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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-05-22

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. 96/17 20-22 .05.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci calls on President Anastasiades to abandon "tactical maneuvers"
  • [02] Diplomatic sources allege that President Anastasiades took a step backwards from his proposals
  • [03] Kibris Postasi: "Nine hours war of nerves" during Mavroyiannis-Nami meeting last week
  • [04] A "delegation from the assembly" carried out contacts in Strasbourg
  • [05] The Permanent Representative of Turkey at the Council of Europe represented Turkey in the meeting of the Committee of Ministers in Cyprus
  • [06] The trade volume between Turkey and the "TRNC" increased by 17,51%
  • [07] Serious warnings by Turkey regarding the "financial protocol" signed by the breakaway regime
  • [08] Durduran: "Akinci should say: 'Let someone else come and do it'"
  • [09] Erdogan re-elected chairman of AK Party after 998 days in historic congress
  • [10] Erdogan renews AKP's A-team with greater youth presence
  • [11] "The transformation of the old republic"
  • [12] Commentary views question of trust in Turkish-US Relations
  • [13] Erdogan to discuss future of Turkey-EU relations with top EU officials in Brussels
  • [14] Russia's Medvedev to attend BSEC summit in Istanbul
  • [15] Turkish daily Sozcu publishes blank issue to protest detention warrant on executive, staff members
  • [16] Turkish businessman Veysel Sahin escaped from the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [17] The stone quarries are continuing to destroy the occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci calls on President Anastasiades to abandon "tactical maneuvers"

    Under the title "Abandon tactical maneuvers", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (21.05.17) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has called on President Anastasiades to abandon the "tactical maneuvers". Addressing a ceremony at occupied Lefkoniko village, Akinci alleged:

    "With the tactical maneuvers the strategic target might be lost. The strategic target is peace, the solution. [?] The Greek Cypriot leader is saying to us come and let us settle the territory, relax me, let us settle the security and the guarantees in the manner I want, relax me and then the rotating presidency and this and that will also happen. There can be no such negotiating mentality. [?]"

    Akinci claimed also that for the first time in the 50 years of talks the Turkish Cypriot side accepted a percentage and put a map on the table, adding that this map is locked in the UN's safe now. He noted that the difference between the two sides is 1% on this map and argued that "this map can come out for the finishing touches at the very last stage". Akinci alleged that they do not say that the territory, the security and the guarantees should not be discussed, but what they are saying is that these issues should be discussed as a whole in a parallel process during which the "whole picture" will be seen, because "this is the point we have reached".

    Akinci also reiterated the allegation that President Anastasiades started manipulating the situation by saying that he had submitted creative proposals which would lead the negotiations towards a solution but the Turkish side and Akinci rejected them.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Diplomatic sources allege that President Anastasiades took a step backwards from his proposals

    Under the title "Critical week", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.05.17) reports that the future of the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will to a great extent be clarified this week and that concern exists that the negotiations will probably collapse in case a decision for going to Geneva for continuing the international conference on Cyprus is not taken this week.

    Citing "diplomatic sources", journalist Esra Aygin writes that the leaders might agree this week on the Geneva issue and that a negative result could have serious consequences including the UN abandoning the process.

    According to Aygin's sources, all sides know now what the final solution plan will be on all chapters and that the whole issue is "who, on what issue and how will open his hand", 'that is, it is the method and not the content".

    The sources alleged that President Anastasiades had taken a step backwards from insisting on the discussion of the territory, the security and the guarantees in the beginning of the conference.

    The sources also argued that it is definite that no one will be appointed at UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide's place, whose contract ends in September, and that decreasing the number of the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus is very likely.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Kibris Postasi: "Nine hours war of nerves" during Mavroyiannis-Nami meeting last week

    Under the title "Nine hours war of nerves", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (21.05.17) reported that big tension existed during the nine-hour meeting held between the negotiators of the two communities held last week at the presence of Maarten Verwey, the EU Commission President's representative, which was the longest lasting meeting in the history of the Cyprus negotiations.

    According to journalist Ulas Baris, Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis tried three times to abandon the meeting but was prevented from doing so by Verwey.

