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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-04-18

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] Turkey 2017 Referendum Results
  • [02] Erdogan: "Referendum a victory for all in Turkey"
  • [03] Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim emphasizes unity, equality in balcony speech after referendum
  • [04] MHP leader says referendum results are important success
  • [05] Main opposition leader describes referendum results as 'democratic victory' of 'no' camp
  • [06] Trump calls Erdogan to congratulate him on referendum victory
  • [07] New era expected in Kurdish relations following Erdogan's April 16 victory
  • [08] 'No' votes prevail in Turkey's three largest cities
  • [09] International observers: Changes in voting procedure against law
  • [10] Erdogan: We won't consider OSCE report on referendum:
  • [11] Commentary views messages conveyed through referendum results
  • [12] Turkish Cabinet decides to extend state of emergency for 3 months
  • [13] Parliament needs to adjust scores of laws to new charter in next 6 months
  • [14] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the results of the referendum in Turkey
  • [15] Ertugruloglu congratulates Erdogan for his victory in the constitutional referendum
  • [16] Turkish Cypriot organizations commented on the results of the constitutional referendum in Turkey
  • [17] Turkish Cypriot columnist assesses the results of the referendum in Turkey in relation to Cyprus
  • [18] Akinci: July a natural date for Cyprus solution
  • [19] Cavusoglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side's efforts for a solution are not being reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side
  • [20] Ertugruloglu is carrying out contacts in Jeddah
  • [21] OIC delegation holds contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [22] A probe into the "TRNC police" for being linked to the FETO has been launched


    [01] Turkey 2017 Referendum Results

    Turkish daily Sabah (18.03.17) writes that the April 16 Referendum results are as follows:

    YES 51.41%(25,156,860 votes)

    NO 48.59% 23,777,014 votes)

    Opened Ballot Box %age: 99.97%

    Total Number of Ballot Boxes: 174,456

    Opened Ballot Boxes: 174,409

    Participation Rate: 85.32%

    Total number of voters: 58,365,078

    Total Votes : 49,798,920

    Turkey Referendum Results by Province:

    ISTANBUL YES 48.65% NO 51.35%

    ANKARA YES 48.85% NO 51.15%

    IZMIR YES 31.20% NO 68.80%

    BURSA YES 53.21% NO 46.79%

    ANTALYA YES 40.92% NO 59.08%

    ADANA YES 41.81% NO 58.19%

    GAZIANTEP YES 62.45% NO 37.55%

    ESKISEHIR YES 42.43% NO 57.57%

    DIYARBAKIR YES 32.41% NO 67.59%

    SAMSUN YES 63.55% NO 36.45%.

    [02] Erdogan: "Referendum a victory for all in Turkey"

    Turkish Sabah newspaper (17.04.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said in his first comments on the Referendum results that the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments to shift the country's governance system to an executive presidency marked a victory for everyone in Turkey.

    "April 16 is the victory for all Turkey with everyone who both voted 'yes' and 'no,' with the country's 80 million population, 81 provinces and its 780,000 square kilometers of land. Our citizens living abroad are also an important part of this victory," Erdogan told a press conference at the Huber Palace in Istanbul, noting that around 25 million "yes" votes were cast according to unofficial results.

    Erdogan also called the public decision to approve the new governance system a historic one and thanked all citizens for their support in supporting his push to create a presidential post with greatly enhanced powers.

    "Today, Turkey gave a historic decision on its governance system which has been an immemorial matter of debate for 200 years," Erdogan said, acknowledging all citizens who headed to the polls regardless of the color of their votes.

    He also said the country was on its way to realizing the most important governance reform in its history. "As has always been the case, in this referendum it has been easy to defend what exists and hard to defend the change. Thank God we have achieved a difficult thing and we are realizing the most important governance reform in our history with the courtesy of our nation," he said.

    The Turkish President also stressed that votes cast particularly from the eastern and southeastern provinces had a separate significance, noting that all provinces in the southeastern had witnessed an increase of between 10 and 20 %.

    Separately, addressing a celebrating the referendum result in front of the palace, Erdogan said he would immediately discuss the issue of reinstating capital punishment with the prime minister and the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

    [03] Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim emphasizes unity, equality in balcony speech after referendum

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.04.17) reported that Justice and Development Party Chairman and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke about the plebiscite for the changes to the Constitution and said: "Just as we said when we set out, 'However the will of the people manifests, that result is the crown on our head,' we said. Our people have chosen. They have given the go-ahead for a presidential system of government. This country, this nation has shown once again that it will never again bow to any tutelage, any outside intervention or any threat."

    Making a balcony speech from the AKP Central Offices, Prime Minister Yildirim addressed the citizens.

