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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-07-03

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. 125/17 01-03.07.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Akinci: This week is of vital importance for Cyprus
  • [02] The sides are submitting their proposals to the UN today in Switzerland
  • [03] Ertugruloglu accused the Greek Cypriot side for showing an "uncompromising stance" in Crans Montana
  • [04] Ozgurgun on Turkey's guarantees and occupied Morfou
  • [05] Durust: Morfou cannot be given
  • [06] Ozersay refers to efforts by the Greek Cypriots to prolong the Cyprus negotiations
  • [07] Timmersman has reportedly stated that equal rights for the Turkish and Greek citizens in Cyprus will be implemented in a federal Cyprus
  • [08] The chairman of Turkey's Felicity Party called the Turkish government not to make concessions in Cyprus
  • [09] "'Unbelling' the cat in Cyprus"
  • [10] Explosion of ammunition caused a fire in occupied Kalyvakia area; The regime refused the Republic of Cyprus' help in a fire at occupied Kapouti area
  • [11] The occupation regime expects more than 90 thousand tourists from Germany this year
  • [12] Turkey and the EU to hold political dialogue meeting in July
  • [13] Hungarian FM: "The EU has treated Turkey unfairly since coup"
  • [14] Erdogan met with the Russia Defense Minister amid Syria border tensions
  • [15] Turkish AK Party official shot dead in a PKK assault

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Akinci: This week is of vital importance for Cyprus

    Under the title "Week of vital importance", Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (03.07.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci has said that this week the discussion of all issues in the form of a package and in parallel tables will begin during the International Conference for Cyprus at Crans Montana, Switzerland, just like the Turkish Cypriot side had supported for a long time. In a written statement issued yesterday, Akinci describes the week starting today as of vital importance for the future of Cyprus and the region.

    Arguing that their aim is to do whatever is best for Cyprus' future generations, Akinci argued: "This is why we are focused on our responsibilities here. We are here with determination to carry the Turkish Cypriot people and our island as a whole to a better and peaceful future, as it deserves. I hope that this determination of ours will not remain without a response".

    He also claimed that after the Greek Cypriot side lifted on 4 June in New York the so-called pre-conditions it had put forward on 17 May, they started working at two parallel tables at Crans Montana on 28 June. He argued that they did not approve the Greek Cypriot proposal for transferring some issues to technical committees because they act with the understanding that this is a "conference of taking decisions" and added that on Friday at the UNSG's presence, all sides accepted the idea of discussing and solving all the important issues within the framework of a package.

    "Within this framework, we are continuing our efforts in close consultation both with our political parties and the Turkish Foreign Minister and his team in order for bringing up a framework with which the Turkish Cypriot people will live in equality, security and freedom and the Greek Cypriot people will not feel threatened", he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The sides are submitting their proposals to the UN today in Switzerland

    Under the title "A crucial week is starting today during the Cyprus Conference", Turkish Cypriot Vatan newspaper (03.07.17) reports that during the today's meeting within the framework of the Cyprus Conference at Crans Montana, the sides will submit their proposals on the table in the form of a package.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (03.0717) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci met yesterday with the leaders or representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties who accompanied him to Switzerland. The meeting was held at the presence of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu within the framework of the Turkish side's preparation for the continuation of the Cyprus Conference.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris Postasi newspaper (03.0717) reports that within the framework of this preparation, Akinci started early in the morning his meetings yesterday. First he met with the Turkish Cypriot negotiating team and afterwards with the Turkish Foreign Minister.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (03.07.17) reports that if the negotiating process advances as planned this week, a framework agreement will come up and in this case the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Greece will go to Crans Montana. According to the paper, the technique of the negotiations is not the "give and take" anymore, but the "approach and win" method having as target the abolishment of the "cumbersome structure" at the decision taking stage.

    Under the title "The Prime Ministers will come", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.07.17) argues that the Prime Ministers might go to Crans Montana on Thursday or Friday and reports that the Turkish Prime Minister had conveyed the message to the UN officials that he could be at Geneva within four hours.

