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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-05-08

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. 86/17 06-08.05.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] "Reckless diplomacy which escalates the tension in Cyprus?"
  • [02] Ak?nc?: "There is a need for peace songs in the Eastern Mediterranean, not the beat of war drums"; Ertugruloglu: "I was shocked by Akinci's statements"
  • [03] CTP youth: "We want peace and not war, we want to listen to Tillirkas' song and not to janissary marches"
  • [04] Ozersay criticizes the fact that the natural gas issue has been entrusted to Turkey
  • [05] Eide on the Cyprus negotiation talks
  • [06] Eide for Cyprus negotiations: "There will be either a great progress or collapse"
  • [07] Akinci: "In the establishment of a new state, political equality is our sine qua non"
  • [08] Ozgurgun: "TRNC's flag at Besparmak Mountain is a symbol of Turkish Cypriot's existence on the island"
  • [09] "786 Cypriots are still missing"
  • [10] "The coalition government granted 34 TRNC citizenships in one meeting"
  • [11] The "opening ceremony" for the occupied Tymbou-Louroudjina road took place
  • [12] The breakaway regime continues the blockade for entering occupied Louroutzina village
  • [13] The occupation regime held its festival in London
  • [14] Erdogan due to Kuwait
  • [15] Turkey and Qatar agreed on details of military base in Qatar
  • [16] "Boosting economic ties is a priority in new Turkish foreign policy"
  • [17] Main opposition CHP Deputy Head and Spokesperson Boke resigns; CHP' Deputy was referred to the disciplinary board

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] "Reckless diplomacy which escalates the tension in Cyprus?"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (06.05.17) with the above title reported that when the Republic of Cyprus warned the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel, which has started conducting seismic research off the coast of Cyprus on behalf of Turkey's Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, that has violated the EEC of Cyprus, the "janissary marches" started to play.

    Citing information by Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA) correspondent obtained material from Ministry's officials, the paper reported that the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel, which started its seismic research offshore the Mediterranean, was warned that it violates Cyprus' EEC. In response, the ship crew answered back by making the Cyprus officials to listen to "janissary (ottoman) marches" through the transmitter.

    According to the paper, AA released a video, which the "warning" was heard and later the response with the "janissary marches".

    On the same issue, the paper reported that Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak alleged that all Turkey's projects regarding the seismic research activities in the Mediterranean have been conducted within the framework of the international law. He also claimed: "Excuse me, Turkey from now on, will not act in the Mediterranean as the old Turkey. Turkey will be more active and effective".

    Albayrak announced that within the framework of Turkey's national and mining strategy, they will conduct intensive seismic and drilling activities in the Mediterranean. In the scope of this strategy, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa vessel started its seismic research offshore Cyprus on April 21, 2017.

    (DPs)

    [02] Ak?nc?: "There is a need for peace songs in the Eastern Mediterranean, not the beat of war drums"; Ertugruloglu: "I was shocked by Akinci's statements"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (08.05.17) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements on the Cyprus problem while delivering a speech at the "9th once upon a time Louroudjina festival" which took place yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus, stated that human tragedies were being experienced every day in the geography close to Cyprus, particularly in Syria and reminded that Cyprus had experienced similar pains in the past.

    He added that they did not want a war to break out in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also expressed the need for peace in Cyprus and said: "There is a need for peace songs in the Eastern Mediterranean, not the beat of war drums. The UN must act as a conductor. Instead of war drums or janissary marches we want peace songs and ballads of friendship in the Eastern Mediterranean", Akinci stated.

    Stating that peace songs could not be monophonic and that peace songs and friendship ballads should also come from the "south", Akinci added: "The guarantor powers should also join these peace songs and the UN should work as a conductor in order to achieve progress."

    Akinci also expressed his views regarding what was needed to be done by the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus in order to achieve a better island. "Our hand extended for peace and a solution hand is left hanging in the air. We wait from them to hold this hand, respond positively and constructively and to sincerely join us in singing peace and friendship songs until July. Then, it will be possible to reach better days on this island" Ak?nc? alleged.

    "As the Turkish Cypriot side, we are not only protecting our rights at the table but we are also pursuing the rights of the Greek Cypriot people", Ak?nc? claimed, adding: "We are taking steps for peace without hesitation. We proved this in Mont Pelerin and Geneva. There are some steps which the south should also take. They should stop making the rotating presidency an issue of conflict and accept our effective participation in the decisions."