    Starting by saying, "Let those who do not know find out and those who have not heard hear: we are brothers, one body, one nation. The separatist traitors should get it into their heads that we are brothers, one body, one nation," Yildirim continued: "According to the unofficial results, the plebiscite for a presidential system of government has ended with a Yes vote. May God Almighty make this an auspicious and fortuitous event. I offer my thanks to all my citizens who made their choice and took charge of our democracy with a high turn-out; thank you."

    Passing on his thanks to all the civil servants, voting booth officials and observers as well as to the security forces that provided security for the plebiscite, Prime Minister Yildirim continued:

    Also thanking those citizens who live abroad and who took charge of democracy, Prime Minister Yildirim said: "I offer special thanks and a salute to our founding chairman, our leader, our President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. I salute him from here, where he has made so many balcony speeches, with affection and respect on behalf of my entire organization."

    "We are continuing from where we left off. Of course, we are going to have different ideas and different proposals for solutions, but in the end we are going to preserve our union and our togetherness like a treasure. That is the beauty of democracy [?]".

    Emphasizing that they were going to bring to life the new system of administration at the first general election by making all the necessary preparations and by working until the general election in 2019, Prime Minister Yildirim announced that today democracy, the nation, rule of law and the 83 million citizens living at home and abroad had won.

    [04] MHP leader says referendum results are important success

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.04.17) reported that Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli has said the referendum results are "an important success and achievement."

    He said the Turkish nation, with its free will, has given approval to the transition into the presidential system.

    "I present my gratitude to the Prime Minister and the AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party]," he said in a written statement on April 16.

    He said the Turkish nation uttered the last word about the future of the country and claimed its independence and future, adding that everyone had to respect the result.

    The MHP "literally fulfilled every task on April 16, 2017, and stood firmly behind the democratic promise it gave," he added.

    He warned against possible acts that could deepen political polarization in the country and called on people to avoid such acts that could abolish public peace.

    [05] Main opposition leader describes referendum results as 'democratic victory' of 'no' camp

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.17) reported that the 24 million Turkish citizens who voted against the constitutional changes have scored a "democratic victory" even though they failed to halt the government's project, the main opposition leader has said, warning that Turkey will be ungovernable with the constitution.

    "Despite all the bureaucratic pressure of the state, despite all the state's financial and bureaucratic resources [used by the government] and despite the ongoing state of emergency, the naysayers claimed a victory for democracy, no matter what they say," Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said in a phone interview with daily Hurriyet on April 17.

    "Why is it a democratic victory? I will give you an example from our history. We experienced similar conditions before the voting on the Sept. 12 constitution which was drafted by the military junta [in the early 1980s].

    Kilicdaroglu said constitutions should be regarded as the main documents for social contracts, meaning a blueprint approved with the support of only half the people could not act as a common charter.

    "Everyone should see that this society cannot be governed with this constitution," the CHP leader said, calling on all political parties to create a social consensus on the constitution. "Whether represented in parliament or not, the responsibility of all parties is to turn this constitution into a text of consensus. Politics has such a responsibility and it can't run away from this."

    Kilicdaroglu highlighted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's first public statement before the referendum results were even finalized, describing them as a reflection of "hate and anger" and an inability to embrace the whole nation.

    Kilicdaroglu said his party would never support any attempt to reinstate capital punishment as the social democrat party wants Turkey "to remain part of the contemporary world." "They have a majority in the parliament. They can introduce it," he said.

    [06] Trump calls Erdogan to congratulate him on referendum victory

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.04.17) reported that U.S. President Donald Trump called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on the referendum victory.

    The two leaders had a "pleasant" call which lasted for 45 minutes, diplomatic sources said. In the phone call, Trump also congratulated President Erdogan on his 'strong leadership,' according to the same sources.

    Sources added that the parties also discussed the Syrian crisis during the call, and reiterated their willingness to cooperate in the fight against the Daesh terrorist group.

    [07] New era expected in Kurdish relations following Erdogan's April 16 victory

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.04.17) reported that following Turkey's historic April 16 referendum, which resulted in a victory for the "yes" voters, prominent Kurdish experts emphasized that the outcome from Sunday night is the beginning of a new era in Kurdish relations. When the results from the critical referendum on the constitutional amendment is compared to the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Nov. 1 results, it is evident that there is a 10-20% increase in AK Party support throughout the southeastern provinces of Turkey. On that note, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking shortly after the referendum results on Sunday night, also drew attention to the increasing votes in favor of the change, while signaling a new era as he said.

