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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-06-12

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. 110/17 10-12.06.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] A letter by Akinci to the UNSG "untied the knot", alleges Havadis
  • [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader briefed parties ahead of Geneva
  • [03] Akinci: "The approach of zero troops zero guarantees was unacceptable"
  • [04] Burcu: The ground is favorable for those having will and courage
  • [05] Talat expressed optimism on the Geneva conference
  • [06] Ozyigit: "The Geneva conference is a historical chance of laying the foundations of the solution"; Tatar: "Turkey's guarantees cannot be bargained"
  • [07] Dervis accused the "regime" of continuing to distribute land ignoring its own "laws"
  • [08] The "41st TRNC fair" was opened
  • [09] The Turkish Cypriot farmers union", is participating in the "World farmers general meeting 2017"
  • [10] Turkey, EU begin discussing update of Customs Union
  • [11] Official: EU choosing to 're-engage' with Turkey
  • [12] Turkish FM slams Germany over Incirlik issue
  • [13] Turkish FM Cavusoglu, US counterpart Tillerson discuss Qatar in phone call
  • [14] Turkey jails local head of Amnesty over suspected Gulen links
  • [15] Prosecutor submits summary of proceedings for opposition HDP spokesman

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] A letter by Akinci to the UNSG "untied the knot", alleges Havadis

    Under the title "The letter untied the knot", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.06.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has addressed a letter to the UNSG, Antonio Guterres containing his "worries and proposals" after the impasse observed in the Cyprus negotiations at the two Mont Pelerin meetings and the Geneva Conference, noting that the last opportunity should not be wasted because of the "negative stance" of the Greek Cypriot side. The paper claims that the letter influenced the recent tripartite meeting between the leaders and the UNSG in New York.

    In his letter, Akinci insisted on the discussion of all issues unconditionally and interdependently and noted that on the chapter of the Security and Guarantees he was ready for an agreement which would not constitute a threat for the Greek Cypriot side and in which the Turkish Cypriots will feel secure, but the Greek Cypriot side insisted on the approach of "zero troops zero guarantees". Akinci conveyed this approach to the UN both with the letter and orally in a face to face meeting.

    Citing information from sources close to the UN, the paper writes that Akinci expressed the following allegations in his letter:

    - The Greek Cypriot side does not contribute to the creation of positive climate for the solution of the Cyprus problem. On the contrary, it causes an impasse in the process with various agitations and waste of time with meaningless and unjust pre-conditions. Thus further progress and convergences cannot be achieved.

    - Progress could not be achieved because of the fact that the Greek Cypriot side did not give the expected response to the Turkish Cypriot side's effort for achieving new convergences and progress after Geneva. With the pre-conditions allegedly put forward by President Anastasiades, the 11 February 2014 agreement and the statement issued after the Geneva Conference in January 2017 were ignored. The agreed and accepted negotiating methods cannot change. And this means reaching a result by discussing all issues in parallel and an interdependent manner.

    Meanwhile, the paper's columnist Mete Tumerkan refers to the meeting between the leaders and the UNSG in New York and argues that Akinci "warned" Guterres by saying that the Turkish side will not accept the discussion of the issues in an order of priority. According to the columnist, after this, the UNSG told Akinci something that meant the following: "This sentence has been written just like you understand it. It has not been written to determine any priority or order. []" Then everybody agreed on this issue after it had once more been underlined that this sentence had not been written to determine an order or priority of issues, alleges Tumerkan.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot leader briefed parties ahead of Geneva

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.06.17) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot political parties with "seats" in the so-called assembly have expressed support to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? ahead of the upcoming Geneva conference.

    Akinci briefed the representatives of the political parties yesterday on the outcome of his recent meeting in New York with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

    He also exchanged views regarding the upcoming conference in Geneva.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, "prime minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side had always shown its good will towards reaching a viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Expressing his view that it most likely not be possible to hold more negotiations in the event the Geneva conference fails to achieve its goal, Ozgurgun said that the Geneva conference is a great opportunity which must be used in the best possible way.

    "At this conference, in the presence of the three guarantors, everything can be discussed and, at last, come to the final point of agreement. The Greek Cypriot side, too, needs to understand this." He also claimed that the Turkish Cypriots could not be forced to continue living in uncertainty forever if a settlement cannot be reached.

