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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-05-29

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. 101/17 27-29.05.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci alleges that "a big communication game exists" in the Cyprus negotiations
  • [02] Turkey's MFA responded to Eide's announcement on the ending of shuttle diplomacy
  • [03] Cavusoglu discussed the Cyprus talks with his Slovakian counterpart
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot political parties evaluated the Cyprus talks' deadlock
  • [05] The UN are reportedly disappointed because of the blame game in Cyprus
  • [06] Survey shows that the Turkish Cypriots will vote yes but the Greek Cypriots are undecided on a referendum about a Cyprus solution
  • [07] Survey on Turkish Cypriots expectations regarding the solution in Cyprus problem
  • [08] Eroglu's daughter was "allocated a plot of land" in the center of the occupied part of Lefkosia in order to build a five-star hotel
  • [09] Reactions on the "military plot" which was "given" to Rauf Denktas
  • [10] Erhurman criticized "government's citizenship policy"
  • [11] The "Holy month of Ramadan" begun in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [12] Expat groups to meet with British High Commissioner for the new passenger security measures
  • [13] KTOS: AKP's reactionary and religious fanatic mentality is being established in education in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [14] Erdogan: "Turkish and German Foreign Ministers to discuss rift over Incirlik air base"
  • [15] Erdogan on his contacts in Brussels: "Turkey and the EU agree on a 12-month calendar in accession bid"
  • [16] Over 50,000 under arrest on FETO charges
  • [17] Two journalists and the owner of daily Sozcu arrested

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci alleges that "a big communication game exists" in the Cyprus negotiations

    Under the title "Everything has not ended", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (28.05.17) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has alleged that a big communication game has started during the last stage of the negotiations and that the Greek Cypriot press is full of reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader and Turkey are responsible for the impasse in the negotiations.

    Addressing the 31sh General Assembly of the Turkish Cypriot "chamber of industry", Akinci claimed: "Mr Anastasiades asked from us, before expressing our views regarding the pre-conditions he brought to the table during our meeting on the 17th [of May], to discuss these pre-conditions, which he tried to present as new proposal, with Turkey and then reply to him. The pre-conditions issue is an issue so clear that needs no consultation".

    Alleging that the UN and the international community should explicitly explain to President Anastasiades that his stance is wrong, Akinci claimed: "We should not be the only ones who express this reality and we see that this is understood in all our contacts. The reality that these pre-conditions of the Greek Cypriots will not lead us to a solution is there and this reality is clearly seen".

    Akinci alleged also that President Anastasiades approach is to "show off with tactics" and argued: "Tactics have meaning if they contribute to the strategic target. Our strategic target is the solution in Cyprus. This is the way we see it. If the tactical steps aim at the elections, these tactics will not contribute to the solution".

    Moreover, Akinci claimed that during their meeting on 17 May President Anastasiades rejected his approach in harmony with the convergences which provided for bringing about the main framework of an agreement and his initiative for the UN being more helpful to the sides with a bridging understanding.

    Referring to the statement made by President Anastasiades that Akinci had rejected his three-dimensioned document proposal, the Turkish Cypriot leader argued that listing the differences would not cause any harm if there was a will for a solution and it would be used for securing agreements on the differences but the UN "did not give credit to the game of wasting time for writing down again the issues which anyway exist in the documents". He added:

    "My expectation is for the UNSG to undertake a realistic and objective initiative in order for the Geneva Conference to be able to convene again in June within the framework of the agreements reached until today. In case the Greek Cypriot leader abandons the stance of imposing pre-conditions contrary to these agreements, an effort could take place for a solution in June. We are for an approach producing results. Yes to going to Geneva. Yes to discussing all chapters. Yes to working in Geneva until a solution is reached. No only to pre-conditions putting the rules of the game according to himself".

    Reiterating that on 17 May he had submitted a proposal regarding the discussion as a package of the 8-10 remaining important issues on the four chapters, Akinci argued that if you want to solve the Cyprus problem you should settle the issues concerning the political equality, the rotating presidency, and the property as well. "We proposed let us make a package with these issues, let the UN help the two sides more by benefiting from both leaders' views without undertaking the role of an arbitrator, without bringing official written proposals to the table", he said claiming that President Anastasiades did not accept giving to the UN a facilitating role in securing convergences on the pending issues.

