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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-06-28

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 <>



  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the commencement of the Crans Montana Conference for Cyprus
  • [02] Cavusoglu on the Crans Montana Cyprus summit
  • [03] Sabah: "New round of Cyprus talks kicks off with 'cautious optimism'"
  • [04] Talat stated that he expects the Crans Montana meeting to be successful
  • [05] Idris: Any road other than a solution is a dead-end road
  • [06] Ozersay condemned the UN's stance on the Cyprus problem
  • [07] Council of Europe's Jagland says 'justice must start working' in Turkey
  • [08] Council of Europe Commissioner criticizes ban on LGBT Pride march in Istanbul
  • [09] Turkey's delegation in PACE has not returned yet back to Strasbourg after PACE's decision to monitor Turkey
  • [10] Turkey returns fire on YPG in northern Syria
  • [11] HDP to provide 'concrete support' to CHP's march 'soon'
  • [12] The Secretary-General of Socialist International due to Turkey to attend CHP's protest march


    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the commencement of the Crans Montana Conference for Cyprus

    All Turkish Cypriot newspapers today (28.06.17) cover the commencement of the International Conference for Cyprus at Crans Montana, Switzerland, on their front page.

    Kibris reports that the Conference starts at 10.00, local time, within the framework of the statement made by the UNSG Antonio Guterres on 4 June. The paper writes that at the Conference, in which the two communities in Cyprus and the three guarantor powers will participate, the chapter of security and guarantees will be discussed in parallel with all issues on which agreement has not been reached. The paper refers also to statements made by UNSG's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Bath Eide in Geneva yesterday and notes that the UN will not submit a document on the security and guarantees, because of the reactions by the Greek Cypriots. On its front page, the paper covers also UNSG's call on the sides to make use of the Conference in the direction of the reunification of the island.

    Afrika reports that even though it is said that this Conference is the last "act" of the negotiating process, this is not persuasive. "Even if there is no result, the act will not end", argues the paper noting that Eide described the Conference as "the biggest chance for the solution" but said that "I do not accept that this is the last chance".

    Under the title "It begins without a document, the time for decisions for the UN", Yeni Duzen's correspondent in Switzerland, Esra Aygin reports that the Conference is expected to be decisive for the future of the solution process in Cyprus and citing a "reliable source" argues that the UN has prepared very well for the Conference and that during this Conference the international organization will decide whether it will continue investing money, time and human resources for the solution in Cyprus. "I think that all sides have now understood that this process cannot continue forever", said the source adding that in case one or more sides attempt to refrain from carrying out substantial discussions or harm the process, the UN is determined on the issue of not prolonging the Conference for more than 3-4 days. The UNSG is expected to arrive at Crans Montana on Friday 30 June, notes Aygin adding that the document prepared by Eide was withdrawn from the table after reactions by Greece and the Greek Cypriots.

    Havadis refers to the developments having as banner front page title Eide's statement that "It is not the last chance". It also publishes the statements made yesterday by the UNSG and UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson under the front page titles "Britain is ready for any kind of help" and "Make use of the opportunity" respectively. Meanwhile, Mete Tumerkan, one of the paper's correspondents in Switzerland, alleges that the Conference started with tension and that the Greek Foreign Ministry does everything that is needed for ending the Conference before it even begins, just like at the first and second meeting at Mont Pelerin and in the Geneva Conference. Tumerkan claims that it is evident that the Greek Cypriots and Greece do not wish the Conference to begin in a productive atmosphere and to reach a result. "The Conference at Crans Montana begins with tension under the shadow of the Greek-Greek Cypriot games", he alleges claiming that "it is too optimistic to expect results from a Conference which started in this manner".

    Halkin Sesi covers the issue using as its front page title UNSG's call on the leaders saying "Show the necessary leadership".

    Detay reports that the five religious leaders in Cyprus expressed their support to the process issuing a written statement yesterday. The religious leaders said they pray for a positive result at Crans Montana, for the end of the unacceptable status quo on the island and for ensuring mutual respect to each other's human rights, the fundamental rights and the different identities of the island's inhabitants.