    Responding to a question as to whether the government will be represented at the conference, he claimed that it would be right for them to be present at such a meeting.

    Republican Turkish Party (CTP) leader Tufan Erhurman said the party will do "everything in its power to see this affair to the end". "What we need to do now is intensify work so that Geneva can bring a result," he said.

    "As the CTP our sole focus will be to enable this outcome to emerge from Geneva. We shall focus all our energy in that direction and we have conveyed this to the president." Erhurman added.

    Democrat Party (DP) secretary-general Afet Ozcafer said "all parties support Mustafa Ak?nc? and the peace talks". "The two sides will sit and talk as equals, negotiate and come to a result," she said. "We expect the United Nations to show sensitivity on this issue." She expressed the view that it was a positive development that all 6 chapters will be discussed interdependently without being subjected to any preconditions.

    "We believe that both as the TRNC and Turkey we are doing all that we can for a settlement. We are the ones who are always taking the first steps but we need to decide whether or not these talks will drag on for another 50 years. They are aware of this. The Turkish Cypriot side is running out of patience and I believe everyone is aware of this" she alleged.

    Social Democratic Party (TDP) leader Cemal Ozyigit said that "we are fast approaching a critical juncture with regards to the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    "For the first time, the issue of security and guarantees can be discussed without it being considered taboo, and take a new form," he said. "All of the issues, including the rotating presidency and the effective participation of Turkish Cypriots in decision-making, will be discussed in a give-and-take process, so that a result can be achieved."

    Stating that it was extremely important that all the issues were going to be discussed without preconditions, Ozyigit said that the two sides needed to engage in a process of give and take rather than repeating the same positions over and over again.

    "This is how we look at Geneva and that is how preparations are being carried out. The important thing is that a positive result comes out of Geneva" he added.

    [03] Akinci: "The approach of zero troops zero guarantees was unacceptable"

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.06.17) broadcast that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Ak?nc? has underlined the need for both sides to take steps in order to reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at a festival in occupied Sinta village Akinci said that the Turkish Cypriot side as in the past will be attending the Geneva conference on June 28 in good will.

    Stating that the approach of zero troops zero guarantees was unacceptable; Ak?nc? alleged that insisting on such a position would only render the negotiations useless as this would only create a stalemate.

    "Whereas both we and Turkey are open to the idea of amending the current system of guarantees" he said.

    Stating that it will be possible to achieve a settlement if all sides attending the conference remain open minded, Akinci said that Cyprus is big enough for everyone.

    "It is possible to solve the Cyprus problem which has been continuing for over 50 years and to create an island, a future where everyone can live in peace and prosperity. This is the understanding that we are taking with us to Geneva. I only hope that the Greek Cypriot side and Greece do the same" he argued.

    Pointing out that the issue of security was not only important for the Greek Cypriot community but also for Turkish Cypriots who have a smaller population on the island, Akinci reiterated his view that it was detrimental that the security concerns of both sides are addressed in any formula to be reached on the issue.

    "We would not want our security to be perceived as a threat by our neighbours. We would not want them to feel the same way either" he added.

    Ak?nc? also pointed out that the conditions in 1960 no longer existed as a new partnership to be reached will no longer be on the basis of a unitary state nor will the Turkish Cypriots be living dispersed all across the island.

    "Now we are entering a new era where a new bi-communal, bi-zonal partnership will be created. There is a way where we can reach an agreement, a formula to suit the conditions of today. But to insist on zero troops and zero guarantees as Greece and the Greek Cypriot side are doing will get us nowhere. They need to abandon this view" , he claimed.

    [04] Burcu: The ground is favorable for those having will and courage

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.06.17) reported that Baris Burcu, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has argued that the ground is favorable for those having the will and the courage to save the future of the Cyprus negotiations and that absolutely no modality, no framework are enough by themselves for the conclusion of the negotiations. "The construction is ready", he said in exclusive statements to journalist Emine Davut Yitmen and alleged: "The ground is favorable for those having will and courage. The essentially important thing is to show political will with courage, with commitment to this construction. This is what our president is trying to explain to Mr Anastasaides".