    Akinci alleged that President Anastasiades proposals, which he called as pre-conditions, are contrary to the joint statement of 11 February 2014 and the announcement issued on 17 January 2017 after the Geneva Conference on Cyprus. He further claimed that the UN does not support this proposal. "They are spreading the rumor that the UN supports these proposals. There is no such a thing", he alleged claiming that the UN did not invite them to hold a joint meeting on Monday and thus "we have not rejected an inexistent proposal".

    Alleging that as it is understood President Anastasiades will continue the communication game instead of working for a solution, Akinci expressed his sorrow for the fact that some people within the Turkish Cypriot community think that something is correct when the Greek Cypriot side says it and it is wrong when the Turkish Cypriot side says it. "There are people who consider as progressiveness and supporting peace the mentality that whatever the Greek Cypriot side says is correct and whatever the Turkish Cypriot leader says is wrong", he argued.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkey's MFA responded to Eide's announcement on the ending of shuttle diplomacy

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mfa.govr.tr) published in its website on Friday (26.05.17) a press statement by its Spokesman Huseyin Mutfuoglu:

    "Following the last meeting held between the two Leaders in Cyprus on 17 May 2017 within the framework of the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations, SASG Mr. Eide conducted shuttle diplomacy between the Leaders with the aim of reaching an agreement on reconvening the Conference on Cyprus. Within this framework Mr. Eide met each Leader twice in the previous days.

    SASG Mr. Eide stated today that these meetings were unable to produce any results.

    Turkey shares the views expressed on this issue by the TRNC President Mr. Ak?nc? in his statements of 23 and 26 May 2017. Our view is that the preconditions put forth by Greek Cypriot Leader Mr. Anastasiades for reconvening the Conference on Cyprus are contrary to the principles in the Leaders' Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 that all issues "will be discussed interdependently" and that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed". They are likewise not in keeping with the Statement from the Conference on Cyprus dated 12 January 2017.

    It will be recalled that one of the taskings from the Statement from the Conference on Cyprus was for a Working Group to convene in order to identify questions regarding the Security and Guarantees chapter as well as the instruments needed to address them. This tasking was fulfilled on 18-19 January in Mont Pelerin. The second tasking which resulted from the Conference was for the continuation of negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters between the two sides on the Island.

    Turkey expects the Conference on Cyprus to be able to reconvene without any preconditions, in keeping with the understanding in the Leaders' Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 and in accordance with the methodology which was foreseen but not implemented for the first Conference, namely with all chapters being addressed together, as also expressed by President Ak?nc? in his statements", the statement claimed.

    [03] Cavusoglu discussed the Cyprus talks with his Slovakian counterpart

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (27.05.17) reported that Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, in a press conference following his meeting with Slovakian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak in Bratislava, commented on the bilateral relations of the two countries and the Cyprus talks.

    Explaining that during the meeting they discussed the Cyprus issue, Cavusoglu said that Turkey gives its fully support to this process (Cyprus talks) and that Turkey will continue to work in a determined way in order a solution in Cyprus is reached.

    Cavusoglu further argued that they are grateful for Slovakia's support on this issue.

    (DPs)

    [04] Turkish Cypriot political parties evaluated the Cyprus talks' deadlock

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (28.05.17) reported that representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus evaluated to the paper the impasse of the Cyprus talks as the UN failed to find common ground.

    Tufan Erhurman, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said that the UN and the international community with the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey should carry out an active diplomacy regarding the issue of warning and mobilization. He further said that Eide's report that will be submitted to the UN Secretary General is very important; adding that in the report all the information without being distorted should be included. However, all the diplomacy possibilities should also be used in order the process after this to be built.

    Afet Ozcafer, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side should take action for its "state", adding that "the international arena should see that the Turkish Cypriot side is always one step ahead. ()"

    Cemal Ozyigit, the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that in the report that Eide will prepare for UNSG Antonio Guterres, the Turkish Cypriot side's readiness for a summit without conditions should be reflected. He also proposed that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci should also send a letter to UNSG Guterres to explain that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready and has expressed it very clear.

    Meanwhile, Oguzhan Hasipoglu, responsible for foreign affairs of the National Unity Party (UBP), claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side at this stage should ask from the UN to plan a concept meeting in the style of Serbia-Kosovo model since there will not be a federal solution.