    The journalist alleges that during the meeting it was seen that the preservation of the principle of equal treatment towards the Turkish and the Greek citizens in a possible federal Cyprus after the solution is to a great extent in harmony with the EU acquis.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] A "delegation from the assembly" carried out contacts in Strasbourg

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.05.17) broadcast that an "assembly delegation" held contacts in Strasbourg. The delegation consisted of the Republican Turkish Party "deputy" Armagan Candan, Social Democratic Party "depurty" Zeki Celer and independent "deputy" Hasan Tacoy.

    The "delegation" held contacts at the European Parliament between the 16th and 18th of May.

    "During their contacts the delegation conveyed the latest phase reached at the Cyprus talks, their views regarding the section given to the Cyprus problem in Turkey's EU report, the Turkish Cypriot side's preparedness for EU harmonization and the Turkish Cypriot side's relations with the European Parliament among other topics", Bayrak broadcast.

    The "delegation" met with the European Parliament's Christian Democrats Group, Socialists Democrats Group, Conservative and Reformist Group, Liberal Group, Freedom and Direct Democracy Group and representatives from the Greens Group and some Deputies.

    The "delegation" further held separate meetings with the European Parliament's Rapporteur on Turkey Kati Piri and the European Parliament's Rapporteur Lopez Aguilar to inform him regarding the work carried out by the Missing Persons Committee in Cyprus.

    It also attended the General Assembly of the European Parliament and listened to the statements delivered by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

    [05] The Permanent Representative of Turkey at the Council of Europe represented Turkey in the meeting of the Committee of Ministers in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (20.05.17) under the front-page title: "For the first time officially in 'south Cyprus' a Turkish Ambassador", reported that the Permanent Representative of Turkey at the Council of Europe, Ambassador Erdogan Iscan has attended the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe meeting which took place in Cyprus.

    According to the paper, Ambassador Iscan arrived to Cyprus from Strasburg to Larnaka airport. The paper underlined that it is the first time that a Turkish official is representing Turkey in a meeting in "south Cyprus". Iscan had also participated in the "family photograph" of the Lefkosia meeting.

    (AK)

    [06] The trade volume between Turkey and the "TRNC" increased by 17,51%

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris ekonomi newspaper (22.05.17) reports that the counter trade among Turkey and the "TRNC", which was 206 million dollars by the end of March in 2016, it was raised to 246 million dollars in the first three months of 2017.

    According to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK), the "TRNC" ? Turkey trade volume (the first quarter) is the following:

    Year Trade Volume % -/+

    2017 246.402 (first three months) +17,51

    2016 209.680 -8,59

    2015 229.385 -15,51

    2014 264.971 +5,69

    2013 250.685 -1,91

    2012 255.588 -0,77

    2011 257.593 -14,62

    2010 224.734 ---

    The "TRNC's imports" from Turkey are as follows:

    Years January February March Total

    2010 53.714 68.337 86.127 208.178

    2011 69.830 75.257 92.305 237.392

    2012 69.814 79.388 82.409 231.611

    2013 66.296 70.044 93.811 230.151

    2014 79.072 79.570 80.983 239.625

    2015 68.490 61.737 71.831 202.058

    2016 52.779 60.285 77.072 190.136

    2017 67.205 75.875 80.615 223.695

    Total 527.200 570.493 665.153 1.762.846

    The exports of "TRNC" to Turkey are the following:

    Year January February March Total

    2010 6.675 4.242 5.639 16.556

    2011 5.143 6.373 8.685 20.201

    2012 4.606 10.635 8.736 23.977

    2013 6.638 5.664 8.232 20.534

    2014 8.324 8.893 8.129 25.346

    2015 8.209 9.666 9.452 27.327

    2016 4.317 6.737 8.490 19.544

    2017 5.526 7.564 9.617 22.708

    Total 49.438 59.774 66.980 176.193

    (DPs)

    [07] Serious warnings by Turkey regarding the "financial protocol" signed by the breakaway regime

    Under the title "The whole fiscal discipline for the first scanning but many serious warnings", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (22.05.17) reports that a committee from Turkey came to the occupied area of Cyprus for the first review working meeting regarding the three year "financial programme" signed by "TRNC" with Turkey on January 2017. It is reported that the committee prepared a bulky report with serious warnings.