    Meanwhile, so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu has reacted to the latest remarks made by Ak?nc? regarding the playing of the Ottoman Janissary March by the Turkish seismic research vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa in response to a warning from the Greek Cypriot coast guard.

    Ertugruloglu described Ak?nc?'s remarks as 'unfortunate'.

    In a written statement issued today, Ertugruloglu alleged that the Republic of Turkey is the guarantee of peace in Cyprus.

    Claiming that the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa is carrying out seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean with the "permission granted" by the "TRNC", Ertugruloglu alleged Ak?nc?'s reaction to the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa's actions at a time when the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, itself was displaying "insincere actions", is "unacceptable".

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot side that is "totally ignoring the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people" whilst conducting hydrocarbon exploration off the coast of the island, Ertugruloglu alleged the following: "The Greek Cypriot side, as in the past, has ignored all our calls to either carry out joint hydrocarbon exploration or to suspend all such activities until a settlement is reached".

    Ertugruloglu further claimed that the "TRNC" shall continue to defend its "own interests" in cooperation with "motherland" Turkey. He explained that he was shocked to hear Ak?nc?'s remarks regarding the response the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa gave to warnings from the Greek Cypriot coast guard on grounds it had violated its EEZ. "I was shocked with President Ak?nc?'s remarks as he referred to the Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa's response to the warnings which had played the Ottoman Janissary March as the beating of war drums", said Ertugruloglu. "No one has the right to portray Turkey or the Turkish Cypriot people who have always desired and worked for a settlement on the island as warmongers" Ertugruloglu alleged.

    [03] CTP youth: "We want peace and not war, we want to listen to Tillirkas' song and not to janissary marches"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (06.05.17) reported that the youth branch of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) released an announcement regarding the incident with the Barbaros Hayrettin Passa vessel, which started to play "janissary marches" when the Cyprus authorities warned it that it violates Cyprus' EEC. They said that they prefer to listen to Tillirkas' song (local folk song) than "janissary (ottoman) marches".

    CTP's youth stressed that as the children of a generation, who grew up in the shadows of war effects and pain, they want peace and not war. They noted that they will continue with determination their struggle to bring peace.

    CTP's youth also criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci regarding his statement that if there is no Cyprus settlement, then they will continue their path as "TRNC", stressing that during the "election campaign", Akinci used to say "There is not a B plan; our single plan is the solution". They also claimed that President Anastasiades' stance shows that he does not take completely under consideration the Turkish Cypriots' sensitivities.

    (DPs)

    [04] Ozersay criticizes the fact that the natural gas issue has been entrusted to Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (08.05.17) reports that Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People's Party (HP) has issued a statement through his social media account on the illegal activities of the Barbaros seismic exploration vessel in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone. Ozersay said that the natural gas issue has been almost entrusted to Turkey by Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci and the "government" and added:

    "If the impression and the situation that the interlocutor on these issues is not the Turkish Cypriot side continues, the Turkish Cypriots will become a figurant imprisoned in the negotiating table, leave aside becoming an actor in the area. Our only trouble was the drums of war, the war anthem of the Janissary band, the Tillirkotissa song [Translator's note: A Cyprus traditional song]. However, no instrument for us to play remained. We are being totally wiped up from the scene. I think that this is the essence of the issue".

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Eide on the Cyprus negotiation talks

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak (06.05.17) reported that the UN Special Envoy in Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in an exclusive interview to the Anadolu Agency at the UN headquarters in New York City, supported that both sides of the island of Cyprus now have "the best chance" for a unification agreement, even though the dispute over gas exploration and an upcoming election on the Greek Cypriot side have hampered the negotiations.

    "These are very crucial times for Cyprus itself, and also all the interested countries like Turkey and Greece," Eide told the Anadolu. "A lot of people on both sides of the island and elsewhere are saying that this might be the last chance," Eide said, adding: "I prefer to focus on this being the best chance because I do not know the future, but I think it would be a pity not to use this opportunity now."

    "I am concerned about the danger of increasingly seeing the process being subdued to preparation for an electoral campaign for presidency in the Greek Cypriot side," the Envoy said.

    The presidential vote is slated for February next year, and although the campaign has not started, whatever decision the two sides take on unification will assuredly impact the race.

    Meanwhile, Eide said that economic considerations were equally important for a win-win outcome at the negotiating table, amid an ongoing tussle over how to exploit the island's energy resources. "I think energy is one of the best arguments for a solution, because if Cyprus came together and found a political solution, they could jointly explore their gas research but also jointly cooperate with all neighbors," Eide said.