    (DPs)

    [05] The UN are reportedly disappointed because of the blame game in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.05.17) published a report by journalist Osman Kalfaoglu saying that a source from the UN told him that they were experiencing disappointment because the leaders in Cyprus have entered into a blame game which will reach nowhere.

    The source, which asked to remain anonymous, expressed the view that the sides on the island should concentrate on what the next steps will be and on putting the negotiations back on track. 'We could help, but they should show the way", said the UN source.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Survey shows that the Turkish Cypriots will vote yes but the Greek Cypriots are undecided on a referendum about a Cyprus solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.05.17) published a survey conducted by the University of Liverpool, under the supervision of Dr Colin Irwin and financed by the Interpeace organization regarding the will of Cypriots to reach a solution on the Cyprus problem.

    On the question what they would say in a referendum in case a solution was reached by the two leaders in Cyprus, 46% of Turkish Cypriot and 28% Greek Cypriots said that they would vote "yes". In addition 37% of Turkish Cypriots and 30% of Greek Cypriots stated that they would vote "no" while 17% of Turkish Cypriots and 42% Greek Cypriots stated that they are undecided.

    Both sides consider the "confident building measures" to be extremely important: 83% of the Greek Cypriots and 86% of the Turkish Cypriots. Asked what "confident building measures" consider to be more important , 68% of the Greek Cypriots asked for the discontinue of the lighting of the "TRNC flag in occupied Pentadaktylos mountain, while 74% of the Turkish Cypriots stated that this is not acceptable. However, both sides agreed that measures like adopting a common time zone for both sides will help towards establishing trust between the two sides.

    The survey was conducted by the Noverna Analytics and Research for the Greek Cypriots with a sample of 800 persons between 3-11 of February 2017 and from Lipa Consultancy for the Turkish Cypriots between 30 March 7 April with a sample of 1,200 persons.

    (CS)

    [07] Survey on Turkish Cypriots expectations regarding the solution in Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper reports that the Center for Migration Identity and Rights Studies (CMIRS) has repeated a survey which it conducts every three months to measure the Turkish Cypriots' political-social security, individual self-confidence, happiness, ability to influence politics and perception for being able to influence the Cyprus problem.

    Kibris reports on 29.05.17 that the survey's results show that the will and expectations for a solution have increased. However 80.52% stated that they want a solution in January 2016 while only 65% said that they want solution in April 2017. Asked what they would vote in case a referendum takes place regarding a solution plan, 41,4% of the persons asked said that they would vote "yes", 24,4% "no" and 28,1% stated that they are undecided.

    In addition, Kibris (28.05.17) which reported on the same survey wrote that the majority of the persons living in the breakaway regime stated that they find it difficult to live there. They also stated that they find the "Trikomo district" the most unpleasant area for someone to live but at the same time the most livable area to stay.

    Finally, Kibris (27.05.17) wrote that according to the survey, the "people" trust more the so-called police and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, while it trust the other politicians much less.

    (CS)

    [08] Eroglu's daughter was "allocated a plot of land" in the center of the occupied part of Lefkosia in order to build a five-star hotel

    Turkish daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (29.05.17) under the front-page title: "A plot of land to Canaltay in the center of Lefkosia", reports that the so-called coalition government of the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP) has "allocated" this time a very big plot of land located in the center of the occupied part of Lefkosia, to Resmiye Canaltay, businesswoman and daughter of the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.

    According to the paper, the so-called government, has "decided" after a "decision" taken by the "council of ministers", to "allocate" to Canaltay an empty plot of land which is located alongside the "headquarters of the Turkish Cypriot Airlines", with the aim to build a five-star hotel. The paper adds that the plot of land owner RESTUR LTD Company has "rented" the land to Canaltay for 40 years.

    Speaking to the paper, the "director" of RESTUR LTD, affirmed the news and stated that they have already agreed with a global Hotel Group of Company for the construction of a five-star hotel.

    Also, speaking to the paper, Canaltay alleged that in the above mentioned location [translator's note: near the headquarters of the former "Turkish Cypriot Airlines"] her family owns two plots of land and added that they have made "application" for 4 parcels belonging to the "state" are close to the property. She further announced that they have already launched works for the construction of a five-star hotel and added: "I do not know if our demand was approved by the council of ministers. I haven't got a written response yet".