    Regardless of PKK "terror threats" and its political wing, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), remaining in the "no bloc" throughout the referendum process, the predominantly Kurdish cities throughout the eastern and southeastern provinces of Turkey leaned toward "yes" on Sunday. For instance, in the southeastern province of Hakkari, the "yes" votes reached 32.5 % displaying a strong increase of 18.7 % in favor of the ruling AK Party compared to the votes from the November 2015 elections. This percentage is even higher when compared to the AK Party's votes from the July 7 elections, where it was at 22.8 %. Another significant result came from the eastern province of Mus where the "yes" vote reached 50.8 %, revealing a landslide of support for the AK Party, with a gain of 16.3 %.

    Furthermore, there were more than 450,000 votes in support of the AK Party in the cities of: Hakkari, Agri, Van, Sirnak, Bitlis, Siirt, Mus, Tunceli, Bingol, Diyarbakir, Batman, Sanliurfa and Mardin, an increase when compared to the Nov. 1 elections. Commenting on the matter, a Kurdish expert and associate professor at Dicle University Vahap Coskun told Daily Sabah yesterday that the increased support for the AK Party is "highly significant."

    "The people of the region are still keeping their distance from the HDP, and the HDP is not establishing any policies to overcome this. Secondly, the Kurdish voters still believe that the AK Party is the most appropriate party for the sake of democracy and the Kurdish matter. Finally, the undecided voters of the region leaned toward the AK Party regardless of their disagreement," Coskun said. He further added that the AK Party is expected to express more unifying statements in the new era. Similarly, Kurdish intellectual and analyst Vahdettin Ince also told Daily Sabah that the results from April 16 are a "destiny determiner."

    [08] 'No' votes prevail in Turkey's three largest cities

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.17) reports that "No" votes lost in Turkey overall in the April 16 referendum on shifting the country to an executive presidential system, but they came top in Turkey's three largest cities: Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the western province of Izmir.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has previously repeatedly stated that "one who wins a majority in Istanbul wins all of Turkey," thus suffered a shock on April 16, despite carrying out an intense campaign in the country's largest city.

    President Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addressed a huge crowd in a campaign rally in Istanbul's Yenikapi together on April 8, and both held four rallies each in different Istanbul districts one day before the referendum.

    However, this intense focus did not yield the desired results for the "yes" camp, with the "no" bloc winning a narrow majority in Istanbul. The "yes" vote in Istanbul was at 48.65 % in the referendum while the "no" vote was at 51.35 %.

    When the results are compared with the outcome of the most recent Nov. 1, 2015 general election, in which the AKP won 48.72 % of the vote in Istanbul and the MHP won 8.59 %, totaling 57.31 %, it can be seen that the "yes" bloc lost a significant portion of votes.

    The CHP won 30.44 % of the vote and the HDP won 10.55 % of the vote in Istanbul in the November 2015 election, totaling 40.99 %. This total is over 10 %age points lower than the "No" votes in Istanbul in the April 16 referendum.

    In terms of districts, the "yes" camp suffered significant vote losses in the hard-scrabble Sultanbeyli, Sultangazi and Esenler districts, in which the AKP won a high amount of votes in the previous election.

    The district with the highest percentage of "no" votes was Besiktas with over 83 %. In the November 2015 election the total votes of the CHP and the HDP stood at 73.78 % in Besiktas.

    Kadikoy followed Besiktas with 80.2 % and Bakirkoy was third with 77.42 % of "no" votes.

    "Yes" votes stood at 70.48 % in Sultanbeyli, in which the AKP and the MHP won a joint total of 72.76 % in November 2015. The "no" bloc won 29.5 % in the district in the referendum, up from 24.57 % in November 2015.

    One particularly attention grabbing result emerged from the conservative district of Uskudar, where the AKP and the MHP won a cumulative 57.47 % of the votes in November 2015 but where "yes" votes could only muster 46.8 %.

    In the capital Ankara, "no" votes won 51 % of the vote in the referendum, far below the combined AKP-MHP vote of 62.99 % in the November 2015 election.

    In the CHP stronghold district of Cankaya 78.2 % voted "no," while 57.5 % in the Yenimahalle district voted "no." Although only five out of Ankara's 25 districts voted "no" overall, the scale of "no" vote in those five districts was enough to tip the balance.

    Long-serving Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek predicted "yes" votes at 58 % in the city, overestimating the final result by almost 10 %.

    In the CHP stronghold of Izmir, meanwhile, the "yes" camp suffered a major defeat. Despite the fact that Yildirim campaigned in many of the city's districts, "no" votes won 68.76 % of the votes in the referendum, corresponding to a 13.36 % increase in the "no" bloc compared to the November 2015 election.