    Volkan refers to the above-mentioned common statement of the religious leaders calling on the head of the "religious affairs department", Talip Atalay to resign because he signed a common statement with Archbishop Chrysostomos, who allegedly makes calls for war, creates hatred against Turkey and says that Cyprus is a Greek island. The same paper reports also that a group of ten members of the bi-communal "UniteCyprusNow" initiative will go to Crans Montana and that the expenses of the trip will be covered by Stelios Hadjioannou Foundation. Under the banner front page title "The money is from the Greek Cypriots", the paper argues that the above-mentioned persons went to Switzerland to work for the lifting of the guarantees and the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army from Cyprus.

    Kibris Postasi covers the issue under the title "The leaders at Crans Montana… The critical summit begins". The paper publishes also statements by Oguzhan Hasipoglu, National Unity Party's foreign relations' representative and former member of the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team, who argued that the UN cannot risk a second failure in Switzerland and if there is an agreement on the important issues, the international organization will start preparing a "draft-plan" for the solution in Cyprus. In statements to the paper prior to his departure for Switzerland, Hasipoglu claimed that if no agreement is reached on essential issues such as the guarantees, the territory and the property, the UN should make an evaluation regarding this process. "As the UN said in its report, the negotiations are now at their final stage and the final state requires a result", he argued.

    Yeni Bakis refers to the issue under the title "The critical summit begins today" and publishes an exclusive interview by Osman Ertug, Turkish Cypriot former negotiator, who claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side went to Crans Montana to end the negotiating process but in case this does not happen an agreement should be reached on the issue that the discussions for finding a federal solution have been exhausted and a new form of solution should be discussed by abandoning methods which had failed. Ertug alleged that in case open ended negotiations are held, the process will remain open forever and added that the "door should not remain open forever".


    [02] Cavusoglu on the Crans Montana Cyprus summit

    Under the front-page title: "Decision time for the Cyprus problem", Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (28.06.17) reports on the Cyprus conference which is to take place today at Crans Montana with the participation of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot side and the three guarantor countries, Turkey, Greece and the UK.

    The paper in its inside pages and under the title: "Cavusoglu's ticket is one way", reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu will be attending the Cyprus negotiations talks in Crans Montana today, accompanied by a crowded delegation. In a short statement, Cavusoglu stated the following: "Our visit to Switzerland will be an open-ended depending on the path of the negotiations. We may return in a few days, we may also return in a week. Our aim is to support the solution. We can say that the Cyprus problem has entered into a very important period. However, the stance of the other side will of course determine an important role. The Turkish side has not set a date for its return from Switzerland. This is a sign of good intention".


    [03] Sabah: "New round of Cyprus talks kicks off with 'cautious optimism'"

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (28.06.17) with the above title reports the following on the Conference on Cyprus in Crans-Montana:

    "Experts say that without a change in Turkish and Greek Cypriots stances or a surprise initiative from the parties, reaching a final agreement will be difficult

    A new round of talks over the reunification of Cyprus has begun today in Switzerland's Crans-Montana. Accompanied by Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders, the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Greece and the U.K. participated in the Crans-Montana conference as guarantor states, while the EU served as an observer. Despite the unpredictable outcome of the open-ended conference, experts indicate that both the Turkish and Greek sides are maintaining cautious optimism regarding the reunification of the divided island of Cyprus.

    Even though all the parties express their wary confidence mainly due to international pressure from both the U.N. and U.S., experts believe that the reaching of a final agreement at the Crans-Montana conference would be surprising.

    'The main issues of disagreement still persist and there has been no serious indication that either of the two parties has changed their basic positions. The views of the Turkish and Greek sides regarding guarantees and security agreements are still incompatible', said Dr Mehmet Ugur Ekinci from Turkey's Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, the SETA Foundation.

    According to Dr Ekinci, statements issued by the president and prime minister of the TRNC (translator's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus) point to indications that the Turkish side has worn-out as a result of the prolongation of the negotiation process.

    'The Greek side's continuation of its uncompromising attitude regarding guarantees and the presence of Turkish troops on the island may cause the negotiation process to collapse. Nevertheless, the recent attitudes of the president and the main opposition party in South Cyprus (translator's note: the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus) make me inclined to think that the Greek side could make last-minute concessions to avoid the entire collapse of the negotiation effort', he added.

    Prior to this summit, another five-party conference, with the participation of guarantor countries, took place in Mont Pelerin in February; however, the U.N.-backed talks drew to an inconclusive impasse.

    A new round of talks at Crans-Montana comes after intense pressure from U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. With these open-ended discussions, talks regarding the Turkish and Greek Cypriots' reunification are likely to reach an outcome.