    Canaltay further stated that she will not announce yet the name of the hotel but added that the project for the construction of the hotel is ready.

    (AK)

    [09] Reactions on the "military plot" which was "given" to Rauf Denktas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Bakis newspaper (27.05.17) reported that the reactions from different sectors of the Turkish Cypriot community regarding the decision of the

    "council of minister" to "allocate" a 200 donum plot of land [Translator's note: donum: a land measure of 1000 square meters] to Rauf Denktas, son of the self-styled deputy prime minister and "minister of finance" Serdar Denktas and grandson of the late Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, at the occupied Agios Dometios area, [translator's note: the area is known as Kermia among the Turkish Cypriot community) in order to construct a new "university" called "Rauf Denktas' university", are continuing.

    Mehmet Harmanci, "mayor" of the occupied part of Nicosia, said that they are against to such development regarding the "opening" of "universities", adding that the mechanism which was followed for obtaining "permission" for a plot, which is located on important spot for the future of the town, is unacceptable.

    Kudret Ozersay, leader of the People's Party (HP), said that "it is time the Turkish Cypriots to give an end at the looting of their country and to the actions of their government". He called the Turkish Cypriots to gather on Monday at the occupied part of Agios Dometios to demonstrate against the activities of the "coalition government" UBP-DP.

    Salih Sonustun, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (YKP), criticized the fact that the above mentioned plot was "removed" from the category "military area" in order to be rented to the son of Serdar Denktas. He added that the current value of this plot is approximately to 50 million sterling and that it was given as a "favour".

    Leader of the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP), Cemal Ozyigit argued that the plot was given as a "present" by changing hastily its "military area" status.

    On the same issue, under the title "Let the Turkish army give us our land", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.05.17), on its front page reports that the "allocation" of the "military plot" to Rauf Denktas was the last straw. The paper reports that those who have land and it is under the occupation of the Turkish army have taken action.

    Kani Kanol said that he has a heritage from his father, a 9 domum land in the occupied area of Kaymakli, but he could never use it because it has been on "military zone" since 1963 without obtaining any compensation for this. He asks from the "government" to give him back his property and to be removed from the "military zone", as it happened with the plot that was given to Rauf Denktas.

    In the article "Letter from the Africa", it is reported that their properties are under Turkish occupation and not Greek Cypriot.

    Ozersay criticized again the incident, by saying that there are those who believe that the "state is a family company".

    (DPs)

    [10] Erhurman criticized "government's citizenship policy"

    Turkish Cypriot daily (29.05.17) reports that Tufan Erhurman, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) criticized the "policy" followed by the "government' to "grand citizenships" and argued that some actions related to this issue are not even published in the "official gazette".

    Erhurman, who made these statements speaking during a visit to a village, also said that while the "government" does not "grand" the "TRNC citizenship" to foreign workers and their children who live in the "TRNC" for ten years now, it "grands" the "citizenship to person who are "benefiting the state" upon "decisions" of the "council of ministers".

    (CS)

    [11] The "Holy month of Ramadan" begun in the occupied area of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (27.05.17) the Muslims in the "TRNC" alongside the rest of the Islamic World have begun fasting today (on Saturday) for the holy month of Ramadan, when most of the world's 1.5 billion Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset.

    Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sexual intercourse from sahur meal in sunrise to iftar meal in sunset.

    Ramadan feast will end on June 24 after continuing for 30 days.

    [12] Expat groups to meet with British High Commissioner for the new passenger security measures

    Under the title "Expats to lobby BHC top brass", Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (27.05.17) published the following article regarding the new passenger security measures:

    "Expat groups yesterday agreed to join forces against a British inspired move that means all Pegasus airlines passengers to and from Ercan airport (editor's note: the occupied airport of Tymbou) having to leave their plane in Turkey for fresh security measures.

    At a meeting in the tourism and environment ministry, group representatives agreed to make a joint approach to UK authorities over the new procedures which come into force on Thursday.

    Cyprus Today understands lobbying will start in the TRNC (editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) on Tuesday when members of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce are set to meet British High Commissioner Matthew Kidd.