    The cumulative AKP-MHP "yes" camp was at 42.38 % in Izmir in the last general election and therefore fell by 11.14 %age points in the referendum.

    In the Bergama district, which is among the most significant ones for the AKP and the MHP in Izmir, "no" votes reached 59.44 %, while "yes" votes stood at 40.56 %.

    [09] International observers: Changes in voting procedure against law

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.17) reports that Turkey's Supreme Election Board's (YSK) decision to deem unsealed ballots valid in the referendum had lifted significant assurances and that it was against the law, according to international observers.

    Head of the delegations from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a press conference in Ankara on April 17 to brief their observations about the referendum process.

    "Late changes in counting procedures removed an important safeguard," said Cezar Florin Preda, the head of the PACE delegation, referring to a move by the election authorities to allow voting documents without an official stamp.

    "The legal framework... remained inadequate for the holding of a genuinely democratic referendum," the delegations said in a joint statement.

    OSCE/ODIHR Delegation Chair Tana de Zulueta said changes in the vote-counting procedure had lifted significant assurances and that it was against the law.

    Some of the OSCE observers were not allowed to invigilate the vote-counting process, the observer said.

    Turkey's referendum took place on an "unleveled playing field," the observers said,

    "The two sides of the campaign did not have equal opportunities. Voters were not provided with impartial information about key aspects of the reform and civil society organizations were not able to participate," the missions' statement read.

    "Under the state of emergency put in place after the July 2016 failed coup attempt, fundamental freedoms essential to a genuinely democratic process were curtailed," the statement read.

    The Limited Referendum Observation Mission will release its report on the referendum results within eight weeks.

    [10] Erdogan: We won't consider OSCE report on referendum

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.17) reports that Turkey's President Monday rebuffed a report critical of Turkey's handling of Sunday's historic referendum, saying Ankara would ignore its claims.

    "First you should know your place! We will not consider, see, or recognize your political report. We will go our own way," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, referring to a report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the April 18 referendum.

    The report was prepared according to the OSCE's biased "point of view," he added.

    Earlier Monday, the OSCE claimed a "lack of equal opportunities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms" had created an "unleveled playing field" in Turkey's referendum.

    Turkish voters went to the polls on Sunday to decide whether to approve changes to the country's constitution that would usher in an executive presidency.

    According to unofficial results, the Yes campaign won with 51.41 %, while the No votes stood at 48.59 %. Voter turnout was 85.46 %.

    Erdogan said that a huge number of Turkish voters took part in the referendum. "The constitutional change was accepted by the choice of over 25 million people."

    He added, "The change in the constitution which was accepted with the highest turnout in Turkish history will benefit our nation."

    On Turkey's European Union accession, Erdogan said Turkey could also hold a referendum on Turkey's EU membership, complaining, "They had us wait in front of the EU's door for 54 years."

    Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, and accession talks began in 2005 before stalling in 2007 over the Cyprus issue.

    [11] Commentary views messages conveyed through referendum results

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News Online (18.04.17) publishes the following article by Abdulkadir Selvi under the title: "What to expect after the referendum""

    "We have waken up to a new Turkey.

    The result of the referendum is "yes," but the people gave messages that both the government and the opposition need to analyze properly.

    First of all, support for the presidential system was initially around 25 to 30 %. In that sense President Recep Tayyip Erdogan changed the course of the flow. He received the same amount of votes he got when he was elected president.

    But the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) needs to engage in some serious self-criticism.

    But let me first mention the High Election Board's (YSK) decision to deem ballots without official stamps as valid. The YSK did not have the right to overshadow the elections. Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said the decision made the results open to debate. The opposition will pursue this issue.

    In his speech Sunday night, Erdogan said there would be no early elections and that the government would continue until 2019. Although the AKP won the referendum, this was not a victory. The "yes" vote was not at the desired, "meaningful" level. There is talk in the party corridors that this result has created the necessity for Erdogan to take the party leadership. "Erdogan will make an assessment and prepare the party for the 2019 elections," say some party members. Despite his statement, Erdogan could opt for early elections.

    The AKP could not receive the support it was expecting from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Not only did the cooperation with the MHP not create any synergy, but at times it worked against the AKP, like the statement made by MHP leader Devlet Bahceli on the federal system three days prior to the referendum. There was no additional support from the MHP in the coastal regions for instance.

    The MHP constituency did not vote for Bahceli. I talked to Meral Aksener before the referendum. She told me that she would think about a new party after April 16. The way is open for Aksener to establish a new party after April 17.

    Kilicdaroglu as the leader of the 'no' camp

    When it comes to the CHP, forget about the dissidents in the party, no one, not even a whole army, can unseat Kilicdaroglu. As the leaders of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) were in prison, Kilicdaroglu assumed the leadership of the "no" camp. As the head of a party who got 25 % of the votes, his role and share in the 49 % of the "no" is very big.