    (DPs)

    [08] Durduran: "Akinci should say: 'Let someone else come and do it'"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.05.17) reported that the member of the party committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) Alpay Durduran, commenting on the latest developments on the Cyprus negotiation talks and the quarrel between the two sides on the methodology of the talks, expressed the view that the discussion on the methodology derives from the thought that the two sides could leave the table by gaining something.

    In a written statement, Durduran described as "hightail", Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci's recent statement that "No Turkish Cypriot leader would go to the negotiating table and accept Anastasiades' proposal".

    Durduran stated that those who expressed criticism regarding the preconditions of the Greek Cypriot side should not skip the preconditions of the Turkish Cypriot side. "Has Akinci not set as a precondition the suspension of the natural gas activities in the Mediterranean?", Durduran wondered.

    Underling that the proposal made by Anastasiades to discuss all issues of the Cyprus problem as a package is related to the methodology of the talks, Durduran supported that the "Turkish Cypriot side has consistently set similar conditions".

    Durduran went on and called Akinci to apologize to the supporters of the solution and say "Let someone else come and do it".

    (?)

    (AK)

    [09] Erdogan re-elected chairman of AK Party after 998 days in historic congress

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (22.05.17) reports that Erdogan re-elected chairman of AK Party after 998 days in historic congress.

    "The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) welcomed its longest-serving chairman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, back to his post on Sunday with an emergency congress to mark the beginning of a new era for the party and the whole country" pro-Erdogan Sabah reports.

    In his speech, Erdogan said that the party will undergo a reform process in the near future, and will include more young members between ages 18 and 25. "We are together again after 3 years, making a new start to work harder on bigger goals," he said.

    He also said that the country's ongoing state of emergency will not be lifted until Turkey achieves peace and welfare.

    Reporting on the same issue, Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.17) reports that

    Erdogan stood as the only candidate for the leadership of the AKP to replace Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, after a controversial April 16 referendum which allowed the head of the nation to retain links with a political party.

    Erdogan had joined the AKP on May 3. Yildirim will serve as the acting AKP chairman.

    All cabinet members, along with AKP lawmakers, party management and provincial bodies attended the convention at the Ankara Arena Sports Center along with tens of thousands of voters that flocked to the capital in a bid to greet Erdogan's leadership after a three-year break.

    Citing 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections as the next target of the AKP, Erdogan urged all party officials to start to work even today.

    One of the strongest messages Erdogan gave was the fight against the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETO), which has been blamed for the July 2016 coup attempt. "I will stand against anybody, including my nearest ones, if they are involved in such treason," he said.

    Erdogan's message on the relationship with the European Union struck a similar chord to previous harsh statements toward the group. Citing the EU's policies on Turkey as two-faced, Erdogan said: "We don't have to be patient in the face of such an attitude that disrespects our honor. The EU will either grant a visa waiver, open chapters, send financial aid for refugees or everyone will stick to their guns. Despite everything, our intention is to continue our way with the EU. But the visits I have made this month show that a greater world is open to Turkey," he argued.

    [10] Erdogan renews AKP's A-team with greater youth presence

    Turkish Hurriyet daily News (22.05.17) reports that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed nearly half of the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) executive management to include members of the youth organizations and representatives from business circles during a congress in which he was re-elected as chairman.

    Nineteen members of the 50-seat Central Decision and Executive Board (MKYK) were changed through the AKP's extraordinary convention on May 22. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, who handed over the party leadership to Erdogan, joined the MKYK as "acting chairman" through a change to the AKP's internal regulation.

    Two Ministers, Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak and Labor Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu, were removed from the MKYK, along with party spokesperson Yasin Aktay, Galip Ensarioglu and Saban Disli, whose brother, former Gen. Metin Disli, was imprisoned on the grounds that he took part in the July 2016 coup attempt.

    Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, his predecessor, Efkan Ala, and former Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Unal joined the MKYK as well.

    AKP Youth Branches Organization head Isa Sinan Goktas, Marmara University Youth Council Deputy Chair Rumeysa Kadak and Youth KADEM member Yasemin Atasever were all elected as members of the AKP's new MKYK.

    Ethem Sancak, the owner of pro-government media outlets daily Star and ATV TV channel, as well as Star writer Markar Esayan were also elected.

    Erdogan's son-in-law, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli and Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag protected their positions in the MKYK.