    Pegasus passengers have hitherto been able to stay on board during the touchdown in Turkey, and there are fears the change will increase both journey time and ticket prices, driving passengers to choose direct flights to the South's Larnaka or Paphos (editor's note: the airports in the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus) instead. Industry insiders and civil groups have slammed Britain for a purely 'political' decision, and the expat campaigners say they will seek to meet Mr Kidd to explain its 'full implications' for the TRNC's foreign community as well as Turkish Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, UK-based Turkish Cypriot associations are approaching Britain's Transport Secretary directly to raise the 'discriminatory stance'. ()

    The UK request for Pegasus to change its procedures came in a letter to the airline, seen by this newspaper, which complained that Ercan 'was not visible'. ()"

    (DPs)

    [13] KTOS: AKP's reactionary and religious fanatic mentality is being established in education in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.05.17) reported that Semen Saygun, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), has said that the education system in the occupied area of Cyprus is full of mistakes and the reactionary and religious fanatic mentality of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has started to be established in their education system.

    Addressing the 41st General Assembly of KTOS, Saygun noted that this is why they should struggle all together. She pointed out that the land of the "country" is given away as present to some circles and that the "agreements" made with Ankara lead the Turkish Cypriots to annihilation. She especially criticized the signing of an "agreement" providing for bringing labor force from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Addressing the same meeting, Erdogan Sorakin, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that the only solution for the Cyprus problem is a federal Cyprus and no other result except for this would be a success. He noted that progress has been made during the negotiations and added that this progress should be written down and the process to continue from that point on. He argued that the "country" is being plundered, mistakes are committed in education and money is distributed to companies supporting the regime's "government".

    Moreover, Cemal Ozyigit, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), also said that the "country" is being plundered and that the "administrators" "distribute" land to some circles. He noted that a "tutelage regime" exists in the occupied area of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots have not any say and they cannot administrate themselves. He expressed the view that because of the entering into the occupied area by only showing the identity card, the property regime has changed and now the beliefs of the Turkish Cypriots are questioned and Koran courses started.

    (I/Ts.)

    [14] Erdogan: "Turkish and German Foreign Ministers to discuss rift over Incirlik air base"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.05.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Foreign Ministers of Turkey and Germany will discuss the latest rift between Ankara and Berlin over the refusal of a German delegation's visit to the Incirlik air base in the southern province of Adana.

    On May 15, Turkey rejected a group of German lawmakers' request to visit the base on the grounds that Berlin granted asylum to former Turkish officers who allegedly took part in the July 2016 failed coup attempt. The move immediately prompted Germany to discuss whether to remove its troops stationed at the base unless the crisis is resolved, with German officials naming Jordan as one of the alternatives.

    Erdogan said that Ankara would certainly allow the German lawmakers' visit to the base on condition that the list of visitors sent by the German Foreign Minister is seen suitable, as it was in the past. However, he also noted that sometimes there are lawmakers who "openly supported terrorists."

    "Sometimes there may be those who openly support terrorists among German lawmakers ... We expressed that some who openly support terrorists and almost act together with them will not be welcomed. Right now, our Foreign Ministers will discuss the issue with each other and we will take a step accordingly," Erdogan said on May 26 while returning to Turkey after meeting with top EU officials and leaders in Brussels.

    Ankara had previously banned German lawmakers from visiting the base for months in response to a Resolution in the Bundestag describing the 1915 killings of Armenians under Ottoman rule as genocide, a term that Ankara denies.

    [15] Erdogan on his contacts in Brussels: "Turkey and the EU agree on a 12-month calendar in accession bid"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.05.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on May 25 while returning to Turkey from meetings with the bloc's top executives and leaders of the European powerhouses that Turkey and the European Union have agreed on a 12-month calendar on the future of Turkey's accession bid.

    "The EU conducted some studies before the meetings" Erdogan told journalists.

    "We got a 12-month calendar from them about the studies they made. We will make a study on this calendar with the Foreign Ministry and the EU Ministry," Erdogan added.

    In long-anticipated gatherings, Erdogan met with the Council of Europe President Donald Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker before a NATO summit in the Belgian capital on May 25.

    Erdogan also had separate meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May at a time when ties between Turkey and the bloc have become strained.

