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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 17-10-16

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

CONTENTS

No. 199/17 14-16.10.17

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Opinion poll: UBP and CTP have increased their power
  • [02] The "early elections" on the agenda of the "assembly" today
  • [03] Denktas: "UBP and CTP drive the country into chaos with the early elections on 7 January"
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot daily writes on how easy is to become "TRNC citizen"
  • [05] Akinci: "The new central bank chairman must be a TRNC citizen"
  • [06] British High Commissioner Kidd: "Recognizing the TRNC would be dangerous"
  • [07] Turkey's Assembly Speaker claimed that Turkey is not an occupying state in Cyprus
  • [08] Siber argued that "being unrecognized did not mean to prevent the representation of the people in the international arena"
  • [09] Burcu argued that "they have not been officially informed whether the EU aid programme for Turkish Cypriots will suspend or not"
  • [10] Atun regarding the electricity project
  • [11] Harmanci carried out contacts in Brussels
  • [12] Figures on the "working labor" in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [13] "Representatives" of Turkish Cypriot organizations in London met with British MPs
  • [14] Ataoglu held "contacts" in Gaziantep; "We hold the key of Cyprus"
  • [15] Incentives were given to 18 areas for investments
  • [16] Turkey and Israel discussed price and route of gas pipeline
  • [17] Deputy PM: "Turkey to pursue EU accession process"; Erdogan: "Turkey does not need the EU"
  • [18] Yildirim postponed Iraq visit
  • [19] Erdogan to visit Poland to boost trade ties
  • [20] Justice Minister: Press cards of 889 journalists cancelled in Turkey in 2016

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Opinion poll: UBP and CTP have increased their power

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.17) reports that according to the results of an opinion poll carried out by the so-called Centre on Migration, Identity and Rights Studies (CMIRS) in October 2017, the National Unity Party (UBP) comes first in the preferences of the "voters", followed by the Republican Turkish Party in the second place. Both parties increased their percentages comparing to an opinion poll carried out by CMIRS in July 2017.

    The UBP increased to 19,01% from 18,5% and the CTP to 15,89% from 12,65%. The Democratic Party (DP) has also increased its percentages to 3,39% in October from 2,34% in July.

    On the contrary, the People's Party (HP) seems to have a decrease in its percentages, which fell to 8,85% in October from 14,5% in July. Smaller decrease is observed in the percentages of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), which fell to 4,43% from 5,39%. The recently re-established Communal Liberation Party – New Forces (TKP-YG) comes in the sixth place with 1,82% in October, comparing to 0,47% in July 2017. The United Cyprus Party (BKP) comes seventh (0,78% in October and 0,23% in July), the New Cyprus Party (YKP) comes eighth (0,52% in October and 0,47% in July) and the Revival Party (YDP) of the settlers comes ninth with 0,26% (no data exists for this party for July).

    The percentage of those stating that they will cast a "mixed vote" decreased to 7,29% (from 7,96%). Those who said that they will not "vote" decreased to 20,57% in October comparing to 23,89% in July, while the undecided increased to 17,19% from 13,82%.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The "early elections" on the agenda of the "assembly" today

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.10.17) reports that after the proposal made by the "opposition" on the issue of holding "early elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus on 7 January, 2018, the issue is expected to come onto the agenda of the "assembly" today. The "legal, political and foreign affairs committee" has been working on holding "early elections" on 15 April, 2018, upon an earlier proposal by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Democratic Party (DP).

    The chairperson of the "committee", Izlem Gurcag, "deputy" with the National Unity Party (UBP) in occupied Keryneia, told illegal TAK news agency that the date for holding "early elections" should be agreed at the "committee" and then approved by the "assembly". Within 48 hours after passing from the "assembly" the date should be published in the "official gazette" and the "elections" should be held within 60 days.

    On the other hand, Tufan Erhurman, chairman of the CTP, said that today they might submit a proposal to the "committee" for holding "elections" on 7 January. He noted that the "parliamentary group" of his party would take its final decision today.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Denktas: "UBP and CTP drive the country into chaos with the early elections on 7 January"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (16.10.17) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and "deputy prime minister" of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) are driving the "country" into chaos with the proposal of holding "early elections" on 7 January, 2018. Denktas noted, however, that there is nothing which necessitates the withdrawal of the DP from the "government".

    During one of his visits yesterday, Denktas argued: "It is obvious that the two parties agreed, but 7 January will prevent the implementation of the budget for 2018. This is chaos. […] We have to submit the budget until 31 October. In this manner, 2018 will enter without a budget. The budget of 2019 will also be on the air. […] While these realities are there, they have determined an election date in a very irresponsible and unprecedented manner".