    The referendum results need to be carefully analyzed in terms of the Kurdish votes as well. The Kurds stood next to Erdogan at a critical turning point. These results have reminded the ruling party of its historical responsibility in the solution to the problem.

    There is another truth that the referendum results have shown us: a referendum that takes place in a polarized environment brings a neck-and-neck result. Let's recall the referendum which was held after the military coup to abolish the bans on political leaders. There was also a very tight result. In this referendum, those who like Erdogan said "yes," those who do not like him said "no."

    The AKP also used the wrong rhetoric at the beginning of the campaign. The rhetoric will be another issue that will be evaluated by AKP cadres.

    [12] Turkish Cabinet decides to extend state of emergency for 3 months

    Turkish Sabah (18.04.17) reports that the Council of Ministers has decided to extend the ongoing state of emergency for another three months, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Numan Kurtulmus announced on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters in a press conference in Ankara following a weekly cabinet meeting, Kurtulmus said that the decision will now go to Parliament for approval, and the extension will be effective as of Wednesday, April 19.

    Kurtulmus's announcement comes after the Turkish National Security Council (MGK) chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recommended an extension for the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the July 15 coup attempt.

    "The decision to recommend extending the state of emergency was taken in order to ensure the continuity of precautions the protect democracy, the rule of law, and the rights and freedoms of our citizens in an efficient manner," the council said in a statement after a meeting which lasted for about 50 minutes.

    The first state of emergency was initially ordered by Parliament on July 21 and then extended again on Oct. 11.

    [13] Parliament needs to adjust scores of laws to new charter in next 6 months

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.04.17) reports that the system change approved on April 16 by a narrow majority of the electorate voting in favor of changing the constitution is set to be in effect after 2019, as the parliament readies to enter an intense period in the next six months in order to harmonize the existing legislation with the new constitution.

    Since the constitutional amendment included a provision obligating the parliament to complete legislative harmonization within six months, the government is expected to issue an empowering act to conduct the legislative changes by the help of governmental decrees in effect of law.

    As the cabinet will still have the authority to be in charge until the 2019 elections, when the system change goes into effect, the council of ministers will use its right to issue decree laws.

    The first legislative change is expected to be in election system so that if the Parliament will decide on an early election, the presidential and Parliamentary elections will be held on the same day, as it was stated in the constitutional amendment. The constitutional hitch, which inhibits any changes in the election law to be in effect sooner than a year, will not be used in this first early election.

    The President's authority to issue presidential decrees will be in effect after the dual elections are held.

    Amid claims that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will not wait for 2019 to "implement the presidential system," party officials stated that the text they prepared technically allows to hold an early election and implement the presidential system before 2019.

    "Parliament's general election for the 27th Legislative Period and the presidential elections will be held on the same day on Nov. 3, 2019. Members of Parliament and the President will continue to serve until the election is held. If the parliament decides to hold elections, the general election of the 27th legislative term and the presidential elections will be held together," the provision in Article 17 of the amendment read, AKP officials said, stating that this provision was included to ensure that the implementation of the system would be possible before 2019.

    "If there will be an extraordinary development both in Turkey and in the world, we have eliminated the risk of not being able to go to the election until 2019. Because otherwise, we will have to change the constitution in order to be able to decide an early election. Now it is possible without the constitutional amendment," the AKP officials said.

    "If there will be early elections, all the provisions of the presidential system will be implemented immediately after the elections, as a force of circumstances. In other words, the president will be able to use all his authorities stipulated in the constitutional amendment," they added.

    "There will only be one reason not to go to an early election, and that would be to not waste President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remaining time in his post as president. Because if there will be an election, the 5 plus 5 rule will be in effect. The elected President will start to use his five-year term," they stated.

    The constitutional changes stipulating a change of the configuration of the top judicial bodies will be in effect immediately. In this manner, the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will be re-configured within 30 days. The new members of the board will take their posts within 40 days. The President will appoint four members of a 13-member board and the Parliament will decide on seven members. The Justice Minister will be the President and the Justice Ministry's undersecretary will be the member.

    The President's right to be a member of a political party can also be put into effect immediately. Following an official announcement from the Supreme Board of Election (YSK), AKP leader Binali Yildirim is expected to make an invitation. There will be congress for Erdogan to become the leader of the party.

    The third issue to be implemented immediately will be the removal of military courts. The Military Court of Appeals, the Supreme Military Administrative Court and military courts were annulled. The judges serving here will be appointed to the civilian courts in HSYK or to the active duty in the Defense Ministry; those who have passed the age limit can be retired.