    Under the title "Surprising agenda: The property", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.07.17) reports that upon a decision of the UNSG, Antonio Guterres the leaders discussed the issue of the emotional bond during their joint meeting on Saturday, something which the paper describes as a "surprise". Even though agreement on few issues was reached on the property, this is expected to positively influence the process, argues the paper.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper's (02.07.17) correspondent to Crans Montana, Esra Aygin cites diplomatic sources at the Swiss resort and reports that "signs of mutual flexibility are coming" from the Greek and Turkish sides on the issue of the security and guarantees as well as on the equal treatment of Turkish and Greek citizens in Cyprus. According to the sources, the process at Crans Montana is going more positively than the most optimistic persons would expect. The journalist argues: "In the beginning of next week we will see whether the process will develop in the direction of the solution or the collapse. However, only one thing is definite: After Crans Montana nothing will be the same in Cyprus anymore!"

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ertugruloglu accused the Greek Cypriot side for showing an "uncompromising stance" in Crans Montana

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.07.17) so-called foreign minister Tahsin Ertugruloglu criticised the Greek Cypriot side's stance at the Cyprus conference in Crans-Montana.

    In a written statement, Ertugruloglu alleged that he was pleased with his Turkish counterpart's statement and thanked him for his uncompromising attitude towards the issue of security and guarantees which have vital importance for the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Further claiming that the Turkish Cypriot side see Turkey's active and effective guarantees in Cyprus as an inevitable part of a solution, Ertugruloglu also supported Cavusoglu in his rejection on Thursday of suggestions there could be "zero" Turkish troops stationed on the island in future.

    Ertugruloglu also condemned what he claimed as "uncompromising attitude" of the Greek Cypriot side during the Crans-Montana talks.

    (...)Noting that the Greek Cypriot side and its political parties reacted to the Turkish Foreign Minister's statement as though it was a 'distortion' or 'unacceptable', Ertugruloglu accused the Greek Cypriot side of trying to warp the purpose of the conference even before it began and begin a blame game process. "What they are doing now is a continuation of their campaign. They are not in Crans-Montana to finalise the chapters but to block it or leave the issues inconclusive", Ertugruloglu alleged, and called on the Greek Cypriot side to show a more result orientated and constructive stance and accept the fact that this conference is an indication that the final phase has been reached just like others have accepted, as he claimed.

    [04] Ozgurgun on Turkey's guarantees and occupied Morfou

    According to illegal Bayrak television (01.07.17) so-called prime minister Huseyin Ozgurgun alleged that the Turkish Cypriots will never give up Turkey's active and effective guarantees on the island.

    Ozgurgun made the above statement during his inaugural speech at the occupied Morfou orange festival.

    He further claimed that the Turkish Cypriot "people" had once again witnessed on day two of the Cyprus conference in Crans-Montana, the Greek-Greek Cypriot side duos negative stance that is aimed at blocking the talks.

    Reminding that the Greek Cypriot leader had repeatedly noted that they had gone to conference in Crans-Montana with preconditions, Ozgurgun alleged that this stance did not display a will for a solution but was aimed at gaining time at the talks.

    Ozgurgun also condemned the Greek Cypriot side for its rejection of the Turkish Foreign Minister's statements.

    He further thanked the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu once again for his uncompromising stance on the issue of security and guarantees on the island.

    Alleging that the Greek-Greek Cypriot duos real intentions were to deprive the Turkish Cypriot "people" from "motherland Turkey's guarantees" and prepare a foundation so they can realize their dreams of Enosis on the island, Ozgurgun claimed further the following: "In the event that a solution is found, for that solution to continue to exist everyone must be aware of the fact that we will never give up on motherland Turkey's active and effective guarantees on the island, as the Turkish Cypriot peoples survival depends on this".

    Touching upon the ongoing Cyprus talks and President Anastasiades' statement that until Morfou is given back a solution is not possible, Ozgurgun called President Anastasiades never to make reference to the word "Guzelyurt" [translator's note: occupied Morfou] since as he claimed, a lot of investment has been made in the area and "people have taken ownership of the area".