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkish Cypriot daily writes on how easy is to become "TRNC citizen"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.10.17) writes about how easy is to become a "TRNC citizen" and reports that between 2004-2009 the "governments, in which the main coalition partner was the Republican Turkish Party, "granted" the "TRNC citizenship" to 6,388 persons.

    In addition, 6,506 more "citizenships" were "granted" between 2009-2013, when the National Unity Party (UBP) was in "power".

    The paper notes that 9,295 persons were granted the "TRNC citizenship" since the current "coalition government" of UBP and the Democratic Party took over.

    (CS)

    [05] Akinci: "The new central bank chairman must be a TRNC citizen"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.10.17) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci stated that the vacant position of the "chairman of the central bank" in the breakaway regime must be filled with a "TRNC citizen".

    Akinci who was replying to a question by a journalist on the matter, said that the "position" remained vacant for the last six months and added that it is extremely important "positions" of "TRNC institutions" to be filled the sooner possible with "TRNC citizens".

    (TR, Note: A citizen of Turkey is appointed on this and similar positions in the breakaway regime).

    (CS)

    [06] British High Commissioner Kidd: "Recognizing the TRNC would be dangerous"

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (14.10.17) reported that British High Commissioner to Cyprus Matthew Kidd, during a meeting with British expats in the occupied village of Lapithos on Wednesday, stressed that "Recognizing the TRNC would be dangerous in creating an unviable small country which would be vulnerable because of its size in a volatile region".

    Replying to the suggestion from the participants that "UK recognition of the TRNC would now be the simplest solution after the failure of the Cyprus talks", Kidd claimed: "If it was as easy as that for us or for anybody else to recognize the TRNC, perhaps we would have done it. But it would not be for a number of reasons and I would like to focus you on one, which does not get very much attention".

    "A state of 250,000 people in this part of the world would be very vulnerable. If it were an EU state it would be the smallest EU member state. Its economy currently is very heavily dependent on a third country, which is not an EU member state. Its ability to provide its own security in a part of the world which we can all see is not very stable or secure will be very, very limited. Both for the population of this hypothetical state and for everyone else around it that would be a dangerous thing to have. We, the world, do not need more fragile states in parts of the world which are dangerous", he added.

    The paper further wrote: "To resulting shouts that 'the TRNC exists', Mr Kidd retorted: 'You say it exists, I do not recognize it!"

    Speaking to the paper prior to the meeting, Kidd denied that promises had been made about allowing flights in the wake of the failed Annan plan in 2004 and hit back at the assertion that the pledge had been made by Mr Blair, responding: "He had no authority to say this. The obstacle to direct flights is the Chicago Convention and the International Aviation Authority".

    Meanwhile, the paper further reported that expats were reportedly reassured that 'first say' on former Greek Cypriot property in the Turkish Cypriot constituent state under any federal settlement would go to 'current occupants', regardless of their nationality. In other areas subject to territorial adjustments, "like Varosha for example… priority would be to previous owners".

    [07] Turkey's Assembly Speaker claimed that Turkey is not an occupying state in Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.10.17), the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Ismail Kahraman has responded to Cyprus' statements regarding the Turkish invasion to Cyprus during a speech he delivered at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

    Addressing the Parliamentary Speakers and Parliamentarians at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Kahraman reacted and responded to Greek Cypriot officials claims on Turkey who addressed the assembly before him.

    Claiming that Turkey had done what was necessary in Cyprus according to the Zurich and London Agreements, he alleged: "Turkey is not an occupying state. Cyprus has not been occupied since 1974."

    "There are the Zurich and London Agreements. Turkey and Britain are the guarantor powers. Turkey is on the island according to these agreements. Referring to this as an occupation is misleading, this is wrong. A military coup was staged on the island and Turkey according to its guarantor rights and in accordance with the law had used its right" Kahraman further alleged.

    [08] Siber argued that "being unrecognized did not mean to prevent the representation of the people in the international arena"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.10.17), Siber Sibel, the self-styled speaker of the parliament of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, who attended the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia, argued that it was not possible to explain the logic of not accepting the Turkish Cypriots to the IPU meetings under the observer status.

    Referring to the speech delivered by Putin, Siber reminded her earlier statement that "parliamentarians who are elected by the people through a democratic election should not be subject to international restrictions."

