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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-05-04

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. 84/17 04.05.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Diplomatic sources allegedly support that the international community is looking for a solution formula in Cyprus based on a "loose federation"
  • [02] EU imposes no preconditions before Turkey-EU meeting in Brussels
  • [03] Normalization with Turkey complete, ties fully restored, says Putin
  • [04] "An agreement on Cyprus can help Turkey balance against Iran"
  • [05] Erdogan reiterates cabinet reshuffle not on government's immediate agenda
  • [06] Turkey's supreme election board to file criminal complaint against main opposition CHP leader
  • [07] Opposition CHP says no snap congress amid rising discontent
  • [08] Turkey marks International Press Freedom Day amid rising concerns for press freedom
  • [09] "84 new citizenships" were "granted" by the so-called council of ministers in April
  • [10] Promotion of "health tourism" in the occupied area of Cyprus

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Diplomatic sources allegedly support that the international community is looking for a solution formula in Cyprus based on a "loose federation"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (04.05.17) under the front-page title: "Intermediate formula for the solution with special status in the EU, separate representation in the internal and one and single representation abroad", invokes diplomatic sources, according to which the international community will undertake initiatives for an intermediate formula for a solution to be reached between the two sides in Cyprus, taking into account the fact that the ongoing Cyprus negotiation talks are in a blockage. According to the paper, the international community will undertake this initiative probably prior to the forthcoming July, writes the paper, where the oil exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are planned to take place.

    According to the same diplomatic sources, the formula to be proposed to the sides, aiming to overcome the deep differences between the two sides in the chapter of "Governance and Power sharing", is considered to be like a "loose federation" where there will not include a central stronger government but indeed, the two sides will have separate administrations in the internal and a single representation abroad.

    According to the paper, another remarkable characteristic of the new formula to be proposed, which has many similarities with the two state solution model, will be that the Turkish Cypriots will he represented in the EU with a special status.

    Alleging that Turkey is positive to the above described formula, the paper writes that according to the sources, Turkey alleging is considering to reduce the number of Turkish troops in the island as a measure of confidence building measure with the aim to reduce any possible reactions by the Greek Cypriot side. Another step that Turkey is considering to undertake, is the possibility to return the fenced off city of Varosha.

    The paper allegedly supports that the formula may be included in the agenda of foreign officials who will be visiting Cyprus in May, that is Maarten Verwey, responsible for the office of SRSS of the EU and Jonathan Cohen, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs covering Cyprus.

    (?)

    (AK)

    [02] EU imposes no preconditions before Turkey-EU meeting in Brussels

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.17) reports that the European Union has not imposed any preconditions on Ankara, such as the lifting of the state of emergency, before a prospective meeting between top Turkish and European officials later in May, Turkish diplomatic sources have said, emphasizing Ankara's interest in keeping channels of dialogue open with Brussels.

    "We have not been notified about any preconditions with regard to our President's planned meeting with EU officials. Although this meeting has not been confirmed, we are in favor of continuing our dialogue with the EU," a Turkish official told the Hurriyet Daily News on May 3

    The official referred to a potential summit between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the EU's two top leaders, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and EU Council President Donald Tusk, on May 25 in Brussels, immediately after a NATO summit.

    In a strongly worded criticism against the EU on May 2, Erdogan cited a five-article list of demands from the EU that called on Turkey to lift its state of emergency, although it was not initially clear if these were submitted as fresh preconditions for the upcoming meeting.

    The official said Ankara had not received any preconditions in regards to the meeting, emphasizing that no meeting between the two would be possible if the EU imposes conditions.

    "The issue of lifting the state of emergency has nothing to do with the upcoming meetings," the official said.

    Turkey has been under a state of emergency since an attempted coup in July 2016, ostensibly to fight members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO), which has been accused of leading the coup, and to remove them from the state institutions. Although the EU acknowledged Turkey's right to declare a state of emergency, it has strongly urged the government not to use the authority to crack down on dissident groups.

    "The problems in the Turkey-EU relationship and the positions of both sides will be discussed in detail. Within the new framework to be reached at the meeting, the two sides will be able to conduct technical and political talks whose outcomes might be well discussed at a comprehensive Turkey-EU leaders' summit at the end of this year," the official said.