    [14] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the results of the referendum in Turkey

    The results of the referendum for the constitutional amendments in Turkey were the main issue on the front pages of the Turkish Cypriot daily newspapers on Monday 17 April, 2017.

    Under the title "New period in Turkey", Kibris reports that the constitutional amendment, which consists of 18 articles, was approved in Turkey with a majority of 51,41% of the votes against 48,59%. Turkey abandons the parliamentary system and passes to the presidential system, notes the paper, adding that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has already stated that it would file an objection against the result. The paper writes that the "no" vote prevailed with 56,61% in the voting in the occupied area of Cyprus where the "yes" vote remained to 43,39%.

    Afrika refers to the issue under the title "Fraudulent election" and reports that the result was determined by the fact that after the counting of the votes had started the Supreme Election Board decided that the unsealed envelops and voting papers would be valid.

    Under the title "Two different Turkeys", Yeni Duzen writes that the "no" vote prevailed in big cities such as Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. "No' votes victory in cities such as Antalya, Adana and Mersin drew attention, according to the paper, which reports that strong support to the "yes" vote was expressed in Konya, Sivas, Erzurum and Kahramanmaras.

    Havadis refers to the issue under the title "Yes by a hair's breadth". Basaran Duzgun, the publisher of the paper, writes in his column that Turkey was divided in two and that AKP lost in the occupied area of Cyprus. President Erdogan achieved his target "by a hair's breadth", the leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Kilicdaroglu came out as winner from the election (something which he could not even dream of) and the leader of the Nationalist Action party (MHP) Bahceli lost in a shameful manner, argues Duzgun.

    Under the title "New Period in Turkey", "Halkin Sesi" reports that the total percentages of AKP and MHP, which have officially supported the "yes" vote in the referendum, decreased by 8,62% comparing to the parliamentary elections held on 1 November 2015.

    Under the title "Turkey said yes", Star Kibris reports that the turnout in the 16 April referendum reached 86,3% and that Turkey "showed once more that it stands by President Erdogan's side". Under the title "Europe is in shock", the paper writes that the "yes" vote prevailed in the voting abroad in which three million Turks have participated. In Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium "yes" exceeded 60%, notes the paper.

    Ortam refers to the issue under the title "Disputable yes in the shadow of no".

    Kibris Postasi covers the results under the title "New Turkey with a small difference".


    [15] Ertugruloglu congratulates Erdogan for his victory in the constitutional referendum

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (18.04.17, reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has congratulated President Erdogan and the Turkish people for the result of the referendum held on 16 April and the approved constitutional amendment.

    In a written statement, Ertugruloglu expressed the belief that the result will strengthen Turkey in the area and internationally. Moreover, he expressed the view that the presidential system should come onto the agenda in the occupied area of Cyprus as well. "The results of the referendum will be positively reflected on our country as well", he alleged.


    [16] Turkish Cypriot organizations commented on the results of the constitutional referendum in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.04.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) commented on the results of the constitutional referendum in Turkey and argued that the Turkish Cypriots will not be able to develop equal relations with the new Turkish state structure. Noting that the Turkish Cypriots could not have equal relations with Turkey in the past, KTOS' organizational secretary Basim Baysal said that Turkey has been turned into a state with a government which wants to go backwards 200 years. Baysal stressed that a period with increased oppression and more difficult struggles waits for the peoples of Turkey.

    Moreover, Munur Rahvancioglu, general secretary of the Independence Road organization, pointed out that the AKP could achieve the result it desired with cheating and lying and that the will of Turkey's peoples was not reflected in the ballot boxes. Rahvancioglu said that they will be organized and resist for freedom, democracy, secularity and peace.


    [17] Turkish Cypriot columnist assesses the results of the referendum in Turkey in relation to Cyprus

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.04.17) columnist Sami Ozuslu assesses the results of the referendum in Turkey in relation to Cyprus. Under the title "Will yes be good for Cyprus?", Ozuslu reports that a "shady yes" came out from the "problematic in all aspects" and "terrible voting from a democratic point of view" in Turkey. He notes, inter alia the following:

    "[?] Turkey's people have lost in a way. Erdogan has overcome another obstacle in the way of [becoming] the 'single man'. Turkey has anyway been ruled 'by one man' for some time now, but this will become legal now. The sharia regime, that is the prevalence of the Islamic rules, will not happen with this Constitution, but the course in practice has been established on the downgrading of secularism as much as possible. From now on it will be difficult for Turkey to turn its face to the West. [?]

