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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-04-13

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] Albayrak threatens of "legal sanctions" and "various consequences" because of the natural gas explorations in Cyprus' EEZ
  • [02] Akinci met AER's President
  • [03] Denktas met Eide
  • [04] Denktas on the "citizenship" issue
  • [05] More reactions by organizations and Ertugruloglu to the prohibition of the religious service at Agios Georgios Eksorinos church
  • [06] CTP's youth organization participated in YES Congress
  • [07] site blocked in "TRNC"
  • [08] Erdogan said gov't should reinstate death penalty after April 16 referendum
  • [09] CHP leader: Idea of a non-democratic Turkey to be clinched if yes votes prevail in charter referendum
  • [10] HDP: Turkey's election threshold to rise to 50% if 'yes' vote prevails in referendum
  • [11] Latest opinion polls' results on the upcoming referendum in Turkey
  • [12] Commentary: "EU backs Israel-to-Italy pipeline to alter East Med energy chessboard"
  • [13] Foreign humanitarian organizations in Turkey under scrutiny
  • [14] Turkey may return to Formula One calendar


    [01] Albayrak threatens of "legal sanctions" and "various consequences" because of the natural gas explorations in Cyprus' EEZ

    Under the title "Warning for Block 6", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (13.04.17) reports that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Berat Albayrak has referred to Israel's explorations and drillings for hydrocarbon resources in the Republic of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and alleged that Block 6 of Cyprus' EEZ is a "law collusive area registered by Turkey at the United Nations". In statements to Kanal 24 television, Albayrak claimed:

    "If you invite tenders for a law collusive area, there will definitely be legal sanctions, various consequences for this. And from the point of view of the firms which will enter there. As a matter of fact, some firms with which we have met, really exhibited a distanced approach on this point both because this will not contribute to peace, to Cyprus and to the area and because of Turkey's suggestions that if there is a value there it should be taken care of after these processes concerning the island are solved. However, if this does not happen, let no one be offended, Turkey from now on will not be behaving like the old Turkey in the Mediterranean. Turkey will be more effective and active. Therefore, it will behave more actively on the point of drillings, including seismic ones, in our own areas and on similar and further points. Until today we have been always behaving positively, constructively. This is the way we will be behaving from now on as well. [?] We will take the necessary steps. [?] Let me tell you Turkey's strategy. Turkey has not held and will not hold any work outside the law in the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. However, we should know the following: Until today we have not operated a very active process even in our own areas, because there were economic analyses, there were many issues, we had priorities. [?]"

    Furthermore, Albayrak said that Turkey's MTA Oruc Reis ship is going to the Mediterranean next week to hold seismic explorations. Moreover, Barbaros Hayrettin will be in the Black Sea.

    Describing as "unacceptable" the recent actions of the Republic of Cyprus in the Mediterranean, Albayrak alleged that this will not have any benefits for Cyprus and the firms which have entered into this area, because "a law collusive area will bring you more harm than benefit". "We will see this", he argued and claimed:

    "There is something else. We talk about peace, but like in 2004 during the Annan Plan, on the one hand you talk like this and on the other you pave the way of south Cyprus in a manner which will negatively influence peace. At the point we came today, the negotiations, the process is at the point of being interrupted. [?]"


    [02] Akinci met AER's President

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.04.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus with Hande Ozsan Bozatli, President of the Assembly of European Regions (AER). The paper notes that Bozatli was reelected at her post last December.


    [03] Denktas met Eide

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (13.04.17) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of Democratic Party (DP) and "deputy prime minister" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, met yesterday at DP's offices with Espen Barth Eide, UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus. No statement was issued after the meeting. Denktas conveyed to Eide DP's approach on the Cyprus problem.


    [04] Denktas on the "citizenship" issue

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (13.04.17) reports that self-styled deputy prime minister and financial minister Serdar Denktas alleged that the tactics in the island towards the Turkish people who came from Turkey and obtained the "citizenship" [translator's note: he refers to the "citizenship" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus" are inhuman.