    Turkey has long pressed for a high-level summit with the EU, but recent tension between Ankara and a number of EU countries, as well as elections in France and Germany, has resulted in the meeting being postponed until the end of 2017.

    The EU, on the other hand, discussed the future of ties with Turkey at a Gymnich meeting in Malta last weekend with an eye to continuing its engagement with Ankara without its accession portfolio. Big powers in the EU, such as France and Germany, have suggested a new perspective on ties with the EU, while Austria and some other countries have demanded an official suspension of negotiations.

    The EU and Turkey could discuss the continuation of the implementation of the migrant deal, cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism as well as upgrading the customs union.

    Turkey, however, continues to demand the complete fulfilment of the migrant deal, which promises visa liberalization to Turkish nationals, the opening of five chapters and the provision of 6 billion euro by 2018 to reduce the burden of refugees on Turkey.

    Although Erdogan emphasized Turkey's demand that chapters will be opened to continue the relationship with the EU, the current state of the accession talks suggests that no chapters will be opened. Almost all chapters that Turkey could hope to open are currently blocked by Cyprus and the EU Commission due to Ankara's refusal to extend the customs union to Cyprus. At the same time, EU leaders have unofficially agreed that no chapters will be opened under the current state of democracy in Turkey.

    [03] Normalization with Turkey complete, ties fully restored, says Putin

    Turkish Sabah daily (04.05.17) reports that relations between Turkey and Russia have been fully restored, President Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sochi.

    Holding talks at the Russian President's residence in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, the two leaders discussed the latest developments on bilateral relations, particularly the Syrian crisis.

    While Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and the head of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Hakan Fidan accompanied President Erdogan on his visit, Putin was accompanied by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu and Kremlin Adviser Yuri Ushakov.

    During a press conference after the meeting, Erdogan said the leaders agreed on establishing a "de-escalation" zone in Syria.

    "I have always suggested the establishment of a no-fly zone. Now, there is a de-escalation zone in Idlib. People fled from Aleppo now to try to survive there. I hope this de-escalation zone will be maintained. We will discuss it with Mr. President [Putin]," he said.

    "If there is a de-escalation zone, then planes will not fly there on condition that no military activity emanates from these zones. Yesterday, we discussed the issue with Trump in a telephone call. As I understand the U.S. administration also supports these ideas," Putin added on his part.

    The two leaders also agreed that "those responsible for the recent chemical attack in Syria must be punished."

    Erdogan went on to say that eliminating terrorist groups is the responsibility of both countries. He added that Turkey will take all necessary measures to prevent the establishment of "a hostile settlement" that threatens Turkey's border security.

    Putin told Erdogan that bilateral relations are proceeding as planned and that it is beneficial for both leaders to sit down and discuss important international issues, including the Syrian crisis.

    "Our mutual work indicates that Russian-Turkish relations have a special status and have been fully restored," Putin said.

    "The Russian leader also congratulated Erdogan once again for the constitutional reform referendum win and said that he believes the improvement of the political situation in Turkey will enhance bilateral relations", writes the paper.

    [04] "An agreement on Cyprus can help Turkey balance against Iran"

    Under the above title Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper (03.05.17) reports the following:

    "U.S. President Donald Trump's attack on Syrian military facilities with Tomahawk cruise missiles represents a modest re-assertion of American presence in the region. His predecessor Barack Obama had done everything possible to diminish U.S. power and prestige. Although Trump has little professional experience in politics, he has great experience in negotiating and timing, as well as in media relations, which transfer to public diplomacy.

    He succeeded in isolating Russia in the U.N. Security Council, when China failed to veto the resolution condemning the Syrian government's use of gas. His strike against Syria was a message not only to North Korea but also to Iran. Such events, all happening in Ankara's extended neighbourhood, have significant implications for Turkey's international policy. The developments represent first of all a closer alignment of U.S. and Turkish policies, despite disagreements over some details.

    Russia, despite its veto of the U.N. resolution condemning Syria, recently indicated yet again that it does not regard Bashar al-Assad's political rule as an absolutely necessary condition for a settlement of the civil war, even if it will not assist in removing him. The question of Assad is key for Turkey because this question divides Russia and Iran. Russia wishes only for its own, newly asserted military interests in the region to be guaranteed. (Some specialists even speculate that the Russian military operates there, independent of Putin's direction.) The Kremlin does not necessarily wish to direct events completely, but it wishes to be able to veto any development. As with Cyprus, Russia would prefer that no decision can be implemented without its agreement, although Russia's claims about Cyprus are more difficult to sustain than those about Syria.