    There are many problems which Turkey will have to face and solve. It is not known whether single man Erdogan will wait for the first elections in November 2019 or he will hold the elections earlier in order for passing to the new regime the soonest, but what he will do with the Kurdish problem? Will he continue keeping the members of the HDP in jail, where he has put them? Will he establish in their place an alternative, controlled, close to him 'covered Kurdish party'? If he does this, will he succeed? It is not known. What will 'single man' Erdogan do in Syria? After USA's latest move, will he return back to the target of 'overturning Assad'? Will he be able to prevent with buffer zones the structure in northern Syria in which Kurds prevail? [?] What he will do with terror? [?] With the economy? [?] These are serious problems and questions in Turkey which are waiting for the 'single man'.

    Let us come to Cyprus. Cyprus did not say yes in the referendum! [?] No came out from Cyprus. This was good. However, it was not Cyprus the one that said no! This is the one aspect of the issue. The other is how 'one manned Turkey' will look at Cyprus and the Cyprus problem from now on. What was Erdogan's first move on the night of the referendum? The death penalty! This message is on the one hand an operation by Erdogan, who with difficulty achieved 51%, to distort the agenda, but on the other to gather again the conservative and nationalist votes which he had lost. Because, he has not become President yet. He has to be elected. And on Sunday Erdogan saw the danger. He embraced the death penalty at once. [?] What is the relation of this with Cyprus? While entering into an effort to gather again the right wing votes he has lost, he will not and cannot take a step even a millimeter towards the solution in Cyprus, which not only the right wing but even the left wing in Turkey sees with 'national glasses'. Will he do the opposite? He could do so. He could launch a campaign under the name of 'promotion', he could also open the way for 'annexation'. Especially if the bad scenario is realized in Syria, this process might be intensified much more. [?]"


    [18] Akinci: July a natural date for Cyprus solution

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (16.04.17) reported that July is not an official but a "natural end-date" for a solution to be found in the more than 40-year-long Cyprus conflict, Turkish leader Mustafa Akinci has stated.

    Speaking at a culture and arts festival Akinci said July was a natural time for a conclusion if no official end date is fixed, referring to the statement from the Republic of Cyprus that exploration for hydrocarbon resources would start in the first half of July.

    "Making explorations [for hydrocarbons] in Eastern Mediterranean at a time when there is not an agreement [on Cyprus] would mean supporting the Turkish [Cypriot] side acting similarly," Akinci said.

    Complaining that when he voices his thoughts on the Republic of Cyprus announcement of the start of exploration activities in July it is presented as if Akinci is "threatening" them, he said it was simply a "statement of what will happen."

    "Both of the two nations [of the island] have a right to a share of the natural gas resources," Akinci claimed , adding that these resources could only be explored through "cooperation reached in peace and resolution."

    In addition, llegal Bayrak television (17.04.17) reported that Akinci has said that the resumed negotiations on the Cyprus [roblem and the four scheduled meetings ahead were crucial and added that he expected the UN to take on a more active and supportive role during this period.

    Stating that the intention to mark the Enosis Plebiscite held 67 years ago had somehow been removed he said that "the talks were resumed despite some people's view that it should have been delayed."

    Underlining that they did not want any arbitration or to fill in chapters like in the Annan Plan, Akinci said "however the UN by making use of the experience it has gained through more than 60 leaders and 100 negotiators meeting held in the past two years it could increase convergence through supporting ideas".

    Commenting on the news regarding the functionality of a federation, Akinci said: "Of course the functionality and interoperability of every state is very important however in a federal structure it was not enough to have representatives at organs from both sides. When those organs are determined it is important to have participation in the decision making mechanism. Even the faintest voices should be listened to in a unitary state. When I say a minimum positive vote is needed on some issues there are people who reject this but this means active participation in the decisions. You will then become a figurant but there is no bit part in federations. A partnership can happen with active participation. Only then a state could be functional."

    Touching upon the issue of a time table at the negotiations, Akinci noted that the Greek Cypriot side did not accept any time table or date however added that the negotiations could not continue for another 50 years.

    [19] Cavusoglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side's efforts for a solution are not being reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.04.17) broadcast that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side's sincere efforts for a solution are not being reciprocated by the Greek Cypriot side.

    Cavusoglu evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus negotiations process and "the one-sided steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of natural gas and oil reserves around the island", "We don't consider the one-sided steps taken by the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of natural gas and oil reserves around Cyprus to be correct, he said.

    "We are sincerely helping efforts to solve the Cyprus problem but the Greek Cypriot side does not appear to act accordingly" the Turkish Foreign Minister claimed. "Despite our warnings, there has been no retreat and Turkey will now take some steps" Cavusoglu added.