    Speaking to the paper's correspondent in the occupied area of Cyprus Sefa Karahasan, Denktas commented on the latest debate regarding the "citizenships". He noted: "We marginalize the people who are our citizens. This marginalization disturbs me".

    Noting that no one has the right to interfere on the domestic affairs of "North Cyprus", Denktas argued: "With all due respect but the life here does not stop. (?) The citizenship will be granted to those who had the right to obtain it legally".

    Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci does not have the right to react on the issue of "granting citizenships", Denktas argued: "If the Greek Cypriot side says 'I took the number of 221 thousands, I cannot increase it'. I cannot move according to what the Greek Cypriot says. Here is the TRNC. There are laws and regulations".


    [05] More reactions by organizations and Ertugruloglu to the prohibition of the religious service at Agios Georgios Eksorinos church

    Under the title "Exploitation is not permitted", Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (13.04.17) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has reiterated that they will not permit the Greek Cypriots to allegedly exploit the religious freedoms for sending political messages in "TRNC's territory". In a written statement issued by his "ministry", Ertugruloglu commented on the prohibition of the religious service at Agios Georgios Eksorinos church in occupied Famagusta on Holy Friday and the resumption of the Cyprus talks. Ertugruloglu claimed that "if this religious service has become a problem, this is because the demands for services are exploited and used for political purposes". He said that the three churches in which the Greek Cypriots could hold religious services in the occupied area are known.

    Referring to the negotiations, he further alleged that the recent decision taken by Cyprus' House of Representatives has not abolished the decision of commemorating the 1950 enosis plebiscite in schools and that the Turkish Cypriots are misinformed on this issue.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.04.17) reports that referring to the prohibition of the religious service at occupied Agios Eksorinos church, Fikri Toros, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said that everybody has the right to freely exercise their religious worship and that this is important from the point of view of mutual respect and trust for the Cyprus communities to freely select their places of worship. He noted that this is why the necessary "permit" should have been given.

    Furthermore, Ali Erel, member of the Cyprus EU Association, described as "unnecessary" the above-mentioned "decision" and said that it will influence trust between the two communities. He recalled that thousands of persons visit Hala Sultan Mosque in Larnaka and that persons who are not even "citizens of the TRNC" are permitted to go there. "We also should not do such discriminations", he added.

    Finally, Sener Elcil, general secretary of the primary school teachers' trade union (KTOS), said that the UBP-DP self-styled government exert efforts to sabotage the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and continuously provokes. He noted: "We see this in statements. One of these provocations is the distribution of citizenships. [?] One other is the issue of the religious services. Except this, they create an artificial agenda from time to time and try to interrupt the process [?]".


    [06] CTP's youth organization participated in YES Congress

    Under the title "Approval for activities in Turkish properties in the north", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.04.17) reports that the youth organization of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has participated in the Young European Socialist's (YES) congress held in Duisburg, Germany, between 6 and 9 April. The congress has reportedly decided that YES activities could take place in the occupied area of Cyprus in "Turkish properties".

    In a decision on the Cyprus talks, YES expressed its full support to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution with a single international identity within the framework of the UN parameters. The organization pointed out that nationalism, chauvinism and populism harm the communities on the island and cause lack of trust. Noting that the young people will work with determination for an agreement which will respect the sensitivities of both communities, the decision called on the guarantor powers to constructively support the solution process.


    [07] site blocked in "TRNC"

    According to Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (online, 12.04.17), leading international hotel search engine has been partially blocked in Turkey and "North Cyprus" [editor's note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] in a dispute with Turkey's main travel agency body.

    The move, reported as a "precautionary measure" pending the outcome of a case brought by the Turkish Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (Tursab), follows an earlier ruling by the Turkish Competition Authority that the site's "best price guarantee" infringed competition law.

    The firm's Turkish subsidiary, Destek Hizmetleri Ltd, paid a fine of 2.5 million TL.

    The block means internet-users in "North Cyprus" cannot view hotels in Turkey or vice versa, but "TRNC tourism bosses" said yesterday they believed it would be more damaging to the website than to the local industry.