    The full list of the new MKYK is as follows:

    Binali Yildirim, Abdulhamit Gul, Ahmet Sorgun, Ali Aydinlioglu, Asuman Erdogan, Bekir Bozdag, Berat Albayrak, Burhan Kuzu, Bulent Karakus, Cahit Ozkan, Cevdet Yilmaz, Cigdem Karaaslan, Efkan Ala, Erol Kaya, Ethem Sancak, Fatih Sahin, Fevzi Sanverdi, Haci Ahmet Ozdemir, Hamza Dag, Harun Karacan, H. Kubra Ozturk, Hayati Yazici, Ibrahim Halil Yildiz, Isa Sinan Goktas, E. Emrah Karayel, Julide Sarieloglu, Mahir Unal, Markar Esayan, Mehmet Emin Yilmaz, Mehmet Mehdi Eker, Mehmet Mus, Murat Baybatur, Mustafa Atas, Mustafa Kose, Mustafa Savas, Mustafa Sentop, Mustafa Yel, Nurettin Canikli, Oznur Calik, Ravza Kavakci Kan, Recep Uncuoglu, Rumeysa Kadak, Suleyman Soylu, Tamer Dagli, Vedat Demiroz, Yasemin Atasever, Zeki Aygun, Zelkif Kazdal, Zeyid Aslan and Zeynep Alkis.

    In addition, Turkish daily Sabah (22.05.17) reports that Turkish Premier Binali Yildirim, who has chaired the Justice and Development Party (AKP) since last May when he replaced Ahmet Davutoglu, expressed pride and honor in handing over the party reins to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at an extraordinary party congress on May 21.

    [11] "The transformation of the old republic"

    Under the above title Hurriyet Daily News (22.05.17) publishes the following article by Nuray Mert:

    "I am sure President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is very sincere about his policy to build the "New Turkey" as a "better alternative to the old republic," as he is an idealist, after all. It is true that politics have always had idealism, without which nothing would change for the better or worse. Another truth is that modern democratic politics are rather dull in terms of their lack of excitement and sense of affinity. [?]

    Erdogan and his project of the "New Turkey" are all about an expression of Islamist/nationalist idealism. It feels exciting for conservative and Islamist opponents of the secular republic to reshape the republic along the lines of their values and symbols. It satisfies the sense of entitlement of the conservative majority which has long felt excluded from power. Besides, it promises career opportunities for all those who will be eager to participate in the building of a new society. In that sense, the idea of building a new society is never all about ideas and values and symbols, but it is also about chances to fulfill expectations and aspirations of all sorts. It has always been so throughout history.

    Those who eagerly support radical political transformations are not only those who felt excluded by the old systems, but also all those who are ambitious but not qualified for better jobs, positions and careers in general. For instance, an ambitious but not bright academic may find a better chance in a new system by filling the place of those who lose their places because of their political opposition or simply by supporting the new system. In building a new political system and society, it is never the outcome of the ambition of one man, but of many who eagerly cooperate.

    [?]

    The recent controversies over the founder of the republic, Ataturk, reflected an aspect of the forthcoming total transformation of the state's ideals. However, as Erdogan said most recently at the opening of the new Ibn Haldun University, he underlined that it is the end of a Turkey which has long been submissive to not only Western powers but also "Western knowledge" and the pillars of Western values. From now on, we are supposed to derive our knowledge from our own culture/religion and history. It sounds like a victory for the adherents of multiculturalists who ended up fostering culturalist politics at the expense of universalism. No, I am not an uncritical supporter of Enlightenment centricism, and I do not take all Western ways and values as universal, but we need to note that culturalism has always been the source of legitimacy for authoritarian politics, be they Islamist or secularist.

    [12] Commentary Views Question of Trust in Turkish-US Relations

    Turkish daily Milliyet (20.05.17) published the following commentary by Sami Kohen, under the title: ''Security? Assurance?Trust''; passages in capital letters as received":

    "In the wake of the Erdogan-Trump meeting in Washington, we can define the three fundamental factors that will dominate the Turkish-US relations with the following words: Security? Assurance? Trust?