    Noting that the common document prior to Geneva will be prepared on the basis of the work carried out at technical level at the Mont Pelerin with the participation of the five parties, Burcu said that the above-mentioned document will not overcome the disagreements before going to Geneva and that it will have the character of a guide as regards the way of the discussion on the substance of the issue. Burcu argued that the document will not determine whether the sides will go to Geneva and that the place where the substance [of the Security and Guarantees] will be discussed is Geneva.

    Burcu further noted that during the Geneva Conference, which will be held under one roof, five-party meetings will be conducted for the discussion of the Security and the Guarantees and bilateral meetings will be taking place for the discussion of the other issues. Alleging that the discussion will not be held according to a determined order of the issues, Burcu said that all chapters will be discussed simultaneously and interdependently and argued that the emphasis given by the UNSG in his statement [after his meeting with the leaders on 4 June] to the chapters of the Territory, the Property and the Governance and Power Sharing does not mean that the chapters of the EU and Economy will not be discussed. He said that more progress has been achieved on the latter two issues and this is why emphasis was given to the above-mentioned three chapters.

    Burcu also alleged that for the first time in history Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side say that the issue of the security and guarantees could be adapted on the basis of two founding states and two zones and that they exhibit constructive stance in order for the concerns to be overcome. He claimed that the Treaty of Security and Guarantees and all the supplementary agreements are legitimate and valid and added that the consent of all sides is needed in order for the smallest change to be made in these agreements. "If this cannot be done, the agreements are there and will verbatim continue", he argued. Wondering what the Greek Cypriot side and Greece are doing, Burcu alleged that the reference to zero troops and zero guarantees does not serve to a future in which everybody will feel safe. He claimed that in case the Greek Cypriot side insists on allegedly ignoring the concerns of the Turkish Cypriot community, the reply to this will be the continuation of the security and the guarantees mutatis mutandis, just like in the Annan Plan.

    Referring to the presidential elections of 2018, Burcu claimed that they negatively influence the negotiating process and this is why we have to hurry up and the political will should be focused on the solution and should not avoid preparing the society for the solution due to concerns in the internal politics.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Talat expressed optimism on the Geneva conference

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (12.06.17) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in an exclusive interview to the paper, evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the so-called "coalition government's actions" on the "citizenship" issue.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Talat stated that significant progress has been achieved so far on the negotiation process. Stating that although the negotiation talks were disrupted and the sides were involved in an accusation game, he expressed the view that with the scheduled Geneva meeting they should not lose their hopes. He further expressed the view that the Geneva meeting could yield a positive outcome. "I wish that a happy surprise could happen", Talat said.

    Referring to the so-called "coalition government's policy" which continues the "granting of the TRNC's citizenship" after a "decision" taken by the "council of ministers", Talat described as unacceptable this "policy" which aims as he said to the alteration of the "demographic structure" of the island. Talat further condemned the so-called government for plundering, claiming that this is its characteristic.

    ()

    (AK)

    [06] Ozyigit: "The Geneva conference is a historical chance of laying the foundations of the solution"; Tatar: "Turkey's guarantees cannot be bargained"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (12.06.17) reports that the chairman of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) Cemal Ozyigit, in a written statement, referred to the forthcoming scheduled Cyprus conference to take place in Geneva on June 28, supporting that it would be one of the most historical processes that would take place on the Cyprus problem.

    "The Geneva meeting is a historical chance to lay the foundations of the solution. Our expectation is to evaluate well this opportunity and lay the foundations for a fair and viable federal solution", Ozyigit said.

    Stressing the need for both sides to utilize this opportunity, Ozyigit said that although the sides are conscious that it will not be easy to solve a 50 years prolonged problem, still they should show a constructive and determined stance for the solution to be reached.

    Recalling the insistence of the TDP for the UN to get involved at the process, right after the deadlock that appeared at the negotiation process recently, Ozyigit expressed his satisfaction over the UN's calling to proceed to Geneva without preconditions.

    Stating that they have neither excessive hope nor they are pessimistic about the Geneva meeting, Ozyigit supported that the sides should focus on the process. "The solution is possible if the necessary goodwill and encouragement is put forward".

    ()

    On the issue of the natural gas, Ozyigit claimed that the mentality that will solve this problem is to create ambiances that the evaluation of the natural resources of the island will be for the benefit of all Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, commenting on the Geneva meeting, Ersin Tatar, "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) in the occupied part of Lefkosia, alleged that "Turkey's active and effective guarantees in Cyprus cannot become an issue of bargaining or give-take at Geneva".