    "Cyprus Turkish Travel Agents' Union" chairman Orhan Tolun said that thousands of users would be affected. "Users within Turkey wishing to book listed hotels in North Cyprus will no longer be able to do so, and those within North Cyprus will also not be able to book hotels in Turkey", he said and concluded: "What will now happen is that people will revert to booking hotels in Turkey using a travel agency in North Cyprus, or will opt to use another online hotel search engine ? dozens exist. This ruling harms more than anyone else."

    [08] Erdogan said gov't should reinstate death penalty after April 16 referendum

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.04.17) reports that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that he believes the government should submit a draft on reinstating the death penalty in the event that the constitutional amendments are approved in the upcoming referendum on April 16.

    "After April 16, with God's permission, the draft would be brought to Parliament. If it passes in Parliament, I will approve it," Erdogan said at a rally in the eastern province of Erzurum on April 12.

    Debates on reinstating the capital punishment were brought to discussion after the July 15, 2016, coup attempt. Erdogan vows the people's demand for the death penalty would be met. Calls for the death penalty were among the most recited chants in public rallies.

    "April 16 will be the day to decide that," he said.

    Erdogan said the reinstatement of the death penalty could be brought to the agenda with a consensus of all political parties.

    "Mr Kemal Kilicdaroglu [leader of the Republican People's Party ? CHP] says he would approve it. I hope he will not deny it when time comes. Mr Devlet Bahceli, [leader of the Nationalist Movement Party - MHP] already said yes. And Mr. Binali Y?ld?r?m [Prime Minister] is the same," he said, adding that it would be put to a referendum if it gets approved in Parliament.

    "To reinstate the death penalty there needs to be a constitutional amendment, but in an event that the Parliament does not approve that, I am telling now, we will appeal to the public with a referendum just like we did for April 16. Let the public decide," he said.

    [09] CHP leader: Idea of a non-democratic Turkey to be clinched if yes votes prevail in charter referendum

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.04.17) reports that main opposition CHP leader said on April 12, commenting on the relationship with EU, that the idea of a non-democratic Turkey will be clinched if yes votes emerge in the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.

    "We want to be a part of the civilized world," CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said in an interview with Dogan TV Ankara representative Hakan Celik on CNN Turk.

    The government is trying to bring the Syrian Constitution to the country with the new amendments that will be voted in the April 16 referendum, he also said.

    "We are fitting the current state [in Turkey] to the situation in Syria. We are taking the exact same of the Syrian Constitution. We are rioting against the fact that Syria does not have democracy but we are now bringing the Syrian Constitution to our own country by copying it. Why are you bringing the Constitution of al-Assad to your country if you are complaining about him? Why should this country be like Syria," Kilicdaroglu said.

    Kilicdaroglu also said that the new Constitution had similarities with the Syrian one regarding the executive power, stressing that there was not a "one-man rule" in the country's history unlike Syria and Iraq.

    He complained about the unequal conditions in the referendum campaigning, saying that the state was managing the whole yes campaign.

    [10] HDP: Turkey's election threshold to rise to 50% if 'yes' vote prevails in referendum

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 12.04.17) reports that Osman Baydemir, the spokesperson for the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), has warned that Turkey's election threshold would "increase to 50%" if the constitutional changes are passed in the referendum on April 16, Dogan News Agency has reported.

    Baydemir was speaking in pre-referendum a spot on the state broadcaster TRT, saying the current 10% threshold on parliamentary representation would effectively be raised to 50% if the changes are passed.

    "My brothers and sisters! I invite you to say 'no' to the 50% election threshold. We already live in a country with the highest election threshold in the world. You know well how we tried to pass the 10% election threshold for many years. But now they want to increase the threshold to 50% election from 10% with these constitutional changes," he argued.

    "If someone is able to cross the 50% threshold, they can seize 100% of the national will," Baydemir added.

    The HDP spokesperson, speaking on behalf of the party's jailed co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, also argued that "no" votes were leading in pre-referendum polls. "I am calling all voters thinking about the country's future to go to the polls. If you go to vote, the 'no' votes will win," he said.