    "Since 1974 Guzelyurt has become a part of Turkish territory and it will continue to remain this way. And the greatest guarantee of this is Turkey", Ozgurgun alleged.

    [05] Durust: Morfou cannot be given

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot Volkan newspaper (03.07.17) reports that addressing a conference under the title "The social and economic future of Morfou", Kemal Durust, self-styled minister of public works and transport, has alleged that occupied Morfou is not the same old Morfou. He claimed that a "great development" has started in occupied Morfou both from the point of view of the population and from the point of view of economy. He alleged:

    "These investments derive from our faith in the TRNC. They derive from our support to Morfou. They derive from our faith that Morfou is and will forever remain within the TRNC's borders".

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Ozersay refers to efforts by the Greek Cypriots to prolong the Cyprus negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot Kibrisli newspaper (03.07.17) reports that Kudret Ozersay, chairman of the People's Party (HP) has issued a written statement saying that the Cyprus negotiations in Switzerland have "methodically" taken a "positive situation". He alleged, however, they should be careful and prevent the so-called efforts of the Greek Cypriots to prolong the negotiations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Timmersman has reportedly stated that equal rights for the Turkish and Greek citizens in Cyprus will be implemented in a federal Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (03.07.17) the European Commission First Vice President Frans Timmermans said that if a federal Cyprus emerges, then there would be no issues in implementing equal rights for both Greek and Turkish citizens in Cyprus.

    According to information obtained by AA journalists, the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media, said that Timmersman's comments were noted in official documents of the UN-brokered Cyprus conference as the official EU position.

    The Greek Cypriot side does not want the Turkey-EU Customs Union agreement to be implemented in Cyprus in the event of a federal partnership being established in Cyprus.

    "The Greek Cypriot side is claiming that if the principles that are present in the 1960 Cyprus Constitution are implemented then Turkey will receive equal treatment as Greece and it will become a member of the EU through the back door so to speak, therefore it is against the principles being implemented until after Turkey is accepted as a full member of the EU".

    The UN is seeking a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella, which could also define the future of Europe's relations with Turkey.

    [08] The chairman of Turkey's Felicity Party called the Turkish government not to make concessions in Cyprus

    Under the title: "Cyprus should not become an issue of bargaining", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (01.07.17) reported that the chairman of the Saadet Party (Felicity Party) Temel Karamollaoglu, commenting on the ongoing Cyprus conference in Crans Montana in Switzerland, alleged that "the land which was diluted with their martyrs' blond should by no manners of means be negotiated and become an issue of bargaining".

    Evaluating in a written statement the Cyprus problem, Karamollaoglu claimed that "the TRNC is a national cause for Turkey and the existence of the Turkish troops in the island is a red line". Claiming that there is no "Cyprus problem", Karamollagoglu added: "The problems existed in the island, were all solved with the 1974 peace operation and thus, an environment of peace, security and prosperity was achieved there. The territories which were diluted with our martyrs' blond cannot be bargained and should not".

    "The government should act in the framework of this historical consciousness. Reducing the numbers of the Turkish troops or withdrawing the Turkish troops means the same. If Turkey steps back towards this issue, then it would be forced to make a lot of concessions. As Saadet Party, we would like to submit two proposals. Turkey should draw aside the withdrawal of troops from the island, take into account the hot incidents that might occur in the region and establish an air force base in northern Cyprus. The second proposal is to declare the 20th of July as a 'public holiday' due to the peace operation in Cyprus, which brought security and prosperity in the island", Karamollaoglu further claimed.

    (AK)

    [09] "'Unbelling' the cat in Cyprus"

    In a commentary in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.07.17) under the above title, columnist Guven Sak, writes the following about the ongoing Cyprus conference in Crans Montana:

    "In Aesop's Fables, a group of mice get together to discuss how to rid themselves of the danger of the cat. After much discussion, they decide to put a bell on it, so that they can hear it when it approaches. Who though, the question then becomes, who will bell the cat? The moral of the story is that it is relatively easy to agree on what should be done, but much harder to make the sacrifice when executing the task.