    "Creating the impression that concessions can be made on Turkey's active and effective guarantees, would be considered as one of the biggest evils for the Turkish Cypriot people", Tatar claimed, while evaluating in a written statement the recent developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot side of trying to create new fait-accompli with the issue of the natural resources in the island, Tatar stressed the need for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot "people" not to give them the opportunity to use this against them.

    ()

    [07] Dervis accused the "regime" of continuing to distribute land ignoring its own "laws"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.06.17) reports that Taner Dervis, chairman of the association of the Turkish Cypriot "right holders for property of equivalent value" (translator's note: or "association for property rights of displaced Turkish Cypriots"), said that the real right holders for property of equivalent value" have reacted after the recent increase of "allocating land" in the occupied area of Cyprus. He explained that the "provisions of the constitution" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus give priority to the "right holders for property of equivalent value" for "granting them immovable property" and envisage also the compensation for revenue loss. Dervis added that the "law for property of equivalent value" envisages also the nullification of the extra-legal implementations.

    Visiting the paper, Dervis explained to them how the Turkish Cypriot "right holders for property of equivalent value" have been mistreated. He claimed that despite the fact the Turkish Cypriot "right holders for property of equivalent value" have priority to "obtain a land property", apparently, the "land" is being allocated with methods that can be identified as "political corruption".

    Dervis argued that it is unfair a 5 thousand donum of land to be "allocated" to a single institute, accusing the breakaway regime of making the biggest property looting in recent history.

    (DPs)

    [08] The "41st TRNC fair" was opened

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.06.17) broadcast that the "41st TRNC International Fair opened its doors on Saturday.

    Various firms are participating in this year's fair set up at the "Lefkosia fair grounds" . The exhibits will remain open until the 18th of June.

    Speaking at the opening of the fair organised by the "ministry of economy and energy, so-called minister Sunat Atun said that they have been working for 41 years "to promote the country both politically and economically as well as to further improve its industry".

    Pointing to the support provided by Turkey for the development of the "TRNC economy", Atun said that the 2010-12 economic program contributed greatly to the development of the real sector: "That was when we switched to the era of sustainable development" he claimed, adding that the budget deficit was narrowed as a result of additional austerity measures.

    Also touching upon the issue of natural gas, Atun alleged that the "TRNC was the sole authority on deciding how to use natural resources discovered within its own waters". "We cannot turn a blind eye to South Cyprus to lay claim over natural resources over which the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people have a right to", he said.

    Atun further claimed that both he and the Turkish Minister of Energy Berat Albayrak shared the view that it was time to bring a drilling platform to the area.

    Delivering the next speech, the Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Mustafa Kaymak said that they were continuing efforts to increase production in the "country" and to export locally produced goods to foreign markets.

    Following Kaymak's speech, the message sent by the Turkish Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci was read out.

    Also speaking at the ceremony, self-styled prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun underlined the importance of the fair for the "country's economy".

    Stating that they were working hard for the removal of the "unjust embargoes" imposed on the breakaway regime at every platform, he alleged that the number of Turkish Cypriot firms exporting products to other countries was growing every passing day despite the trade embargoes.

    He said that they were expecting 100 thousand visitors to visit the "TRNC fair"this year.

    The self-styled speaker of the "assembly" Sibel Sibel for her part highlighted the importance of keeping up with the information age and technological developments.

    A total of 1500 firms, 30 from Turkey are taking part in this year's fair.

    [09] The Turkish Cypriot farmers union", is participating in the "World farmers general meeting 2017"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (11.06.17) reported that the "Turkish Cypriot farmers union", is participating in the "World farmers general meeting 2017", which will be held between 12-15 of June in Helsinki.

    The Turkish Cypriot "union" is a member of the "World farmers Union" which is hosting the event. Members of EU countries and farmers organizations are participating in the meeting.

    (CS)

    [10] Turkey, EU begin discussing update of Customs Union

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.06.17) reports that as Turkey prepares to negotiate expanding the scope of the Customs Union with the European Union, Ankara, which made comprehensive preparation ahead of a meeting in Brussels tomorrow, will discuss a number of topics including agriculture, e-commerce, public procurement, trade agreements, road transport quotas and livestock obstacles.