    Cavusogolu added that this was probably due to the upcoming Presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus in February next year, which he said "are just around the corner".

    [20] Ertugruloglu is carrying out contacts in Jeddah

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (17.04.17) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who is currently carrying out contacts in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, met with the General Director of the Islamic Development Bank, Bandar Bin Mohammed bin Hamza Al Hajjar.

    During the meeting, which was held at the Head Office of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the issues like how the IDB could support the economy, the higher education, tourism and the infrastructure in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus were discussed. Ertugruloglu also briefed Hajjar regarding the "TRNC" (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus). He also informed Hajjar about the higher education and the tourism which are the main locomotives of the "TRNC economy", and invited Hajjar to the "TRNC" in order to get to know from close the "country".

    According to a press release by the "ministry's press office", Ertugruloglu, noting that the "TRNC" took its place at the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as an observer member, stressed the importance of developing relations between OIC members and the "TRNC".

    Alleging that the Turkish Cypriot "people" have been burdened with reportedly unfair embargoes for many years, Ertugruloglu added that the cooperation of the OIC member countries with the "TRNC" will have benefits for the Turkish Cypriot "people".

    Finally, Ertugruloglu also informed Hajjar on the Cyprus talks.

    Later, Ertugruloglu met with the OIC Islamic Solidarity Fund Executive Director, Ibrahim Abdullah Al-Khuzayem, whom also invited to visit the "TRNC".

    Al-Khuzayem, for his part, explaining the contributions and works towards the "TRNC", said that they will support the projects that involve the community. Noting that they may cooperate especially on the sectors of education and health, Al-Khuzayem added that they will work in close cooperation with the "TRNC".

    Moreover, Ertugruloglu also met with the Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yusuf Bin Ahmed El Useymin (Al-Othaimeen) at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah.

    During the meeting, Ertugruloglu briefed in detail the Secretary General on "TRNC" and invited him to the "country".

    Stressing the importance of OIC member countries to know and visit the "TRNC", Ertugruloglu alleged that close co-operation of the OIC member countries with the "TRNC" will be supportive and beneficial for the Turkish Cypriot "people" in overcoming the reportedly embargoes.

    claiming that the "TRNC" is ready for all kind of cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade and education, Ertugruloglu said that over 22,000 students from the OIC member countries have received education in the "TRNC".

    He concluded by briefing the Secretary ?General about the Cyprus problem and the ongoing fifty-year negotiation process. He also argued that political equality and sovereignty rights are very important for the Turkish Cypriot "people", alleging that Turkey's guarantees are also indispensable for the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper also reports that Ertugruloglu will also visit Muscat, capital of Oman.


    [21] OIC delegation holds contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 18.04.17), a delegation from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's Dialogue and Youth Forum held a series of contacts in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The delegation headed by the Chairman of the Forum Elsad Iskandarov and its General Director Elmaddin Mehdiyev met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    Later, the OIC delegation met with the self-styled speaker of the "parliament" Sibel Siber, self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun and the self-styled minister of national education and culture Ozdemir Berova.

    In a statement issued by the "parliament", Siber highlighted the strong relationship that exists between the "TRNC" and the OIC. She underlined the need for the Turkish Cypriot "people" to voice their just cause at international platforms, expressing her belief that "the reportedly embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots will slowly be lifted as more and more countries realize the fact that there is democratic life in the TRNC".

    In the statement issued by Ozgurgun's "office", he also highlighted the importance of the "TRNC's observer status" within the OIC, describing this as a milestone.

    Berova, for his part, said that the OIC's Dialogue and Youth Forum is extremely important for the "TRNC". "We agreed that the platform and the TRNC should hold a series of contacts together. I hope that we enhance this cooperation in the shortest possible period of time", he added.

    Speaking during his contacts, the Chairman of the OIC Dialogue and Youth Forum Iskandarov said that they work very actively with youth from the "TRNC". "I hope that the visit will create a new dynamic and will lead the way for the Turkish Cypriot youth to have a permanent place within the OIC Youth Forum" he concluded.

    [22] A probe into the "TRNC police" for being linked to the FETO has been launched

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.17) reported that within the framework of investigation in Turkey regarding links to the Gulenist group (FETO), it was announced that the "General Directorate of Police (PGM)" has initiated an administrative investigation and around to 200 "police officers", whom their names had been determined before, would be interrogated.

    According to information obtained by the paper, around "50 police officers", Turkish citizens and Turkish Cypriots, have already been questioned over the last two weeks at the "police headquarters" in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    It is also reported that they were asked in groups where they were on the night of July 15, 2016, when the failed military coup took place, what places they have visited in the past and whom they fraternised with.



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