    In Chinese lore, the focus is on unbelling the cat. 'Let the one who tied the golden bell on the tiger untie it," President Xi Jinping of China once said. He meant that those who create a problem should be responsible for its solution. That's what's supposed to be happening in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana when it comes to the Cyprus conflict. It's all about unbelling the cat in Cyprus this time.

    Is there any hope? Well, the Turks, Greeks, Turkish Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and, of course, the British, that is everyone who tied the knot, are there in Crans Montana to untie it. That these people can get together around a table is by itself progress well worth maintaining.

    Some time ago, the question was whether the conference would be with or without preconditions. Some wanted to settle security issues first, and then move on to future settlements. The Greeks and Turks had their usual differences. Yet now, we still have the conference. Looking for a positive sign? That is a huge step in the right direction. It displays political will by itself. We have never been this close to unbelling the cat in Cyprus.

    The last attempt for a resolution was the Annan Plan in 2004. All sides decided to go to a referendum to establish a new federal entity based on the equality of both communities on the island. Some 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted for unification, while 76% of Greek Cypriots voted against it. Note that 89% of Greek Cypriots and 87% of Turkish Cypriots participated in the referendum.

    2004 was also the year Turkey's accession process to the EU officially started. The process was the common goal that tied the old and new elites of the country together. Turkish Cypriots too, saw no option to being part of the EU. The Turks at the time were ready to come out of the trenches, but not the Greeks.

    The Annan Plan was not what is called an 'incentive compatible' arrangement, meaning that both sides could not act in their self-interest to bring the deal to a close. Why? Because the Greek side was on track to be part of the EU anyway. It was this promise, realized in May of 2004, that killed the Annan Plan.

    Is this time different? It appears so. I see three reasons. First, in the past, the Turkish Cypriots didn't have a viable business plan; this time, neither do the Greek Cypriots. There's still time for both communities to make a fresh start with a new and common business plan for the island.

    Secondly, finding common ground in Cyprus is very important for Turkey's EU process. Turkey would like to open the chapters for judicial reform and human rights, as the justice system is currently a major concern in Turkey for all of us. The EU is still the only common ground for Turkey's divided population. The Greek Cypriot veto prevents those chapters from being opened, and hence, from the EU; once more becoming more effective in Turkey's transformation.

    Thirdly, a Cyprus settlement is important for Western diplomacy when it comes to the stability of Eastern Mediterranean. I see a less bleak picture when I look at Turkey-EU relations. In Malta, EU foreign ministers could not reach a consensus to freeze Turkey's accession process thanks to Turkey's new allies, if I may say so. On Friday this week, 60% of the Hungarian Cabinet was in Ankara, together with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban himself. The ECHR has decided to wait for the results of internal Turkish mechanisms when it comes to those mistreated by state of emergency decrees. No progress report is due this October, as the format is to be changed in all progress reports. This gives us more time until April 2018, when the report is due with its new format.

    In the past, we have looked at the Cyprus question from the perspective of belling the cat, as is the case in Aesop's Fables. The Annan plan proposed a solution everyone wanted, but buy-in was a problem, and the plan failed in the execution phase. It might now be more useful to take the perspective of Chinese lore emphasize common responsibility, and make all sides take ownership of the problem. After all, it isn't nifty new methods we need in these talks, but a shift in mindset".

    [10] Explosion of ammunition caused a fire in occupied Kalyvakia area; The regime refused the Republic of Cyprus' help in a fire at occupied Kapouti area

    Under the title "The bullets exploded", Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (02.07.17) reported that a fire, which broke out on Saturday in the forest area near occupied Kalyvakia village, 'created fear and panic". The fire, which destroyed 30 donums of steep terrain [Translator's note: A land measure of 1000 square meters], was caused as a result of explosion of ammunition and mobilized teams of the "fire brigade", the "forest department" and the "civil defense". The fire fighters could not interfere for a while taking into consideration that bullets might exist because of a firing range in the area.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Diyalog newspaper (03.07.17) refers to a fire in occupied Kapouti village which destroyed an area of more than 3,000 donums of forest. Under the title "Turkey came to help us Mr president", the paper reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci called from Switzerland and said that if needed he could ask for help from the Greek Cypriot side but the 'director' of the "forest department", Alay Firat told him that "Turkey came to help us, the help of the Greek Cypriots is not needed Mr president".