    Claiming that the Turkish Cypriot "people" has its own "parliament" and that this was constituted by a "democratic election", Siber argued that being unrecognized did not mean to prevent the representation of the people in the international arena.

    She argued that while stressing the importance of dialogue in the solution of conflicts in the world today that "it was a paradox to isolate those who are elected by the Turkish Cypriot people".

    Siber also argued that the Inter-Parliamentary Union by only listening to one side on the Cyprus issue, which is one of the oldest disputes of the world, acted against the dialogue and communication they supported.

    Expressing the hope that positive steps will be taken on this issue and all restrictions will be lifted on the representatives of the Turkish Cypriots in the future, she said they will insistently continue their initiatives and efforts on this issue in every platform.

    Noting that there were many inter-parliamentary groups in the world, Siber said: "While the Turkish Cypriots were accepted to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Member States with an observer status, it was not possible to explain the logic of not accepting them with an observer status at meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union which is the biggest and oldest inter-parliamentary union in the world".

    [09] Burcu argued that "they have not been officially informed whether the EU aid programme for Turkish Cypriots will suspend or not"

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (14.10.17), under the title "EU aid to TCs worth 35m euros could be cut off", reported that Baris Burcu, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci's spokesman, told the paper that "while they had not been officially served with any letter, officials were following the Greek Cypriot press reports", which suggested that the EU aid worth 35 million euros a year to Turkish Cypriots could be cut off because of the TRNC government's controversial decision to charge tax on goods sent to Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Burcu further said: "The peace talks have broken down and this has had a negative effect on the work of bicommunal technical committees and of course on bicommunal relations. Diplomatic circles have told us that there is pressure from the Greek Cypriots aimed at stopping EU aid to the Turkish Cypriots, although we haven't received any official documents".

    A source close to Akinci, who did not want to be named, claimed: "The suspension of the huge sums of cash for the entire Turkish Cypriot population would be a 'completely disproportionate' response the imposition of customs charges on aid for Greek Cypriots and Maronites in the TRNC, who are said to number just a few hundred. The Turkish Cypriot community did everything it could to reach a comprehensive settlement and the EU is well aware of why a settlement could not be reached".

    [10] Atun regarding the electricity project

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 16.10.17), the self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun, speaking to Anadolu Agency on the issue of bringing electricity to the "TRNC" via a submarine cable, said that the route of the electricity cable will be different than the water project. He added: "It will go to sea from Teknecik [occupied area of Trapeza] and will be connected to the Akkuyu Transformer station near the Mersin province of Turkey."

    Noting that the electricity agreement will be signed before 2018, he said the construction works will start immediately after the signature.

    Claiming that bringing electricity from Turkey will make positive contributions to the chance of a solution in Cyprus, he reminded that 400 megawatt electricity could already be taken from and given to "South Cyprus" [government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus] at 3 points.

    [11] Harmanci carried out contacts in Brussels

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.10.17), the self-styled mayor of the occupied part of Lefkosia Mehmet Harmanci, who held a number of contacts in Brussels between the 10th and 11th of October, met with EU officials regarding municipal plans and projects and also attended a meeting on Sustainability in Local Administrations in the city of Leuven.

    According to a press release from the "municipality", Harmanci also found the opportunity to convey requests for funding for projects in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    Speaking about his contacts in Brussels, Harmanci said that "the time had come for a tender to be launched regarding the city's waste water master plan in light of the capital's constantly growing population".

    He said that all preparations had been made for the 5 million euro project, which will be carried out with EU support.

    [12] Figures on the "working labour" in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.17) in its economic pages and under the title: "11,3% of the workers in the TRNC are illegal", reports that according to figures provided by the "labor department", in investigations which were conducted in 1,430 working places across the occupied area of Cyprus between January 1st-June 30, it was found out that 11,3% of the "workers" are illegal. Among those, 554 were Turkish citizens, 241 were workers from third countries and 90 out of them (11.3%) were illegal workers.

    According to the "annual report of the labor department for 2017" for the period covering June-September, in the framework of a control operations which were conducted in 303 working places, 48 employers were fined to pay the amount of 201,028 TL totally for "employing persons illegally and without working license", for "acting contrary to the law" e.t.c. Also, it was revealed from the control operations to 1,078 working places that only 26.25% (283) were Turkish Cypriots, 51.39% of them were Turkish citizens and 22.35% were workers from third countries.

    (AK)

    [13] "Representatives" of Turkish Cypriot organizations in London met with British MPs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.10.17) reported that "representatives" of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce in London and the "Turkish Cypriot council" which operates in London, held a series of contacts regarding the implementation of the security measures controls for the "passengers" who are travelling to London from the "TRNC".