    Within the framework of the update, Turkey aims to provide access to the restrictions on public procurement in European countries without any obstacles. Thus, Turkey will gain preferential access to the public procurement market which is worth 422 billion euros.

    Turkey has prepared a comprehensive file for the reorganization of the Customs Union agreement signed with the EU 21 years ago. Negotiations will be held at the level of political directors in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The topic of updating agricultural produce will revolve around discussions on the mutual development of agricultural concessions, the mutual strengthening of opportunities for the entry of basic agricultural products into the markets as well as processed agricultural products and the expansion of existing agricultural concessions, which will be supported by agricultural reforms.

    Also, increasing competitiveness in the agricultural sector, while reducing agricultural sensitivities, will increase the potential to make Free Trade Agreements (FTA). Moreover, technical barriers in the trade of agricultural products will be eliminated.

    In terms of e-commerce, the issues to be addressed during the meetings will reportedly expand preferential trade agreements to cover e-commerce and tertiary sectors. By including services in the Customs Union, obstacles that face service providers when entering the EU's service market will be eliminated.

    Moreover, the update of the Customs Union will enable the transportation of export products in the most appropriate ways to the EU market by eliminating obstacles that generate additional costs for exporters such as road transport quotas between Turkey and the EU.

    The update of the Customs Union Agreement is expected to expand Turkey's network of FTAs and offer new market opportunities for exporters. Furthermore, the expansion of the scope of the Customs Union will allow industrial output to enter advantageous markets such as public procurement.

    [11] EU choosing to 're-engage' with Turkey

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.17) reports that Turkey and the European Union will hold a political dialogue meeting on June 13 in Brussels "to take stock of where both sides are in their relationship," an EU official has told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    "The view of the EU side, and reciprocated on the Turkish side, is that 'it's time to re-engage. It's important that we stop talking about each other, but rather talk to each other,'" the EU official said on condition of anonymity.

    "I don't think everything was solved at that meeting, but it opened a door for future engagement and for future meetings," the official said, referring to a trilateral meeting featuring Turkey and the EU on May 25.

    In the May meeting bringing together Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk, EU officials suggested to Erdogan that summits regularly be held with Turkey, the official said.

    Ankara has long insisted on such meetings since the Lisbon Treaty ended summits with candidate countries.

    The EU official noted that no date had yet been determined for the summit but that they believed it was important to hold such gatherings annually or twice a year.

    In an upcoming summit, EU leaders will decide on whether to hold regular summits with Turkey, as well as the format of such gatherings, with meetings likely to be either part of an inter-governmental summit with the 28 EU members or a trilateral meeting with the President of Turkey and the heads of the European Commission and the EU Council.

    EU Ministry Undersecretary Selim Yenel and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Mehmet Kemal Bozay will represent Turkey at a political directors meeting on June 13 to discuss the current status of possible upgrades to the customs union, the migrant deal between Ankara and Brussels, visa liberalization for Turks to the Schengen area, the fight against terrorism, as well as future meetings for high-level dialogue on political, energy and economic relations.

    The bloc expects Turkey to fulfil five remaining benchmarks before it will ease visa procedures for Turks. "Our view is we need to hear something from Turkey before we can move on," the EU official said, noting they want to see a change in Turkey's anti-terror legislation "in line with international requirements."

    The EU side is also waiting for Ankara to meet necessary conditions in order to resume accession talks with the union.

    "On accession and on moving forward with the negotiations, [EU foreign affairs chief Federica] Mogherini at the Malta meetings [in April] was very clear when she said we know the member states decided in December last year that no negations are going on at the moment but that the criteria for resuming negotiations was clear on both sides," said the official.

    "The criteria are very clear and well-known, and if Turkey is interested in joining, as the foreign minister told us today ... it knows very well what that implies, especially in the field of human rights, rule of law, democracy and freedoms," Mogherini said previously.

    [12] Turkish FM slams Germany over Incirlik issue

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (11.06.17) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu harshly criticized Germany, though without mentioning the name of the European Union powerhouse, saying that Turkey is not a country that Berlin can dictate whatever it wants.