    [?]

    The extension of Persian influence into Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip is a vital threat to Turkish interests, because it lays the groundwork for the assertion of hegemony over regions of eastern and south eastern Turkey that were part of the Safavid Empire under Shah Ismail I in the early sixteenth century.

    [?]

    The problem for Ankara is that it needs a stable regional neighbourhood, but Iran sees its own interest in chaotic instability. Russia and China are complicit in this design, because they see it as a means to diminish still further American power and prestige.

    The Trump Administration, however, is reversing Obama's course.

    [?]

    Turkey needs to cooperate with the West, because Russia and China will always prefer Iran over Turkey. Turkey's geographical neighbourhood will not move, but the country needs to reach out beyond it, in order to secure support in all possible directions. Recent moves to improve relations with Israel and even Egypt are positive developments, and these should go further if circumstances permit.

    One easy confidence-building measure would be to cooperate with the United States over Cyprus. Cyprus' geopolitical location remains important to all players. The U.S. has not yet been directly involved in the Cyprus negotiations, but it would be easy for them to begin to play a supporting role. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's background in the energy industry would enable him to help that important cooperation portfolio to make progress.

    President Trump's interest in high-profile successes makes it possible for President Erdogan to establish good personal and political relations with him through a prosperous resolution of the Cyprus issues. Although Trump really is separated now from his business interests (if for no reason other than lack of time), rebuilding Varosha could be a "flagship" project for bilateral cooperation with or without his organization's participation.

    Both Turkey and the U.S. have an interest in the stability and prosperity of the Eastern Mediterranean. It could be argued that neither Russia, China, nor Iran has as strong an interest in this, as do Turkey and the U.S. All that is remains is to overcome the political risk that has blocked investment and development for the last several decades.

    If the U.S. took the lead, the EU would be unable to object. But given the new "America First" policy, the U.S. will not take the lead unless it believes that this is in its own national interest. Ankara has the chance to demonstrate leadership on the Cyprus settlement and can produce arguments that will convince Washington about this. Yet the window of opportunity for this will not remain open for long."

    [05] Erdogan reiterates cabinet reshuffle not on government's immediate agenda

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.17) reports that a cabinet revision is not currently on the agenda of the government, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said following a six-hour meeting with Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. However, he did hint that a change in the party organization will take place soon after he is re-elected as leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    "Right now there is no such item on the government's agenda. The Prime Minister has not conveyed such a demand to me. However, after our meeting following the re-admission ceremony there are steps that will be taken. There are some subjects that have to be discussed on those steps," Erdogan said on May 3 ahead of his departure to Russia.

    His comments came after he and Prime Minister Yildirim met late on May 2 after Erdogan's admission ceremony into the AKP. He re-joined the party after three years formally separated, as the recently approved constitutional amendment lifted the provision barring Presidents from being admitted to a political party.

    Answering questions about expected changes in the party organization and the administration, Erdogan pointed to the extraordinary congress where he is expected to regain his party leadership status.

    "We will see the steps to take after that duty is officially assigned. However, if such a task is given to me by the general congress all the units will be re-evaluated, but it will be made with serious consultations," he said.

    The AKP is set to convene its extraordinary congress on May 21, where Erdogan is expected to be the sole candidate for leadership.

    [06] Turkey's Supreme Election Board to file criminal complaint against main opposition CHP leader

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.17) reports that Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK) announced May 3 that it will file a criminal complaint against main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu over the latter's remarks about the election watchdog.

    The YSK's decision came after an unscheduled meeting on May 3.

    "It has been decided that criminal complaints will be filed in the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against the concerned individuals for pointing the YSK chairman and its members as targets and for statements with criminal content," it said in a statement.

    On May 2, Kilicdaroglu slammed the YSK and some judges at a party parliamentary group meeting in Ankara.

    He said the 10 YSK members who voted against the CHP's appeal requesting the repeal of the 16 April referendum were "gang members."

    "The 10 judges working at YSK did not abide by the laws. Those who do not abide by the legislation and give decisions which are not in line with the legislation are called gang in our law," Kilicdaroglu said.

