnu Bozkurt for his controversial remarks saying that "yes" voters will be "thrown into the sea" after April 16.

    "What an embarrassment this is...Are you going to decide the fate of my vote for me?" he said. Erdogan also criticized CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu for not taking concrete disciplinary action against party deputies who make controversial remarks.

    [18] Erdogan tells Russia to reconsider support for Assad; Cavusoglu: Turkey does not need to choose between Russia and US

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.04.17), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday asked Russia to reconsider its support for the Syrian regime following a chemical weapons attack in Idlib earlier this week and the U.S.'s military action in response. "It is our hope that this will not be limited to the U.S. action," Erdogan said while speaking about responding to the Khan Shaykhun attack as well as the broader Syrian conflict.

    "We hope that Russia gets involved as well -- that at least they stop defending [Bashar al-] Assad," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan said he welcomed Moscow's recent statement that "unconditional support is not possible" to the Syrian regime. "But let's speed it up," Erdogan said. "Let's get rid of this evil". He added that Syria "undoubtedly" has chemical weapons and it is clearly known whose airplanes dropped the bombs on civilians "as we have radar records".

    On the same issue, Turkey's Foreign Minister said on Sunday that Turkey has no obligation to take a side in any dispute between the U.S. and Russia.

    Asked by reporters what the future holds for Turkish-Russian ties after Ankara welcomed U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian regime airbase last week -- the opposite of Moscow's reaction -- Mevlut Cavusoglu said: "Turkey does not have to take a side between Russia and the U.S."

    "We recently welcomed the U.S. strike on the Assad regime. We are also keen to continue efforts to build on the cease-fire within the scope of the Astana [Kazakhstan] talks," he told journalists in a meeting organized by the Directorate General of Press and Information in the Mediterranean city of Antalya.

    Cavusoglu also said Ankara has been on a "different page" with Moscow on Assad since the beginning, adding that Turkey "would have given up its principles if it cares what other countries think when there's a chemical attack and a crime against humanity."

    [19] 43,480 Turkish citizens voted in the occupied area of Cyprus for April 16 referendum

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 10.04.17, http://www.brtk.net/turkiyedeki-referandum/ ), the voting procedure on the occupied area of Cyprus on the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments has been completed.

    Forty three thousands four hundred eighty (43,480) voters from the 104,507 registered votes living in the occupied area of Cyprus cast their votes.

    The voting procedure, which was held between April 5 and 9, was concluded last night at 21:00. The voting rate was 41.6%.

    On the same issue, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.04.17), more than 1.2 million Turkish expatriates have voted abroad on the April 16 referendum, the Supreme Election Board (YSK) said Sunday.

    Voting on proposed constitutional changes has taken place at 120 polling stations in 57 countries since March 27, the YSK said in a statement sent to Anadolu Agency.

    About 70,000 people voted at customs gates in Turkey and ballot boxes at the borders will remain open until April 16.

    Approximately 2.9 million Turkish expatriates are eligible to vote on the referendum. The referendum is just the fourth opportunity expatriates have had to vote in Turkish elections.

    Overseas turnout was 8% during the 2014 presidential election ? the first time Turkish nationals were able to vote from abroad. By the November 2015 elections that figure had rose to 40% as a little more than 1 million Turks cast ballots.

    As of Sunday morning, more than 600,000 Turks in Germany, where the majority of the expats live, voted on the referendum while nearly 132,000 voters went to polls in France, according to the YSK.

    In the U.S., nearly 35,000 people voted, according to unofficial figures, representing a 35% turnout -- higher than that of the Nov. 1, 2015 general elections.

    In Kazakstan, 2,427 eligible voters went to polling stations, diplomatic sources told Anadolu Agency.

    A total of 14,359 ballots were cast in Australia, 8,322 voters exercised their rights in Saudi Arabia, 711 in Georgia and 346 in South Africa's administrative capital of Pretoria.

    With polling stations closed in Europe, votes will be transferred Monday to Turkey where they will be counted April 16.

    The voting in Europe began amid a diplomatic standoff between Turkey and Germany after German authorities cited security concerns and banned rallies by Turkish ministers who favour a presidential system.

    (DPs)

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (DPs / AM)

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