    Let us start with SECURITY:

    This recently became the number one issue for Turkey, not only at home but also abroad. The scale of terror threat widened from the PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] to FETO [Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization], and ISIS. Fight against terrorism became a matter of survival for Turkey. The threat emanating from across the border led Turkey to adopt a new ''security doctrine'' based on the principle of ''striking terror in its originating place.'' Putting DAESH [Arabic acronym for ISIS] and the YPG [People's Protection Units] out of action became Ankara's primary strategic goal.

    This stance created a deep rift between Turkey and the United States. Ankara did not receive from Washington the ''preference'' it was seeking over the YPG issue and in fact, also failed to get from Trump what it was hoping to receive. Therefore, after the White House meeting, the positions of the two sides continue to remain different. [?]

    Let us move on to ASSURANCE:

    The United States, which is determined to conduct ar Raqqah operation against DA'ISH with the YPG, says that the weapons it gave to this organization affiliated with the PKK will only be used for this operation, that after the liberation of ar Raqqah the YPG/PKK will not take part in the governance of the town, and that formation of a Kurdish corridor in the area will be out of the question. The Trump Administration officially gave an assurance to the Turkish government in this matter.

    [?]

    The issue of TRUST becomes significant in this context.

    The doubt felt over the pledges Trump made to Erdogan (not only regarding the YPG but also regarding FETO and other issues) goes to show that trust hit rock bottom. Even the President clearly expressed this lack of trust when he said, ''we will look at actions not words.''

    Of course, there is a similar lack of trust on the US side, too. For some time, officials and various institutions in Washington claim that Turkey has not been acting like a ''reliable'' ally.

    In other words, there is a crisis of trust between the two countries.

    Creation of an environment of trust, however, is imperative to put into practice the factors of security and assurance.

    Frankly speaking, this does not appear to be very likely to happen in the short term.

    [13] Erdogan to discuss future of Turkey-EU relations with top EU officials in Brussels

    Turkish daily Sabah (20.05.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with top European Union officials next Thursday in Brussels to discuss relations between both sides before the NATO summit.

    The EU announced Friday that Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will host the Erdogan for a bilateral meeting ahead of the NATO summit later in the day.

    Earlier this month, Erdogan told Brussels it had no other "option" than to open new "chapters," or policy areas, in Turkey's long-stalled accession talks which began in 2005.

    Relations between Turkey and the EU soured after the bloc failed to fulfil its promises as part of the refugee deal, including granting visa free travel for Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone.

    On the financial side, the EU allocated only 750 million euro ($797 million) so far for the care of the refugees in Turkey, far below the pledged 3 billion euros promised to the country that has been a hub for refugees from all-around the world due to its position a gateway to Europe from the Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

    The European Parliament approved a non-binding motion to freeze EU-membership talks with Turkey, in response to post-coup investigations and recent developments in the country including measures taken within the framework of the fight against the PKK and Gulen?st terror groups.

    Turkey has also criticized the bloc for failing to condemn the deadly coup attempt by Gulenist Terror Group (FET), and harbouring coup perpetrators. During the presidential election campaign, Turkey also slammed the EU for allowing PKK terrorist supporters to hold rallies, while member states prohibited the rallies in favour of President Erdogan.

    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu insisted at the time that Turkey was not seeking to become an adversary to the EU, but complained about the approach.

    He said only 16 policy chapters had been opened out of a total of 35 since the negotiations began, even though Ankara's bid to be a part of the bloc dates back to the 1960s.

    [14] Russia's Medvedev to attend BSEC summit in Istanbul

    Turkish Hurriyet daily News (22.05.17) reports that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will pay a visit to Istanbul on May 22 to attend a summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Cooperation (BSEC) and hold talks with senior Turkish officials amid expectations that Moscow will soon lift all sanctions imposed on Turkish agricultural goods.

    Before Medvedev, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and Energy Minister Alexander Novak came to Istanbul to participate in a preliminary meeting as part of the summit hosted by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Tugrul Turkes on May 21. The last high-level talks between Ankara and Moscow took place on May 3 in Sochi between the respective Turkish and Russian presidents, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin, who discussed joint efforts to reinforce a cease-fire in Syria and the state of the countries' bilateral relationship.