    "The 10 judges sitting there and making decisions are not judges, but instead they constitute the gang of YSK," he said.

    The YSK decision to accept unstamped ballot papers "unless it can be proved that they were brought from outside the voting room" sparked a major debate on the legitimacy of the results of the referendum, in which the "yes" campaign emerged as the winner with 51.4 percent of the votes.

    The CHP and the Kurdish issue-focused Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), the third largest party in parliament, later appealed to the watchdog for the annulment of the referendum, arguing that unsealed ballot papers and envelopes were counted in open violation of the law.

    [07] Opposition CHP says no snap congress amid rising discontent

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.17) reports that Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has commenced its schedule for a regular congress amid rising voices from party dissidents who have been pressing its leadership to hold an extraordinary congress.

    "With the central executive board meeting held on May 3, we have commenced the regular congress process," CHP Deputy Chair Tekin Bingol told reporters after the party's weekly meeting.

    "We held our 35th regular congress on Jan. 15 and 16, after which we commenced the congress process in 2015. Our regulations oblige us to hold a congress every two years. For this reason, within this year, we must schedule our party congresses and hold our regular congress on the date that our party assembly will decide on," Bingol added.

    His comments came after former CHP leader Deniz Baykal urged current CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu to convene an extraordinary congress to determine the party's presidential candidate, stirring debate within the main opposition.

    Following Baykal, Mersin deputy Fikri Saglar also criticized the Kilicdaroglu administration, vowing to stand as a candidate for the party leadership if an extraordinary congress is held.

    "Kilicdaroglu campaigned against the 'one man' in the referendum, but he himself became the only man in the campaign," Saglar told daily Aksam on May 2.

    However, Kilicdaroglu, who has led the CHP since 2010, blasted dissident voices in the party. "We will never allow an inner-party fight ? We will get rid of those who cause such fights," he said on May 2.

    [08] Turkey marks International Press Freedom Day amid rising concerns for press freedom

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (04.05.17) reports that Turkey marked May 3 International Press Freedom Day amid growing concerns for the state of press freedom in the country.

    According to the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), there are currently some 159 journalists in Turkish prisons.

    "In order for peace in the country to be established, the 159 jailed journalists need to be released immediately," a statement by TGC read, adding that "journalism will always exist."

    "We believe that these hard times will pass, the oppression deemed suitable for journalists will end and that the politicians who cause this will go away, but that journalism will always exist," it also said.

    Turkey's Press Council High Commission held a meeting to mark International Press Freedom Day at the Yasar Kemal Culture Center, which is close to Istanbul's Silivri Prison, where a high number of journalists are being kept in. The spouses of the jailed journalists also attended the meeting.

    Speaking about the conditions of journalists in Turkey, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul lawmaker Baris Yarkadas said dozens of journalists had been in jail for months and that indictments regarding some of them had yet to be prepared. "I guess they are unable to prepare indictments due to their inability to find a crime," Yarkadas said, adding that "the government is trying every way to silence those who write the truth."

    "Cumhuriyet journalists have been held hostage for months. Writers are being made to pay a heavy price. Release Cumhuriyet journalists now; their arrests have become torture," he added, referring to the arrested journalists and executives of daily Cumhuriyet, for whom charges include "membership of an armed terrorist organization" and "helping an armed terrorist organization while not being a member of it."

    [09] "84 new citizenships" were "granted" by the so-called council of ministers in April

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (04.05.17) under the title "24 new citizenships" reports that the so-called council of ministers has "decided" in separate meetings in April to "grant" the "TRNC's citizenship" to 84 persons.

    According to the paper, the "council of minster's decisions" were published in the "official gazette" of the occupation regime dated 25-27 April and 28 April.

    (AK)

    [10] Promotion of "health tourism" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.04.17) reported that an international meeting was organized in the occupied area of Cyprus with the participation of 100 participants from 25 countries, for the promotion of the "TRNC's health tourism potentials".

    Speaking during the event, the chairman of the World Health Tourism council Emin Cakmak referred to the fact that the occupation regime has been recently accredited to the map2heal online health system and expressed the view that in this framework the "TRNC" will be able to attract health tourists from 90 countries.

    Also speaking, so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu stated, inter alia, that they exert efforts to develop health tourism in the "TRNC" in order to be able to provide the best services.

    (AK)

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