    "Without a settlement, that is much more difficult," he added. While recognizing the progress that has been made, Eide nevertheless warned of a "hard landing" as a worst-case scenario, where the talks could "simply collapse".

    As to how to navigate the negotiation process, Eide said the effort needs to remain "leader-led". "They have to be owned by the Cypriots, not by the UN," he said.

    [06] Eide for Cyprus negotiations: "There will be either a great progress or collapse"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (08.05.17) reports that speaking to the correspondent of the paper, Espen Barth Eide United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus stated that the issues that were not solved during the Cyprus negotiations are not much; however they are very important.

    "If we must speak honestly right now, we should say that we are on the verge of either a great progress or collapse of the Cyprus negotiation", he stated.

    He also warned that Cyprus can face big troubles.

    "There is a crisis at the horizon regarding the research for natural gas in July. I do not think that this (crisis) will go away by itself. On the contrary, is coming closer", he said. He also added that now is the time for the solution and that there is no better time for reaching a solution than now.

    He further said that if one or both sides in Cyprus do not take advantage of the dynamic created for solution then there will be bad consequences in the future.

    (CS)

    [07] Akinci: "In the establishment of a new state, political equality is our sine qua non"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (06.05.17) Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in statements while speaking at the Global Leaders Forum organized by the Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, claimed that it is the last chance to achieve a federal solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "They are saying that there is no need to rush no need for a timetable, but we have no intention of discussing this issue for another 50 years", Akinci claimed, while evaluating the Cyprus problem and the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process.

    He further alleged that in order to achieve an outcome at the talks instead of more time there is a need for will, determination, sensibility and acceptance of the "realities" on the island.

    "In this respect the Greek Cypriot side is not showing the necessary determination" claimed Akinci and once again emphasized the importance of political equality. "In the establishment of a new state, political equality is our sine qua non. My people, the Greek Cypriot administration and the UN are aware that if a solution that does not entail political equality emerges, I will not sign it and present it to a referendum", he stated.

    Referring to his expressed desire for peace in 2016, Ak?nc? said that in order for his wish to become true by the end of 2016, the Turkish Cypriot side had lived up to its end of the bargain.

    "On the issue of territory and maps we did our bit and the Greek Cypriot side needed to reciprocate to this but unfortunately they did not show the necessary courage to take these steps" he also alleged.

    Noting that in 2017 the difficulties that come with a solution have increased, Akinci said that although some are claiming there is no need for a timetable or accelerating the process, he had no intention of carrying on with the same discussions for another 50 years. "This is the last effort of my generation probably the last time a federal solution can be found", Akinci claimed.

    Touching upon the role of the United Nations, Ak?nc? said that although arbitration isn't recommended, the UN could develop its bridging role between the two sides.

    Touching upon the natural gas research efforts on the island, Akinci warned that July's natural gas drilling efforts will lead to renewed tensions on the island which has already begun. "Despite this, with a solution we can bring peace and stability to the Eastern Mediterranean, everyone can profit and a new era can begin. But this can only happen within the framework of the 2014 agreement, through equality and the establishment of a new structure", Akinci further said.

    [08] Ozgurgun: "TRNC's flag at Besparmak Mountain is a symbol of Turkish Cypriot's existence on the island"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (06.05.17) so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun met with a delegation from the "society for the illumination of the Besparmak mountains" [Translator's note: Pentadaktylos mountains].

    The "head of the society" Tanju Muezzinoglu thanked Ozgurgun for the support and contributions he has made for the maintenance of the "TRNC's flag on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountain range.

    He also thanked businessman Ali Hac?mulla for his contributions to the maintenance of the "flag".

    Ozgurgun for his part said that for him and his "government" the "flag" at the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains is very important. "As long as the Turkish Cypriot people exist on this land, the flag will continue to remain on the mountain", Ozgurgun claimed and referred to the reactions expressed by the Greek Cypriot side towards the flag. "This flag is a symbol of the Turkish Cypriot peoples existence on the island, therefore people should not react against it but should show understanding", Ozgurgun added.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades had in previous years referred to the "flag" as a "monstrosity", Ozgurgun stated that the "flag" was a crucial symbol and project.

    Ozgurgun also thanked businessman Ali Hac?mulla for his contributions to the illumination of the "flag".