    'This conference is one about decision-making', Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said about the Crans-Montana talks following a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binal? Y?ld?r?m over the weekend. 'I will set out on this journey with this positive thought in mind as well as cautious optimism', Akinci said on June 26, adding that a successful outcome at the end of the conference would not only be significant for all those living on the island but also for regional and world peace.

    On the other hand, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades said on June 26 that he will attend to the talks with 'complete determination and goodwill... to achieve the desired solution'.

    Dr Nikolaos Stelya from the Greek Cypriot newspaper Kathimerini believes that the best scenario regarding the outcome of Crans-Montana would be a new resolution for a new summit. "Without any surprising initiative taken by one of the included sides or international actors, it is hard to believe that we will have a final, positive result in Crans-Montana. It is most likely that the best scenario regarding outcomes will be a new resolution for a new summit in the fall of 2017', Dr Stelya said.

    'There is still an atmosphere of mistrust between the two communities in Cyprus, where bilateral communication and measures for confidence building must be addressed. Both leaders have presented poor performance in terms of bilateral communication and measures for confidence building', he added.

    According to Dr Stelya, a final solution in Crans-Montana depends exclusively on a surprising, unpredictable initiative regarding developments in the entire region, especially regarding natural gas resources on a local and international level.

    The long-standing Cyprus reunification talks consist of six chapters; namely, the economy, the EU, property, governance-power sharing, territory, security and guarantorships. After months of negotiations, the Turkish and Greek Cypriot have not been able to reach an agreement on these key issues, including security.

    The state of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots want the continuation of the guarantor system while Greece and the Greek Cypriots want its abolishment. The Greek-Cypriot side also demands that Turkey pull all its troops off the island, asking that Turkey renounce its intervention rights. However, the Turkish side demands the continuation of its position as a guarantor and asks to maintain its military presence on the island in the wake of a solution.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot side is asking for a rotating presidency, with officials stressing that a rotating presidency is a 'sine qua non', non-negotiable, requirement from their side. As the summit draws near, it appears that both sides have stood their ground and it is still unclear which side is ready to make more concessions to reach a deal.


    Meanwhile, the U.N. envoy said yesterday that the talks are the best chance, but maybe not the last chance, to reach an agreement. 'There is an awareness that there is no time like the present', he said at a news conference in Geneva. 'Make no mistake, it is not going to be easy, there is no guarantee of success', he added, calling it the 'most complex' round in the series of talks.

    On the other hand, Greek journalist Stelyo Berberakis from Athens expressed that Greece, like Turkey, displays cautious optimism. 'The Greek government is seemingly supportive regarding a solution and we have observed during Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m's recent visit to Athens that both Turkey and Greece are ready to take steps towards a solution', Berberakis said.

    'Yes, there is a disagreement on security and guarantorships but I believe that these issues would be solved if the parties were to agree on other issues', he added.

    Berberakis believes that both the Turkish and Greek side are aware that the 1960s guarantorship agreement needs to be updated and both sides may find common ground regarding this issue during negotiations.

    'I have been following the Cyprus issue for decades and at this time I am surprised to see that both sides are optimistic. Even one British journalist told me in recent days that there might be a solution this time', he concluded."

    [04] Talat stated that he expects the Crans Montana meeting to be successful

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (28.06.17) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat stated that the Cyprus talks have entered a new phase adding that the Crans Montana meeting which is taking place now is the most important chance for a solution since the "historical chance" for solution during the Annan plan that was lost.

    Talat issued a written statement evaluating the new Cyprus meeting that has been launched in Switzerland.

    He further stated that he is expecting the Crans Montana meeting to be successful adding that the conditions are similar to the Burgenstock summit during the time of the Annan Plan. He also said that the Crans Montana Summit will determine the future of Cyprus and expressed the belief that the outcome of the meeting will be positive.


    [05] Idris: Any road other than a solution is a dead-end road

    Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (28.06.17) reports that Asim Idris, the general secretary of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) stated that a just and permanent federal agreement will be beneficial for all Cypriots.

    "We are obliged to continue with a policy focused on a political solution; every other road other than this will lead to a dead-end", he stated.

    He went on adding that the Turkish Cypriots must become members of the international law and added that the only way for this to be achieved is with the solution of the Cyprus problem.