    "Some countries started to extradite members of the Fethullahist Terror Organization [FETO], but some European countries embrace them, grant status to runaway soldiers, provide asylum to diplomats who are runaways because of FETO," Cavusoglu said at an iftar meeting.

    He also insinuated that Germany was embracing the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), claiming the country was supporting the groups in terms of "logistics and money."

    "They shut their eyes to PKK's drug smuggling and all kinds of activities," he added.

    "You have seen that they wanted to hamper us during the referendum period," he said, in a reference to Germany's blocking of Turkish Ministers holding rallies in the countries where at least 3 million Turks live.

    "Then they say they want to visit Incirlik," he said, recalling German lawmakers' request to visit their troops based at the air base as part of efforts by the anti-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) coalition.

    Cavusoglu stated that Turkey's 80 million people will make the decision.

    Ankara and Berlin failed to reach a consensus in the ongoing dispute over the demand from the German Parliament to visit German soldiers at the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey and the latter's cabinet decided to withdraw its military installation in the key air base.

    [13] Turkish FM Cavusoglu, US counterpart Tillerson discuss Qatar in phone call

    Turkish daily Sabah (11.06.17) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has discussed the Qatar crisis and recent developments in Syria and Iraq with his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson in a phone call.

    According to diplomatic sources, the phone call was conducted late Saturday upon Tillerson's request.

    Cavusoglu also attended Saturday a meeting at the Huber Presidential Mansion with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa to discuss the ongoing diplomatic spat between several Arab countries and Qatar.

    In a joint press conference after the meeting, the Foreign Minister said that the dispute should be resolved before the end of Ramadan, underlining that Turkey would continue its efforts to resolve the crisis.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Binal? Y?ld?r?m warned Saturday during his speech at an Iftar dinner with business figures at the Dolmabahce Palace that the Qatar dispute could become a global problem due to the geostrategic nature of the region if the tension goes up, calling the parties involved in the dispute to "act responsibly and contribute to reducing the tension rather than increasing it".

    Starting from June 5, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Maldives, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen's internationally backed government and one of Libya's three governments have cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Gulf nation funds militant groups.

    Several other Muslim nations also downgraded their diplomatic ties with Qatar

    [14] Turkey jails local head of Amnesty over suspected Gulen links

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (12.06.17) reports that a Turkish court has formally arrested Amnesty International's chairman in the country pending trial on charges of "membership in a terror organization."

    Taner K?l?c, along with 22 other lawyers in the western province of Izmir, was detained on June 6 for suspected links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO), which is widely believed to have orchestrated the July 15, 2016, failed coup.

    "The Turkish prosecution's decision to charge Taner K?l?c ... with 'membership in a terrorist organization' is a mockery of justice, and highlights the devastating impact of the Turkish authorities' crackdown following the failed coup attempt in July last year," Amnesty said in a statement on June 9.

    It said he was being charged with using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app used by the followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, but Amnesty said he had denied using the app in his testimony.

    Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International, said the charges were without merit and not an indication of a criminal act, while the arrests were a disregard of human rights and an attempt to silence all those who defend them.

    "The charges ... show just how arbitrary, just how sweeping, the Turkish government's frenzied pursuit of its perceived enemies and critics has become," Shetty said.

    Shetty demanded K?l?c's immediate release and the dropping of all charges against him.

    Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, also expressed dismay over K?l?c's arrest and called for his release in the absence of credible evidence.

    K?l?c's detention is part of "the worrying trend of judicial actions currently targeting human rights defenders and an increasingly wide range of other civil society actors in Turkey," Muznieks said.

    June/11/2017

    [15] Prosecutor submits summary of proceedings for opposition HDP spokesman

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (10.06.17) reported that a public prosecutor in the southeastern province of Diyarbak?r submitted a summary of proceedings for Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) spokesman Osman Baydemir on June 10.

    If the Parliament Speaker lifts Sanl?urfa Deputy Baydemir's immunity, he will be eligible to face trial, and a jail sentence of up to two years.

    The summary of proceedings concerns Baydemir renting a cultural center in the Kayapinar district to an association for 10 years free of charge.

    Some HDP Deputies, including party leaders Figen Yuksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas, were arrested last November after they failed to cooperate in a counter-terrorism investigation.

    The lawmakers began facing prosecution under anti-terrorism legislation after their parliamentary immunity was lifted in March 2016.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (CS / AM)

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