    [09] "786 Cypriots are still missing"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (08.05.17), on its front page, with the above title, reports that according to figures and statistics on missing persons by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus on April 2017, it is known that the number of missing Greek Cypriots is 1,508 and 493 missing Turkish Cypriots. From those, 1,215 have been exhumed, 753 persons were identified and 786 persons are still missing.

    The CMP has received 19 million 900 thousands euro humanitarian aid from the EU, 2 million 535 thousands from the Republic of Cyprus, 826 thousands euro from Turkey, 308 thousands euro from the Turkish Cypriots and 195 thousands euro from Greece.

    (DPs)

    [10] "The coalition government granted 34 TRNC citizenships in one meeting"

    Under the title "34 citizenships in one meeting", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.05.17) reports that the "coalition government" UBP-DP "granted" 34 "TRNC citizenships" in the latest meeting of the "council of ministers".

    The paper reports that only two persons from those who "obtained the citizenship" were born in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus".

    The paper also publishes the names of those who "obtained the citizenship" as they were published in the "official gazette" on May 4, 2017.

    (DPs)

    [11] The "opening ceremony" for the occupied Tymbou-Louroudjina road took place

    According to illegal Bayrak television (06. 05.17) the road Ercan-Ak?nc?lar [occupied Tymbou-Louroudjina] road was opened with a ceremony on Friday.

    The "foundation stone" for the road had been laid just 5 months ago and has finally been completed and opened to public use.

    Speeches made during the opening ceremony referred to the importance of the roads history.

    The tunnel that will allow "people's passage" to the village without showing identification and going through a military area is 500 meters long.

    There are three lanes per side of the tunnel and within the framework of the "project" the new 4.2 kilometer access road has led to the length travelled between occupied Tymbou area to occupied Louroudjina to come down to 17 kilometers.

    Delivering a speech during the ceremony, so-called minister for public works and communication Kemal Durust, stated, inter alia, that they had decided to open the road on Friday prior to the 7th of May Louroudjina Festival so that the public could attend the festival more comfortably.

    "We are a team that believes 100% in the TRNC state" said Durust and added that within a months' time they would be inaugurating new "projects".

    Also speaking, the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Sibel Siber for her part noted that previously the occupied Louroudjina village had been the most developed village but due to the road problems the villagers had experienced many difficulties."Now they can comfortably travel to and from their village" said Siber.

    So-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurun said that the road carried vital importance for the village as it has suffered economically and had become an inactive village due to the political problems also experienced in the region.

    "This is a very important project. Ak?nc?lar is one of the most valued villages of the TRNC. This village was the center of everything in the past. I believe with the opening of the new road it will regain its former glory. Infrastructure is the foundation of economy. As of today the Ak?nc?lar village will prosper economically", Ozgurgun claimed.

    Touching upon the water issue, Ozgurgun said: "We believe that everything can change with the help of motherland Turkey. Water has reached these lands. In the coming days with the realization and development of genetic industry and investment projects we will be able to benefit from the water that has reached the country".

    Ozgurgun further alleged that they always supported a solution being found to the Cyprus problem but added that investments being made to the "country" is also vital and therefore they would continue to work towards this end.

    [12] The breakaway regime continues the blockade for entering occupied Louroutzina village

    Under the title: "The blockade did not come to an end", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.05.17) reports that despite the statements made by the "authorities" that controls entering the occupied Louroutzina village that the blockade would have come to an end after the construction of the new Tympou- Louroutzina road, the blockade is continuing.

    The paper notes that "the road may be new, however the mentality is old" and adds that according to the decision which was published at the "official gazette" for the area, Louroutzina continues to have the status of a "military area"; therefore Greek Cypriots, who are considered as "third country citizens" as well as foreign citizens must get a "permission" in order to enter the village.

    The paper also reports that the Greek Cypriots who wish to visit the village must inform the "police", and that the "security authorities" could issue restrictions for the entering of foreigners if they wish.

    (CS)

    [13] The occupation regime held its festival in London

    According to illegal Bayrak television (06.05.17) the "Festival of north Cyprus" is being realized in London. The two day festival will come to an end today.

    The event is organized by the North Cyprus UK Limited with the support of the so-called ministry of tourism and environment. The festival took place at "The Business Design Centre" with the slogan "We're carrying the TRNC to London".

    In addition to "tourism investors", "representatives of universities, banks, airline companies, construction and real estate companies as well as industrialists and health sector firms" were taking part in the festival.