    [06] Ozersay condemned the UN's stance on the Cyprus problem

    Under the title: "The UN disrepute itself", Turkish Cypriot daily Milliyet newspaper (28.06.17) reports on statements by former Turkish Cypriot negotiator and leader of the People's Party (HP) Kudret Ozersay, who in statements to social media, evaluated the statements made yesterday by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide prior the launching of the Cyprus Conference in Crans Montana.

    Commenting on Eide's remarks that the "joint document" which was prepared prior to the conference was not going to be on the table since it has been rejected multilaterally, Ozersay condemned the UN's stance which is against those scuffing and claimed that the UN's stance prior to the conference predisposes the prevention of the prodcution of an important result from the Conference.

    Also, referring to other statements by Eide, Ozersay said: "He says that 'Crans Montana Cyprus Conference will not be the last chance but the best chance that could be found. However, ten days before in a similar press conference he used the expression 'final Conference'".

    Ozersay condemned further Eide's statements concerning the territory issue, supporting that Eide on the one hand stated that the difference between the sides concerning the territory percentage is less than 0,5%, while, "we knew that the difference is 1%", said Ozersay, wondering for which reason the UN behaves in such a way. Ozersay accused further the UN of falling into contradictions, alleging that with contradictory statements the UN loses its creditability and totally destroys all pieces of trust for the current negotiation process.


    [07] Council of Europe's Jagland says 'justice must start working' in Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.06.17) reported that Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland has stressed the importance of "justice starting to work" in Turkey, adding that he is concerned by the current situation regarding fundamental rights in the country.

    Speaking to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) members on June 26, Jagland said that he called Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag "immediately" after Amnesty International's Turkey Chair Taner K?l?c was arrested for "being a member of a terrorist group". He said he made the call "to remind him that the Council of Europe always keeps a particularly close eye on the rights and treatment of human rights defenders".

    Jagland also commented on a commission formed to investigate the state of emergency procedures, saying that "time had been saved for all those imprisoned or dismissed on suspicion of involvement in the attempted coup."

    The formation of the commission was seen as a bid to ease criticism from European institutions, as decrees issued under state of emergency rules are closed to appeal and thus closed to any domestic remedies.

    During his speech, Jagland said "the many instruments that the Council has available needed to be applied".

    He also said he hoped the report on the Committee for the Prevention of Torture's visit from 2016 would be made public soon, insisting that the organization must continue to work with the Turkish authorities on judicial reforms, "where much had been achieved."

    When asked whether reintroduction of the death penalty in Turkey would be a red line for the Council of Europe, Jagland asserted that, along with derogations from other rights such as the right to life and the prohibition of torture, the death penalty could have no place in Europe.

    Jagland also called for the release of two jailed Turkish educators who have been on a hunger strike for over 110 days. He urged the Turkish authorities to release Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca, reported to be in a critical condition, due to the length of the period they have been on a hunger strike.

    Jagland said he would raise the case with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m. "I will call Prime Minister Y?ld?r?m and ask for their release," he said.

    [08] Council of Europe Commissioner criticizes ban on LGBT Pride march in Istanbul

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.06.17) reports that Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has criticized the Turkish authorities for banning the LGBT Pride march in Istanbul for a third year running, urging them to uphold the right to freedom of assembly. "As the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly stressed, although a demonstration may annoy or cause offense to persons opposed to the ideas or claims it seeks to promote, this cannot serve as an admissible ground for prohibiting a peaceful gathering," Muiznieks said in a statement on his Facebook account on June 26.

    The Commissioner also said that there were "worrying reports of disproportionate use of force" by police against a small number of peaceful demonstrators.

    "By banning the event, the Turkish authorities have failed to fulfil their positive obligation to guarantee both public security and the freedom of assembly, to which everyone is entitled, including LGBTI persons and other supporters of their rights," Muiznieks said.

    "I call on the Turkish authorities to ensure that the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, as enshrined in Article 11 of the Convention, is effectively enjoyed by LGBTI persons as equal members of society," he added.

    As in previous years, the march had also drawn threats from Turkish ultranationalist groups.

    The Alperen Hearths, a right-wing youth organization linked to the religious nationalist Great Union Party (BBP), had vowed to forcibly prevent the march from taking place even if authorities allowed it.

    [09] Turkey's delegation in PACE has not returned yet back to Strasbourg after PACE's decision to monitor Turkey

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (27.06.17) reported that Turkey has been continuing for three months now to react on the decision of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to reopen a political monitoring process against Turkey after 13 years until "serious concerns" about respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law "are addressed in a satisfactory manner".