    The paper writes that because the two fire-fighting helicopters and the one airplane which came from Turkey delayed, the first interference for extinguishing the fire was received from two helicopters of the British Military Bases.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (03.07.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader's spokesman, Baris Burcu issued a statement on the fire at occupied Kapouti confirming that Akinci spoke with Firat over the phone and was informed that the means of the regime were adequate for taking the fire under control. He said that Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides offered the Republic of Cyprus' help in extinguishing the fire and that after the information they acquired from Firat they thanked him saying that it was not necessary.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] The occupation regime expects more than 90 thousand tourists from Germany this year

    Turkish Cypriot Yeni Bakis newspaper (02.07.17) reported that Fethi Ozbogac, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot hoteliers' union (KITOB), has argued that tourism is the "remedy" for promoting the "country" abroad.

    In statements to the paper, Ozbogac alleged that this year around 90 thousand tourists from Germany might visit the occupied area of Cyprus and added that this derives from the "incentives system" which has been implemented for the last five years and the political situation in Turkey.

    Ozbogac further claimed that everyone wants an agreement in the Cyprus problem but they should continue their "struggle" as if an agreement will never happen.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Turkey and the EU to hold political dialogue meeting in July

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.06.17) reported that Turkey and the European Union are set to hold a political dialogue meeting at ministerial level on July 25, an EU official has told Hurriyet Daily News.

    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, EU Minister Omer Celik, EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini, and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn will gather for the meeting in Brussels.

    A visit by Hahn to Ankara, where he will have talks with Celik and several other Ministers, on July 5 will lay the ground for the political dialogue meeting.

    Relations between Ankara and Brussels strained after the July 2016 coup attempt, but the political spat between the EU and the Turkish leadership toned down after the April 16 referendum on a constitutional amendment in Turkey.

    The rigidity eased after a May 25 meeting, which brought together Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, and European Council President Donald Tusk, where the parties agreed to work on a positive agenda.

    On June 13, Ankara and Brussels held a political dialogue meeting at the level of directors.

    The European Commissioners for Transportation and Agriculture will also visit Turkey in July.

    An energy dialogue and an economy dialogue meeting are also expected to be held in the upcoming months.

    [13] Hungarian FM: "The EU has treated Turkey unfairly since coup"

    Turkish daily Sabah (02.07.17) reported that Hungary's Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto has stated that Hungary understands the impact of last year's failed coup in Turkey and sees EU criticism of Turkey's fight against terrorism as unfair and unfounded.

    In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) during his visit for a Turkish-Hungarian Business Forum in Ankara on Friday, Szijjarto said: "Hungary does not welcome the criticism the EU has directed toward Turkey. Hungary understands what last year's terrible attack on Turkish democracy was. We have to stand beside Turkey in the fight against terrorism in order to protect its stability. We must respect Turkey's fight against terrorism to protect its national security," he added.

    Szijjarto underlined that Hungary stands with Turkey and that Budapest is ready to help Turkey in its international affairs.

    "At the European Parliament or the European Council, we always underline the role that Turkey plays in protecting Europe. If Turkey had not stopped the wave of migration targeting Europe, we Hungarians would have had to do it," he said.

    "Turkey is not only protecting itself by stopping the wave of migration, but also Europe and the European Union," he argued.

    Szijjarto also criticized the EU's attitude toward Turkey's fight against terrorism after the failed July 2016 coup.

    "We were disappointed at the way the EU was 'worried' about the rights of those who tried to kill your President and those who attacked your democracy, your President, your Prime Minister, and your senior officials who came through a democratic election, " he said.