    While the opening ceremony was taking place for the "festival of north Cyprus" a group of Greek Cypriots wanted to hold a protest action outside the venue where the festival was held.

    The so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu and the so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun inaugurated the opening of the festival.

    Delivering an opening speech, Ataoglu said that as "ministry they wanted to step outside their traditional festival and try something different and therefore they were carrying out a variety or tourism promotional events in different parts of Turkey and England".

    "In order to bring third and fourth generation Turkish Cypriots to their ancestors' homeland we have taken some initiatives" said Ataoglu and added that by holding promotional events in England they hoped to encourage the Turkish Cypriots living there to holiday in the "TRNC"

    Noting that they were faced with obstacles by the Greek Cypriots at every platform, Ataoglu said that although Greek Cypriots were protesting outside the venue, the Turkish Cypriots were standing side by side against this.

    Also speaking, Atun for his part said, that "as the TRNC, in a globalizing world, they should demand their own position". He added that "as government their vision was towards this end and for the first time all ministries were working together to open up new markets".

    Stressing the need for the Turkish Cypriots living abroad to own property in their "motherland", Atun said that the "government" is working on a "project" that would allow the Turkish Cypriots living abroad to buy property in the "TRNC".

    Touching upon the Greek Cypriot protest action taking place outside the fair venue, Atun claimed this just proved that the "TRNC" government was on the right path. "The Turkish Cypriots progressing on their own way is leading to important gains for the TRNC and this proves that we are on the right path", Atun alleged.

    [14] Erdogan due to Kuwait

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Kuwait on Tuesday to participate in a groundbreaking ceremony of a Turkish company constructing a new main terminal in the Kuwait International Airport.

    According to the Turkish presidency's press center on Sunday, Erdogan and Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah will hold a tete-a-tete meeting.

    "The leaders will discuss regional and international issues as well as bilateral relations to seek further cooperation", the press center said.

    In 2015, Limak won the tender for the construction of a new terminal at the airport for a total cost of $4.3 billion -- the largest tender won abroad in a single package by Turkish contractors.

    [15] Turkey and Qatar agreed on details of military base in Qatar

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.05.17) reported that a Turkish military base to be deployed in Qatar will be headquartered in Doha and lead by Qatari-Turkish generals, according to Defense Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Major Ihsan Bulbul.

    Speaking after sessions at Parliament's Foreign Affairs Commission, Bulbul said: "Within the framework of the agreement, it is envisaged that a joint Turkish-Qatar divisional tactical headquarters should be established, that its place should be in Doha, that the Commander of the unit is to be a major general and a Qatari, and that the Commander Assistant is to be a Brigadier and Turkish".

    Stating that the number of troops to be deployed will be 500 to 600, Bulbul said that Qatar also requests the sending of units in Turkey with a flexible structure to allow them to be transferred to Qatar if needed.

    "There was also a meeting on April 19 about where this unit would be deployed and what would be the breadth of the area, but there was no response from the other side. There is a demand for further expansion due to the narrowness of the proposed area," he added.

    "There is also a request for a course to be given to the deployed unit on explosive substance disposal. It is therefore planned that a training staff with 25 to 30 people will be established and training will be provided there," Bulbul also said.

    Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul Deputy Oguz Kaan Sal?c? criticized the plan, saying the agreement is "arbitrary in nature." "We are sending troops to Qatar and setting up bases and Qatar pays for it. What is Turkey's interest in this business? What is Qatar's interest in it? We need to further investigate Turkey's relations with Qatar, which we cannot pinpoint the strategic meaning of," Sal?c? said.

    (?)

    However, Turkish Deputy Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Umit Yard?m said that the Gulf region has a strategic importance for Turkey's missions. "The Gulf region, where Qatar is located, faces very serious issues and troubles. All terrorist organizations operating at the global level - especially organizations such as the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party], the PYD [Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party], DEASH [an Arabic acronym of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] and Al-Qaeda - pose a great threat to regional stability. In this sense, we think we have common interests with Qatar, having shared views on our foreign political vision, and we think this creates the need for strategic relations," Yard?m added.