    According to the paper's correspondent in Strasbourg Duygu Guvenc, the ten Deputies of AKP (Justice and Development Party) and one Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Deputy, who have left Strasbourg as a reaction to PACE's decision, have not returned yet back to their seats.


    [10] Turkey returns fire on YPG in northern Syria

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 28.06.17), Turkish forces retaliated with artillery fire overnight and destroyed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia targets after YPG fighters opened fire on Turkey-backed forces in northern Syria, the Turkish military said on June 28.

    The army said YPG machine-gun fire on June 27 evening targeted Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements in the Maranaz area south of the town of Azaz in northern Syria.

    "Fire support vehicles in the region were used to retaliate in kind against the harassing fire and the identified targets were destroyed/neutralized," the military statement said.

    The boom of artillery fire could be heard from the nearby Turkish border town of Kilis, private broadcaster Haberturk said.

    Ankara was angered by a U.S. decision last month to arm the YPG as part of the battle for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa. Turkey considers the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that Turkey would not flinch from taking tougher action against the YPG in Syria if Turkey believed it needed to.

    Meanwhile, the paper (27.06.17), under the title "US eyes arms for YPG fighters in Syria even after Raqqa's fall", reports that U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis left open on June 27 the possibility of longer-term assistance to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, saying the U.S. may need to supply them weapons and equipment even after the capture of Raqqa from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    But Mattis also noted that YPG militants were well-armed even before the U.S. last month decided to offer more specialised equipment for its urban assault on ISIL-held city of Raqqa.

    Turkey It has said supplies to the YPG have in the past ended up in PKK hands, describing any weapons given to the force as a threat to its security. Erdogan once again harshly criticized the U.S. on June 25 for providing arms to YPG, declaring the move to be a violation of the NATO treaty. "We will be together in NATO, and you will act together with terrorist groups. What kind of business is this?

    Mattis will meet his Turkish counterpart, Defense Minister Fikri Is?k, on June 29 in Brussels.

    [11] HDP to provide 'concrete support' to CHP's march 'soon'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 27.06.17) reported that the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) will soon lend "concrete support" to the "justice march" of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), HDP co-chair Serpil Kemalbay has said.

    "As the HDP, we said that we have been supporting the march since the beginning of it. We believe all fractions of the society can come together with all their differences. They need to act jointly. Within this framework, we see a parallel between this justice march and the struggle we've been leading until today. You'll see that we will be supporting the justice march in a concrete way in the upcoming days," Kemalbay said in the Sur district of the southeastern province of Diyarbak?r on June 26, adding that talks on the issue have been ongoing.

    "We believe that this march should be for all injustices. We'll announce our own democracy plan in the near future. Our efforts regarding that are about to be completed. However, we can't share the details of our support for the justice march because how it's going to be is not clear yet. But we will also have a program. Thus, they will be different from each other," she said.

    The CHP on June 15 launched a justice march to draw attention to the party's Istanbul lawmaker Enis Berberoglu's arrest over "leaking state secrets," walking from Ankara toward Maltepe Prison in Istanbul, where the Deputy is jailed.

    HDP Istanbul lawmaker and Deputy Parliament Speaker Pervin Buldan, meanwhile, said the party may join the march if it gets extended to the western province of Edirne, where jailed HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas is in prison.

    "Justice is justice when it's sought for everyone. It's wrong to seek justice for only the injustices directed at yourself. We will make a moral greeting when the citizens marching reach Kand?ra. However, if it's extended to Edirne, then we will join the march by believing in its sincerity," Buldan said in Istanbul on June 26, referring to the Kand?ra Prison where former HDP co-chair Figen Yuksekdag is jailed.

    [12] The Secretary-General of Socialist International due to Turkey to attend CHP's protest march

    Turkish Cypriot daily Milliyet newspaper (28.06.17) reports that the General-Secretary of the Socialist International Luis Ayala will be visiting Turkey today in order to attend the protest march from Ankara to Istanbul called "justice march". The march is organized by the leader of the main opposition party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

    Kilicdaroglu called the march after former journalist turned CHP lawmaker Enis Berberoglu was sentenced to 25 years in jail on Wednesday for leaking classified information to a newspaper.

    The paper adds that Ayala will be also visiting the jailed journalist of daily Cumhuriyet and Sozcu newspapers.



    (DPs / AM)

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