    Meanwhile, Demirtas has sent three different "no" vote messages from jail ahead of the referendum, saying the people should not allow the AKP to "lengthen this horror movie."

    [11] Latest opinion polls' results on the upcoming referendum in Turkey

    According to Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (online, 12.04.17), a survey by Research Ajans Press (APA) put the "yes" vote at 59.02%, and the "no" vote at 40.98% regarding the April 16 referendum in Turkey on constitutional changes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (online, 13.04.17) publishes the latest results of Gezici Research Company, putting the "no" vote at 48.7% and "yes" vote at 51.3%. The survey was conducted with the participation of 1,399 persons in 34 districts of 10 provinces with the method of face-to-face interview between April 8 and 9.

    (%) The allocation of the undecided voters /

    Error rate +-2,5

    "yes" vote 46,6 51,3

    "no" vote 43,5 48,7

    Undecided voters 9,9 -

    Total 100 100

    Gezici reminded that the results of the survey conducted on April 1 and 2, where the "yes" vote was 53.3% and the "no" vote was 46.70%.

    Meanwhile, a survey by polling company ANAR, which is close to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), put the "yes" vote at 52% and the "no" vote at 48%. According to the survey, there is a two percentage point increase for "yes" since the start of March.

    Cumhuriyet also publishes a tweet by the Director of polling company SONAR Hakan Bayrakci who wrote: "Although all the polling companies put the "yes" vote around to 53-54%, the latest vote rating of SONAR is: 51.2% no vote, 48.8% yes vote."


    [12] Commentary: "EU backs Israel-to-Italy pipeline to alter East Med energy chessboard"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.04.17) with the above title publishes the following commentary by Dr. Michael Tanchum a fellow at the Energy Policy Research Center at Bilkent University in Ankara:

    "On April 3, the European Union and the governments of Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel pledged their support for the construction of the world's longest undersea natural gas pipeline to transport Eastern Mediterranean gas to EU markets via Greece and Italy. Costing over $6 billion, the more than 2,000-kilometer mega-pipeline could transform the energy geopolitics of the region. The so-called Cross-Med pipeline would reduce the EU's reliance on Turkey's Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) as the major supply route for non-Russian natural gas.

    While Ankara hoped TANAP would turn Turkey into the clearinghouse for Middle Eastern and Central Asian natural gas to reach Europe, the EU's ongoing efforts to diversify its supply routes is changing the Eastern Mediterranean energy chessboard.

    Although the Cross-Med pipeline has been dismissed by analysts as commercially unfeasible due to low gas prices, several contracts recently signed between the Greek Cypriot-administered Republic of Cyprus (ROC) and international energy companies suggest that the experts' skepticism may be short-sighted. On April 5, two days after the Cross-Med summit, Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil signed an exploration and production-sharing contract with the ROC for Block 10 in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone. In March, the Italian energy giant Eni announced that it had purchased a 50% stake in Cyprus' Block 11 from the French energy major Total. Block 11 is adjacent to Egypt's Shorouk concession in which Eni made the 2015 discovery of the massive Zohr natural gas field. The Eastern Mediterranean's largest gas find, Egypt's Zohr field, contains 850 billion cubic cm of natural gas, 50-60 percent of which may be recoverable. If the Zohr's carbonate reservoir extends across the border between Egypt and Cyprus' exclusive economic zones, then Cyprus could be sitting on a major natural gas find in Block 11.

    The Cross-Med pipeline project is predicated upon the prospect that the Eastern Mediterranean will become one of the EU's major energy suppliers. From a geological viewpoint, that prospect is not far-fetched. According to assessments conducted in 2010 by the United States Geological Survey, the Levant Basin, including Cyprus and Israel's exclusive economic zones, along with Egypt's Nile Delta and Mediterranean coast, potentially contain 10 trillion cubic meters of recoverable gas. If this region is considered as a whole, the Egypt-Israel-Cyprus triangle could become one of the world's top 10 natural gas producers.