    According to a written statement issued by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), the delegation of the Turkish Cypriot representatives, met with the British MP of the Conservative Group, Chris Grayling and the former leader of the Conservatives, Duncan Smith.

    The statement said that the above mentioned implementation is not followed only for flights from "north Cyprus" to the UK but it is implemented in general, adding, that the implementation is just a security measure.

    (AK)

    [14] Ataoglu held "contacts" in Gaziantep; "We hold the key of Cyprus"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.10.17) reported that so-called minister of tourism and environment Fikri Ataoglu, delivering a speech at the "13th Council of Ministers meeting", which was organized by the Turkish Journalist Confederation in the Turkish city of Gaziantep, claimed that "in spite of the actions taken by the Greek Cypriots, the key of Cyprus is the north".

    Ataoglu alleged further that in spite of the pressure and the activities of the Greek Cypriot side against them, they have the key of Cyprus and they will be able to open all the roads for their "activities abroad". "When we will be able to open all the roads we will be proud and happy against those who will be disturbed", added Ataoglu explaining that the "TRNC" is based on the tourism sector, the education and the health sectors. "We have approximately 100,000 students from 106 countries. We are an island which except from the sun and the beaches, it provides great alternatives potentials", Ataoglu also claimed.

    Referring to the occupation regime promotion activities abroad, Ataoglu argued that they are carrying out works for the "TRNC's promotion" in the UK, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkey and other countries.

    Within the framework of his "contacts" in Gaziantep, Ataoglu met also with the Mayor of Gaziantep Fatma Sahin. Ataoglu discussed with Sahin steps that could be taken for the strengthening of their "ties" and of the tourism sector.

    (AK)

    [15] Incentives were given to 18 areas for investments

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.10.17) reports that incentives were given for 18 investments in the first six months of the current year in the breakaway regime. The investments are worth 566, 245,754 Turkish Lira and are focused mainly to investments related to tourism.

    According to a statement of the "prime ministry" three of these projects will take place in the occupied part of Lefkosia, two in occupied Famagusta and the biggest investment will take place in occupied Keryneia.

    (CS)

    [16] Turkey and Israel discussed price and route of gas pipeline

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.10.17), Turkey and Israel's talks on the proposed natural gas pipeline construction to bring Israeli gas to Europe are at an "advanced stage," according to the adviser of Israel's National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister.

    Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency on Oct. 13, Dror Cohen said that Turkey and Israel are currently in talks on the price and the route of the proposed natural gas pipeline between the two countries.

    The EastMed pipeline project is a European project of common interest, which involves an offshore and onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources from the Leviathan gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel to Italy and Greece via "southern Cyprus" and Crete.

    "We have some issues around the price and around how much and where exactly the pipeline will go. We are in the middle of negotiations," Cohen said, adding that he was hopeful that through flexibility from both Turkey and Israel an agreement would eventually be made.

    The negotiations involve both private Turkish and Israeli companies as well as government officials.

    In a recent visit to Turkey on the side-lines of the 22nd World Petroleum Congress in Istanbul, Israel's National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Minister Yuval Steinitz said that Turkey and Israel agreed to try to conclude the inter-governmental umbrella agreement that will enable the construction of the Turkey-Israel pipeline by the end of this year.

    The Israeli adviser noted that Israeli officials were also in talks with government officials and the CEOs of regional countries stemming from a meeting in Greece a few weeks ago. "They are working on a regional agreement. I cannot give more details on this. In Turkey, we also have separate negotiations," he said.

    He also said that Israel was keeping its options open for the exportation of gas with Greece and Egypt. "There are always options, and we do not put any option above the other," he said.

    "We can do it in parallel with all three [Turkey, Greece and Egypt]," he said, reiterating that Israel just wanted to conduct business and get things going. Israel is willing to sign the umbrella agreement between Turkey and Israel that will pave the way for the Turkey-Israel natural gas pipeline, Cohen said.

    Cohen expressed his hopes that a visit soon by Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak in Tel Aviv would move the project along.

    "I think when the time comes and the agreement is on the verge of signing, we will hopefully see him in Tel Aviv. I am waiting, the Minister is waiting, our offices are waiting and the whole of Israel is waiting for the Minister to come," he said.

    [17] Deputy PM: "Turkey to pursue EU accession process"; Erdogan: "Turkey does not need the EU"

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.17), the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said on Sunday that Turkey will continue its efforts for EU membership despite all hurdles.

    Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Eyup Sultan Mosque complex in Strasbourg, France, Bekir Bozdag said: "Turkey will strengthen the EU, and gain strength after being granted full EU membership. (…) We have been striving for this membership since 1960". Bozdag stressed that the EU had changed the membership rules against Turkey.

    "Despite all these hurdles, Turkey has never given up the EU accession process," Bozdag added.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 13.10.17) reported that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated on Oct. 13 that Turkey does not need the European Union, one day after he used similar wording on relations with the United States amid the ongoing diplomatic crisis over visas.

    "If you're honest, make your statement and we will finish the job. We don't need you," Erdogan said during an address to provincial representatives from his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara.

    "They do not accept us. But have they put an end to the process? No. They are still wasting our time. But we are being patient," Erdogan said. He also slammed Brussels for not granting the right to visa-free travel to Turks in exchange for a deal to cut the migrant flow to Europe.

    [18] Yildirim postponed Iraq visit

    According to Turkish daily Hurriye Daily News (online, 14.10.17), Turkish Prime Minister Binali Y?ld?r?m's planned official visit to Baghdad has been postponed, Iraqi Foreign Ministry sources stated on Oct. 14.

    The visit was postponed due to "heavy schedule" and he will visit Baghdad at a later date, the sources said.

    Y?ld?r?m was expected to travel to Baghdad over the weekend to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and other senior officials, according to reports to discuss with Iraqi officials key issues including joint steps against the independence bid of the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

    [19] Erdogan to visit Poland to boost trade ties

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (online, 15.10.17), Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Poland will boost trade and investment between the two countries, business leaders from both countries said on Sunday.

    "Poland is the most important trading partner for Turkey in Central Europe, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $6 billion last year," Kemal Guleryuz, president of the Turkish-Poland Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, told Anadolu Agency.

    The trade volume has more than doubled over the last 10 years, shooting up from $2.49 billion in 2006 to nearly $6 billion in 2016, according to Turkish Economy Ministry data.

    Bilateral trade is in favour of Poland with imports from Turkey being much less. Turkey's exports to Poland stood at $1.9 billion while its imports from the country were more than $2.1 billion in January-September 2017, said official data.

    Polish exports to Turkey hit a high of $3.24 billion last year, up from $1.43 billion in 2006, while Turkish exports stood at $2.65 billion, up from $1.06 billion in 2006.

    "I strongly believe that the volume of trade will reach higher levels in the coming period with exports and investment support by Turkey's Economy Ministry," Guleryuz said.

    The Polish-Turkish Business Forum to be held on Oct. 17 during Erdogan's visit to Warsaw will help increase trade and investment relations between the two countries, he added.

    Erdogan will be visiting Poland on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations including trade. He is scheduled to meet with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. The two countries' leaders are also expected to attend the Polish-Turkish Business Forum, according to the Turkish Presidency's press office on Saturday.

    The one-day visit will also include talks with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, as well as Speakers of both houses of the Polish Parliament, the Senate and Sejm, the press office added.

    Turkey's Foreign Ministry says Ankara and Warsaw have no political problems, and they share similar approaches to regional and international issues. Turkey's support for Poland's accession to NATO in 1999, as well as Poland's support for Turkey's EU accession process boosted political relations.

    [20] Justice Minister: Press cards of 889 journalists cancelled in Turkey in 2016

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 15.10.17), the press cards of a total of 889 journalists have been cancelled in Turkey, according to statistics released by Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul upon a parliamentary question by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Omer Fethi Gurer.

    According to the Minister, there were plenty of reasons behind the cancelation of 889 cards in 2016, with some of them being annulled due to journalists quitting their jobs, closure of the institution, national security policy, death, the date of the card being expired, lack of institutional documents, having another profession other than journalism, the journalist's title or the media outlet they were working in not suiting regulations and the use of one's press card by another.

    Commenting on the statistics, Gurer said that a significant number of the arrested journalists are in prison only because of their journalistic activities.

    "Press freedom has become something that can't be talked about in our country", Gurer said in a written statement, while also citing data from the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) regarding 156 journalists and media staff being imprisoned in the country.

    "Reports that the government doesn't like are treated as elements of crime. We are in a process far away from the understanding that the Press is free and can't be censored. A serious oppression and censorship process that hasn't been named is ongoing. It must be ensured that the jailed journalists must be returned to their jobs," he also said.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.pio.gov.cy/moi/pio/pio2013.nsf/indexel/indexel?OpenDocument

    (DPs / AM)

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