    Although Turkey and Russia could mend ties after a long-crisis due to the former's downing a Russian warplane in November 2015, a number of sanctions imposed on Turkish goods, as well as a strict visa regime on Turkish nationals have not been lifted. In a statement to Russian media, Dvorkovich announced that trade and travel restrictions on Turkey would be lifted within a week, saying, "Nearly 99 percent of the work has been completed."

    In another sign of further improvement of ties between the two countries, Moscow announced that it would appoint Alexei Yerkhov as its new ambassador to Ankara, five months after the assassination of Envoy Andrey Karlov.

    In Istanbul, Turkish and Russian delegations are expected to meet on the side-lines of the summit and discuss all aspects of their relations, with a special focus on trade and energy. The Turkish delegation will be led by Erdogan, who will also open the summit on May 22.

    The BSEC was established in 1992 by 11 countries, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in a bid to foster interaction and harmony among member countries, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity by encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region. Serbia subsequently joined the BSEC.

    This year's summit will mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the BSEC.

    "The declaration will convey a strong and loud message that the BSEC is here, it is adapting to changing circumstances, and it is reacting positively and in a timely way to new challenges," BSEC Secretary-General Michael Christides said at a preliminary meeting.

    "[The BSEC] is ready to lead the way to turn our geostrategic region into an area of cooperation, stability and prosperity," he added.

    Turkes, speaking at the same meeting, underlined that Turkey would like to see changes in the BSEC to make it a more effective group. "Turkey favors reforms to the BSEC. For instance, the chairmanship period should be extended from six months to a year. This would be very useful for the country holding the chair, and the level of attendance at meetings would rise," Turkes said.

    [15] Turkish daily Sozcu publishes blank issue to protest detention warrant on executive, staff members

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (20.05.17) reported that Turkish critical daily Sozcu has published a "May 19 Press Freedom Special Edition," left blank to protest the detentions of some staff members.

    The May 19 edition of the daily carried empty columns with writers' names and also left the weather section blank.

    It was a response to the May 18 detentions of Mediha Olgun, the editor of Sozcu's website, and reporter Gokmen Ulu.

    Detention warrants were also issued for owner Burak Akbay and head of finance Yonca Kaleli over alleged links to the movement of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

    The journalists were accused of "being a member of terror organization and committing crime on behalf of the organization," "assault against the president," and "armed insurgency against the Turkish government."

    [16] Turkish businessman Veysel Sahin escaped from the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (22.05.17) reports that the occupation regime's "police" have arrested the Turkish businessman Veysel Sahin, one of the "directors" of the international online bet casino based in the UK, Scott Masteron.

    According to the paper, Turkey has issued an arrest warrant against Sahin for illegal virtual bet games. After the arrestment of Sahin by the so-called police, Turkey had asked for his extradition. After this development and with the danger that this issue would cause damage to the ties between Turkey and the "TRNC", Sahin was informed by unknown persons that he would be extradited to Turkey and thus, he achieved to escape to Bosnia Herzegovina and from there to Montenegro, the paper writes.

    The paper adds that Turkey's prosecutor has ordered the detention of Sahin and wonders who was the person inside the "police force" in the "TRNC", who informed Sahin about his detention order.

    According to the paper, it was made known that Sahin made serious purchase of goods in the "TRNC", while, at the same time he had purchased the historical Liman Casino in the occupied area of Cyprus. Since he was also an EU citizen, he was frequently visiting "south Cyprus", the paper alleges, adding that he has also accounts in banks in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper wonders if Sahin escaped via "south Cyprus", as it calls the Republic of Cyprus or with a private yacht from the "TRNC".

    (AK)

    [17] The stone quarries are continuing to destroy the occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range

    Under the title "The state is watching", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.05.17) reported that the destruction of the nature due to the illegal stone quarries is striking, adding that the destruction of the occupied Pentadaktylos mountain range is continuing rapidly. There is not almost a mountain at the occupied road Kythrea-Fotta.

    According to data by the "geology and mine department", 341 "permissions" have been "granted" for stone quarries since 1974. The number of the stone quarries, which could be active and have already "permission", is 56. The active stone quarries are 36 and according to products they quarry, there are 16 operations for crushed sand and gravel, 11 operations for float stone, 2 for building stone and 1 for river sand-grave.

    The paper also reports that the total area of the 36 active stone quarries is 3,963 km2.

    (DPs)

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (CS / AM)

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