    As the EU moves to eliminate coal as an energy source for power production, it may turn more to natural gas to prevent price and supply shocks, even while it continues advancing the use of cleaner renewable energy sources. In such circumstances, Eastern Mediterranean gas would be one of the EU's most attractive supply options. For this reason, EU European Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, who participated in a recent summit in Tel Aviv, declared, "This is an ambitious project, which as the commission, we clearly support, as it will have a high value in terms of security of supply and diversification targets."

    TANAP, the main pipeline of the Southern Gas Corridor extending from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Greece, Albania and Italy, is slated to transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea to the EU. With the inclusion of natural gas from the Kurdish region of Iraq and Israel (which would have to cross Cyprus' exclusive economic zone), Ankara hoped that the Turkish market would become a chief organizing framework for the distribution of natural gas from the Caspian Basin and Middle East to Europe. High-level officials from Israel and Turkey will soon engage in talks for the export of Israeli natural gas to Turkey. A win-win for both nations, Israeli exports to Turkey would contribute to TANAP becoming a strategic transit corridor for non-Russian natural gas to reach the EU.

    Still, with the Cross-Med pipeline officially on the table, the Eastern Mediterranean chessboard has changed. While Turkish-Israeli cooperation will likely be unaffected, Greek Cypriots may feel less incentivized to arrive at an equitable solution with the Turkish Cypriots for a reunited Cyprus."

    [13] Foreign humanitarian organizations in Turkey under scrutiny

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.04.17) with the above title reports that Turkey's Interior Ministry has ended the activities of four foreign nongovernmental organizations operating in Turkey on the grounds of "national security", including the United States-based Mercy Corps, a Turkish official told the Hurriyet Daily News on condition of anonymity.

    The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass all held talks with Turkish officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, on behalf of the banned Mercy Corps, said the official.

    The Interior Ministry also refused to renew the licenses of three other NGOs while another also withdrew an application to open an office, according to the official.

    The official said they had been informed that the NGOs whose permits were revoked had been continuing their activities illegally in cooperation with Turkish associations and foreign NGOs and individuals.

    Speaking to Anadolu Agency on April 12, Kaynak said that U.N. officials and the U.S. Ambassador, along with European Union officials, visited him after the cancelation of the work permits in an effort to learn the reasons for the decisions and the parameters to allow them to work in Turkey again.

    Kaynak said that 48 foreign NGOs and foundations had been operating in Turkey on issues concerning refugees since the Syrian crisis erupted.

    These foundations should not operate in Turkey without permission, transfer money without permission and employ wanted persons and criminals, the Deputy Prime Minister said.

    He also said that while the Turkish government was struggling with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), they had realized that "foundations have lots of activities."

    The foreign NGOs whose activities have been curtailed in Turkey include the Mercy Corps, the Italian-based Coordination of the Organizations for Voluntary Service (COSV), the U.K.-based International NGO Safety Organization (INSO) and the U.S.-based Business Software Alliance Incorporation (BSA).

    The COSV and INSO were denied permission to operate in January, while the Mercy Corps and BSA were prevented from doing so in February.

    The Turkish Coalition of America also withdrew a request to open a representative office in Turkey at the beginning of February, according to officials.

    [14] Turkey may return to Formula One calendar

    According to Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (online, 13.04.17), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday held talks with the new chief of Formula One on bringing motor racing's top franchise back to Turkey after a six-year break, the manager of the Istanbul circuit said. A statement on the presidential website said that Erdogan met Formula One chief executive Chase Carey at the Presidential Palace in Ankara in the company of some of his top aides and Sports Minister Akif Cagatay K?l?c. Also present was Ali Vural Ak, the managing director of the Istanbul Park Intercity circuit where the Turkish Grand Prix was held from 2005 until 2011. "I hope that with the help of the President, God willing, the Istanbul Park will again host Formula One," Ak said after the meeting.

    "We had very intensive meetings... we have not signed anything yet but all that remains is a signing. God willing, our country will again host Formula One in Istanbul," he added.

    The annual race fell out of the calendar due to a lack of agreement on the cost of the event.

    But Erdogan has reaffirmed over the last months that Turkey is ready to host any sporting event.


    (DPs / AM)

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