    "The EU and Turkey must and will continue to cooperate. Major issues of common interest were discussed in detail in a good and constructive atmosphere," a spokesperson for the European Commission said after the meetings.

    Erdogan, Juncker and Tusk discussed the state of a 2016 agreement in which Ankara prevents migrants from traveling from its territory to Europe in return for visa-free travel to the bloc for Turkish citizens and funds to aid refugees in Turkey.

    "This is not only the visa issue. We have raised the issue of Red Crescent and AFAD support. This matter was also on the agenda and we will continue the works on that mutually," Erdogan said.

    Also, Turkish Presidential sources said that Erdogan, Tusk and Juncker had emphasized the need for the implementation of the migrant agreement.

    Turkey says Europe has failed to deliver on its side of the deal as the EU pushes Turkey to change its anti-terror law.

    Erdogan said that the meeting was "positive" in terms of "giving a new and positive acceleration to the EU membership process." "We discussed the implementation of the Turkey-EU migration deal and the visa issue. We wanted support for Turkey in the struggle against terrorism. We have to leave behind what happened during the referendum process. A wish for the start of a new process was also brought to agenda by Tusk and Junker," Erdogan further said, adding that he also met with European Parliament chair Antonio Tajani.

    "Tajani's look on Turkey is very, very positive," Erdogan argued.

    [16] Over 50,000 under arrest on FETO charges

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.05.17) reported that according to figures released by the Justice Ministry on investigations over the coup attempt launched by the Gulenist Terror Group (FETO) on July 15 last year show that 50,136 suspects are currently under arrest on various charges.

    Since the coup attempt, security forces and judicial officials have processed 154,694 suspects, deciding not to charge 2,763 people. Of those questioned, 50,136 suspects were jailed pending their trial.

    Among those under arrest, 2,431 are judges and prosecutors at criminal or administrative courts, 104 are members of the Supreme Court of Appeals, two are from the Council of State and three from the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). During the investigations, 6,982 soldiers were arrested, of whom 167 are generals. As many as 8,816 police officers, 23 governors, 72 deputy governors, 112 local administrators were also arrested.

    Of those taken into custody, 45,708 were released under judicial supervision, while 12,753 were freed after questioning.

    Upon further investigation, courts released 7,122 formerly arrested suspects under judicial supervision, while another 7,430 were released without charges.

    A total of 7,112 suspects remain fugitives. Among those, 211 are judges or prosecutors, six are members of the Council of State, 25 are from the Supreme Court of Appeals, 137 soldiers, 369 police officers, three deputy governors and eight local administrators.

    As many as 655 suspects are currently in custody, waiting to be charged.

    [17] Two journalists and the owner of daily Sozcu arrested

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.05.16) reported that a Turkish court ordered the arrest of two journalists from daily Sozcu late on May 26 over alleged links to the July 15, 2016, failed coup attempt, widely believed to have been masterminded by the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).

    Gokmen Ulu, a correspondent in the western province of Izmir and Mediha Olgun, an executive in charge of Sozcu's website, were charged with "committing crimes on behalf of the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen without being members of it."

    Ulu was also charged with "facilitating the physical assault and assassination of the President," the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

    Yonca Yucekaleli, a finance executive at the paper who had also been detained, was released by the court.

    The court dropped the charge of "membership to a terrorist organization" against Olgun and Ulu.

    Ulu and Olgun were first detained on May 19 over an article published on the day of the coup attempt which gave details of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's holiday in the Aegean resort of Marmaris along with pictures of the hotel where he was staying.

    In his court testimony, published by Sozcu, Ulu said he was in shock over the allegations and said the article was proof of successful journalism.

    "If an organized and sneaky terrorist organization engages in an uprising, would they learn the location of the President from a journalist or a newspaper? The coup-plotters said they knew about the President's whereabouts in their testimonies. Accepting such a charge means underestimating this terrorist organization," Ulu told the court.

    ()

    An arrest warrant for the daily's owner Burak Akbay was also issued over "being a member of an armed terrorist organization," but he remains abroad. Akbay's file contained testimonies that he was raised within Gulenists and a 2016 crossword puzzle that allegedly indicated the newspaper's editorial stance served the movement.

    Writing on Twitter, Bulent Tezcan, spokesman for the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said the claims against the paper were "mud that would not stick."

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (AK / AM)

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