    [16] "Boosting economic ties is a priority in new Turkish foreign policy"

    Istanbul Daily Sabah Online in English (06.03.17) columnist Kilic Bugra Kanat, wrote the following: "Last week in this column, it was stated that May would be a busy, important month for Turkish foreign policy. After only a few days it has started to show its significance. Last week, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan went to India with a rather sizable delegation. A large part of this delegation consisted of businessmen who tried to establish new business links and economic interactions with India. As mentioned in the previous article, despite the cultural and social interactions between Turkey and India, economic relations have been less than satisfactory. In this trip, President Erdogan made very clear that his priority is to increase the trade volume between the two countries to $10 billion in the next few years. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Mondi also expressed a similar position in regards to increasing commercial links between the two countries. He stated in the joint press conference: 'The President and I are clear that the strength of our economies presents an enormous opportunity to expand and deepen commercial linkages between our countries'. In the coming years we will see more transactions between the two countries to meet the standards set by their leaders.

    President Erdogan also visited Russia last week. The meeting between Putin and Erdogan took place in the Russian resort city of Sochi and again trade and economic relations between the two countries topped the agenda. In statements after their meeting, it was reported that the two sides agreed on several measures to end limitations on economic relations between the two countries. After the crisis between the two countries following the Russian jet crisis, the volume of trade declined rapidly. However, in the last six months, the two sides have ended the decline in trade and launched initiatives to reach the pre-crisis economic volume. Following the meeting, the two sides emphasized that the normalization process in bilateral relations is over and the goal at this point is to improve relations. President Erdogan also stated a similar objective, 'Today, we have agreed on all topics including food, textile, energy and agriculture, except the tomato'. There were also other more important economic items on the table, including the formation of a joint investment fund of $1 billion, details of the TurkStream project, and energy relations between the two countries, both the oil and natural gas trade and the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Other economic items on the agenda included trade in national currencies, which was also discussed during Erdogan's visit to India, as well as tourism between the two countries, which included the visa liberalization debate. Of course, the two leaders also continued to discuss issues pertaining to the Syrian crisis during these meetings.

    Both of these trips by President Erdogan and the agreements and issues discussed demonstrated that in the coming years Turkish foreign policy would be very much influenced by economic relations with other countries. Economic diplomacy will be one of the determining issues on the Turkish foreign policy agenda. This more geo-economic approach to foreign policy has been debated in different countries, and Turkey for the last decade followed foreign relations that also focused on improving economic relations. However, in the new era we may see a surge in this model of foreign policy making. In the next stop by President Erdogan in China, again economic issues are expected to be at the top of the summit agenda. In addition to the One Belt One Road plan by China, various issues pertaining to mutual trade will be on the agenda".

    [17] Main opposition CHP Deputy Head and Spokesperson Boke resigns; CHP' Deputy was referred to the disciplinary board

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.05.17) reported that Selin Sayek Boke, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) spokesperson and Deputy Head responsible for the economy, announced her resignation from her duties on May 6, citing the lack of a political fight within the party against the April 16 referendum results.

    In her resignation statement, Boke said that conceding the April 16 referendum results, which she described as having been "usurped through illegal means," was an injustice to millions of people who voted against the amendments to shift the country's governance system to an executive presidency with greatly enhanced powers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    "As a politician who believes in participatory democracy and the universal principles of social democracy, I do not find the mentality of the current administration acceptable at this point. For that reason, I am resigning from my posts of Deputy Chair and Party Spokesperson," Boke said while noting that she would continue to fulfill her functions as a Party Assembly Member and Deputy.

    She also said the party had failed to take necessary steps in a determined and clear way in the aftermath of the referendum.

    According to Boke, the party adopted a manner that led to criticisms over its intra-party democracy and organizational structure instead of "strengthening the voice of millions of people" who disapproved of the changes.

    (?)

    Meanwhile, the party assembly convened on May 7 to discuss referring a Deputy to the high disciplinary board after his remarks on K?l?cdaroglu.

    CHP Mersin Deputy Fikri Saglar said on May 2 that "K?l?cdaroglu has fought against a one-man regime but he became a 'one man' in his party."

    The party assembly voted to refer Mersin deputy Fikri Saglar to the disciplinary board with an expulsion demand by 38 votes to 19.

    However, he denied making such remarks in reference to K?l?cdaroglu.

    The CHP leader had slammed dissident voices among the party's cadres after former party leader Deniz Baykal urged him to commence a process to determine the presidential candidate of the party and said "either be the candidate or step out."

    "Nobody should exceed the level of criticism and say 'I can say whatever I want publicly.' I will show the door to whoever harms the party. It is that simple," K?l?cdaroglu said.

    "I will eliminate them from the party. They can form their own parties. For example, they can form a gossip party where they can gossip all day long," Kilicdaroglu added.

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