    "A massive attack was made toward your democracy and your stability. Europe must be worried about this and not about those who tried to kill your President, and to remove your democracy and your system," he added.

    Szijjarto also said that his government supports visa-free travel between Turkey and the EU.

    "We support the visa-free travel negotiations between Turkey and the EU, because we believe that Turkey deserves a fairer attitude," he said.

    "During the [March 2016] refugee deal between Turkey and the EU, the EU Commission introduced content that suggested that the refugee agreement and the visa-free travel process will progress together. It is not the fault of Turkey, it is the fault of the EU Commission, it is not fair, and since the beginning of the negotiations, it should have been emphasized that these two issues are separate from each other," he added.

    Szijjarto further said that there is a need for mutual respect in this process and that it should be taken more seriously.

    ()

    [14] Erdogan met with the Russia Defense Minister amid Syria border tensions

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.07.17) reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in Istanbul on July 2, as tension soared on the Syrian border between Turkish troops and the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara views as a terrorist group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    Cooperation between Turkey and Russia has tightened markedly since last year, with the two countries jointly sponsoring peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana.

    The June 2 meeting took place at Istanbul's Tarabya Palace by the Bosphorus, the Presidential Office stated, with images showing Turkish Chief of Staff Hulusi Akar and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan also in attendance, as a Russian team accompanied Shoigu.

    The Sabah newspaper reported on July 2 that pro-Ankara Syrian rebels were on standby for an operation against the YPG and Russia could ensure security in the air.

    Asked about the possibility of an operation around Afrin, Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on July 1 that Turkey "is taking all measures to protect our borders and national security."

    Last August, Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield cross-border operation aimed at clearing the border zone in northern Syria of both the YPG fighters and jihadists. The operation was wound up in March, before NATO-ally Turkey, Russia, and Iran agreed in a memorandum signed on May 4 to establish four separate de-escalation zones in Syria for at least six months.

    Parties are working on a mechanism in which "mainly Russia and we in Idlib region, mainly Russia-Iran around Damascus, the U.S. and Jordan will take place in southern Deraa region," Kal?n said on June 21, elaborating on monitoring forces that will be deployed between the regime and opposition in four de-escalation zones.

    Another pressing issue between Turkey and Russia is over a missile purchase, with Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin saying on June 29 that the two sides have agreed on the delivery of the S-400 air defense system to Turkey.

    "The contract has been agreed upon. The issue on the loan has not been resolved yet," Kozhin was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

    Kozhin also said that Russia saw "no obstacles" to the delivery of the air missile defense system to Turkey in connection with its membership to NATO.

    The S-400 is Russia's next-generation air defense system. It can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets including ballistic and cruise missiles.

    It can track and engage up to 300 targets at the same time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).

    [15] Turkish AK Party official shot dead in a PKK assault

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.07.17) reported that a local official of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party was kidnapped and shot dead late Saturday, the party's province chairman told Anadolu Agency.

    Aydin Ahi, who served as Deputy chairman in the Van province's Ozalp district, was shot 65 feet (20 meters) from his house after he was kidnapped by two PKK terrorists, Zahir Soganda said.

    The party's district chairman Orhan Yildirimcakar said that other PKK fighters fired guns while the two terrorists kidnapped Ahi.

    AK Party's previous Deputy chairman in the same district, Aydin Musta, was killed last year also in an armed assault by the PKK in front of his house.

    Authorities have launched operations to capture the perpetrators.

    Ahi's death comes hours after the party's deputy chairman in Diyarbakir province's Lice district, Orhan Mercan, was shot in front of his house and pronounced dead at a hospital, according to district chairman Ismail Demir.

    Diyarbakir and Van, which are around 300 kilometers (185 miles) apart, have been hit by numerous PKK attacks since the group -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the state in July 2015.

    More than 1,200 victims, including security personnel and civilians, have since lost their lives in PKK attacks.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy

    (AK / AM)

    Copyright (C) 2017 Press and Information Office, All rights reserved.


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